A 3D animation introduction exercise
The idea for this assignment was to learn how to create a 3d character and then import it along with some animations to an unreal Unreal Engine environment we created. We played with different programs and ways of creating 3d characters such as Mixamo, Adobe Fuse and scanning software like ITSEEZ3D.
We learned the basics of each program. We learned how we could use the powerful and complex platform of Unreal Engine software to create a virtual world that gives you almost infinite creative possibilities. It offers you the possibility to add any possible 3d object or characters to the stage you create, images, textures, videos and sounds into it. It offers the possibility to create the illusion of having cameras filming the animations and stages you create in the unreal environment.
What I learned
I got to try all the programs and also run into every possible problem you can think off! It was an interesting, frustrating and fun process at the same time. After many hours and struggles with the computers and software I could only get to the point of importing a character to an Unreal environment I created and a couple of animations that worked a some kind of digital animated self portrait of me as an exhausted I.T.P student. I learned how much time you have to spend with this kind of software to really be able to start creating an animation piece.
This groundbreaking hallmark masterpiece was conceived when Mai thought about how sad was leaving Uni and Snictzel at home everyday, when she left her place. We started asked ourselves what could the cats do while she was away all day. They have a box that they love to play with. So we thought about creating a story about the cats going inside of it. Then the idea of breaking the boring routine of waiting at home led us to think about the possibility for the cat’s escaping to a parallel reality or world through the portal.
We then thought about them going to party and meeting with some other animals and then coming back home with their new friends as a surprise for Mai. We then talked about how crazy was Las Vegas, and realized we could send them to this dream like or nightmare kind of city.
We then started to gather the material and preparing the assets. Then as we started to produce the animation we realized we could simplify the story and to add a better surprise element for the end of the story. We decided to have the cats gambling and winning a million dollars, and then returning home as Lions.
What we learned:
We learned basic after effects skills, like how to animate the characters, and how to move the cameras. We realized how much work an animation piece requires. How each single detail requires so much time. Also how important the asset creation is, so you can be able to create a smooth, natural and convincing animation. We where able to use a photographic collage look for our animation.
What to improve
We need to practice after effects and spend a lot of time into it, to fully take advantage of the programs possibilities and potential. We could also try to have a longer version of the animation, or a more detailed one, while keeping the same style and look. We also have to ad the other cat to the scenes between the first an last.
The link to enjoy Catsino Royal’s first version:
The idea of this exercise was doing a short animation stop motion story.
The process of nonsense was completely about playing and having fun. We decided to have the theater of the absurd as a reference and starting point. We then decided to work in a playful way, improvising along the way. The basic rules we followed where doing something that made no sense at all, so people would “make sense” and make their own interpretation of the action on the video. With these rule, we also decided to choose a few elements to play with. We chose objects that had almost no rational or use connection at all, such as elephants, dice, car toys and a coin. Then, the rest just happened while we started shooting the frames and moving the pieces across our stage. For the stage we decided to use a green background, so we could then make a surreal stage for the action to take place.
After finishing all the shooting, we constructed the audio to create a surreal and playful environment. We recorded the sounds produced by the toys we used, and we found an open source soundtrack that had elephants as a source of inspiration. Then started to imagine the background. We decided to look for a sky to make it very dreamlike. We found this colorful sky that worked perfect for us, and also had this pink tones that made us think about hallucinating and seeing pink elephants.
When we played the animation with the sound, we laughed and realized there could only be one tittle for this: Nonsense.
What we learned
We found out how much expressive potential the stop motion language has. We learned how to work with Dragon frame. We also understood how important is the stage design for creating a stop motion project. We had good luck with that part of the process. We took our time to create a confortable environment to play around with our elements. Still, it was hard to move the elements around the stage. We learned how important is the coordination between the person that moves the stage and the photographer. We learned to work in a different non rational mode, giving chance and intuition some room to make unexpected things happening. We also learned how to embrace the stop motion language and turn it in our favor to give way to a particular look and feel that is coherent to the action.
What to improve
Talking about the project with everyone at class, we came to the conclusion that the animation was very fun, but it could have a little bit of dramatic tension in it, so it would be more shocking and even funnier.
The link to watch our first “Masterpiece”, we hope you enjoy it! Nonsense