Tag: aut

Visual Effects – Red Queen Trailer

Hello! I’m putting the YouTube links up the top here for the skippers TLDR the rest of this post.

Final Red Queen trailer.

Visual Effects Breakdown of three of my special effects.

The animatic I worked from.

I’m not actually going to be pursuing the Visual Effects pathway next year as I am choosing Animation, however, I have learned a lot this year, many skills that will serve me well in the years to come.

My Visual Effects project spanned the entire second semester, we had to conceptualise an idea for a 30-second film trailer, create the story, theme, write a script and treatment, create a storyboard, make an animatic, then film it, edit it and add special effects.

First up I want to thank my amazing friends who acted in it and helped me to film it, this wouldn’t have been possible without their crazy talent and enthusiasm, I owe you all a drink or cake or something. So thank you  Kalindi, Nathalia, Mel and Conor, you guys are amazing.

I based my whole idea around the book I had just read and really enjoyed and hope that they might make it into an actual Movie. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard which you can find by following this link to Goodreads. I have to say thanks to my friend Kate who suggested I read it because otherwise, I might not have found it.

Below are my treatments, script, storyboard etc.


Treatment: Red Queen v.1

We are inside a huge cavernous area, it’s impossibly tall. Below balconies where the royal and silver bloods sit a battle of epic proportion is taking place. Twelve girls battle for the right to marry Prince Calor take their place as the next Queen. Flashes of fire, and metal and water flash below an electric caged area as the girls use their magically ability to fight for supremacy.

Above in the balcony Mare, a young red blood girl serves her masters. She is dressed in a simple red cotton dress which marks her as a servant.

She serves a drink to a young noble who asks her to come sit a while, patting to his knee and indicating he wants more than just casual conversation.

Mare shakes her head, smiling demurely and backs away. Pausing to compose herself she leans over the balcony. A look of rye amusement crosses her face as she scorns the girls below. How they put themselves through such fight all for a boy is beyond her.

She glances across the battle zone expanse at the balcony which houses the Royal family, and at the Prince who had snatched her from obscurity and given her this demeaning job serving. She studies his face for a moment before chastising herself for own girlish fantasy and moves to go back to work.

As she steps back from the edge she bumps full bodily into the solid chest of the young noble who had asked her to sit with him. He grabs her arm and she shrieks and leaps back from him.

Before Mare realises what is happening to her she falls backwards over the barrier, landing with a thump on the electric barrier.

‘This is it,’ she thinks as she falls, ‘this is how I die’. (voice over?)

Her face tightens in anticipation of the electricity that is sure to flow through her body, but instead of devouring her, it embodies her, and lends her it’s strength. Sparks circle around her as she drops easily to the floor, her knees bending gently on impact with the ground.

She looks around her in wonder, but she doesn’t have much chance for reflection because the she is standing in front of Evangeline, the favourite to win the hand of the Prince.

Knives swirl around her body in a glinting display, she cocks her head and displeasure mars her otherwise perfect face. 

Both girls head off against each other, and as Evangeline rushes towards Mare to attack her lightening explodes and envelopes the entire scene.



My story is about a girl who is treated like a slave simply because of the colour of her blood. She is red blooded and their oppressors are silver blooded. Silver blooded people possess magical powers, the kings line can create fire, but there are other magical powers like the ability to mould and control metal, controlling magnets, controlling the mind, having skin that turns to stone and many more.

My story focuses on when the protagonist first finds out that even though she has red blood also possesses a magic power. There is a fight going on in the arena between the silver blooded, the like to hold these fights to show the red bloods how superior they are. The protagonist is a servant there but she falls from the gallery onto the electric force field.

She should be electrocuted and die but instead she becomes one with the electricity and becomes the lightening girl. The silvers in the area try to kill her but she uses her new found magical ability to control the electricity around her and knocks the antagonists away.



The theme I want to base my trailer on is: Society and Class, Identity, Power, and fantasy.
Other films in a similar genre I like are The Hunger Games and Divergent.



Script: Red Queen


Sounds of fighting can be heard below.


              Come here, sit a while.


              I’m sorry, I’ve got to get back to

the kitchen.


