Friday, January 15, 2010

The Clean Up Process

A cleaned-up still of Nana Besnik from Shot 079

It's been an interesting feat, trying to figure out exactly what the proper way to go about this film's production might be - particularly when it comes to what order to do everything. I've been told many times that the standard means of production for students would be to do rough layout first, rough animation next, clean up after that, complete the backgrounds, and then composite the whole mess together in the end. This timeline, to me, just seems... awkward. Doing things sectionally - all rough animation at once, for example - is for me, at least, too wrought with the risk of burn out, and with burn out, of course, comes a drastic slow-down in production. I, personally, have been skipping all over the realm of production: For a while I was rough animating and doing backgrounds at the same time, and now, I'm rough animating and doing the clean up at the same time. If I get sick of one, I move immediately to the other, and vise versa - and things continue to get done. I also questioned the logic of doing backgrounds last - why on earth, if one has finished animation available, should compositing have to wait on the completion of finished backgrounds at the last minutes of a film's production? As such, I completed all of my backgrounds before the semester even started, and, throughout the rest of the semester, while I continue to rough animate and clean up, Niles will be able to take animation as soon as I complete it and get it composited - weeks, even months ahead of time. This gives infinite amount of time for feedback and critique on the film we're compiling to give way to improvement, as opposed to hurriedly cobbling everything into its rightful lump the week before graduation.

Not that I believe this is the full on right way to be going about a student film production. Frankly, I don't now - I've never done this prior to now. What I do know, however, is that the vast majority of projects prior to this who have adhered to more of a "sectional" strategy in production have, at least where CCS is concerned, frequently failed to reach a polished level of completion. Then again, I may fail utterly as well - I'm certainly as open to it as anyone! I'm just trying to avoid the like... hopefully I can manage, in the end!

Anyway, sleep deprived rambling aside, I am indeed doing clean up animation as of this week. I thought I'd post the stages I'm going through to get my intensely scribbley roughs into some semblance of coherency. Nothing I'm doing here is in any way out of the ordinary, but for those of you viewing who are less familiar with the animation process, the stages are rough animation, tie-down animation, and the final clean-up stage.

Mia, Kelsey and Hoobler at rest from Shot 079 - Rough, Tie Down and Clean Up stages

I'm hoping to get a couple of shots fully composited this weekend, including the one this entry's artwork is from, so keep an eye out for those. :)

More again soon, as always!

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