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.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Project changes and development for MSc Animation!


  1. Ok, i believe last time i posted anything on this blog i was trying to come up with a story involving more ACTION, and more WOLF and LESS fannying around with side characters. 
Well the new concept is that it will not be a "trailer" of cut together shots put to music, because exciting as that sounds i don't really fancy making out of context pieces of animation.  It will be a "prequel short".... (so, a trailer).

I have a rough sequence of events written that will be turned into a storyboard/ script soon enough. The idea is that this would be a short film that would happen before the titles of the main feature (much like the pre-titles part of "Brave" in which the heroine's backstory, and the main bad guy are introduced). 

Here's the weird part: Red riding hood will not star in my film. The prequel will hopefully tackle how the war between the people and the wolves began. The climax of the film will be a confrontation between the Alpha wolf and Red riding hood's mother. 

The main themes of my film will be: Belonging, Fear, Family, Love.

2. I was dead keen on having a pattern heavy story book/ "Secret of the kells" style background throughout my film, a lot of my early research and mood boards reflect this...
However after coming into my new masters class and realising that there were no keen environment artists willing to work with me i re thought my strategy to make it more achievable as a solo project. Now i hope the film will have a live action environment with 2D characters interacting with it/ on top of it. The best example i can think of for this kind of animation is "the Amazing World of Gumball" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHwNUgm5-sM 

This is an exciting new angle for my film and definitely slightly out of my comfort zone.

3. New Challenges:  I'm under pressure to shoot  ASAP as the film is set in autumn and the leaves will not be on the trees for much longer...

I will need to composite shadows onto the live action frames to make it look like my characters exist in the scenes, likewise, i will need to light my characters appropriately, make sure scenery that needs to move around them does, and have accurate 3D reference for panning shots around characters (these shots i plan to keep to a minimum, with the majority being locked off shots!)

Since my main character is visibly pregnant i will need to figure out a way of observing movement with this added weight and mass, i don't know anyone personally who is pregnant so i may have to use a pillow and imagination.

4. Concept Art

 Inspired by a method used in the production of "Anastasia" (re-drawing photographs of the Romanovs to look more "Disney") i found a book about Russian fashion from around the 18th Century and began sketching out my own versions of some photos and art work...

 In this process i also took inspiration from the bright colour pallette of this genuine peasant dress...

None of these guys are meant to be specific characters- the above are just a little experimentation with dropping my cartoons onto photos (which i do not own) to give everyone an idea of what my film should look like. 

I experimented with adding patterned sections to the costumes of the characters because my idea originally was to have the background heavily patterned but with the change of plan i didn't want to drop the patterns completely and knew it would be possible to add patterns straight onto animated sections using masks in after effects.

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