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!


  1. Hey Chris :D

    Am loving the 'BIG WALL OF IDEAS' you've got going on there :D And I love the morphing of animal anatomies (Unit 1, anyone?). I look forward to seeing your ideas take more concrete shape. Also - can I suggest you put a post together on the group blog re. Digital Tutors. It would be great if you could be specific about how much it costs to join up etc and emphasize your positive experience of it. In this day and age it's so important that students realise they need to commit to 'life long learning' - and always look for opportunities and ways to augment their education. Keep the good stuff coming, Chris. I'm expecting big things from you in Year 2 - time to become a key player, methinks!

  2. Heya Chris! I really love your drawings and your bird I love even more! The colours just feel so warm and magical. It feels like it's bringing on dusk from the golden sunset. I just love it!
    I can't wait to see where you go with this! :D

  3. ... just read your resub Time Machine essay - I enjoyed it, and in structural terms, it represents a real accomplishment; you didn't gloss over the theoretical aspect and you really demonstrated an understanding of psychoanalysis and its components. I know this bit is a struggle for you, but sticking at it is paying off. Lots of admiration from me - well done.