Persephone's Flight Review: Ewen/10

Friday, April 25, 2008

It's over!


Full Credits:
Since I wanted my credits to be short and sweet and because I didn't have a lot of space on my credit slides, I kept names to a minimum. So now, I'll try to recognize everyone who helped me get here.

"Written and Directed" is basically the title that accounts for everything I did on my own. That includes initial concept, storyboarding, all the animation, cleanup, colouring, sound editing, compositing, and vocals for the birds.

My mentor, Jason Thompson provided valuable feedback during the early story stages that helped transform my first story reel (which you may have seen earlier on my blog) into the final product that you see now. He was always supportive and encouraging.

Rex Alerta is a close friend who I knew I could count on for the 3d snow effects I wanted.

Susan Beniston was my 3d design teacher in art fundamentals for my 1st year in Sheridan, and if it wasn't for her confidence in my ability, I probably would not be graduating from Sheridan as I am now, for she pushed me to appeal when she discovered that I was initially rejected from the animation program.

Natalie Garceau-Turner was my story teacher in 3rd year that helped us on a path to spark our 4th year film ideas. She helped steer Persephone's Flight in the right direction, along with the initial encouragement I needed to start running with it.

Dave Tran is a good friend whom I asked for help when I knew I wouldn't make the student screening deadline. He helped colour some scenes that made my film more complete for that screening. In this way he should be credited as a Colouring Assistant.

Finally, a large group of people are placed in Family and Friends. My parents, you could say were Funding and support, especially from Mom; and to my 2 sisters, my friends, my mentor group peers, anyone who gave me feedback or complimented me on my work in progress - Thank you!

Software used: Adobe Photoshop CS3, Flash CS3, After Effects CS3, Premiere Pro CS3, and Audition 3.0
The film was almost entirely completed at home on my HP Pavilion notebook with a Wacom Bamboo Fun Medium size tablet.

Also, I recently whipped up some designs for the main characters - a distant goal I once had was to have the "real" gods featured in the credits to dispel any misconceptions people no doubt still have about the Demeter bird being the husband to Persephone. Ah well.

Final Thoughts on PF
Overall, I'm happy with the result of my film; for the most part it ended up how I envisioned it from the boards. However I am not without regrets and things I wish I could have done better.

The thing I wish I could have improved the most would be the layouts/BG paintings. I'm happy with this film since nothing really makes me cringe when I watch it, (compared to the dialogue I wrote for The Crane's Lament which pretty much makes me cringe everytime I hear it now), but when I focus on the BGs, like the opening shot, I feel a tinge of embarrassment and wish I had the skill to make the layouts and paintings really shine. The BGs were the first things that I did once production started in the second semester and by that time I already knew I was going to be extremely short on time, so I decided that I'd go for a very vague, lineless "painterly" style to quickly roll through them. I only gave myself a day or two to complete a painting, and for me, one who is not terribly skilled in the art of layout and background painting, this is really rushing it.

The second thing I wish I could've done better is of course animation. Animation is what I'd like to focus on and hopefully some of that shines through in the short. Flash was a huge help in animation this time around since it gave me an easy way to move entire sections of frames, and execute holds much easier. It also allowed instant playback of what I was drawing, and no bloody scanning! Digital all the way ftw!
Even so, I consider most of my scenes to be roughed and cleaned on the first pass, with no significant changes that should have come from a critique. I'm sure Jason would've helped me more in this area, but I only had time to draw it out, make sure it worked well enough, and move to the next scene.

The last thing I'll talk about (because this post is turning into an essay) is my character design. I was pretty stuck on the original concepts of my characters from the very beginning (2 plump birds with extravagant head plumage, a plain snake, and sparrows with bows), and as such they pretty much stayed close to those original ideas. Those birds used to be really fat though! I should have explored more with the character design, especially in making sure that Demeter looked more like a mother rather than a male partner to Persephone, which was one of my biggest story issues from the beginning.
I also slacked off on model sheets, instead refining and defining my characters as I began to work on my rough scenes. I animated my scenes in chronological order - I wonder if a quality progression is noticeable? Even with my simple birds, staying on model was still a big challenge, and in this area, Persephone's "cherries" and Demeter's "feather" on their heads varied greatly from scene to scene (if you pay close attention). And finally, two scenes that I remember having errors I would've liked to smooth out:
1- In Persephone's Spring! scene where Demeter pulls her out of the Den, Demeter actually flies through Persephone when she circles around her. I didn't notice this in my rough, but it was evident in colouring.
2- When Persephone hops back to Hades' Den, the hopping distance and perspective is messed up to me and I wish I could've smoothed it out.

....Yeah. Despite these regrets, as I've said I'm still happy that in the end I have a fully completed "Capstone" film to graduate with, and hearing the comments that I've gotten about it, I'm led to believe that it ain't half-bad! Sweet!

thanks for reading hopefully the last entry on Persephone's Flight!

This Bird Has Flown

Monday, April 14, 2008

I made it! Finally. No more animation, clean up, or colouring for Persephone's Flight. She's all ready to go. I didn't make the deadline noted in my last post, nor did I make it when they extended it to Monday. But that first deadline was for marks and the student screening, and the majority of my film made it for that, so no worries. The major deadline is for the big Industry Day screening, and I'm happy to say that I'll be in the "fully finished film" group.

Here are some shots from the final product. Uploading to Youtube in the near future.

Hey look it's spring outside. Good thing I spent the entire winter inside, working on this film. A lot of people gain weight over the winter, but for me I think it was the opposite >_>

Now playing: Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky
via FoxyTunes