Friday, 30 September 2016

Myth and The Hero's Journey - Lecture Notes 22,29/09

Narrative - Group Story-boarding Session

Today was a mass brainstorming session for fleshing out our groups' story for our animation. These are the planning maps/spider diagrams we created. We had a few different ideas but have decided to go with one based around "granny vs weeds", which sees a granny's feud with the weeds in her prized garden. Later in the day we were also given our genre - Film Noir. We have chosen to incorporate this through taking aspects and tropes from film noir and amplifying them through the build up to the climax of our story. For example dutch/abstract angles, monochorome, elongated shadows, always raining at night, and turning our granny into a femme fatale. 

Initial planning around our end sentence and theme. 

 Idea #1

Idea #2

Idea #3 

Opening planning for our chosen story (#1) 

Character design planning, before and after "transformation" event.  

Adjusting and planning our story after being given our genre. 

Synopsis of story ready for first pitch. 

1 - Late winter. Granny is seen caring for a rose by her house. Inside, 2nd place banners from garden competitions line the walls. Close up on a calendar, Judging day for this years competition is marked.
2 - Weeds at the end of the garden (personified) looking at rose with jealousy, want to be closer to the house, be cared for, warm, grow etc. Gangster look, crime, mafia. Long, thorny, vines. 
3 - Week before judging day (calendar + weather mark time passing). Granny prepping garden, spraying weeds. Night, raining - looks out at garden weeds, they are spreading. Calendar marked off, Next day weeds are closer to house. Darker atmosphere. (Noir  look increases)
4 - Progressively darker/ more noir through montage of days, weed killing, night rain, anmd calendar crossing off. Weeds are getting closer and closer to house and rose. Granny protecting and caring for rose. 
5 -  Day before judging day. Monochrome. Granny transformed into femme fatale, dangerous woman. Extended shadows and drama, dramatic shots and angles. In dramatic climax scene between femme fatale granny and weeds, rose is killed. 
6 - Night, rain, granny looking into overrun garden, weeds are creeping up the walls of the house.
7 - Next morning Granny comes downstairs. Noir atmosphere/colour and shots of hallway. Flowers are inside and have bloomed but everything is black and white. Granny in horror and shock. Calendar shows it is judging day. 
8 - Doorbell rings, Granny opens and everything changes, (no noir) bright and pastels. House and garden is beautiful, full of bloomed "weed" flowers everywhere. Vibrancy and beauty. Granny is presented with 1st prize.
10 - Calendar shows few days after, granny tending to "weed" flowers outside, 1st prize proudly hanging on hallway wall, personified flowers laughing, happy. 

Feedback from initial story pitch:
Might be a little long/be overstuffed. Consider taking some aspects out or it wont fit in the time restraint. Simplify. 

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Narrative Lecture Series: Myth and The Hero's Journey - Quest for Camelot

Warner Brother's 1998 animated feature 'Quest for Camelot' despite not being much of a success at the box office, is a powerful "Heros Journey" film with a female protagonist, Kayley. Which however isn't just a retelling of the typical princess story, like many others of its time which were being produced by larger and more popular companies such as Disney, which was perhaps a contributing factor to its eclipse from gaining much fame. 

The viewer is sympathetically introduced to protagonist Kayley as a child, in her "ordinary world", Kayley's father Sir Lionel is a knight of King Arthur's round table, who is an important figure in Kayley's life and she intends to be a knight like her father when she is older, despite her gender. However he is killed while she is still young when he intervenes on an attempt on King Arthur's life by Ruber, another knight, who wants the throne for himself. 10 years on, Ruber's griffin attacks Camelot and steals Excalibur, King Arthurs sword, but the wizard Merlin's falcon Ayden intervenes and the sword is dropped into the forbidden forest. 

Stage one of our Heros Journey, Kayleys call to adventure, is initiated when Ruber invades
Kayley and her mothers home, holds everyone in their village hostage and uses a potion to create hybrid metal/weapon soldiers from some of the people. It is revealed he plans to use Kayley's mother Juliana to gain entrance to Camelot in order to once again challenge King Arthur. Stage 2, refusal of the call is Kayleys reluctance to escape her home and Rubers men, as she does not want to leave her mother and other village people, however her mother encourages her to leave, find the missing Excalibur and help save Camelot, so she escapes through a gap in the wall, heading to wards the forbidden forest. 

Stage 3, supernatural aid happens soon after once she enters the Forbidden Forest, at first finding it treacherous and dark, however she meets Garrett, a blind young wanderer who lives there and seems to know all the forest's secrets, as well as Ayden, Merlin's falcon who knows where Excalibur fell into the forest. A little later in the plot when they find themselves in Dragon Country, she also meets a friendly two headed dragon, Devon and Cornwall, who are flightless and cannot breathe fire, always bickering and are bullied by the larger dragons. Stage 4, crossing the first threshold happens hand in hand with stage 3, firstly with Kayley having to convince Garrett to help her through the forest to find Excalibur, and then for him to also accept Devon and Cornwall into their group (in dragon country) 
The 5th stage, belly of the whale is Kayley and Garetts escape from dragon country while being hounded by the larger dragons, and also later in the plot when finally retrieving Excalibur from the forest. 

