New Narratives: proposals and time management

Today we presented our ideas for the 30 second animation and it went down well. They said that they liked our idea and that we are on a good path. Especially by keeping our characters simple, as well as having a cute story.

From the beginning we knew that time management would be key to completing this animation and being able to balance everything on top of that, while also taking into consideration the fact that there may be times where there are trails and errors that will hold us back or even life events so we will need to make a schedule to suit this.

Our choice of time management service was Asana, its worked in some groups and failed in others, but its really up to the team all contributing and sticking to it, if we plan it well and work together, it will definitely work in our favour.

I believe that our team will be able to do this as we are all conscientious workers, so I immediately set up the Asana group and put in the tasks with the help of my team and we all discussed when we were wanting to get these tasks done by while also taking into consideration our other projects that we needed to get done also.

Having the Asana set up will also help when it comes to when we are off for Easter as we will see where everyone is at with their set tasks, they will also see what they need to do and get reminders when its closer to the date and most importantly we’ll see if they need any help.




Floating Rome: Arcadia Final Presentation

Today we finally presented our Floating City project, I was incredibly nervous because I’ve never had to say so many slides before but surprisingly I was still able to say what I needed too. The feedback that we had received was mainly on the fact that our presentation needed to be less messy, as soon as the presentations were over I immediately started fixing it up, I should have been more careful. John and I then talked to Conánn Fitzpatrick to see how we actually did in the project and he assured us that we did well.

Click here for the presentation.


New Narratives: Film Genre

Yuan Yuan Chen started off the lecture talking about film genres, which will help us with our 30 second animation.

How do you group films:

  • Genre

What type or kind of film that it is. It can indicate whether it alls under sci-fi, comedy, romance, rom-com, action, horror etc. Sometimes film can have a mix of genres for example Scream with its horror comedy and Lord of the Rings with its multitude of genres and sub genres, it has a bit of everything.

  • Rating

What rating it got at the box office, it shows how wanted the movie is to be seen and how well it has done overall, this can make it memorable.

  • Director

Grouped by the director, meaning all the movies that that director has made.

  • Actor

Films can be grouped by the actor and what they have been in.

  • Length

They may be grouped by the length that they are, since there are short story’s, animated shorts, as well as long feature films.

  • Year they were brought out

They could be grouped by the year that they were brought out. Like on IMDB where you can see what movies were brought out in that particular year.

  • Plot

Similar to genre they could be grouped by their plot, they may have a similar story. Romance films usually have a similar plot line, especially if they are set in high school.

  • Budget

They may be grouped by their budget, high and low budget films.

  • Location

Films can be grouped by where they are made, this can be applied to comedies as there are British comedy and american comedy.

The usefulness of genre category

  • Marketing
  • Audience
  • Advertising
  • Can be damaging if the film is put in the wrong category
  • Popular genres can help the producer decide what film to make

Genre Conventions and iconography

You can define a movie from the get go. Factors that can tell you the movies genre are;

  • Setting – Its important to show the genre through the location, you need to set the scene and make it familiar to the audience.
  • Plot – The plot is also important, you need a good story to show the genre clearly and have a good narrative that makes sense.
  • Character types – Characters are also very important because they also show the genre of the movie. The Hero’s Journey explains this well.
  • Theme – The theme of the film will also show the genre of the movie.
  • Presentation – The presentation of the film is also very important as it includes important elements like the lighting and the music, which can contribute on how you want the audience to feel.

Iconography is the symbolic images that carry meaning from film to film.This will be different for each genre, for example in an action movie they would have guns, bullets,, weapons, near death, car chase, rage, gangs, explosions, fighting, tattoos, police, army, destruction etc.

While in a horror film the iconography would be; blood, gore, jump scares, demons, monsters, ghosts, murder, creaking doors, glass breaking, cats, owls, wolves, crows, crickets, eerie wind sound, footsteps screaming, heavy breathing, flickering lights, stormy weather, psychopaths etc.

What genre is our animation and what iconography is our animation:

Our animation is romance with a sub genre of comedy and the iconography that we are going to include is romantic/happy music and to have a happy ending, which is a very strong aspect in romantic comedies. We also want to look at the lighting as we know that is most romantic films the lighting tend to consist of warm colours, such as oranges, reds, pinks, and dark yellows. This will give the audience a sense of warmth within the scene, without noticing it specifically.

Our team also discussed the location of our 30 second film and we decided that we should go with the French Alps, as France is known for being the country of love, as well as it being a snowy area which makes sense for our ice skating love story.