              Shakes head in disbelief


MARE backs away from Noble closer to the barrier


NARRATOR (Captions)

              In a world divided by blood and magic.

Sounds of fighting below slightly louder.



              I told you to come sit a while Red.

Screen dips to white, with red motive.


              The truth doesn’t matter.

YOUNG NOBLE grabs MARE by the arm.


              MARE pulls her arm from his grip.

              I Said no!

YOUNG NOBLE pushes MARE backwards.

MARE falls backwards over the barrier.


              MARE is falling

              This is it, this is how I die.

Mare squeezes her eyes shut and braces for impact.

MARE lands on electric barrier.

Electricity pulses around MARE, but MARE does not die.

MARES eyes open in surprise.


NARRATOR (Captions)

              It only matters what people believe.


Mare falls to floor and lands in a crouch. As she looks up she looks into the face of EVANGELINE. Knives magically circle her body.

EVANGELINE flings open her arms to attack MARE, MARE glances down at her hands as electricity dances around her fingers. MARE responds and electricity explodes from MARE.


Coming soon.

(If I need time add the TV idea in here – girl on glitch news cast, rise up, rise red as dawn speech)


Red Queen Title Hand drawn thumbnails 1 Hand drawn thumbnails 2 Hand drawn thumbnails 3 Hand drawn thumbnails 4 storyboard 1storyboard 2storyboard 3 storyboard 4moodboard

After filming my footage and editing it together I refined my idea of what type of simulation I was going to use in my project, instead of trying to emulate swords I decided that it would be better to stick to something that was more obviously ‘magical’ so instead gave them the power of creating fire. I went about this by researching how to create fire and electricity inside Maya and then how I was going to put this inside my project.

After talking to Mark and getting feedback on the clarity of my project I decided to put in a voice over that would more clearly define what my story was about.

Overall I am pleased with how this has turned out and I have learned a lot about creating a short film project from conception to final production.

Although I look at this and think to myself “IT’S SO AMATURE” I also have to stand back and give myself credit for the sheer volume of skills I have learned in such a short space of time. Skills that have thankfully been helpful in other areas of study.

I see that this lands very short of an operatic movie trailer, but I did try to keep in mind what I had learned about creating one and believe I have told a short concise story that would hopefully lead the viewer to want to watch the entire Movie.



Music used in animatic: https://app.box.com/s/sz2bi9hpt8icr21cumbk royalty free
Stock footage used in final production from: www.videezy.com royalty free
Sound effects sourced from freesound.org and the files provided by Jason on the K drive and created personally by me using Mix Craft Pro and Adobe Audition.
Background music by Joshua Empyre https://www.freesound.org/people/joshuaempyre/sounds/341953/

OHMYGodzilla MoCap Previs Final Assignment

godzilla Title Image

(Skip to the bottom if you just want to watch the movie.)

After hours and hours working on this assignment, it’s finally done. I’m not going to say it’s perfect by any stretch, there are quite a  few things I”d love to spend some more time on fixing but due to time constraints, two other assignments and an essay I have due in three weeks I am calling it a day on this. (Unless I have time to revisit before it’s finally due on the 25th October)

Here is the title I create for it, I feel like it sets the tone rather well.

I have learned A LOT over the last semester, this being my first introduction to Motion Capture it’s been a steep learning curve, but an exciting and enjoyable one. From my first class until now I am left enthused about the next two years and can’t wait to integrate the knowledge I have gained into my next project.

Overall I am pleased with what I have created, I just wish I didn’t zero in on the imperfections. That being said I will probably continue to work on this when time permits.

The process of MoCap wasn’t as complicated as I first expected it to be, the pipeline is mostly straightforward providing you follow the steps correctly and take the time to ensure each step is carried out correctly as each steps measure of success depends on the one that goes before it.

Having the previous knowledge of how Maya works has been helpful, and I have found that the skills I have learned in both Animation and Motion Capture have beneficial to both subjects, and hopefully means I will continue to deliver better work as I progress my learning.

I have found that taking responsibility for my own learning vital while doing this assignment, which has required watching other tutorials to also expand my understanding of the subject.

