Welcome! This page is dedicated to the production blog for the film, "Drawn Apart." This served as a weekly progress report while I worked on the project from beginning to end. 

Day 1: In the Beginning...

March 26, 2018 (Monday)

Production began today! We got to see the full 3D animatic and have our questions answered before we split into our respective teams. We made progress on starting our production blogs (here's mine!), collecting everyone's contact info and requesting shots we'd prefer to work on. Animation shots may be distributed very soon. 

Day 2: Testing 1, 2, 3...

March 28, 2018 (Wednesday)

Dailies included progress on the dance sequence, modeling and animation tests. Animators were told which shot sequences we've been assigned to at the moment. I've also been assigned to do a rough test for the 2D character during the "flying squirrel" sequence. 

 

Some poses I sketched for the test for the "flying squirrel" sequence. Looks like "Paperson's" on the move!

Day 3: So Much Creative Freedom!

April 2, 2018 (Monday)

Animation team has made progress on rough passes. We were given time to communicate with our sequence teams and really dig into our shots. I've decided to change the camera as well as the position of the "paperson" during my sequence, so I plan to construct a quick 2D animatic to illustrate what I'm planning out. It's really nice to have a team that allows you to have this amount of creative freedom! (Though it may feel a little scary sometimes.)

Day 4: Changing It Up

April 4, 2018 (Wednesday)

I presented my rough thumbnails for changing the camera and other parts of my sequence to the crew and it didn't get turned down! The responses to the changes were great, but we still have a long way to go. Now that we know where the camera is going to be, I need to have some 2D paper draw-overs done soon. On to the next thing!

This is the 2D thumbnail sequence. I wanted to visually convey where the camera was going to be while adding other elements that I thought would be interesting to have. 

Day 5: Draw-Overs

April 9, 2018 (Monday)

There were timeline concerns, 3D questions, and 2D confusion during today's dailies. 2D animators were informed we're responsible for facial drawings for some of the background characters (I'm still processing that information.) For now, my focus remains on the 2D paper draw-overs for my sequence. I plan to have all of it ready for dailies on Wednesday. 

Day 6: Lock Down

April 11, 2018 (Wednesday)

We were shown the complete model for Phoebe and lighting tests for the plaza scene (both of which looked awesome.) Main goal for animators seems to be locking down our shots for camera and timing, which is what I really want to accomplish this weekend. I completed the draw-overs for the sequence and made several notes for camera adjustments. The paper, however, seems mostly steady through timing and positioning. 

First pass of 2D draw-overs for the sequence. I used this opportunity to establish the timing, positioning and trajectory of the paper while using the 3D camera. Once the cameras are locked down, my focus will switch to "Paperson" and their character acting. 

Day 7: Cutting Frames

April 16, 2018 (Monday)

Everyone got to see the first weekly edit of what we've done with all of the shots so far! Chris liked the progress we've been making and suggested we start cutting frames in the shots since the timing may be a little too long. I was handed another short shot to do the draw-overs for the paper and received notes on the timing changes to my sequence. I've also been getting really great feedback on my sequence, which is always exciting to hear! Things are slowly coming together. (Can't be too slow, though. We do have a deadline.)

 

Cameras are mostly set. We are still tweaking the timing on certain shots, but it's getting better! Also, I'd like to credit and thank the 3D animators (Roy and Kalai) for getting the cameras going. 

Day 8: Dailies and Draw-Overs

April 18, 2018 (Wednesday)

During dailies the group was shown progress on modeling and set dressing. Soon after, the 3D animators were paired up with people from the production team so that they can work together for the upcoming renders of the film. Also, the animators wanted to add another option for choosing the title of the film. I have no idea what the final name will end up being, but you should know now by reading the title of the blog! Finally, I finished the draw-overs for another shot and it was approved by Professor Webber. Now the plan is to start blocking out "Paperson" and their acting poses. 

 

This is the short draw-over sequence I finished. There were only so many frames I had to turn the paper over while also letting it move more freely, so it was a little bit of a challenge. But I'm happy with how it turned out!

Day 9: Renders and Weekly Edit

April 23, 2018 (Monday)

The crew got to see the first renders of the film, which were only for the first, middle and last frames in each shot. We also viewed this week's "weekly edit" to view the progress so far in all of the shots and see how they look together. It seems like time is still our biggest issue; we're still working on cutting frames whenever we can. Also, Professor Webber is now asking the animators to have all of our keys and breakdowns done by Friday. I'm finally getting acquainted with drawing "Paperson" and hope to have everything ready by the deadline. 

 

Day 10: Halfway There!

April 25, 2018 (Wednesday)

The pressure is on! Professor Pattinson has now requested the animators to start submitting finished animation starting next week with sequence 400. Sequence 200 (my sequence) will be due the following week. The thought of this alone is scary, but it's a reasonable request considering we're officially at the halfway point and we need to start rendering the film as soon as possible. Also, the 2D animators will be helping out Professor Webber with draw-overs on Friday. Since he believes he won't be able to help everyone in time, we'll be helping the 3D animators with pushing their poses. 

 

Here are a some key poses I've drawn for "Paperson" so far. A lot of her acting may rely on her face since her body won't have to move much. Throughout my sequence, she'll mostly be panicking and looking.

