This semester we are aiming to create a piece that is completely different to Life in the 21st Century, it has a much more serious tone and we want it to look like more of a professionally produced piece and not a student film.
A young girl wanders into the forest and comes across, what looks like an abandoned camp site but she soon discovers that everything is not how it seems…
A brief outline of our story: The young girl leaves her father by the side of the road and heads into the forest, where she stumbles across what she thinks is an abandoned campsite only to find that there is a man living inside of the jeep. While the stranger talks to the young girl there will be a number of clues that she notices visually -she can’t hear- which inform her that this is not an innocent man. Eventually the two characters will pull a gun on each other and the camera will cut. When we return to the young girl she is heading back to her father, presenting him with a new pair of shoes before they carry on with their journey – what has happened to the stranger is never discussed.
Below are some of the concepts that Matt has provided for the project:
Currently one of the areas we feel poses the biggest challenge is achieving the overall look and style we are aiming for, which is displayed through the concept art above and a blog post on style reference, linked below. We feel that artistically this is a very ambitious style to aim to create, however last semester we managed to very closely match the style of our finished short with the style we had chosen to create, so we hope that through pushing our skills and abilities again this semester we can successfully create the look we want for this short film.
Another challenge is going to be the animation of the characters. Last semester was difficult in terms of the chosen animation style which for this project is completely different. This project, as it has a much more serious tone to it will require more of a realistic style of animation. With the characters in this project we’ve planned on exploring the personality of each so that we, and the audience, have a greater understanding of each character whilst creating and viewing the film in order to push our boundaries of artistic ambition.
Below are links to a couple of blog posts of my research into the style we aim to create and some references we’ve found of influence to the art direction and overall look of the project:
Post: Cinematic Influence
After being given the role of producer I was able to get in contact with a friend of a friend who has experience in signing and working with people with hearing difficulties. This is important as our main character is deaf and at the end, when she returns to her father we will see him sign at her. This meeting will allow us to get first hand reference footage of what the father will sign to his daughter. As our main character is deaf she will be getting visual clues that inform her of the strangers nature, these clues will eventually lead to her pulling a gun on him. This meeting will also give us a chance to ask about how people with hearing difficulties interact with the environment around them, and the differences in behaviour between those who have had no hearing from birth and those who lose theirs through life.
I’ve also been able to contact a student of music technology and sonic arts from Queens, who is very eager to get involved with creating the audio for this short. He has previous experience in working with ambient sounds, field recordings and soundscapes, and seeing as our project will take place in a forest we aren’t looking for music but atmospheric sounds this is a huge bonus.
This role is going to provide me with a number of new challenges as it’s an area I don’t have any experience within and have no knowledge of.
As a team we are using google drive for team management and currently as our server – although that may change once we get further into production – dropbox will allow us to upload textures and then create a path to that particular dropbox folder so that we aren’t manually having to plug in each texture each time we open the scenes. Below is an image of our production board which will contain weekly goals for our team:
Since our pitch we have started into production, creating a list of what needs modelled and starting to build those models, below are a few screenshots of models I have and am currently creating along with their UVs:
Within modelling the only real challenge is matching the style of the models to the style of the concept art, an aspect that we are determined to succeed with as the style of the concept art adds to the appealing nature of the project. The jeep is currently being modelled so as of yet has not been unwrapped – the images above are not of the final model.
I’ve also conducted some location research to provide some real world reference to how we plan on building our environment. Below is the link to that specific blog post:
Post: Location Research
A link so some initial lighting research and tests:
Areas of potential research for our project include what render engine we plan on using to create our final outcome, a few that we plan on looking into are Vray, Red Shift and Unity (As mentioned before in a previous post Daryl showed us the short ‘Sonder’ as an example of a style that can be achieved through real time rendering in unity.)
Blizzard’s Overwatch trailers used redshift as their render engine, I really like the visual quality of the trailer below as well as the overall style and lighting of the environment.
Other areas of potential research would be documentaries and films that may provide an insight into how we can provide visual clues for the young girl so that she realises that this stranger living in a jeep has in fact been eating other people to survive. Films such as The Road and Alive – which details the story of a Uruguayan rugby team who were involved in the crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which crashed into the Andes mountains on Friday, October 13, 1972 and the lengths they went to in order to survive.