I have learned the importance of creating a strong story line from the start so when you are capturing your data you ensure a good end product that follows your script and storyline. I hope to improve these skills also. I believe that I have created an end product that kept in mind my original storyboard and also keeping in mind how this story will unfold in a 3D space.

When I undertake my next project I believe I will take greater care to film the live action from the camera angles I intend on using inside Maya, as it will help when animating characters expressions and finger placement. I will also take create care when capturing the data and fixing it. I have this strange issue with my male leads neck which I was unable to solve in every instance, taking greater care at the first steps should ensure I do not have this issue again.

Anyhow, below is my final edit. I’ll update it here if I make any more changes. Feel free to leave feedback. All constructive criticism is appreciated.

Motion Capture Data … Now what?

After spending the afternoon in AUT’s amazing motion capture room we have to fix our data in a program called Cortex. It’s not exactly hard, but it’s time-consuming and tedious and takes high attention to detail. At this point, I think our entire group started to realise the importance of capturing good data while recording.

Here is a screenshot of what cortex looks like, I actually forgot to take a screenshot, that’s how focused I was.



After fixing the motion capture data you import into Autodesk and the real fun can begin. To cut a longish story short this where you tell the character which part of the body belongs to which dot, so the motion can be transferred to it. I felt very Dr Frankinstine as  is saw my inert characters suddenly spring to life.


You repeat this process for each character, and THEN you can import them into your Autodesk Maya scene.

Maya Scene

After that comes the tricky process of making sure their hands don’t go weird, or pass through something that should be solid. I found this part tricky trying to handle all the different animation layers and the graphs. I had quite a few times where one of their arms would bend into a totally inhuman shape.

Reposition hands

Then when you have it playing out the way you like you position the cameras. We were given specific cameras to work with.


Then it’s just a matter of creating playblasts and assembling in Premier Pro and editing your audio. I can assure you this took a lot more time than I am implying here.

This is my first edit. In my next post, I will post my final Godzilla Previs. Which I loving refer to as Ohmygodzilla.

MoCap – Capturing the Motion

So apparently you don’t have to have stunning acting skills to ‘act’ for motion capture, but it helps to have some spatial awareness and a knowledge of how to overact, so I’m pretty glad that I ended up being the director for my very first Motion Capture assignment. I’m much more comfortable telling people what to do, although to be honest I kind of do want to suit up and prance around with balls velcroed all over my body.

You DO have to have quite a good imagination when filming for your data, as you are working in a room 24 camera’s and an empty set. It’s all in your head or taped out on the floor.

You can learn more about the AUT Motion Capture Lab here.

jeninsuit1  joshinsuit1
Here are Jenny and Josh dressed up in the suits practising their tree pose, which is the pose our actors get into at the beginning and end of each scene so we can align the data and eventually target our characters.

As well as capturing the action with the with the motion capture cameras we also use a video camera and to take reference footage. This will make editing easier. I’ll post our reference footage in the blog post with my first edit.




Brother Monkey World Warrior: GAME PITCH!


IBrotherMonkeyteaser‘m going to take a moment or two to let that actually sink it. I made a game (well the firstish level) I have big plans, and three kids with large expectations, so it’s a good thing I have  a few week’s off school work so I can work on it!

The aim of the game is to teach 5 to 10-year-olds about biodiversity and sustainability through the use of an interactive game and narrative play.

Brother Monkey World Warrior Game Trailer

My children were excited to be the test drivers of the beta version of my game and are already nagging me for more levels and gameplay. All three of my kids have amazing imaginations, so I have to admit to borrowing from some of their ideas for upcoming levels.

Play Brother Monkey World Warrior

Below is the beta version of level one. Please feel free to play it and offer any feedback in the comments section. If you would prefer to play this in your browser you can go directly to brothermonkeyworldwarrior.azurewebsites.net. Currently you can only play this game on a computer with a keyboard, but I am working on it being mobile responsive too.

Platform Game: Construct2 Learning & Azure

What I learned in class.

We have had several tutorials dedicated to learning Construct2. We made a simple platform game with aliens, we made a simple AI based game, like a game of ping pong, we made a space invader type game and broke apart flappy bird.

simpleplatform2simpleplatform1 simpleai1

To be totally honest I struggled to keep up in class. Coding, even simple l coding like in construct2 Doesn’t come easily to me, and it feels like I have to repeat something 50 times before I remember it.

