My apologies for the lack of updates, but a lot has happened in these past two weeks. Get comfortable, this post is jam packed with updates!
For the last guest speaker the semester, we had the great and amazing Steve Hicker, known for his work in the Prince of Egypt, Bee Movie and many DreamWorks Studios films. Steve is a master storyteller and shares his extensive knowledge of cinematography with our program every year. We had the added bonus of the having Steve look over some student work, mostly from the graduating senior class. Our “Body and Soul” project was among the twelve projects that was presented.
Elizabeth and I showed Steve our latest animatic and followed up with our animatic with the dance reference we recorded.
A big thanks and shout out to our dancers: Hilary Barron (solo), Martin Nobida and Atsuko (tango). They are all a pleasure to work with and very excited for this film.
We also included our beauty frame (by artist: Jasmine Wong) and character comparison sheet to show Steve the intended look of our film.
We informed him that our film will be incorporating smoke effects, especially for our male character who is mainly smoke. Steve went on to say that our film is a tone piece and was glad that we condensed it into a minute and a half. He stressed that the success of our thesis will be in the execution and that what we are doing is “going to be hard.” Steve also added that, if done well, our film will “look really cool.” The pressure is on!
When the event came to a close, John Clapp, AI instructor and illustrator, had a few design notes for our film. He suggested we be consistent with the 40/60 proportions especially in Anne’s dress (bottom folds). He also encouraged us to go all out with the art deco theme since our current product seems to be “Disney animation with some art deco thrown in.” This was great to hear and gave Elizabeth and I a direction one what could be done to improve our film’s aesthetic.
Our next BFA class meeting, my partner and I informed our instructor, Raquel Coelho, what had transpired during our presentation to Steve Hickner. We told her we are looking into animation styles since we wanted a simpler style than the polished animation of Disney. Raquel then suggested we look at “The Secret of Kells”. I am quite mad at myself for not thinking of this film earlier, but extremely thankful to Raquel for reminding me of this beautiful film.
This also gives us a new way to approach the smoke to making it a bit more simple. I love how they animated Aisling’s smoke tendrils like a line being drawn or as a brushstroke being made.
Speaking of smoke, we have a new effects animator, Ben Ravid. He is a student in the SJSU Animation/Illustration program, and 2D effects are pretty much his jam. Ben and I have been discussing the overall look and movement of the smoke. He will be working with our other effects animator and student, Brandon Louie.
BREAKING NEWS: “Body and Soul” is going into production!
Elizabeth and I are at work getting the 2D layouts and a 3D layout with the basic path of action for our animators. Elizabeth made 3D mannequins of our characters so she and I can do a crude motion guide for our animators to aid them in their shots.
Some of the shots have been assigned and we are waiting for the rest of our animators to pick shots.
I am really happy with the progress Elizabeth and I have made this semester. We are extremely thankful for our amazing VisDev crew: Grace Chen, Tara Mueller, Jessica “Icy” Tang, Jasmine Wong, and Pamela Yeung, for giving us a solid design foundation for our film.
With that said, it’s time to buckle down and churn out this animation. Calling all animators, calling all animators, it is time! Fire it up!
Until next time…Happy Holidays!