Animation – Ident Brief

Overview

Today we have a brief delivered, to plan and produce a short ident animation to help advertise ourselves. However to do this effectively we would have to focus on the planning first, up till now we had always hit production first. There are several steps to follow to make sure you’ve covered all angles when planning, these are;

  • Research – Self explanatory, every project needs some research. This could be looking into your target audience, visual inspiration etc
  • Synopsis – Same as the literary sense, sums up your whole story in a paragraph. The blurb on the back cover of a book is a great example of a synopsis.
  • Treatment – Similar to the synopsis, you are telling the story however the treatment is far more broken down to a chronological action by action basis.
  • An Asset List – Is a list of all objects in the scene, a more professional asset list would also have a priority order for assets, their purpose (model, sound effect, scenery etc) and extra notes.
  • Storyboards – In a way I guess these could be described as the treatment in picture form. They are a visual guide to your story, action to action that describe what is going on in the scene. They can include hints regarding movement, staging, dialogue etc. If you look at industry storyboards from the likes of Disney & Pixar they’re always very high quality artwork. For our purposes we’ll keep them a little simpler, as long as they get the scene, movement and timing across they’ll be fine for our needs.

Research

Matt showed us a few idents he’d found. A few Nickelodeon and E4 ones. While these were great I wanted to see if I could find something more specific, I still wanted to use my robot rig from the other week so therefore went looking for any idents with robots for inspiration. I mostly ended up with BBC2 idents, however did find a lovely short one from Disney XD.

Even after watching every ident I could find I was still lacking for an idea. Thankfully Matt suggested the class shuffle around and to discuss thoughts and ideas with our peers. I was able to shed some light on someone elses project and in return they threw around a few ideas I may be able to work with.

Two Ideas

  1. The robot investigates a jack in a box, presses a button, gets startled by the box opening and from the box my name springs out (on a spring) and spends some time waving back and forth.
  2. The scene opens with my name already on set. The robot comes in and steals one of the letters from my name, a blue police robot (reskin) appears and gives chase to the red robot. They both go off screen, a sound effect simulates a fight and the blue robot returns with the letter and puts it back into place.

Passing the two ideas past Matt the feedback was the jack in the box idea would be more difficult, relying on deformers to do most of the jack in the box animation. Whereas the police idea would be easier, animating mostly with standards rigs but would likely be a longer animation. I opted for the latter.

Synopsis (Overview)

Copied from the idea above:

The scene opens with my name already on set. The robot comes in and steals one of the letters from my name, a blue police robot (reskin) appears and gives chase to the red robot. They both go off screen, a sound effect simulates a fight and the blue robot returns with the letter and puts it back into place.

Treatment (Script)

  1. Scene opens with letters MARC on ‘set’.
  2. Robot (Red) appears from the right of fixed camera.
  3. Robot (Red) Looks around to see if the coast is clear, signified by his head pivoting from side to side.
  4. Robot (Red) Moves to a letter (to be chosen).
  5. Robot (Red) Picks up the letter to steal it.
  6. As Robot (Red) is above to leave Robot (Blue) appears from right of fixed camera.
  7. Robot (Blue) gives chase to Robot (Red) and they both leave the scene via the left.
  8. A fight is simulated between the two using a sound effect.
  9. Robot (Blue) returns from the left carrying the letter.
  10. Robot (Blue) returns the letter to its original place and cheers.

Asset List

  • Red Robot
  • Blue Robot
  • Police Baton
  • Letters M, A, R, C
  • Sound effect – Siren, Fight noise, Cheer
  • Spinning Light Siren or Animated gif siren applied to the robots screen.

Storyboard

The storyboards aren’t quite finished yet, I’ll either update this post when I do or add them to a future post.

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