Sunday, 30 December 2007


I have also been spending the last couple of days working on my dissertation. I hope to have it almost finished by the time I have my final tutorial in a couple of weeks.
My dissertation looks at Joeseph's Campbell's theory of the monomyth and applies it to the Harry Potter series. I have completed my research now and am just trying to figure out exactly how to structure the piece without it being too repetitive O_O
Anyway I came up with the following diagram applying the theory to the series. Turns out that it fits quite well ^-^ hurray for that!

Maya Experiments...

I have been worrying about the backgrounds and environments for this film ever since I started this project. My drawing skills aren't particularly up to scratch especially when it comes to drawing buildings and perspective from my head. So I decided to have a go at creating the scenes in Maya. My knowledge of the software is still pretty slim but I am managing along with tutorials and such. The good thing about this idea is that if the rendered pieces don't look good enough I can still draw from them to get the perspective correct. I have just spent a while creating the alleyway where my character will hide. I am not really sure how to work the texturing thing out.. i need to mess around with that some more. I managed to texture the paper signs outside the shops though! ^-^ yay for me! I am also a little stuck on how to create the chinese style roof so I have left that for tonight. I have found a tutorial but it is for 3d studio max and I haven't had time to watch it yet... might give it a go tomorrow.
One week left until I'm heading back to uni. I have many things to do this week I am going to list them here just as another check list. ^-^
-Rough Storyboads
-Character Sheet
-AFX Animals (at least one)
-Girl line test

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

The Story

This is the story for my final film. Sorry if there are any spelling errors etc... This is a rough version of it but I have pretty much included all the main points of the story. I am still working on my storyboards and am finding it very difficult to get across the point that my main character is being used by others to make money. This is something I am going to have to put a lot of thought into... anyway... enjoy.

Based on 'The Little Match-Stick Girl'

It is Chinese New Year and there are street celebrations and firework displays going on. It has been snowing and ice is beginning to form on the streets as the sun goes down and the temperature drops.

The film opens with a little girl on the streets in China, there are beautiful lanterns decorating the street and she is fascinated by the animal designs in particular the dragon. However her focus is broken by the sound of footsteps approaching and she remembers what she is supposed to be doing. She starts to beg for money as people walk past her. She is very cold, her jacket is not warm enough against the cold winds.

As it gets darker a van pulls up to take her in for the night. The van belongs to a group of gang members who use children to make money by forcing them onto the streets to beg. The girl knows she hasn’t collected enough money today and will be beaten so she decides to run while she still can. She runs through the crowds chased by a gang member. Luckily she manages to escape through a crowd of people and hides in an alleyway. The run has taken the last of her energy and she is exhausted.

Suddenly she hears the sounds of drums; a parade is heading in her direction. She peeps out from the alleyway and watches as people are walking past with lanterns, sparklers and small drums followed by a lion dance troop. A member of the crowd notices her and bends down to give her his sparkler. She is amazed at the sparkling fire and forgets everything that is going on around her. She is so overwhelmed and still exhausted from the run and cold that she begins to feel dizzy. Her vision blurs and she drops the sparkler as she collapses in the corner.

When she wakes up it is much darker and the sound of the parades have gone. There are some distant sounds of fireworks and of people walking past the place where she is hiding. She is confused when she first wakes and her vision is slightly blurred. She spots the sparkler on the floor by her feet extinguished and feels sad. However when she blinks a couple of times she notices something very strange. There seems to be something red flickering from the tip of the sparkler. She leans over to get a closer look and reaches out towards it. The flickering red grows and begins to fold out, it is a paper rat. She reaches her hand out towards it and it climbs up her arm and onto her shoulder. As she stares at him he looks upwards towards the sky and she follows his gaze. There are now fireworks directly above her lighting up the sky in bright oranges, yellows and reds. But she notices something else, more animals are coming out of the fireworks. The paper forms fold out taking over the sky, galloping around and playing amongst the fireworks. The girl is amazed and overjoyed. She feels so happy and desperately wants to reach out and touch these animals.

With one final explosion it is over and the animals disappear… she glances to her shoulder and the rat has also gone. Her disappointment shows in her face but it doesn’t last for long. Suddenly her face is lit up by something in the sky. One last giant firework is set off and from the very centre comes the paper form of a dragon. It flies through the sky and down towards her in the alleyway. It pauses in front of her to look at her face before swooping behind, picking her up and taking her into the sky. He flies her over the city and through the Forbidden City. Through fireworks and up into the sky before flying off into the distant and into the clouds.
Once they have vanished we see the alleyway where she was hiding and there is her body slumped in the corner with the burnt out sparkler in her hand. We pan out to see the city as dawn is breaking and we see the van driving around putting out children on the street. No one has any idea about the little girl who died of the cold on the streets of the new year or of the wonderful things she experienced before she was taken to heaven.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

I have been working, honest...!

Due to the lack of internet in our house last week and the fact my computer had to live in the hallway I have done less work than I would have liked.
However, I managed to make a few more paper cut outs before heading back home for Christmas.

The Dragon took the longest to make and I had started experimenting with it in Maya before it stopped working... so that is currently on hold.
I am planning on experimenting with the other animals in After Effects just to see what I could create. I have a lot of stuff I need to get done over the next two weeks and with Christmas coming up I think it's going to be rather difficult.
My dissertation needs some work on it before I go back next term as we are only getting one more tutorial before the hand in date, so I want as much feedback at possible on that.
By the time I go back to uni next term I plan to have all my rough storyboards finished, rough animatic, backgrounds created, animals designs made and some animation tests of my main character... Lets just hope I can do it in two weeks... perhaps I am being too optimistic... I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Oh yes, I thought I would post the rat up as an image on his own. He is going to be a very important character within the story and will be the start of the dream type sequenece.
I realise I haven't updated this blog with my story outline or anything like that... I will try post that up in the next couple of days. Along with some scans of my storyboard or something similar.