Floating City: Data and Statistics

For the data visualisation poster I needed to do a lot of research into Rome to find out certain statistics and data for them like their crops, kitchen gardens, pasture and meadow, agrarian cultivations, as well as their happiness level, leisure, recreation and culture, food and drink and their overall quality of life.

These websites were most useful to me when finding out the data and statistics;

Nation Master


Rome Escape



I also had to do dreaded math for their lifestyle data and created an excel sheet to help me with this, I also asked for math genius Robert for his assistance because math is difficult. I took the information from this website and took all of the countries statistics so that I could get the exact percentage of Romes happiness level, leisure, recreation, food and drink and their quality of life percentage. I then took this information that I had gotten and made it into a pie chart. Before I started the pie chart I had to decide the look i wanted to go for, I had an idea of visually presenting my data to look like roman columns and found that it may be too busy for the poster. I then looked back at my research and found that simple circles would do as our Floating City is rounded and has different layer it would be cool to represent it this way. You can see this below;lifestylestats

The lovely Cassie also shared her statistics on the Floating Rome group page which was very useful for the agriculture part of the data;

stats cass

I then used this information to create a similar looking pie chart to my last one, except this time it has multiple rings due to the information that was involved.


You can see how I ended up applying these pie charts in a visual way as I wanted to create the visual appeal that David McCandless talked about in his video. I also used my data visualisation research when looking its what style I should give them and present them as. My main inspiration was from Sarah Colobong, Michael Anderson and Kevin Tong;


Overall I really like how they turned out in the end, it was a lot of fun putting them together. Although I do think I haven’t followed the basic rules of poster making with how the margins are and grids, its definitely something that I need to improve on.

Floating City: Priya Mistry

Conánn Fitzpatrick showed us an animation by Priya Mistry called STV Ramadan 2013, which has a gorgeous style. Priya had to create a series of idents for the festive season of Ramadan and Eid for the Saudi Television off air graphics. Priya Mistry was responsible for and created the style frames for both on air and off air graphics; as well as seeing the project from start to completion (story-boarding, illustration, 3D modelling, texturing, animation, compositing and grade).

Priya Mistry also illustrated and design a Facebook application game for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, The game consisted of three levels featuring illustrations of tourist attractions and activities from all over Northern Ireland. On completion of each level, users were entered into a free prize draw every week with a chance to win a short break getaway. This has a really nice style that I loved, incorporating simplicity throughout giving a clean, professional yet cute feel to the game. I immediately messaged my Floating City team saying how we could use this simplistic style in our data visualisation.

You can see the game below;

This also gave me the idea to create posters for our data visualisation as we all would be able to contribute to this a make a series of posters showing parts of the Floating City and Romes data and information that we have gathered throughout.

Animated Short: Falling for you

After showing the second years our story they told us to avoid water so we needed to re-evaluate how we wanted our story to go. After a lot of decision making we decided on Waddles admires Flutter skating on the ice. Flutter calls for Waddles to join her. Waddles confidently jumps onto the ice, only to slip and almost fall. Flutter joins him and they skate together until after sunset.

We also drew up a rough draft;


and a second draft to work out timing, camera and movement;

After finalising our drafts I decided to quickly draw up our first animatic for Falling for You;

We also worked on claymation for the animation so that we could get a better idea of how the scene will look, how the setting will be and to also take on Conánn Fitzpatrick’s advice when he said that when animators create their character they would model it in real life first. So I helped model the character using Plasticine that Michelle, Kristina and I went out to get and Robert made up a set for it. Then Michelle and Kristina worked on the animation of it.


Animated Short: Characters Concepts

As Angry Birds Hatchings were a big influence for me in the begging of creating the story I looked more into Angry Birds concept art and found their character sheets which was great to see as it showed me how character sheets are done and gave me a good idea on how I was going to do mine for our characters.

Scamper the Penguin was a childhood animated movie that I used to watch on repeat. I like the roundness of the characters and how the animators used squash and stretch on them, as well as how cute they are;

Happy Feet is another inspiration and one that Michelle really loves. The penguin designs for this film have been kept realistic which is visually great but not the style that we want to go for. I was inspired by the movements of these characters and how they were animated.

Willy the Sparrow was another childhood favourite of mine. I like how each bird has something unique about them, its something that I want to apply to our characters, whether its changing their features slightly or adding accessories.

The Dam Keeper, what is there not to love about this animation, it sticks close to my heart. I love the style that they use within their animation as well as how they have done their faces, as its so simple yet still shows a lot of emotion.

The Powerpuff Girls is another good animation from my childhood that I loved, the characters were simple yet cute. Robert loves this cartoon as well and insisted that we should use their type of eyes for the characters.

