Friday, 25 November 2011

Draco Complete Movie

To view the completed film, Draco Frightful Fun, please refer to the following link. I learnt a lot doing this film and have improved so much in terms of animation and finding my feet with layout and design. Would not have been possible without the hardwork of Amy & Yolanda. For me, this isn't the last time I will work with Draco and Draak, I have future ideas in mind and will keep you posted; but for the immediate future this is where they will stay.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

We Did It

Well......we did it! There were times when it seemed that we would never complete the film, but now from the other side where the film has been completed on time and is awaiting screening I can safely say that I never had any doubts.

Draco Team ready to graduate 2011

Of course there are aspects of the film that could be reworked and things that could've been done differently, but I am immensely proud of the film we have created, its look, the story and the characters. One student told me that of all the films in our graduating year, our Draco had the most sense of character and connection with the audience- big praise but praise I am glad to accept given that I think we have created characters that are not only visually appealing but also have attitude and pathos. Screening night is on 22 November and I am pretty sure that we will get a real kick out of seeing our little Draco on the big screen. Once the film has been marked the film will be put online for all to see. I personally don't think this will be Draco's final appearance as I feel that he is a character that has longevity and I look forward to shaping his future as I begin to shape mine in the industry of animation.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Teaser Trailer Draco The Movie

A teaser trailer for Draco: Frightful Fun. Created in Toon Boom Animate Pro

Well the film is done and has been handed in for marking, we are all absolutely exhausted and still finishing last minute assignments due this week so in the following week I'll do an entry on the 'final countdown' in the lead up to completing Draco. There were times when I didnt think we would get it all done but I am personally really happy with the end result and I think it is a project that has potential in the future should it be re-visited. 

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Post Production

Once all the animation is finished and the colouring done we moved into the post production phase and this meant working on adding effects to the film that would not overpower the classic simple vintage mis en scene we were building.

As most of the action takes place in the sunshine this meant that we had to work on learning shadows in Toon Boom, this would also be important in the cave scenes. The cave scenes additionally needed a light source to create the shadows and these would be flames that we added in Toon Boom using a base animation and a glow module. Animation for the flames was based on a .gif animation and was created by Amy, I then took the animated flames incorporated them into existing scenes and added a glow effect to give them more of an impact. See them in action here

Monday, 17 October 2011

Animation test

Scene 15 has changed a little, instead of making Draco look scared as soon as Draak leaves, he looks uncertain as to wheather he is alone and if he should've thrown the ball that far... perhaps a sound effect before he opens an  eye...scream or a yelp?

Monday, 10 October 2011

The Home Stretch

Animation Toon Boom Animate Pro Multiplane Camera

Animation has moved from roughs to cleans and we are now doing checks for consistency and working on timing and sound. That's most of the film, there are still bits and pieces lagging here and there but that seems to be the nature of the beast.

Still from the movie

One issue we struggled with was maintaining consistent model as each animator did their share of the scenes. We overcame this issue by limiting cleanups to two people who concentrated on character whilst the third group member moved onto colour and sound.

Still from the movie

I am really happy with the complimentary colour palette which has created a real sense of connection across the three characters and with their environment. Am also really happy with the standard of animation we are achieving, there is a nice sense of rhythm to the story and a sense of character emerging through movement.

Sneak peek Draak taunts Draco

Thursday, 6 October 2011

End Credits!

This is the shortened version of the end credits. Originally, they went for 51 seconds but Ive managed to squeeze it down to 35seconds! The Griffith Logo and scrolling music credits will be at the end along with thanks to various peoples. Have a squizz!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Animation Has Commenced

The coffee cups, cans of V and overall sense that my work area is sponsored by Pepsi Max lets everyone know that I've started animating on Draco. Apparently my panic meltdown last weekend was exactly what was required and I now find myself a lot more focused and have been animating pretty much non stop (except for the odd game break, but that's to be expected lol).

I am aiming to have my roughs completed by end of the weekend, ambitious i know, but I want to have something to work towards. A real challenge for me is ensuring that my roughs are relatively clean, actually the process has been really good practice as I am so used to making my roughs....really really rough; but when someone else may end up referring to them it has been important to keep them readable.

Draak makes fun of Draco

Draco has the ball...

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Colouring Draco's World

Once the backgrounds had been imported it was time to set up the PAL safe area template and create a master palette in Toon Boom that could then be repeated throughout the 52 scenes within the film. I'm really happy with the way the colours in the film pay homeage to the vintage cartoon style I love so much but that they don't look drab or too washed out or faded. We worked hard to ensure that the colour palette was complimentary and once the entire film comes together I am confident that it will look and feel unified through colour.

PAL Safe Area template added

Draco Body Colour

Draco Tummy Colour

Draak Body Colour

Draak Tummy Colour

Horns, Spikes, Wings for both Dragons


Inside Mouths

Fun in the Background

Had a bit of a panic attack the other day as I worked out how long we have until this film is to be finished......yep BIG panic.....but lets not talk about that to say it was a kick up the backside and I am now firmly focused on seeing Draco through to a successful end.

This weekend I imported the backgrounds from Photoshop to Toon Boom Animate Pro, having seen the latest Toon Boom tutorials I thought i would try importing them as grouped PSD files as I was aiming for a multidimensional feel to the environment. This process was less than successful and after an entire day of trying absolutely everything and support from online animators this is what I ended up with, we were stumped:

What ended up being imported

what it is supposed to look like
 So after much Facebooking, it was decided that I attempt a different route. I essentially saved a master copy of the background as a JPEG then took key components and saved them as PNGs to enable the illusion of a 3D envrionment. Many of the outside earlier shots already have a sense of depth and as the camera is not moving through the environment I thought that this was a more than pleasing result. In the latter stages of the film, in particular in the cave, it was important for the characters to appear 'in' the environment rather than in front of it, the use of the PNG objects moved closer or further away from the camera in Toon Boom creates this illusion effectively.

3D illusion in Toon Boom

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Backgrounds in Colour

Backgrounds are in jpeg form at the moment, but each object is on a different layer enabling us to convert them in ToonBoom for multi-layer camera movement which will give added depth to the environments. Deeper shadows have been dropped in to add definition to the desaturated colour palette.