may 15 – final animation presentation


(link to powerpoint)

feedback on presentation:

  • character-driven story: very much so, did not fully realise until looking back retrospectively, scenes and stories built around main charas
  • if submitting to eg. brighton film festival – slow down credits, adjust slight editing lagging issues with certain shots to give a smoother effect


notes from other presentations:


genre research: sci fi


  • ‘notoriously male genre’ – only because of overriding dominance of male-centric stories told in film and males within film industry, something that needs to be addressed and changed
  • reflective of patriarchal society of how even in future speculative alien worlds, women still don’t exist and aren’t given the same opportunities as men to live out adventures of leading protagonists
  • sense8 and outlander – both shows i have watched and enjoyed greatly especially because of the mentioned focus on balancing out sci-fi as an inclusive genre that includes people from all walks of life, breaking stereotypes and social norms
  • ‘feminisation of sci fi’ – i would strongly disagree, hint of a degrading tone much like saying ‘why are women ruining sci fi for everybody’, also is not just about gender but more about including diversity and increasing acceptance, showing a wider variety of society on screen and not just the straight white male

relating to genre animation:

  • reflective of how engrained patriarchal values are in our society – of how we assumed our characters would be ‘he’ and male, do they have to have a gender? could they be female?
  • pushing boundaries of sci fi as a genre – our film coming together and having elements of a rom-com in its feel, could it be an intergalactic love story?

post production

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  • found i particularly enjoyed doing the foley and editing audio SFX together, hadn’t previously worked this detailed on SFX for any project
  • creating the impression of sounds was more effective than actual realistic sounds, for example metallic noises for crowder were created from a variety of sounds (beans been shaken in a can, metal chains dropped on floor, assorted metal being hit on other metals)
  • editing – found a lot of excess footage in our shots that was unnecessary (still shots of a scene without any movement, lingering too long on parts), editing out critically to fit the flow of the story and film
  • colour grading – making exterior shots slightly more muted and blue toned to fit wasteland sci fi theme, interior shots balancing colours as lighting turned out very yellow
  • logo design – been talking as a group for a long time about designing a logo, went through many designs after discussion and sketching

filming process

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using dragonframe:

  • relatively simple process, had most trouble with seeing when things were in focus –> solved this by zooming into screen and using focus cue cards on the set to ensure focus
  • kept aspect ratio at 2.39:1 cinemascope to create cinematic effect for animation

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filming on set setup:

  • setting laptop on higher table allowed whole team to see filming process and identify any problems (hands in shot, blutack/tape sticking out, movement of props
  • ideally would have set placed on a higher table as the height was too low, had to stoop all the time to adjust and animate puppets
  • having large scale storyboard

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  • animating process: tried to set up teams for rota filming but ended up more effective to just stay as a unit for longer periods of time without switching and setting up/packing up

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  • whiteboard planning and writing lists/schedules really helped us to stay on task + communicate between groups in morning/afternoon when people weren’t around
  • clear filming list daily in chronological order so whoever was filming would know instantly what needed to be filmed

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  • storyboard – was always being edited and re-edited, shots taken out and shots added to fit story chronology better
  • crossing off shots after they were filmed to keep on track of progress


puppet construction process


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  1. felting kit to add texture to body – was advised by virpi and ended up being a time-effective way to construct the puppets and create a to-scale realistic texture
  2. crafting the base structure of doobee out of blocks of wood, drilling in holes for K&S and twisted armature wire


3. attaching latex covered armature wire limbs to main wooden structure – if we could redo this process we would dye the latex first before dipping the wires as acrylic paint flaked off the latex afterward and did not look as effective

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4. felting doobee – was a long process but worthwhile to get the ‘fuzzy’ effect that worked really well, would work for crower as well


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  1. creating body out of wood, legs out of 3D printed elements – had ideas on making a joint to make legs moveable but found twisting armature wire worked better and was an easier, more feasible solution
  2. K&S used to insert joints into wooden body – created stable joint that didn’t move

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3. painted parts ready for assembly

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4. assembling parts together and texturing legs further with shades of paint to create rusted effect as plain black looked too flat, needed more personality and realism





march 9: lighting workshop/tutorial with Marc and Misha

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  • raised issue of lighting backdrop after discussion, has multiple layers and would cast shadow on back layers –> light with even light LED panel? light from above to cast more even light?
  • analysing script to see which main times of day/environments/moods needed helped to figure out lighting, mainly night vs day for both interior and exterior
  • experimenting with gels, creative lighting: creating idea of time of day with unconventional colours eg. suspense with green, warmth/danger with red

construction of interior/exterior set

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  1. experimenting with hexagon construction out of foamboard vs toilet roll and modroc –>modrock added very important layer of strength to structure to keep its shape, prevent it from falling over
  2. creating small sections of hexagon wall –> good way to
  3. fitting smaller sections into larger one to create structure of wall

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4. modrocking together entire structure –> we were concerned it wouldn’t be strong enough for such a large structure but ended up being really tough, impressed with the strength and physical properties of modroc, will definitely consider for future projects

5. spray painting beehive wall structure –> were concerned about colour looking too sand-like, but turned into the perfect honeycomb colour when sprayed onto structure

6. texturing tree out of modroc and paint layers – using pictures of real tree bark was very helpful in achieving a realistic texture (‘trees aren’t brown’), took many more layers than we thought it would, was worth the effort to add different layers of dimensions and colours


7. coloured structure for wall, adding thin layer of PVA and tissue paper on the  back to create translucent wall – water coloured over with yellow, acted like a gel would and created yellow light that was perfect for backlighting our set.

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8. making floorboards out of plywood sheets – had problems with keeping boards same texture and same even height as we used scraps  –> solved problem effectively with watercolour stain in shades of red and browns


9. final wooden floorboards effect – took some time and effort to make it look ‘realistic’, had to create gradient on each board and put filler in between but was worth it for the final effect, looked really effective on camera especially

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10. assembling beehive made of modroc and tree onto exterior set: team would measure the different elements onto the set at regular points during making – this helped us to keep in scale and make sure nothing looked out of place in overall set


11. texturing exterior base with sawdust and paint – provided really convincing to-scale texture for soil, was experimentation on a whim as we did not want to use real soil and we had lots of sawdust leftover from previous making, turned out to be very successful


12: further texture on all elements with scale grass – adding textures of a garden exterior with moss covering to tie all elements together visually, make them look like they exist in the same space


13. testing out puppets in set during making – seeing the first visual of our vision come together was really satisfying, knowing efforts hadn’t gone to waste! was able to make adjustments on furniture placement to allow enough space for both characters to move comfortably


14. completed and dressed, lighted set – really pleased with final effect, captured the cluttered ‘lived in’ feeling we needed for Doobee’s home. only issue were curtains for the windows, fabric was very stiff and did not bend and looked out of scale. wetting with water and manually creasing them helped slightly, though would’ve been more effective with another softer fabric

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15. completed exterior set with backdrop and lighted – very pleased with final effect, all elements blend together really well, though rectangular shape of base limited the angles we could shoot at as the edges of set would show up on camera, had to compensate by zooming in further and only shooting from specific wide angles