WEEK 3-4 Extended Project

Research Plan

Interest/topic/theme

I am interested in exploring the use of movement in 2D animation, focusing more on the fast pace animated scenes and how the emotions of the characters are communicated through facial expression and pose/posture/gesture. I will explore this by making the genre of my animation a thriller.

Why is it important?

Exploring the use of movement in animation is important to me and the industry because it plays a key part in what the character or scene is trying to communicate, whether its matching a theme/genre, communicating an emotion of a character at a specific point or personality of that character. A character’s emotion and personality can also be communicated through facial features and pose/posture/gesture which is why if movement, pose/posture/gesture and facial features were created with no prior knowledge or research into, lots of these opportunities of communicating to the audience would be lost, making the animation sloppy and without purpose which is why it’s important to the industry and to me.

My progress and achievements throughout the course

When working on my year one FMP, I was able to use my drawing skills to create storyboards, the character bible and the actual comic itself. Through this experience, I found that I enjoyed drawing and experimenting with ideas to see what will improve my story telling and characters. This is one of the reasons why I am influenced to do animation as it would allow me to explore more about storytelling, and creating and portraying characters.

Through secondary research and from my own experiences, I have found that frame by frame animation is the right type of animation for me and has influenced me to pursue it. This is because frame by frame is a lot more fluid and allows more freedom for the creator to experiment with movement.

When conducting research into animation, I found that it was interesting how they replicate the perspective as if the animation was being shot through a camera such as the frame would track a character by acting as if it was on a dolly or would pan to follow the character. This influences me to want to explore the techniques and methods used to achieve this in my project, which means I will include some shots that replicate that feeling.

Literature

10 Basic Ingredients of a Successful Thriller. (2008, September 5). Retrieved from Writer’s Digest: http://www.writersdigest.com/qp7-migration-conferencesevents/qp7-migration-maui/10-basic-ingredients-of-a-successful-thriller

Animations, A. N. (2015, November 24). Fast Paced Fight Animation | By Anthony Nold . Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NElnIRyikKI

Cabral, C. G. (2013, December 4). Cartoon Fundamentals: How to Create Movement and Action. Retrieved from envatotuts+: https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/cartoon-fundamentals-how-to-create-movement-and-action–vector-19904

Filskov, D. (n.d.). The Guide To Sound Projects. Retrieved from epicsound: http://www.epicsound.com/sfx/

Pegbarians. (2016, March 25). Amazing Animation Analysis – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzCGknQg1vk

Pegbarians. (2017, February 17). Amazing Animation Analysis- ONE-PUNCH MAN. Retrieved from YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlrpo2nod64

Robin J. S. Sloan, B. R. (2009, January). Creative approaches to emotional expression animation. Retrieved from Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/41461346_Creative_approaches_to_emotional_expression_animation

slowtiger. (2013, August 15). Motion blur, smears, and multiples. Retrieved from Moho Forum: http://www.lostmarble.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=24645

Williams, R. (2009). The Animator’s Survival Kit. Faber Limited.

Wolf, S. E. (2017, January 21). What Makes A Fight Scene Interesting. Retrieved from YouTube: https://youtu.be/rEn0x1DCk4A

Research questions

I will be trying to find out:

  • What does the audience feel when using certain techniques and methods in animation to create movement?
  • What makes a thriller?
  • What techniques and methods are used to create thriller themes in animation? 
  • How can movement be used to communicate a character’s mood and personality?
  • Can movement be used to communicate different themes?
  • What techniques are used to created fast paced animation?
  • How can a character’s emotions/personality be communicated through facial expression and pose/posture/gesture?

Research Design

For conducting research into the thriller genre, developing characters and researching animation, I will use the sources I have written down and more to find key points, I will then cross reference them with similar products of what I am going to create, that way I can see what key points really matter and learn new key points. I will also do experiments using these key points I have learnt to how effective they are, such as for creating the illusion of fast movements in animation, how does amount of motion blur or smear effect the way an object/character moves.

How will this research help me with my product?

The research will help me learn about what techniques and methods used in the industry to create specific elements in animation, like creating the illusion of movement in animation and how to use stretching and shaping of characters effectively. I can apply this to my own product if I need work on a character/object that is moving fast in a shot, or working on a character that is stretching and changing shape. Additionally, I will learn from this research what techniques and methods are effective when creating the animation, this will allow me to decide for my product what techniques and methods I should/shouldn’t use, allowing me to create a more effective product that the audience will enjoy.

From this research, I will also be able to create a story that fits the thriller genre I am aiming for, creating an interesting world and characters that entice the audience using effective techniques and methods I will choose from the research design. Additionally, I will be able to create an effective trailer that clearly shows the genre and attract the interest of the audience. This will allow me to create a stable base for my project, allowing me to work at a good speed whilst also creating an effective product.

