Monday, 31 October 2011

Movie Review: The Adventures of TINTIN: The secret of the Unicorn

Last night I watched the new Tintin movie in 3D at 8:20, I would of watched in 2D but there were no cinemas in my area that were showing the film in 2D late at night.
The plot of the film is about Tintin trying to uncover the secrets around a ship named the unicorn. However during his quest Tintin comes across a lot of trouble from people who are also trying to unsolve the mystery around the unicorn and will do anything to get them even kill Tintin or anyone who gets in their way. It then becomes a compition to see who will uncover the secrets of the of ship first.

When I heard that there was going to be a Tintin movie I had mixed feelings about it, mainly to the photorealism approch that the movie was using for their characters. However when I looked at some trailers it did captured my interests, so me and my family decided to make a day to watch the film to see if the movies was good or was just jumping on the CGI bandwagon. I can safley say that the movie was really good.

I will try my best not to give off too much spoilers on the movie because there are a lot of great stuff in it that I don't want to ruin it for those who want to watch it.
The film is mainly an origin story of how Tintin and Captain Archibald Haddock became friends. Showing what was their relationship was like when they first met. The film also gives us some backstory on Captain Haddock and his role in the film.
The visuals in the film was actually very impressive. For example when looking at the rooms of the main characters we can tell what type of type of people they are. Interestingly one of the companies that worked on this film is Nickelodeon a company that specialises in making shows for children. Yet there are a lot of themes that are a lot of things that the grown ups will understand more than children, but it is still enjoyable for both audience.
The Adventures of TINTIN: The secret of the Unicorn was a very enjoyable film and I highly recommend it to anyone to watch it, as long you can bear the photorealism on some of the characters.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Self Initiated Project part 6: Pre-Production Deverlopment Stage 01

Thought out the week I was developing my character's appearance when he is acting out the game genres while also working on the storyboards for my animation.
The first storyboard I was working on was for the beat them up/fighting genre animation. I began by refining a previous idea were my character is going one on one with a mop I thought he could start by jumping around defensively, then when he uppercuts the mop he does a victory cheer. The rest of the images where just some other ways for my character to fight the mop. The second idea has my character grabbing the mop and smacks it hard on the floor, but it ends with the broken part of the mop flying straight to my character's face.
The third idea has my character executing a jumping kick towards the mop, but my character ended up jumping too high that he bounced off the wall and landed painfully on the sofa.

I also created some sketches of my character as a karate fighter. Out off all of them I chose the garbage one because it looks more like a karate gi.

Next I was working on the adventure costume, at first I was going to give him a towl cape with a torch lamp and a remote control sword. However I then thought of making a knight costume out of cardboard boxes because I felt I could do more things things with that idea.
I also worked on the different types of helmets he could wear in his knight costume and his soldier costume as well. For the soldier I'm just going to give my character a colander helmet and a mop gun because I think those two features will be enough to show he is a gunner.

The rest of the images are different storyboards for my character as a cardboard knight the first one has him fighting a table with his sword but ends up breaking the sword. The second idea he was rolling the dice to make his movements until he reaches a mirror and start posing but he then felt he looked stupid. The final idea has him looking inside the sofa like it was a treasure chest and finds a tv remote control and starts watching the television.

I even created two animatics to show Alan
The first animatic shows of the three main ideas for my animation, but the last two needs more work.

The second animatic shows of three different ideas for the adventure story line. However I choes the first one because I really like it

I had a meeting with Alan with these ideas and he likes them but wanted me to work on the adventure idea a bit more maybe work on how my character realise on the dice for his decisions from movement to watching the television. Maybe pull of a sword in the stone spoof with him having his sword stuck in the table or have my character dressed up as a wizard and start casting spells on the television but ends up failing.
Other than that he seemed please with the work I have shown him and now he want's me to clean up my character and pick out some colours for him, as well to create a modelling map for him.
Please leave some feedback

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Self Initiated Project part 5: Influence Maps part 2

On Friday I had a meeting with Alan about my designs for my character he responded that he looked too generic and I need to give off some more hints that he is a gamer. We then looked at some images of game nerds and the type of clothes that they wear. He also mentioned I should look for some home made costumes. I thought I could look at some badly done ones because my character will wear a costume that look rubbish but relevant to the genre he is acting in.
I also took pictures of myself(with help) dressing up for the genres that my character will wear. I purposely dressed up like that so I can transfer that style to my character's design. I thought when I start making him in Maya I will create the main body then add in the extra features like a towel gi with a belt head band, a towel cape with a remote control dagger/sword and a lamp torch, and a broom gun and a pot helmet.



