October 31, 2009

I’ve been moving forward with visuals and this is one of my more favourite tests so far, much more so than the ones shown previously. I can still see it all improving so much more, i just can’t wait to see it happen…



First draft animatic

October 30, 2009

So I’ve been spending my time doing this animatic and a few visuals. I feel like it is quite far off where I am going to be, but it’s good enough to present and get feedback for. I’m going to present this animatic along with a few stills because I didn’t have enough time to make it look how I want it to which I feel is really necessary to show the epic-ness of some of the shots. I also wanted to do a bit of character performance because at the moment I’m having to sort out all the technical stuff, I’m just conscious about not portraying character enough for them to lead the film… But I didn’t have time before the presentation so I’ll do that next, which will be easier to focus on now that I’ve done a lot of the technical stuff which will get feedback on monday. The sounds are just examples, I haven’t recorded my own yet which I intend to, but yeah, it’s alright. I’ve kept it shorter than our three minute restriction because I want to leave a bit of space to experiment and test character performance and see how that can really move the film to a new level, but all the essentials and structure is shown ok.


October 19, 2009

I don’t know whether to keep the 3D world as pencil line drawings, ink and water colour- Quentin Blake style, or painterly a bit more abstract. Heres a few tests I’ve been doing to explore:


Some more clever stuff

October 19, 2009


October 18, 2009

This week I haven’t posted anything because so much was up in the air I could have rambled till the cows came home, so I spent it making lots of little and larger decisions which were triggered by my tutorial with Matt Gravelle which was really useful because I felt like I’d moved forward at the end of it. I now have a storyboard that I’m happy to start working with. It also shows a lot of things that decided on this week that had been floating around for ages. I like that the end leaves the characters left in their situation because it reflects how we are left- they are us. Also the 3D 2D ness is a lot clearer as I decided to show their 2D world in a 3D space from a camera further away. I’ve also thought about the characters a bit more but untill I do some animated tests I’m not sure how well I could communicate them, so I’ll see if I can’t do one character test alongside my animatic in the next 2 weeks, tight. I scanned in my thumbnails and made a little slideshow to make it a bit easier to see, but they were small pictures so it’s quite messy which is annoying because it took ages and it looks quite nice as a storyboard. Anyway, here it is, however clear or unclear, I can always explain people through it.

New characters

October 11, 2009


So I’ve been working on developing my characters, and especially since realizing my focus, I have a better initial idea of their internal and external. I feel that it will be easier to work on a proper full storyboard first draft which I hope will be simple, quirky, humourous, and slowly revealing what is happening.

The focus

October 10, 2009

Ok, so it turns out I’ve been getting so bogged down in all the mess that I need to think about and consider, that I almost let myself follow a road which would not take me to the end product that I hope to achieve. Without two perfectly appealing, funny, well developed, attention grabbing characters which I hope viewers will relate to, empathise with and such like, my film would be so very dull. The intent would be blah, the look would be blah, the whole thing would be BLAH. They are the essence of the film and need to be constantly improved until the end. The are 99% of my film. That may be exaggerated but you know what I mean.

Character design

October 8, 2009

Gus and Peck from Partly Cloudy are what I’m aspiring to in my re-designing at the moment. Two completely unique and appealing characters are portrayed in minutes if not seconds. For me, they are instantly attention grabbing because of their integrity and how well they compliment each other. Character informs script, script informs character.

partly cloudy

I have been people watching for months now and I’ve finally found my second person who appeals to me enough to start developing a character on. Patrick Moore’s appearance, mannerisms, energy, unquestionable confidence in his opinion, sharp mind and his reactions to things are intriguing to watch, and I can see these things being animated and posed really successfully. By exaggerating these aspects of his being and basing a character on him, I could create a very endearing character, which is very compatible with the worldview necessary to fulfill my script, and will complement my dog character, which is based on Pete, really well. Patrick and Pete, perfect.

