Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Minor Project: Social Anxiety Disorder

After some feedback from Phil I have decided to work with Social Anxiety disorder and working with visuals metaphors.In other words, their will be two worlds within my animation the inside world: the house, german expressionism inspired, dark colours, grey, purple, browns and suffocating; and the world outside their window is lovely, colourful, playful and enjoyable, bright colours yellows, greens and blues. We will see the character overcoming their social anxiety and her trying to leave the house to previal make it back into the world but the house won't let her leave. It physically stops her from leaving but in the end the character will previal and make it back into the world. 

This animation will be a visual metaphor of being imprisoned by fear and anxiety. After firguring out what my idea is, I have gone away and researched what it is like to have social anxiety disorder, here are some symptoms and a couple of short films about the condition. 


And here is a documentry about Social Anxiety.

Matthew’s story

Matthew skipped class today. It’s the first day of the new semester, and he’s afraid that the professor will go around the class and have the students introduce themselves. He knows it shouldn’t be a big deal, but it really stresses him out. Whenever he has to speak in front of more than just a few people, his voice starts shaking and his face gets red. He always feels so humiliated afterwards.
Since public speaking is Matthew’s worst nightmare, he’s been avoiding a speech class he has to take in order to graduate. He’s also dreading his brother’s wedding, even though it’s over six months away. As the best man, he’ll have to give a toast at the reception and he’s already nervous about it.


People with social phobia tend to:

  • Be very anxious about being with other people and have a hard time talking to them, even though they wish they could
  • Be very self-conscious in front of other people and feel embarrassed
  • Be very afraid that other people will judge them
  • Worry for days or weeks before an event where other people will be
  • Stay away from places where there are other people
  • Have a hard time making friends and keeping friends
  • Blush, sweat, or tremble around other people
  • Feel nauseous or sick to their stomach when with other people.

After researching into this disorder it actually makes me think that I myself have experienced anxiety and I think to a degree I understand what these people are going through. Altogether this research will allow me to understand my character better when designing and animating.

Also in the second video they describe Social Anxiety with a voice in the back of your head. This idea of someone telling you to not to do something I can use this for my house in telling my character, ''not to go'', ''Where are you going?'', ''They wont like you out there''. 

Some more personal stories on this disorder can be found here:

Mr Allen says he started by designing the Anxiety monster as anxiety is something familiar to him meaning he found the design came naturally

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Minor Project: 2 possible ideas

After thinking about what it is I want out of the project I have decided on two ideas of which only one will be taken forward to complete for this year. I want to produce one or two characters that are completely figured out in terms of character and personality and to have them fully functional and animatable; I want to improve my 2d concept art and sketching to a professional standard too whilst also improving my 3d skills too. 

Minor Project Goal

To have fully completed characters, this includes: designed, modelled, textured, rigged, skinned and turnaround. Also to have concept art done of the environments taken place with a full animatic of the story too. 

End of Year Goal

 To have a complete animation ranging around the 4 minute mark or less in ready for new designers. I want to take my viewers on an experience and for them to feel for my character(s). 

Idea 1  - One Man's Journey

 This idea is set with a singular character that works as an office worker, he's bored and fed up with life and does not have much to live for. Until he discovers an opposite world to his own - an dream world - but at the end of the animation he has to realise that he still lives in the normal world. This idea of when you have a great imagination the world can be whatever you want it to be!

The opposites are obvious here the mundane worker and the dream world, I'm unsure what the dreamworld would be at this time but some design choices are: 

  • The colours will contrast the everyday world with muted colours browns, greys, grayish hues to the environment. Where the dreamworld is vibrant and colourful! 
  • Perhaps this world could on top of itself, inside out, upside down. 
  •  Could be an abstract world with warped versions of reality. 
The ways I thought that he could enter this world is via puddles, mirrors, windows etc.  or  He finds a pair of glasses that give him the vision to see this new interpretation on the world. 


