Wednesday, 22 June 2011

New Idea for the Summer Project

For the last couple of days now, I have been re-thinking about my previous ideas for the summer project. Although they are good, would fit the soundtrack well and would involve a lot of training to accomplish, I still didn't feel excited about them and if I'm going to do this for three months, then I need to be excited for the idea. But instead of starting from scratch, I thought I could take pieces of the ideas and merge them with new ones. What I knew was, I wanted to have a jungle, I wanted animals (Which involve modelling them, which i really look forward to) and I also wanted a fast passed animation. That was from my old idea, But what I wanted to do was involve quite a few animals and I want them to be in some form of fight.
Amazingly at the time of trying to find new ideas I was watching "The Golden Compass" directed by Chris Weitz and anyone that has watched it would know that there are these animals (Called Daemons) that are paired with a human. When a Daemon is with a child, it has the ability of changing from one animal to another, in a really cool morphing special effect. One particular transformation caught my eye, a ferret jumps out of a window to escape a monkey, as it jumps, it turns into a bird. I thought this was brilliant because the ferret wasn't bounded to limit of not being able to fly. This idea could help me make a variety of animals with out having to follow loads at a time.

This following clip of The Golden Compass shows a couple of the transformations

So i came up with the idea of having two different animals, two different bodies, and these animals can change shape to a new animal to remove a limitation. I thought of having one animal chasing another through the jungle, when the 'chased' is cornered, it sprouts wings, turns in a eagle for example and flies off. In response, the other animals turns in a bigger form of flying animals, like a bird or a dragon. I realised that there would be a small complication in which animal is which, so to solve this problem, the one being chased could have a blue tint to all its forms and the one doing the chasing could have a red tint to all of its forms. As of the moment, in my head I can picture about 4-6 minutes worth of animation which may be too long or just right. I want to make a rough storyboard and animatic to help visualise the animation, from there I can make all the editing I need to do.

The Story in rough bulletpoint form:

  • The scene opens of the top of a jungle and slowly swoop in through the trees (image the beginning to avatar)
  • We're on the ground, all is quiet.
  • Suddenly a tiger/lion (or that shaped animal) runs past in a bullet run. Up and over the roots, dodging the trees, and comes to a slow stop to search the area. This animal will be the chased or "good"
  • A camera angle positioned under the neck of the animal, showing the light piercing through the canopy as she looks around. Suddenly we hear the sound of a twig break and then the animal darts of again into a run.
  • after the animal passes two or three trees, another animal "evil" jumps from behind a bush (this would look cool in slow motion- once again think of avatar) "evil" land on "good's" back, causing a scrapping fight.
  • They separate themselves quite a distance, now face to face... evil charges but good evade to the right, towards the camera and turns into a flying animal and flies through the trees.
  • Camera back on evil as it looks up angrily, slowly it turns into a large dragon ( special effects here could look very cool, in fact the transformation could look like a pokemon evolution?)
  • Above the canopy we see "good" again, but bursting out of the tree we see evil rising through and chasing
  • At this point good could turn into a creature that could put up with the fight that's coming its way.
  • After a dog fight battle in the air, the two become intertwined with eachother and start swirling to the lake beneath
  • They plummet and hit the water, as they hit it, they turn into aquatic animals, and fight in the new environment.

So far this is how much I have, I know that there could be more added to this but I don't want it to look tacky, I want it to look awesome in every scene. I'm going to break this up into chunks or section, and make your I have each section perfect before worry about the next section. By the end of the summer I don't have to have this finished, it would be awesome but I'm aiming for perfect rather than completion. This project will help me improve the skills that I'm lacking heavily and I fear that without the project, the skill will not improve. I'm aware at the amount of work that this will require, but I'm so excited about attempting this, and it could be something I could finish in my final year.

The things I'm looking forward to are:

  • creating a new world
  • creating new animals
  • advanced modelling
  • improving camera work
  • learning how to rig properly - What I learnt in the last unit as escaped my mind
  • improving my skills in photoshop
  • handling a project better
  • becoming a better art student

My Research so far

I have a couple of animal books which I have now cut out the images I like and have stuck them up on my wall. This way I have the research constantly infront of me, which has been a big help!!

I've been using these images and the artist images from my "Artist a day" to create new animals, so far I have been a bit tided down on dragons, but that will be the most difficult one to create, they're just so awesome!!!

