I’m not worried yet. Three months in to the new year, with a December deadline quickly approaching, I still do not have any animation to show. That’s okay. I planned it this way.
Pre-production has been long and arduous, and hopefully well worth the time. However, I feel like I should have had more accomplished by today. So what can I do about it?
Here’s what Ima do about it!
By the end of April, the sequence I’ve previously shown storyboards for will be a completed, rendered scene.
I am slightly nervous about it because I hate capes, and Mr. Collinsworth wears one, (which, somehow is my fault????) and I have limited experience with Blender’s cloth simulator. Anyway, I REALLY need to start punching out completed sequences or I will never hit my deadline, so I’m starting with this scene, as the camera doesn’t move and I can focus on a simple lighting set-up, basic character movements and minimal lip syncing.
The blocking and storyboarding are done for the entire project, so I know where to put my camera, and essentially how I want to light the scenes (which I do try to take seriously, even though I haven’t in the past, and especially now that I’ve been noticing some of my favorite directors creating unforgivable lighting mistakes).
Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull
The best of the visual directors lock down their light sources for the scene and block around them, sometimes creating stunning images. Without this continuity from shot to shot, the audience simply experiences a jarring, bumbling mess. Even Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones cannot save this movie from Steven Spielberg.
The focus was on a beautiful image and framing regardless of the lighting.
You’ll often see a new lighting set up, nowadays, from shot to shot, especially on Over-the-Shoulder dialogues between two characters. But how often do you see the lighting set up actually change DURING a continuous motion shot?
Remember that opening sequence from Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull where the Russians shoot their way in to a secret U.S. base in the desert? We see a soldier reach into the trunk of a car, grab something, and throw it up toward the passenger door. We recognize the hat!
An overhead shot sets the scene (even though it doesn’t match the previous shot in terms of lighting). We know from the overhead that the sun is shining, but we don’t know it’s exact placement in the sky. And we know the car and soldiers appear to be in the shadow of a building. We accept that some ambient lighting is hitting both ends of the car. But upon closer examination, there is a streak of light along the passenger side. The light is also hitting the raised trunk door.