Monday, 29 February 2016

Fantastic Voyage: Bacteria Thumbnails #95-114

After some feedback about my ideas, I decided to work more on my bacteria thumbnails to make them look more sinister. I think they're working better now, my favourites are #101, 105, 107, 111 and 114...any feedback is appreciated.

Maya Rigging & Skinning: Biped Rigging Part 1 - Legs (Progress)

Life Drawing: February 29th, 2016

Blog Submission - Soundscape

Sonic Concept

YPGTTO: Speed Paint Challenge 3: In The Woodwind City - The Oboe District

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Fantastic Voyage: Antibiotic Thumbnails #75-94

Fantastic Voyage: Ideas (Environment/Neutral Position) and Environment Influence Map

I brainstormed a few more ideas regarding both the environment of my animation and which characters are the good/bad guys. For me, I feel a neutral position between the bacteria and antibiotics is what I want since bacteria don't go out to murder humans...however, I'm unsure if this is a good idea in terms of story telling. Feedback regarding this would be appreciated, along with if my bacteria thumbnails are still too cute or if they look 'bad' enough (I think the ones with spines are good, maybe I'll go back and add more/change up the eyes/add claws/teeth).

For the environment, I'm looking at having a microscopic environment like in a droplet of water, with things in the distance moving about all blurred. I'm not sure how I'd animate this, if I could make a layer where it's a 2D animation or if I could somehow have a blurred watery looking microbe environment in the background. I'll include a few links to thinks I've read about antibiotics in water along with a video. Again, any feedback would be appreciated.

Fantastic Voyage: Antibiotic Thumbnails #55-74

After showing some drawings and sharing ideas with my boyfriend who is taking bioscience, he suggested possibly either having the antibiotic liquid-like or possibly a swarm. I played around with both of the ideas, and I think having it being kind of similar shape but different colour/size/shape might work. I tried adding more spheres and circular forms to the antibiotic character, and its colour is warmer while I wanted the bacteria to look colder. I also played around with the idea of pill capsules and the antibiotic coming out of the capsule. I think my favourites so far are #59 and #60.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Fantastic Voyage: Ideas for 3 Acts and Other Thoughts

As I've been making thumbnails I think I've come up with some sort of 3 act structure for my animation. Longer descriptions will be below, but the basics would be Act 1 explains how we used to be vulnerable to infections, introduces information about bacteria (along with introducing the characters) and introduces information about antibiotics (along with the object/character that represents the antibiotic). Act 2 goes into how bacteria are now becoming resistant (mutations, exchanging DNA, changing the antibiotic's target, etc.). Act 3 explains how soon, we might again be vulnerable to bacteria because of how quickly they evolve.

At the moment I think I need a more solidified idea of what the antibiotic might be, I might make it look similar to my bacteria but more fluid in its movement (so it's a similar sphere shape only no spines or tail and its more mushy when it moves like a liquid). I'd also have it a different colour, maybe have it be smaller than my bacteria, and possibly have it come out of a capsule. To keep my animation from looking to CG, I'm thinking I might model my bacteria character(s), my rose, and antibiotic in maya but I'm considering making the backdrop using 2D animation (sort of like in Spore). I think this would add an interesting, moving matte painting element to it, I thought of this idea because I was looking at some microscopic seashells and cells/bacteria/petri dishes under the microscope and I think it'd give an interesting feel of a fluid/tiny environment filled with moving creatures.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Adobe After Effects: Photorealistic Lens

Fantastic Voyage: Reconsidering Target Audience

After choosing an idea for my animation, drawing more thumbnails and looking at more inspiration I decided it might be best if I change my target audience. At the minute, I feel as though my animation is going to be more like a fairytale or a scary story to be told at bedtime or next to a campfire. Because of this I think I may change my target audience from generally everyone to children. I think this would also make more sense in terms of how I'm currently designing my bacteria to be kind of cute. I think the type of story I'm going to tell/how I'm going to tell it along with my art direction would lend itself to a scary fairytale, like The Brothers Grimm.

Since I started reconsidering my target audience, I began to look at a few different books that I used to read as a kid. I always enjoyed scary books when I was little, some of my favourites being Goosebumps (my favourite being The Werewolf of Fever Swamp), In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories (my favourite being The Green Ribbon), and The Witches (although this isn't really a horror story, there were aspects of it that used to frighten me), Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, and Edgar Allan Poe.

I also had another look at some films and artwork made by Tim Burton such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, a film I loved as a child despite it being slightly grotesque. Tim Burton's films, although gothic and dark, also features some cuter characters which is partly why the films remain kid friendly. Since the characters aren't too realistic they aren't too horrific for children to watch.

