Animatic

The animatic:

Hello! I am back for my last project of Visual Storytelling, my final animatic!

“A Phony Disaster”

Story Synopsis:

An unlucky lady finds her phone running out of battery… and ends up making everything right go wrong.

Process:

So prior to this project, we had to make a storyboard for our story, which you can find in a previous post of mine! (I’ll link it later because I don’t know how to)

On to the actual animatic!

But before that , here are some animation tips I found in the process of making this on Twitter:

By @HappyHarryToons on Twitter

I found them really useful because it I was pressed for time and I needed to complete the project ASAP before the deadline. It was really helpful!

Anyway as for the actual project…

To begin, since I did everything on paper, I had to redraw all of my scenes digitally to be able to animate them. I first did a rough first timeline sketch of the animatic to get the flow down, and also ask Don for comments on areas of improvements:

Don gave some comments, which I will mention those that I followed up on:

  1. I should include a portion which shows the motivation that the girl needs to have her rush home to charge her phone, if not it would seem weird and awkward to have the whole chase scene.
  2. Show the girl lying on the ground after she tripped and fell rather than it being just a still scene of her grabbing the air.

As for the actual “animating”, I did the drawing in Clip Studio Paint and the movements in Premiere Pro. Different moving parts are separated into different layers and placed over one another at the desired timing to achieve the effect I want.

For my drawings, I ended up keeping characters black and white while the backgrounds are colourful since I felt like having too many colours would draw the attention away from the characters themselves.

As for sound effects, I placed more emphasis on it since I couldn’t figure out what’s the best background music to add to the mood of the whole video. However, I knew from the start that my animatic was meant to be comedic, so the sound effects I use must also give off the comedic effect. About half of my sound effects came from various games since I realised that the wide array of sounds they have are very effective at conveying various emotions. The other half were Googled online and used suitably where needed. I was hoping to find clearer sound effects for some of them but since I was pressed for time, I had to make do.

Reflections:

Don commented how I should have added some voice acting to my video, especially at the parts where the girl shouted. I would love to use my own voice but alas I’m not that good (lol).

I was pleasantly surprised my classmates started laughing at my animatic, I didn’t expect the comedic effect of my animatic to be successful! Truly grateful for all the guidance and support.

Maybe next time, I’ll have a bit more time and put in more effort into making a better animatic, but for now, thank you for reading my post and see you all next semester! <3

 

The “Breathing” Self-Portrait

Hello hello! Once again I am back with another post for my school work. This time, I’ll be telling you all about my last project for my Digital Imaging class, so let’s get right into it! πŸ˜€

Video

Gif

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Ideation

Ah yes, so this is where I struggled the most. I was stuck in a limbo for 1 to 2 weeks deciding on what I want my idea to be.

Initially, I was planning to draw an open world from a game, one where I’m in it because I played so many games that they became part of my life and they hold great significance to me. Bryan was excited about the idea, and so was I.

However, somewhere along the course of the project, I was not very motivated to do it. Maybe it was me getting tired or assignments, or that I simply wanted a breath of fresh air, I don’t know man. Basically, I wanted to do something travelling related, which is also what I am quite enthusiastic about. I do follow some photographers on Instagram that do a lot of travelling to places far and beyond this little island. Alas, during my consultation with Bryan, he reminded me that this project is really more about myself and what I want to portray to others, and that doing something closer to my heart would be “better” in a sense. (To be edited)

So, this led me to giving it some more thought. I started thinking about the games I played over the course of many years. I didn’t want to simply replicate a scenery from a game, which I could easily reference from open world games, which are some of my favourite types of games. I wanted to draw something that was of importance and significance to me, past or present. Then, it hit me.

Mario Kart Wii.

This was one of the first few games I played back when I was say, 12 or 13 years old, but my memories of it were strong. I remember spending many hours sitting in front of the TV, pressing down really hard on the A button that it leaves a mark on my fingers, or that I have (almost) perfectly memorised all of the 32 routes in the game, or that I can almost instinctively flick the Wii Remote at certain parts of the game to do cool tricks and stunts for my character, or that I spent hours on YouTube watching really pro Mario Kart Wii YouTubers playing in tournaments with their godlike skills that my 13 year old self cannot match (haha). But basically, you get the gist of it. This game was pretty darn fun to me.

