Krystian Morgan's blog featuring motion graphics, short film experiments and feature film.

By Krystian Jun.19.2011
In: Blog, Production Diaries
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Portable Recording Studio + mini update

Blue microphone soundbooth reflection

I wrote about getting one of these before. I went for a better mic and a lesser reflection studio (booth) and am really happy with the ease of use and results I’ve gotten from recent tests. All dialogue will be recorded through this mic, a sound-card and a laptop enabling me to record where I’m based or also take it with me to record elsewhere. I also plan on tracking much of the soundtrack using it and my acoustic. The sound of the guitar (raw) sounds exact to how it sounds in the room which I was really impressed with.

Regarding the film, it’s more a-go than ever. Things are developing faster than ever. I’m currently in talks with a few people regarding parts and have booked two weeks at the end of August/start of September to fully complete the animatic animation with demo voices.

By Krystian May.9.2011
In: Blog, Production Diaries
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Fourth Draft, Storyboarding and Moving Forward

So last week was the first week since the blog’s launch that I’ve missed posting something. I’d like to know people’s opinions if you would about the scheduled post-day, do you like that format, knowing that there is to be expected a post on that day. Or would you prefer to see a much more casual, as they come, surprise me format?

I had spent a lot of this following week down my caravan in the Gower, my dog had been unwell so it was a bit back and forth more than I would have liked but it was out of concern for the little guy. My birthday was on the fourth and after seeing the vet I went back down the van to finally get some work done on this fourth draft of the script. It had been a while since I’d last worked on it through other commitments that have been taking up my time, but on that notion, I’m all freed up now on the time front to work on the film (after my full-time job’s hours of course).

Rocko gower

Landscape gower 01

Anyway I managed to print off the current state of the third draft, as I much prefer to read on paper when I can and I re-read the whole thing making notes and little storyboards on the pages when inspiration struck to do so. I had this nagging feeling that a lot of the middle-story was somewhat superfluous – which is something that I didn’t want (both having filler and/or taking it out). So I reworked a lot of that stuff making it more key to the plot, driving it forward and making each scene important to the overall story. I also added some more tension throughout and ambiguity too. I like ambiguity in stories as it allows multiple interpretations, even if I as the writer know the hard facts about the reality of what happened or what is. I think because with ambiguity you have to

    think

, it makes a story last, as it stays with you after watching/reading. But it can be a balancing act as too many questions and who cares?

Right now as it stands, I’m so much more happy with the script as a whole, it feels more of a whole piece too, not just sections as I felt it once did.

Writing fourth draft

In between writing I bought a book on storyboarding after giving it an amazon quick look. Originally I was quite close-minded about the subject of needing a book about storyboarding as I’ve focused on composition for years now and feel like my grasp of it is pretty strong. But this book: ‘The Art of the Storyboard‘ even through the quick look gave me some great ideas, and I even storyboarded certain shots which have gotten me really excited about actually creating them. I think this book which has a lot of theory (which I love more than practical, which it does have too) will really take the film’s visual style forward. I’ve already through reading through the script again been watching it in my mind differently, the shots, the edits are much better this time around – I just need to get them into the boards and into the animatic to solidify that. Which is what I’ll be working on next.

By Krystian Apr.18.2011
In: Blog, Production Diaries
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Other Workings and Youtube Account

bullets

This is from another project not Porbeagle as there’s no guns in the script. This was created by creating a path in Illustrator then using the lathe tool in 3D and texturing using only the built in gradients and noise for bumps which I’m pretty happy with. I copied from a photo and think I’m definitely getting better at texturing from playing around a lot, which is a bit of a relief.

Screen shot 2011 04 17 at 23 23 20

So I started a new Youtube account the other day. I’ve made a start uploading some of my videos from Qemic.com (just looking for all the big files on other hard drives). i’ve always had a scepticism of youtube, and a hypocritical one too because I regularly watch videos there, but a scepticism about publishing videos there. I never thought that the sort of abstract video experiments I had been making were a bit too out there for 14 year old myspace kids, and really couldn’t be bothered with the hassle. I’m trying to broaden my mind as suspend judgement before using it for a while as there is some great content on youtube and great content that is solely on youtube.

