Welcome! This page is dedicated to the production blog for "Fairground Follies." It serves as a weekly report during my time working on the project.

Day 1: Pre-Production Kickoff!

September 10, 2018 (Monday)

Our crew met for the first time today! We reviewed the basic pitch of the film, presented our works, learned each others' skills, and started to get acquainted with the syllabus. So far, we're off to a good start.

First test of Bluebell's walk! Because the film is inspired by rubber hose-style animation, I've tried to reference it in any way I can. I've also used this test to become acquainted with drawing the character and learn how to animate a quadruped.

Day 2: Gags Exploration

September 12, 2018 (Wednesday)

We've made progress on assigning initial roles, creating a live schedule, and sharing our ideas for gags to use in the film. We also planned to meet on Friday to really start nailing down as much as we can when it comes to storyboards as well as the story itself.

Day 3: Group A Dailies (1)

September 17, 2018 (Monday)

Our crew presented our current progress in visual development, storyboards, and animation tests. We were able to establish a beginning and ending for the film during our Friday meeting. We've picked a handful of gags we enjoy the most and are currently boarding them to see what works and what doesn't. Both Fitz and Bluebell's characters were explored in terms of construction and expressions. I was assigned to produce a walk cycle test for Fitz as well as a pose test for a specific scene. They may need to be reworked, but for now, I need to move on to run cycles. (It is a chase film, after all!)

Pose test for the "Newborn Bambi" scene. There were definitely many ways I could've explored this scene and how Bluebell discovers he can't walk, but I liked the energy this version carries.

Here's the first test of Fitz's walk cycle! I mostly explored how the feet and arms move and how he will have less movement compared to Bluebell's long limbs. Other parts that need attention include the ears and head.

Day 4: Group B Dailies (1)

September 19, 2018 (Wednesday)

Group B presented their dailies in vis dev and storyboarding. Some changes have been made within both films that represent this group; one changed its title, the other changed one of its original ideas. Overall, the two films show great progress in both departments. As for the "Fairground Follies" crew, we plan to meet again on Saturday to further discuss certain gags and tying down the storyboards even more. 

Day 5: Group A Dailies (2)

September 24, 2018 (Monday)

Our crew presented our current progress. We mostly have all of the storyboards going, but definitely need to figure out transition shots and camera angles. The run cycles need to be revisited; they seem to come off as flat and even-timed. I need to work on more variation, character acting and positioning.

Bluebell's run cycle is off to a decent start! The back legs need more overlap like the front legs do, or could even bend more drastically. Time for another test!

Fitz's run cycle needs work. I mostly wanted to still figure out the mechanics, but it would be good to explore character more. I added some separate head movement that wasn't explored in the walk cycle test.

Side-by-side for comparison! I am not entirely sure how the proportions line up but I'm glad the two characters have some variation in their steps.

Day 6: Group B Dailies (2)

September 26, 2018 (Wednesday)

Group B presented the progress they have so far. Both of the films also have almost all of their storyboards together and are focusing on making adjustments in that area. The visual development is also doing well for both projects. Will be exciting to see some animation tests from these two!

Day 7: More Run Cycles

October 1, 2018 (Monday)

I tested out approximately 4 runs over the weekend and showed them in today's critique. I think we've figured out which one is closest to what we want to have, but there's still some tweaks left to do! Hopefully I can nail this down as soon as possible.

Testing out different head, arm, and leg positions. We've agreed a 16-frame cycle would most likely work best when it comes to timing. Also, if we want to include a scene where Fitz needs to look especially speedy, I don't think it would hurt to go Road Runner style!

Day 8: The Animatic Has Arrived!

October 3, 2018 (Wednesday)

We have an animatic! In just 2 days, Lauren and Jaden pulled all of the boards together and roughly timed them out. Lauren even re-boarded one of the gags that we've been having issues with. The film's nearly 4 minutes long, so now it's time to get the timing down and maybe even cut a few scenes. The story gets better every week!

