Project 3: Metaphor Animation

Create a short animation that explores a theme in a metaphorical way. In other words, you should use objects as symbols to represent other things. Do not tell a literal narrative story that gives the viewer all the answers. Make the viewer think and contemplate the issues. It is all right if the animation can be interpreted many ways but be careful, there is a thin line between an animation that makes absolutely no sense and one that can have multiple interpretations. The animation should be very experimental. Do not think of a narrative in the traditional sense. Play with the structuring of time, place and events.

Focus on creative uses of the tools, effective use of timing, and the principles of animation. Use cuts and transitions in the piece, NO straight camera flybys will be accepted. When planning for cross dissolves, render an extra 1 to 3 seconds of animation on both ends of the transition. You may work with combining 2d images created in Photoshop or Painter or digital video and composite them together.

Technical Components:

  1. The final animation must include particles and compositing!
  2. You may create realistic particles or create experimental effects with particles.
  3. You must use the tools and techniques taught in class this semester.
  4. The piece will be graded based on its advanced use of textures and shading, lighting, motion, composition, color, modeling, as well as the inclusion of the advanced dynamics (particles), expressions, rigid bodies, soft bodies, etc. we have learned in class.

Story and character design:
If it can be done in live action, it is not appropriate for this animation assignment.
The use of human-like characters is highly discouraged.
All characters must be inanimate objects that are personified or characters that are constructed in a very unique way thus not needing IK to perform correctly (no 2 or 4 legged creatures)

MUST include:
- at least two uses of nParticles
- at least two uses of Fluid, Cloth, Hair or other dynamic effects
- at least one use of Paint Effects

The story must be non-literal and explore an idea using metaphor.

Ideas worth pursuing (class brainstorm on paper):

Environmental / nature:

animals ability to perceive things humans cannot
changes over time
cross species mutation - man-made breeding of plants and animals
environmental crisis
death of bees and how they affect the environment
earthquakes - man-made and natural
farming - poisoning the land but we need to eat
food chain
fresh water - depletion and pollution

global warming
galactic expansion - living on mars/moon
life on other planets
mining and oil production
over population
technology vs nature
we are only a speck in the universe

Human issues:

anxiety - self doubt - not feeling good enough
being a third wheel
collaboration vs competition
confidence - not having it vs having it
cultural discrepancies

death of a loved one
devastating event haunts you
evil that men do
feeling helpless and unable to get out of a situation
feeling lost - physically / mentally
feminism - as a solution

gay rights
growth - expansion (spiritual, physical, mental, confidence, knowledge, industry)
inner strength
language / communication
left behind
life after death
love - unfulfilled, complications of, secret, forbidden, in love with more than one person

mental illness
mistreatment of elderly people
poor vs rich cultures
privacy, voyeurism, government spying vs security
propaganda and misleading the public
race issues - diversity - ethnic cleansing - xenophobia
rath - anger
religious extremism - hatred of others, have too many babies (populate the earth)

starvation in the world
sweet irony - things coming back to you in strange ways
terrorism and acts of violence
truth in advertising
unfulfilled desire
want vs. need
wanting independence

Short Artist Statement about the Animation

Write a maximum of two paragraphs. Explain the concept behind the work.

Part 1: Project 3 Idea Presentation

Mon. Nov. 7th

Present your idea to the class and show visuals to help the class understand the visual look or style you are thinking about. You may show thumbnail sketches, storyboard, images of other people's work you want to use as inspiration, etc.

Part 2: Rough Visual Plan / Storyboard

Wed. Nov 9th

Create a series of sketches that show each shot. Focus on the cinematics: shots, angles, duration, visual communication.

You can use the Storyboard Template in the homework folder in the Examples folder

Part 3: Animatic - storyboard laid out in After Effects with timing

Wed. Nov. 16th

Turn in a Quicktime H.264 file with images and some FX and/or 3D playblasts. Add title and end credit timing as well. You can just say "Title Here" and "End Credits Here"

Focus on how long scenes might take and keep replacing your storyboard images with playblasts as they get done thoughout the rest of the semester.

Part 4: One half done

Mon. Nov. 28th

At least half of the animation should be done.

The animation MUST have some audio at this point.

Part 5: Short Artist Statement

Mon. Nov. 30th

Write a maximum of two paragraphs. Explain the concept behind the work.

Part 6: Animation 75% done

Mon. Dec. 5th

Three-fourths of your animation should be done. Include audio.

Part 7: Animation done with sound and credits

Wed. Dec. 14th

Your animation should be completely done.

Part 8: Revised Short Artist Statement and Portfolio Update

Wed. Dec. 14th 3:30pm

Make changes to the artist statement and make sure your portfolio is updated with all animations.

Turn in digital copy of statement into to the homework folder.