But now, what aspect of Mario Kart shall I present for my project? My first thought was showcasing a scenery of one of the tracks that I used to play. But which one? There are like 32 of them, how the hell am I suppose to choose? Maple Treeway? Yoshi Falls? Luigi Circuit? Coconut Mall? There were simply too many to choose from. So I thought even harder, and realise there was always one that struck a chord in me.

Rainbow Road.

Ah yes, the staple of every Mario Kart game, how could anyone forget? Rainbow Road has always been a staple in all the Mario Kart games, appearing as the final course in the Special Cup, and one of the more tricky tracks. It has many boosts, ramps, bumps, and most importantly, devoid of railings, which means you are very prone to falling off the track every 2 seconds after respawning (speaking from experience, haha). The Rainbow Road on Mario Kart Wii was no exception of course. I remembered when I first saw it, I was so amazed by the colourful floating track in the middle of the galaxy, scattered with stars and the earth far far below us. It was (literally) out of this world. You can only imagine my excitement when I finally got to play the track myself, heh. It was truly magical.

13 year old me sure fell down to Earth a lot (and probably still do now haha)

And hence, I would attempt to portray me and my experience with Rainbow Road in the process below.

But before that…

Artist References

Yuumei

Not completely relevant, but I have been following her works for really long and I always love her (sometimes) surrealistic compositions and use of colours to suit the mood of her painting. Also, her scenery works are all insanely breathtaking and magical.Β 

Nathalie F

She’s a concept artist that I’ve been following for a while, and I love the way she uses different colours to set the mood of the scenery. I also like how she adds many details into her works to make it feel alive. Her dynamic illustrative style also stands out to me too from her other works.

And of course, the original Rainbow Road track itself from the game:

The drop in the beginning of the track, sprinkled with stars and meteorites
The rainbow cannon portion
The star tunnel near the finish line

The track has many cool gimmicks along the way (like shown above), and it’s colourful nature stands out really brightly against the endless galaxy and the earth below. Therefore I’ll pick some elements of the track to put it in my drawing.

And with the artist references out of the way, time to do a lot of work!

Process

Sketching

So first and foremost, I conjured up some possible compositions I could possibly use for my project:

Ultimately, I decided to use the very first one on top since I want to capture the thrill of playing the game and also the satisfaction of throwing a spiny shell. (A spiny shell is a homing weapon on the player that is currently in first place and deals a huge explosion, hence it is like the ultimate “HA GET REKT” item.)

DigitalisingΒ 

Next, I sketched out my drawing in Clip Studio Paint.

The look of a scheming asshole

I added 200px horizontally and vertically to the 1920×1080 image so that I could animate the different parts. I also used a frame to indicate where the objects will be visible in the final animation.

As for the details, in the foreground is my avatar in the game, driving a standard kart in the game with one hand while holding the spiny shell in the other. I gave my avatar a Yoshi hat since I played as Yoshi the most in the game. (It’s too cute!) I added in some floating stars and meteorites since the original track had it too. I also added additional roads below the road my avatar is travelling on to make the composition look less empty. The bottom road had a split path and some overarching gates, both of which are present in the original track.

And then the process continues below:

Animating

First and foremost, I indicated in my sketches where I wanted what to move.

Unfortunately, due to my limited skills and expertise in After Effects, I wasn’t able to do everything I wanted to, but I tried my best to do as much as I can.

This is how my final workflow looked like:

I’ll be talking about what I did to each individual layer! So firstly…

Galaxy

I wanted to give the galaxy layer just a bit of movement since it’s in the background, so all I did was add frames to change it’s position, and added some slight rotation on the Z axis to look more like an actual spacey effect.