These are what I came up with yesterday and today 

Please give feedback :D

I recently joined up on a website called, it provided create tutors on all the software you could possibly need to know. There is great tutorials on modelling, rendering, rigging and many many more, I highly recommend it to anyone who has a little bit of money to spare and skills to improve!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

An Artist a day - Day 03 - Ignacio Bazan Lazcano

Ignacio Bazan Lazcano has a wide rage of skill and clearly adds it too his awesome imagination! The final piece is absolutly amazing! the first thing that went through my head was "WOW!!!"

Monday, 20 June 2011

An artist a day - Day 02 - Kirsi Salonen

Todays artist is Finnish digital painter Kirsi Salonen..

Her fantasy work is beautiful and inspiring.

Stay tuned for my dragon art :)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

An artist a day - Day 01 - Mathias Kollros

I thought I would start doing this personal challenge where I find a completely new artist each day of the summer. If I keep it up I will have a very large collect of new and interesting artists that will definitely help through the summer and for when the second year comes around. So I'll start with Austrian digital artist Mathias Kollros...

His small use of light shines brightly in these dark battle scenes, each pose looks like it is a still from a high budject effects movie. His dragon piece, for me, shows his best detail in the fantasy genre. My favourite is the second one, "Meeting of the Spirits"

Friday, 10 June 2011

Todays Photoshop

Today I finally felt like doing a bit of practicing on photoshop so I could try and get that spark and admiration for it again. Luckily I think I found it, in my opinion, I produced some very good images.

The first image was to capture an angle of the possible jungle that could be my set for the animation. However I looked out the window and saw a spectacular cloud system, and I was inspired to create that system.

 I'm pleased with the realism of this cloud system. Using the visual resource out the widow was a big help. With further developments and play abouts, I came to realise how easy it was to change a bright day to a dark day.

 Whilst looking for jungle and forest images, I came across a forest fire image. I thought this could be a great idea for the project and I love the contrast of colour and silhouettes, so I gave it a go.

 I'm really pleased with this image, I love the simplicity of it and how power the colours contrast with each other. The following image show so much drama and suspense, also the animals heighten the danger of the piece.

This is my final image of the animals in a forest fire, I absolutely Adore this piece, I think its one of the best pieces I've ever done. It has atmosphere, suspense, danger and heat. The idea of a forest fire is something that could be very interesting to work with, also if I could animate a story in this location in a way that makes the silhouettes work then this project could be spectacular and take me to new levels.

@Phil - Phil if you are reading this, could you listen to soundscape 3 and let me know if you agree that that soundscape could fit to the forest fire idea... - In fact that enquiry goes out to anyone reading this.

Thank you in advance

Sunday, 5 June 2011

First bunch of ideas with research

The soundscape I was given shows a strong link to jungles and Africa so my ideas at the moment are inspired from around that context.

Idea 1 - The tempo of the soundscape suggest a journey or adventure, with that in mind I could do something that involves having an adventure through a jungle scenery. for this idea i wanted to follow an egg falling through the jungle that had fallen because of a fight between its mother and a predator. The eggs travels could fall through the tree, down rivers and waterfalls, this would show the full scenery of the jungle and the animals in it. However my idea exists in a jungle on another planet, this allows me to create the whole jungle and all the animals from scratch so the it become a unique world. Almost like James Cameron did with Pandora. Whilst explaining this idea to people in my house, they made me take a look at the beginning part of 'Dinosaur', after reviewing it, I realised that this was exactly what my idea was! This is either a problem or an advantage, the problem being that it has already been done, but the advantage is that I can see what it could look like. This opening of this film is set in prehistoric times, whereas mine could be shown in any time period, and scenery will look totally different. On a separate note, the opening scene for 'Dinosaur' is SPECTACULAR!!!!

Idea 2 - A Chase between a predator and its prey, once again show the scenery and obstacles in the jungle. They predator could even be a bird so we could show the upper levels of the jungle canopy.

Idea 3 - Monsoon in a jungle?

Idea 4 - Fight between man and animals? Fight between machine and banished man? - look at Terminator, Avartar, Predator
Or Man against Man

To widen my idea range I may step out of the jungle into a different terrain but with the soundscape I have, I don't see where else it will suit.

However the brief allows me to not use the soundscape at all, but just to spark ideas from it, so the piece could be faster or slower than what the tune limits me to. Widen more possible ideas.