Final Production Update

This is the final production update, with the animation now finished and editing to be done. I’ve had some major problems with the production of the animation, which has led to the scrapping of a fully completed animation and projection and starting over again. As explained in a previous post, I had some serious technical difficulties as far as filming of the project was concerned, this lead to the aim of projecting the animation live alongside the pop-up book, and filming it on a 35mm camera to reduce the flicker issue in my final critique. After aiming to produce the animation in this way, I hit some huge problems, leading to the drastic measure of scrapping the previous work and the entire technique previously described.

Production in progress

Animation production in progress

Production problems

Due to the nature of the style of animation (a projection mapped pop-up book with 3D characters) and the limitation on the length of animation it has proved impossible to both project the animation, turn the pages, setup the characters and move the interactive elements of the book, even with additional help and marking positions. Each scene is far too quick and impossible to sync with the audio. A fundamental problem is the uneven and short timing of some of the scenes.

The other major problem is with the technique I developed and thought would work after testing. The projector was connected to my MacBook running an application called Reflector, this software enables Airplay of the iPad screen running TagTool and also recording of the iPad screen. This recording was edited and then projected back onto the book. It worked well with long sequences, but with shorter scenes as mentioned was hard to turn the pages and move the characters in time. Not only this, when I came to record this the following day, it proved impossible to position each page in the correct place again along with the characters. This meant the projection mapping did not work and I found it impossible to set up exactly as per the previous night. I did eventually get it working after a lot of work, although I was very disappointed with the final results. I kept these and edited the footage to produce the video.

Re-shoot

On a very positive note, during the course of the animation I managed to record the projection to a fairly decent standard after locking the exposure on an iPhone. This is what I previously did and had completely different and substantially worse results. The 2 major factors that changed were that I used a Olloclip wide-angle lens attachment on the iPhone and also compensated by reducing the colour and detail of the animations. This seemed to reduce the flicker to a standard that I would consider acceptable, although still not perfect.

The disappointing results of the first animation alongside a poor quality edit have been played on my mind for a few days and after a lot of thought, I decided to take the decision to scrap the entire film and animation produced. After the discovery of being able to film the projection properly again, I decided to go back to the original plan and focus on simplicity and a better variation of shots when filming. Instead of going via the MacBook and Reflector combination as before, I connected the iPad directly to the projector and recorded the entire animation live. The results have been better than before and are now of an acceptable quality, although I am still not entirely happy. The footage will be edited together with certain elements sped up (the drawing of each scene). The animation is now complete and as I write this I am about to create a second edited version of this in Final Cut Pro X.

After experimenting and creating the final project, the results have been okay, the entire idea of producing a 3 minute animation with multiple scenes in this style is flawed. The project needs some major changes to the structure and timing which it is too late to do at this stage if it was to work in the way as originally intended.

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