Lower track

I added some gaussian blur to the track since it is in the mid-ground, so less focus is on it. I also made it move from left to right and rotated it slightly along the key frames to make the movement more dynamic.

Green Arrows

As you can see from the effects control on the left side, I also blurred the arrows to match with the lower track. After that, I decided to add a little glowing effect to the arrow to make it look neon-ish like how it does in the game, so I key framed the glow radius at 2 second intervals, as can be seen in the timeline below. After that, I also tracked the position of the arrows to move in sync with the lower track as seen in the transform section below.

Upper track

This layer of mine consisted of 2 rounds of animating, so I’ll start with the broader one!

For the overall track, I moved the position of the track diagonally left downwards since it matched with the direction the kart was driving towards. And now the details:

The upper track layer is pre-composed by a these few layers, and I’ll talk about each one individually.

Meteor Upper and Lower

Firstly, I added gaussian blur to the meteors since they are in the mid-ground. Next, I wanted to make the meteors bob around a bit, like as if they are floating in the galaxy. So after playing around with the effects a bit, I found this effect called “Wiggle – position” that lets the object move around back and forth the same area, so I applied that to the meteor layer too. (The 2 effects can be seen in the bottom left.) Lastly, I also moved the meteors a bit to match the track (as can be seen on the top left side of effects controls.) Although I only took a screenshot of the top meteor layer’s effects, the same are applied to the lower layer (which is the layer beneath the road.)

Sparkling effect

This is where I got a little ambitious… so I wanted to create the effect where the track would sparkle, much like the actual glossy track in the game. So after some Googling I learnt of this effect called “CC Particle World”, and by adding it to an adjustment layer, masking only the area I need accordingly and tweak it’s properties, I can make the track extra shiny! πŸ˜€ There are some more settings that I have to change that are not shown in the screenshot to achieve this effect, but what’s shown in the effects control on the left is generally the gist of it. It was quite fun toggling between the different settings to see what it could do.

And then the upper track’s done! πŸ™‚

Track marks

These are for the zooming effect that appears behind the kart. As usual, I moved the position of it to match the kart, as well as it’s scale since it’s moving towards the front. Also rotated it slightly along the way to match the kart’s movements.

The Avatar, Kart and Spiny Shell

These 3 components were pre-composed into one to track their overall movements, so I’ll talk about that first!

As you can see, once again I moved the whole layer diagonally downwards towards the left to make it look as if like it’s driving forward. I also made the size bigger to give the feeling of depth. Now I’ll talk about the details.

There are 4 layers here but I only touched the “blue shell” and “myself” layer.

For both layers, I used the puppet pin function to achieve slight movements.

Myself (or more specifically just the left arm)

As you can see, I pinned the main moving parts of the body, however I only touched “Puppet Pin 2” to move the arm slightly out as shown in the workflow.

Blue Shell

I pinned a few spots on the shell, but my main intention was just to slightly move the wings to give it movement, hence only 2 pins were actually touched. And although not shown in the image here, the shell is also moving to synchronise with the moving hand.

In hindsight, there were more things I would have loved to animate for the kart and body, like making the wheels turn or giving the body more movement, but I wasn’t sure of how to achieve the effect and I had limited time, so I had to make do with what I did.

Some colour adjustments

Finally, I made the whole composition a bit more saturated, as well as to add a bit of exposure to the sides of the image to let the image have a better focus in the middle.

Some small saturation adjustments
And changing the exposure very slightly

AND VOILA! FINALLY DONE! WOOHOO! *collapses*

Reflections

Oh man this has been a rollercoaster ride from start to end… from not being able to come up with an idea all the way until the end of this OSS post (heheh)

This is my first ever attempt at using After Effects, and I genuinely had fun doing it! Although there were some hair-pulling moments (like trying to figure out for 2 hours why it’s moving the wrong way… grrr) I have definitely picked up a lot of useful skills from this assignment, and learned a new software! Although the final product could have looked better, I’m pretty happy at it nonetheless. Everyone’s gotta start somewhere after all! :”D

I am very thankful to Bryan for imparting me many useful skills and lessons these past 13 weeks, from Photoshop to Premiere Pro to After Effects, and they will definitely be put to good use in the future.

