Saturday, 18 April 2009

Hayle Project, pre-production

A lot of hassle happened when we were trying to decide what to use as a visual representation of "whites, Americans and blacks". There were a lot of different ideas including ginger-bread men but in the end everyone agreed to use Barbie (well, Ken) dolls. It was up to me to get some sort of visual sourse of these dolls which wasnt a copyright. (in all honesty the girls found usable pictures way before i did but they were from Flickr = not the best quality). So I asked my friend whom I know I can trust with photographs and she took a couple for me:

Since I decided from the very beginning not to use actual models in maya but instead just flat plains* animation had to be done in Flash (or at least it was one of the more convinient ways to do it). The photographs vere cut out with alpha-channels, cut again into manipulatable parts (hands, legs, heads, etc.) and then animated frame by frame. It helped me to give the animation that sort of "jerkiness" you find in Cravendeil's adverts. Then again, sometimes I had to apply "motion tween" which basically works out optimum inbetween frames to avoid too much jerkiness.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Voice picking and brainstorming for Hayle project.

Hamilton Hawkings was the choice.

And to be honest I know exactly why, no matter how much Sarah says she thought it was a swift pick without much consideration (or with some minor). First of all I had a feeling that an all-feminine group should not go with a female voice. Simply because it would be a double-female perspective if you will and I believe that animation should speak broader, from all angles, too all. Unfortunately I've seen others fall into that trap. Secondly because I was trying to avoid boring talk about everyday life and/or monotone narration. And third (perhaps this shouldn't really be addressed here) I had a gut feeling.

Later when the audio was chosen the real hard work kicked in. We had to brainstorm in order to produce a storyboard that would suit everyone. I myself went off and sketched all the obscurities that came into my mind while listening to the soundtrack over again hoping that some of them might turn out useful.

Here are the doodles
<--- <--- <---
As seen from the pictures, loads of different designs and weird interpretations of Hamilton's narrative came about. Obviously having racist issues in the script didn't exactly ease the task. I even thought of ways to represent "the black and the white" as vegetables or insects. Paper pop-ups and cut-out human figures were also considered.

The narrator as a stand-out character had to lip-sync (we didn't know how exactly at the time) and to stand out from the BG.
In my verson he had a cat mask (realistic) and an eldely person's body. Almost for no particular reason since the narrator talks openly to the audiences and doesn't have anything particularly secretive or embarrasing to say. Complicated and sensitive issues - yes. In other words there's no realson for a mask.

I also did some research on the real paper pop-up books since my house-mate at the time had a book on the topic. Hence you see these little squares on the page (something you pull in order for a cut-out to stand up) but we didn't include it in the final animation. It's a bit of a shame really. These things make the whole paper theme a little more sophisticated, like there's been a long hard thought put into it. :)