Intern Blog Post: Sarah 4

It’s the final blog post of my internship- I can’t believe how fast the time has gone! Here’s what happened in the last 2 weeks.

Week 7

In week 7 I focused on editing my storyboards from the previous week based on the feedback I received. The main point of discussion was that the length of the shorts. In my edits, each were about a minute which was far too long- they needed to be closer to the 30 second mark. I really needed to refine some of the action and make cuts- but I did learn that It wasn’t always necessary to show each action, and that some movement could be inferred by cutting on motion to save time.

More changes to perspective was suggested, particularly to build a sense of scale in some of the scenes- for example, in the connect short where the paper stacks fall down on top of Mind, switching between a birds eye and a worms eye view, helps to convey the sense of everything being on top of him and finally, literally being buried in work.

Mental Health Animation Perspective Storyboards

It was also suggested that I could include perspective grids in the boards to try and get more depth in the scenes and not make everything so flat on to the camera. We also discussed changes to the environment so that changes of emotion and feeling in the body are represented by a physical colour change- blue for sad to yellow/pink for happy. I also edited the shape of the ‘person’ so that they had softer edges- more of a suggestion of a human shape than a square robotic head.

This week I also made the switch over to editing my animatics in After Effects rather than Premiere Pro. I had always assumed that After effects was just for motion graphics and 2D animation- and I was surprised to find that it made the editing process for my animatics much easier and faster- especially when adding transitions and motion to individual frames.

Mental Health Animation Storyboards After Effects Editing

Week 8

In the last week of my internship I focused on finishing my animatic, consolidating all of my work into an art development bible and finalising my storyboards and character concepts. I gathered my work together into several PDF documents, showing my bi-weekly progress and describing the changes I have made according to the feedback I received along the way. I cleaned up the animatic in After Effects, tightening up some transitions and adding in the voice over lines to get a better idea of timing and how it would match up to the animation if it was recorded.

I looked into some ideas for colour palettes and how to use colour to represent the changes in emotions over the short. I settled for keeping Mind’s area quite dark in the opening scenes- representing his gloomy attitude and the ‘closed in’ feel of the high paper stacks. The scenes with Heart would be much brighter, showing him literally bringing calm to Mind when they make their connection.

Mental Health Animation Heart And Brain Walk Colour Concepts

This week I also made some very simple walk cycles with Heart and Mind using some of the tutorials I did in previous weeks. I used puppet pins inside After Effects- as this was the easiest way I find starting as a beginner. I tried to show the personality of the characters in the way they move- so Heart is very bouncy, while Mind is more droopy and sad. While it is not the best (or the smoothest) piece of animation, I’m still pretty proud of it considering that I had no more than surface knowledge of the software before I started.

Mental Health Animation Heart And Brain Walk Test

The biggest things I have learned during my internship here are;

  • How to use After Effects for very basic animation and editing- possibly one of the bigger things I will take away from my internship. It made editing animatics so much easier, and I’m really keen to keep learning and practicing more 2D animation.
  • Designing characters for a professional studio project- what is actually needed for a technical turnaround so that someone could potentially build your character. It isn’t always important to make it the prettiest thing in the world- just has to be functional.
  • The importance of keeping clear naming conventions- I would often neglect to keep clear file names, which wasn’t so much of a problem for me as I understood my own workflow. But when sharing files with others for uploading.

I am so grateful for the opportunity and all the learning experiences I’ve had over my time here at Sliced Bread. I have gained some great practical experience and feedback- and I can go away knowing what skills I need to work on in order to improve even more!

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