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.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Rough-cut Composition

I put together some of my final footage (pre- colour correction and grading) with some finalised line animation and tried out some 2D tracking and masking:

The only thing apart from workload that worries me atm is the length this rough cut is coming out at... almost double my animatic- probably due to over generous time allowance when filming. I'm hoping this time will go down as i fully animate sections and have to cut the footage to match the animation.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

I've been keeping some secrets....

I've withheld work i've done from public view for the past couple of weeks for... normal artistic reasons (fear of criticism both on quality and quantity).

But, a greater fear is starting to take hold: what if people think i actually haven't done any work? Well, first of all, i really shouldn't care what people think, but also...

Here's some animation I done did already, ENJOY.

Scene 4!
This scene still needs to be coloured

Scene 5!
This scene still needs to be coloured

Scene 9!
This scene still needs to be coloured

There is a rough cut comp coming soon aswell including all the tid-bits you see above so hold on to your hats!!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Final live action filming (hopefully)

It's been a busy and stressful week, although looking at these pleasant photos you'd never guess....

These are some reference and behind the scenes snippets from my 2 days of filming. I hope to god this is all the  filming i'll need to do, but i'll have to wait and see! Carrying make-shift equipment around a forest all day is tiring, and although I couldn't have hoped for a better team or weather - the scorching sun sometimes made for fast changing light and high contrast in shots where we didn't need it...  Working with friends and Kira the wolf stand-in was fun but working with a disobedient apple was not so much fun!

At the moment i'm putting together a rough cut of the footage we gathered and the animation i have so far, and trying out some masking, 2D tracking and 3D tracking. I hope that this will speed up the final editing process as it will throw up any problems i'm having sooner rather than later and force me to solve them or look for ways around them rather than just letting them be for lack of time.

At the moment the rough cut looks to be nearly 5 minutes long! That's nearly twice the length of my animatic. I know that we were sometimes over-generous with time when shooting scenes i had roughly timed in my animatic, I see no immediate problem in leaving sections that are empty of characters longer than i estimated as it makes almost no difference to my work load. I will have to be careful not to leave some shots over long and empty though for fear of boring the audience- Birdemic style....

Adam and I are planning to edit the colours and light across the chosen shots in the coming days, this will hopefully help to tie very differently lit scenes together and express the chosen moods of my film a little better.

 Kira and Wendy being scale references
 Kira filming some rough and tumble to help me animate my pup caught in a snare (she was having fun, don't worry)
 Turns out: Kira likes apples
Kerri and Kira being references
 ^Photos by Adam Morrow
Kira being a jet pack
^Photo by Wendy Wang

The decision of how to colour my characters is drawing close. I decided to hold off making  the final call on colour palettes until i saw what the final plates would look like, and now that will have to wait until post colour correcting. I have had a little play around though and am keen for feedback.

Numbers 1 and 2 also have a coloured lines version. Numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6  only have a black outline version. As you can see, i already have a fairly solid idea that i'd like the colours on Anna to include some sort of red for her scarf, blue/ green for her skirt and neutral for her top.

I was tempted by coloured lines in theory but looking at the comparison with plain black line art against a photo background from our filming days... I am leaning further towards black lines (also for speed and simplicity sake).

The rest of the gang with their puppy companions in my favourite colours...

I will be attempting to put together a rough colour script in the coming days to help me colour correct my footage. Once that is complete and i have some feedback on my character colour choices i can start working out how to best and quickly colour my animated line art!!

Thank you to my filming team:
Adam Morrow- Camera work
Wendy Wang- assistant and photographer
Qi Feng- assistant
Kerri- reference actor, assistant and dog trainer
Kira- reference actor and stick finder

Thank you to colourlovers.com for colour palette inspiration

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Story Surgery with Mark Grindle

I had an individual meeting with Mark Grindle about my personal project. His feedback was very positive, he said the story hung together nicely. Some small suggestions he had were: 

allowing more time before the pup has a negative reaction at the end of the film (allowing his innocence to linger a little longer while the audience understands before him what is happening); 

adding a slight zoom in or focal length change in the first person perspective shot of the wolf mother looking at Anna through the trees to emphasise the inescapable danger Anna is in.

I haven't spent time re-doing the animatic i showed Mark today after his suggestions since they were so very minor, i have made a note of them in my script breakdown though.