Friday, 27 November 2009

Cocoon Of Horror

The Project I am working on at the moment is a 11 second piece of animation consisting of a sound piece from the website , which they have a 11 second sound byte every month for people to enter into.

the sound byte was a character saying:
'' I’m living in a cocoon of horror . . . Yesterday I ate nine cans or aerosol whipped cream ''

The character sounds very disturbed and upset , almost asif they were on a mental breakdown, so my first thought was a character at the doctors, mental hostpital or psychiatrist.

My first challenge was to break down the 11 second sound , so I could work out where the words start and end. To do this I used Adobe Soundbooth and had it on 25fps for the correct timimg , the sound took around 2 hours to break down.

This is what I ended up with after I broke down

After I had finished editing the sound , I then needed to start thinking about the character/s for the animation , I went with my initial idea of someone on a mental breakdown. I did actually first think of the cliche idea of a butterfly in a cocoon crying and sobbing but I decided against, so I went for a simple man on a breakdown your standard office work type 9-5 man. When sketching down some ideas the character resembles Ricky Gervais from the series '' The Office ''.

Some of the first roughs

After the roughs I put them into Photoshop and made some colour versions.

Another picture of the main character breaking down.

After designing this character I thought that at the start of the animation there could be a scene of a psychiatrist door and then show the psychiatrist twiddlin his fingers and nodding his head as they do. When I was thinking about this character I was thinking of people like Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud very suave looking gentlemen with some huge moustache's well Nietzsche especially.

Some rough first ideas.

Photoshop version of some roughs.

Animation Begins

When starting the project we were asked to film ourselves acting out the scene to get a idea of how it would play out in the animation. For mine as I thought of the main character at a psychiatrist's he would be either lying down or sitting in a chair, I thought of filming myself lying down acting it out but thought you wouldn't be able to see the expressions and actions as good as a front on view in a chair, so I filmed myself sitting in a chair acting out the clip.


Clip of me acting out the scene.

After doing this I got a general idea of how the animation would play out, as I had never tried rotoscoping before I thought this would be a nice opportunity to do it.

Layout for the animation.

As everything was in order to start the animation I went ahead and imported the video of myself into Photoshop into layers/frames, at first I made a position to position animatic by drawing over every 12th layer to get a general idea of how it would look and this is it:


Rough Animatic

After I started the long process of drawing over the layers which I did on two's for the most part I went for a very sketchy rough look to the animation because I think it gives it some edge. Each layer took about 10 minutes to draw and save and there was 169 in total which is around 28 hours.

I was thinking about colouring every frame but after starting it and realising how long it was taking I decieded not to as it would be very time consuming. By not realising how much time it would take me to rotoscope the 11 seconds of footage I didn't leave much time for adding in the
psychiatrist at the begining fo the animation so I had to not include it.

For putting all the animation together I used '' Flash 8 '' and imported all the layers I had saved as GIF's into the Flash library. I had a sketch of a chair which was used as the background layer and then it was the case of putting in the frames to match the sound.

Screenshot of the project in Flash.

For the final part of the task it was to add the mouth in for the lip sync , for this I looked on google at phenomes which are the mouth positions that we use for animation to demonstrate words like ''ch'' ''b'' ''th'' , I went on google images and found one image which only had 10 phenomes which I thought was good.

A series of phenomes

After looking at these I went into each frame where I had wrote down before on my dope sheet and drew the mouth in flash where appropriate. And thank fully it all came together nicely as I said before if i knew how long the rotoscoping took I would of been able to fit in the intro with the psychiatrist but as a whole i really enjoyed doing this as after all the hours of going of the layers I was happy with the end product.

The Finished Animation


I Came 106th in the end .... wayyyhay ha

The End