Tag: uni

The Animated Documentary – The Idea Stage

As part of the requirement of this assignment, I have to keep a visual diary, which I do anyhow in a ‘real life’ book I will also keep it here. I actually started this in a word document with the caveat that I would put it here too if I could figure out why my WordPress was giving me the white screen of death in the admin section (news flash, it a broken plugin).

I have actually had this idea in my head for a while, to record my 7-year-old twins talking and animated a segment, so I guess it stands to reason that this is the first thing I would think of when given the assignment to animate a documentary. In the interest of covering all basis’s I will be coming up with a few alternative ideas, such as interviewing my Father about experience of being a Romany Gypsy, my Mother in laws quilt group, my husband’s job as an IT professional,  my sister’s job as a high school teacher, how my son feels about having Asperger’s and ADHD.

I decided to focus on someone in my immediate family group, as I know they will be willing participants. Mostly though, I want to talk to my twins about a situation that happened in their school at the end of the last term.  My girls it seems are crime stoppers. They caught a group of 11 and 12-year-old boys stealing speakers from outside their class room and managed to chase them off and provide information that leads directly to the boys being identified, and dealt with. Here are some other questions I will be asking them: What is like being a twin, what is a bully, what do you do if someone is bullying you, tell me about Cub Scouts.
Here are a few notes that I wrote in my physical journal about ideas that I have been generating. I love the idea of also including the girl’s art work in some way.

My girls may be twins, but they both have a very distinct style when it comes to their art work and how they express them selves. If I got ahead with this idea then I would like to incorporate that individualism into my animation as both girls talk.

The top two images are drawn by Violette, who loves reading, writing, and mathematics, the bottom two are drawn and created by Erynn, who says she hates reading and writing but loves to create art work, draw and colour.

Violette’s art work tends towards the two dimensional with written subtitles. Erynn likes to use the scissors to create 3d works of art, she uses a lot of mixed medias and has a very interesting take on the use of perspective.

Resources looked at: 

Part of the creative process is watching other animated documentaries in an effort to identify styles that we liked and methods used.

After watching the suggested documentary and personal narratives, I made the following notes what aspects I liked:

Baba, by Joel Kefali – Painterly, great transitions, painted look, always I motion, childlike, use of typography to emphasise mispronounced words. The simple block colouring tied the story together without confusing the eye.

Coi Army Learning – Why Not Associates – White board look, hand drawn, great transitions.

Storm Whale, Moth Collective – Nice texture and feel

The Wiki Man, Moth Collective – Loose animation style, animated word, not overly complicated or confusing, not too much to look at, vision not confused, I liked it, the idea of rebranding potatoes.

Sarah’s Story, Moth Collective – Childlike drawings, but not childlike, the view reflects Sarah’s feelings and thoughts rather than focusing on the story she is telling about what happened to her. Its meaning was much more metaphorical. Every day is a gift.


My Mothers Coat, Marie-Margaux Tsakiri-Scanatovits – I like the sound effects in the background, the simple lines. This is possibly rotoscoped. The lines were minimal as were the use of colour. Life should be a walk you share, share everything, do not waste time. I found something mesmerising in this.

Liars need a good memory, James Heredia – Collage, paint, digital. Nice integration of video and collage.

Keona + Chantelle – The Wrong Trainers, Arthur Cox Animation – I LOVE the cardboard box cut-outs and childlike drawings. I really love the child perspective in this animation; how they tell about the time, she fell out the window and described how far she fell. I like the way the children talk about their parents, and how they want to help them. ‘Small crushed up houses”
And in the interest of not spending the rest of the day copying links and posting the other pictures that I promise are in the word document here are some other animations I watched:

A is for Autism, Tim Webb – Childlike, hand drawn, dealing with a subject matter important to me as I have an autistic child and brother, I like the integration of the live action and animation.

Asperger’s Syndrome – Stop Motion. Music Matters, Nick Cave – Really love the line drawing and use of typography.

This Land is Mine, Nina Paley – I like the simple vector like graphics used in this animation, I also like how it feels as if it is portrayed as platform shoot’em up game.

Mound, Allison Schulnik – Pencil titles, simple uniform colour pallet, great depth of field, all characters are similar, but yet unique.

A-Z Clip, Sarah Cox – Great childlike perspective. Cut out, paper texture, some great transitions and cuts.

Oregonian ‘Transformation’ Bent Image Lab – I like the origami look and the fact that they took a newspaper and turned it into something else.

Lesley Barnes Herzog and the Monsters, GSA DDS MDes Animation – I like the cut out feel, almost like it could be a pop-up book. The incorporation of typography and books, and the 3d effect created with a drop shadow. I like the interesting perspective.

Shofar, JNFA Dancing Diablo – I like the hand drawn doodles circling the live action.

Creative Freedom, John Kelly – Great integration of live action and 3d, and hand-drawn.

Back to the start, John Kelly – Cute 3d animations, really love the way the camera pans from left to right as the buildings are created. Surprisingly moving, but I suspect it has a lot to do with the emotive music too. The models are very textural, which grounds them. Despite the non-organic shapes.

Josh Pyke middle of the hill video – I liked the cutout view and the integration of the live action with the animation.

The Thomas Beale Cipher, Andrew S Allen – Integration of newsprint, fabric, collage, and live action, textures used to create animation.

Pam’s advertisement, AssemblyLtd – I really like the use of texture in this adverts, the way the 3d models have been almost flattened, lots of Kiwiana.

Next up, recording the audio! Check out the next blog post for more on this.

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/

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!