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Monday, 11 April 2016

Rob-o-Matic: Animation Compilation With Whole Dance Scene

This test compiles the new animation that I've been working on. It's purpose is to show the style and length of my animated short. A lot of sound still needs to be added in and i'd like to refine some of the animation.  

My animation features sounds from, some music from and an Edited sample of Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes - (I've Had) The Time Of My Life. It also features voice talent from Bethan Dixon Bate as the homeowner and Jazz Walker as the announcer on the robot advert.


  1. Hey Adam,

    Okay - a few thoughts and observations:

    1) The waiter's cloth over Rob's arm in the advert - I think it should be plain white, like your typical wine waiter's cloth - it's a small thing, but that little purple stripe is bugging me because it's drawing my attention.

    2) I know this is something you're thinking about, but I think you really need to commit to the sound effects that accompany the POV shot of the woman getting up from the sofa etc. Without them, it's hard to judge how successful this opening shot is going to be: you need to think very carefully about the sound design for this, by thinking about what she's wearing; the sound her footsteps will make on carpet etc. Are we going to hear the jangle of keys etc.?

    3) There is a tension I think between some of the masculinity of your design for the room and the fact that it is a woman's living room; for example, the coat that we see hanging on the pegs by the door; are there more opportunities to 'show' your human character through moments/objects like these?

    4) You need to commit to the space outside the front door - when it opens we see a black void - we don't need to see too much obviously, but, just as was the case with the kitchen, you need to give a sense that this room connects with other spaces credibly.

    5) Your bookshelf still isn't credible in terms of what's on it etc; fill it up; she wouldn't have cups and saucers on it, for example, they'd be in the kitchen; get more books in there, populate this space.

    6) Okay - I think there's a credibility issue here with the bottles of beer. That's the contents of a man's fridge, not a middle-class woman. It would much more likely be bottles of wine and/or gin - that would tell us more about the human character; the beer is too 'single man'. Admittedly this is a detail I could have picked up on sooner, but now it's very obviously inconsistent.

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  3. 7) I don't think the cigarette smoking works - mostly because the actual detail of the cigarette gets lost on screen. If he was smoking multiple cigarettes that might be funnier and read more clearly as a joke (and you'd have to show the ashtray filling up with fag butts). Just think about how this might be staged more effectively - or cut it completely and keep the focus on the drinking.

    8) Can you improve the animation of the 'falling' beer bottle etc - it doesn't read convincingly at the moment.

    9) The sequence in which the hoover box opens and you ready the audience for the dream sequence: how about, as the box opens, the set around it fades out to black seamlessly - so in this sense, it is an uninterrupted transition? I also think you need another shot of the robot before this happens, so in fact something like this:

    a) Camera pans from television advert to actual hoover box.
    b) Hoover box swings open
    c) Cut to Robot's eyes widening in wonderment
    d) Cut back to hoover in open box as we now see the living room and the box fade into black just leaving the hoover on 'the stage' - a spot-light snapping on to bathe the hoover in wondrous light or similar.

    Short version is the transition from real word to fantasy needs greater elegance - more seamless - literally as if the real world melts away, as opposed to suddenly snapping off.

    10) The inside of the box itself needs some work - it looks very 'Maya' still - and I think you might want to look at the thickness of the box material itself, because it doesn't read credibly as solid or made of real world materials.

    11) In terms of the dance sequence itself, is it your intention to just have it in complete blackness? It does seem a) as if you need to think about theatrical lighting, so a travelling spotlight or similar, and some 'romance' lighting in terms of colour temperature; I can image too how a glitter ball effect might work nicely as a background element: we don't need to see the glitter ball at all, but a sense of the reflections adding interest to the scene. I do think, for all the mirroring of the Dirty Dancing scene - you do need to think of some ways of adding further dynamism to this sequence because actually, there is a lot of standing still, looking and waiting. Think about this as a moment of theatre, so coloured spotlights, a whiff of disco, a touch of the 'school prom' about it - and I'm not talking showing more stuff as the bare-stage idea works, but rather identifying ways to enrich the staging of this moment. I think you need to look at the cutting of this sequence too - for example, just before the famous lift, we're left looking at the hoover for ages before Rob makes his appearance. All I'd say is don't think that the 'joke' of the Dirty Dancing pastiche is enough to carry this scene alone - right now, it lacks pace and punch because we're left looking and waiting for things to happen on a bare stage.

    11) Your hoover box needs to be shown as taped and tied somehow, and in animation terms, I think we need to see the box bulge and wobble and shake, so we're clear the occupant is inside etc.

    12) Finally - in terms of sound design, you need to identify and design a whole range of SFX expressions for your robot; everytime he moves his arms, we need a little sound of servos kicking into action; when he blinks or his pupil changes shape, that should have a sonic signature too - the sound of wheels; don't underestimate the complexity and sensitivity of this design job; take a look at the film Short Circuit as a reference, and of course Wall-E.