The 6th stage, the road of trials, is the groups journey through the forbidden forest to where Ayden saw Excalibur drop, only to discover it is no longer there. They also encounter Ruber and his men lead by Griffin, who are also searching for Excalibur and hunting Kayley, and in the confusion Garrett is injured. Stage 7, meeting with the goddess, is not the typical introduction of a new character as love interest, but instead happens when Garrett and Kayley realise their love for each other once they escape Ruber's men, who become ensnared in thorny bushes, and Kayley drags Garrett away to safety into a nearby cave, where he is healed by magical plants.

Stage 8, temptation doesn't happen until later in the story, after the group retrieves Excalibur, Garrett does not want to leave the forest and journey to Camelot, and Kayley is conflicted between staying with Garrett and going on to complete her quest without Garrett. Similarly, stage 9, atonement with the father, also happens later in the film after Kayley leaves Garrett to continue on to Camelot, and is captured by Ruber, but is reunited with her captive mother, who tells Kayley although Ruber is now in possession of Excalibur, its okay and she is and her father would be proud of her for her efforts. 
Stage 10 apotheosis and 11, ultimate boon go hand in hand, and take place before stages 8 and 9, and consist of Kayley and her group discovering Excalibur, now in the possession of a large stone giant who is using it as a toothpick, and managing to retrieve it from from the sleeping giant just before Ruber and his men do, escaping capture and therefore completing the first stage of Kayley's quest to save Camelot. 
Stage 12, refusal of the return takes place at the same time as 8 and 9; Garrett is unwilling to leave the forest as he feels he is unwanted in Camelot because of his blindness, Kayley doesn't want to leave him but must to return Excalibur to King Arthur, however she is captured by Ruber (atonement with father(mother) happens here), and her new goal is to save Camelot from Ruber who now has Excalibur, and magically fuses it to his arm with aid from the potion he used at Kayley's village. 

Stages 13 and 14; magic flight and rescue from without also take place together, Cornwall and Devon see Kayleys capture then return to Garrett and convince him to leave the forest to help save Kaylee from Ruber. Further, in working together for the first time towards a common goal they discover they can now fly and breathe fire. In the mean time, Ruber and his men gain entrance to Camelot hidden in a cart with Juliana at the front, but once inside Kayley escapes her ties and meets Garett, and the pair head off to find Ruber. 
Stage 15. crossing the return threshold consists of Kayley and Garrett saving King Arthur in his battle with Ruber by tricking him into returning Excalibur to it's stone. This causes a magical blue wave to sweep over the kingdom of Camelot, turning Ruber's soldiers back into regular men, and killing Ruber. Camelot is saved thanks to Kayley and her friends. 

The final stages 16 and 17, master of two worlds and freedom to live also go hand in hand, The kingdom is saved, Garrett and Kayley marry and are honoured, becoming knights of King Arthur's round table, as Kayley has always dreamed, and Garrett knows he is accepted in Camelot. 


Maya - 3 Pose Movement Sequence

My chosen initial pose, with 2 additional key poses to create a 3 pose movement sequence. 

Playblast of movement sequence so far.
Next step will be to refine the poses further and sort out any odd movements between the key poses. 

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Character - Project Development and Direction

At this point my character project idea is to have 2 explorers, one the typical Indiana Jones fully capable protagonist, and the other a more comedic character who is messing things up in their attempt to escape the temple they are exploring/trapped in. 

Next step is to get developing some influence maps for the characters and thumb-nailing some initial designs. 

Monday, 26 September 2016

Narrative - Group Blog!

The blog for my group project is up and running with a perfected banner and colour scheme! 

Pixie Pixels Studios

Here's our final banner and logo:

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Character - Initial Ideas

I was given the worlds of either America Football or a Dog/Cat Show, however I was feeling pretty uninspired by these so wanted to come up with my own wildcard world. Initially I was thinking mice stealing food in a kitchen, and came up with quite a few others too, but each one just seemed too bland and predictable, without anything really entertaining beyond the sass of the sound clip, and I wasn't happy with any of them. 

However after discussing it with Justin in the tutorial we came up with the idea of a duo of explorers attempting to escape a temple/ dungeon and facing some difficulties, and the characters interacting with components in the environment to add humour. I feel like I can run with this idea and hopefully not make anything too "generic". 

Friday, 23 September 2016

Maya Tutorial - Maya Max Posing Workshop

First maya class of the year! Jumping back into Maya with some basic posing practice, some of these look a little odd owing mainly to the fact I'm attempting to imitate females in pose with a male body shape, I only realise this now I've only used female forms. Feeling okay about Maya so far though, excited to get on and do more. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Character - Sound Clip and Worlds

I selected number 24 out the box for my character projects audio clip and world suggestions. I was initially drawn to the dog/cat show option but I wasnt sure, and also took inspiration from the origin of the sound clip, Saving Private Ryan, and had the idea of having mice attempt to steal food in a kitchen, either facing down a mouse trap to get to bread on the side, or looking at stealing cat food from the bowl, as an almost tactically planned war scene. 

Narrative - The Confilict, End Sentence, and Initial Response

Today we were briefed for the group Narrative  project, and given our conflict and ending sentence to base our animation on. The blog for my group is all set up and running, we need to just tweak the banner/logo colours a little still though. 

These are just a few very quick bubble maps of my initial ideas/responses to this. Of course  it's all very basic right now, but it'll be good building blocks to go over with my group next week when we start to flesh our our story, and add a genre.