Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Tempo Violin

Trying some things out with the tempo in the final sequence. I quite like the idea of changing up the speed of the music to enhance the terror going through the protagonists fetal mind, moments after his newly discovered emotions. The characters development from mindless drone into a feeling one is conveyed with the piano. It works to the end as well, later contrasting with the escape attempt nicely but also reminding you of the journey he's been through in this short space of time.

But in an never ending search for a track, I did come across some violin and as a tempo framework to grow around its not that bad. I made a couple adjustments to keep it more in line with the original track but its does fit. With sound effects over the top it could blend in to the background quite nicely. I am a fan of Olafur Arnalds, along with a few others he does create some serene film music. Looked at Sigur Ros also for the vast and empty desolate feeling of the facility but also complement the overlooked beauty of the fetus's origins. I find their music to remind me of our planet, lush landscapes of various rolling hills, windswept rocky coastlines, all visions of the planet before the event destroyed the fetus's world outside the facility.
These fetus's are a last reminder of humanity in the facility, so much so that the strays covet each drone they can save just as much as the unborn, deep underground in the growing chambers. Impossible to get to from outside and virtually unreachable from inside.

Humans have still managed to survive a hundred years or so on in the rebirth of the planet, though only the most brutal savage humans have survived on the surface with few exceptions. The strays don't see the encounters with savages as human, but feral beasts. They roam the lands foraging what they can, becoming easier as the earth has begun to heal. While the selected people and the lottery for those who went underground before the apocalypse have started to venture out and begin farming where they can. Once a survivors vault is discovered by savages there is little hope besides locking the door. These doomed individuals sometimes open the vault for the first time to discover a camp outside, waiting for the time when the door might open. This pagan ritual of the opening would last minutes before the pillaging would being. This is how the first few great clans gained so much strength in this time period. No one suspected that anything would survive except underground.

This track has an almost perfect 2 minute intro that fits

I am looking to branch out of this area of music a bit more a see what else can work. there's so much raw energy in the end of this piece, I wouldn't want to go in this direction but its such a inspirational track.
Probably will post more ideas as i go

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Ideas, test shots and behind the scenes

  Hint on many other 'feti' in storage??



Part 2 and 3 Pre-vis

 One of the hardest challenges is making fetus robots work
The music I chose for this pre-vis wasn't originally intended, I only had a very clear idea of sound effects and a vague one of the musical score and now this piano along with the opening scene has somewhat set the tempo of this animation bringing it to a 2 minute minimum. To retain the atmosphere it generates surrounding the main character it must be about this long. I'm thinking that once the background music is in the background it'll be looking like 1.20-1.30 minutes.
So coming to animate and tidying up the timing and pre-vis some more i may look into the length. Though I have still planned it have less modelling and animation as possible. Drawing on subtlety, which is a risk but then this whole project was to pull off.
Upon starting this I have to convey a lot of information about of this unknown creature/place, not only does the audience have to understand to some level whats going on but this idea of a fetus robot has to be understood and related to as well. Carving a fresh fetal archetype was the first challenge of many.
So by making this short longer to start, with a tempo track and almost every detail the whole mood has come across, now to distill this in to the short I'm aiming to achieve. I had already begun doing this in the process, there are several shots I have taken out that I really wanted in there but there wasn't room.

Friday, 6 February 2015


Some rough concepts of workers, the first two and female then male designs playing with ideas of gender, the others are worker variants.

Pre-vis part one

I started making a short portraying the activation of a fetal worker from standby and follow his programmed duty  to maintain the this autonomous facility of unknown origin. (this would be discovered during a much longer film) After making a repair, this unit noticed something in a reflection.
At this point I have to mention some backstory, most of the feti bred for the facility have had genetic adjustments to eliminate emotion and most other functions. The scientist however enhanced the brain to act as a micro-processor for the machine components to use and make complex decisions. This being the most effective method of the time period, before high end computers were being developed. The idea thought up by the ludicrous scientists put in charge of the program, this facility was in desperate need to be built to accomplish there aims. Each of them however had their own ideas and agendas during construction. But neither disagreed on the sole crucial element; Drone-workers, mindless slaves that can maintain and monitor one of these vast industrial complexes while using a minimal amount of power.
So, normally one of these workers wouldn't notice a reflection or anything close to thought past their protocol, but some feti with genetic defects slip through the screening process and occasionally one develops small independent thoughts and emotions. These are called awakened, they are connected still, but have noticed that they weren't meant for this life, their deeper natural DNA speaks out and they become aware of their surroundings.
They have not escaped yet or freed by others, these are called Strays and they may get a mention later but its not vital to this short.

This main protagonist we follow from being rigged to task now suddenly finds itself staring deeply into a window reflection, slowly feeling what he may have become in a another life. From here the story develops into it finding a smile and not moments after caught out and chased through to its' inevitable demise.

To get some much in a short space, I may adjust certain timing and scenes while keeping the focus on the smile and chase beat to demise. I felt to start with that i could get the quick rig and straight to action with fades to pass time. Though after the opening scene I found my self holding parts for longer to emphasize the emptiness and lack of human interaction. I had made an animatic lasting 4 minutes showing only a fresh fetus being born, having sockets being implanted and woken up right at the end. What i'm trying to convey in roughly a minute could be too much.

After this idea becomes to take hold this animation may have taken on its initial intention in a better way, enhancing the emptiness with drawn out dark scenes with low light. I wasn't sure at this point, so looked for soundtracks, after looking through a few different genres, a sparse piano piece came up that ties into these ideas. Later I may add a more progressive sound track building up with each beat. I have looked into Olafur Arnalds before for inspiration and I love the contrast it provides, juxtaposing a grim unknown existence to a beautiful violin solo for example. Or the build up of an underlying orchestral resonance finally peaking at the moment of hopelessness for our character. This can be too much though, it could be the off beat that brings the animation together. A moment of silence upon being backed into the corner, could bring his situation to life much more.
I still may completely change the sound track though, this works for now until the pre-vis sheds light on other areas.

Full initial idea : 

Part one - pre-vis

Once a defective unit is discovered they are quickly captured and eliminated by the controllers and security units. They are then sent to a waste disposal area to leave the facility as detritus. This is sometimes not the end however for a mangled fetus, a more hardy specimen may survive their capture/screening-process to be picked up by a Stray Collector on the outside. Then they can be indoctrinated into the ways of these humble creatures of the outside world. Where the lack of gene therapy and hormonal treatment causes them to grow and form mutated/deformed versions of children. (Slightly resembling the disturbing aftermath of the Chenobyl and some of its deformed residents) Still fairly weak yet supported by mech-suites built form junk, scavenged machine units from the facility and other materials that were discarded.