#1 03-07-2014 1:31 pm

stompgal_87
From: London, England, UK
Registered: 10-01-2013
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Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

I will be entering this month's competition as part of a university assignment. The concept involves two men standing beside a deep stream with a warning sign and I will be producing it using a combination of stop-motion animation and cut-out animation since 3D animation in Maya isn't quite my forte. So far I have done a storyboard, acting videos and a rough lip-sync test. Here is my rough lip-sync test with the storyboard and acting video yet to follow. 

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#2 03-07-2014 3:58 pm

J.K. Riki
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Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

The lip sync should be one of the last things you worry about. Put up the other stuff you've done and we can critique the acting and animation rather than lip sync tests. If the acting works, you can practically get away without any lip sync at all, so that's the most important thing. Speak with the poses, more than the mouth.

Looking forward to seeing the other videos.


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#3 03-07-2014 5:28 pm

stompgal_87
From: London, England, UK
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Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

Thank you. I did edit my acting video in Premiere Pro but it didn't look right. Will try editing it again using side-by-side editing in QuickTime Pro as soon as I can download it. I happened to find it convenient to put the lip sync test online first due to not having got round to scanning my storyboard yet.

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#4 03-10-2014 11:54 am

stompgal_87
From: London, England, UK
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Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

My tutor just showed this to my class and he liked how I did the lip sync, especially when the orange man forms his mouth for the 'W' sound before he says, "Why?" but personally I think it forms a bit too soon.

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#5 03-10-2014 12:19 pm

stompgal_87
From: London, England, UK
Registered: 10-01-2013
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Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

Here is the link to my acting video, which I edited in Adobe Premiere since I'm having problems downloading QuickTime Pro to my MacBook. While I wasn't initially happy with the editing and how my dialogue recital was slower than the actual dialogue, I felt that I did a good job with the poses for the most part and facial expressions, but I could act it out again whilst miming the dialogue along to the sound clip and shrug my shoulders when I say, "What?" Let me know what you think:

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#6 03-10-2014 12:42 pm

JoostdeJong
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Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

Hi,

First of, good start on the ref and the lipsync test. This will help you a lot during the animation proces.

I do have a general comment about the reference though, you are standing in the same spot the whole time. If you are going to put this in the animation like this, you are missing out on a great opportunity to get some more dynamic poses and movement in there. Otherwise it is going to read as a rehearsel for a play or two people reading the lines from an autoprompter or something.

Anyhow, good luck!

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#7 03-10-2014 2:28 pm

stompgal_87
From: London, England, UK
Registered: 10-01-2013
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Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

Thank you JoostdeJong. I shall have another attempt with the acting ref by trying to move in a different spot each time, shrugging my shoulders when I say, "What?" and miming the sound clip like Ronald Fong did in his acting reference for his November 2013 entry.

Last edited by stompgal_87 (03-10-2014 2:31 pm)

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#8 03-10-2014 3:18 pm

Jirair
Registered: 01-04-2013
Posts: 100

Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

When I was shooting my reference, I figured I'd get it done in one or two takes. I ended up doing about 20 or 30 after I realized, throughout the process, how important it was to actually nail the timing, emotion and vocal tone of the clip. Jason Ryan has a great method that he uses, called WOFAIM, which is also used by a lot of actors to get into the minds of their characters. I ended up using the WOFAIM method (after googling it to figure out exactly how it worked), and then after I had developed the WOFAIM for both characters, reshot the reference. I think if you try that sort of process, you'll get a much more believable reference to work from.

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#9 03-11-2014 3:52 pm

J.K. Riki
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Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

You may need to redo your reference video. It's really important that you try to shoot such a thing not only with the lines of dialogue totally memorized, but really FEELING it. Right now there's zero feeling. Even your speech when you're acting in the reference video sounds robotic. It doesn't mimic the actual audio enough. Remember these aren't "characters saying lines," these are living, breathing people who are saying what they are actually THINKING. When you act it out, you have to FEEL the dialogue. What are the streams the first character is talking about? What is the relationship of the second to the first, when he asks why? Is he afraid? Is he worried? Is he arrogant, and wants to know why because he doesn't believe the first character? All these things are essential to know when you're acting it out, because then the movements aren't just forced poses, they are living and breathing.

