Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Backgrounds and rendering

I left the building of the backgrounds for the end of my timetable. I wanted to make sure I have enough time to finish the animation and the structure of the short film before I start concentrating on the details.

The backgrounds and the lighting create the atmosphere of the scene.

So I went back to the painting to remind myself of the feeling that I am trying to create. I was looking at other paintings by Rembrandt as well.

I also used photographs of rooms and furniture of that period and river landscapes (with and without swimmers).
I don't think I will get everything rendered on time, but I will have all 3 spaces :
the room , the river and up on the tower built and visually solved.
I am rendering the jump off the tower now, I hope it will be finished by tomorrow morning...


I found Youtube and Google video very useful for finding all kinds of reference videos.
The availability of video cameras and the free space to publicly show videos results in a fantastic library. People are filming anything they can see, from simply people walking on the street or their own pets to acting out scenes, and most bizarre things.

Here are some I used as reference for different movements and situations in my project:
for the strangling bit

for the swimming
swimming in a river 1

swimming in a river 2

Friday, 8 June 2007


Here is an update of the progress on my animation.

rough cut update from maja on Vimeo

Thursday, 7 June 2007


I have been thinking a lot about cinematography. I once felt guilty about using other director’s films as reference and inspiration, that all changed some years ago when I read an interview with Quentin Tarantino in which he explained just how many films he watched for inspiration while making his movies.

I have found that there are many ways to watch a film, you can study the script, mis en scene, the lighting or the cuts and camera movement. I have recently been looking at the camera work, how angles and movement are tied into the acting and sound.

I have been using different films as reference while working on this project. Rear Window, Saving Private Ryan, The Game, O Brother Where Art Thou, The Generals Daughter, The Governess, Asoka and a host of other films have all been consumed for various elements. From Rear Window, the Hitchcock classic comes the act of looking, Private Ryan the intimate struggle and ensuing horror, The Governess the lewd expression, O' Brother the expressions of lust again, Asoka for water bathing and so on.

At the moment I am managing to consume at least one film each day and I feel the benefits are returning ten fold. I still need to work on some camera movements, but I'm getting there.