Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Full version!!

So, our assessment is this Friday and I've edited together my playblasts. I haven't done full renders with lighting/shadows etc as I don't really know much about this and didn't have time to learn. I hope to research these areas and produce a fully rendered version for the screening at the National Gallery in September.

To put my movie together I used After Effects. I wanted to add quite a lot of effects such as camera flashes and sounds so this was quite a crucial stage. I didn't know much about After Effects at all, but luckily I live with an expert who really helped me and showed me how to do everything I wanted (thank you Neil). I enjoyed using it and hope to learn a lot more as I found it was an extremely helpful tool in adding an extra edge to my film.

I also really enjoyed recording, adding and editing the sound. I managed to put some effects on my music at various points in the film to change the atmosphere of the scene. I enjoyed recording sound effects at home to use in my animation and found it added a huge amount to the action.

So, here we go, this is my first edited version of my final project. I hope you enjoy it......

Final Edit from Eleanor Read on Vimeo


For my animation I knew from the start what sort of music I wanted. It had to be rubbishy house music, really bad cheesy stuff. I didn't want to insult the RCM students by asking them to compose this for me, and though they'd probably be too talented to make it sound as bad as I wanted it anyway. So, with my suitable lack of musical talent, I decided to make the music myself. I used Garage Band which is the free music software which came with my computer. It was really easy to use and my boyfriend and I managed to make some bad music in no time at all!

I only wanted this music to play when my character is doing all the pointless things that make up her life (shopping, partying, being pampered etc) and for the rest of the film I will have no background music but use sound effects to add to what's going on.

Research and Reference

So, here's a bit about what sort of things I've been looking at to help me with my final animation.

Well first of all, obviously, there's the painting itself. This was the basis for the whole story. A fancy young fashionable rich girl who looks like she loves a good drink.

As I'm basing the film on It Girls like Paris Hilton I've had to bite the bullet and spend a lot of time reading about the delightful girl. I've read Heat, OK, Hello and lots of replica celeb gossip mags. I've also scoured the internet for stories about her pointless lifestyle and have tried to get an idea of how she spends her time.

I also looked at the film Clueless as the characters and lifestyle portrayed are exactly what I'm aiming for.

As for my character design, I had already bought my main character from the internet (as I knew my modeling and rigging skills weren't up to making a decent and useable character within the tight time constraints) so I didn't have any say in how she looked. However I think she really works well with my story. I was a bit concerned that she was wearing school uniform, but then I thought about Britney Spears dressed as a schoolgirl in her first video, and also did a bit of research into fashion designers who'd made collections inspired by schoolwear. I think the outfit fits with "cute" Beverly Hills type look I'm going for.

I also realised that my character looks a lot like one of those horrible Bratz girls. They have the same huge eyes, huge mouth, huge head and tiny clothes. I had a look at their website and watched a bit of their cartoon and found that not only did they look like my character, they also shared the same outlook on life...

As I worked on my project a very interesting story was unfolding in the media. Paris Hilton herself had been arrested and sent to jail! This was excellent news for me as it inspired me to finally come up with an ending for my film, which I'd really been struggling to do. Thanks Paris!

I'd decided to end my animation with my character being arrested, so I needed to design the last scene in which she has her mugshot taken. I did some research into examples of celebrity arrests (so back to those celeb gossip websites) and believe it or not there is actually a website called Who starts these things?! I couldn't find the actual Paris mugshot, but once again Ms Hilton had obliged by posing for a fake one.

Monday, 11 June 2007

...number 4

Attempt Number 4! from Eleanor Read on Vimeo

Ok, so this is my latest attempt to get this scene right. I'm so much more pleased with it than I was. I can still see bits I need to change but it's getting there.

Third attempt

Scene 8, third attempt from Eleanor Read on Vimeo

This is the third attempt at scene 8. I've shortened the amount of steps she takes, made the camera move towards her and made the last part faster.

A breakthrough!

Here's my new attempt at scene 8......

scene 8, second attempt from Eleanor Read on Vimeo

I'm finally starting to feel a bit better about the dreaded scene 8. I've decided to go with the thumping the photographer idea. I think this links the two final scenes together well (ie. there's now a definite reason why she's been arrested). I'll have to change the magazine to a newspaper (because a magazine wouldn't have published a story that only happened the night before) but that's no big deal.

Roughcut Crit

I showed my roughcut at the crit and once again came away feeling pretty down about it all. People found it unclear that she was having a mugshot taken at the end - I thought this was a bit unfair as I haven't actually put the texture on the board yet so obviously you can't tell what it is. However, other comments were made about the fact that it's not clear why she's been arrested which I think is a totally valid point. I need to come up with a way of making the shot of her at the club and the final mugshot connected in some way. Vicky came up with a great idea about having a headline on the front of the magazine she's reading saying "Isabel Arrested!" which I like. Also, having her actually thumping a photographer could work.


After much hair pulling, blood, sweat and tears I've decided to change the ending of my film. She will now be having her photo taken rather than a portrait painted and after she falls out of the club we will see that she's actually having a mugshot taken because she's been arrested. This is my roughcut....

Roughcut Movie from Eleanor Read on Vimeo

The Dreaded Scene 8

I've got to the scene where she stumbles drunkenly out of the nightclub, trips and falls and gets snapped by a photographer. It's been a nightmare! I just can't get it right. I've struggled to get her to look drunk, I really had problems making her stumble and I'm totally unhappy with the way she trips at the end. Obviously I haven't done the facial expressions yet.

Scene 8 from Eleanor Read on Vimeo

I'll keep working on it though....


Untitled from Eleanor Read on Vimeo

This is my first attempt at the scene with the lipsync in. My character doesn't have an "oooo" mouth shape which is really annoying as it's used in a lot of the words she says. I've tried to do the best I can by combining other mouth shapes and playing around with her jaw control. I need to work on the movement in her body as it's a bit clicky and robotic, but it's getting there.

And thank you very much to Kirst who did the voiceover for me - what talent!

Having a rethink.....

So we had a crit to show our animatics and I came out of it feeling pretty rubbish about everything. I really needed to come up with an ending for my story. Among the comments there were also calls for me to set the animation in the 18th century and have her dressed in full period costume. Unfortunately I don't have the modeling and rigging skills to do this and I think it would be a real pain to animate. Plus, I don't really agree, I think she should be a modern day version of the woman in the painting. I like the fact that it links the painting to the modern day world.

Anyway, I've been doing bits of research into celebrity lifestyles, but I find it quite mind numbing to have to read the magazines and look on the websites for too long! It's extremely fortunate that Paris Hilton has gone and got herself arrested and is in the papers constantly at the moment. Thank you Paris.


Final Project Animatic from Eleanor Read on Vimeo

So here's the animatic for my final project. I went with the idea of a young it girl type having her portrait painted but really wanting to be out doing extremely "important things" because she's such a "busy person". For her these "important things" are shopping, partying, being pampered and generally living the high life. I don't think this is a very strong story, there's no real structure. It needs a twist or a gag at the end. It gives a rough idea of the shape the final film's going to take though.