TV shows like Invader Zim, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, and Courage the Cowardly dog all have dark undertones but appeal to a younger audience. Although some episodes are undoubtedly creepy (I remember a few episodes of Courage the Cowardly Dog that really scared me) I think even children are attracted to things that are frightening. Through my art direction, story telling and narration I hope to create an animation that gives off a dark fairytale, campfire story, urban myth feel.


Animation & Character: "You're going to need a bigger boat..." Animation Start

Today we were to choose an audio clip and create an animation using that clip only put the dialogue in a different situation. I chose "You're going to need a bigger boat..." from Jaws. For some reason it made me imagine a big dog (specifically a Mastiff as my mother has a Boerboel) on a small little canoe with a fisherman (probably because in New York we bring our Golden Retriever with us on boats with us sometimes, and a lot of other people bring their dogs fishing). Since the dog is so big, the boat springs some leaks and begins to sink so the dog says "you're going to need a bigger boat". It's not done yet so I'll include a GIF and a video clip even though the dog's mouth doesn't move yet.

YPGTTO: Speed Paint Challenge 2: In The Woodwind City - The Flute District

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Fantastic Voyage: Thumbnails #41-54

Since I think I've decided on a basic story for my animation, I decided to explore what some scenes could be. I've also drawn the rose and a thorn, I'm not sure if this'll be part of my animation but I think incorporating it would be a nice sort of Easter Egg if people know that the Penicillin was first used on a man who was infected by a rose thorn (or maybe I'll incorporate it in the narration/text in my animation). I also wanted the rose to be the same colour as the antibiotic liquid (the rose is dying, the antibiotic isn't working anymore) but maybe the rose being dead is making it a little too sinister since I want the bacteria to still look kind of cute...but at the same time maybe that shows that bacteria aren't really out to be killers they're trying to just survive and evolve? I think the colour of the antibiotic works because it looks like poison.

Anyway, thumbnails #42 and #53 are meant to show different bacteria exchanging DNA, #43 and #49 are supposed to show DNA from dead bacteria being picked up, #44 and #48 is to show how the bacteria 'pump', 'spit out' or evade the antibiotic, #45 and #51 is meant to be the bacteria fighting/using enzymes to defeat the antibiotic, #52 shows the bacteria mutated and can no longer be targeted, #50 is the surviving bacteria dividing, #41 shows different species of bacteria, #54 shows how the antibiotic kills/messes with the metabolic pathways, and #46 and #47 are obviously of the rose concept. I felt the need to explain the thumbnails just in case they weren't clear.

Fantastic Voyage: Expanding on Idea #3, Preferred Thumbnails, and Another Influence Map

I decided to select the thumbnails working the best/got the most positive feedback so I can start refining them down a bit. So far #22, #30 and #31 are my favourites because they look mischievous but also still cute (which is what I'm going for). The reason for that is because even though bacteria cause us harm, they're out to survive and not intentionally going "hey I want to kill you".

Since most people (both on the blog and people I asked in person) prefer idea #3 I chose to expand on it and brainstorm a bit more. Any feedback and/or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

For the influence map, it's sort of meant to show the colours/mood/style I'm going for...I want my bacteria to be bad but still cute, sort of mischievous. I've also included a few images that relate to colour and one that relates to the idea of the rose possibly being part of my animation.

Fantastic Voyage: Initial Ideas

Here are my initial ideas for my animation, so far I'm pretty divided so if anyone has any preferences, ideas or opinions feel free to let me know. Also, I've included a few examples of what I'd be kind of going for depending on the idea, although the mood of mine might be different to the examples. Also, to clarify (as one video is about the Zika Virus) my chosen topic is antibiotic resistance.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

YPGTTO: Speed Paint Challenge 2: In The Woodwind City - The Flute District

These abstract paintings are very different from what I normally make, but I'm enjoying being able to experiment with tools (especially the lasso tool), brushes and colours I don't normally. I hope to be able to make a few more for The Flute District but here are two I quickly made after thumbnailing bacteria.

Fantastic Voyage: Bacteria Thumbnails #21-40

Fantastic Voyage: Market Research

For my animation I hope to target a mass audience. I hope to inform people about how and why bacteria become resistant to antibiotics because of how it can impact our daily lives in the future if antibiotics continue to be misused. I looked at a few different video games, youtube channels, infographs, and other articles and videos online to see what appeals to a mass audience.

In terms of video games, a game like Plague Inc. appeals to a large age range while teaching people about bacteria, viruses, parasites and how diseases spread. A game like Spore also appeals to a wide audience, although less 'morbid' than Plague Inc. where our goal is to kill everyone. Spore is a game that is all about evolution from a cell to more complex organisms. Spore is a friendly, silly game that shows the importance of evolution and how it shapes the creatures on our planet (or in this case, an alien planet).