And with that, I’ll sign off here one last time from my Digital Imaging class, see you next time! πŸ˜€

 

Storyboards

Hello there! Today I’ll let my drawings bring you through my storyboards for assignment 3 of Visual Storytelling. This is a continuation of the Story Beats I made last time, so enjoy!

(Note: I currently only scanned my work with the line art and drew on some camera movements later on, I have already coloured it but I’m not sure if I can make it in time to scan by presentation. Also bird-brained me forgot to scan the last page of my work, so enjoy the almost-complete storyboard! Will update when I get around to scanning it, and you probably won’t see this message here anymore lol)

Reflection time!

  1. Did the storyboard turned out as you hope?
    Yea it did! But actually I wanted to add one more trip-up in the run scene, but I think that would extend to too many boards and I don’t have the time to draw them out πŸ˜›
  2. What would you do to improve it?
    I felt that I could have used more different kind of shots in my storyboard since most of mine just look like stills. I probably could have experimented more with different shot angles of certain scenes, maybe there were some that would have looked nicer from a different angle.
  3. What skills do you need to improve?
    A bit of my drawing skills… I still can’t draw some poses… haha
    And also how to draw cats
  4. What are the most significant things you have learnt so far?
    Probably all the storytelling devices from Don’s lecture in Week 7. I was constantly referring to it to give me guidance on how to angle my shots and definitely helped me tremendously.
To be continued! πŸ™‚

John Takes a Drink

This took way too long to complete but… it’s finally done!

  1. John takes a drink…
  2. …he puts the bottle down…
  3. …and walks out of the room.

Here is the result:

There are some parts that I felt could’ve been better coloured and there are some mistakes here and there, but because I am running out of time this will suffice for now. Thank you for reading this short comic of mine!

See you next time πŸ™‚

“Found” Narratives – For XX

Hello! I am back with another assignment today. πŸ˜€
Hoo boy this is going to be a long post… Hope you’re ready!

1 Minute Video:

30 Second Video:

Artist Statement:
A retelling of a true story, of one where I stumble across a crime scene in my neighbourhood… which turned out to be a film set. Whooooooops.

Conceptualising:
When I first received this project, I did not have the faintest idea of what I wanted to do. Tell a story in one minute? What the hell? And in video?! Oh nooooo.Β But of course, after overcoming all the initial panic, I started to sit down and think about what I want to do.

Since I am not a very ‘deep’ person that can’t exactly tackle all the ‘deep and philosophical’ issues, I decided to do what I do best: Some (bad) comedy. πŸ˜›

I occasionally make little comics about my life shenanigans, and after scrolling through my old works I decided to tell the story of the time I passed by a ‘crime scene’ near my house. And boy was it a wild ride… haha.

After nailing down the story and getting Bryan’s approval, I originally wanted to piece together videos and images of police cars, tents and what not into my video, but either I have bad Google-fu or the images online are really that lacking of the content I need, I was not able to find satisfying footage that I needed. The pictures are usually of low quality or are taken from an awkward angle, and the videos I found would be hard to piece together to form a cohesive narrative. And thus this led me to one other option: telling the whole story by doing everything myself.

The entire process:
At the beginning, I was planning how I would want to portray the story, such that it would not give away the ‘twist’ of the plot. I then decided I would first show elements of a crime scene, such as police tents, police cars and police tapes, to mislead the viewer. Afterwards, when I go to the area for a closeup, I see the other elements, such as the boom mic, cameras and clappers. It then leads to an awkward exit away from the screen by yours truly.

Below is my low-effort attempt at trying to storyboard the story:

Small scribbles

I laid out how I want my story to go, so the next thing is to try to piece it together on Premiere Pro itself. For this, I redrew all the key frames in Photoshop and then transferring them to Premiere. I also recorded the voices I need for my work.

This was the first draft:

Picture by picture

Then to video:

Combining it with my voiceover

After I made sure the story flows cohesively, I started to work on the actual story.