Day 11: Communication is Key

April 30, 2018 (Monday)

So far, I've managed to make some progress on keys and breakdowns for the sequence, but I have yet to finalize the timing. Unfortunately, there has been an issue in communicating with another student and it's been both frustrating and worrying. Despite this, I'm still determined to finish the sequence by the deadline so I've been doing whatever I can on the 2D side. I'm not happy with the current state the sequence is in as a whole, but at least the situation has been taken care of. We will move forward and get this part of the film to where it needs to be. 

Day 12: One Week Until Sequence is Due!

May 2, 2018 (Wednesday)

The pressure continues! I've got one week to help finish sequence 200. The 3D animation is starting to make good progress and I'm getting closer to clean-up on 2D for a couple of the shots. So long as this kind of progress keeps up, I'm sure we can get this sequence ready for rendering in a week. Fingers crossed!

Day 13: Commence "Operation: Clean-up!"

May 7, 2018 (Monday)

All of the shots I have for this sequence are now animated and it's time for the (not so) fun part... cleaning it up. Once this is done, there may be some timing rearrangements so that it can match with the 3D animation, but we're not sure yet. There's still a lot to do in the next 2 days. 

This is what the clean-up process looks like! I use different layers for different parts of the character so I can easily hold one part while another one moves. This is what I'll be doing for the next 2 days. 1 frame down, 100+ more to go!

Day 14: On to Sequence 100

May 9, 2018 (Wednesday)

Sequence 200 was due today. I got all of my animation and clean-up done in time! We had a few notes from the production side that include changing the cameras, but no additional 2D animation is needed so my job here is done. Now, I only have one more shot left to animate in the end of sequence 100. Unless Professor Webber hands me another crazy shot, that's all I have left! (Fingers crossed, again.)

Here's the animation for one of the shots! Because the paper is a fair distance away from the camera, none of this animation will be seen. I knew this would be the case so I did not attempt to refine the animation. However, I did everything I could for the shots that are seen. Overall, I'm quite happy with what I accomplished in 2 weeks. 

Day 15: Almost There!

May 14, 2018 (Monday)

I finished all of the animation and clean-up for my shot in 100. There wasn't much I could do in class today, but I was asked to do a quick draw-over for one of the shots in 500. Looks like things are starting to slow down for the animation team. There are still a lot of animators working hard on their shots, but we're getting close to finishing all of the animation for the film. 

Day 16: Rendering and Credits

May 16, 2018 (Wednesday)

Sequences 100 and 500 were due today! Ideally, all of the animation should be ready for rendering. There are a few notes here and there, but the goal is to have it all done now. As for the animators who have finished their shots, we were told that we could help out the production team with rendering so that we have something to do. However, it looks like I'll be helping out with some of the animation for the credits. It should be easier to accomplish compared to the sequence I animated. We'll see how that goes!

Day 17: Bougainvillea

May 21, 2018 (Monday)

Rendering is still underway. Meanwhile, Meg, Grace and myself are helping out on finishing the credits. I've been asked to simply animate some flowers blooming. But not just any flowers! They're called "Bougainvillea flowers." No, I'm still not sure how that's correctly pronounced. Fun Fact: There was also a possibility at one point that the film was going to be titled Bougainvillea, but as you can see, that didn't happen. Anyway, here are the sketches of the flowers so far:

Day 18: One More Week!

May 23, 2018 (Wednesday)

We finished the flowers today. Rendering is making progress and they're hoping to have all of the renders by Saturday. Then it's off to compositing! I can't believe we're so close to the end. It's also a little over a week until the film is supposed to be finished and ready to show for the showcase. Can't wait to see the final result! Here's one of the flowers cleaned and colored:

Day 19: Paint-Overs

May 28, 2018 (Monday)

The 2D animators were assembled to help with the paint-overs for several shots. This is probably the last push for us as we aim to have the film finished by Wednesday. Other than that, everything else is being finalized. Music, lighting, renders and more are finally starting to come together. And then... we're done? 

Day 20: The End

May 30, 2018 (Wednesday)

It's the last day of production! Somehow the time flew by and we now have a complete film ready for debut. However, it was difficult to get to this point. I know it isn't easy to make a film but I believe there were a fair amount of issues that could've been avoided if certain things were different. Here are some suggestions:

 

  •  Pre-production, production, and post-production get an equal amount of time. All issues within a certain stage should not be carried over to the next. Having an entire quarter to tie up any loose ends would be great.

  • Rigging needs to be a serious priority from the beginning. The rigs were the biggest issue throughout production. I am in no way blaming the riggers because I know they did a tremendous amount of work and did so extremely well. Having more riggers on hand would have helped the situation in some ways. 

  • More focus on working during meetings. I completely understand the importance of having dailies to see the progress of the film as well as receiving any constructive criticism from the crew. However, there also needs to be a section that is solely dedicated to working on whichever issues were discussed. 

 

And here is what I learned:

  • When working in a production such as this, do not expect to just do one job. If the crew needs you to do something, figure it out and help them out. 

  • Fight until you get an answer. You may have to go through 5 people just to get a question answered or an issue fixed. But you do not leave until it's resolved.

  • Do not do anything by yourself. Any changes, updates or mistakes you make will affect the team. Everyone on the team is there for a reason so there's no need to not communicate with them.

 

In the end, this was an incredible experience. There are many lessons I learned that could never learn in a regular classroom. Despite its frustrations, even though no production goes without any, I would definitely do this again. The film is great and the people who worked on it are even greater!

© 2020 Christy Thacker

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