Fourth Year

Nailing a style

One thing I had noticed from seeing the pitches of the previous years, seeing their inspiration and mood boards along with preliminary concept work and then seeing the final films is that many of them never followed through with their desired art style. One reason for this was leaving the art style exploration too late in the project in order for it to really influence their decision making, or that changing something this late would cause delays or be increasingly more difficult. In order to try and avoid this issue I am going to devote the early part of the project to experimenting with art styles and accommodating the animation to fit within it.

Stylistically, one of my main goals for this film is to avoid the ‘CG look’. I want to work within the limitations I have but avoid creating the typical “cookie cutter” looking film. It’s very easy to scrutinise every tiny detail of a CG animation, there is a level of perfection and polish that need to be crafted within even the tiniest nuances of the film. Whilst I still want to achieve this level of detail, I would also like to mitigate some of the attention through the art style.

My hope is to achieve a 2-dimensional feel to the film, so that it gives the impression of more traditional methods. To do so I will be making studies of the artists that appear in my inspiration and mood styles, not just using it to try and give others an idea of what my film will look like. I will learn the methods from the artists, experiment with incorporating different elements and then try to bring these concepts into the 3d software. I will also be learning something I have avoided for many years out of fear… Colour theory. A secondary goal for the pre-production aspect to this project is to learn better methods of creating concept work, figuring out the use of colour and style within the early stages and hoping to maintain it right upto the final render.

I used last years project to better learn composition through abstraction (you can find the composition and abstraction here), My hope is that the colour theory and style adaption will further this knowledge and give me more confidence in the art direction for future work.

The two main influences I have for the project are Goro Fujita, and Yun Ling. There will also be a few others such as Ian Mcque, Pascal Campion and Lois van Baarle. You can find some specific examples of their work in relation to my film here.

Besides the Visual look of the film, I will also be experimenting with the timing of the animation in order to imitate more traditional methods. I believe that the visuals wont be enough to convince the audience but the very nature of the movement in the film must also adapt to the art style. I’ll also be experimenting with different rendering processes and production techniques such as virtual reality as a creation tool rather than a means for the film to be consumed.

My initial attempts for imitating the style of Goro Fujita and Yun Ling can be found below-

Goro’s work exhibits a masterful understanding of colour and light, he creates a sense of story, emotion and time on very basic forms just through the use of colour alone. One thing that I learnt in particular here was the degree to which local values are altered after being placed in an environment. Even through hard brushes and little blending or rendering, the selection of colour and how each affects the other is the key to feeling a scene rather than simply seeing it.

Yun Ling on the other hand uses only hard brushes and no blending at all for his no texture series. Hard colour against hard colour describes the forms rather than drawing the form itself. His work starts with a much more abstract process, filling large block shapes and describing the motion of the scene along with the values. His work reads as a realistic piece from a distance broken down into abstract forms, and like Goro, an incredible understanding of colour.