Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Spirit of the Season

The last week has been very productive as far as my third film's progress goes. Having come up with the idea a while ago, I've had a lot of time to familiarise myself with the character personalities even though I didn't really start working on it before March. This has really helped with the animation, which has been going very smoothly so far. The short is essentially a single conversation, charged with a lot of different emotional conveyances such as awkwardness, fear, boredom, incredulity and so on. Consequently it's been a balancing act of having the movements and expressions be considered while not over-animated. Looking back at my first two films, it draws from elements of both."House Guest" was dialogue-driven and had a number of conversational scenes where the animation was very limited in terms of movement and range of facial expression. In a Family Guy/Simpsons kind of way it worked and was an essential means to an end when it came to meeting the MA deadline.My second short, last year's "Ground Running" was "House Guest"'s opposite in the sense of it's absence of dialogue, instead relying on fully-animated sight gags and body language alone to convey the story.
With "The Naughty List" I want to apply this level of acting detail to a conversational scenario. I'm keeping it short (around three minutes) so I can really take my time with it. Just looking at the line tests I'm feeling pretty encouraged, the lip sync and mouth shapes will be a vital contributor to the acting but in the meantime the body movements alone seem to be going quite well with the dialogue. Here's the same segment I posted as a storyboard animatic last week in pencil-test form:
Hopefully next week I'll be able to start the cleanup. The one coloured shot of the Elf in the footage above should give an idea of how the film will look overall. Gives me a good feeling...


Joanna Hepworth said...

That's Looking good!

Struwwelpeter said...

Thanks. Although the compression on the vid makes it pretty hard to tell :/