Plan of a mime:
This was a group task. Topic was a audition of a mime. Audition is like a competition. There are three characters in this short film. Three of them are mime artists. While choosing a location we thought of selecting something different. We selected beach as our location of the act. There was a question what these mime artists are doing on beach and an answer was they were on a holiday.
In our story there is one more character of a beautiful girl. She is lying on a beach to enjoy bright sunny weather.All of them were trying to impress a girl by their mime moves. There has to be a obstacle for every story , we chose are obstacle as a glass.
Story base: Three mime artists want to impress a girl.
Story of a scene:
Mime artists whose names are Andrew, Jack, Bob. These three guys are on a vacation. They were enjoying their vacation on a beach. They saw a girl, lying on a beach. They try to impress her one by one through their mime moves. Andrew first sees a girl and runs to grab her attention, but he fails. Second character is Jack. Despite of Jack's efforts he also fails to amaze her. Last guy whose name is Bob, he has a personality to impress a girl.
Idea behind choosing this story was a complete concept. This story has a start and proper end. There is a winner also at the end of a story, which makes it different.
While setting a camera there were many thoughts in my mind. We wanted it to look like a girls point of view. After all our sincere efforts we set a camera which was a girl's point of view. Girl was playing a role of a camera. Camera is facing towards up to show her eye site. This was very difficult to convince the audience that there is a girl behind a camera. Camera set up and voice of a girl made it look believable.
Background Set up:
We deliberately designed background with less props without losing feel of a beach. My group mate made one art effect for background. Considering that as a reference I created a set according to story requirements.
Style of Animation:
While deciding a plot, we thought of doing something different in an animation also. We decided that we will take inspiration from a Tom and Jerry's cartoon. Audience are familiar as individual but, when that contains certain style in it becomes more interesting. Mime has its own characteristics as example. Every moment has a exaggeration, all the gestures are express without any props of help. It is like playing with imagination. All facial expressions are shown in more prominent way. Adapting all this in animation and portray that in 2D cartoon style is main motive of this short film.
We collected many references for are short film.
Following are example of it.
2D animation has it's own style for examples, Gags ,Timing , Fast action, Long holds ect. All this elements are difficult to bring in 3D animation. This clip is a combination of a mime and 2D animation. Achieve that style with mime is a tricky task for me.
Mime is an art of expressions. When I was planning for mime, two things were very clear about my animation. I wanted to put mime art in a very new way. This was a main purpose behind selecting a style of animation. 2D style of animation requires more precised things like timing and actions. I planned my animation according to those actions. I selected very famous actions of 2D animation. As example, fast run and sudden stop in an action, taking a long antic before run etc. Story is very clear in my story board.
Ideas where very clear when I went to do the reference shoot. But when I actually started acting with my group mates, ideas started taking new shapes. There was a total change in my plan. I got really nice suggestion from my tutors and class mates about continuation of the story. I changed some of the plots from my idea which helped me for a better concept. Some ideas were dropped and some were newly carved. It helped me in my animation also. Reference shoot which I planned previously was taking approximately 50 sec for only my animation. This was a group assignment. We were having a time limit of 1min 60 sec for three characters. I was very happy with my reference shoot. One of my class mate helped me by doing my reference as a fat guy. He did a very nice job in his acting. In above reference I can clearly see my key poses. Hopefully I will be able to peruse a same effect which this reference has.
Group work comes with many challenges. Setting a camera according to all mates was one of the challenge I faced. In individual assignment I had a liberty to change my camera angles as many times as I want. In case of group work it was different. Story requires a proper start and end. Camera helps to define story. We decided to take one more unusual step for our assignment. We set a camera as a girl. Girl was lying on beach, as we kept our cameras low in angle. She is scanning a beach, so we gave dome head turns to are cameras. Some corrections added a accurate look to a camera.
After adding blocking poses I started putting in-betweens. It was a task to achieve what I planned in my story board and reference. Matching 2D actions was almost like working on every frame. That is a most difficult part of this assignment. Even matching a speed of 2D is tough. My character is fat guy and he has his limitations as a human rig. Keep some human anatomy rules, I wanted to modify his actions. All actions should look convincing in 3D animation. His fat hands, huge belly was tricky to handle in a character animation. All actions which I followed was inspired from 2D animation. It was like learning 2D experience for me. For every definite action I used to draw it in rough. How a human weight should shift, what should be a position of a fat character to do a bend. All small tips I found from, my own hand drawn actions.
Use of mime performance reference:
To give a feel of a mime actions, I used some mime performances. They were great inspiration. It is very hard to achieve a mime art in live action. All my references were losing a mime touch. I found many references which could helped to understand rules of the mime.
I am really happy with my final output of this assignment. Sound effect and many brilliant ideas of voice over actor, added a nice touch.
About group assignment:
I learned many angles of collaboration act. When an idea and concept is hard, need of hard work increases. I worked in an animation studio but, we never got a chance to work as a group. I am extremely happy that I got a chance to work as a group. All my group mates were not strong in a Maya software, so initially it took time for our group to catch up. Concept was very hard to put as a group.
We did struggled a lot. Eventually, we are very happy to see a final output. All are efforts were paid off.