4924_1091149755083_1116682332_30272914_7772581_nsir-patrick-moore-hs You’re probably thinking, ‘what a mental pairing’.. but I say, ‘mental or amazing?!’ If I could, I would probably give them cool Northern or Irish accents, but so far as I know there’s no dialogue in my film.. still, you never know.

initial designs

October 7, 2009


An example of initial concept art. I don’t know the story, so the bulb is just an example of something passing through flatland. I don’t want the characters to look 2D but they will only move in 2 dimensions, somehow. I wanted to start experimenting with how it could look so this is just the beginning, but I also may still just go with black and white. When I come across something that’s good to start developing I can move on to animated tests, which will hopefully be soon because the still frames don’t fully illustrate the idea. I’ve been thinking about my characters but not yet come up with something better, so I’m going to a scout around in coffee shops and such likes to draw people around and see what I come up with.



October 5, 2009

I realised today how underplayed I want this film to be, I think things speak greater volumes when they’re whispering and hinting and not doing any work for the audience so that they then immerse themselves fully in to it more effortlessly. Caroline Parsons also mentioned that she thinks I should perhaps keep working on the design of my characters, because they really need to get the audience to empathise- so they need to be perfect, which is interesting because I’d like next door’s dog and Quentin Blake’s illustration to have more of an effect here anyway, I just wasn’t thinking about that too much. It’s great to get lots of thoughts from tutors, because then I can keep lots of things in mind and nothing gets lost at the back because I’m reminded of it by them, like in this case. She was also under the impression that it was going to be much more structured and humorous than I thought I was saying, I still want it dynamic and flowing rather than something happens then something else happens, and I want little bits of subtle unforced humour here and there- not serious at all- I’m not trying to force anyone into having a suspension of disbelief for my film, I want it to just happen.

Click to make bigger:

first attept at storyboard

So I came up with a new thought- I didn’t focus too much on the characters in this storyboard so their actions and things are just hypothetical. I drew them on a grid because I came up with the idea of being able to see them from other angles, so that we can see how the fly experiences passing through their world, and seeing things from the fly’s point of view or ‘on board with the fly’. Also to make it much more obvious that the characters can’t see what is there (the fly) because it’s not in their paradigm. I think this is a good example of what I have in mind- just very much an example to start developing what actually happens. Good. Complicated- needs simplifying and composing properly, but good.

Some stuff for your eyes

October 5, 2009

I’ve quickly drawn a few images, which are by no means a great portrayal of what I want, but they show a simple version of the kind of thing that is bouncing around in my head at the moment- I realised by doing this that the parts where the characters experience 3Dness are going to be so very hard to animate. Moreover that, for example the whale, doesn’t come across well in a single frame, only by seeing it in motion so that it’s movements and shape are revealed over time can you actually see what the thing is. This is also good because it reflects how we need to be confined by time, as humans, to make sense of the world and how things correlate in terms of cause and effect. I also drew in a see-saw. I don’t know whether I’m going to keep this but it came to me because a see-saw moves in it’s one plane, and so traps the characters on the see saw. Perhaps they have the option of getting off, perhaps it becomes more morphing and dynamic to throw the characters around the environment in the way the prisoner is in Sur Le fil by Benjamin Dupouy. Perhaps it’s too restricting. Perhaps that’s good because of how difficult it’s all going to be to get done in time.

Anyway, here are a few of the sketches.

some drawings

Next door’s dog

October 3, 2009

100_97871Character designs?!?!….

I’m still wondering about my characters, what form they would best take and what they’re fully about and how they can be related to to complement the aim of my film, and the gentle nature of next door’s dog is very inspiring, especially because he looked like quite a big scary bear of a dog before he came to see us over the fence- again there’s more than there is…

Everything will be okay

October 2, 2009

I grabbed this to watch and consider because two worlds are sort of mixed together and made to correlate in a a way I would have never thought of because it seems like it would just look really silly, but it seems to work quite well here. Also the idea of images of reality, perhaps I could flick frames of photographs behind my drawings randomly, to suggest our dimension, still as with most things I’m thinking about at the moment it’s mere speculation of possibilities, I need to let it form.

I still love ‘poor god’ by Matt Abiss, which when I start on about all the things I need my film to be, how I want it to come across, how to keep it simple but profound, I watch and it just shuts me up.


