Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Animation and Character - Updated Abstract Taste Animation - Caramel Coffee

RE my feedback in the Showreel and my own thoughts too, I have removed the caramel blob tween as it was just distracting, and replaced it with small speckles to show the light, sweet caramel flavour. 

Friday, 18 March 2016

Artist's Toolkit: Animation Showreel #1

It's not all there as my voice clip animation isn't quite finished yet, as when I arrived at uni today to finish things up I found my premiere at home is a more updated version than the one here, so it wouldn't let me open the document, so I had to completely remake my showreel, but I didn't have a copy of the elegant cactus animation, so that's missing as well. These of course will both be present in the final submission.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Fantastic Voyage - Post Pitch Feedback Response

The feedback I got was mostly just reaffirming my thoughts on areas I already knew I need to work on, but also gave me some positive feedback on my concept and design work, and gave me some ideas with which to improve and move forward. 

The main feedback points I took from it were:

Decide/focus on exactly what the animation is - not a game trailer but a public awareness film in the guise of a game play through. Take inspiration from popular YouTube gamers who post play throughs, eg The Yogscast, Hat Films, Pewdiepie, possibly introduce my animation as this form, provide a voice over, (raging brother? Typical teenage rage quit commentary) make it look like an exciting new game, but with an inept gamer continuously battling against each level but becoming more and more irate at their constant defeat. 
Constant one-up-manship from the bacterias, no matter how many you kill, you can never be quick enough/strong enough to win. 

For this I also need to include more actual "gameplay" action, showing the fighting and killing between bacteria and antibiotics, show off the abilities and upgrading strength of bacteriums. Make it exciting and engaging, present it as a sneak peek play through. Decide how  many levels and what section of each will be showcased, how will I transition this? 

Also I need to focus on interface design, make it less complicated/ more obvious/easy to read and understand what is going on. White text is not as easy to read as I initially thought. Also cut down on the text, public awareness NHS link at end, people educate themselves, communicate more through action rather than text. The font used is not that great for longer sections of text, but I should be getting shot of these so I think it will be okay to stick with. However also sort out timings for what text remains, make a little longer as at times in my animatic it was too short to read properly. 

Fantastic Voyage - The Pitch


Fantastic Voyage - Animatic (no sound)

Fantastic Voyage - Environment Concept Map - Brain

Locked map level paths, before play. 

Unlocked map level paths, after play.

Fantastic Voyage - Environment Concept Map - Heart

Fantastic Voyage - Environment Concept Map - Lungs

 Healthy Lungs

Bacteria Infested Lungs

Fantastic Voyage - Updated Environment Concept Map - Throat

This is my environment concept for my 1st level, the game begins with this map overview, with the player able to see the entire playing ground, and text with instructions, then zooms in closer to the player and enemies for game play . The darker area of the mouth is not accessed, but is purely there for map decoration purposes. The back walls and ground I would like to add more detail to, small scuffs and indentations, btu this is a good overall representation for now. 

Monday, 14 March 2016

Fantastic Voyage - Bacteria Final Concepts

Final bacteria concepts to be used in my animation. With each level you go on to in my "game" the bacteria get bigger, meaner and stronger, and the end level and final boss super bug bacteria I've tried to make quite horrific, but still keeping in the theme of my game, to demonstrate just how serious things can get if antibiotics are misused, even if the original infection was initially quite simple and not really anything serious/scary at all (level 1).

Fantastic Voyage - Level Up Screen Final Concept Art

These are the level up interface screens I will use in my animation. The screen actually only features twice, and these are the only shots of it needed, showing the players character levelling up, but I found it was actually really complicated to make, though I am now quite pleased with the final result. 

Fantastic Voyage - Final Antibiotic Concept Art

Finished concept art for my antibiotics, as of now. These are the ones needed for my animation. They are supposed to represent antibiotics getting stronger to fight stronger bacteria. We start with a simple pill, which then grows to a bigger pill, then pills and injections, until finally an IV bag. I'm not totally set on the colours for levels 1-3. I cant do green as bacteria are green, I was initially thinking pink but the majority of my environment is pink, so this wouldn't work well I don't think. I'll have a play around with some other colours once I've finished the bacteria and environments properly, if I have time before the pitch. Refining these down from sketches took a lot longer than I was anticipating, I really couldn't get the hang of illustrator so did it all in Photoshop, which took quite a while. 

