Sine I started shooting this pages has been in control of my very existence every make in pink means a complete shot, done written in pink at the top means that page is completed, every day my minimum goal is to cross two boxes with pink Highlighter my maximum gold is to finish a whole scene from one set in a day. The yellow line are the shots given to Steve the once marked Ko with black pen are the once Ko did and the once with Me written in black is the one I did. On the days l left the studio with out any pink mark I felt so defeated I wanted to cry. I am glad that over now.
Photograph of me fixing and animating younger brother going back to the old womans hut.
I was able to animate one shot from the inside hut scene but I could do any more because the inside of the hut is too cramp my hand is moving things that are not pined down also the camera is too close to the hut which meant that I could not park my chair any closer to be able to reach things. I handed the shot over to Ko and describe what I wanted and she animated it beautifully.
Finally my last shot, I can’t believe that it ended up taking me about a month to film the whole thing, i thought it was going to take much longer than this to finish but thanks to Steve and Ko From the first year I am able to finish shooting before the assessment.
Having fun with the old woman on the last day of shoot.
Little brother is all set up for his i forgot i hat mid up.
As all the shot left to shoot in the forest scene are all mid shots Steve suggest that for the walks I should pin the puppets leg to balsawood and after that all I needed to do is the move him left and right or up and down and forward to make them appear that his is working.
This is the first shot of all the puppets in the old woman’s hut, I am so happy to find that all can fit into the old. this is the only hut indoor shot that i am able the shoot by my self. I am so sad and disapointed that I won’t be able to animate the rest of the hut scene by my self, this is because the inside of the hut is too cramp my hand is moving things that are not pined down also the camera was too close to the hut which meant that I could not park my chair any closer to be able to reach things. I handed the shot over to Ko and describe what I wanted and she animated it beautifully I think.
Who knew that you can make a puppet work on a rope with just a maginet, a metal rode and some fish wire. This has been one of my best bit to animation in my grad film, I agonised about it for the longest time before i started animating becasue i thought it was going to be very had animating 5 character but it was much easies then expected. I acually suprised myself because it took two days to walk all three boys over the wire.
On the 8th of May after I got the voice recording don I had to time it to the animatic then after that I had to drawing out all the mouth movement for the lip sync so that when I start animating I don’t need to think, all I need to do is look at this drawing and the x sheet.
As I was planning the mouth I decided that the old woman will look great if I take out her two front teeth and that a good way to make the brothers look different when they open their is the give the younger brother gap tooth and the other two brother a complete set of teeth so I can use the same mouth for both of them.
After watching the video I was all set the make the costume, before I cut into the fabric I needed to be sure that I am cutting the right pattern to the right size for the puppet because any mistake will mean a waste of fabric as I only have enough to make one clothes for each puppet. This was a bad judgment on my part. I suddenly became Terrified of making mistake I decided to take the puppets, the fabric and the video instruction to the costume store to ask for help with cutting the pattern correctly.
Before and during the Easter holiday I spent time at the costume studio with Verity Cleary, Kate Burnett and Bonnie Radcliffe they watched the video and one by one they instruct, guide and helped me through making the clothes for my characters.
This was used to sew younger brother’s top also call Agbada. I don’t think it makes any differences that I use the instruction to sew a woman’s agbada for this him.
Part1 & 2 of this video was used to make the middle and older brother’s top or Buba.
This was used to make younger brother’s hat
Making The Heads
Old Woman’s head
Older brother’s head
Middle brother’s head
Making The Parttern For The Clothes
I drew another pattern and asked my sister’s opinion on which is better suited to the character and she went with the first one so I went with that as well. To make sure I have the right scale of pattern on the fabric, imported a drawn to scale image of the character into Photoshop then I merged the pattern and the purple background together. I then placed the pattern/background image on the image of the character and shrunk it till it fits over the character top in a reasonable looking way.
After deciding on the size of the pattern on the clothes I then take the shrunk pattern duplicate it till it spread out covering an A3 sheet in Photoshop then I merge it and save it as a JPG and sent it off to print as a fabric sample.
I ended up using the erase tool to clean off some of the patterns to let of some purple, I think this looks much better.
