In this sequence there are all the films from the 2016-17 second years chosen ideas. At number 6 there is what we finally got to, called Opening night, the finished project for National English Opera.
To make things easier to everybody I pitched my idea later, during Cristmas holidays, to Steve and Shaun.
Here it is what I talked about.
Since opera production plots are already very dense and intricate, I thought, instead of making up a new story, that could have been interesting to offer the audience a visual alternative to the actors on stage, by visually interpreting a passage of Lulu, specifically the scene three at the end of the first act, when the roles of lulu and dr.schon are reversed and lulu, from being the puppet in the man’s hands becomes the leader, threatening dr. schon to marry a prince, forces him to leave his wife and marry her.
I thought this particular scene had very strong psychological
aspects and would have been nice if portrayed as just two faces revolving around each other and changing their expressions and colours, according to what is being said in the actual script. Their face features could be overturned while going on in the conversation, and for example Lulu’s face, starting very small and innocent compared to dr. schon’s one. could end up, going through several metamorphosis, to be huge and scary.
This, similarly to my disease movie, would be set initially in the changing room where the actual conversation is taking place to end in a no location, where the background colours and shapes could change accordingly to what is needed to best express the emotions and the feelings that the singing opera actors voices already strongly emphasise.
During the first couple meeting we had to define the story details and start thinking about camera angles and timing.
For this part I would have personally taken much more time as the choices about camera angles, character’s motion and timing are fundamental for the final look and for the message you are trying to convey. Those actually represent the storytelling part in animation, and maybe are as important as the storyline. For time resctrictions this was sadly not possible.
Here is a couple stages, from the animatic to key-positions.
During this week I also sketched out roughly what the backgrounds elements were going to be so that we could start drawing the key positions accordingly, while the team mates working on backgrounds could use these as model.
The project we have to work on for the first term is creating a short animation about one of three Opera productions here in London.
Since I had no clear idea on what I would have liked to direct on the subject I was very happy to help one of my classmates. I was assigned to Patience’s story talking about a young pickpocket who gets to Handel’s Partenope opening night and tries to steal some goods but ends up fascinated in opera world.
I liked her character design and I tought I could be of help with my skills.
I designed the couple that will open the animation and represents the noble, rich, funny and probably ignorant audience that spectated the Opera in 18th century.
My classmate Jiani designed two of the famous Opera artists.
On the first week of the course, we had to deliver the disease project finished for them to be displayed in the Old operating theatre museum.
This is the point I got to refining and adding details during summer break
I haven’t updated my blog for a while. It has been a fine summer where I got to visit the crazy mother China, being hosted at my kind and crazy friend Jiani Zhao brother’s house. There I had a good time all along.
During the break I’ve also worked on the second childrens book illustration project for Smartypants.
We were asked to animate a character acting Shakespeare’s sonnet and this is the bit I was assigned to.
At the beginning I was thinking of portraying an old skinny man but since the voice recorded as a deep tone I switched to this beefy old man.
These are few concept sketches for the face and the motion
Similar task for next week we had to animate a lip-sync of any quote from movies or songs we like.
I chose V for vendetta, because I was fond of “V”, the main character, at the time the film was released. The mask of Guy Fawkes which he wears in the movie has now become famous thanks to movement such as Anonymous, and I guess is associated to ideas of anarchism and rebellion against oppressive powers.
I used After Effect to try to animate the beginning of “The fifth of November” a poem quoted in the movie, having the stylised version of the mask itself acting.
Being my best attempt to draw a Joaquin Phoenix suitable for animation quite not looking like him..
the task was to animate some character reaction to something in a box using facial expressions. I decided to try animating straight ahead. ( no keyframes and inbetweens )
I took me 2 or 3 hours and this is what I came up with:
I am going to do a second attempt before the assessment day.. if I have time to.
This week was dedicated to facial expressions in animation.
I believe it is something that needs a lot of study to transfer some face acting into drawings, so I choose to analyze a movie that I thought could be easy because of its structure and the many closeups: Her.
Her tells the story of a lonely, introverted man, in what it seems a not so distant future, falling in love with a cybernetic consciousness after a difficult divorce. Theodore’s job consists in writing letters to customers, personating their passed-away beloved ones.
Said so, he is supposed to have a wide knowledge about feelings and such, but seems unable to deal with his own. Quite all his actions and expressions look depressed and very self-controlled until he starts the love relationship with Samantha (artificial intelligence).
Even though the design of Theodore may look simple it is really difficult for me to draw main character’s (Joaquin Phoenix) features in a way that could fit animation and even more be able to have a continuity between poses. So I believe I can say facial expressions week’s positive outcome is that helped me spot another skill I need to quickly develop.
This monday we were introduced to body reactions in animations. The reactions and the movement should be based on characters’ attitude and psychology.
So for the exercise (animate the circus character’s reaction to a mouse getting in the scene) I chose to have her be surprised at the beginning, but, unlike the classical reaction of a woman scared of mouse, being her alien or of extraterrestrial origins, the second part of the animation, consists in Moli (my character’s name from now on) greeting the small creature and tapping on its head.
This is the scene animated with a puppet in stop motion. I tried to add red dots on the skeleton to next track it on after effects and link a digital drawing to it… But I don’t know if I am ever going to be able to do so.
While I work on the digital animation, please enjoy some reference pictures and videos about Moli’s creation.