Jan 14, 2012

Trying to make a Short Animation Film: Part IV

A blast from the past.
Today I wondered to myself what I really have been doing for the past so many months that I have been working on my film, and what I have to show for it.
On the surface, I don't have much, because most of it was writing down story ideas which would evolve and morph through many many pages. But I had done a simple character design for my protagonist, who is supposed to be..well.. sorta like me!
Its not supposed to be very true-to-life, as in copying myself, but I definitely wanted to have the hint there somewhere.

The problem with drawing for me, is the conditioning that I have in my head, that I am very much aware of, but am unable to break from, ie: to draw realistically.
Drawing people, places, sketches, pencils, anything, I always tend to get lost into the details of rendering them realistically rather then capturing the pose, or gesture, or the essence of the drawing, which certainly was never what detail was on the back of the notebook on her lap or any other such random thing.
I would like to put the blame squarely on my past education at JJ where I had taken Illustration as my elective, and was often critiqued because my figures were never that powerful, realistic, muscle-detailed etc.
Yes, I completely understand the necessity for the study of anatomy, but that never meant we had to draw each and every figure as if it were a spread form said anatomy book!
But the blame rests upon me mostly. On my lack of effort. If only I put more effort into loosening up my hand with more sketching, more practice, till I found the 'style', or 'my groove', till I found what was right for me.
I have noticed, that the times when I have been life sketching constantly, either in morning sketching sessions or in general, my hand is obviously more free and spontaneous while drawing. Well, Duh! that's what they all say, draw, draw, draw! And so it comes back to bite me in the butt, my own mistakes.

So, these initial character designs had nothing in them. Yes, I did have a drawing which looked like a girl, but she seemed so.. generic. Like anyone could have drawn them. I couldn't find a trace of ME in  them, or even anything beyond the flat surface. Looking at the character, I only felt depressed that I would have to sit and animate this thing in the future, there was no excitement, no eagerness. That's when I realized, if I don't feel like animating her even before I start, what would happen when I did start?
Well, I did try a few short line tests, and each time got more disgusted. I couldn't even seem to draw the character, however flawed she was, consistently for even a 2-second shot!

This dissatisfaction, coupled with me being not-so-pleased with my story itself, trying to make it funny, trying to make it dramatic, trying to make it perfect, led me to a period of almost a month where I, essentially, did nothing.
All I could think of was that I hated my story, hated my drawings, pretty much didn't do much but wallow in self pity. Meanwhile other projects and events I was involved with demanded more of my time, which I was only to happy to give, and my film suffered neglect day after day.

But I'm glad that things are looking up, and I have finally got my rear end in gear, and have started working once again.
I wish I hadn't slacked off then, because it only made my film suffer, but its a lesson learnt.(That I need more determination and and will power to sit and work!)

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