Final Review, Gaku’s animated short

Here is his video for reference. – I reposted it so that it can be viewed fullscreen. Domo arigato, Gaku-sama!

  • synchronized sound-image relationship

From 0:07 to 0:10 you can hear footsteps that reinforce the idea of the character running.

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From 0:19 to 0:24 you can hear chewing, which greatly enhances the final scene. The first time I watch this animation (without sound) I thought that the snake/creature was talking to the boy who climbed down into the cavern… Now, the lip movements are clarified.

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  • singular off-screen but diegetic sounds

After watching this video a few times, I still have not been able to identify any off-screen sounds. Sure, there are birds and water drops present, but these seem to be territorial sounds, used to enhance the environment.

  • metaphorical (non-literal) or symbolic sound-image relationship

In the opening shot, we hear a frequency crawl pan left to right, which enhances the throwing of the Apple. This sound is non-literal, but implies a kind of “fly-over” effect, similar to an airplane in flight.

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At 0:12, we hear an “ow” sound from the apple itself. Again, clearly this isn’t meant to be literal, but reinforces the idea that the apple fell and landed hard.

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  • diegetic territorial sound to define background or sense-of-place

Starting around 0:05 you can hear birds chirping, which makes sense, given the setting of a park, with trees. At 0:14 you can hear water dripping, and echoing reverberations to give us a better sense of the size of the cavern in the following scene.

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What do you guys think? Are there other sound elements worth noting? Am I missing anything? Are these sounds adding value to the animations? Comment and let me know.

 

Sound Concepts for Group Evaluation

After reviewing the group’s animation sequences, Carl would like us to make specific recommendations for sound design:

Please also write down ideas for sound design for the two other members of your review group (see below), noting potential sounds and placement of sounds that could be used to strengthen their visual storytelling, add mystery, comedy, suspense or other value.  Specifically, please list ideas for:

  • 1 synchronized sound-image relationship
  • 2 singular off-screen but diegetic sounds 
  • 1 metaphorical (non-literal) or symbolic sound-image relationship
  • 1 diegetic territorial sound to define background or sense-of-place

Following the in-class reviews, groups will get together and discuss sound design possibilities.  Each member should post to their own research blog a summary of input they received from the rest of their group and directions which might be pursued.

Allison: Apple Bomb

Unfortunately, the sharing permissions for your video block me from viewing your animation again, but I do remember what the sequence looks like:

Synchronized sound-image relationship

  1. At the end the character takes a piece of the apple into their mouth. I think this could be enhanced with a “slurp” noise
  2. EXPLOSION!!! This is pretty self-explanatory, but the more dramatic the sound, the better.

Singular off-screen but diegetic sounds 

  1. SCREAM!!! When the apple is thrown off camera, and during the animation of it rolling, I think the character might scream, in a panicked kind of way
  2. Your character isn’t working in a vacuum. I’d expect subtle things like footsteps, or other kinds of body movements to be heard, but not seen. This will add value to the explosion and scream.

metaphorical (non-literal) or symbolic sound-image relationship

  1. Music. For some reason, I cannot help but imagine something akin to Looney Tunes accompanying this animation sequence. Maybe it’s the fact that an exploding apple fits so well within that Genre.

diegetic territorial sound to define background or sense-of-place

  1. The obvious choice here is to go fully atmospheric. Give us some weather sounds (wind, nature, etc), so that diegetic sounds have more depth and context. This shouldn’t compete in volume with the background music.

Ryan: Fairy Tale

This sequence needs to be edited down to just five cuts/panels so it’s possible that these recommendations will make less sense going forward.

Synchronized sound-image relationship

  1. In the opening scene, the woman in the forest moves in a sort of glide, or prance. We should have some kind of shuffle or other sound accompanying these movements.
  2. The opening of the door, the drawing of the curtain, the poisoning of the apple: all of these actions call for sound.

Singular off-screen but diegetic sounds 

  1. The most compelling off-screen sound would probably be a cackle of some kind, as the villain celebrates the death of her visitor.
  2. I think that your protagonist has a “singing” quality about her. Obviously drawing from Disney tropes, but I digress. Perhaps this singing could continue even off-screen.

metaphorical (non-literal) or symbolic sound-image relationship

  1. Music. We have a contrast in mood between the woman in the forest, and the woman in the house. I think that two pieces of music could enhance this contrast greatly.

diegetic territorial sound to define background or sense-of-place

  1. As with Allison’s animation, the obvious choice here is to go fully atmospheric. Give us some sounds of the forest, cheerful and bright.

Project-1: Weekend Update

I’ve taken the criticisms into careful consideration, and here are the latest image updates:

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I spent a lot of time figuring out how to use perspective to give the blood spatter a solid “floor,” but the letters felt too flat against that perspective surface. Carl had some input on this, and the end solution was to include a 3D Extrude stylization filter to give depth and dimension to the letter “A”. There is a nice contrast with the flat letters in the background, and a slightly more gray value is applied to the background letters to emphasize this.The blood was given more detail by using the Wrinkle Tool. Overall, this is a pleasing change and I’m much happier with the results than earlier versions.

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What kind of magician would I be without a rabbit? The peer critique included an earlier, rougher version of this critter, but I’ve refined it to a point where it is a welcome distraction and not just a proof of concept. The sparse grayscale image really Pops thanks to the included red bowtie. This was created as a series of shape (Rectangle Tool) and a thicker brush setting for the outline. A heavy use of Gradient was applied to multiple Layers of the top-hat to give it a more three-dimensional appearance. Abracadabra!

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The lion’s share of time went into this third image. Carl had an interesting suggestion to give the background a crumpled paper appearance. I scoured the web for a few options on how to do this. One suggested using a gradient tool in Photoshop and importing that image into Illustrator like so:

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This wasn’t a bad approach, but it didn’t really “look right” in Illustrator. The better solution I found came from a multistep approach involving actual crumpled paper (Read here). I started by crumpling a folded piece of paper, and then scanning a highDPI image of it and saving the PNG for use in Illustrator. I then used the Image Trace tool to assign shapes their corresponding values (4 shades of gray). The end effect was more convincing because it was derived from the genuine object. Next, I created improved letter “clippings” for the ransom note stylization by choosing a variety of fonts and color combinations, grouped with rectangles that were altered using Transform to give them a more natural appearance.

The final steps involved creating a severed finger – because just one pool of blood in a project is never enough. I started with the Rectangle tool and created two segments, for the third segment (the fingertip), I used a pair of Ellipse tool shapes (fingertip and fingernail), which I altered with the Pen Tool. I then used a gradient fill to give the nail some depth, but struggled to find a gradient to give the finger segments an illusion of depth. I decided to hold off on that detail and used a regular color fill from the Skin Tone Library (color swatch). I then rotated the segments to give the finger a more curled appearance, and the Pen Tool to create the creases in the skin.

Solution for creating depth: I layered four stacks of cloned finger (object groups) on top of one another and then used the Eraser to create a gradation of shadows (Stylization and Drop Shadow) to create a rounder appearance. The end effect is consistently cartoonish with the rest of the image.

Finally, I created a “blood soaked paper” effect by changing the fill color of the surrounding Image Trace generated shapes and the Wrinkle Tool to give it a more distressed appearance. The one effect I want but haven’t been able to figure out is how to “crinkle” the ransom note letters themselves. They feel a bit too flat, and out of place, but after a few failed attempts with the Knife Tool to create segments I’ve decided to error on the side of caution. If I come up with a solution by Monday, I’ll be sure to update the results here.