I was in a dilemma about what style I wanted to portray my story in. I originally wanted to go for a more realistic style for my characters, but with the limited time I am working with, the best option would be to go for simplification, which is the style I used in the key frames I made above of the characters. This is a style that I work with quite often too, so I am also aware of the amount of work I need to do to pull this off.

Next thing was the backgrounds. After realising that I clearly don’t have enough time to draw them all out, I decided to take my own pictures instead, since I can decide my own angle and composition and shoot till my heart’s content. As for the actual location, I walked around my neighbourhood until I found a good spot to take my pictures. I snapped at all the locations I needed according to my story until I was satisfied with it.

At this point, my plan was to overlay my characters onto the photos, so I realised that the realistic looking photos against the highly stylised characters would look very jarring, so I applied a Photoshop filter, “palette knife”, to all of my images. This would make the photos look more artistic and “cartooney”, so it would be less distracting from the subject matters. I also did not really apply any colour correction or editing to my images since I felt that they look natural enough to be in the video themselves.

This was the result:

*squints*

Next thing are my characters. I have never really tried to do anything animated-related so I had to try to find a way to make it look like things are kind of “moving”. After some more trial and error, I decided to draw my character movements one by one and then lining them up in Premiere.

Below is an example from the first scene of the girl walking:

It’s a bit small, apologies!

I drew the girl in a layer above the image and then coloured it in. Afterwards, I made everything transparent except the girl and saved it as one image. This is then transferred to Premiere, where I piece together the movements image by image.

As you can see, there are 2 layers of “videos” on the timeline. “bg” is the background, and the files labelled 1, 2, 3, etc. are the individual movements of the girl walking. And this was basically how I did my entire video…

There were also some parts of the video where I had to draw what was going on.

The line work was a bit too shabby for my liking… but I was running out of time ):

After some sleepless nights, Premiere crashing, Photoshop lagging, files going missing, pen stylus not responding and just all around bad luck when it comes to doing any video related assignment, I finally pieced together everything, and all that’s left was for me to add some sound effects to make the video more dramatic.

Sound effects are the only media files that I Googled for, credits at the bottom of the post! As for the sound effects themselves, as I was doing my project I kind of already had in mind what sound effect will go where, so that part was relatively simple, thankfully. And with that, more or less, my video is completed!

This is how my final timeline looks like:

I tried.

…or so I wish lol. Now the real challenge is to cut down my video to half of the original length while still maintaining the same wit and retaining all of the voiceover audio. So naturally, I shortened a lot of the parts that were voiceless, and even cutting out one scene entirely. It certainly wasn’t an easy task, but somehow I managed, millisecond by millisecond. Phew. I thinkΒ I barely made it. Woohoo!

Artist references:
I’ll admit, I’m not exactly the best when it comes to artist references in this mod. A lot of my ideas are formulated in my head before I could find an artist to reference to, so I always struggled to find someone to include in this section. I also have a very limited Photography/Film knowledge, which is probably a bit more of a fault on my part, haha… sorry Bryan ):

This time was no exception, I really had no idea what inspired me to do this style of work in the first place. But I tried to think a bit more and I went back to look at some of the animators I subscribe to on YouTube and realised that is probably my best source of inspiration for my works.

The animators I follow are all usually talking about their life stories and opinions on various issues, which are really nice to watch. Some have really sarcastic humour that I can really related to, which is a nice plus. Furthermore, I find it impressive that these animators can express a simple face so animatedly even though their character personas are relatively simple in design too. They can also present their points humourously with a witty and well-timed joke, which always gives me a good chuckle. All in all, I admire the quality and effort they put into their videos and maybe someday I’ll be like that too…

Here are some of them! They are all really good, check them out if you are interested!

