Animation – Problems and Solutions

The first time I animated my storyboard, I used Adobe Flash to execute and exported it into mp4. However, even though I separated the 11 scenes into separate Flash files, problems still occurred and it could not be exported.

I’ve wasted quite a lot of time animating the scenes in Flash before problems began to rise. But after a few attempts, I’ve decided to solve this problem completely by switching to After Effects instead.

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This made things much easier for me in terms of exporting the video. Although it may be slightly more troublesome in terms of animation (I have to separate the visuals into individual layers in order to animate them), it was not as lag as Flash and it was generally easier to use.

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Storyboarding

 

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This is my final story board for the animation:

Scene 1(A): Overview of city
Scene 1(B): Overview of city (raining)

Scene 2(A): Couple sleeping soundly next to each other
Scene 2(B): Couple sleeping far away from each other. Messy room.

Scene 3(A): Couple watching TV together
Scene 3(B): Couple watching TV. Sitting far away from each other.

Scene 4(A): Guy serenading girl by the window
Scene 4(B): Couple fighting by the window

Scene 5(A): Mother helping son get ready for school by the window
Scene 5(B): Mother scolding son by the window

Scene 6(A): Mother and son holding hands while waiting for the train
Scene 6(B): Mother and son waiting for the train. Standing apart.

Scene 7(A): Train scene with various strangers
Scene 7(B): Train scene with various strangers

Scene 8(A): Working adult gets out of train
Scene 8(B): Working adult gets out of train

Scene 9(A): Working adult celebrating his promotion at the office
Scene 9(B): Working adult getting scolded by his boss

Scene 10(A): 3 Main characters admiring the city
Scene 10(B): 3 Main characters standing in the rain

Scene 11(A): Back to the apartment. 3 characters enjoying themselves by the window.
Scene 11(B): Back to the apartment. 3 characters having troubles (fighting, stressing out etc)

 

Narrative

The narrative of this project started off as a story about a couple and their journey of falling in and out of love. The purpose of having this narrative is to show the contrast between the two scenes. But after our user test on 13 Jan, the feedback I received on the narrative is that the impact isn’t strong enough. So, I refined the narrative and gave it an extra element which is adding in 2 more groups of characters which showcases their lives behind the scenes.

The inspiration for this came from the realization that everyone has a story, and that every single passerby is living a life that is worth sharing. So instead of showcasing the contrast of one story, I decided to do 3 main groups of characters.

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Character Design

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My initial character design was based on the illustration I’ve done for the draft poster (as seen in the image above). But after a while, I refined the colors, design and the overall feel of both the main characters.
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Currently still in the work-in-progress stage at the moment for these characters. In the midst of refining them, I’m also designing the backdrops for the animation. Even though I’m currently in week 5 and should be almost done with all the animations by now, I’ve decided to spend more time refining the visuals as my project has moved to a more visually driven direction, leaving more time to produce the responsive website as compared to a cross-platform project that requires more coding.

I’ll be giving myself this week (28 nov – 4 dec) to finish up the first draft of visuals, and start coding the responsive website as well.

Things to do (week 5):

  • Finish storyboard draft
  • Re-record soundtrack

Visual update: Poster Design

There are some updates that were done since the last blog post. Generally, these are:

  • Project title: “Somewhere New” – An Interactive Story Made For Two
  • Updated color scheme
  • Illustration inspired by David Bonazzi
  • Poster Design

Since it is a music video, the poster design is mainly inspired by vinyl records. Even though the concept of this project is very modern and interactive, I’d like it to have some relation with analog media. I’ve fixed the color scheme for all the illustrations but the final FINAL poster design is not confirmed yet. So far, this is what I’ve got, and I’m pretty happy with it  🙂 Just need some minor adjustments before finalizing the whole thing.

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Visuals – Inspirations

moodboard

The above image is my mood board for this project. The main inspiration for this art style comes from an artist called Maggie Chiang. Her illustrations will have a great influence on the visuals of my interactive music video. The colors that I’m going for are rather soft and calming, while the character design will be minimal with no facial details.

Other details involving the art direction of this project will be updated soon.