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Fantastic Voyage - Level Up Screen Concept

This is the basic layout for the level up screen of my animation. The centre pod shows your character at it's current level and with attributes equipped. The four small hexagons around this display the number of attributes unlocked from each section. The larger hexagons will contain the icons representing each attribute increase for the 3 sections. Weapons will go from basic eg better sword, axe, spiked mace, to ranged weapons, to finally syringe (must be unlocked to reach character level 3) Armour is the same. Agility unlocks jumps, double jumps, speed etc. Lower left shows the character levels as they unlock, but has a shaded silhouette of currently locked levels. I'm thinking I will probably need colour coding on the hexagons linked to the character levels, showing attributes needed to reach each level up. 

Fantastic Voyage - Antibiotic Generations Designs

Here are the basic concepts for the antibiotic developments and level ups I need for my animation.

Fantastic Voyage - Brain Environment Influence Map

Fantastic Voyage - Heart Environment Influence Map

Fantastic Voyage - Lung Environment Influence Map

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Fantastic Voyage - Bacteria Concept Development

I've been having quite a lot of difficulty with this project, particularly with developing the bacteria, and it was really holding me back. I thought I knew what sort of direction I wanted, and how to develop, but whatever I came up with I just hated and it felt completely wrong. I spoke to Jordan today though and he's given me some ideas and pointers and I'm feeling a lot more confident now. 
This was a concept page I had been trying to work on, developing some of my sketchbook bacteria designs, however they really weren't working and I was getting so frustrated with them, and ended up sketching some completely different shapes, but had also disregarded these as although I much preferred them to the others, I wasn't sure how I would be able to give them the mutation abilities/defences/attacks, however Jordan said these were much better and were working. So I think these are my starting point for my final bacteria, and could develop them to be "meaner" similar to Jordan's ideas below. 

I also explained to Jordan how I was stuck for ideas and not sure how to go on, he suggested I try a quick method of simply blocking out shapes, then adding small details, to see what aspects I did and didn't like, as I was getting too worried about coming up with the final design, which was making me hesitant to go on and frustrated.

He created this page as a guide, and I worked on the ones below. 

I quite like 13, 14 and 8, but also the mouths of 12 and 7.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Fantastic Voyage - Environment Concept Notes

Thought of these quick concept ideas while walking home, quickly jetted them down into my phones notes, putting them here for a more accessible reference, and to show my logic behind my environment concept thumbs I'll be working on tonight.

1st stage - Throat
Like a cave, but dark, dank, ant colony reference, mushrooms? You can get stuck in phlegm patches which slow you down, also allowing bacteria to do damage to you while stuck, and to cause further infection - if allowed to reach/infect certain points, causes cough and swallow, meaning move on to next area. (have infection % bar?) 

Slightly longer level, 3 stages. Like a forest/swamp upper is nice, light, airy, 'dandelions' particles, and villi, reeds then further down becomes more close knit with brambles and denser 'greenery' then bottom is swampy and wet and muddy and claustrophobic. Again phlegm issues here, and infection % bar.  

Harder again as blood is pumping, rivers, dam, estuary. You have to keep bacteria away from jumping into bloodstream to stop them travelling further around the body, while also avoiding being washed away yourself.

Has symbols hidden in the folds? Lightbulb, mathematical signs, cogs, machinery, question marks etc? To show cognitive process, "computer" of the body. Level is harder to navigate - not just a straightforward path as have to travel across the webbing of the brain. Maze-like. Also have to be more destructive to be able to get through to certain areas eg destroy brain tissue strands to be able to get to all bacteria in different sectors/pockets. Certain "core" strands you cannot destroy - causes too much damage. This also reflects the possible damaging side effects of very strong antibiotics effecting the patient negatively. If not all bacteria reached in time and bacteria % bar filled, game over.

Fantastic Voyage - New Bacteria Concepts

Quick upload of a few basic sketches I did earlier for the new bacteria direction, as my ones before I really didnt know where I was going. 
Particularly liking 3/4/5. These are for stage 1 of the bacteria, so they are quite simple and not too threatening looking. They will have simple weaponry and little to no armor, but for now I'm just focusing on bodyshapes. 
As they level up they will get bigg & meaner looking, probably changing in colour, with more weaponry and armour, bigger teeth, spines/spikes instead of just hairs etc

@Phil OGR - Development and refinement of concept

Spoken to Simon, reassured about my concept, progress towards working out the kinks. 

