Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ensemble Fights.

This is a week of a lot of posts, but maybe that's just because I'm trying to make the best film possible and have to tell y'all about it!

Looking at my boards, Sean Manning gave me a good idea that is also foreshadowing that I will work in, especially since I need to re-stage the one shot that he commented on, because its awful. So good thing that that is about to be sorted.

So Malcolm and Julius rescue the father and barrel out of that cave lickety split. Then they are surrounded by ghosts and that is when the fight breaks out.

So since there are three of them, and too many ghosts to keep track of, naturally, I will have to get myself some experience with ensemble fights and other shots of things I want to happen and how they should come about in a well directed way.

I'm bustin full of ideas. Here it comes.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Exploring, Depth, and all that Jazz....

The other night myself and the ever talented Sean Manning hung out and spent the evening watching Prince of Egypt. Now, when I say 'watched Prince of Egypt', I'm kind of lying, because all we really did was gawk at every scene and imagine how amazing it would be if any given sequence in the film could be one of our thesis'.

As you know from the previously written poem, as I've been working lately, I have been nixing boring scenes and quickly re-making them as better, more character driven, and easier to watch (at least I think so). And of of the sequences that has frankly been bugging me (sans the lab, which is now 'fixed') was the sequence once they enter the portal world.

Frankly it was dry and un-interesting because everything just happened without any major actions from the characters driving the plot. The movie was essentially a film where things happen to characters, not a movie where characters make things happen - and simply put: that is a problem.

I believe in telling stories that are character driven, and as I look over the 'Portal World', I keep finding more and more problems. 1) It's too damn long. 2) The father should be more nervous/ afraid for his son having come to rescue him instead of just saying "Oh good, you came I knew you would..." as if he has just been Diva-ing out 'Damsel in Distress" style waiting to be saved. 3) The ghosts just come over the hill, which frankly, isn't very scary, and is pretty much just random. 4) They run and run and run and run and run and run and run and escape. Where is the excitement in watching OR animating that? 5) The Panther pretty much stops running and gives up on life for no reason, and sacrifices himself in a way that doesn't even help out anyone else since there is no delay caused at all. And, I look back on my animatic and say "What the hell, Ezra. Are you kidding? You want to direct features, and you can't even handle a 5 min film at a capable level?"

And I can't have that.

So I took the day off working yesterday to separate myself from my film for a little while and then I spent today crafting a remedy to my many problems.

First I went on Youtube (the best visual reference library in the world) and looked up all of my favorite scenes (action and climatic-type) and watched them to see what the pro's do that made me love their scenes so much. If you have time I recommend you watching all these clips too, as they are all great.

After watching these clips and a few more many times, I realized a few things. At this point in a story, a Hero doesn't run from their problems. The face them the best that they can to protect their goal. Wide shots are often used to diminish the size of the hero to his threat and make him seem meek. Lighting becomes very important, as does the environment. Creative camera angles are used, not just closeup, midshot, straight, and over-the-shoulder. There is false hope at a point, and the hero usually seems to distract or trick the villain to win, as opposed to using brute force. Demonstrating brain power over physical.

But the most important part is that the hero doesn't run. He stays to fight to protect the goal. He stays to fight to ensure that the villain/threat can never harm or threaten him or the things he loves again. He risks it all to prove and protect what he believes in.

And Malcolm and Julius need to do this too. This is why they exist. This is why they went on the journey. This is what they signed up for.

Now I've never been a terribly 'compositionally visual' person, and I mean that in the sense of that I don't see things in terms of camera angles and shots and what not. I can think of action and excitement like nobodies business, but when it comes to picking pans, or sweeps, or all those other camera moves, I have trouble. But I'm working right now, using lots of reference, and I'm going to do the best I can, which is really the most anyone can ever say. I really am learning more every day. I've never *really* made a 2D short before, I've never colored my animation and done backgrounds and all that stuff, but I am learning how to do it, and I don't think this is bad for a first attempt.

So here goes. I'll tell you something though. It's going to be better than it is now.

Get ready, cause here it comes.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A gravely serious message of vast importance.

This week I thought it would be fine,
To write my blog post in a rhyme.
So now proceed to be filled in
on thesis Tiger production.

[rhyme scheme changes here]

I've become quite the workaholic
working mornings into night.
Ne'er is there time for hobbies,
laundry, eating, fun at night...

For committed I've become
to working in my cubicle.
In dirty clothes, I sit and hum
while drawing my worn pencil.

By now I know that I've amassed
'bout 2 minutes of my final renders.
Except one scene needs one more pass
to put reflections in a cars mirrors.

For difficulties I shall note
the scene where a car drives ahead
It was difficult to composi(o)te
into the scene, live action foot'ge.

