Friday, 28 October 2011

Stylisation Experiment

Following Alan's comments on stylisation, I tried to do the characters in a Hannah Barbera style.
The faces are horrible, but I quite like the stylised bodies, especially the general.  Maybe with a bit more practice in this style, I can produce a head that doesn't look hideous...

Thursday, 27 October 2011


The first animatic for our "Invasion from the centre of the earth"

Set Concepts

Subway Station
Street level
Scientist's Lab
Apartment Block Rooftop
I think it might be a nice sort of visual joke if every skyline featured the Empire State Building, regardless of whether it actually would be there.

Plus, it would sort of subtly set up the big finish.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

New York

Narration Character design

Character Summary

Male Lead (Hero):

The nephew of the Scientist; he is a clean-cut college student who rescues the Heroine from the centipede when it attacks the subway station.  Good, upstanding all-american role model, etc.

Female Lead:

Works as secretary to the Scientist; she is at the subway when it is attacked by the Centipede, and is rescued by the Hero.  Basic damsel-in-distress archetype - says very little, screams instead of turning and running, etc.  Acts as love interest for Hero.


Generic expert in "Science"; is person who explains the origins of the giant Centipede and realises that the military's attacks are causing it to grow faster.  Tries to get the military to call of its attacks before it is too late, and also comes up with the eventual solution.


Gung-ho military stereotype; believes in shooting first and asking questions later.  Ignores the warning from the Scientist, due to arrogance and unquestioning belief in the superiority of the US military.

Plot Synopsis

In New York, illegal dumping of waste from atomic experiments causes a centipede to grow to enormous size.  It proceeds to break into a subway tunnel and then out onto the streets of the city, causing widespread panic and local destruction.  The military are mobilised to try and stop the monster, but their attacks do nothing.  A scientist discovers that the centipede is actually absorbing energy from the military’s attacks, causing it to grow faster, and he tries to persuade the General in charge to call off the attacks to give the Scientist time to find a solution.  The General ignores the warning, calling in the airforce to try and destroy the Centipede; at the same time, the Scientist realises that he has a prototype energy weapon which should be able to destroy the monster.  As the Centipede attacks the Empire State building, the Hero and the Scientist must race to destroy it with the Weapon before the airforce attack causes it to grow to unstoppable size.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Centipede Design

Theres been a small demand for designs of the centipede and here they are:

I really like this design because it looks so fierce and powerful, it is also a mutation look of the original centipede. I wanted to colour and then saturate the image to show what it would look like in the final black and white effected animation.

This design is more eye pleasing for me because of that powerful neck and extreme pincers. This has been designed closer to the actual centipede.

Character Concepts (part 1)

Very rough concepts for the general and the scientist.
More developed concepts for the General and the grunts.  I quite like the idea of the General as a gung-ho, cigar-chomping, trigger-happy, macho character.

Improvements to Storyboard

After taking note from Alan's feedback we wanted to fix the storyboard as fast as possible, so this is my attempt at two of the problems raised.

First of the problem of shot 17 and 18 being the same thing had to fixed and combined. So I moved the shot out on the street with the centipede moving forward and smashing cars, playing via a back projection. The foreground has cars and will have a fleshed out street that looks as real as possible.

Second problem was the science and human reaction part of the trailer. What I wanted to do is put as much explanation in as we possibly could because I think the audience will need it. The scene takes place in a science lab with the scientist trying to explain what is going on as the main actor and actress listen to him. I have come up with a draft dialogue for the actors involved.

Scientist - "This is a fascinating creature, originally this specie will only grow to 20cm but this beast has grown to 100 feet long! The head is 10 feet alone.

Main Actor - "Sir, how did this creature grow so large?"

Scientist - "The only explanation is this creature has come into contact with nuclear waste and it's DNA changed in such a way that it was able to grow to such a terrifying size.

Main Actor - "How do we destroy it?"

Scientist - "Well that's the thing, the weakness of the normal centipede is heat and drought..."

Main Actor - "So all we have to do is burn it!"

Scientist - "Unfortunately no. You see I have analysed the Data and the creatures DNA has been altered so much that it doesn't have any more weaknesses. No weapon that the human race possesses will destroy this Centipede"

I already find this improvement of the scene to be much more interesting and something to pay attention to in trailer. It also opens up a lot of challenges for us in production when it comes to the lip syncing and animating the characters.

A Talk With Alan

Yesterday the group had a much needed talk with Alan about our storyboard and the direction the project is heading. The outcome was he thought the storyboard was 60% finished and the other 40% needed more or less or rearranging.

One of the problems was the storyboard wasn't as clear as it could be; which lead to the group having to explain what was happening in each shot. Now this isn't a massive problem because it was just a draft just to see what our story looked visually. For the Pitch next week I will be refining the drawings and hope the animatic will help tell our story clearer.

The intro got an approval and everything was fine up until shot 12;

Shot 12

 He mentioned that the view was too far away at this point and shows the same thing as shot 13 but just at a distance.

Shot 13

Our initial ideas for these shots were to imitate the trailer for "The Blob", the shots for the trailer went far shot, crowd shot and then model shot of the blob and thats we all liked that collection of shots. However it was mentioned that the far shot wasn't really needed because the crowd shot is powerful enough.

Shot 17 and 18 was next on the talking list;

Shot 17

Shot 18

It was pointed out that these two shots looked like they were showing the exact same thing but from a different angle. An idea was suggested that the two become merged because we all like the idea of the centipede in back projection and we like the centipede destorying the cars. So now a new view of this could be the centipede coming at the camera but on a back projection destorying cars with a real foreground of cars awaiting destruction.

Shot 19

This shot wasn't showing the impact it needed for the trailer. It is ment to express the possible reason or cure for the beast so there is a lot more that can be added. It was suggested that there be close up shots of reactions and the scientist standing in front a blackboard instead of centipede cages.

Shot 26

As we got further through the storyboard up to the entrance of the main actors, there was a wonder of why they were point in so far down the trailer. So I raised my idea from before of having the main actors in the science lab when this explanation is being held. Maybe the main actress is an assistance or Secretary of the scientist and the main actor is brave scientist that is looking to get samples and answers from the beast. So this part of the story needs a lot of work and either narration or acting to make sure it all flows correctly.

Shot 20 and 21 appeared to be in the wrong order. To an outside opinion the reaction shot looked odd when it came before the back projected firing shot.

Shot 20

Shot 21

These two scenes for me are very powerful for the trailer and I want to get these as right as we possibly can.

We started to run out of time for this meeting so before rapping it up Alan took a quick glance at the final pages and noticed that there may be too much action and that we need to go back to more human interaction similar to the science lab scene. We mentioned that there was an idea of the scientist telling the general that no man made weapons will work against this creature and something new must be invented. Alan had idea of the General slamming his fist and telling the Scientists that this animal will be taken out by the American army at all costs. This would then be followed by a couple more action shots of the General's army trying to take this beast down.

Just before the end we were told to concentrate on the ending money shot because so far we don't have it. Something that will make the trailer stick in the minds of the audience. A couple of ideas that were raised became strikingly similar; something along the lines of the centipede spiralling up the Empire State Building or the Brooklyn Bridge

Overall we were very grateful for this meeting because it gave us a lot to think about and is pushing us in the right dirrection.