While meeting with your group for the first time, you need to informally determine what your strengths and weaknesses are. Discuss who is confident and skilled so far in the following areas:
Modeling non-living objects
Modeling living creatures
Rigging (so far)
Animating (so far)
Dynamics (so far)
Try to have at least one person for each area.
Begin brainstorming ideas for stories that you might do in the future. We will spend a lot of time on storytelling and preparation, so do not commit to any story right now.
I will informally discuss with each group what you have been thinking of so far, after a few days. Be prepared to identify who will help cover which area of the animation process. More than one person can cover one area.
Storytelling for Animation
Without a doubt, this is the most important step of all. You must have a really good story if you want to be successful with your film. Really good modeling and animation are simply just the cherry on top. Do not skip these steps!
STEP ONE:Ask me for the worksheet called, "Storytelling for Animation". Individually, you will need to complete the worksheet while you watch the following videos on storytelling for animation. Enjoy their accents, strange words and awkward, grown-up attempts at humor. But be sure to pay attention to the steps very carefully because afterwards you will work together as a group to apply what you've learned.
STEP TWO: Now, work together in your group to complete a worksheet called "The Storytelling Process for Animation". DUE 1/27
The Mouse Project
This is your first animated short that your group will produce. It will provide a lot of structure for you, while giving you the experience you need in animating and story creation.
View this video that was created by a group of students at a university:
It goes without saying that the modeling is very simplistic, and the story is not terribly complex. But that is okay. For this project, the goal is not to impress Hollywood, but to get your feet wet in the production process.
Using the steps that you learned about storytelling, you will create a short story where two or more mice compete for a piece of cheese. As was instructed, here are the steps...
Discuss your story with your group. Consider some of the ideas for generating ideas as you learned in the videos.
Create a "beat sheet", which outlines the main actions in the story. You need at least six. Realistically, it should have more than 8. DUE 1/29
Discuss with your group what kind of camera angles and transitions you will use for each of the items on the beat sheet.
At this point, now that you know what your story is, you can begin modeling the other objects that will be in your scene, besides the mouse. While one or two in the group work on the script, the others can work on modeling the piece of cheese, and other objects in the scene. You might want to rig the cheese, too.
Now, it's time for the script. You know what it is. Describe the actions in sentence form. Describe the sounds, sudden movements, who is doing the movements or sounds, camera movements, etc... There must be a space between each action, sound effect, voice, camera transition, etc.... DUE 2/2
Create a storyboard.
- You will need to use Photoshop to design your storyboard, because you will need a digital file for the animatic. Each page will be 5"x6". I recommend you use the digital tablets to draw. Absolutely nobody cares about the quality of the drawings, as long as we can just get the basic idea.
- At the bottom of each document, you need to include typed information about how the camera is transitioning in and out of each scene, what is spoken or heard, and a basic description of the action.
- Draw the information as explained in the beat sheet. Each item on the beat sheet should be illustrated in Photoshop for the storyboard.
- After each is completed, print out the documents, cut them out, and place them on the cork boards to display and for feedback purposes. DUE 2/5
Now it's time to animate the mice and cheese in your scene. Carefully follow everything that you have planned out so far. Each member of the team is required to have completed a significant portion of the film, not just the storyboard or script.
Batch render your scene when you are finished.
These are the instructions from last year. Everything is about the same, except change the resolution to at least 70.
Bring the file into iMovie. Add fade, sound effects, any voice, music, title sequence and credits. Congratulations, you're finished!!! DUE 2/26