Well actually the film has been finished for quite a while now but I haven’t managed to update this blog to confirm that! A big thanks to everyone that was involved and to to those who attempted to keep me sane throughout (you know who you are). I can pleasantly say that I got a first for it, wooo. And am now graduating with a first class degree! wooo again :D
Anyway back to film for which this blog is dedicated to. The degree show last month seemed to go well and the general response was very postive. I will later post some photos of the crazy display I created but for now here is the poster.
My tutors have suggested a bunch of festivals and such to enter, so I have been trying to make progress with the applications. Because of entering film festivals I haven’t uploaded the final thing to vimeo or youtube but for now please check out my vimeo profile: http://vimeo.com/cbolton
Ok well I’ve been really busy with the dissertation and other bits, so I haven’t updated this blog for a while. Nearly everything is modelled and alot of it is textured too. It has taken longer than expected but it is finally getting there.
The character is almost there, heres a quick image of Professor Undercog at present:
I have finally decided that making the factory environment will be much easier (for me) to model in 3D rather than continuing to experiment in 2D. Here is an image of its current state:
I’m not going to go through everything that I have made and changed, BUT I have been thinking about the many problems that could occur.
One of the main ones is that I am going to have lots of problems with how the mechanical bra animates.
I am hoping that this design flaw will not take too long to fix and am going to focus on other things. Such as the story and structure, I desperately need to decide who this animation is targeted as. I think that once I have clearly established this to story/structure will come together much more fluently. The main changes will probably be at the beginning and the most certainly the end. I have also been rethinking the ending and will make a seperate post about the possiblities.
I have already made another animatic and shall post it here asap, but it still needs more work. Hopefully the script and general structure will improve now that I have more time to focus on this project.
Well I’m still recovering from the assessment at uni on tuesday, which went well - I think?!
One main thing pointed out was the name of the piece which has now been changed to ‘The Mechanics of Underwear’.
I am in the process of trying to upload the latest version of the animatic which features dialog from Lawrence Simpson (thanks again) and some other basic sound fx.
At the assessment I showed the animatic. Some of the tutors liked it (and laughed!), one of them - not so much :S So need to think about some bits n pieces and have some more tutorials to develop it further.
I’m still unsure about the genral structure of the animation and also the ending, which may still change. The script also needs work, which I already knew before.
So lots to do, not to mention lots more 3D models to make! (And a dissertation draft to finish!) So I better get on with things!
Ok like I said in the post with the latest animatic the script (and obviously the treatment) is being re-written and storyboards re-done (they needed to be anyway but this time they might actually look nice too, *fingers crossed*)
The dialog needs to be re-done but I am also looking at improving the beginning of the piece, the mechanical bra needs to have a bit more meaning I think (maybe?) There could be more happening with the 2D animated labels on the technical diagram of the bra and so I will develop this. I think that scrapping the magic underwear scenario is a good idea as it does not fit in with the others, and possibly introducing a more comical scene would be better. This could be a (Maddonna) cone bra which is more of a weapon (pokes eyes out etc) or a deflating air-filled cup leaving the mannequin lopsided. I will look into this and develop the ideas further, and hopefully do so quickly.
Else where, the character should be finished very soon (or at least a reasonable version, without textures) and I am designing and modelling all the other elements this will take time which is something I am lacking in and so if the models are only basic at least its a start. I will post images and more info soon.
Here are some basic modelling pictures from earlier this week. I decided to start modelling the wind-up key/bow tie, and also the basic body of the character - this needs alot more development, possible make if much more jagged and appear more like a slightly crumpled piece of metal. Maybe.
Ok heres more of the development that I haven’t had a chance to upload.
I did some more visual research on a more stylised theme - and so below is an image board of steampunk type characters etc.
And then here are some more sketches and designs of my own.
I am still uncertain on the head shape for the character, and think that this will be the main part to develop in the design.
The basica body design will be made to look like scrap metal with rivets and screw etc connecting the different parts. I think that the wind-up key as the bow tie works very well but as already said I am unhappy with the design of the head and may possibly re-introduce the chin-mouth piece again. Also at present the monocale idea has been left but may be added if there is time.
For the hands I have looked at Wall E’s hands which are very robotic and more like grabbers than actually hands. I wich to keep these basic as they will not be used a great deal within the animation. I have also thought about the idea if using (door) hinges for the elbows on the arms and also metal tubing for the wrist. This could all be developed more, and when I do so I shall post more images soon.
I found this artist work while looking for steampunk and mechanical imagery for my character. The artist draws, paints, sculpts and makes toys, the creations are unusual and will most certaintly influence my own character designs. Here are the links to his websites:
Ok I’m playing catchup as these designs have existed for a while now and have been further developed, as you will eventually see in further posts.
Firstly I wanted to look at other characters that have similar features to my own character, so below is a quick image board.
I then decided that I no longer wish to pursue the use of photography for the characters design, although I will leave this open to development (everythings a bit open but need to think about shutting the door soon). Having the professor as simply a cardboard cut-out may not work as well as originally anticipated, as the aesthetic may not fit with his surroundings. A more ‘steampunk’ attire may be required and so different designs will be introduced. I may possibly make the character more three-dimensional and also more mechanical in his appearance and movement, to still limit the character animation but not as much as first thought. The possible use of changing the accessories to better suit the setting could include items such as a mechanical monocle but also could include using different textures to make the professor out of scrap metal for instance. He could also be mechanically wound-up and have a key on his back. Hinged limbs and robotic like parts may also appear.