Not sure if you've seen this little tutorial on the main 11 Second Club page, but it's a great one and I think it might help a lot as you continue forward. http://www.11secondclub.com/helpful_hints/acting_it_out Watch the videos of this professional actor as he gets into the character and really lives and breathes AS that character. They did over 30 takes, too. That's what it's going to take, often much more.

Good luck with it, and try your best to get a great, deep handle on every aspect of these characters and what's happening in the scene and try to LIVE it while you're deciding on your acting choices. Don't just be you playing the role of the character, BECOME that person in that actual situation and feel it in your bones. smile


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#10 03-13-2014 1:33 pm

stompgal_87
From: London, England, UK
Registered: 10-01-2013
Posts: 67

Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

Thanks for the advice about my acting reference. I shall give it another go when I can.

In the meantime, here's my animatic. In the first few frames, I should have written notes about the blue man looking at the  warning sign and also the men shouldn't be moving around too much.

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#11 03-13-2014 2:54 pm

KyleG
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Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

Something else to keep in mind is to try and avoid cliche poses
pointing to himself on "something I forgot to tell you"
both arms out in a "W" pose on "what?"
hand scratching head on "why?"

These poses are little cliche and are usually the first poses someone would think of when listening to the dialogue. Instead of trying to match poses to the specific words, match the poses to the subtext/what they are thinking

Keep going!


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#12 03-13-2014 4:47 pm

stompgal_87
From: London, England, UK
Registered: 10-01-2013
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Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

Thank you for the advice on the poses, KyleG. I suppose the blue man slapping his forehead when he says, "I forgot" could be cliched as well. Do you have any suggestions as to which poses would be more suitable?

J.K. Riki, you're right about my speech. I also agree that it is robotic as in unnatural/monotone. I guess it would be best if I mimed the dialogue.

Last edited by stompgal_87 (03-13-2014 4:52 pm)

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#13 03-13-2014 6:28 pm

J.K. Riki
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Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

Yeah, the key to acting is to feel whatever it is the character is feeling (at least in my experience) and not just be delivering lines. So take some time to think about the whole scene and put yourself in their shoes. Then, when you shoot your reference, picture the whole scene around you (river, raft, trees, etc.) and FEEL that situation. When you're playing the blue character, FEEL that he has just remembered something he needs to warn the orange guy. When you're playing the orange character, FEEL that you don't know what the blue guy is going to say, so you are genuinely curious. Even if you act it out with slightly different words, that's okay. The important thing is the feeling behind those words.

Good luck with it, hopefully you can find the time to try a few more reference attempts and really dig into the scene! smile


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#14 03-13-2014 10:29 pm

stompgal_87
From: London, England, UK
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Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

Thanks for that advice J.K. By the way it's a log across the stream, not a raft.

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#15 03-14-2014 3:10 am

J.K. Riki
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Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

Ah ok! I see it now. You may want to get a little bit of roundness on the end on the ground there, then, which will make it feel more like a cylinder than a flat board. Adding a few cut off branch stumps might help too.

http://d364y98vz4769w.cloudfront.net/drawings/images/000/053/052/full/image-373051981.jpg?1351359126


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#16 03-14-2014 8:52 am

stompgal_87
From: London, England, UK
Registered: 10-01-2013
Posts: 67

Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

Thanks for the log drawing. I'll be modelling the log in clay so I could add some twigs as well. Also there are bushes in the background, not trees. I didn't add a lot of detail to them in case the notes on speech and actions were hard to read against such intricate detail.

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#17 03-17-2014 12:09 pm

stompgal_87
From: London, England, UK
Registered: 10-01-2013
Posts: 67

Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

I have thought of previous feedback, particularly from J.K. Riki and KyleG, given on my original animatic and original acting reference and have applied it as best as I could for my updated versions. In the acting video, I have learnt to make a split-screen video in Adobe Premiere and I mimed the dialogue, removed the poses KyleG said were cliched, added an, "I just remembered something" expression before miming the first line whilst playing the first character; and looked away during, "Don't cross the streams" and looked afraid during "It would be bad" whilst playing the second character. I have applied similar elements to my new animatic although I mistakenly did not make the orange man look away when the blue one says, "Don't cross the streams." Here are the links:

Animatic:

Direct Link


Acting reference:

Direct Link



I also need to get cracking with the animation process ASAP since there are only two weeks of the competition left.

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#18 03-17-2014 3:00 pm

J.K. Riki
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Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

Definitely an improvement in the acting video, and yet the final line still seems forced. Is that what you would do if someone told you "it would be bad?" Would you throw your hands to the top of your head and then cast them out in front of you like that?