  1. TheOdd1sOut
  2. CypherDen
  3. Jaiden Animations

Transcript:

(Scene opens with a girl walking)
(She turns her head to see something shocking)
Girl: WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!
(A police tent is shown)
(A police car is shown)
(Police tape with a crowd is shown)
Girl: A CRIME SCENE?!
(The girl dashes off toward the scene of the crime)
(She reaches the place and stops to catch her breath)
Girl: Wait… what?
(A clapper is shown)
(A boom mic is shown)
(A film set is shown)
Girl: It’s… a movie set! Ahahaha….. (her voice trails off)
(She slowly backs away from the film set)
END

Some reflections:

Hoo boy, I don’t know if this video was a mistake or not to be honest, haha. It was very time consuming and in my opinion, quite shoddily put together. There were many scenes where there were more that I wanted to play with, but due to time constraints I had to cut the amount of work I intended to do and come to a compromise. I knew making a semi animated short wasn’t easy, especially since this is my first time trying to use Adobe Premiere. I had to learn everything from scratch, and more often than not I couldn’t get things to work the way I want, ahaha. Coupled with some other happy little accidents, this project was a little frustrating to say the least πŸ˜›

Furthermore this is not exactly the conventional video format for this assignment, and even though Bryan gave the go ahead for my video I was honestly really hesitant throughout making it because it almost feels like I’m not hitting his requirements… but I guess we’ll see o_o

Buuuuuut I guess, in hindsight, I picked up many useful Premiere skills through this first-time experience and I hope that I would be able to use them more effectively the next time I need to produce another video. May every mistake be a lesson to be learnt. πŸ™‚

Post-presentation critique:
Bryan thought the video was pretty okay and appreciated the effort I put into this project. The story was easy to follow, and he was sad to realise that there wasn’t more suspense to the video because of the time limit, haha. Despite that, he commented that I could have put in more effort into the background, such as playing with curves or colours, which I agree with. I would have loved to do that too, but time was unfortunately not on my side πŸ™ It would have been nice to make the world look more vibrant. Thank you for the great advice! πŸ™‚

Alas, this post has gone on too long (or maybe it’s because I’m falling asleep…) but I guess I’ll end it here. If you made it all the way to the end, thank you for reading through my entire post, and I’ll see you next time! <3

Sound effects credits:

  1. The dramatic BOOM sound
  2. The ZOOM sound
  3. The brake sound
  4. People talking in the background
  5. Background environment noises are by myself

 

 

Wally Wood’s 22 Panels That Always Work!!

I don’t have time to write an explanation now but here are my 22 panels for this assignment! Also this is horrible quality since I didn’t get to scan it…

UPDATE: 13/3/18
So after Don looked through my work, he commented that I should colour the shaded black parts to a solid black. So here’s the updated version below nicely scanned!

I wonder if anyone actually tried to read what I wrote in pencil

See you next time! πŸ˜€

Story Beats

Hello! Today I’ll be bringing you through the story beats for my story for Visual Storytelling.

Premise: A girlΒ realised that her phone was running out of battery, so she rushed back home, only for her plan to be completely ruined.

Week 4: Initial story beats

Back in week 4, my original story beats went like this.

  1. Girl was mindlessly using phone
  2. She suddenly gets surprised looking at her phone
  3. She starts to run home really fast
  4. Intense run scene intensifies
  5. She reaches home
  6. Manages to plug in her phone into the socket with 1% battery left
  7. Goes to rest while waiting for her phone to charge
  8. Wakes up and realises that her phone was not charging the whole time… whoops

And here was my first draft:

When I showed the idea to Don, he thought that the resting part of the story (point 7) was very anti climatic between the run scene and the big reveal where her phone was charging, so the impact wasn’t too strong and asked that I modify the story. After some discussion, I altered the Story Beats slightly.

  1. Girl was mindlessly using phone
  2. She suddenly gets surprised looking at her phone
  3. She starts to run home really fast
  4. She reaches home
  5. Manages to plug in her phone into the socket with 1% battery left
  6. Heaves a sigh of relief, but did not place her phone properly on the stand
  7. Phone drops to the floor and shatters (much like her heart)
  8. She gives a look of defeat at her phone

This story worked out much better since there was just one “punch” moment at the end rather than the previous one.