As you can see the white is too bright so I changed it to pink, I also found that the repeating pattern so close together makes it look more like a wall paper.
After studing the design below I drew this in Illustrator for the pattern on the older brother’s clothes, I will use the white version and place it on a layer of the same shad of purple I used in the storyboard. This will be done in photoshop
I have been looking on the internet to find Yoruba tie and dye prints to use as inspiration for the patterns on the tie and dye for my characters fabric, I found this print I will use it as inspiration for the pattern on the older brother’s clothes I chose it because of all the boxed sections on the design it fits with older brother’s design because I used the square shape to design him.
The river started out being green and changed to blue, I think it looks better as blue before everything was too green.
Plan and measurement for the trees
There tree were made by me and my first year helper Lily Ash Sakula, I drew the shapes of the tree on foam board and she cuts them out and paints them according the reference image. She is very fast in completing the task she was given which meant I was able to finish the tress faster then I expected. Lily also helped me make my animatic breakdown sheet, completed the drawing of older brother and old woman turn around sheet as well as painting two of the river models. In addition to those she also made the armature for half the body of the younger brother which I will be using for the drowning scene as will as the big armature of the younger which I will be using for the close up of when he is eat.
BUILDING THE SET
The Next step was handed to me
Sketches by Ivy O Edemafaka
After week 14 the film guide schedule that I was desperately trying to follow went out the window because the armature build did not finish as planed I also had to start building the set while I was still doing the armature which made things a lot stressful.
For the puppet hands I found a wood from an old coat hanger, printed the puppet hand that I draw in illustrator and taped it to the wood then I hammer pins on the points just as instructed in Nina’s diagram. After that I just followed the her guide on passing the wire through the pins, my first three tries were failure because I was trying to follow the insertion by the letter and not thinking out of the box to fine a way to make it work for me but after I did that everything was ok. It took me a day and half to make 8 hands 4 I needed the rest were spears just in case there was breakage.
While I was waiting for Laura to finish cutting the tube I found wire and plasticine laying around and made this worm, I call her Celestine.
Laura giving me a hand with cutting my first bach of tubes
Going into the building of the armature my biggest worry was how I was going to cut all the square brass tubes needed to build all four characters. I know if I used a saw it was going to take a very long time to cut all the pieces that I need so decide to use an electric saw to cut it. But I hadn’t used an electric saw before; Laura had and agreed to cut the tube for the woman armature for me. I watched while she used it as well as asked question so that I will know what to do when I cut the rest tubes on my own. After some advice from Laura I also decide that instead the square tube for all the bones of the puppets which will mean that I will have to cut 144 tubes. I will only use the tubes for the parts of the puppets that I want to be replaceable in this case the heads hands and feet, I also as I want the puppets to have bendy feet I will also need to cut some tube for meaning that I will only need to cut 56 tubes.
Preparing to build armature
Normally when I am designing the armature for my character I print the design on paper then I use a pencil to draw the armature on top the design but this time I decided to draw it on another layer onto the character in illustrator I felt this was the quickest way to get it done. If I had done it by hand as I usually do I would have had to draw each bone for each limbs, as well a measure ever limbs to make sure they are the same size which would have been more time consuming. By doing it all with adobe illustrator I only had to measure once and I could copy and past the lines representing the bones for all the limbs on the body. I have used the diagram in Nina Gantz notes about armature building to design my characters armature.
I normally make simpler armature for my characters but this time as I am doing a three minutes film I worry that my previous type of armature would not be able to stand that much movement and would break before the end of the film. In her presentation to our class Nina Gantz said that in the production of her film Edmond (2015) by Nina Gantz the armatures were made with replaceable limbs so that if there is any limb breakage it can easily be replaced. I made the decided to make my armature the same way. Another motivation for doing armature with removable limbs was that it will make it easier to put the puppet dress the puppets. When I was making the clothes for the puppets in the ENO project I realised it was difficult dress a puppet in a well fitted clothes when the hands legs and head have already been fitted on it. The only way I could think of to put the clothes on was to cut it open at the back and glue Velcro on the ends of the cut, this way the blouse can the worn like a backwards shirt and the Velcro used to close the opening, to avoid this I decided go for removable limbs this way the clothes can go on easily and the heads, hands and feet can the put on afterward this also means that I can sew well fitted clothes for the characters.