Because the car drives very still
and footage shot was rather shakey
I might reshoot, but what a pill,
In truth, I'm feeling slightly lazy.

Alas! Some good news I can share
I woke up the other morning
And thought "this lab scene's much to bare,
and frankly, rather boring."

So out I took my pad and pen
and dreamed of a new sequence
I storyborded it; and then -
I went to work with frequence.

And happily I can announce
after nights of different sleep
my sleep schedule is back intact
and the sequence near complete!

There's just about 6 shots left now,
They're passing rather quickly.
And I'll be done with .5 of my film
and keep chuggin' on redic'sly.

So, now I guess this poem is done,
for things are quite on track,
I will post changes in full detail soon
Along with pics and facts!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Por} {tals.... and more!

So I rendered that today. Obviously in HD. That is what will be seen when the portal door opens. It's a long clip, so it won't seem repetitive, and will cut down on render time later, since it is already compressed into a single video. It didn't take too long to make, and I am very happy with it.

So, as we speak I am FINALLY rendering the shot I've been working on almost non-stop for the past couple of days. It's the longest shot in my film. The shot where the Father gets pulled through the portal. Here's a still from it.

The black edge is because you are seeing it through the
young Tiger's eye/perspective.

Anyway, that looks really cool, and turned out great. I'd say its some of my personal best animation so far. At about 10 seconds long, its the longest shot in my film, and it also has some of the most movement/ action, as well as its pretty much a 6 character interaction scene, with tons of lighting and perspective. So difficulty of drawing, as well as time spent rendering is probably the longest/hardest stuff I have to do in the whole film. I love how this turned out, so by proxy, every scene after this should be pretty darn easy to do. That's what I say right now anyway. (Well, I know one shot that's gonna be a huge pain). 

Pretty much, tomorrow I will jump into animating the world through the portal. I have a pretty good idea of how I want the sky and earth to work, and it should all be pretty easy to do the backgrounds and sort it all out. Lots'a greens n purples, weee! Still, I'm a little pressed for time I think, so I'm not going to do anything leisurely till after picture-lock on the 31st of March, at least I'll try my hardest.

There's going to be a lot of cool stuff coming up soon, and I'm gonna post screen caps of all of it! 


Ooooh, my render's done! See y'all later!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

No I don't work for the CIA.... (But why do you ask?)

Because I shall not be uploading any completed scenes to this blog. "WHATS THAT?!" you bellow (in disgust), "I COME TO THIS BLOG FOR UPDATES, NOT NOT UPDATES. WHAT GIVES?"

"Well, dearly devoted reader," I coolly reply, "Because two things; 1. A lot of these scenes are going to look awesome, and I don't want to ruin the surprise by having you, the dearly devoted reader/fan of The Tiger, see the great scenes out of order and not feeling the full effect when the film is completed that a viewer should have, and 2. Because if too much finished film comes up to this blog, then I might lose the chance to enter it in a lot of festivals, and I don't want that to happen, but, run-on-sentences aside, I will of course continue to post fully-rendered screen shots of the film, so your excited momentum does not falter away like the fat on Peter O'Toole's body -

Oh, old age. Still's got them blue eyes though (wink wink ladies)!

- and trust me, it will not because I have a slew of shots to render tomorrow and then I will have more and more after that and I will sit in my ivory tower watching finished clips bellowing with 'awe' so loudly that you will hear and your interest will remain in my grasp; but of course I must tell you new things I have done this week - 1st, I changed my work schedule a bit, because I was getting quite bored animating the laboratory, so I decided to do some more fun things for a bit and then I'll get back to it; example A) I am working on the 'flashback' sequence that I talked about last week, and then I am going to move into working on the shots in 'The Nether', and all those will come out soon and be super neat I hope- also my animation has new found life and for (you got it!) two reasons; 1) Andreas Deja came to talk the other day and watching him draw always inspires me, and 2) I have decided to do all my animation straight-ahead, instead of pose-to-pose ( I started animation with stop motion, which is straight ahead, and that is how I learned to emulate movement, so naturally working in my 'native tongue' makes it all look much better) and its true, because my new scenes I've been doing move with much more 'acting' than the previous ones - sure it takes more time to clean up and I have to watch masses more, but the animation will be much better, maybe I'll be kind (rewind) and post one finished shot with my upgraded technique soon - all I know is I'm having so much more fun and finding so much more motivation doing all my animation straight ahead; and any ways on that note, I have nothing much else to say this week (except for 2 things, duh), 1) Peep the picture at the top of the post, thats from the flashback, that I am working on right now, and 2) run on sentences this long are REALLY HARD TO WRITE.