I had two great revelations today regarding my major project. First of all as I was doing my storyboards I found myself incredibly happy with the style of storyboards. So much so in fact all I need to do is tidy them up a bit and I’m 99.9% percent sure that I’ll use that style for my major project. And the great thing is I’ve created the storyboards in an old copy of Photoshop Elements 4.0 that I bought many years ago. I have a habit of using old software for simpler things occasionally because the power of a modern computer (I think I’m on my 3rd one since I originally bought the software) makes the old software work like a lightning hitting a wet cow shed. That is if Bill Gates hasn’t created a new operating system that means half of your old software doesn’t work (or in my case a video camera, scanner and a ton of software).
Basically all I did was practice what I preached and drew my storyboards as I mentioned in my tutorial on Drawing in PhotoShop. I know from looking at the drawings, it’s probably a bit too detailed for a storyboard, but because I did the limbs in different layers, I can just readjust the characters as I would when I animate them. This is a picture of myself and my friend and co writer Nik Coppin. Not a bad likeness if I say so myself.
I was also using this more detailed than usual way to do the storyboards to get used to the graphics tablet. I’m finding drawing each picture is getting quicker and better as I go along.
The other thing I made a happy revelation with, was how to describe the animation in the shortest way possible. Since doing my Douglas Adams animation I’ve been a little bit Douglas Adams obsessed. In fact I would have gone to his 60th birthday celebrations at the Hammersmith Apollo, but I was busy standing next to a scantily clad pole dancer in Great Yarmouth with a beer in my hand at 4pm backstage at a rock gig. But aside from these hardships I’ve enjoyed listening to the further adventures of the radio Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, attempting to read Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Watching the Doctor Who story City of Death and the brilliant documentary on the 2nd DVD, but most importantly watching the new TV show Dirk Gently.
I love this program. It’s exactly the kind of program that is almost made just for me and no one else. It’s just that there seems to be lots of other people who share a similar kind of taste in the programs I enjoy. But as usual I digress. What I’m blathering on about is this; While I watched the second episode of Dirk Gently I said to myself, this is great, it’s a bit like my major project for my animation MA. It’s a sci-fi show with not that much sci-fi. I suddenly realised that’s how I can describe my animation quicker when trying to pitch it or keeping it short at a dull party.
The Dull Party I Occasionally Have to Endure
The stage is set in the living room of a middle class couple. It is a Saturday night and our hero Mike Belgrave has had his gig cancelled at the last moment. This means he unfortunately has to spend time with people he has nothing in common with, but has been forced to go to. The room is half full and a man of no description worth mentioning strikes up a conversation with our hero.
James: Hello, I’m James, what’s your name?
Mike: Mike, pleased to meet you.
James: And what do you do?
Mike: I’m a stand up comedian and I’m currently studying an MA in animation.
Pause, while Mike deliberately doesn’t ask James what he does for a living because he will instantly forget halfway through James explaining what a “Dog Food Human Resource Manager” does or something equally high paid and pointless.
James: So what kind of animation are you doing?
Mike: It’s a sci-fi comedy with not that much sci-fi in it. Oh hang on, there’s barbecue Wotsits over there, I’ll be back in a second.
Mike does not return.