Thursday, 25 February 2010
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Start with the video frame, this is a sceenshot from QT - I will obviously export the movie frames as a sequence out of After Effects first as PSDs and organise them into shots.
Using the Cintiq and a simple pencil brush in photoshop trace the facial features and some basic shading.
Using a quick lasso and athe Cintiq make a rough selection to be used as the black areas, fill with black on a new layer. This will mask out any ink texture or footage that will be used to colour the areas.
This adds a lot of texture to the heavy areas with a very quick workflow. Making a selection takes seconds whereas hand shading these dark areas with varying texture/shadows would take a very long time. This also allows for experimentation during compositing and the fleibililty to vary the blacks.
In a similar manner a selection is made (in this case just using the magic wand - roughness is not an issue) to create a luma/alpha mask for the entire character. This won't be seen but can be used in compositing to stop the background showing through the muliplied layers and make the foreground pop. This could be a different texture that's lighter or pure white like here but as before this workflow allows for flexibility in later stages while working quickly in these production stages.
This will allow me to drop backgrounds back in focus just by using contrast - blurs etc. can also be used to create depth of field but the most dynamic element to consider is light and the subject must either be the lightest or the darkest element of a composition referring to photography rules. As the majority of the poem is set in a park at night then the general rule is going to be the narrator and characters will have a lighter layer behind the pencil lines
This is available to buy fully rigged from turbosquid for $75, unfortunately its only for lightwave not cinema 4D.
Example of simple bird rig
This crow is £25 unrigged available for C4D - after storyboarding I will assess whether it's worth just buying the model and rigging it or go down the entirely hand drawn route for the raven. If it doesn't need to fly then I think almost sillhouetted or only the head crowing would be more efficient hand drawn. I initially had visions of the raven being used a transition flying in front of the camera but this could only be used once and I could possibly use that slow motion footage on google video as a basis to draw from.
"In many post-conversion Western traditions, ravens have long been considered to be birds of ill omen, in part because of the negative symbolism of their all-black plumage and eating of carrion. "
"As a carrion bird, ravens became associated with the dead and with lost souls. In Sweden they are known as the ghosts of murdered persons, and in Germany as the souls of the damned."
A carrion bird eats from the caracasses of dead animals like vultures - in a similar way circling vultures are an omen of death the Raven also symbolises this. Obviously a Raven is a more suitable metaphor than a vulture taking the setting of the poem into consideration.
I like the idea of using a slightly more metaphorical element in admidst the human characters - as ravens are seen as omens of death then the link to the events in this poem are clear that death is imminent. I want the Raven to appear at various points during the video
Friday, 19 February 2010
A £3m advertising campaign devised by teenagers to warn young people of the physical and emotional consequences of knife crime is to be launched today by the Home Office.
The campaign, which will run over the next three years, will feature national radio, website and mobile phone adverts as well as print and "viral ads" to be distributed via social networking sites such as Bebo and mobile phones.
The radio commercials feature teenagers talking about the emotional impact of a knife attack on their boyfriends and girlfriends while promotional postcards feature a thumbless hand, with the message: "If you carry a knife you're more likely to get stabbed yourself.
This idea to stop knife crime was a slightly obvious one, using shock tactics and showing graphic images of wounds on ads. The guardian ran a story in the run up to its launch and then the following year to report its failure as crime grew. What is unfortunate is that the campaign was devised by teenagers not people in power, so even ideas from within the target audience are falling on deaf ears/the converted.
One of those who took part, Khadijah Murchison, aged 18, from Bristol, said: "All the young people that went to the creative summit have been affected by knife crime, so to share our experiences and come up with ideas and adverts that will help reduce knife crime was great. Hopefully it will make a real difference."
A selection of typical 'anti-(anything)' websites. These knife crime sites are either missing the target audience by being too corporate (itdoesnthavetohappen) or just awful (droptheweapons.org). I don't want to get too deep into solving these problems with a single video but if I can keep the style and content relevant to the target audience this in itself coupled with the lyrics of the poem will achieve that goal.
Successful campaign by the met. Utilising a format that the target audience would use every day (youtube) a series of interactive films were released without branding, spreading virally through mobile and social networks. At the end of each scene the viewer is presented with a choice to make and the story unfolds based on those choices. The stats speak for themselves when the campaigns are aimed at the right people the right way. The campaign was followed up with placement in more youth oriented platforms reinforcing the message and tag line on MTV etc.
Putting the viewer in the position of the victim/aggressor is a well used technique that I think works well. I will most likely include first person shots in my video to take from this but due to the narrative nature of the poem then a step out of the action to view the consequences and observe needs to be the main focus.
I think there's a more conceptual link between the films and my animation which bypasses problems in a lot of typical films to illustrate subjects like this - which is alienating the audience. People may find it hard to empathise with a badly acted character playing out a horrific scene.. in this film they are the character, but in the animation the characters are more blank canvases. While they will be drawn realistically to a certain degree they are not photographic so are detached from reality - encouraging the audience to use their imagination more and put themselves in the position in a more subtle way.
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
The model is from a royalty free collection of birds that I should be able to manipulate to create my Raven and rig for animation without having to start from scratch and box model. Any time I can save for this project means more effort can go into the more hands on sections.
A very quick run through photoshop (roughly 10 seconds adding some extra hand drawn pencil marks to liven up the CG pen lines) and a bit of texture/ink compositing (that would be done in after effects all in one go). I think there is definitely something worth pursuing.. possibly for an extra pass to roughen up the background 3D scenes that would be textured with hand made effects, but definitely for some key elements such as the raven