I’m getting to a place where I’m comfortable with the amount of work I have left for the amount of time we have remaining. Today, I continued work on the animation, the bulk of which is almost complete (yay!) After another hour or so, It will be finished, at which point I can go through and add backgrounds, tweak details and timing, etc…
All of the decisions at this point have essentially been made; it’s just about banging it out now and producing the final product!
Today I’ve made the most-likely-final decision to submit my project on google docs, accessible via a download, as opposed to trying to create a youtube video or embed it into WP. I’ve done this because WP does not allow flash, and flash converters that allow me to upload to YouTube do not maintain the visual quality of the original animation. Making the decision to use a simple, although perhaps less internet-savvy/aesthetic, method of presentation will now allow me to focus my energy for the remaining duration of the project on creating the final product to a better standard and developing a presentation.
The animation itself is continuing to grow and develop. By Thursday, I hope to have the bulk of the plot animated so that I can simply add and tweak details from that point forward.
Some strengths of my project in its current state are the quality/style of the animations and the fluidity of the story.
A problematic area would be the lack of detail in the animation (background, possibly more frames to create a less rigid feel). Once the entire animation is complete in a “rough” state, I will go back through and add these components and refine the animation as a whole. It would also be nice to add background music, but I’ll take that on only after all the other issues have been resolved.
Speaking of other issues, the animation is currently a youtube video, thanks to a free swf converter. However, the free versions of these converters only allow me to make poor-quality (blurry) videos with logos/ water marks. So, right now, my biggest concern is exactly how I’m going to present a finished version of the project on WordPress (since WordPress doesn’t like swf/flash and I’m not savvy with coding). Maybe I can somehow record my screen as it goes through the animation and use that? We’ll see.
By the next due date, I plan to completely animate the plot and add a bit more detail to the animation. With unlimited time, I could create a much more seamless product, but the complex and tediously time consuming nature of animating makes that impractical. I will also add audio if time/technology permit, but my major concern is just getting the thing online in a way that is actually presentable (i.e. not blurry).
My project in its current phase can be found in the previous blog post.
Accomplished: So far, I have the plot of the story resolved and the two main characters constructed in Illustrator, as well as a plan for how I will get the .swf into WP.
Still Need to Do: I still need to create the actual animation frames, which should move much faster now that the characters are complete.
Questions/concerns: I’m a little concerned about the amount of work I have to accomplish in the time left. Making a frame-by-frame animation is pretty time consuming. However, I’m sort of manipulating the style of the drawing so that it’s not necessary for it to be very detailed. If necessary, I’ll pare back the amount of the story I’m actually animating. But fingers crossed for cranking it out!
Today, I started work on fabricating my characters in Illustrator. I’m freaking out a little bit because building the characters is pretty time consuming, and I have to draw them in a bunch of frames and positions to actually create the animation. I’m hoping that once I have the basics down, it’ll move a lot faster since I can copy and paste and use base layers as a starting place. If not though, there’s probably an impending mental break down. The back up plan would probably be just to animate a single scene, but I’m hoping I don’t have to pare back quite that much.
Today I finalized a sort of “storyboard” for my project, breaking it down into seven “frames” that will have fluid animation with some sort of transitions in between (the storyboard is currently in a text-only phase). After that, I began work on what the story will actually look like. Basically, I figured out the gist of Beauty and Beast… ya gotta start somewhere, right? I’m sure they’ll evolve, especially once I start drawing them in Illustrator. (I’m thinking I’ll have to pare back at some point for the sake of actually being able to complete this on time, since I have to draw each individual frame.)
Next, I’ll be working on a basic visual story board. From there, it’s into Illustrator I go!
Today, I somewhat reworked my project. I’ve decided to go with a satirical version of the story (short and sweet).. I think instead of making the story out of different pages with animated frames, I’m going to animate entire movie and have it play beginning to end, where text just appears on the movie (and just stays for several frames so it’s readable). As of right now, would have to refresh the whole thing to replay it, and no pause/play, etc… but now that I’m taking on less, maybe I can work out those kinks.
Other problems: cannot embed flash in wordpress… trying to convert it to a youtube video and then embed that into word press. (this would probably solve my pause/replay problem… need to find a youtube upload converter)
http://www.ehow.com/how_6796347_upload-swf-files-youtube.html swf to youtube how-to
http://www.dvdvideosoft.com/products/dvd/Free-YouTube-Uploader.htm#.Uzsh-PldWSo potential youtube uploader
Basic gist of the story:
*dad picks rose*
Beast: ARGHHHH I’M GOING TO KILL YOU
Dad: No, don’t! I’ll give you my daughter, the one I love more than anything even though I have 5 other daughters, because that makes total sense!
Beast: Oh, okay, that’s cool.
Dad to Bell: I’m sacrificing you to this beast guy because I screwed up and picked his fav flower. Sorry.
Bell: Okay, Daddy, I’ll do it because I love you
Beast: welcome to my castle, do whatever, but don’t touch my rose… I’ll be around, moping and what not.
Bell: okay, Beast.
Bell: oh Beast, my father is sick, let me go to him! I’ll come back
Beast: okay, but come back or I’ll die
*Bell forgets to go back*
Bell: oohhhh shit, I have to go back before Beast dies. I love him now, and that would make me sad.
Bell: Beast! I love you even though you’re hideous and I’m beautiful! It’s what’s on the inside that matters, kids! I accept my sexuality! Yes! ALL the good things!
*Beast turns into handsome, rich prince*
Beast: I love you too, Bell.
Bell: Well, that worked out nicely. I’m pretty glad you’re actually a super hot rich guy instead of an ugly monster. How awkward would that have been, if you didn’t transform?
*And they all live happily ever after the end*
Develop more refined story board– Thurs 4/3
Draw frames –Significant progress by 4/15 (peer review.convert what i have to youtube)
Tinker and make sure everything works
Get it online and functioning in wordpress
Due date — 4/24