Thursday, April 4, 2013

Week1: Airport Panic

Hey look it's another Week 1! Are you ready for some shot planning? Hope so because that's what you're getting.

So for our first shot this term we've been assigned a pantomime shot. We have to animate some kind of change from one emotion to another, all through body language. Nick stressed to us that we should really be viewing this as an exercise in animating a thought process, not just getting a sad character's body language to look right (though that is also important). The audience should be able to see a "gear change" in the character's head when you watch this shot.

So after lots of brainstorming, I came up with the idea of my character running late for her flight. She runs up to the departure board, clearly panicked and scrambling to make it on time. She looks up at the departure board, searching for her flight, and sees that it's on time, meaning she'll miss it. But then, the flight status updates, and it's delayed. Her panic changes to relief, she's gonna make the flight after all.

And if you're wondering whether this idea was inspired by my trip to Boston, which took me to several different airports on several different flights, you are correct! I'm not a stranger to the feelings of stressed-out air travel. After I nailed down my shot idea, I shot some video reference and pieced together the best bits:


Yay awkward acting! Hehe. Once I got my reference together, I thumbnailed out some poses based on my ref, which you can see here:

I do wish we'd had two planning pages instead of one for this assignment, but I was able to get the major storytelling poses up there at least. We were also supposed to create two poses illustrating our two acting beats and turn them in with our reference and planning page. This was extra fun (and useful) because AM gave us new rigs to use this term! I'd like to introduce Stella, who is feeling panicked and relieved in the following pictures, respectively:

While I am gonna miss our old pal Stewie, I really, really like the new rigs. In addition to Stella, we got Stan, a cartoony Hulk type, and Sloan, a dog rig. These three are part of the new set of Tribe rigs, more of which are on the way soon. Exciting!

As far as Nick's notes on my shot, he was very pleased with my video reference. He felt it was a very genuine bit of acting (see, that year of drama in high school tooootally paid off) but he instructed me to leave out the "relieved" bit and just have her miss the flight altogether. Instead of going from "panicked" to "relieved", have her go from "hopeful" as she runs up to the board, thinking she might still make it, to "frustrated" when she realizes she has missed it. My reference was already sort of reading that way to him upon viewing it for the first time anyways. Plus, this will allow me to pull the camera in a little closer on Stella since the viewer no longer needs to read the words on the departure board, they just need to see that it's there.

I think Nick's instructions to simplify are going to help my shot a lot and it's going to be a lot of fun to animate. I was having a hard time getting the relief to read well anyways and I think the premise was maybe a touch too complicated. So, with that, I am going to start blocking my shot in for Week 2. Come back in a few days to check it out! See you then, lovelies.

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