 

Project Proposal

Rational 

I am interested in exploring frame by frame animation techniques, character movement and pose/posture/gesture; the focus of this project is animating characters and communicating their emotions to the audience, that is why for this project I have chosen to animate a couple of shots of a short fight scene between two characters. Essential information for this project is what techniques and methods are effective when creating fast paced animation, how to communicate the characters’ emotions effectively and how show impact in animation. The reason why I have chosen to do frame by frame animation for this is because I have found that frame by frame is a lot more fluid in movement than vector based, this is something I prefer in animation and can use to communicate emotion. The purpose of this project is to gain some experience in animation before I go to university to study it, that way I am not clueless about animation before I start.

Project Proposal

The concept of my project it to create a segment of shots of a very short fight scene between two characters using frame by frame animation, focusing on exploring and creating the characters’ movement, emotion and impacts to each of the characters’ body. I want to research what elements make a fight scene intense and interesting to the audience and I want to experiment with techniques used to create fast paced animation such as smearing and blurring, morphing shapes and removing, adding or timing frames differently to create specific effects, I would also like to experiment with creating different types of impacts. I will conduct secondary research through online websites, online journals and books to learn about the elements that make a fight scene intense and techniques used in fast paced animation, and I will conduct primary research through experimentation into the techniques I have researched to see how effective they are and whether I can create use them, such as creating simple animation clips that include shape morphing, blurring and smearing, etc. The outcomes of this project are that I would have a short animation on YouTube of a fight scene that would interest an audience that would be into the thriller genre and fight scenes, I would also have work showing the journey I took.

Evaluation

To evaluate the final outcome of my work, I will review the work and research I have documented for each week of the project, looking at key points such as the quantity, the quality and the time it took to achieve specific tasks, I will then evaluate the final product and reflect on the work I have reviewed on, seeing what was successful or what has caused the product to drop in quality. I will finally have a screening of the product and will hold a discussion with the audience and will record the feedback which I will use to reflect. When evaluating certain techniques to use in my product, I will do an evaluation myself and again hold a focus group to see what they think of these techniques and I will also conduct small surveys when working on the character’s emotions to see if I have successfully communicated the right emotion.

Action Plan

Project Action Plan and Timetable
Week 1: 3rd April
I will be conducting observations on movement and analysing them in detail.
I will need a camera to record the observations, I will also need a graphics tablet and Photoshop to create rotoscopes of the movement to help me better understand them.

Week 2: 10th April
I will be creating a timeline for the skills I have learnt throughout this course.
I will need a computer and access to Tiki-Toki to create the timeline
Week 3: 17th April
I will be working on the project proposal and the research plan.
I will need a computer and access to word.

Week 4: 24th April

I will be presenting my project proposal and working the final drafts of the research plan.
I will need a computer and access to word and power point.

Week 5: 1st May
I am going to be researching techniques that are used to create fast paced animation, such as smearing, blurring, timing, etc.
I will need a computer and the library if needed, to conduct secondary research. I will also need a computer to document what I learn.

Week 6: 8th May
I will use the techniques I learnt in the previous week in an experiment to see if frame by frame animation techniques can be applied to a rotoscope.
I will need to Photoshop and a graphics tablet to create the Rotoscope and to use the techniques.

Week 7: 15th May
I will do research into facial expression in animation and pose/posture/gesture. Focusing on communicating emotions effectively.
I will need a computer to document this and to research. I will also need access to the library for books to research.

Week 8: 22nd May
I will work on the art style and draw up the storyboard for the animation.
I will need photocopier, pencils, pens and pads.

Week 9: 29th May
Finalise the storyboard and art style, along with also deciding the setting and time period. I will start working on the backgrounds for the animation to take place.
I will need photocopier, pencils, pens and pads. I may also need a graphics tablet and photoshop if I decide the backgrounds I create are good enough

Week 10: 5th June
Depending if I decide to use rotoscoping or not, I will record the footage for the rotoscope and begin working on the rotoscope whilst applying the techniques I have learnt.
I will need a camera, a classmate or two to help me record. I will also need a graphics tablet and Photoshop to work on the rotoscope.

Week 11: 12th June
Continue working on the animation and finish it up. Hold a screening to receive feedback and to discuss about my product. I will then begin to work on the final evaluation of my work.
I will need Photoshop and a graphics tablet to finish the animation. I will also need a projector and a classroom to hold the screening.

Week 12: 19th June
I will be polishing up my evaluation and my presentation of my work and product.
I will need a computer.

Presentation

Here is the presentation I created when presenting my project proposal: My project proposal presentation

Here is the footage recorded from my presentation:

 

The feedback I received

I should discuss a little about the art style I will use for the animation and for the evaluation, I should do a screen of my final product, that way I can receive a lot of feedback from the people watching by having them take notes and maybe recording them giving me feedback.

What we discussed

We discussed about the idea of using an ink black and white art style for the animation, this would require a lot of research. We also discuss maybe having a splash of colour in, like the colour red to show blood, like sin city. I would also have to consider whether I would use a mix of traditional and modern animation or one of the types of animation.

Reflection

Reflecting on the presentation, I find that I have done very well, I was able to get across what my concept of my project was, why I was doing it, what I am going to research, what my influences are and how I am going to evaluate my work.

 

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