Animation art style

One of the first decisions I had to make when I first started animating was what kind of drawing style to use. Originally I wanted intricate line drawings rendered to look like silver and gold. It only took a few scribbles in photoshop to realise that this would be very difficult to make out against the backgrounds, and extremely time consuming. I simplified it to think black outlines filled in with solid colour, this stands out much more clearly and is simpler to draw.

The actual designs for the characters are based primarily off my initial storyboard. Grounded mostly in reality, but stylised in places. A lot of the details are omitted to make animation easier, the most obvious probably being the eyes. Eyes make or break any drawing with a human subject, and trying to draw them with consistency across dozens of frames for animation leaves far too many opportunities to plunge into the uncanny valley. It may seem a little weird at first, but I think no eyes at all looks a lot better than poorly done eyes.

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Animation test

The first shot of my 1 minute video roughed out. I’m hoping to be able to keep this 2 frames per secondĀ  up for the entire minute. I’d love to be able to go in and properly render the characters with greater detail and shading… but with the deadline looming that may not be possible.

Test video shoot

On Tuesday we met up to do some practice filming for our 2 minute group video. We ran through the first half of our planned shots using ourselfs as actors. It was a good chance to work out any kinks and get used to the ins and outs of filming. It also taught us to check the fundamentals (plate on the tripod & tape in the camera) BEFORE leaving the college. With luck our real shoot(s) will run more smoothly as a result.