With that, I drew my story beats of my altered story in class:

Week 5: Refining the Story Beats

I tried to draw some frames with different angles and compositions, as seen below:

Some differences:

  1. Running angle changed in beat 3
  2. Screeching to a halt angle at doorstep changed in beat 4
  3. Refined the girl in beats 6 and 7
  4. Changed angle of girl and phone in beat 8 to better see the cracked phone while still being able to see the girl’s defeated expression

Week 6: Beautifying the Story Beats

After getting the gist of how my storyboards will look like, I drew them out once again, except this time, the story beats are neatly lined, scanned, and digitally coloured. There were also some (minor) changes made to the composition of the beats.

These are my beats:

Changes made:

  1. Small background added in Beat 3
  2. Angle of face made to look more realistic in Beat 5
  3. And uhhh I guess changing the table in Beats 6 and 7 lol

I could have given the beats a bit more shading, but I was too tired at that point, so I just left it as it is.

After critiquing session:

Don said the story was okay, however there are some parts that could be improved.

  1. Add suspense during the running scene (eg. lock won’t open) to further heighten the tension of the situation, make the reader more curious
  2. The character needs a purpose to run home and charge her battery because charging the battery at 1% is not necessarily a very pressing issue. Possible motive could be that she has to send an important message to someone.
  3. Not to have too many “horizontal shots” (I forgot the term he want us to use) but I felt it gave continuity to the beats so maybe I’ll consider. πŸ˜›
To be continued! πŸ™‚

 

The Hyperreal Self-Portrait

Hello hello! Today I’ll be bringing you guys through my second project for my Digital Imaging class.

Title: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Before:

After:

Process:
I was actually struggling quite a bit with how I wanted to portray myself in this project, since I couldn’t nail down the “essence” behind my work. But I knew from the start I wanted to draw something to “life”, like they are coming out from my game.

As you can clearly tell I am pretty out of ideas

I looked to some images done by artists that were featured on @photoshop on Instagram too but I couldn’t get inspired.

They are really, really beautiful though πŸ™‚

In the end, I decided that I want to have this duality between the me in real life and the me as an avatar playing games, so I Googled up some inspiration on the Internet.

Magnolia and Myosotis from Deemo by Siyouko on FB and Twitter
By chivi-chivik on DeviantArt

The artists I referenced above show 2 sides of the same character, with some small differences between them such as their expression of the character or a colour swap. My idea would henceforth be somewhat similar to those examples.

Some more (really crappy) sketches to get my ideas going:

Badly drawn stuff ):

I decided that one side would be myself and the other side should be a character I’m playing as, showing unison between the both of us and the screen keeping us apart is broken. It makes me warm and fuzzy inside to be a character in the game.

I used a Nikon D5500 and my camera settings were 18-55mm lens, f/5, 1/50s, ISO800. Firstly, I cleaned up the wall to make it look smoother and with less distractions, then I applied a mask to the background to make some minor curve changes to myself. I then applied a overall curves to the image to make it look brighter. Afterwards, I drew my character on the other side of the screen and added some drop shadow to make her stand out more against the grey-black background.

I chose to hold a 3DS in my hand this time since I also spent a lot of time playing games on it, but mostly Pokemon. The girl avatar I drew is the female protagonist of Pokemon Black 2 White 2, since I probably spent the most time on this game and I was really immersed into it. (Also I think she looks really cute…) However, in hindsight, I probably should have made my 3DS screen face the camera to show some kind of victory or triumph in battle to make the delighted faces of me and the girl avatar more significant, but it’s unfortunately a bit late for that (sad face). Me and my girl avatar are also separated by a black and white background to show the polar opposites of us in nature but I could still resonate with the fictional character (granted Pokemon protagonists are actually silent but it still feels good playing as them, also unintentional Black and White reference to the game title :P).

And so here’s the final again:

Some reflections:

In hindsight, I probably could have done more to make my image more engaging, since it feels kind of boring and flat, like as if there was no dynamic in it at all. If I had thought of my idea earlier and had more time to think through how can I compose my image better, it might have turned out quite differently and I would have been more satisfied with the outcome.