Day 9: Combination Class

October 8, 2018 (Monday)

Professor Garcia and Professor Pattinson decided to combine our classes today so that one project from each class can get some fresh eyes and critique outside of their own class. Since those critiques took the entirety of the class, our crew did not get to present our progress. 

Day 10: Midterm

October 10, 2018 (Wednesday)

We are officially halfway through pre-production! I presented the latest run cycle during our crew's critique today. It's getting close, but I do need to explore more head movement and forward-and-backward motion of the entire body. We've also made progress on the animatic, however one of the gags is still not communicating as clearly as we would like. Our plan is to rework it and cut the time it takes to play out.

Day 11: Run, Fitz, Run!

October 15, 2018 (Monday)

The run cycle was approved by the class! I was very pleased with their response to the recent additions taken from their last critique. Also, the animatic's latest additions are taking notice. We've added new elements to the final chase and reworked our "dart gag." There are still some areas that need to be clearer, but some pieces are definitely getting stronger. Also, I've begun to do some expression tests for Fitz and Bluebell. They're extremely basic for now as I'm getting used to their construction. Definitely need to work on that squash and stretch!

Day 12: Gordon's Chase

October 17, 2018 (Wednesday)

Now that Fitz's cycle is fine for now, it's time to move on to Gordon's! After a brief discussion, we believe his cycle will be slower than Fitz's since we want some variety in the timing. Also, since he's a big guy, he should have a heavier weight and therefore less time in the air than Fitz. I plan to explore this and update the expression tests over the weekend.

Day 13: Legs for Days

October 22, 2018 (Monday)

Gordon's run cycle is underway! I tried exploring slightly different legs using the timing we've agreed on. During critique, the class agreed that the middle cycle works best, so I will use that to build the cycle. Also, I updated the expression tests for Bluebell with more squash and stretch! We're looking into using smears in the film, which is something I haven't quite done yet. For now, I need to get better at breaking those model sheets!

Day 14: Work for the Weekend

October 24, 2018 (Wednesday)

After Group B's critique, the crew discussed their assignments for the weekend as well as meeting on Sunday. Our goal is to strengthen the animatic by tweaking certain scenes including the ending. We are hoping to have most of the story figured out by Monday.

Day 15: Gordon Body

October 29, 2018 (Monday)

Our latest animatic went up for review. We still need to fix the ending but our original "dart gag" scene is now readable! For my individual critique, I presented different variations of Gordon's body and head and how they would move during the cycle. I also redid an expression test for Fitz with a couple more drawings and push off of the model. 

Day 16: Off to the Fair!

October 31, 2018 (Wednesday)

At the beginning of the quarter, we found out there was going to be a fair near the campus during the quarter. Naturally, we decided we needed to go! We discussed our trip during class and will be meeting tomorrow to explore the scene. Consider it an important research trip to help with the production of the film.

Day 17: Gordon Run (Continued)

November 5, 2018 (Monday)

I've started to piece Gordon's run together and he now has a face and arms! I will try different positions for the arms as well as the hands to see which will look more menacing. Hoping to get this done in time for the last critique!

Day 18: Change of Plan

November 7, 2018 (Wednesday)

Lauren has decided to do a proof of concept for one of the shots for the film. So, instead of working on the run cycle, I will be animating, cleaning, and coloring a shot over the weekend. Our goal is to get as close as we can to making it look like how we want the final film to look as well.

Day 19: Proof of Concept

November 12, 2018 (Monday)

Our proof of concept was finished over the weekend! For how little time we had to focus on it, we accomplished a lot with it. Many questions came up while making it, which is a good thing to start right before production. I believe we'll make several adjustments over the break so that it resembles something closer to what we want to have.

Day 20: Last Day of Pre-Production!

November 14, 2018 (Wednesday)

Today is our last official day in pre-production! We've already planned to help out over the break and will start up again shortly after Thanksgiving. Some shots have already been distributed to the animators so that they can start roughing out some animation if they can. We are also responsible for working on expressions for the characters so that we're acquainted with drawing them on-model. Overall, I think we're in a good place at this point in the process. 

© 2020 Christy Thacker

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