The Binding of Isaac
Other video games such as Limbo, Don't Starve, The Binding of Isaac and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (brought to my attention by Jordan) have the sort of art style/direction I'm currently going for. The reason for this is that it isn't overly complex and appeals to a wide audience due to its gloomy but still beautiful, mystical and quirky. It isn't too scary and it is attractive (maybe excluding The Binding of Isaac) because it is different and mysterious looking. Various age groups play all of these games and love them for different reasons.

I've also looked at various Youtube channels such as TED-ed, It's Okay To Be Smart, SciShow, and Vsauce. These youtube channels feature informational videos that, while not childish, are presented in a way that is appealing to anyone from children to elders. Each of these channels have videos that break down information slowly so the viewer, no matter what previous experience they have, can easily understand it. They seem to often use simple, charming images/diagrams/animations to explain certain aspects as well as highlighting important terms in the videos.

Other channels such as Simon's Cat, Cyanide & Happiness, and How It Should Have Ended may not be as educational as the previous Youtube channels, but they still feature simple and charming animation and imagery that seems to attract a large range of viewers. Many of these videos appeal to everyday life, something someone may have experienced, or something they can relate to. For example, with Simon's Cat you may know the frustration of having a cat that ruins your Christmas tree. Or with How It Should Have Ended, you may have noticed multiple plot holes in your favourite films.

I've also had a look at different comics and infographs on the internet. One of my personal favourites, The Oatmeal, features a few comics aimed towards teaching the reader something while keeping it simple and entertaining. For example, The Oatmeal's "Why the Mantis Shrimp Is My New Favourite Animal" presents information about the creature that people may have not known about before. This comic stands out to me because first it introduces information about ourselves (in this case, why we see colour) then it expands on this information.
By relating the comic to the viewers first, it allows us to gain perspective and already have some sort of understanding about where the information is going. Most often people are interested in things they can relate to, such as our eyesight and why we see colour. The style of the comic is simple and the information is short and sweet. There is no complex terms or information, making both the text and the pictures easy to understand for everyone. While it is not overly serious, it is also not childish enough to repel adults...the drawings and characters are relatively basic and likable.
Other media such as TV also feature examples of how to engage a wide audience. For example, Mythbusters is a TV show that is somewhat silly but also asks questions and uses science to answer them. They often feature goofy sketches but they also explain the science behind their experiments. They also sometimes feature diagrams/animations to further explain their experiments and the outcomes. Since the myths tested are often popular beliefs/myths, suggested by viewers, or are experiences that many people have it seems to appeal to almost everyone. This is proven since it's one of Discovery Channel's oldest TV shows and also one of its most popular.

In conclusion, I hope to focus on a mass audience for my animation. Although I hope to make my animation character/story driven, I think i can appeal to a wide audience due to the type of information that is going to be presented. By introducing the topic of antibiotic resistance in a new, artistic way I hope to engage people that may not otherwise be worried or interested in such a topic. By using my art direction, I hope to draw people in due to its charm and uniqueness (hopefully!). Through the imagery and by breaking down the information, I hope that younger people can understand it even without prior knowledge while elderly people who may not be up to date with modern medicine can follow along too. By doing this, I hope people will become more interested both in my animation and in my scenario when they learn how it might impact their lives if it hasn't already.

Fantastic Voyage: Bacteria Thumbnails #1-20

Fantastic Voyage: Antibiotic Resistance Influence Map

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Fantastic Voyage: Initial Influence Map #1

This initial influence map shows the different art directions/styles I'm considering for my animation. I'm thinking about going for a simple, colourful style that's kind of cute but not too cute (maybe evil/mischievous depending on the bacteria?). I'm still not 100% sure which scenario I'm choosing yet, but I'm actually still leaning towards the antibiotic resistance one. I think that's because that's the one I know the least amount and I think I might try going for some sort of infograph-like animation that's aimed to a wide audience. I'm thinking about having my animation appeal to as many people as possible because I can keep it fun and colourful to try and capture attention without it being too childish.

YPGTTO Speed Paint Challenge 1: The Map II

Fantastic Voyage: Initial Thoughts

After the briefing today I decided to research a bit into antibiotics and how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. I chose to look into this one initially due to the opportunity Dr. Klappa told us about regarding a film company in California who are interested in this scenario. While I initially leaned towards the HIV or Zika virus scenairos, I figured it'd be silly to pass up this opportunity. I'm not 100% sure this is what I'm going to choose, but as I researched more into it I became more interested. Here are some notes took while reading and watching some videos (I'll include a few of the videos too).

YPGTTO Speed Paint Challenge 1: The Map

I'm hoping to make another painting or two for this first challenge but I figured I'd post this one up for now.