UPDATE: Critique feedback

The image was generally okay, however Bryan felt that maybe my girl avatar could have been more glossy to look more blended in like my skin, and also the shadow could have been more like my own image’s one. He also commented that I should clean up some stray hair from my face to make the image look more well thought out and presentable since they look kind of distracting coming out of my nose. He commented that I have also put in more consideration into my choice of clothes in the photo and how it can also add more meaning to my work. I could have also made my 3DS more bright and saturated to give audiences a visual cue, much like the red Pokeball that really catches the audience’s attention. Bryan also said that I could make it look like the girl avatar’s side of the image have like Pokemon like coming out towards me to show some kind of liveliness in the picture (I forgot his exact words because I have a 5 second memory but that was roughly the gist of it >_>)

Anyway, thank you for reading my post and see you guys next time! (:

Fear

Hello everyone! For this post I’ll be presenting on a fear that I chose for my first assignment.

24/1/18

My inspiration for choosing this fear came from hearing that someone had a fear of fishes (called Ichthyophobia), and that their way of overcoming it was to go diving. They then realised that the fishes usually swim away from them and there wasn’t really anything to be scared of… (or is there?) Pretty cool huh?! So I decided to work my story around that idea.

So I did a little digging into Ichthyophobia.

A google search showed up that people actually do take diving lessons to curb their fear of fishes, which I will link to at the bottom of the post. Generally, people that have a fear of fishes would first try to touch a fish or eat one to try to overcome it, but I thought tackling the idea that someone would go diving to curb that fear would be more interesting.

25/1/18

Aaaaaand that leads to this drawing of mine:

Deep down under

I chose to depict a diver diving down into the sea into a huge school of fishes. Although the fishes are great in quantity, they are all swimming away from the diver, showing that they meant no harm despite their numbers. I also made the areas further away from the diver to be darker so that the diver catches the viewer’s attention first. I also added some underwater plants to make the image less empty and to fill in the environment of this picture.

31/1/18

Don then gave us the assignment to colour our first picture and make a second one in colour to continue the story, so here are the results:

Some colours

For the first image, I decided to add extra grey tones to the fishes for a better gradient, and gave some earthly tones to the corals. I would have used some blue as the sea but there was too much black for me to add it in to look natural. I added some yellow to the diver to make him stand out more too.

Why hello there.

While the little fishes are swimming nonchalantly in the ocean, the diver kept diving and came face to face with this huge marine creature staring them in the face. I chose to continue the story this way since the sea is full of all kinds of sea life and they are bound to meet fascinating sea creatures, both big and small. I chose to draw a whale shark since even though they look deadly to humans, they actually only feed on small fishes and microorganisms in the sea and do not harm or target humans.

I added blue to represent the ocean in this picture, and also make the diver and whale shark stand out more against the backdrop because of their colour. The blue darkens to black near the edge of the paper on the bottom right to once again give focus to the diver but this time the whale shark is also large enough to catch people’s attention.

And that’s it for my story (so far?) Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed conjuring it up! πŸ™‚

EDIT: 2/2/18

After presenting in class and learning more about using colour to set the mood, there were some things I would have changed to convey the mood of my drawing better. First off, I realised the bright blue colours I used do not really convey this sense of fear when the diver meets the whale shark, but instead looks more like a cheerful encounter, which Don agreed. Don said that I could use the colour mood of my cover image to give a more ominous feeling, since the blues are darker too. I also realised that I should have given the diver a different body language, one more of shock and caution rather than happily embracing the situation (and thinking that he is swimming to his death). I could have also probably replaced yellow on the diver with orange instead since blue and orange are complimentary colours to each other. Overall, this has been a fun experience for me to learn how to use colours to convey emotion in an image.

BONUS BONUS:

Extra reading –Β https://www.snorkelingonline.com/blogs/news/70025859-how-i-overcame-my-fear-of-fish