1003: Icarus

During my animation I struggled with the timings and framing of some of the scenes. I ended up animating a lot of the motion from multiple angles in order to get the best results and to disguise some of the faults with the rigs.

Below is one of the scene trials-

new board

And the test for the final head scene-


I found it useful to have lots of notes of things like specific frame timing and light intensity.

I created a soundtrack from freesounds.org. I first picked the bubbles and then added the splash and cello sound. I knew I wanted a crowd as an ongoing background noise, so in the end I spent more time changing the amplification of the tracks than actually brainstorming what I wanted.

Here is the finished piece-


What I like- I like both my character’s designs and how they look next to each other. I ended up toning down the Amphitrite design by reducing the number of colours, and by keeping Icarus’s design down to 3 colours it helped give the piece a matching look. I worked for a long time on the face UV map and Blend shapes for Icarus and I think they turned out really well. I focused on the faces a lot as I knew I would have close ups in the animation. I didn’t want the faces to look dead or low quality.

I worked on the soundtrack last but during the animation I had a basic idea of what I wanted to sound like. The lighting and choir in the background both work well to create the unreal atmosphere. I wanted it to be obvious Icarus was underwater but I also wanted to place to seem dreamlike and it to be obvious he couldn’t leave.

The lighting is probably my favourite non-animated part of the film. I spent a long time getting the colours and intensity of the fill lights right. I needed them to have filters and not create too dark shadows. They were really effective in creating the environment, particularly in the first two cuts.

I ended up with about 45 seconds of animation, but because I used a new camera for each render I could edit much faster and re-render when things went wrong. Having lots of production material and a good system for animating made the creation much quicker.

For the actual animation I think a few parts like the swimming movement, the blends shapes and the head movement are really good, but in some parts the rig limited me in what I could do.

What I don’t like- When i rigged the hands I removed the finger rigs so in some scenes the hand clips around. I don’t think it’s that noticeable but it is a fault that I should’ve really gone back to fix. The shadows are a bit inconsistent but as I like the lighting so much it’s not too big of a deal.

I ended up with about 50 seconds of finished animation at the end, and by the time I managed to edit it down to 35 seconds I wasn’t able to hold the final scene like I wanted, so I’m not sure it it finishes to quickly.

Overall I like it. I managed to tell the story I wanted to, rig and animate two characters, and create a finished piece. Although it isn’t identical to my storyboard I like the film I’ve made. I think reducing it down to two physical character and a spotlight representing the sun makes a tighter story than introducing backgrounds or sea animals would.


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