 Idea 2 - The Beast At Home

 This idea includes two characters a child and their mother. The child is an every day child who doesn't like going to school, but what is at home is even worse for them! She is scared to come home to the evil step mother who has a personal dislike to the child, treats her like crap and shouts at her given any opportunity. All she wants to do is escape to her room away from her step mum, but will the house let her? 

This idea is based on an advert to do with parents drinking problems and how children see them through their own eyes. I found this interesting and thought of adapting this to an animation to raise awareness of how children are effected by mistreatment. 

From a design standpoint I want the house to play a factor like in the film Monster House  where the environment is also a character within the animation and its all about her reaching the end goal, her safe zone, the bedroom. 

The colours will play a huge role when setting the mood of the animation as I want the audience to really feel for the character and what they have to go through. The environment itself will be low lit like an old horror house in a suburban American environment with the child coming home from school. 

Here again are some influences on how I want this animation to look in terms of character design and environment: 


Overall I am liking both ideas I feel as though the second one has more drama behind it and may impact the audience a lot more and therefore I am leaning towards this one, also I haven't done female characters or younger characters, so this would be an exciting journey to take! 

Anyways before I ramble on too much, I would like to know your opinion in which one has more potential for my minor/major project.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Minor Project: New Ideas!

Moving away from schizophrenia I have been brainstorming ideas around dream worlds and comparing it to mundane environments and thinking about opposites for my animated short.  For example a regular business man going from day to day work to then exploring abstract worlds that are the opposite of his everyday life.

I thought this idea of opposites of the everyday life and an abstract dream world is interesting to work with. Some ideas of how the character can enter these worlds are: Through windows/mirrors, falling in puddles etc.

Some design choices that might happen in the opposite world:

  • the world is upside down
  • everybody is balloon like
  • low gravity
  • maybe an artistic style that shows through the environment
  • Atmospheric (Feeling)
Another idea is that the character enters the world unexpectedly and he can go in and out by something as simple as sneezing for example.

Maybe when this character enters the dream world his touch might affect the objects in the environment such as touching them makes them balloon or change colour for example.

Another Idea is the character entering the world by looking through something, for example a pair of glasses. Thinking of the animation I could cut from the dream world to the normal world where the character believes they are, for example: jumping into fields of big marshmallows; and it cuts to them lying all over a top of a car, this is only one example of an instance that could happen. 

Again thinking about style and what I want it to look like:

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Minor Project: Project developement

After doing some research and looking back at script to screen I feel that having a character with different personalities  gives me opportunities to create a funny and unique animation. I am still deciding how I can use the different personalities within one character. I like the idea of the character going through a dream state environment focusing on different colours that symbolise different personalities inside the mind. 

Or maybe it could be a character fighting against them self in order to do something?

Throughout my time of being on the course I have thoroughly enjoyed designing the characters and modelling them in Maya. I feel pretty confident in that respect but I have yet to practise environments so I am thinking to keep the environments few and have them more atmospheric rather than a big 3d landscape. 

I've been looking into some poems about schizophrenia which I could use for as a basis of a narrative for the animation. Here are a few I liked.

The Thought Thieves
By Dan Hoeweler

I think a thought
Of which they take
They create an idea
Which is fake

An idea that was mine
A thought that was fine
A heavenly vision
On a mission

They take them so boldly
And kill them solely
To enslave and control me
And trick and fool me

I’m starting to think too much
They know it now
I feel my memory
Being erased somehow

What was I saying?
How am I here?
Who am I speaking to?
This is so queer.

I found this one interesting because it is describing other characters that control the character rather than the character being in conflict with them self. 

Blast Off To Insanity
By Dan Hoeweler

They say I am mad
That I am evil
And creepy
That my genes are corrupted
And my brain is deformed
That my actions are freaky
That my behaviour is not the norm
They then ask me the question
“Sir why are you this way?”
I tell them as such: “A genetic predisposition An environment unsound
The reasons for madness Don’t matter to me
For I believe In the world Of impossibility”
Wacko Schizo Psycho and nuts Call me whatever
I don’t mind For I can escape To a strange world
And leave you behind.

