Sarah Cant, Robyn Liebschner & Rebecca Deakin.

A Team of three Animation Students at the University of the West of England.

Firefly, an insight into a made up forest, where there are great trees hosting all kinds of strange plants & creatures. This 2D Traditional Animation follows these creatures as they discover how to make fireflies by using splashes.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Some photoshop help

Some notes taken from Ian's workshop about Actions and other photoshop wonders.

To create an action --->
Action > folder > New Action (which is like the new layer button) > function key to F(something) > your actions will start being recorded so be economical with your actions > remember to stop recording when your done!
To repeat the action simply press the button you set, ie: F3

To seperate the drawing from the page --->
create Alpha > ctrl A > ctrl C > channels > new layer > ctrl V > ctrl I > ctrl click on Alpha > Back to Layers > create a new layer > paint bucket black > ctrl D > delete the background > duplicate the layer

A bit dry, but I hope it helps.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Adding on from the tutorial with Rachel, here is exactly what needs to be done and when for.

Shot 6 (Beccy) - Rough Completed
Shot 3 (Robyn) - Rough Completed
Shot 7 (Robyn) - Rough to be Completed for Friday (3rd)
Shot 10 (Robyn) - Rough to be Completed for Friday (3rd)
Shot 12 (Beccy) - Rough to be Completed for Friday (3rd)
Shot 11 (Beccy) - Rough to be Completed for Friday (3rd)
Shot 5 (Sarah) - Rough to be Completed for Friday (3rd)
Shot 8 (Sarah) - Rough to be Completed for Friday (3rd)
Shot 9 (Sarah) - Rough Completed
Shot 4 (Sarah) - Rough Completed

I've extended the Animation by two days due to an overlap of Cleanup and Scanning being done at the same time.

Monday 6th will be the start of the Cleanup. We have until Wednesday 15th to complete the Cleanup. Cleanup will be done by Robyn & Beccy (Sarah will join in cleanup until there is sufficient to start scanning). Thats 8 days to do 10 scenes.

On Monday the scanning will also commence (once there is something to scan!) and this shall also give us an indication if cleanup is correct/needs changing.

There will be two days at least where there will be no Cleanup (more if it takes shorter time than what I have allowed for). In the time when there is no more cleanup and scanning is the only thing going on, Robyn will be finalising Colour and Beccy will be finalising the backgrounds.

Scanning will finish on Friday 17th. The scenes for Colouring will be given out accordingly on Friday PM.

Think thats everything for the immediate future... :)

Thursday, 18 November 2010

2nd Sound Recording

Recording for new foley noises has been booked for Wednesday 24th November from 1.30pm till 4.30pm.

This session will need to be attended by Sarah & Robyn.

The list of recordings will be as follows:

Startled Creature Noises x 2 (made by Robyn)
Branch Snapping/creaking (made with polystyrene cup?)

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Character Colour Concept

After painting one picture I couldn't stop myself.... :)

Order of shots

How exciting guys, we are about to embark on actual animation!!! Ok so this is just for rough animation as cleanup is going to be shared out. Basically so we don't go crazy obsessive over 'our' scene and get to do something else. Also... that little thing called continuity. This is the order which our scenes need to be animated in :

Scene 6
Scene 3
Scene 7
Scene 10
Scene 12
Scene 11
Scene 5
Scene 8
Scene 9
Scene 4
Scene 13


For tomorrow (17th Novemeber) Robyn will be animating scene 3, Beccy will be animating scene 6 and Sarah will be animating scene 5.

Monday 22nd

Aim to have all scened roughed
small screening of line tests - Crit

Shot Breakdown

Heres what the members of team Firefly are going to be working on. Please refer to the previous post for a breakdown of action.

Beccy: Shots 6, 8, 11

Robyn: Shots 3, 7, 10, 12

Sarah: Shots 4, 5, 9, 13

Additional Animation will be handed out to the seperate members later on in the Production Schedule.

Creature Skeleton & Construction

Shot Breakdown - Final?