Here’s my channel, please subscribe or friend me: Qemic Youtube

Also earlier in the week on the train home from work I had a story idea that I liked and scripted 9 pages of that story upon arriving home. I think it’s quite good, very different from Porbeagle, it’s more of a black comedy and the dialogue’s a bit snappier. It’s been good practice for the first week of May which is my writing retreat week (and birthday) at my caravan to tune up everything.

By Krystian Apr.3.2011
In: Blog, Production Diaries
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Plodding along and new deadline's set.

So I’ve had a decently productive weekend. I managed to do some big edits to the script, including one of the scenes (a dialogue one) that I wasn’t very happy with. I’ve been watching a lot of odd and unconventional movies lately I want to try and take inspiration from those and make the script as a whole more ambiguous and open to interpretation, or just maybe not hammer the plot points so hard, let there be more of a subtle experience to it all. So the current draft I was working on is now done and I just want to look at the script from some other perspectives and see how I can really make what I want, something that I could still be proud of in 20+ years. This next draft will be the one where I’ll be going over with a fine tooth comb and  asking myself what I want and don’t want, what is my goal and intention for the story and getting there. I’ve set a deadline for May 8th for that draft. Once that draft is complete I’m going to move forward with both showing the script around to a select few and creating the animatic as I wrote earlier.

This weekend I’ve also been keeping up with more 3D tutorials and putting into practice some of the things I’ve learned, mainly modelling and concepts to do with modelling, getting comfortable with starting with a primitive shape such as a cube and turning it in to a set piece, or anything imaginable. There’s this tool called Zbrush which is a modelling application that I’ve seen a lot of lately, it allows for really easily creating characters, props and so on that can be imported into your 3D program of choice. I saw this cool mini tutorial which shows how you can set up different facial expressions inside of Zbrush and then link them to sliders inside of Cinema 4D. Now as a workflow of creating expressions and phonemes. It really looks achievable with a little bit of upfront effort and basic learning of Zbrush. I think I’m getting to the stage where I put the lessons into practice and create from scratch a simple 3D character that can do basic things such as walk and talk and render out a short 30 second test clip. I think I need that exploration and practice as a jumping off point. Things can be made gradually and in an ‘as they’re needed’ situation, when a scene calls for a prop or an ancillary characters (not that there’s too many of each) they can be made when needed and a lot of animation can be produced beforehand with what is already at hand. It’s cool to learn about cheating too, for instance, I’m not gonna waste time modelling  an entire object if I only ever see the said object from one angle, this can really cut down a lot of wasted time and detail on something that is never seen by someone other than myself.

By Krystian Mar.21.2011
In: Blog, Production Diaries
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Hardware All Acquired

I’ve never had a budget for the film set in place, but I had made a list of what things I feel I needed to purchase in order to make my life a lot easier when creating the movie. These are the expensive things on the list  (hardware) so have since 27th August 09 have been saving then buying, saving then buying things off the list of my ideal hardware set-up. Today I crossed the final one off the list. I’ll have to do a video or something on my set-up once in production as I’m pretty proud of it, it’s starting to look like NASA or something. Anyway the final thing on the list after the new MacPro, monitors etc… was a Wacom Cintiq – which is essentially another monitor that you can digitally draw on. I’ve been using Wacom tablet’s for years now and have been drooling over one of these for a while. I’m looking for my computer drawing to improve exponentially through using it. I will probably set myself daily challenges in order to really sharpen up, some of which I will post online.

Cintiq

Most other items on the shopping list are now software based, such as plug-ins, some which are function based, others are purely for visual tricks which aren’t as important at this current juncture. Have spent this weekend following more 3D tutorials, I find a lot of the theory as well as the technical applications of the software really help from certain videos. Something I heard which I though was particularly insightful, is to initially build the bare essentials in terms of rigging and then add controls as needed. This little bit of advice was really helpful as I always looked at it from the point of making a finished prop to be used throughout. This way takes a lot of the pressure off and allows to not learn everything all at once, but instead in more easily digestible chunks.