Friday, October 7, 2011

Concept Art - 3D Pre-Viz


Yesterday I finished my first 3D Pre-Viz of the Trash Can Rebelion Story, and I have to say that it felt good to have a "camera" in my hands.

When I wrote the story, I had a lot of images, poses, and ideas for some shots that I wasn´t being able to visualize on paper, but with the production of a 3D Pre-Viz, everything just got easier and I managed to represent most of my ideas on it. And it makes it possible for other people to see my ideas in a clearer way, with some color, movement, perspective. It´s just perfect to quickly see what works and what not.

For the Pre-Viz, I decided to use my favorite parts of the story: the moment that leads to the inciting incident and the speedy action that follows it. For this I modeled a simple trash can, a modest park scenario and a boxing ring. I used Max rig since I am familiar with it, to be able to work with ease.

So let´s start at the beginning: the inciting incident. It all starts when the trash bin explodes with anger after six days in a row being hit by the coffee cup that the same guy never seems to be able to throw inside the bin. I created all of the six days actions, so that I could also experiment with video transitions, and see if they gave the correct idea that time was going by after each shot. At first, I had thought about doing these shots with some sort of counter in the top of the screen, indicating the days going by, like "day 1, day 2, etc", but following my teachers advice, I used video transitions and I found that it was not necessary to have any indicator at all. 

The only thing I did differently from what I had planed in the storyboard was to change the camera position as well as the light position slightly in each shot, to achieve a certain chronological difference in the shots. It worked well, although I am still unsure about whether or not the idea that a day went by is achieved, but for the moment I don´t think that I need to change it.

Another shot that I want like to talk about is the moment when the trash bin goes wild and grows immensely, covering the character in shadows, scaring him.

In this scene I went for a Full Shot, with a slightly high camera angle, to emphasize the powerless situation of the character as well as diminishing his presence and strength. In this scene I tried different camera angles, such as a Close Up of his face, a Medium Shot with a low camera angle, but I realized that this was the perspective that would represent what I intended in the best way.

One thing that I would do differently is to have his whole body inside the frame.

Moving on to the transitions between scenes in my story, when the character is thrown up in the air and lands in the boxing ring, is where I feel I could have done things differently. The action is too fast in the beginning and one can not really see what happens to the first scenario. The High camera angle and the Dolly Out followed by a Dolly In to emphasize the greatness of the jump he takes, give a different idea of what I intended. It seems the character is falling rather than jumping. It doesn´t look bad, it just doesn´t look like I want it.

The last part of the Pre-Viz contains another one of my favorite shots: when the character finally sees the trash-bin and really gets scared by it, but only for a brief moment. In this sequence I used a Medium shot right after he landed, so that the audience could start seeing where he had just landed, see him wondering where he is, and finally looking at something that scared him. I then changed the camera position, using a Reverse shot, so that the audience could see what my character was seeing, and with a low camera angle to emphasize again, the weakness of the character regarding the power and greatness of the trash-bin, having both characters in the frame (Two Shot).

After this, and to complement the previous shots, I used a Dolly out with the same camera, when the trash-bin reveals the chalk board. I feel this gave the scene a more dramatic feeling.

It would be nice to block the whole story in a 3D Pre-Viz, because it really is a powerful way to block camera action, position and to see how the storytelling process is working, If one is achieving what is intended.

All in all, I was really nice (once again, I always say this -.-) to fulfill this project. I believe that my story makes a lot more sense when its visually represented that when it was just on paper.

 So here you have it, my final 3D Pre-Viz: