Brief Ideas for Portfolios

Keane- Nothing In My Way: Although the single was originally released in 2006, there was never an official, or even, any kind of music video that was released to accompany the song. Nevertheless, as I listened to the song repeatedly throughout my childhood, there was a clear and consistent idea that sprung to mind. This was every time I listened to it.

I imagined that the music video would be constructed using 2D-animation, and set in the countryside where the band would be performing in a field or meadow. The narrative of the music video centres on a young boy (around 8 years of age). He is seen to be wearing a dark blue overcoat and carrying a small, brown suitcase. Lost near the country fields, he’s trying to find his way home. The young boy comes across ‘a tell-tale sign’ which is mentioned in the second chorus. This is in an attempt to find directions back to his home town. Before the final chorus, an old black cab drives along the street. The young boy gets in the taxi, which continues to travel down the road, puffing out mild smoke-clouds from the exhaust.

During the choruses, the camera would pan through the eye of lead singer, Tom Chaplin, and continue to travel along a trail of random objects. Two versions of Tom would also be seen lip-syncing at either side of the trail. The camera would zoom back out of Tom’s right eye and occasionally cut back to the narrative.

For approximately, the last sixty seconds of the video, the camera would show each band-member in still motion. From this, the camera would zoom out and travel along the skyline (as a crane-shot) where the taxi cab (carrying the small child) can still be seen hurtling down the country lane. The camera continues the rapidly pan through the country fields (revealing a group of flying crows). Finally, it pans up to the sky as the sun is seen to be going down.

TwentyOne Pilots- The Judge: A song released by the Ohio-based duo on their 2015 album, ‘Blurryface’. Again, there was no official music video for the song, probably because it was never released as a separate single.

As I listened to the song, I had this idea in mind of a young male, dressed up in the clothing of the Mad Hatter from the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ franchise. The beginning scene, demonstrates him carefully helping a pocket-sized elderly man (dressed up as a leprechaun) as he appears from his secret hide-out. The main performer, dressed up as the Mad-Hatter, is seen to be playing the song on a small ukulele as he wonders cheerfully through a country park or nature reserve. He’s also seen to be jumping cheerfully around the place and bowing with his top hat off. During the bridge of the song, he is seen indoors playing an upright piano, on stage, in an empty venue.

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Week Eleven: Almost the Icing on the Cake?

In the last week, I have spent time in making further visual tweaks to my project as requested by my client, Jamie, via email.

In previous weeks, Jamie mentioned about how the ‘campaign warning tune’ at the beginning, was somewhat overemphasised. The original tune went from the note C to G, and he mentioned that just using one elongated note could simplify the introduction. As a result, I got rid of the G note and elongated the C. If this fails, then I aim to try the same effect with the G note, in the upcoming weeks.

In addition, I made further major sound and visual changes to my project. Jamie requested that we were to all use a backing soundtrack in our projects to enhance the feel of the animation. As a result, this was a key task for me, during this week. I used YouTube to find an appropriate soundtrack that would suit the animation style and most importantly, the subject itself.

The soundtrack had to be copyright-free, so that we wouldn’t get done for crediting secondary work and nor would Jamie’s company, ‘Stone’s Throw’. After browsing YouTube for a short while, I finally found the perfect resource. This was a compilation video of background soundtracks that many YouTube personalities use. They were all copyright-free, so inevitably, I could take my pick.

Choosing a soundtrack that went under the name of ‘Carefree’, I found this was a soft and gentle melody which aimed to compliment the scene and narrative of my project overall. I felt this worked relatively well.

In terms of the visual aspect, I adapted the waves from their original squiggly lines, to three diagram layers which resembled the appearance of waves. Each layer would travel at a slightly different time to give off the ‘mild, wavy, sea’ effect.

(Please see link attachment of video down below…)

Week 10: Surprisingly, More Writing, Less Practical

Over the course of last week, my priority has been steered more towards the essay and research aspect of the module. As a result, I may have somewhat fallen behind with certain aspects of the practical work.

During the week, I attempted to contact the librarian of the City Campus, Tom Hicks, for advice on finding academic resources to include into my essay. Unfortunately, I caught him at his busiest times. Therefore, I couldn’t book an appointment as of this week. Nevertheless, I intend to continue my attempts to do this in the next week, so that I have an appropriate list of academic resources to work from.

Week Ten: The ‘Almost-Completed’ Article. Just a Few Tweaks Here and There…

 

Between week’s nine and ten, I have spent time in completing the overall animation of my ETC Campaign project.

After working on from five different composition tabs, I then spent time in ‘sewing’ all clips together from After Effects, into Premiere Pro. Once rendered and exported, I uploaded the clip to my Vimeo page and emailed a copy over to client, Jamie.