So far thoughts are: 
  • Mutation process of bacteria as written in the OGR presentation, where you get to pick new attributes, bearing in mind old unkillable attributes and it is chance if you will be effective against new attributes.  
  • ~Need to decide list of attributes - eg hardened skin, shields against certain weapons, ranged attacks, slow etc. Can make icons to choose from end of each round.~ 
  • The time restraint/max antibiotic development factor is brought in, in form of a counter bar on the side, slowly fills up as you deplete attributes to apply, you are only able to apply max of ~15? but there are ~25? to choose from, so chance if you will ever be able to defeat the bacteria. Have to be tactical in choosing ones that will definitely defeat some. 
  • Each 'round'the infection gets more serious - not only do the antibiotics and bacteria change but the setting also changes, moves around the body. Simon suggested explore only 4 in the animation, for example I could start in the throat with a basic throat infection, then as you go on not defeating the bacteria completely, you move to more vital areas. Eg I was thinking lungs, heart, and then the brain being the "final level" where if you are still unable to defeat the bacteria with your attribute bar filled up, you lose the game. 
  • Visually, the bacteria will get bigger and meaner looking with each mutation, I have already started on some new bacteria designs that I will be uploaded later tonight, different direction from the ones in the OGR as these are far too limp and non directional. 
  • Also will be developing the antibiotic designs to be more "knight" like, and refined. 
  • Concept art for different areas of the body is beginning, now I have a decent idea of the different settings I will actually include and why, I have a few ideas on how I would like them to look. Simon also said I would probably benefit from a bit of map making, planning out the entirety of my "levels" the characters will move through rather than just a freeze frame. 
  • I need to decide also on my list of attributes/mutations and their counterparts, eg what can destroy what, and then later on of course how these will look on each the antibiotic and bacteria. 

Feeling better about this now, what are your thoughts? :) 

Fantastic Voyage - Market Research

I want my animation to appeal to an audience of GCSE aged teenagers, for the 'game' Im creating in my animation to serve as a learning aid about the body and immune system, and the role of antibiotics therein. To do this I have to consider what sort of game appeals to this audience, and why, and how I make sure I take this into account in my work. 

Key Factors to consider:
I don't want the game to be too complicated, or some may be put off by this - therefore not make it too strategy based/ not a lot of thinking & planning involved. Fairly straightforward to play, but still educational. 
Not be overly 'educational' - I dont want to laden the game with scientific terms or large areas of text explaining things. I want this to be fun and engaging or it will completely go against the whole point of the animation. 
Guilty pleasure - although the game may may not seem sophisticated" or serious", I know if done correctly this will still appeal to a large target audience. Simple games are very popular with this age group, prime examples being simple app download games, and for the more gaming orientated person, the rising popularity of the 'indie game" - prime example being Minecraft, with its simplistic graphics and relaxed gameplay. Other more modern examples include games developed by The Behemoth, such as Castle Crashers and Battle Block Theatre. Plus, historically, simple slightly strategy based games have proven long term favourites, aimed at a teenage audience, classics like Pokemon and Kirby being prime examples.
Want it to be painterly and pretty - however dont want to go overboard on the detail making it too complicated, but dont want large blocks of colour, this may make it seem too basic - good example of simplistic interest is the Splatoon squid design, overall quite basic shape and mainly 2 colours, but with small added details of spots makes it much more engaging than having it all one blank colour would be. Similar goes for my environments, want to keep colours simple and friendly to attract and draw interest, and not make it seem too sophisticated, while not being boring. Also to match in with simple shapes and non complicated models. This pretty-but-simple design will help make the game animation appealing and engaging, while also not distracting from the "action" of the bacteria vs antibiotics.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Fantastic Voyage - OGR #1

First off apologies for the lateness. 
Secondly an ask for help/advice on a particular area. I think I *now* have a pretty good idea of how aesthetically I want this to look, and a grasp of the jist of the animation, and I'm understanding of the science behind my chosen bioscientific scenario, but I'm having real difficulty with trying to correctly convey the science in my animation. It just seems to me that I keep on conveying the message that you need to keep pumping in more antibiotics to deal with bacteria, when this is of course not the case, but then I dont want the "game" to be entirely luck based, as this could factor as a negative, as people would feel as if they have 0 control in the "game", but then of course it is almost like that with antibiotics. Also I think I am going a little too complicated with it. I keep going back and forth with ideas and I'm just confusing myself and making this harder than it probably is.
My head is a bit of a mess frankly and this project is not going at all to plan right now. 

I have a few alternatives going around my head at this point:
1 - Drop the "game" idea, perhaps turn it into simply a short animation with voiceover of the antibiotics and bacteria personified. 
2 - Add in a 3rd character - body's basic immune system white blood cells, that you the player are each round, and you have to carefully balance the amount of antibiotics you use, almost as a "booster" to try and aid you in stopping the invading bacteria. Have to be careful not to use too much or bacteria will mutate + multiply into harder superbugs, if allowed to reach "final" stage through too much mutation due to excessive antibiotic use, you lose the game.