1st Week of Journal

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This is my first post of my journal, as I need to keep a log of everything that I have done for this project. I will blog weekly to update on my progress with what I have done and problems that have occurred of the coming weeks. I was given an assignment brief stating that I have to re-create a sequence, choosing one of the six that were given to us. I decided straight away that I wanted to do Jason and the Argonauts, as this is a childhood film of mine that I have watch and enjoyed many times over the years. I am also a big fan of Ray Harryhausen, owning one of his books that is signed by him!

To start my sequence I first did some research into Ray Harryhausen and the style of his work, that he used in the skeleton scene, which I will be re-creating. I found that he used stop motion animation, where by he created every shot frame by frame, by himself, as he was such a perfectionist. He wanted to create the skeletons as if they were actually in the frame with the live actor, which had never really been done successfully before. He took his inspiration from Willis O Brien, in the 1933 film “King Kong”, which uses stop motion animation and live actors together in the same shot. The style of ray Harryhausen is something that I really want to keep within my sequence, as it is such an iconic scene, and an iconic style.

I then looked into how I would go about actually creating my sequence. I thought my location would be key, so I thought about going to Kirkstall Abbey, as it as lots of ruins that I can incorporate into my shots, and they look quite similar to the actual footage of the film. They filmed on location, so that’s what I want to do too. I can get permission by emailing the admin at Kirkstall Abbey and hopefully I will receive a reply soon. I will fill out a risk assessment, so I can take out one of the cameras away from the campus, and I will get one of the tutors to sign it for me. I will have to make sure I get the right risk assessment, as I need to fill out the more substantial one, because the risks are greater taking the camera away from campus.

I decided to use motion builder and 3DsMax because stop motion would take way too long, and since I am on a computer animation course, it would be silly not to use the wide variety of equipment and software that is available to me. I am learning motion builder in my other assignment, so I can combine my knowledge in this assignment too. I will look into rigging up a skeleton in 3DsMax, then taking it into motion builder and animated it in there. I will then take it back into 3DsMax so that I can tweak the motion of the skeleton, so I can get the action just right, and make it look like it is actually in the scene with my live actor. For my live footage I will take it into after effects and piece it all together to create a flowing sequence. I want to leave a bog chuck of my time to edit and animate, as this is what will take the longest to get right. I will be using Charlie Power for my actor, as I did want to be in the film myself, but think it would be better having someone else do it, so I can be behind the camera and have more control of my sequence looking  just right.

I will follow this post next week and discuss what I have done and what I want to have done for the next week ahead of the next one.

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