This is the version of the film shown to our class and tutors on Tuesday, along with this powerpoint presentation.
Overall our work was well received but we did get some feedback on what could be improved:
It was pointed out that their were some issues with weighting and rigging in the animation, such as Terrence’s hands don’t work as planned, and Lamar’s facial expressions are not easy to understand and distracting in some shots.
I don’t think we plan on changing a lot before hand in, although I think over summer we want to work on it properly. Lydia has expressed an interest in remodelling Terrence’s arms so they are more flexible and versatile in posing, and James wants to try and work on the Lamar model/rig too.
Conan said that the sound design needed work in order to reflect the setting of the film, i.e. adding ocean noises/ the sounds of water lapping/ the pier creaking, and told us to try to subtly alter the volume of certain sounds in order to reflect the spaces/distance of the scene and make it more believable. He also suggested adding popping noises to suggest the popping of the octopus’s suckers.
Having been told we don’t need to stick so strictly to the 30-second time limit, we also want to improve the editing of the film, improving the shots and cuts so the story flows better and makes more sense to the viewer. The end shots of the octopus especially need work with timing and camera angle, as right now his movements are somewhat distracting and hard to understand.
There were also a few continuity errors pointed out:
- Terrence starts out outside of his doorway before the camera zooms out and we get the title, then the shot cuts back to him at the end of the pier (this was actually intended as a way of avoiding having to animate a walk cycle)
- There is also the cut between the shot of him peeking down over the edge of the pier and the shot of Lamar emerging from the water; he is kneeling with his hands over the edge of the pier in one shot but suddenly standing straight with the next.
We may also include the shots that were cut from the film, namely the stylized timeshift between day and night and the shot of the water bubbling before the octopus emerges,
It was also suggested that if we were to try and establish the short as a successful short film, to expand the story to a longer timeframe.
For example, using the Pixar-Style story formula of ‘every day is like this, until this happened, and now every day is like this‘, our story goes:
Terrence the fisherman lives alone on his island and everyday goes out onto the pier to look (for other people) through his telescope (we show this by having him do it more than once), before one day Lamar the octopus shows up. At first he appears a threat and makes Terry drop the telescope in surprise, but by giving it back to him he shows himself to be friendly and now they spend every day together as friends. (Perhaps we could even have Terrence throwing away the telescope himself to signify he no longer needs to search for others, now that he is not alone.)
However, we want to do this over the summer, rather than trying to make such a drastic change to the film before this course’s final hand-in on May 12th.
Because of the way scenes were rendered, some of the colours ended up being a bit less saturated than intended. Yuan pointed out that the colours in the credit scene art (the photo album montage) were a bit too bright and did not match the rest of the film. I will change these as I also want to redraw some of the pictures for my portfolio.