Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Virtual Anatomy: First Post, First Thoughts

The projects brief is to create a ‘Fantastic Voyage’ through the cellular environment of the human body, identifying a biological process, phenomomena or transformation. It needs to be a full CG animation that has to last somewhere between two and six minutes with support materials that encompass pretty much everything we have learnt over the past year. Attention needs to be paid to the type of audience that I want my animation to appeal to.
So rather than procrastinating for days I have chosen my biological occurrence already, it’s going to be the H5N1 strain of Avian Flu (Bird Flu that can affect and has already affected humans.). Actually, whatever happened to Bird Flu? Though somewhat morbid I want to focus on a nasty disease, the Plague crossed my mind but getting materials needed to make a factually correct animation is easier to come by for Bird Flu.

What needs to be done? a.k.a Epic Workload part deux.

Research: Research into the area the chosen subject, in my case it’s going to be the H5N1 strain of Avian Flu. I’ve already bought some books on the subject; surprisingly there are absolutely loads but the ones I’ve bought seem to detail Bird Flu scientifically rather than some political, Al Gore style fear-mongering which is what a lot of them seemed to be about. A huge chunk of the human population will be wiped out apparently, though to be truthful I don’t want to end up like poor old Egon Schiele.

Concept Art: Three pieces of fully realised concept art. I feel fairly comfortable with this task. Concept Art has become a pretty big part of my work, so I look forward to cracking on with some new concepts.

Storyboards: I want to go all out with my storyboards this time, my previous attempts have been pretty mundane if you ask me. With the extra two-weeks of holidays allotted it means I can really go all out. (Who needs sunshine? The light from a computer monitor is all I need.) I’m going to produce some full-colour storyboards this time. Should be good.

Animatic: An animated storyboard with sounds, correct timings, correct editing etc. Simple enough on paper but making static images ‘move’ and be interesting is actually really hard.

Pre-Viz: I keep getting told that you don’t get anything for free in the CG world and Maya which as I’ve learnt is completely true. The more you prep-work you have, the better your final piece will be. A Pre-Viz that really helps me understand what needs to be done will be extremely useful

Final Thing: To be honest I’m somewhat unsure as to my abilities in Maya at this point in time, I feel like I have the necessary skillz but most likely it will be a frustrating and tiring experience. In terms of the time needed to produce this thing I hope three weeks will be sufficient (It probably won’t be!) But I need to factor in rendering time and the time it takes to wrestle with Premier or Final Cut Pro but I get the feeling that if it’s not rendered and ready to be edited by the start of the final week I am most likely completely screwed.

Making of Book: Rather than an essay we are to produce a ‘Making of’ book/document. The news on the lack of an essay for this project was met with rapturous applause across the entire the college but of course actually producing a great making of book will be harder and take a lot longer than it does to write some piddly little essay.

Last thoughts before impending death by Maya:
This entire project is about 5 projects bundled together to make one project that practically encompasses everything we have done before (25 weeks worth) all within a 7-Week time-span. I remember those youthful care-free days of when producing three concept pieces was an entire project, now’s it’s just a point on a checklist that needs to be crossed off. Yikes. Having written this post, I now fully realize to sheer amount of work that needs to be done but I am well on my way and to be honest a big project like is something I’ve wanted to do really. I also know that I will be absolutely sick (haha) of thinking about Bird Flu by the time I’m finished.

Some other interesting bits:
One on One tutorial’s with some bloke: This will be a good time to really tell Phil what I think about his silly beard.
The Interim Crit: The interim crit this time will be more like ‘Pitching’ a project to prospective employer. I will be ‘pitching’ my project to a bunch of fogies from the ‘outside’ who I will have to woo with my boyish looks and Kentish charm, some good work will also help.


tutorphil said...

Oi! You're in detention! I laughed out loud when I read this post; looking forward to the beard critique! :-) On a considerably more serious note - yes, it's a great big meaty project, but you've equipped yourself well during the course of your first year, so I'm expecting big things - no pressure.