Thanks to Jamie’s prompt, email reply, I was able to instantly make small tweaks to the animation. Jamie broke the feedback down into key points, and annotated each with a time-indication of when each obstacle was happening. Overall, he seemed to be pleased with my progress so far, although there were a few weaknesses throughout that I needed to address.

I was informed that I needed to alter the main yellow background as it seemed to blend in with the colour of the ETC satellite. There was a misposition of the left house as it sat on top of the globe. It was preferred that the water-flow (engulfing the overall scene) would have a lot more of a curve around the mask as it did still appear to be too ‘pointy’. It was also suggested that I could make the hands (which type away on the laptop) a little less static.

(Please see email reference below…)

 

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for providing an almost finished article! I think your general idea and flow is working well, the timing is near enough bang on so i have no complaints with the order of events! If anything now, i think we’re in the stages of tweaking and polishing as there are a few rough edges. I’m going to bring up some time stamps with comments related to it;
  • 00, i’m still not a fan of this yellow background on blue. Is there anything else that you could play with to help compliment the colours on screen?
  • 00, Left house doesn’t sit on planet quite correctly. There is a gap. 
  • 04, see if you can smooth out this water transition.
  • 06, maybe reposition the tower to dominate more of the screen and animate it so that the red X is the cause of the top being pushed off? 
  • 11-12, the colour transition is a bit sudden here. You could potentially make the ETC dish larger to wipe the screen and shrink into place which could act as a colour transition?
  • 18, the UN logo blue doesn’t match the background blue. 
  • 17-19, the UN logo seems to fidget quite a bit, snapping and popping into different positions. 
  • 19, I think that we can make this red ball situation a little cleaner because it’s a little jarring seeing both the earth and red cover forming at the same time. I like the idea of the UN logo becoming the planet, it’s a perfect fit. See if you can think of a way to make this a bit more tidy. 
 
Other than that, it just needs some little TLC here and there. I think the laptop bit works well and although the animation is just up and down of the hands, the sfx makes it fun to watch. Thanks Daniel. 

Kind Regards
Jamie Cartwright
Professional doodler 

Week Nine: Development of Animatic and making tweaks to essay.

animation-research-and-practice-4000-word-essay-2nd-draft-daniel-dickenson

Today’s session, involved the usual routine of giving our lecturer, Sam, an update of our working progress so far. The remainder of the session was entirely tutorial based, involving us to further discuss with Sam our progress so far, on a 1:1 basis.

I spent approximately five minutes, showing the progress of my project with the rest of the group. To date, I have improved my animatic to give a clearer understanding of the overall narrative. The only downfall, was that I wanted to have produced a rough cut of the project using live-action. Due to lack of time, I ultimately chose to present the animatic in 2D from the storyboard images that I had previously created.

Earlier this week, I had the plan of booking out a camera, along with the motion-capture room and borrowing a friend to help me out with the acting element. I then intended to ‘sew’ each video together to give an insight as to what the overall piece could potentially look like. After failing to achieve this in the week, I have the intention of doing so for next time.

On the other hand, I have received three potential and interested actor applicants for my project. This was after setting up a job-list via my ‘Star-Now’ account. Unfortunately, after inviting all three, only one stood out. Nevertheless, I intend to keep up the search in a bid to film before the Christmas break. My back-up plan involves, advertising to the drama students of the Walsall Campus to determine whether anyone would be interested in getting involved. Alternatively, the 2D-animation with live-action, compositional backgrounds would be a final resort.

Week Nine: Further Tweaks to Image & Sound

In the last week, I have continued to make tweaks to the soundtrack and overall visual element to my ETC Campaign project.

Using Adobe After Effects, I have continued to work on the five different composition tabs to complete the animation. On the other hand, the most challenging part of the project was the final sequence. This of course, is based on the UN logo separating off into three different sections, before morphing into a pair of hands, holding an Ebola-contaminated globe.

Initially, the transition of the UN Logo into the Earth and hands was feared to be risky and difficult. Nevertheless, I found a way through this and discovered that with a little use of masking and altering the size and position of the logo, it was proved to be a success. To do this, I had to separate the two branches and the globe of the UN logo and place them into three different layers. This meant that I could partition the branches by altering the position of both sides so that they would fall almost to the bottom of the screen. From this, I layered the hands and globe over the top. I then ‘key-framed’ all three masks from the UN logo, so that they would morph and gradually transition into the hands and globe.

In addition, I spent time in masking a red-tint which engulfs the Earth from both branches. The main aim of this, was to represent the Ebola contamination. I also layered an illustration of my red-tinted globe over the top of the original globe, to add to the transition.

The masking of the red-tinted Earth was altered, so that it would swipe from top to bottom to represent ‘curing of the Earth’. I also shrunk the size of the globe using the ‘scale’ icon. This was to enable room for the green tick which appears at the end and is accompanied with a pinging sound effect. Both hands drop, before this manoeuvre takes place.

Please see video reference attached below…