Friday, 27 February 2015

Fantastic Voyage Target Audience Market Research

I am trying to research what target audience my animation could be for, which isn't an easy task as I want to aim this project towards children but don't know many myself.
The idea is that the animation will be in black and white with a Calligari - esque feeling and lots of fake shock moments where the Hookworm bites, and writing it is very easy but actually deciding what everything looks like and how the children will take it is a completely different matter. After a little bit of research I have also realised that I have to be careful as some children are still looking for the barrier between reality and fiction and might be deeply shocked by a worm biting people. So I might go with Emma's suggestion of aiming the animation towards ~12 year old children, boys maybe, as they would (by her reckoning) love a bit of horror, find it "cool and mature" and would be rather fascinated by being grossed out while at the same time (hopefully) being old enough to tell the difference between an animation and reality!

By reading this article it seems I'm on the right track:;wap2 The author stresses that suspense and not-being-talked-down-to seem the most important aspects to concentrate on right next to not "dumbing it down" but taking the gore out. According to the article, a bit of shock and lots of action are the key to a happy early - teen audience.

"Kids who are 8-to-10 years old can handle being scared for longer periods of time -– in fact, they love it. Bring on the phantoms and ghoulish faces, but continue to choose films without gore or physical harm. Some intense moments are fun as long as the resolution involves a happy ending."
This website suggests that under 7 years children should not watch anything scarier than "boo" while children from 8 years onwards might enjoy a little jumpiness as long as it doesn't contain gore and violence. They further say that from 12 years on lots of children will be into horror and suspense (that is non-gory) and from around 16 years they might be ready for gore as well, if it's not too slashy. They also warn that violence mixed with "sexual situations"  might not be the best mix for a teenager starting to explore their sexuality.

I find that this website gives a very good guide to how much scariness is ok for what age group, but they also advise to keep communicating with the children, as they all differ.

Allover, I think 12 years would be a good age to go for as they demand a little bit of scary but don't want anything over the top but probably would like a fairly dark animation with a hookworm who latches on to people!

Soundscape Submission Post

"Pink Wars" Image 1

"Children Leaving Home" Image 2

"The Glass Worm" Image 3

Soundscape: Pink Wars, Picture 1

This is the video of sounds mixed together that will make the picture come to life!

These are the altered sounds with explanation!
 And these are the original sounds before they went into Audition, I have used mostly sounds that were around the house.

Illustrator Exercise

For Simon's lesson we have learnt a few of the basic tools for Illustrator which works a lot like Photoshop but is vector based. Simon asked us to take a logo from the internet and outline it with the pen tool, which I have used before so it worked well!

Soundscape:The Glass Worm, Picture 3

This is the video of sounds mixed together that will make the picture come to life!

These are the altered sounds with explanation!
And these are the original sounds before they went into Audition, I have used mostly sounds that were around the house.

Meg's Animation: Motion Tween with pencil drawn line

I drew a line with the pencil tool, copied and applied it to a motion tween on a symbol to attach it to it.

Meg's Animation Class: Classic Tweening

For this Animation we created symbols and added classic tweens which automatically put the key frames in between which allows for quick animating. I have also played around with the colours, all the changes are intentional! :p

Meg's Animation Class: Motion Tweening

For this animation Meg asked us to create a symbol and add a motion tween to it.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Maya Tutorial Old Alley UV Layout and Texturing Preparation

As I have too much time on my hands tonight I have finally finished my Old Alley UV Layout and Texturing Preparation Tutorial!

My Sound Designer Profile: Kristen Quebe. Soundscape

Re-upload so it doesn't get forgotten, as I did this at the beginning of the project waaaaay back in January!

Sonic Concept for the Soundscape Project

Life Drawing 25/02/2015

I'm not too happy about any of those drawings, which might just be because I was sitting too close! Plus the perspective from the floor isn't always the best, I see Vicky's point now :p

Fantastic Voyage - research and first ideas

This project, Fantastic Voyage, is commissioned by University of Kent Professor for Bio Science, Peter Klappa. He asked every student to produce a 1 minute animation explaining the life cycle of one out of four organisms. Out of the four, I chose the hookworm as it sounds very interesting and I have never heard of it before.
 Front of hookworm with teeth

The life cycle of a hookworm starts with the worm who is living inside a human's small intestine and hatches eggs. These eggs will leave the body through the feces and when left alone on soil for example, the eggs will develop into larvae which penetrate the human barefoot with their hooks, get carried through the bloodstream until they reach the lungs where they wait for the coughing fits to become violent enough to be coughed up. This is not to leave the body, but to be able to enter the stomach where they take up residency in the small intestine. There, hooked to the wall, they feed on the blood and produce eggs, which then are able to infect more people.

While the hookworm seems like a horrible thing to have in your body, it is rarely fatal in healthy adults ( and might even prove to be a cure for allergies like asthma and the likes (
Hookworm after entering the skin

Hookworms are common in tropical countries and can be prevented by not walking barefoot where other people did their business. However, they are fairly common in cats and dogs and by touching feces that contains hatched larvae, the human can be infected, so should always be mindful of contamination and practice good hygiene.

My idea is to create a black and white world with possible one other colour present and the hookworm being in the center by doings lots of quick, shocking bitey movements with great emphasis on the hooks, for example the larvae waiting for a foot to walk onto them and then they latch on, or swimming through the bloodstream and hooking onto the wall, swimming through the stomach and hooking on to feed... It's not very matured yet but I will start on some thumbnails to explore the possibilities!