October 2, 2009

So I got to speak to Leonie Sharrock this morning, which was quite encouraging, because she’s quite happy to let me figure things out for now, which James was getting me to do more, so that’s great. We talked about two main things though, the first was how it could look, because Leonie loved my life drawing in the first year which is very different to the cartoons I’ve been leanig toawrds recently having liked work by Russell Brooke, Simon Tofield etc, so that’s  something to keep in mind. Perhaps Quentin Blake’s style which I touched on earlier could be somewhere between these two places, the question is what do I want my identity to be? The second more important thing was how I was going to communicate it well, because I’ve been saying that I know the concept  need’s to be communicated better than in Grace Of Dimensions, but haven’y properly tried it out. So on to concept art and storyboarding yay fun.

This little film related to the book, “Imagining the Tenth Dimension” by Rob Bryanton, there is also a website,

When I watched this it made such simple sense of something I’d not really approached because I thought it would be a bit complicated. I’d thought about it before even but not realised what I was thinking. Anyway, the idea of folding may be worth pondering over, and of adding time or possibilities or cause and effect. Obviously I don’t want to add these things for no reason, it may help in fulfilling my aims though just to think about it. How much can I say without saying it? What can be said? Could this help in creating a resolution? How do I keep it simple and poetic, do I want this stuff to be part of my film? You know the usual questions, so it’s just interesting to chew over at the moment.


October 1, 2009

Picture 1It turns out that the whole of flatland is on google books- hooray- cheap student.

It’s interesting to consider how my two characters would see each other, Abbott suggests that surely from across the page they would see each other as lines… So what about seeing flatland from the characters points of view sometimes? And the way they experience a being that can move through depth as well, or time? What about light and shadows?

Moving forward

October 1, 2009

Yay, so I talked to James Manning about my idea, because I thought I might be getting ahead of myself, and he seemed to kind of like it I think- well it’s sort of interesting- but then that’s the audience I’m aiming it at anyway- those who are as interested as I am, so how can I reach as many as possible?

How do I make people give a crap? How much do I want to give away to the audience- as the more the audience is involved in filling in the gaps, the more it will speak to them.

James brought up a few things like firstly reading flatland the book, as I knew it was Abbott’s theory, but not that there was a book I could get hold of, and by reading through that I may find more things to incorporate or figure out, however big or small, knowing more gives me more power here, and may shift my direction in tiny or massive ways.

We then went through things, and I had a suggested answer for each, such as how to make people care (through engaging them with characters) and how will I lead the audience through my statement to get them to react at the point of resolution, (how to slowly reveal what is going on). What was good about having suggested answers to these was that I had a proper direction and was on the right track, but could also be reminded by James to make sure I research and ponder about other ways of making this statement, more ways of making people react. So that I don’t close my mind or possible routes to suddenly or rashly- because the could change my direction or better inform the track I’m on… blahblahblah

It was also good because when I explained my vague storyboard- which slowly reveals the concept up to some resolution, he reacted with the same sentence as Caroline Parsons, which was, ‘that sound great,’ which gives me confidence because it’s hard to come by honest positive statements by people who have a professional opinion.

I had made myself a sort of bubble that I liked which had what I was trying to say and a way to say it which really appeals to me, but there may be better ways of fulfilling what I want to say. For example, 2D hand drawn I chose because I’m better at that than anything else and it reflects Gods creation for me- if he made the world he wouldn’t use a computer or objects which already exist, he would get a pencil and create life from nothing. However considering other ways of working such as an installation, will keep my mind open to all possibilities, even if it just solidifies my previous directions or decisions. I also have endless possible resolutions so during story-boarding, what will give me the authority to decide where this goes? Perhaps reading around philosophers will help me create the best outcome for my film.

So basically I have to do a bit of reading, perhaps an initial synopsis and aims, storyboarding and concept art, and see my tutors as much as possible and drive them mental!

I actually believe for the first time in my degree that I have something good going on, because it’s not forced and all main aspects are based on things that I’ve been passionate about for a long time. It feels very right- which is a big deal for me, I just can’t wait to see how it develops, and I’m only at the beginning… strange.