It's fine if the answer is yes, I just don't think the answer would be yes. smile In real life, we don't generally make such ridiculous sweeping gestures. We make subtle ones. And in a reference video you want to act it out truthfully. THEN, once you have the true acting, you can push it. Not in your acting video, but in your animation. The reference video should just be a reference, not essentially an animatic in video form.

I blame the vast number of "acting reference" videos that you see from professional animators online. They are all overacted to such degree it's astounding. Yes, you want to turn the performance up a notch, but you don't want to lose the believability. If I was talking to you and warning you of something, and you came back at me with "arms above head" followed by both arms flung out at me, I'd think you were making fun of me, not seriously asking what I was talking about. Hope that makes some sense.

The second acting video is definitely improved over the first, though. So if you keep going, I think you'll reach a good place with solid acting. Just needs a little more time spent on it. And that's time well spent, because more planning now equals less work later. (Though yes, you do need to leave time for the actual animation.)

Keep going!


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#19 03-17-2014 3:10 pm

stompgal_87
From: London, England, UK
Registered: 10-01-2013
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Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

Thank you for my feedback on my new video. I suppose I put my hands on my head with my arms flung out of me to give more expression. Do you have any other suggestions for expressing the last line?

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#20 03-17-2014 4:39 pm

glew91
Registered: 03-11-2014
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Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

J.K. Riki wrote:

The second acting video is definitely improved over the first, though. So if you keep going, I think you'll reach a good place with solid acting. Just needs a little more time spent on it. And that's time well spent, because more planning now equals less work later. (Though yes, you do need to leave time for the actual animation.)
Keep going!

I definitely agree with the points you're making.  Also, it's helpful to note that no person performs actions in a vaccuum - there's always context (backstory/their personality/etc.) which informs the stuff their doing.  So what might be helpful is really fleshing out a story and then you can begin to ask questions like - what time of character is this?  Is he annoyed?  Why?  What does he want?  Someone mentioned WOFAIM and that's definitely helpful! 

You're references videos are looking better!

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#21 03-17-2014 4:39 pm

LeeW
From: Wisconsin
Registered: 01-10-2014
Posts: 78

Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

For expressing the last line, you don't need to have big grand gestures (as JK said), very subtle gestures can have huge expression. Varying up the timing, having a forceful movement, a subtle head turn or facial movement. Big movements like the one you have right now break the reality. If you haven't read this article: http://www.11secondclub.com/helpful_hints/acting_it_out (JK posted it above too) go read it now, it will help tremendously with analyzing the dialogue.

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#22 03-17-2014 10:30 pm

J.K. Riki
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Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

I'm certainly not saying "don't have a character fling their arms out when speaking." You may decide that's the best choice! It's not a problem at all. The difficulty is when you make your acting reference that extreme. You see, your reference is there to draw ideas from, not to act out exactly as the characters will act. You look at what you've got and then you ADD to it. You push the poses, or you take ideas and make new poses. Look at this for example:
http://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/2013/02 … -smee.html

Here you have the reference, but you see the final pose of Smee is not that reference. The reference is just there to refer to, not to copy. So act it out like you would act it out, then as you WATCH it decide what to push. It may be that you want to throw the arms out more, and again that's fine. But you act it out not-extreme, then you push poses based on the truth of your acting and what you see. (And one of your takes MAY be extreme, that's fine too. Just be sure it's coming from truth, not an idea that's already in your head before you start living in the scene you're acting.)

Hope that helps some.


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#23 03-18-2014 5:21 am

stompgal_87
From: London, England, UK
Registered: 10-01-2013
Posts: 67

Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

Thanks J.K. Since the poses would be more suitable in the animation rather than in real life, I'll stick with them. The hands on the head signify stress.

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#24 03-27-2017 5:57 pm

Dpate04
Registered: 09-20-2016
Posts: 1

Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

Hey everybody, just had the question of what movie this is from. While working on it, a few friends asked and I hadn't been able to figure it out searching the script. Any ideas???

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#25 03-28-2017 2:21 pm

random_person
Registered: 12-02-2016
Posts: 18

Re: Danger - Deep Water! March 2014 WIPs

Dpate04 when you open the transcript for any audio posted on the site there's a link to the source at the bottom.
In this case it was the Ghostbusters (1984)

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