Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Animation alpha!

All righty! Finished a quick alpha of the animations + a quick-edit of the introductions of the characters. Didn't have time to finish the music for this yet, but it's looking good. Going for a non-intrusive ambient track, although I'm still playing with the idea of going all out cartoony with the soundtrack. But I think that might be a bit much in combination with a voice-over. And by the looks of the animation currently, I do believe I'll need some light voice-over in the clip to explain what's happening, even if I'll try to keep it to a bare minimum with the information.


  1. Hey Seb,

    I watched this and just smiled and smiled. I think the pop-out designations of each character work charmingly - love that slight push on them too, just keeps the whole thing moving. I've got to say that this is crying out for 'cartoony' in terms of sfx; indeed, it would be weird if you didn't take it to that level. Not sure you should be inhibited in the slightest; your instincts serve you well, Seb, so I encourage you to follow through on this. So many nice touches - the T cell is very, very cute. 3 observations to make:

    1) I think the introduction of the pathogen could be built up just a little bit more - he pops in very quickly and then it cuts to his description right away, and I'd suggest the comedic 'eye' is a bit lost at the moment, and it feels as if the audience needs a bit more time in the space before they're introduced to the character; maybe a bit more business with the 'breaking and entering' stuff - just to let us settle in more comfortably?

    2) I know Peter will pick up on this too; your pathogen is too neutral-looking still - everything else you've got in there is so 'just so', but the pathogen doesn't 'say' pathogen - and yes, you tell us, but even the colouring makes me 'fond' of it - like a cute baby dinosaur's face or Fraggle. I know you're up against it in terms of time, but can you resolve a tweak that just categorises your baddie more, well, more obviously. Your animation is gunning for broad appeal, which means it can afford to evoke a cliche or two where necessary. Maybe not so much 'evil' as 'sneaky'? I'd say definitely that the colour isn't reinforcing this character's role; there's a confusion there.

    3) There's something about the staging of the sequence starting around 1:38 when the antibodies are first seen attacking the supporting pathogens (not the main character pathogen) that feels a little directionless and lacking in energy. I'm guessing you want to keep those first attacks at a mid-distance, so you can use the close-up to reposition the original pathogen character in our heads - but I felt myself crying out for more of montage approach here - something more 'actiony', so that you cut in with some close-ups of the antibodies as they struck, and then cut back to mid-distance and back again - something choppier to convey excitement?

    As I said, there is much to admire here and much of it is working nicely indeed. But your pathogen - yes, it's not quite right...

  2. Valid points indeed! Gonna work on music next so might have some more on that in a few days.

    1) I agree that he pops out quite suddenly. A thing to notice though is that this version is still missing the intro, which is basically title, UCCA, UOK etc etc, then a panning of the surrounding with a few bloodcells floating past and the voice-over going something along the lines of "Every once in a while, a pathogen manages to break though the bodies innate defences" -> pan to scene1. But it is still too quick of an entry without much struggle on the bacterias part. So I'll add some time and effort on that.

    2) I do get what you mean, although I don't really see a bacteria as "evil" seeing it's only doing what it needs to survive. But still, I'll see what I come up with to paint my pathogen in an sneaky light. (Already added evil eyes :D ) I'll repaint the textures for one, maybe work on getting some more gross abscesses in there and make narrower eyes and see if that gets me anywhere. Not too keen on adding any Beagle-boys headbands, devil-horns or other props to get the point across, but we'll see.

    3) Sounds like a great idea! I usually end up with a too fluid (boring) camera movement. So I'll try to spice up that bit.
    Also, not too sure about the "waking the T-killer"-scene as I feel it should come before antibodies attacking bacteria, but it really felt out of place when I had it there. Might be it just needs a better transition but something feels odd about it.

    Thanks for the comments! Keep 'em coming!

  3. Hey Seb - yep, okay - I see you've got the first section well in hand then. What, no horns? What's the matter with you? Call yourself a character designer - and yes, you're right - the pathogen is 'innocent' in objective terms, but I think that's a subtlety the general public can forgoe.