However, something must have stuck in my head because after a freak out I realised that I could actually do it! I spent a solid week working on the mechanics and character design before sitting down and starting to have it out with Construct. It took me an entire day to figure out how to get my recycling bin working the way I wanted it to do.

I have to give credit to Hossein for getting me started and many of my fellow classmate for giving me advice and constructive criticism, my friends and family for test driving it and my husband who also helped me figure out some of the game logic and coding. And also my kids, for all their ideas and input.

Here are a few screenshots of my Construct in the making. I’ll post more about the creation in a later blog post.

bmgame-1 bmgame-2

Microsoft Visit

constuct-learningWe were really fortunate that the team from Microsoft came in to talk to us and take us through how to create a simple Construct game and upload it to Azure. If we hadn’t had this time with them I am not sure I could have produced a game at all! They presented the information in an easy to understand way and were very patient with me when  I asked them to clarify something or go over something again with me. Having them help me set up an Azure account was really helpful, plus reminding me that we could use our One Drive account as I hadn’t even thought about using that. In fact, I hadn’t used it at all. So thank so much to them for coming in and thank you to Britta for helping arrange that.

Huge thanks to Ovishesh Oberoi and the rest of the team, you can see what they taught us by following this link.

Game Review: The Scruffs Online

The Scruffs Online   The Scruffs Online

About this game: The scuffs online is a simple 2d platform type game where the aim of the game is to find objects hidden in a what seems to be the front yard of  a hoarder. I don’t have a hugely massive attention span when it comes to playing games but I found myself easily drawn into the simple mechanics of just simply finding an object.

First impressions: I really enjoyed the graphics of this game and I found the characters oddly charming. The way the introduction was animated put me in the mind of Warner Brother’s Limited Animation technique, where the main bodies of the characters stayed still and only the mouths moved.

What I really liked. I liked the fact that this game is a based on a word search type activity, but having a timer and having the timer speed up if you get click happy adds a certain amount of risk. I liked the way you could get help from the dog, who would bark faster if you get closer to the object you have to find, but I soon ran out of dog treats to feed him. I’m not one of the world’s most observant people so I found even the initial levels quite challenging, which kept me more entertained than many people might find it.

What annoyed me. As I previously stated, I’m not very observant, and with the clock ticking down, and my random desperate clicking speeding the timer up I soon ran out of time and to start the level again. I am not a huge fan of having to go right back to the beginning in a game so I soon got despondent with it and gave up.

Game Play. The game leads you into the story quite well, with voice actors telling you the background and prepping you for game play. Game hints pop  up on the screen when it’s evident you need them. The game only uses the mouse as the interactivity, so it’s reliant on you searching the screen to find the object you are looking for.

The nitty gritty. I found this game quite enjoyable and would most likely play it again. I am not sure what value at the paid version would add, this is something I’d only consider if I was totally immersed in the play, which at this point I don’t see happening.

scruffs5 scruffs6 scruffs7

You can try your hand at this game yourself on 2Dplay.com.


Brother Monkey World Warrior Game: Character Development and Mood Board

Brother Monkey – Love the world

That’s a working title, I’m not exactly sure what I am going to end calling my game, so if you have any great suggestions please do let me know.

As promised, here is a post about the development of my main character and hero of my game, Brother Monkey. Anyone who knows my family, know who Brother Monkey actually is, but for those who don’t, he is my daughter’s favourite toy, some might say, her one true love. She has said in the past “I’m not going to get married Mama, I’m going to live alone with Brother Monkey!” (We believe her!)

brother monkey - stylised

I did lots of googling on anime eyes and discovered a style called Chibi, I really liked the simplistic approach so I decided to try drawing that myself.

I started by doing a lot of different sketches of Brother Monkey, trying to get a feel for the direction the artwork for my game was going to take. I’ve included a few of my initial sketches. I had an idea that I wanted my characters to have anime style eyes to use as different expressions so I had a starting point of sorts.

