Saturday, January 25, 2014

11 Second Club Final Animation

As I decided to go with the December sound clip, there was no dialogue of any kind. Even though I was looking forward to animating lip sync, I found the December sound clip interesting as it was so incredibly open ended. My initial thoughts of this sound clip, which includes lots of deep, wooden sounding bangs and crashes, footsteps and more loud bangs, revolved around simple ideas of doors breaking, things that involved wooden objects falling, or a general sense of disarray. However after some careful thought and lots of listening, it sounded to me that this was action was taking place inside somewhere, and definitely somewhere which involved plenty of wood. This for whatever reason, became a recipe a lumber yard and a pesky beaver or two. 

I initially had drawn up the idea of a beaver that was hiding from an angry, rampaging lumberjack, who was crashing his way through logs to get to this beaver for whatever reason. However after some feedback from several meetings and peers alike, it seemed that this idea wasn't as clear to others as I had in mind. Deciding that it was vital for this 11 second to have a very simple and snappy story, I went back to the drawing board and decided that It would involved two beavers; one that would initially be running with a stolen pile of lumber who trips, falls, and hears loud, seemingly scary footsteps above. The footsteps would then stop, and another thieving beaver would fall through the ceiling, revealing to the other beaver that it was just his friend all along, not the lumberjack, and they would have a little giggle together. 

After deciding on my story, I decided animation would be most productive through use of Flash. I am confident in using Flash, and did not think it was worth learning a different medium to animate for such a short piece. I was also confident that I could create some fluid, snappy animation within Flash that would be suitable for the time frame. As my character was a beaver, my main issue was working out how this beaver would run, jump, fall, and move in general. After many animation tests, and a few live actions shots that helped me decide how he moved, it started to became slightly clearer. However, because I decided to make this character very furry, I was able to easily manipulate the character into different positions by hiding certain parts of the body in fur, making for a reasonably fluid animation. I particularly enjoyed marrying up the animation of the logs to the sound of crashing wood, as well as the falls that we hear as the beavers fall to the ground. 

Overall I am pleased with the end result from my 11 seconds of animation. I feel as though my characters and story are simple enough to be understood in the short amount of time I have to portray them. The design of the beaver character himself could have had slightly more work done to him, as I feel he is slightly on the simple side. However, as for the animation itself there are several aspects which I am quite pleased with. Most notably I feel as though I had successfully provided an adequate sense of weight throughout the animation, especially within the first half with the run and the way in which the beaver falls, squashes, and stretches out. The timing of the logs falling is slightly off on the initial fall, but I am pleased with the way I managed to get the logs to fall individually to the ground, rolling of the beaver in sync with the wooden sounds. I am also fairly pleased with the way I have attempted to create a sense of anticipation when the beaver (and audience) is waiting to find out what it is that is creating those heavy footsteps above, however I think I could have empathised the footsteps by bending the floorboards above the beaver. Lastly, I would add that I think that I saved a fair amount of time by simplifying the scene by making it all one shot, centred within he middle of the screen. By doing so, it makes the whole scene easier to read for the audience, and allows for snappier animation.

FINAL 11 second animation

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