The image that I produced above gives an idea of what I would like the forest to look like at the final scene of my animation. It still needs work – I want to blend the cloud into the sky, it but does capture the colours I want to use.
Paper background drawn in Adobe Illustrator
This is the background I will use for the scene after the rain when the boy runs back to the house.
This is the background I will use for the opening scene when it is raining
This is the background I will use when the boys are working the rope
After studying the images below I have come up with the design of the sky in my forest background, the one on the top is the none rainy day sky, the next one is the rainy day sky and after that is the sunset sky and at the bottom we have another none rainy day sky for maybe another part of the forest if need be. I enjoyed making this in Photoshop.
Researching Layout and Background colours
Looking for rainy day colour scheme
Looking for sunset colour schemes
On the Thursday 18th January character designer / animator Sophie Koko Gate gave a talk and a workshop to our year. She showed us a lot of great techniques in Photoshop and gave a lot of fantastic and useful advice on character design. Above all, she emphasised the importance of doing loads of drawings as a way of coming up with the final characters. During the day, we were given plenty of time for this and it paid off because I resolved a number of issues about how I wanted my characters to look.
Before the class I already had an idea of what I wanted the characters to look like because I made a sketch based on the illustration in the book during the Christmas holiday. The book only had two illustration which I liked especially the old woman and wanted my character to look like.
Character turn around drawn in illustrator
Sketches from character design class
Sophie suggested that adding deep wrinkles would help to make the old woman’s face scary. She she is small and because the boys are physically bigger than her, they must have a reason to be afraid of her.
Ideas for the brothers
Middle Brother, I think I prefer the younger brother to be wearing the clothes he is wiring apart from the cap.
So all in all it was a very productive day with Sophie Koko Gate.
Ideas about the look and fill of the film.
As the author of the book is from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria and from the two illustrations in the book it appears that the boys are dressed in Yoruba clothes. I decided to make my character from the same tribe, I also want this to influence the look of the set as well so as the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria are well known for their tie and dye print also known as Adire. I will dress the character in tie and dye fabric, to ensure that the characters are dressed a fabric of the correct scale and texture I will design the pattern and dye the fabric myself. According to Purves
‘Noting betrays the scale of a puppet more then fabric. The printed fabric that looks delicate when used for a full-size human outfit will often look like thick, rough hessian when used on a miniature puppet seen in close close-up on screen’ (2014, p. 147)
I think this will help solidify that the character are part of the world that is being built around them rather then them looking out of place if the scale of the fabric that they are wiring look out of place.
The tribe is also known for their great ceramic so I wanted to make the old woman’s kitchen utensils look like she had moulded them herself although as they were 3D printed I am not sure if that will work. In Nigeria some of the village’s sand are very orange and set against the rich green vegetation it is beautiful. I have tried to capture this look with the colours of the ground of the set. I am specifically going for a Nigerian narrator’s voice to further strengthen this idea, I look online for the names of Yoruba musical instrument that I knew the sound of and ask the composer to design the a soundtrack with those instruments. In the end I hope a folktale with cultural educational and visual pleasing film.
My attempt the do tie and dye didn’t work but I managed to salvage two fabric one I will use as the cover the boys use when they are in the old woman’s hut and second I will hung on the wall at the old woman’s hut.
As a plan B for the a student from the London School of Fashion recommended that I send the pattern off to be printed on a fabric so this is what I did to solve the problem.
Who cares about chicken drum stick feather and armpit feather I am just going to use paint brush for feathers, cassava starch to draw the patterns and Dylon dye.
Trying to find out about Yoruba tie and dye
This was a popular TV drama when I was little I still remember the door to the old make house at the beginning of the film and I really want to use it for the hut. I also like the colour of the sand and green vegetation in the land.
New update after changes from feedback
Feed back note from first animatic review
I imported all the images into adobe premier and made the animatic with the narration. I couldn’t finish matching the end part with the narration before my tutorial so this is what I showed.
