Sunday, 30 September 2012

Unit 7: Narrative - Rough Ideas for Narrative

  • Idea #1

Synopsis: A child is sitting in the back garden of his house gazing into the sunset with a warm smile on his face. The child turns hearing his mother call him, he opens his eyes and his world comes crashing down before him becoming the cruel reality that is his life.

  • Idea #2
Synopsis: A moth breaks from its cocoon and lands on a tree a polluted gust of wind coats the tree turning it black degrading its bark. The moth is then injured by a passing black bird. A second cocoon can be seen on the degraded tree when it hatches it produces a black moth that blends seamlessly with the bark on the tree.

  • Idea #3
Synopsis: A factory worker is put on the spot when he insists that he can do a better job at weaving cloth then the factory's new deluxe machine. In an attempt to save his job the man attempts to sabotage the machines wire which only makes it work faster.

  • Idea  #4
Synopsis: The farmers wife awakes from her slumber moaning and groaning, she knows that she has to do a huge list of things to make her tribute cheese for the next morning. In an act of rebellion she decides to mutilate her recipe and destroy the reputation of her cheese so she no longer has to make it. The only thing that she succeeds in doing is making it more addictive.

  • Idea #5
Synopsis: A young child sneaks into his father's Iron Forge when his father steps away for lunch. The clumsy kid makes a mess of his father's work and quickly tries to create another. Doomed to fail the kid runs away, the father re-enters the scene and chuckles before placing an exact replica of the glass sculpture his son accidentally broke.

  • Idea #6
Synopsis: A man sits on the street with his head in his hands lost to the world, with flashbacks of him and a woman cutting in intermittently. The man climbs to his feet and glances at a tower billowing smoke in the distance. The man walks into his house, hangs his coat and sits down next to the bed side of his wife. The man leans over and kisses her on the forehead before covering her face with the blanket and bursting into tears.

  • Idea #7
Synopsis: A man is pioneering a steam based heating device for boiling water only he cannot quite crack the design. The steam evaporates the water before he can pour himself some. Eventually the man adds a protruding cylinder allowing the heat to escape. This ends up becoming a bizarre looking kettle.

Unit 7: Narrative - Visual Research/Imagine FX Magazine

Hello Everyone,

Got another little update it almost slipped my mind. Last week I brought in what I refer to as "the brown box" for my colleagues to have a look at. Basically it contained numerous issues of a magazine that I am subscribed to. "Imagine FX" is a magazine for creative individuals and showcases many talents concept art across the world. Lydia and Anita started going through a few of these magazines.

The girls got through 6 issues of the magazine (shown above) taking roughly a single image from each that summed up their visual ideas. I thought this method would be unique as opposed to just googling concept art, this way we get some influences from an untapped source. Its the same thing that I do in my written research, why limit your resources to the Internet when books are about?

Anyway below is the concept art that they picked for inspiration.

Well that concludes this little update, my personal favourite is the 6th one down comprising mainly of rough gesture strokes with a pen tablet brush. Once again elaborating on the painterly feel I'd personally love to see in our concept art. I will look into this style more tomorrow for when I get cracking on our character art.

To the girls I'd just like to say sorry that these were not put up sooner but at least they are there now. Please let me know if you would like to see any more of the magazines I have at mine same deal for books... :)

Well catcha later people!


Unit 7: Narrative - Industrial Revolution Visual Influence

Hello All,

I have been thinking about what I would look at for visual influence to our setting. It feels as though Lydia and Anita have covered the visual style which I personally hoped to become more painterly, leading everything with expression. For me the artwork of Guild wars 2 says painterly in so many words. To save making another map I thought I would provide a link below so you can check it out for yourselves.

Guild Wars 2 - Art Style:,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&biw=1920&bih=893&wrapid=tlif134905094148010&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=TuJoUIyJJKb80QW7_IC4Bg

I wanted the 2 influence maps I do have to become the focus above any visual style or tweak, as far as that is concerned I know we all have different ideas about visual styles but the theme is where we need to be together and agreeing or most of if not everything.

My first influence map (shown above) I created not only to capture industrial objects but was mainly to communicate the colour palette. Most of the images I have seen based in the Industrial Revolution are either grey or a muted copper. Any concept piece embracing the era tends to adopt the copper palette as seen above. I explained this in so many words to Lydia the other day but I wanted to be more descriptive.

The second influence map shows my current thinking towards a Narrative theme I am kind of caught between pollution and Child Labour although I'm quite sure we have a clear idea of our direction for the child labour route of animation. This map is purely me thinking out loud and will aid me when I am considering the characters for our little feature epic. The machinery and the Luddites remain a second thought as I will not be personally involved in the set (I hope).

Well I think that concludes my thoughts on the visual matter and research for the time being, I may create a third map when we have a style nailed down (for characters sake) but for the time being I think we are in a pretty decent place to get deeper into these ideas... Cant wait for tomorrow :)

Anyway I will catch you all later,
Hope you are enjoying the posts so far :)


Unit 7: Narrative - Industrial Revolution Research Themes

Hello Everyone,

Just thought I would drop by and lower in my two cents this weekend. I know we have a research document on display already but I thought it would be handy for us to do our individual searching to find common ground on what exactly it is that we find to be the most accessible subject on the Industrial Revolution.