I’ve seen places from hell
with fires and flames
Of torture and madness
It’s name is taboo
Psychosis, psychosis
Does it scare you?
Madness, Madness
A self destruct button
That I pressed
Years ago
To blast off on a mission
To a planet
Where the aliens are free
To play with
My memories
Here things are different
Many say they are strange
Here it’s the “normals”
That are deranged
If you want to be different
If you want to be free
From logic and reason
Then come and meet me
On this strange planet called

I rather like this one too as it is about a misunderstood character and it resolves with the character showing the audience that it can be better to be mad than 'normal'. 

Or the character interacting with something that makes them feel and certain way like people around them and other influences or objects that they have ouched or encountered. 

Another idea is a character in conflict with them self like a character in the mirror or with their shadow arguing with them self or conflicting in some way or another. 

Here are some animations that I have been looking at: 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Personal Work: King Frog

This year I want to use my time not only to do project work but to do more personal work too, obviously when the work load piles on I wont do as many but I want to try and keep it up to improve my painting and drawing. This is the first of many hopefully that I produce throughout the year, any comments are gladly welcome :) 

Minor project: Idea Developement

Here is my script to screen project it was an overall successful project as far as I'm aware. The only problem I can remember was the story was a little confusing and looking back at it now I can see why. The idea was the 'performer' was in a mental asylum and one half of his personality was a musician and the other was a magician. He thinks he is putting on a show for a big producer but finds out it is for his doctor and he is still marked as a mental patient, I think the story got a bit lost when the musician came in. It got a little confusing but could be fixed.

This idea of the audience being lead and then found out to be something else is rather interesting and I could use that for my animation. The final animatic can be seen here:

And after watching Zelig It showed me what I could do with one character. Whilst watching that film I had ideas of the single character going through an environment (this would be his mind) and as he travels through different versions of the same character would flash up next to him and remind him of the different personalities of himself.To then at the end to zoom out and reveal the character in a different environment.

Or an animation of a single guy going through different scenarios and becoming a like the things around him like Zelig.

The idea is still in progress but I'm liking the idea of a single character with different personalities and travelling through worlds that aren't exactly 'real' which would give me an opportunity to have a strong art direction for the animation.   

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Minor Project: Idea time!

Well now it is the time, the final year and hopefully and exciting one too! I want to really focus this year on improving overall as an artist and designer in both 3d and 2d. I want to achieve by the end of all of it; an overall animation and a well thought out character (possibly more than one) for the end result.

My main idea that I'm liking so far was working with this notion of schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder and apply it to a singular character who goes through different states of personality. 

1 - By studying schizophrenia I can see how it can affect a person. This would be interesting for character animation and character design especially. With this key concept I wanted to incorporate the environment as a big part of the animation too. I had an idea that the environment would change with the different personality changes on the character and this allows me to create abstract environments that reinforce what they are feeling. With this in mind it could also be linked to music and other sounds that change with the characters personality to help the audience truly feel what its like for one person to have multiple sides to them.

2 - I can relate this to my 'From script to screen' project with the guy in the mental asylum and different personalities and possibly being a performer on stage which reveals that he is in fact in his own little world. This is my second idea for the minor project. 

3 - Another idea was it could be more of an anthropomorphic character like a chameleon or other non human creatures. When the character touches something it changes the colour of the them and this effects the state of emotion or personality that the character is in, therefore incorporating colour into the design of schizophrenia/multiple personality disorder. 

schizophrenia is one of the most unknown illnesses on the planet and only 1% of Americans suffer from it so by creating and animation about it and showing it in animation format might bring some more light upon how serious it can be. 

Although after writing it down I do not want it to be all doom and gloom for the third year so I'd have to find a way to lighten the subject so it appears light and more fun perhaps with a dark humour to it?  maybe focusing on hallucinations and what that could be for a character, this could be interesting for environment designs and hallucinations.

Going onto more of a style approach the project I need to really find a style that suits me and what I need it to do. I've always liked the traditional look of animation such as Disney/Dream Works and I like painterly abstract environments, so hopefully I can find a good medium this year. Here are some style choices I want to approach for third year and how I want my work to look in the final stage.