Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

2D Animatic, minus establishing shot

Muggins here forgot to factor the establishing shot into the animatic, so this will be updated tomorrow.

Character Sketches

The protagonist is unlikely to get a name - he simply doesn't have one to me. He's more an archetype than an actual character, a symbolic representation of grief and self-destruction.

Sketches will be cleaned up and finalised, but they're here now to prove they exist. Colour has yet to be sorted, black hair is only a placeholder.


Sketches and rough stuff that's really only for my reference but ought to be up here because this is my blog and that's where this stuff belongs. Still neurotic about putting things up.

Space Station Further Concepts and Final

Took Phil's advice and looked at some Chinese characters for inspiration. Yes, the perspective on the final image is horrible, I know, but this needs to be ready right now.


Act Two Storyboards

Apologies for being so quiet lately, I've had another completely irrational attack of publication-shyness. Regarding these storyboards, I ended up cutting the scene in the hangar bay as it a) made the film run too long and would lead to pacing issues if I tried to force it in and b) wasn't really adding all that much to the story.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Act One Preliminary Storyboards

I was going to get an early night tonight, but then storyboards demanded to be drawn and now I don't know what day it is.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Character Concepts

I've been working on these for a while and it's got the point where I can't stop tinkering with them, so I'm uploading them to force myself to leave them alone. By the by, #4 of the last set is less actual design and more general shape and mood; I am very aware that he is naked.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Space Station Silhouettes

Some quick ideas for the shape of the space station. I'm gravitating to #6, but that's subject to change.

Space Station Concept 1

Halfway through the corridor concepts I realised that there was absolutely no point designing the corridors if I didn't know what they would be sitting in. So, a possible design for the space station. Structurally sound? Debatable. Impractical? Absolutely. Visually interesting? Okay, it's got that down.

Is the black pillar thing an engine, a generator, a mysterious thingummabob from a distant world? Who knows. All I know is that there needed to be something in the middle, and so there was.

Corridor Concepts

Super loose, super quick thumbnail-y stuff.

Protagonist Face Silhouettes

Noodling about with potential face outlines. They're pretty minimalist, so I wonder if they actually read as faces and not just wiggly lines? Feedbackregarding the actual read would be greatly appreciated. It's a simple, quick technique for getting ideas, but I'm not sure if it's the sort of thing one could show someone else.

At prsent my favourites are #5 and #6. The long face is something I want to use as it will help show the abject misery element of the character.

And he still doesn't have a name. For me names happen towards the end of the creation process once I actually know the character, unless something jumps up and bites me in the nose, so I'm not too worried about that.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Influence Maps - Environment

Starting out with space stations and what they might look like - during this I pondered what to call the station. I originally liked 'Chimera', but then it hit me that the obvious name was 'Space Station Psyche', Psyche being the ancient Greek word for both 'soul' and 'butterfly', hence the former protagonist's name.

And possible spaceship interiors. It seems that a lot of artists approach the topic as a place of horror and fear, or at least obscure as much from view as they reasonably can. I suspect this is due to the fact that many of them will have seen photos of the ISS (see below), but pitch darkness isn't something I want to go for. Yes, the lights will go out, but they'll be replaced with emergency lighting, hich, while not exactly perfect, will create sufficient light for it not to have a horror aesthetic.

The International Space Station - most remote human outpost, cutting edge of astronomic research and so horribly cluttered you could lose a small dog among all those pipes and cables. This place does not give a single toss about aesthetics - all it cares about is fitting as much delicate equipment into as small a space as possible. Obviously this is visually impractical, so I won't be working from it in terms of aesthetics but I will refer to it for the atmosphere of the place.

And some ordinary, non-spacebound ship interiors, particularly corridors and engine rooms. There will probably be an aircraft hangar map as well at some point.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Script Rewrite 1

After chatting with Phil to get the prop and the setting working for the story, I rewrote the script, and here it is. I'm actually a lot happier with this one, it feels a lot more resolved than the previous version.

The Butterfly Effect Draft

Monday, 6 February 2012

Crew Quarters Thumbnails

The first thing I think of when I think 'space station' is 'horribly, horribly cramped'. Space would be at a premium, so everyone would be living in each others' armpits, so to speak. I looked at Japanese capsule hotels to see just how small a space a human being can comfortably stay in, then tweaked it to allow for permanent residence. The super-small #3 is an interesting idea, but in terms of staging it would be insanely awkward, so something more slightly spacious would be necessary.

In other news, this is my 100th post! Huzzah!

'Psyche' Script First Draft

Psyche Draft

I like the general idea, but I worry it's a bit, well... saccharine. Opinions?

Butterflies! Ropes! Glowy Things!

I know Phil's been badgering me to let go of the literal interpretation of the butterfly, but I think it's really powerful symbolically so for now I'm sticking with it. The skipping rope, however, has been, at least in the context of the 'Psyche' idea, mostly sorted. I want to have the butterfly glow and leave behind a trail of light like a rope - kind of like the motorbikes in Akira.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Skipping Rope Negotiation

Wrestling with that damned skipping rope. I believe this is the first time I have subjected you to my handwriting, so I'll translate it if people need me to. At this poiint I'm liking the idea of visually-a-skipping-rope, but I worry that it's moving too far away from the concept of a prop...

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Story Idea 2

And idea numero dos.

Lepidopteran Lunacy
A foppish lepidopterist (butterfly collector) has travelled across the galaxy to find spectacular specimens for his collection. He has made one final stop on a space station orbiting Earth before returning home, where, while they are being quarantined, one of the butterflies escapes. The entire station goes mad at the possibility of a disease vector flying loose, so everyone, man, woman and child, embarks on a wild butterfly chase. A young child, with her skipping rope, desperately tries to lasso the creature, but the savvy butterfly evades it until it is driven to the fop and a pack of other butterfly hunters. The fop and all the others leap upon it, nets at the ready, and trhe butterfly is caught – temporarily. It turns out the fop’s net has a hole in it, and the story ends with the chase beginning anew.

Story Idea 1

And an initial idea for the story. This one happened at 2am last night and I've only just got it into something coherent, so forgive it if it seems awkward. Actually no, tell me if it seems awkward.

The Butterfly Effect/Psyche
A young woman, stricken by grief, finds peace through a rather unusual event.

Psyche (pronounced ‘sy-kee’, not ‘syke’), a young woman living on a space station, has recently lost her younger brother in an accident. She looks at photographs of her and her brother in their childhood – skipping, chasing butterflies, general childhood silliness. Her brother loved butterflies – beside the photographs is his rather extensive butterfly collection, and beside that is the urn containing his ashes.

The lights go out, and Psyche leaves her room to check it out. Under the emergency lighting she notices a butterfly, just fluttering at the end of the hall. She gives chase, and the butterfly leads her through winding corridors and places she is most assuredly not meant to be. Eventually, Psyche stumbles into the agriculture department, where the butterfly rejoins the rest of the pollinators. The lights come back on and Psyche marvels at the masses of butterflies. The film ends with a shot of the urn perched in the agriculture department, and perched on it are a pair of butterflies.