Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Owl: Clouds, Clouds and More Clouds!

I'll explain my intentions in my next non-photo update but I wanted a bank of high res and crisp cloud images as potential use as overlays or transitions in the animation.  Rather than relying on the internet and not getting exactly what I want, I just went out and took a bunch of Infrared shots of the sky and got exactly what I want. With IR it's a piece of cake to get a very dark, almost completely black, sky (depending on the angle) so that you end up with wonderful white puffy clouds. These aren't final images, ignore any scuffs or dirt etc.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Owl: Infrared Photography Part 3

Another post and another set of IR images. I hope it doesn't get boring, but there will be animation related stuff soon!

This time I experimented by switching the exposure between ISO 6 and 12 and seeing what one less stop of exposure produce. I can definitely say I prefer the look of the slightly longer exposure of ISO 6. The images pop out far more.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Owl Progress Report 08/04/2014

It's been just over a month since I first launched Owl in earnest and the project is shaping up quite nicely. It seemed like a good time to collate all the tests and research into one place to see where I am right now.  If you haven't been following the project, Owl is a track off Mondegreen, the debut album from Collectress. I'm producing a short film to accompany the track. It's going to be a black and white animation with a mixed media approach, incorporating film photography, traditional media and CG animation. 

I won't be going into a huge amount detail explaining what each and every thing is, rather just a brief summary at the start of each section. Click on the links instead to go to a more comprehensive post. 

Any feedback or comments are welcome as always.

Initial Ideas and Development

For the most part. I've started this project in a very carefree and improvisational way. Starting with some simple marker pen sketches while listening to the music, and then slowing bringing in other elements while still retaining them at the core. I've squeezed a lot of value from these initial sketches, and I think it's important that their rawness and emphasis on mark-making can find a place in the final animation.



As the visual style is slowly emerging from those initial marker pen sketches, I've begun sourcing an array of eclectic visual influences. Right now, I'm in a 1960s and 70s Japanese photography moment. Which is probably not how Collectress ever imagined Owl, but who knows where this project is going!

 I'll be posting a few more things later on. 

Kaneto Shindo's Onibaba

Chris Marker's La Jetée

Research and Development Continued...

In consideration of the work already created, I've decided to explore some alternative photographic methods in order to produce images which feel suitably unconventional. The most accessible is infrared, and this is where I find myself right now; slogging around marshes and fields. It could be worse! 

From my initial attempts, I'm getting some great results, pretty much exactly what I'm looking for, but have yet to find the glue which is going to tie all these elements together. I don't think I'm far away though.

Infrared Photographs Part 1 and Part 2

After Effects Composition Test

What's Next?

Firstly, the biggest challenge moving forward is developing the art direction and animation into something which is technically and visually satisfying. To achieve this I'm going to devote as much time and attention as possible to getting it right. This means a continued period of research and development but with an emphasis on concretising the final look. Secondly, there's still plenty of work needed to develop the animation into a cohesive piece of time-based media. I'll be updating the first animatic test to closer represent the intended structure of the animation. Until then...

Monday, 7 April 2014

Photography: God's Not Here Today

Photography: Looking Up

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Owl: Kaneto Shindo's Onibaba

After Daido Moriyama's Tales of Tono it seems like the influence of stark black and white visuals from Japan are becoming more apparent in this project than ever before.When strolling around and taking pictures of the nearby marshy area around where I live, I'm always instantly reminded of Onibaba; Kaneto Shindo's horror classic from 1964. It's real primal stuff as far as horror filmmaking goes, and with the night shots in particular I love how space is essentially created only by the artificial illumination of tall grass. The rest is pure darkness. It creates this wonderfully endless and surreal space. Totally theatrical.

Oddly enough, Shindo directed a film called Owl in 2003 which I only found out about when creating this post!