Maya Tutorial Can Snatch

Soundscape picture 2 original and altered sounds

This video contains the original sounds as I have recorded them myself. The dogs name is Molly!

This video contains only altered sounds, I have mainly used the stretch and equalizer functions to create the sounds I needed for this project.

Soundscape Picture 2 Complete Video

The sound starts at the picture, it's very crackly and hollow and light, enter an additional swirly and more fluid sound as the stringy bits separate themselves from the strawy ones, the stringy bits could be like teenagers that want to explore the world without their rigid and stiff parents and they slip away under their parents dried up old noses, we follow the children until there is no crackling sound left and then they fade out too.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Maya Tutorial Walking Cycles - Mechanics

Walking cycle on infinity with little robot legs, I find he looks quite upbeat and happy! Something went wrong with the legs after I changed him from walking backwards to forwards and I can't find out what it is, but now he's at least walking properly!

Life Drawing 18/02/2015

Lydia was very lovely to draw and did very elegant poses!
If the quality of the pictures is worse than usually I apologize, I sent them as an email from my phone rather than copying them over onto the pc.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Crit From Script To Screen 20/02/2015

2D Animatic

Life of Pica from Mailin Berg on Vimeo.

Maya Pre Viz

Previz Life of Pica from Mailin Berg on Vimeo.

Character Biographies for Shannon and Derrick FSTS

FSTS Art Of Life of Pica

Previz Life of Pica FSTS

Previz Life of Pica from Mailin Berg on Vimeo.

This is my Pre Viz mixed with my Animatic, title, credits and sound! 

Finished Animatic with Sound, Title and Credits!

Life of Pica from Mailin Berg on Vimeo.

My DVD Cover for FSTS

My 2D Animatic "Life of Pica" with sound!

I just finished my Animatic by adding the sound, will try and add an opening title and credits!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Jaws Film Review


Jaws is a suspense based action and horror movie from the 1970’s directed by Steven Spielberg. Set in a small coastal town called Amity which is under attack by a massive great white shark which wreaks havoc and death upon the local residents and holiday makers. The film follows the path of destruction left by the great white shark and the path of the hero as he tries to either kill or chase the threat away, in the end climaxing in a fisherman vs shark battle in the ocean which ends with the shark being destroyed by an improvised explosive device.

Figure 1. Shark (1975)

Almar Haflidason states If ever there was an important example for how music can enhance a film it is "Jaws". John Williams' memorable score is used sparingly but its tone of impending terror is more responsible for the power of the film than the sightings of the beast itself.”  (Haflidason, 2001:2) Perhaps one of the most iconic parts of the film is the use of the suspense building soundtrack. A soundtrack that is commonly used in today’s media to indicate pending and imminent danger. A low noted slowly building theme which gets faster and faster towards the climactic moment of the sharks attack. This affect almost seems to drag audiences along, hinting to them not only what will happen but when it will occur, having a deep impact on the audience as most find themselves almost jumping out their chairs to yell warnings at the movies characters. As Haflidason states the score almost adds more terror to the movie than the beast itself.

Jaws story perhaps is set to play on man’s primal instinct to fear his predators, especially in their natural environment. Vincent Canby states "Jaws" is, at heart, the old standby, a science-fiction film. It opens according to time-honored tradition with a happy-go-lucky innocent suddenly ravaged by the mad monster, which, in "Jaws," comes from the depths of inner space – the sea as well as man's nightmares. Thereafter "Jaws" follows the formula with fidelity.” (Canby, 1975:2) Canby is perhaps referring to the innocent and weak nature of Jaws victims. As most of the victims are at an incredible disadvantage, after all man is not best adapted to life in the ocean whilst jaws is not only a perfectly evolved and ancient creature – a shark but also an example of this great predator in extraordinary aggressiveness and size. 

Figure 2. Martin (1975)

The entire movies danger scenes of course most happen in the ocean. An environment that is both barren and far away from help, having the effect of isolating the characters and giving an increased feeling of danger to the audience as not only is the predator at an advantage but also help is very far away.

The camera work on Jaws is also masterfully used to deliver increased confusion and suspense. Empire online states But one shouldn't discount the influence of Spielberg as director. Instantly dubbed a technobrat, he laces the narrative with tricksy delights - reverse zooms, fast edits, woozy oceanbound camerawork. (N.A., N.A.:2) Referencing the use of many types of camera shots and Spielberg’s masterful use of the shark itself. Spielberg almost seems to hide the shark, offering very little full real shots of Jaws itself. Instead using quick snapshots, blurry and panicked views of the shark attacks. This almost seems to add extra torturous confusion to the audience desperately seeking a glimpse or to lock a view on the shark which may offer a sense a relief at actually seeing the threat but these prolonged shots the viewer longs for is something Spielberg never gives.

Overall Jaws was and is a masterful film with an iconic soundtrack which is still instantly recognizable today. The film utilizes sound and camera work to compliment the base film of the film – Man’s primeval fear of his predators.

Illustration List: 

Figure 1. Spielberg, S. (1975) Shark [Still of Jaws] available from: (accessed: 18/02/2015)
Figure 1. Spielberg, S. (1975) Martin [Still of Jaws] available from: (accessed: 18/02/2015)


Canby, Vincent. (1975) available from: (accessed: 18/02/2015)
Haflidason, Almar. (2001) available from: (accessed: 18/02/2015)
N.A. (N.A.) available from: (accessed: 18/02/2015)

My final Animatic (without sound)

I will add the sound tomorrow!