1.   Pan into the 'Main Tree' - Establishing Shot  - 4.20 seconds
2.   Pan with extreme perspective up 'Main Tree' & Title - 22 seconds
3.  Cut to perspective tree creatures climbing. - 12.12 seconds
4.   Looking down tree perspective. Creature Watches, small splash - 5.19 seconds
5.   3 Creatures 'ooooh' & turnaround - 4.05 seconds
6.   Creature long strides, slips, swings under branch - 6.07 seconds
7.   Catch Chandelier plant - 3.14 seconds
8.   Close up of Chandelier plant - 2.19 seconds
9.   Family, small twitches - 3.06 seconds
10. Branch Falls - 6.06 seconds
11. Cut to bottom of tree Big Splash - (6.06 seconds - timed with scene 10)
12. Getting out of water - 4.06 seconds
13. Creature Flees from scene - 2.21 seconds
14. Pan back up tree with fireflies - 14.17 seconds
15. Credits

Other News:

Changes to Animatic - Pan from shot 3 taken out, more complicated climb down tree added.

Scene 10 cut up into two seperate shots. Creature now falls out of camera view. Cuts to bottom of tree for the big splash. Ripples continue until creature appears out of the water.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Colour Concept

Just wondering whether it might be worth going closer to our 'red panda' and give out that kind of colouring a go. I kinda like it, but thats probably just cause I coloured it ha ha I think the green moss thing is going to be scrapped due to continuity problems. I do quite like Robyns idea about having them 'tribal'. So maybe mess around with some very simple shapes on the face/tail. Nothing complicated :)

Friday, 12 November 2010

Production Diary 1

Today marks the start of the production diary.

The group participated in a Technical Support Workshop with Ian Friend. There are some possible changes to the aesthetics of the production:

  • A textured boil (acrylic/watercolour/textured paper) will be used to create a 'paint boil' over the top of the characters to give them a 'hand coloured' effect. The texture may also be added to the background so the background and character matches together.
  • Using the walk cycle practise Robyn Liebschner put together in Flash, we also learnt about adding shadows correctly to our hand drawn renders. Theres a choice between hand drawing the shadows and digitally making the shadows. The group decided on digitally making the shadows for various reasons including time management and continuity of shadow.
  • The group learnt about the proper way to scan background images in so they are ready for pan/zoom effects.
  • We revised a past workshop to do with 'Actions' in Photoshop. A revision on using 'Alpha Channels' to remove the unwanted white paper from scans. This removes the line ready for colouring underneath. The 'Actions' function allows us to pick up this line at the press of a button.
Changes to the Animatic:

Improved 2nd Scene Long Pan over the Swamp & Tree. Taken back through After Effects.

1st Scene changed into a Zoom through separate Layers.

New 'More Dramatic' Scene 6. Slipping of the Creature.

Layouts finished ( Apart from the revised Scene 6).

Start Animating on Tuesday pm.

File Management put together too! Distributing System on Monday.

Creature Colour ideas

These are some of the colour concepts that are getting thrown around the idea plane at the moment. We decided that the original design's continuity would be too difficult due to some complicated movements made by the creature. This is experimenting with the idea of 'Tribal'.



Saturday, 6 November 2010

finished story board (?)

Hi guys, I've quickly put together the storyboard using the images and the script, hopefully it should be okay? If not, just comment /email me and I'll be happy to make any changes :) 
By the way - I've updated some of the backgrounds to  be a little darker/ show some fireflies in it - perhaps this might be an idea for the animatic?

Also, while I'm posting... I was starting to think about the layout stage /graticule. To make sure that the characters animate properly, for each of the shots, I'm going to make a high-contrast background to use underneath the paper, sort of in conjunction with the graticule (I think?) But before I can do this, I just need to check that all of the backgrounds are (almost) good to go? The background for shot 1 will need to be broken up into layers for after effects (to get some real perspective) but I was hoping that apart from re-drawing them a bit, that the actual design of them was what we wanted. Again, do let me know what you think of this by email or comments (preferably sooner rather than later?)

Friday, 5 November 2010

Our musician is definitely coming tomorrow. I've told her to bring her flute over, and I'll be going through the melody of the piece on the flute as I have no piano-like device until our recording session on Monday.

Recording session will be from 9.30 till 4.30. If either of you would like to attend, that would be a great help to get some of your input as well. If enough time I'm hoping to go through some of the foley noises, so splashes/drips, watery noises, wind rustles... bits and pieces like that. Any other ideas for noises we need just post/email and I'll add it to the list of experiments!

Have a good weekend! x