New Narratives: Time and Narrator

Yuan Yuan Chen started the lecture today going over what we had learned last week and moved on to what we are going to learn today, this is about time. We will need to know how to manipulate time within our animation. We worked on a story last week and what we can do to manipulate the order of the events that took place and if this would still make sense in the story.

You can have a simple story in chronological order, but what if you were to changed this order? well by adding flash backs to the beginning on how the story actually started this can make the story make sense.

Scenes 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 changed into 2 – (flash back) 1 – 3 – 4

If not done correctly this can become muddled and your story will no longer make sense, so do use it wisely.

A good example of this is Momento;

Pulp Fiction is also another good movie;

Create a story and change the timing;

1-2-3-4 (Chronological order)

  1. Boy walks to shop (sun shining)
  2. Starts to rain
  3. Reaches shop soaked
  4. Bumps into girl he likes (both soaked)


  1. Starts to rain
  2. Boy walks to shop (sun shining)
  3. Reaches shop soaked
  4. Bumps into girl he likes (both soaked)

3-1-2-4 (Our chosen favourite)

  1. Reaches shop soaked
  2. Starts to rain
  3. Boy walks to shop (sun shining)
  4. Bumps into girl he likes (both soaked)


  1. Boy walks to shop (sun shining)
  2. Bumps into girl he likes (both soaked)
  3. Reaches shop soaked
  4. Starts to rain


We then looked at the temporal duration, which is how long do each of these events take. There are two main types, story duration which is the amount of time that the implied story takes to occur and plot duration which is the time of the events within the story that the film explicitly presents, so basically the elapsed time of the plot.


The relationship between screen duration and plot duration is also very important.

Summary Relationship the screen duration is shorter than the plot duration. A good example of this is A marriage just like an other marriage as they are able to show 7 years of marriage through 6 shots:

Real Time relationship is where the time is directly to plot duration;

Stretch relationship is where the screen duration is longer than plot duration;

Temporal frequency is how often we see or hear an event, most commonly a story even is presented only once in the plot. however a single event may appear twice or even morein the plot, this includes a flashback or multiple narrators.

A great example of this is Amore Perros as the event that happens is showed from different perspectives. This shows how the event has effected each of the characters and to show the truth of the event that has happened from each perspective.

Narration can also be used, this delivers the story information to the audience. So basically it is the way of distributing story information to the audience in order to achieve specific effects. In The Wolf on Wall Street he talks to the camera, he knows that the camera is there and he being very vulgar and setting the story.

The narration involves two factors, the range and the depth of story information that the plot presents. Narration can be omniscient meaning that it is extremely knowledgeable, so basically the audience knows everything about the story. Here is a good example of this;

Restricted narration limits the information it provides the audience to things known only to a single character.This is usually used in mysteries or horror. The Big Sleep is a good example of this;

When it comes to the depth of story information, there are two main areas which is objective or subjective narration. Objection is limited to what the audience only sees in that scene, they don’t know what else is going on with the characters, you are the observer;

Subjective narrative you are able to see what the character sees and hears, the camera is like the eyes of the character;

Mental Subjectivity shows the access to the characters mind, the internal voice reporting the characters thoughts, or the characters inner images, representing memory, fantasy, dreams or hallucinations.

The film maker may also use a narrator, which is someone who tells the story. This can be a voice over or the narrator can also be the actual character;

There are also non-character narrators that are common in documentaries or fictional films, also know as a “Voice of God”. Here is a good example of non character narration;



Head Model: Nemo Filipovic

Nemo Filipovic illustrated a guide on how to draw heads, and goes into detail in a understandable way about form, skeletal features and facial features, as well as fat in the neck.

Filipovic, Nemo. “HEADS UP: Drawing The Head From A Low Angle.”. N.p., 2016. Web.

HEADS UP: Drawing the Head from a low angle. by NemoNova

Head Model: Face Anatomy

When modeling the head it is extremely important to understand face anatomy and the structure of the muscles within the face. Researching facial anatomy was really interesting and I learnt a lot from it, what I found most interesting was how the muscles and bone structure within a face effects how the topology be on an individuals face.

Looking at those were a great insight, even to see the names of the different facial muscles was interesting and where they were in the face. I also looked at Skif 3D’s work and his topology of a skill which is also going to be very helpful. Now to try and apply my research to my head model.


Animated Short: Ice Skating and Animating

Since I was in charge of animating the scenes, except for the final credit scene which Kristina and Robert did, I had to make sure that I was getting the right movements. I found this beautiful figure skating video in the mountains of British Columbia, which really reminded me of our scene and how it is based in the french alps. It also showed us the textures within the ice in the mountains and how it does have a good bit of reflections on the ice.

I also found this amazing video of ice skaters with fire sticks on their ice skates which created beautiful visuals and lighting for the video. Obviously their tricks are too crazy for our little birds but it was good to see the how their bodies moved in slow motion when they jumped or shifted their weight.

Another great ice skating video that I found was of a Canadian national figure skater in the mountains, this ice was more clouded with not that much reflection in it. It was interesting to see as well as seeing her movements for the animation.

Kristina also found this video on a step by step guide on how to do different tricks and jumps on the ice which was also very useful to see;

We also looked at animals slipping on ice which was recommended to us by our tutors which was really beneficial for the animation:

After I did this research I went on to animating the characters which I really enjoyed, surprisingly I can animate really face while also making it look organic with good timing and movement.



