I havent blogged in a long time now, partially because I had been focusing on my dissertation over Christmas and partially because I forgot!
Since Christmas the two things that I have been really concentrating on are story and my backgrounds. Every time I showed someone my animatic they didn’t like the ending. They seemed to think that the bear needs to get over his issues with the mess and accept that it is something he cannot control. They suggested everything from him making a snowman to him doing a cartweel in the snow and even that he might go skiing at the end. I didn’t feel like any of these suggestions were believable for the character of the bear, nor did I really like the idea that he needed to be ‘cured’, though I definitely agreed that the ending did not work.
I decided that something had to happen at the end and the character had to change in some way, but in a much more subtle way than suggested. I also liked the idea of the end being slightly more open. I came up with the idea of the bear coming out and seeing the snow and getting very annoyed. He smashes his cup in his frustration, then falls to the ground and makes a snow angel. This unexpected action seems to work as a little twist at the end and it lets us make our own minds up about how the bear actually feels about the snow, as we do not see what happens next. He could have gone and made a snowman, or he could have gone to get his shovel.
I have also been working on making the backgrounds look exactly how I want them to. Leonie suggested that I try and add some tonal gradation to the trees to give a more convincing sense of depth to the picture and I really like how the test of this turned out, though it does take much much longer to do.
The first background in the film is a compensating pan and I had been planning to do it using paintings placed in a 3D environment in after effects (see last post). I didn’t like how digital this looked though, so I decided to try painting layers of trees separately, then panning across them like they would have done with the multiplane camera.
Initial 2 layer test
5 layer test
I am really happy with how the tests turned out and this is the technique that I am going to use for the final pan.
I am also currently updating the animatic with the new story changes and the design changes that have taken place.