After mood boards are made and colour palettes are chosen, it’s time for the most exciting and most terrifying part, working on animation for Previsualization. It is supposed to be some sort of a preview of the future creation, made with simple objects, mainly to see if the scenes originally chosen work together, as well as checking whether possess the skill and knowledge to realise what you made up in your mind. A digital animated sketch, if you may.
Another equally important part of Previsualization is picking music for the future video. I may be a newbie when it comes to motion stuff, but I’ve edited some videos before, and I would always think about the music at the very end. However I have recently learned that finding the right music should be your first step, because that’s what determines the pace and the mood of the video. It also shows you when one scene should end and another one begin. With that newfound knowledge I set out on a path of searching for the perfect audio, which, to my surprise, took me over a day to complete. Another downside is that it has to be royalty free, which doesn’t seem like that big of a problem, until you realise that all music that matches what you have in mind is copyrighted. Bummer, I know.
Having done all that, with sweaty palms and racing heart I realised it was time to make 3d models (simple ones, for now) and work on animation. In a perfect world I would have approached that task with ease and excitement, but in this one I was in a way dreading it, because I’ve never done it before. Never even seen what software for it was like.
That brings us to the next stage of story. Taming the 3d software. Well, trying to, at least. Years ago when learning graphic design, I tried doing a bit of animation, so in my head I was hoping that 3d software would in a way a bit similar to the one I was using for animation, or at least be built on the same concepts. Boy, was I wrong. It was nothing like anything that I knew before. And I mean ANYTHING. So alien and unapproachable. You can’t imagine how proud of myself I was when I ma made my first cube. And yes, it may sound significant, but all I had to do was click one button. Eventually I did what anyone in my shoes would do. Youtube. I watched everything I could find. And then watched it again. Now the funny thing is when a video is titled TUTORIAL, one usually expects the author to in a way walk you through the process, and maybe hopefully explain some things. Turns out tutorial mostly means to be a video where someone talks a little, clicking on buttons so quickly you could think someone is chasing them, and providing little to no explanation. That didn’t help my situation at all. However I did end up learning things. I even learned how to animate objects, how to set a camera, and how to use light.
After making a couple of scenes I realised that when looking for inspiration for animation that I would eventually use I was very ambitious.Too ambitious I would say. Yes, you guessed it right, I found out that some scenes I planned to make were too advanced for me. More skill was required, but I was running out of time. This made me compromise, and change my inspiration a little, opting for easier shapes and moves.
There were also two scenes that I had a 3d model for, but after 2 days of looking how to animate them a certain way and coming up empty handed I couldn’t do. So I decided to leave them for later, when I find a solution.
Another obstacle I encountered was changing the speed of the animation. By default objects move from one point to another smoothly, at an even speed. That can result in boring dynamics, and certain audio beats not matching the movements. That’s where curves come in. It’s funny how one curved line can hold so much power over a scene, because if you don’t get the speed right, it will be very obvious. I’m still struggling with them, but the do work sometimes for me, usually by accident.
It’s been such an exciting journey so far, and I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s to come. Ahead of me is colouring the materials and applying textures. Seeing as I don’t know anything about textures and haven’t found a lot of information about their creation, I’ll try sticking to basic colouring for now. Staying humble is very important for a beginner, because if set goals that are too advanced for you, you may fail to meet the deadline of submitting the project, as well as spend too much time on one complicated thing while leaving out the rest. It is very important at this stage to be able to define ones priorities and plan the timetable around them.
As exhausting as this week has been, I had fun, got out of my comfort zone, and felt proud of myself more often that usual. So I say a week well spent. Until then, stay tuned.