IT’S FINISHED!

Originally posted on the MA Character animation course blog, published December 13th 2015.

So our opera animation is finished. And we are all so pleased with the final result. After a week with finishing up animations, painting backgrounds, drawing foregrounds and adding effect it all came to an end, two minutes before the deadline…

Here are some stills from the movie:

I think what surprised me, and the two others, the most is how we managed to keep the look of Maja’s original pitch pictures in the final look of the movie.

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This took quite a bit of effort though. The field was especially hard to get into the movie as we wanted it. Maja wanted it to move like fields do when there’s a slight breeze and also to be affected by Laca’s rage and the shadow to add to the atmosphere. I have through this project become much better at follow through so animated the movement of the field in these stages and Maja and Andreia drew the finished look in TvPaint. The problem came when we exported it from TvPaint, it kept changing, both look and size. This was our main problem in post production to get right and we eventually had to find some ways around it to make it work. The finished look though is really pretty and we are really happy that we decided to animate the field rather than having it as a still image.

Our animatic was of great help when we put our movie together as the precise work we did with the layout early on finally paid of so we didn’t have to work out the composition in post production. The animatic has generally been saving us a lot of time when making our movie. When we showed it to the clients they understood it immediately, we all used it as reference for our animations so we knew they would fit together and we followed it closely when putting the movie together at the end. I will definitely take this with me to the next project and work out an animatic that is as close to the finished product as possible.

The only thing that has been an issue has been the music which was a problem from the very beginning. Maja wanted to try to use a selection of instrumentals from the original opera and everyone agreed on this, but it turned out almost impossible. Jenufa the opera has almost constant singing and when they don’t sing they often hum, so the instrumental parts where both very short and hard to match together. I myself was looking for and instrumental version while doing research for my own pitch, but when I couldn’t find any I was told by Christopher that it actually doesn’t exist.

We tried to find ways around it and where told we could have a musician make an instrumental of the opera, go to other compositions from the writer of Jenufa or get an original soundtrack. The last option was what they wanted the least, but is what we ended up with in the end as we quickly discovered that the opera had no pieces that worked perfectly to the pace of our movie. Which isn’t that surprising, considering that the opera is three hours long and we sum it up in two and a half minute. We where also told from the sound designer that cutting up and putting together an opera for a soundtrack is incredible difficult and Jenufa was especially difficult because of the singing. No matter what we did it would possibly sound a bit awkward. So we found a composer who had worked with Andreia before and who happen to love the music of Jenufa and gladly made us a soundtrack based on it. The end result is great, just what we wanted and we hope the clients will like it as well.

Now looking back at the project I’ve really enjoyed myself and I’m so happy with the result. I think we managed to make it just as we wanted and that Maja, our director, is very pleased with the work we did on her idea. The feedback from other students has also been good, everyone is impressed with the animations, but especially the atmosphere and emotion in the movie. So hopefully our clients will like it.

A link to the movie will come later.

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