My first assessed animation project, 'I be feedin' Father Christmas', is finally complete. Since my line test made apparent various points for improvement, I have been hard at work to improve the overall quality of the piece, and to finish the inking process.
One of the main problems I noticed with my line test was that, for the wide shot of the buffet table, the balloons moved far too fast compared with Santa himself. Ultimately, I decided to keep them stationary- firstly, it helps the viewer focus on Santa, the focal point of the scene, and secondly, the 'still' atmosphere of the scene goes somewhat to show how he is stunned by the discovery of the food, almost as though time slows down whilst he takes it all in.
With my line test weighing in at 18 seconds, I enjoyed a little freedom to enhance a few of the pauses in the piece, making them more noticeable to the viewer and helping to slow the admittedly rapid pace. This certainly helps with the story-telling, in that the viewer is more able to keep up with it.
The final improvements made were in relation to the final scene, depicting an obese Santa by the fireplace. Here, (as with my line test, I might add), I experimented with a cutout technique- I reasoned that by drawing the fireplace separately and placing the cut out in the same place on every frame, I would achieve greater stability and also save valuable time. Whilst this worked for the most part, unfortunately the process did not go smoothly as I found it very difficult to align correctly. Furthermore, I experienced great difficulty due to the paper cutout curling up at the edges (the only explanation I can suggest for this is that the heat from the spotlights affected the paper, since I did everything I could to keep the cutout flat). Eventually, I found an acceptable solution in backing the cutout onto thin cardboard, though a good suggestion later came from a friend- to affix the cutout to a clear sheet (possibly acetate) and place this over every frame. Unfortunately, this suggestion came to late for me to be in a position to implement it.
Overall, I feel I have learned a lot from this project, particularly on what techniques work well, and what others should probably be avoided. Nevertheless, devising solutions to the problems I faced in order to create something that ultimately I am very proud of was rewarding.