Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Style Development

In a recent post I discussed my process of creating a short clip using a 'new' (to me) realistic, less 2D style. Since, I have made a second, developing on the previous one in various ways. This is that video:

Again, I used footage from Pexels. The main points I wanted to improve upon from the first one, was a) the line thickness and b) how real it looked. I also wanted to speed up the process. I'll start with that.

As described in more detail in the previous post the process is to use TVPaint for the outlines and colouring, then use Photoshop to 'cartoonify' the original footage, which sits below the TVPaint coloured layers which I then blend together. Finally, composite in Premiere Pro.

Last time when I took the layers into Photoshop, after cartoonifying (definitely a word) them I used the pen tool to cut around the figure on each layer. All 83 of them. This was so the footage would directly match both the outline and colour layers from TVPaint. I did this, because at the time I couldn't use After Effects to use a mask, as when I brought in the PNG sequences, the amount of frames was coming in at a reduced 60 something, rather than the 83 frames the sequence contained. I couldn't work out how to solve this straight away, as I wanted to get the clip finished and 'published'. This resulted in me manually cutting around each one.

After a break and a little bit of help from my good friend Google, I found the solution. It turned out that After Effects was bringing in the PNG sequences at 30fps, rather than the 24fps my film was in. I had to just right click on each sequence and 'interpret footage', setting each to the preferred frame rate of 24. Hopefully this might help someone else out if you're too struggling with the same problem! This then enabled me to make a mask so I didn't have to cut out each frame, therefore speeding up the process.

In the previous video, I felt the black outline was too thick for the full length character shot. I used a 3% line thickness with pressure variation, drawing at 100% zoom. Looking back, I probably should have used a reduced brush size, such as 2% or less. As this one was a mid shot, rather than a long shot (in terms of shot size), I did actually keep with the 3% brush, but I felt like this was the correct choice as it doesn't look too thin or thick. Going forward, I will use 3% for this size, thicker for closer and thinner for something more full length.

Lastly, I said I felt the previous one was a bit too realistic looking, especially when watching it on a small screen like a phone. As I didn't want it to become too realistic, for this clip I turned the opacity down just enough so the pattern on her shirt came through, along with highlights/ shadows on her face and torso, though not enough for it to lose it's animated aesthetic. I feel the result of this clip is much stronger than the previous one.

Going forward, I would still like to develop this style and see what other ways I can push it in. As ever, watch this space for more of similar! Any questions or comments, drop them below :)

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