About this Blog

I am an MSc Animation & Visualisation student at DJCAD in Dundee, Scotland. "Once Bitten" is the working title for my personal project and final outcome short film. The characters in my film will be 2D, animated digitally, but the environments they inhabit will be filmed in live action.

"Once Bitten" is a story about a woman who meets a wolf cub alone in the forest, the mood is light and playful and about the pair of new friends escaping their normal lives. However the mood darkens when the cub accidentally falls into a human trap and his mother catches up with him and his new companion.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

3D model is UV mapped and Textured (mostly)

3D Anna is partially UV mapped and textured (the most important parts of her are anyway ;) ) This is part of my 3D brief for Masters... the circles i textured onto her cheeks will be handy to track into a 2D shot involving a complicated camera movement. For more in depth development of this part of my brief check out my Masters blog Here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Animatic Complete!

The 1st draft of my animatic that i put together from my (new) storyboard and some recce footage and photographs. There’s no sound at this stage which is a shame as a lot of the audio that happens off screen explains the story. The timing is also very rough but what is encouraging at this stage is that i am sure it’s too long in places- and yet the whole thing is only 2mins 30 secs… so it can only get shorter with refinement :). I’ll be working towards a 2nd draft of this with audio and improved timing.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Model sheet WIP

I've been putting together a model sheet for ANNA as i go along. This is part of my pre-production process and also in partial fulfillment of my 2D masters brief, heres where i am with it so far. If i have time i will tidy up the lines and such digitally and put it together neatly. I will also use some poses i gathered from observational drawing at pre-natal yoga and life drawing with our pregnant model, Megan. When complete, the model sheet will act as a reference for animators on the form and personality of Anna.

Monday, December 1, 2014

I made a 3D model of Anna!

This was a requirement of my brief, to model a character designed in 2D in 3D... so here is Anna, modelled in Maya with some simple shaders dropped onto her...

I may decide to use the model to test lighting and what not in her live action background or even as reference when animating a complicated camera move- for example to make sure she is accurate in a 180 degree turn. But just to clarify- i am still hoping to animate my short in 2D with live action environments.

If you'd like a better idea of my process for modelling her take a look at my  MSc Blog where there are lots of screen shot WIPs .

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Turnaround & Character Design: ANNA

 Finally finished with Anna's turnaround! the "T" pose is mainly for the purposes of modelling her in maya- however she will be animated in 2D (digitally) so i included a relaxed 3/4 turn.

Anna is a russian peasant girl, she lives in a small village community near a forest where she and her neighbours gather food and hunt. She is 19 years old, recently married and 6-8 months pregnant with her first child.

While drawing my friend Megan, i asked her to wear a long skirt of mine around her rib cage so that i could observe the folds of the material around her bump, i really liked the look and changed Anna's design at the last minute. I was also persuaded to change it after drawing my storyboard and realising that conveying lots of movements would be difficult underneath a shoulder-covering shawl.
 Some costume decisions...
 In the end i dropped the front-tied scarf idea because i thought it made Anna look too old, i found out a head scarf would be essential as Fall of the Wolf is set outside; and after reading parts of "The Empire's New Clothes" i found out that headscarves were a sign of modesty and mainly all country girls and women in 19 Century Russia wore them. They became less common in the cities as other European fashions were absorbed into the culture there.

 I was inspired to design a shawl-type shoulder cover for Anna by one of the characters in "Zelda"- But also liked the idea of an empire-line dress cut like Chicha's (The Emperor's New Groove). Chicha is the only pregnant animated character i can think of. (I do not own the 2 images above)

Researching clothes worn by russian peasants ("The Empire's New Clothes") and sketching some basic outfits for girls...

Some very early google image drawing of pregnant bellies...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pre-Natal Yoga: Observational Drawing

Following on from drawing my friend Megan in some poses of my own choice this week, i arranged to draw in a pre-natal yoga class at the Olympia centre in Dundee city centre this morning. 
This was very interesting as i had no control or knowledge of the type of poses that would be involved here, it helped build an understanding of balance, weight and flexibility in a pregnant body. 

I will use the reference and knowledge gathered here to inform my character drawings and actual animation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Movement research: Life drawing

As part of the research for my animation i organised a session of life drawing with a girl who is in fact full term. I will use the results to guide my drawing of Anna especially when blocking her poses. The session helped me further understand the movement of a body with so much extra weight on it's front; what is possible in terms of movement.
As a follow up, i have arranged to attend a pre-natal yoga class this week in order to observe and sketch participants.

Thanks to Megan for letting me draw her :)