Here is my secondary design ideas.
I will add the rest of the designs and some accompanying visual research as soon as I can.
Well there are already many problems occurring, the main of which is the professor character. This may not be a problem but a case of re-designing the character, this will discussed in another post as the character’s design and development will be rather in-depth.
Another problem is the strapless bra section, this shot has always been a little difficult to visualise and so needs to be adapted. How the straps disappear or detach depends on the design, which at the moment could feature all sorts of textures and mechanisms. The possibility of poppers, buttons or buckles could be used, this will be discussed in detail in a separate post specifically dedicated to the strapless bra section. There is also another issue involving this section which is not to do with the design of the garment. It is the end of the shot where in the treatment the bra falls into the camera lens thus covering the entire frame. This is not possible from the camera angle that was originally anticipated and would have to be a much lower angle. A lower angle would mean looking up from underneath the manikin, which simply would not work well visually. And so the transition to the following shot will have to be rethought and where the falling bra goes shall also be thought about.
One other noticable problem is well more of a decision about how and whether the mechanical arms (with tools) release the caged manikin. There could be sparks flying off as the metal is cut through, or simple snipping through with wire-cutters. This shot also needs to be resolved.
Other than these shots, other ‘examples’ may need to be added as the time of the piece maybe rather too short (if possible), although as mentioned prior the pacing needs to be corrected. Other shots may need to be added, such as close-ups of the character or other contraphtions that also feature. And so I have alot to do and still alot of previous development and research to add onto this blog, to show how the project has progressed.
This is the website for the french animation Monsieur COK. The style and colours used have a similar feel to what I imagine my animation to finally have. Although not in 3D many different techniques have been used in this film, the layered compositions appeal to me. And so it has made me think a little more about the background and setting of my location, which could possibly be 2D.
Here is the current working treatment for the animation, it has changed slightly from my original version but this is much more complete.
Metal mechanical parts move, cogs and gears turn clanking together. Machinery crushes together to reveal
A mechanical bra is seen in full, its metal pieces moving slightly. A semi-two-dimensional man moves into the frame from the bottom left. Text appears on a label held by a mechanical arm and is placed at the bottom right of the frame, naming the character and his profession: Professor ……………, an expert in engineering underwear.
He faces the viewer and points to the mechanical bra behind him. He puts forth a question which he then continues to answer.
A technical drawing of a bra replaces the mechanical bra, and is held by rudimentary machinery. An arrow pings onto the image with text announcing that is it in fact a bra. Other text appears animated on the diagram and comically annotates the simple image. The drawing mechanically retracts back up off the frame.
An empty space is left, in which a model metal bridge is placed down with a great noise. The professor remains, addressing the viewer again and informing them that bras’ have similarities in design to that of bridges.
But there can still be some incidents, the first of which is the fight against gravity. An armless manikin wears a bra, but the straps are then removed with a sudden ping. And so the strapless bra falls down off of the manikin into the camera lens.
The next example appears in the form of another manikin but this one is trapped in wire caged bra. The cage like contraption is stuck around the faceless head with branch like arms stuck straight in the air.
Mechanical arms appear with tools to try and release the manikin. It is then moved along, similarly to the previous examples by the mechanical contraptions that hold them.
A manikin similar to that of the previous one is seen, sports a strange corset. The corseted torso mechanically spins around, as it does so a wire snake moves down from the top and starts to twist around it. The creature constricts and squeezes the manikin out of proportion.
The snake’s tongue flickers towards the Professor, but he appears to be oblivious. The snake then reacts and gestures towards the camera, filling the frame.
Another example has now replaced the deformed manikin and snake. It sparkles in the dim light, but then starts to fade and darken.
The manikin then begins to decay and crumble away into dust, much to the professor’s disappointment.
The mechanical part left behind moves away and a formula is then presented to the audience. Again the professor addresses the audience with his closing warning but then falls to the floor himself.
The mechanical contraption that continues to hold the formulaic sign turns as the camera zooms towards it.
The CLOSING CREDITS start to roll down it.
Dialog has been written but is set to change and may possibly not be used. There are alot of technical issues and skills needed to overcome them within this version of the treatment, as it is fairly ambitious. I have allowed for scene to be switched and swapped if needed and there are many other ideas as a backup.
Well hello, you are probably more than just a little intrigued as to what exactly my project is. Well to try and put it simply it is a short (and snappy) surreal comic animation combining 2D and 3D elements with a Steampunk aesthetic, about the unfortunate incidents that can occur to women due to their ‘engineered’ underwear.
Yes it is strange, but fun!
Here is the original synopsis:
Getting your knickers in a twist is not the worst wardrobe malfunction that could happen. In fact there are many unfortunate incidents that can occur due to a woman’s undergarments. Care must be taken to avoid such outcomes.
Some are confused about how these garments are to be worn and how they should function while others are more than just baffled. Trained engineers have been developing and re-designing the bra for many years now, yet despite formulas and the physics women can still be left in despair.
And so into the surreal world where a sports bra can trap its victim, magic underwear becomes more like a curse and gravity is a woman’s worst nightmare. Explaining these scenarios and the contraptions that cause them, we meet Professor ………, a cardboard cut-out trained in engineering such undergarments.
I will update this as it has developed further but I need to backtrack as I have started this blog while in the mist of the project’s progression.