More Backgrounds

Been working on backgrounds for a week now and I have managed to get most of the most complicated ones done! About 2/3rds of the way there, but really need to get animating now, so I am going to start that tomorrow and work on the other backgrounds as I go.

Here are a few of the ones I have completed!

Posted in Grad Film | Leave a comment

A Few Backgrounds!

Recently I have been mostly working on the backgrounds for the film. There are two types of background in the film, the forest is done completely in paint and the house is drawn in pencil and coloured digitally, with paint textures laid over. Here are the first few finished digital backgrounds. I am really pleased with them, I was worried that they were going to look horribly digital but I think they turned out well.

There are 32 individual backgrounds in the film, which has me quite worried, but I am going to dedicate the next week to doing as many of them as possible so I don’t have to work on them later.

Will update with more backgrounds as they are completed.

Also today I did a very quick test to see if I would be able to make the film in HD. I created a 1080p HD file and after some adjustments I got it to export ok and uploaded to youtube and it looks pretty great on there! The rendering took a pretty long time despite the shortness of the clip, but I was working on my rubbish laptop. The computers at uni should be able to handle it no problem.

Posted in Grad Film | Leave a comment

New Animatic

Here is another updated animatic. I have lost the compensating pan shot at the start because , as James pointed out during our crit, it reveals a problem with my use of 2D in a 3D space. The house spans across several of the layers, but is only one image. It is also strange to see this pan at the start when all of the rest of the images are flat and still.

The ending has been changed a lot as well, the timing works a lot better now I think, but I am still not totally happy with it. We are getting feedback on Monday, so I will wait and see what the tutors have to say then work some more on it.

Timing has been fiddled without throughout the film because with the addition of the new ending it became quite a bit too long. It is still a few seconds over, but I think there are still some sections which could be done quicker than they are currently.

Some good news is that Jack Vaughan, who did the music for our second year film ‘We Weren’t the First Ones Here’, has agreed to do the music for the film. Exciting!

At the moment I am a bit unsure about what to do next. It is time to get cracking on actually making the film which is quite scary, I don’t know where to actually start!

Posted in Grad Film | 1 Comment

Proper Background

This is a picture from my new animatic. I think that it is the best example I have so far of what my film is actually going to look like. The forest is done with layers of paint and the house is painted digitally with pencil lines. The bear will have a paint texture in the final film but I think that this is pretty much how it is going to look!

Posted in Grad Film | Leave a comment


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.

Posted in Grad Film | Leave a comment

Fesability Tests

After Effects environment test. The first shot in my new animatic is a panning shot through the forest, to the bear’s house. To pan through the painting I decided to construct the environment in after effects and then do the move digitally.

I don’t really like how this test turned out, it looks too digital and loses the flatness that I liked in the paintings that I did. I will have another try when I get back to uni, but if it does not work then I will go back to a still first shot, as this is the only pan in the film.

Character Animation Test

Posted in Grad Film | Leave a comment

First Background Test

Today I did a test of the first background for my film. In the new animatic, this is a panning shot, which means that I am going to have to make the forest in after effects so that the camera can move through it, but I may change it to a still because there is something about the flattness of the background here that I really like.

The forest floor and trees were all done with paint and the house and fence were added in digitally as the painting was not large enough for me to pain them in nicely.  I am still not happy with the colours in this piece, but that is something that I am going to have to continue experimenting with.

Posted in Grad Film | Leave a comment