WWWK1 WEEK END and DAYS OFF UNI WORK
On our first week back from the Christmas break I asked Clare Murphy to take a look at my storyboard and recorded a narration for it. I’m glad she agreed to do it because that meant that I could have an animatic with narration ready for week 2. After all the issues with our animatic on the last project I was determine to get a very clear animatic and to have my story resolved before production starts.
Going into the animatic my biggest worry was scanning all 196 storyboard boxes from my 9 pages. Luck for me I remembered that when I was studying web design in college we were shown how to design a webpage template in Photoshop, one of the tool used to do this in Photoshop is, the slice tool. My logic is that if I use the slice tool in Photoshop, I will only need to scan 9 pages, then open each pages in Photoshop and use the slice tool to slice the boards on each pages and then save them as individual image which I will then import as sequential image in adobe premier.
The only problem is that I don’t remember how to use the slice but I found a how to video to solve the problem.
In my case I couldn’t follow the video word for word because my storyboard boxes are not perfectly aligned, I had to use another method I remembered. Which is to turn on the ruler tool and put guide lines on to parts I want the slice to be so I can use the (slice from guide button), this way I can avoid cutting off some of the drawing off my storyboard.
Drawn guide line
slice from guide.
After that I just followed the rest of the insurrection from the video.
My only big issue with doing it this way is that after save all the images, I had to rename the entire file again because their number didn’t appear to be in the right sequence.
As I can’t seem to be able to make each characters look the same every time I draw them, I now think that anyone reading my storyboard will the confuse by this. So I have decided to photocopy the storyboard pages and assign particular colour for each character, to distinguish them I am hopping that this will make the storyboard easier to read.
Christmas Holiday Working
As I am drawing on the light box, I realised that I have come full circle , I actually have not used my light box since the 2016 Christmas holiday when I was doing the four legged work cycle. I have to use it this time to trace the forest background onto the boards that stays the same when the camera is not moving.
As I trace the drawings over and over again, I realised that if I had done the storyboard in TV paint, I only would have needed to draw the background once on a separate layer and then just the rest of the scene on another layer
while storyboarding I some times fill comfortable drawing the image big before drawing it small enough to file the tiny box on the board
LOOK INTO AUTOCORRECT FUNCTION
It would have been faster if I had drawn the storyboard in TV paint because by doing so Iit would have also have served as my animatic. However, I chose to do it by hand since I hadn’t done much hand-drawing in a while and not only did I miss it, but it gave me a much needed break from sitting in front of the computer.
While I was looking for an example of African animation I found this one titled Orisha’s Journey (2014) by Abdul Ndadi the story is about a little girl that goes on a journey with a little creature she finds in the woods, on her quest she meets new creatures and learn more about her culture.
I like the music I think it works well with the visual but I don’t really like the animation style and the visual it too Disney for me I think I expected something Nigerian a visual that similar to an African painting or sculpture I also don’t like the voice over it does not fit the film. It would have worked better if they had a Nigeria voice over instead of an African American voice I must make sure I pick these things correctly when I am doing my film.
I like this one even though the narrator’s voice is not of the same origin as the story it still works. I like the music and the sound effects, hopefully I can do something similar in my film.
I then began researching images for my story setting. I explored images of West African village scenery, both photographs and paintings to give me a some strong ideas for the forms and layout of the images in my storyboarding.
Drawing inspiration initially from the storybook illustrations, I began to look at some more contemporary images of traditional Nigerian costume.
I have read the story countless times and below is a breakdown list of what I need to storyboard.
First step was to scan the pages of the story I have chosen from the original book.
For my final project I have chosen to base my 3 minute film on one of the short stories in the above book. I read this book as a child, and my sisters and I loved the stories in it so much, that when we came to London as teenagers, we brought the book with us.
Since becoming an animator I have been waiting for the day that I feel sufficiently confident in my skills to one day make the stories in this book into an animated series, with each story representing as an episode. For now, my graduation film is episode 1 and although the title of the story I am animating is Three Brothers and the Old Woman, I intend for this project to take the title of the whole book: Stories/A Story?? My Mother Told Me.