Head Model: Pinterest Research Board

Alec Parkin gave a lecture expressing the importance of keeping a folder with good topology so that you are able to keep going back to it in the future when you have to do face modeling and when keeping a good topology in your models in general. I found that creating a pinterest board helped me greatly in researching about facial anatomy and topology for my 3D head model. Below you can see my findings;

Animated Short: Music and Foley Effects

Music is very important within animation and we were stressed by our tutors that you should always do the music first, this is because if you were to listen to your music on its own and found that it didn’t tell your animation through sound then it would definitely not work for you animation and things would need to be changed for it to work.

Since Falling for You is set in the French Alps it only made sense that the music would be french, this would also contribute to the fact of our short animation being of a  romantic and cute theme, so it would suit it well. Since it needed to be French themed music I remembered I had watched The Little Prince, which is a really great animation with a great story that I highly recommend to anyone. The Little Prince is originally french so they had a very french theme to their music which I found would be perfect for our animation. The music for The Little Prince was worked of the great Hans Zimmer, Richard Harvey and Camille.

I also watched The Dam Keeper which is another amazing short animation that I absolutely love and would recommend to anyone. I loved the music for this animation too and though it had some really lovely rythm. This tribute to the animation made by one of my favourite band Phox made their take on one of the animations theme songs;

Robert also suggested Sixpence None the Richers song Kiss Me due to the accordion in it and the simplicity to the tune.

We also looked into Foley effects, which is a reproduction of everyday sound effects that are added to films to enhance the audio and portray the sound that is being made. This video by Filmmaker IQ explains foley and sound effects really well;

For the animation we new we would need ice skating sounds for when the birds skate on the ice so we took scissors and ran them across different materials to get the desired noise that we were looking for. We also sat around making noises through our mouth to see who could do the best noise for the characters and different sound effects, like a whooshing sound, giggles, deep breath, jumping and more. There were many sounds that we recorded that didn’t make it but it was important that we tried them anyway or we wouldn’t have known what would’ve worked best for those particular scene. I caught some pictures of Michelle and Robert doing some of the sounds which was a lot of fun to do;

Robert has a brother that plays guitar so Robert worked together with him to get our desired music that we felt suited our animation best. We ended up with two music pieces that we used for our animation and ending credits which was perfect for our animation Falling for You. Since we had done the music first it really made it easier for us to animate our scenes.


Head Model: Sara Wilde

Sara Wilde, who is a concept artist and 3D generalist, working for Evodant Interactive, which is a Winnipeg based game company, created this great illustration on proper workflows in 3D Modeling. This was incredibly useful as it broke down why working with quads are important and also gives an example of topology, and the different polys and what they look like.

Head Model: Face Topology Plan

Step one to doing a good head model is by getting a good photo of myself in front and side profile and they HAVE to line up or you’re going to do a lot of guess work but luckily having a mirror in front of you will help in this situation, good think my desk is a vanity and have a missive mirror in front of it with flapping mirror parts at the side so I can also see the different angles in my face. Getting a good picture was kind of difficult, I feel like my head naturally tilted to the left but it felt natural to me when I was sitting there, maybe my posture is just bad?

However after many failed photos later and retakes, because it didn’t end up lining up in Autodesk Maya no matter how much I tilted of squished the picture, I got these ones down below which still kind of don’t line up because of my tilty head and not and exact side profile, but I decided to work with it with the help of my.

Alec Parkin said that he preferred that you do it low poly so that he is able to see the topology clearly. Taking this into consideration on how I wanted to do my head model I began my research. I looked a lot at character artist Tom Parker‘s work which is amazing, he gave some really good images of good topology as seen below, this was very helpful.

I then moved on to sketching out topology on my own face to help me along the way. I tried to keep it fairly low poly, I hope I have done this right.


I then looked at defining features on my own face that I should consider when creating my face model so that it looks more like me. You can see this in the below image;


I thought that sketching out my head would also be very useful as I would get a feel for how my face flow and it really shows me how much of a grumpy face I have due to my features hahah, moving on. This took me back to my GCSE and A-Level art days as I always chose projects that required me drawing faces which I quite enjoy.



Data Visualisation: Rendering

Today Alec Parking gave a lecture on RenderingRendering is the process of generating an image from a 2D or 3D model (or models in what collectively could be called a scene file) by means of computer programs. Also, the results of such a model can be called a rendering.

Rendering can take a long time if you have a lot of of things going on in the scene and if you have a deadline it is important that you plan out how long it will take so that you do not go over the deadline due to the amount of time it takes to render it. If you want to save time you can use a render farm, which is a group of networked computers devoted to rendering images, you can use this to speed up the process of rendering that you wouldn’t be able to do if you do not have powerful equipment. It does cost money however to get a render farm company to do this. If you do render all at once this is called a batch render and the longest of them.

You can also render it in different sections, like you can render the background separately from the characters to cut down rendering times. As well as cutting the animation into separate scenes and rendering them at the same time but on different machines.

Photo bashing is also another type of rendering, it used mainly for concept art, its also used for gaining a more realistic outcome. Its a good thing to look into for practice as it may come in useful.

There is also digital matte painting which is like a mixture of 2D and 3D, its used mainly in visual effects. A good example is Kobi Moldavski’s showreel, you can see that he usually has a main 3D image and then uses 2D images to put these in the background and making it look realistic to suit the scene.

Something that is really important is correctly setting up a linear workflow in Maya;

Basically a picture is made up of red blue and green pixels, sRGB being the standard. We want to keep the gamma linear so that we have as much information in the lights and the darks rather than it losing information rather than your image beginning noisy and off colour.In sRGB the white is twice as bright while in a linear colour spacing. It is important to know how colours work in different settings and files, EXR keeps the linear workflow while Tiff does not. This also applies to real life as you need to know that if you were to do a oil painting you need to know that oil paints do not dry, it oxidises.