Sunday, February 27, 2011

For Animated Short Film Initiative Proposal back in 2007

Animated Short Film Initiative Proposal

Here was my reference and concept designs for my proposal to get the Animated Short Film Initiative grant from Singapore Film Society and Media Developement Authority of Singapore back in 2007.

Reference Images

These are the look of backgrounds that I was going for. It is to have a painterly feel and definitely not photo - realistic. Kazuo Oga was a huge influence on me visually as his paintings expressed a certain feeling that just brings me back to my child hood days. To me his work speaks so much to a person's emotional core. Of course I could not paint to his level and I am not very good with a real brush.

 I was also heavily influenced by the Tekkon Kinkreet's art director Shinji Kimura. Which really was really detailed and visually astounding.

Similarly these are the robot influences that I have. Most of these are done by Yoshiyuki Takani whose cover art featured prominently on the old japanese and Takatoku toy box covers that I couldn't really afford to buy.

Concept Designs

These are some rough concept Designs done by Ray Toh ( and me for this animation short proposal. Again, this is only initial conceptual art to approximate the look and feel of the animation. And is to be developed further upon successful application.

Mood Poster Concept Design

Fight Sequence Concept Design

GrandFather (Ah Kong) Concept design

Grandson Concept Design

Grandfather Room concept design

Grandson Room Concept Design

Living Room Concept Design

Robot Warehouse/Repair Workshop Exterior

Robot Warehouse/Repair Workshop Exterior Close up Concept Design

Robot Warehouse/Repair Workshpop Interior Concept Design

Robot Warehouse/Repair Workshop Interior Design 2

Secret Underground Facility - Int

Secret Underground Facility - Exterior

Initial Main Robot Rough Concept Design

Almost at the finish line.

There have not been much of a update for the last 3 months since the website went up as I was really busy with color balancing and grading the short. And then re doing it again. It is almost done and just little tweaks. Seeing 18 mins of images for color and contrast consistency is painful for the eye.

  Been researching on which festivals to enter. I never realise how expensive it costs to enter festivals and figuring out how the festival circuit work. The rumors of scam festivals playing in broom closets are a bit scary considering how much an entry cost. But I think I sort of got it figured out.

these websites have been really useful

  I have also sent screeners to a few selected festivals for consideration. Hopefully all goes well.

  The sound and music are almost done at Stereoimage. They have done an awesome job. Its just waiting to be remastered to Dolby stereo or DTS i think.

There will be more updates coming soon.

Thoughts on making short animation.

Its been just over 3 years since I started making this animation short. It have been a long journey and I have learnt a great deal. SO I thought that I will start to write down what I have learnt making this movie and also from the articles I have collected through the years. In case I need to do it again.... There will be a few parts as I pull more stuff out of my head.

1.) Keep the audience entertained. That is the main objective. If they get bored, they don't care. You lose. It can be a beautiful visual, a suspenseful moment, a humorous moement. Even time for the audience to think and contemplate. The main focus is to keep them watching.

2.) Show. Dun tell. A quote I saw from the pixar exhibition. But so so true. Do not insult the audience's intelligence by shoving exposition into their faces. This isn't Taiwanese Chinese drama.

3.) Storyboard is King. U save weeks, months even years just locking down the storyboard before animating. Obvious but most people just want to animate.... Young and impatient. I have learnt to be patient and is no longer young.

4.) Have someone to bounce ideas off. Very Important.. Personally for me, I work best talking to like minded people, bouncing ideas off them. Maybe it is just to have a reassurance that the shot works or just to see it from a different perspective, I find it invaluable to have people to talk to. Of course it helps that the someone is actually someone that is good at this helps.

5.) Staying the course. U will get de-motivated, distracted, discouraged. Get over it. Ask yourself the purpose of what you are doing. For me, it is exploring a way out of what I was doing before. I promised myself that if I am going to busting my balls and working the late nights.... It is for my own projects.

6.) Indecisiveness and doubts in the decision making process are part and parcel of the process. Take time to explore different options and paths will lead to different outcome and possibilities. Its like facing with a fork junction on the road. Which path to take?
Eliminating the different options is time consuming and it will get better with experience and feedbacks.

7.) Take feedback humbly and constructively. But be clear of what you want. Easier said then done. But as the nike slogan so aptly putted.....

8.) The truth. You know the euphoric and liberating feeling when everything falls into place. When everything fits... When nothing feels forced, or convoluted. The pacing works, the story is tight and most importantly you feel for the characters. yeah... It feels really good. Savor it.

When you (the creator) know what the character's personality, drive and motivation is, everything else is secondary. Should it....... Or a more accurate description is that all the procrastination and doubts in the creative process are just to find out who your character really is. His motivations, dreams, fears etc.. Things that define the character. This is the hardest, by far the hardest thing to accomplish. Entire shots and scenes may have to be re-cut or discarded to reach there. But it is worth it.

9.) Story is the King's mother. What medium to tell the story, what texture resolution to use, all of these are insignificant if you do not have a story that people can connect to. It becomes another eye candy. Just good to look at, no substance.

10.) Planning is over-rated. Provided you enjoy banging your head against the wall and really enjoy self-suffering. Else plan ahead what to do. then plan some more. I am a "leap and see what happens" kinda of guy and also enjoy self-soul-destruction.

11.) Take criticism in the face then turn the other cheek. Needless to say you need to be able to handle criticism well. People will say and give their thoughts. Understand objectively where they are coming from and their personal tastes. Its ok that my animation or posing sucked. But tell me why. How can I improve it?

12.) Why are you doing this? My honest intention was that before I get too old to do it, I want to tell a story that is my own. That I feel people will enjoy looking at and feel entertained and buy the toys. I think I got stories to tell that people might like. But the only way to find out is to do it.

I only got one life. I do not want to look back and think of excuses why I didn't do it. I do not want excuses.