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Monday, 17 October 2011

Self Initiated Project part 4: Influence Maps

I have made some influence maps to help me on designing my character and the objects he will have in his room.
The reason why I have some game characters for the first image is so I can use their cartoony appearance to help design my character's physic because I feel having him looking cartoonish would suit my animation very much.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Self Initiated Project part 3: Animatic

Last I had a meeting with Phil about my ideas for my animation, he told me to get a better response I should make an animatic with some of my ideas that I like and post them on the blog. I was actually planning to show this to Alan but he wasn't very well on Friday. Hopefully Phil or Alan could see this and give me their opinion.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Self Initiated Project part 2: Idea Development

Yesterday I had a meeting with Alan about my project and I shown him some thumbnails sketches of my character acting out the game genres with the objects in the house. He gave me some advice on how to improve some of my thumbnails ideas. For the fighting game genre skit he liked the idea of my character fighting a broom, but he told me it would be better if he was fighting a mop because the brush end of the mop looks like hair and I agree it does, so I will change the broom to a mop.
Alan also gave me some more helpful advice on working with the RPG genre, he told me that I could make a joke about the dice rolling bit in board games RPGs. That the character could be walking in a dark room holding a torch and the number of steps he takes depends on the roll of the dice. I played around with that concept and I came up with a few ideas. The first idea is with the character rolling the dice for his movement but it ends with him losing the dice so he is stuck, the next idea is with him following the directions of a map, but the map was too complicated to follow so he throws it away and gives up. The last idea I thought up is when we see the character's movement from a birds eye view which I think has a bit more of a dungeon like feel.
Alan advise me to take a look at Charlie Brook's Gamewipe, where Mr Brook talks about games, their culture and scandals around them. I watched the documentary and I notice that with each segment there is a man acting out the game genre in a white room and the way the man acts out the genres is done in a budget style but you still get the idea what he is acting out.
I am still thinking on what my character will look like, although I feel he should look like a regular generic person.
Here are the thumbnails for my animation, they are numbered to help me to tell them apart.

That is all I have done so far still thinking up ideas for my animation I think I got a few strong ones. I will also start making my character as well, please leave feedback thank you.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Self Initiated Project part 1:Decided on an Idea, now Refining it.

After a long time on deciding on my idea for my first project of the 3rd year I believe I got something. Before I reveal my main idea, I will first show off so two ideas that I like but felt they would take a bit too long to make.

The first idea was an interview with furniture and other objects in the house, they all talked about a break in they had late at night. The first object to be interviewed was a table saying that the criminal broke into the house and ate all the snacks that was on it, the table even mentioned that the intruder came down the chimney which was traumatised by the experience. The table also said that the intruder left some unknown boxes under the tree, which we then talked to the Christmas angle. The Christmas angle talks about his feeling about the situation and how worried he is about the mysterious packages under his tree.
The whole idea of this story is meant to represent the type of interviews with people who are victims of a crime but with furniture. The big reveal of the person preforming the crime was meant to be a surprise to the audiance. I also thought of playing with the type of character the angle is, I was thinking instead of making him sound friendly he should sound tough.

The seconded dropped idea was about a small child entering a dark forest. Moments passed and the child ends up lost inside the forest. The child tried to fine his way out but could not fine any exit. He then started to get scared until he heard a voice asking him if he is lost. The child responded, he then saw an old hand coming from behind him pointing his way out. The child then turned around and saw a scary living tree. The child then ran right out of the forest in fear, however the tree looked in confusing because it only wanted to help the child. However the tree shrugged it off and went back to it's neutral position.
This idea is meant to be a parody of characters who ends up lost in the woods and come across some living trees trying to scare or hurt them. Instead of that I wanted my tree to helping the lost child to find his way home be there was a misunderstanding between him and the child.

The idea I chose for my project is the gaming idea with each short skits segment representing a game genre. I thought this idea will be ok because I like playing games so why not make an animation with my character re-enacting some gaming genres that I am familiar with. However the main character (which I will name the test subject) will re-enact the genres with the objects in his house/room, but with each segment he loses. For example for fighting genre his opponent could be a broom and it ends with the test subject losing to it. For turn based RPG we see the test subject facing a bookshelf and they both take turns hurting each other, but it ends with the bookshelf winning by throwing a book at the test subject.

To help get a better idea of making each of my short skits to have an enjoyable or cleaver ending I did some research into two books that carry the idea I was going for for my animation. The first book is call 'Dawn of the Bunny Suicides', This book is part of a series where a cute little bunny always tries to kill itself in funny or cleaver ways. I chose to look at this book for the many ways the bunny kill itself and the whole story centres around one theme which is the bunny is suicidal. By looking at this I could try and come up with multiple ideas around one theme and pick only the best one.
Here are some images to so off some of the bunny's deaths.

The second book I am looking at is called 'Simon's Cat Beyond the Fence'. This book is based of the web series Simon's Cat. The story is about a cat being a cat but done in a cartoony and comical fashion, for example when interacting with other animals it the cat acts like a person with them and vice-versa. With objects the cat acts like a cat. I thought by looking at this book I will find other ways for my character to interact with the objects in the house I also like how the single images are pretty powerful and gives you an idea of how the story goes.
Here are some images from the book to give you an impression on Simon's cat.

That is all for now, by looking at these two book I hope I will get some good ideas for my animation please leave some feedback. Also please leave any suggestions on other shows or books with small comical segments I could look at for inspiration for my animation thank you.