Finding images of wolves comprised of either intense shadow, ash or light was pretty difficult – not due to the lack of content, but the wading through excessive amounts of poor renderings and depictions in the form of DeviantArt ‘OCs’. Fortunately, the excess of those meant that the good references were indeed very good.
I assembled the images into a spread of varying colours, and then created my colourboard from that, trying to create a fragmented set of tones that would reflect the fragmentation of the antagonist.
We ended up with a nice range of colours, mostly deep greys and reds, with some blue and green tints to act as highlights against the skyline. Hopefully, this palette works well for us. Time will tell.
Following on from Callum’s research, we decided to make our story about a rabbit, as they experience anxiety most closely to humans. We also felt that rabbits are very cute and likable creatures that the audience would want to root for. I myself had never actually held a rabbit until a few weeks ago and instantly fell in love with the animals.
I think about her all the time
Our idea for the actual plot of our short film is as follows:
A warren of rabbits is busy eating dandelions in a pleasant forest clearing. We see a smaller rabbit, most likely the runt, trying to squeeze through the masses of fur to get to the tasty flowers, but she’s not quite strong enough. Just as she thinks she might be able to grab a bite, the sentry lets out a squeak and the warren moves on. Our rabbit is…
A Common Trend throughout our Project is going to be over the shoulder conversation, although not abundantly clear through something as flat as a blog, is the extent of back and forth conversation that goes on during research and other work.
I’ll make a post that goes into more depth about it shortly.
Because our animation is going to feature rabbits and have dark themes it seemed right to address the similarities between our film and Watership Down (1978) based on the 1972 book of the same name.
Of course the stories are very different, what with Watership Down being about a warren of rabbits on a journey to find a new home after their previous one was destroyed, and then rescuing enslaved rabbits from an evil warren. Our story is simply about a rabbit conquering her fears in a very surreal and intense manner. Both stories, however, do touch upon the topics of overcoming fear and it would be silly not to at least use Watership Down as a stylistic inspiration.
I’ve always loved how the rabbits actually looked like rabbits. Caricature was kept to a minimum, but yet the characters were still distinct and recognisable from each other. The backgrounds in…
An important part of our discussion surrounding the leaf, was that it added a semblance of humanity to the rabbit, using tools and an awareness of environment beyond just fight or flight, and gave the character more likability.
Anna created the Artwork above as an initial design for the Rabbit, and will be pretty much leading the charge with how the character’s aesthetic plays out.
Since the beginning I was always really keen on the idea of our rabbit carrying a leaf. Originally this was just as a cute little accessory, but since we implemented the rain, we decided that it would be used as an umbrella.
After reading several articles (and from my own personal experience) I realised that the leaf umbrella would serve as a nice metaphor for a comfort item.
Comfort items are very common and are used to help cope with stressful situations. As a child this could have been a blanket or a soft toy. Adults would probably find comfort in an item on their person. They would probably fiddle with their necklaces or twiddle their rings. A common comfort item in this period of time is a smartphone. A lot of anxious people usually find a small amount of sanctuary when they retreat to their mobile devices as an…
To give us a brief sense of what the level of realism we wanted to achieve, I collected a small sample of different levels of 3D-Real environments for comparison and to find out what features of them worked, or didn’t work.
Each of these scenes made use of soft shadow and intense areas of light to create a greater sense of realism, whilst maintaining a level of colour and texture that made it obviously 3D, achieving what I consider to be a much more appealing aesthetic that full realism.
I’ll go into deeper research concerning these once design of the Environments actually begin, but for now, I wanted to have a basic shortlist of things to look at properly when that time comes.
All the anthropomorphism wasn’t part of what we want to go for, the overall aesthetic, rendering effects,lighting and the shifting tones throughout the scenes all had good relations to certain shots we had planned.
It also had a good use of sound without dialogue through the short film, something we too planned to do.