I imported my images into Photoshop and then used my Wacom pen to styles the miniature Brother Monkeys I had created. The next step was vectorising my monkey so I skipped over to Illustrator to start work on that. It didn’t take long for me to realise that I wasn’t quite heading in the right direction.


brother monkey dev snippet

After awhile I started to go around in circles, thankfully soon after this my husband sent me a link to some gif’s by Eran Mendel, an Animation director and designer and I immediately fell in love with his style.

Eran Mendal - Animation

Brother Monkey SketchWith this style in mind, I went back to the drawing board and came up with an idea for my monkey. After playing around with this style in Illustrator and keeping in mind how small my character would be I decided to stick with the chibi style eyes rather than use the plain eyes in Eran’s Style.

After this, the process sped up some, but still took the time to work out proportions and create Brother Monkey’s backpack.

After three days of working on this, I have come up with the following character concept art.

Brother Monkey Character.

Stayed tuned for the next step, I still have lots more work to do!

Game Review: Spider Monkey

spidermonkey-intro1 spidermonkey-intro2 spidermonkey-intro3
Spider Monkey, round up. This game is a quick easy enjoyable came with super simple game controls. The graphics aren’t overly complicated but it all works well together. The objective is to rescue the tied up monkeys, get rid of the bad monkeys and earn points while you do it. To make the spider monkey jump you just use your left mouse button to click where you want him to go. At first, I thought that might be overly simplistic and easy, but I was soon found  there was more complex than I first assumed.

What I really liked. I liked the easy interactivity between the mouse and the character, the way the little monkey swung around made me smile. I liked the way the screen shook when the monkey fell off the trees and ‘dies’. It’s a great visual reminder that your character has taken a fall. I like the gratification of points and the checkpoints. I liked the way the game introduced you to the story, using a comic book style images to explain the back story.

spidermonkey-story1 spidermonkey-story2
What annoyed me. I found the double swing quite hard to master, so fell and died quite  a few times before I got the hang of it.

Game Play. The easy gameplay might make you think this game would be easy to clock, but my usual ineptness with games means that there is enough in the simple 2d game to keep me entertained for some a little while.

You can play this game for yourself for free in your browser at 2d Play.

Race to the End Board Game: Sheep Mania

Sheep Mania
The brief: To create a Race-to-the-end board game inspired by today’s newspaper. Tips: A game is fun, it’s a form of play, invite overall rules, goals, and formats. Capture the players interest with an attractive goal. Teach the rules in a seamless way, give feedback during play. What distinguishes this game from any other game or toy? Be creative – don’t limit yourself to games you have seen. It can be carried and expressive as songs, movies, or stories. 

News Article: The first thing we did was check out the Stuff app to see what the new had to offer us in terms of inspiration. I was not disappointed when I viewed the following article, Stoned sheep ate cannabis and went on ‘psychotic rampage’ in Wales! Priceless!

Discussing the rules: I and my fellowTteam Kittikat had an in-depth conversation about what types of games we could create that involved stoned  sheep. To be fair, we decided to leave the marijuana out of it and just go with herding your sheep to market. To add an interesting dimension to our game we added a fifth character to our four players, a Wolf, to chase our sheep.

Sheep Mania - prototype one13346534_10154219362229282_7096864220981350014_nworking out the rules

We gave our shepherds two die to play for their sheep and a third die for the wolf. A player would throw three dice, two matching dice are the moves for your sheep, the third die is moved for the wolf. The Player, or Shepherd as we call the player will move their sheep in any combination in an anti-clockwise direction until their moves run out, then they can move the wolf in any direction, if the wolf lands on a sheep the wolf takes it back to it’s ‘Wolf Cave’ and then that sheep is stuck there until the shepherd rolls a six on one of their dice. If a sheep lands on a blue active square the Shepherd will pick up a card. The Activity card will have an activity that the shepherd will have to perform. If they Shepherd performs the activity they will be rewarded, if they decide not to do the active they will have to do the forfeit.The main aim of the game is to get all four sheep to market, you can strategically prevent your opponents from also getting to market if you use the Wolf in a manner that puts their sheep in the wolf cave.

The Results: Stay tuned for those, because we haven’t yet tested our offical prototype out in class yet! Once we have done that at school, I’ll bring it home and test it out on the brat Pack!