We are all leaning quite strongly into the Child Labour angle but having done this additional gathering I have found a few other quite unique topics that may be worth a second look. My particular favourite is the Pollution angle where I found interesting research on moths changing colour to adapt to the colour variance caused by the Industrial Revolution.

Our initial chats with Alan last week allowed us to explore our Child Labour angle further, and while I did like the idea of Illusion backdrops created by our lost protagonist I was a little confused as to how we would get it to work.

Anyway my research document is below in case anybody wants to check out my thoughts and findings.

The Industrial Revolution Research Themes
Take it easy people!


Friday, 28 September 2012

Unit 7: Narrative - Influences

Now we're started developing a story (a draft script to be posted very soon), I thought I would start to research styles and images that could be useful as reference. The first influence map includes photos/drawings of factories and machinery. The second influence map includes 19th century artwork. This could be handy in terms of linking styles that were popular at the time to our animation. Lastly, I researched contemporary art inspired by the Industrial Revolution.

Factory Influence Map

Example of paintings from the 19th Century

Examples of Industrial Revolution inspired art

Unit 7: Narrative - Story/Style Ideas

Despite there being many positives during The Industrial Revolution, there were also a number of negatives which stand out for story ideas. During group discussions, we were pretty certain that we wanted a child to be the focus of the animation. One thought was that the secondary character could be a dog therefore, one of my story ideas was to show the relationship between the boy and dog, with the story ending in tragedy e.g. the death of the dog or boy. This could be due to the work or a disease which was common during that era. A child used in such a scenario would heighten the emotion stirred in the viewer. However, we came to the conclusion that such a story in which a relationship has to be built would not be best in a short animation.
In the meantime I was also researching style ideas, particularly drawn to work by Sam Bosma (work on previous post), giving me the idea of a pop up style animation using muted colours and stylised imagery influenced by the artist mentioned. However, while this is a possibility, further ideas seemed as though they would work better as a full 3D animation.
After a tutorial with our tutor, Alan, we realised one thing, that all the group members were touching on the idea of freedom vs. entrapment. Discussion then became focused on the idea of depicting a young boy's imagination throughout the animation. The audience believe that the boy is in a happy, peaceful environment, discovering towards the end that he is in fact working in an industrial factory His wild imagination saving him from the horrid truth. All agreed on a story idea, the script writing begins, as well as research into what the style of the animation will be.

Unit 7: Narrative - Industrial Revolution Research

Basic research on The Industrial Revolution:

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Unit 7: Narrative - Initial Visual Influence

For the Narrative Project, we have been given an Era to focus on, ours being the Industrial Revolution (our time period: 1800-1900). While researching about the events that define the era, we began to research styles that could help in triggering ideas. While flicking through a number of art magazines, there were a variety of styles that stood out. I was drawn to the work of Sam Bosma ( His work has continued to stick in my mind, so I thought it would be useful to document some examples in the form of an influence map. The illustrative style and muted colours could work well, in terms of fitting in with the period.

Unit 7: Narrative - Time Management (Part 1)

Hello People!!

Welcome to Smokestack Studios our little home away from home.

For those of you that do not know or are lost and have somehow stumbled onto this blog we are a small creative studio of students formed to combine our skills and collaborate on a one and a half minute masterpiece of 3D animated beauty using various Narrative Theories and a crate of red bull (I kid you not)...

We are students at the University of Creative Arts studying for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in CG Arts and Animation (years 2011-2014) and are currently studying Narrative as our collaboration project. I hope those paragraphs sound intelligent because in my head they sounded pretty correct...

I am David Vandepeer but I prefer Stitch (don't ask) my collaborative partners are Anita Gill & Lydia Caplan and together we are going to demonstrate our ability to function as an independent Animation studio to the masses (I guess that means everyone who reads this space).

Throughout the next 12 weeks various updates will be displayed on this site showing the progress of our Unit to those who cross this blog. There may be moments of rage, sleep deprivation and/or tom foolery but I encourage you to stick around...

Our personal blogs (the ones that drill into us individually a little more) are located below:

Anyway I think that's a good introduction into us so now I will get into the topic of time management which is what this post is actually about...

I, me, Stitch has been delegated the role of time management (due to my fussiness) for this I create what I call a task board of custom coloured post it notes that I blitz onto a white board to plan out the work loads on various days of the week (shown above). Sometimes jobs move or take longer in which case the post it note moves along with it and so until the work is created.... WITHIN DEADLINE!

This is just to add some structure to the proceedings but it also allows me to have a little fun figuring out the challenges we are to face with the brief. Once I have the work planned out I can move it to the rest of the group in the form of what I like to call a dead sheet (deadline sheet) which is usually accompanied by the clients brief... See below.

Usually with this we have a direction to go in with some margin for error left to save deadline calamities later down the line. As I usually say if a client asks you how long it will take to do a job and you know its seven weeks... you say 8 or 9 because fate can be a cruel mistress...
Anyway that concludes this little post I hope it answers some questions and shows that we are ready for our first collaboration brief. If you like what you see here thanks we appreciate it.
Okay I'm going to get another bull...
Catcha later!