We then decided on a name for our characters, the boy being Waddles because hes clumsy and the girl being Flutter because she is graceful on the ice.


Roberts representation of the charactersIMG_3051

My Character Concepts for Flutter and waddlesdoot

Roberts concepts;


My character sheets


My how to draw sheet;


Floating City: Taking over

Since I made sure to have my models done by the date that we set ourselves in Asana I ended up having to help Cliodhna because she was struggling with Maya, I offered her my help and she asked me to take the entertainment area off her hands which I didn’t mind. I went on to do some research on what the entertainment area should entail and continued from there. I looked at the likes of a very popular bar in Rome called the Stravinskij Bar

I went on trusty google maps and moved myself through Rome looking at all the buildings and what their bars looked like. This game me a good idea for what the bars, restaurants and cafes should look like in the entertainment layer of Arcadia should look like. I then added in a historical landmark of Rome called the Circus Maximus which was used for chariot racing and opera plays which was Romes source of regular entertainment.

This entailed a lot of duplicating because of its many seats. I then added in fountains that Hollie had made and Columns that john had made into the entertainment layer as well as creating some new ones too. I also added archways and columns to the exterior of the Circus.


The the likes of the restaurants and cafes in the area I also made little seating areas which was fun to do and I felt it added a nice touch to the entertainment layer. Then i went in with the texturing to give it a but of colour and then when in with the lighting as seen in the below image of the finished entertainment area;


John also needed a hand with the Historical layer and gave me the task of creating the Palace of Justice in Rome, I did have to go on google maps again to make sure that i got it accurate looking;


Floating City: Modeling

So I started with the over view of the floating city so that i could get it done and show exactly what the city looks like to my team and because the garden is at the top of the floating city this means that I can work on that at the same time too, killing two birds with one stone.

So I started with the main central area of Arcadia which contains the many social layers. I took a cylinder and extruded it to get my desired shape that i was looking for that was sketched up in the concepts. I then went it and added Leonardo Da Vinci’s aerial spiral that keeps the middle floating steadily. I did this by take a plane an using the curve tool to crate the spiral. You can see this in the image below;


I then went in and did the housing areas that are sectioned by north, south, east and west of Rome. These are inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s tank designs. The housing contains all of the people of Romes houses as well as a common area in the lower area of the housing tanks. I then added the aerial spirals to these as well and duplicated them into their positions. Our original plan for the housing area was that they would each have their own houses and then outside of their houses would be a massive painting of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa except its only the background of the painting that is used so that it gives the housing area an open feel to it.


Here is a birds eye view of the overview of ArcadiaBIRDSEYEOVERVIEWIP

I then went in and did the garden area and started by creating arches all around the outside of the Garden area. This become a staple for the rest of the team to use as they would then gain the proper size of the layers and therefore we wont have and sizing issues. I then went in and started planning out the area, placing basic shapes at for where the farms would be as well as the forest areas, lakes, bridges and middle statue. I then went on to the finer details and worked on a Rome styles farm building as well as following tutorials to help me making the fence, that i have reference in a post before. I also worked on trees and then the Rome Column to symbolise a new begging for Rome. I then worked on texturing the different things within the garden using different materials, but mainly lambert.


Here is the side profile of the final look of Arcadia, fully textured. I also added clouds to it to add to the effect of the floating city. I quite like how it has turned out. I feel like I definitely need to improve on my lighting though, hence the dark shadow on the side of the below image.


I then had to model the bath house, because I researched the pools from Tomorrowland I wanted to incorporate this into them into the rome styled bath houses. I followed the sketches I had in my sketchbook and tried to replicate it from there. I then needed to figure out how to do a spiral stair case in which I looked up a tutorial as I referenced in an earlier post and followed that tutorial to get the desired look to the bath house that I wanted.


I did try to add water to the bath house using BitFrost but this did not go successfully, it was probably because I did it on my laptop rather than my computer but after that it slowed my file way down for some reason but its still working luckily. It was fun to experiment with fluid in Maya and I would like to try and understand it in the future.bathhouseclose



Floating Rome: Modeling Tutorials

I used multiple tutorials throughout the process of creating our floating city. John and I both looked into modeling floating airships for the floating cities transport. I started by looking up basic boat model tutorials on youtube and found this one to help me in the beginning.

Because I needed to add rope to the airship for the attachment of the balloon I looked up a tutorial on creating a twisted rope in Maya.

For the farming area on the top of the floating city I needed to look into creating a wooden fence and found this great tutorial on that.

I also needed to look up how to do a spiral staircase for the bath housing area of the floating city and found this great tutorial. Since this tutorial taught me how to do curves I then was able to apply this to the housing area as they have curved propellers on them.