• Charlotte Grant

Introducing the DEEP project

Perhaps a project I should've talked about sooner is DEEP. DEEP is an ongoing project that's been running for several years now on our course. The project is run by our lecturer Derek Hayes and is a collaboration between students on our course and industry professionals outside of the University. It is a short film designed to be shown at festivals and the best way to describe it would be a film within a film or maybe a film about film......and I'm going to have to say the word 'film' a lot to even begin to describe this decently, so please bare with me.

The film, like any other has a plot and story running through it, however, it's also about the physical film that motion picture used to be printed on. It breaks the 4th wall a little bit, in which each scratch on this physical film paper is a different environment, same characters, same story, different style. So it could zoom into a scratch and have you presented with the story in live action, another mark on the film could be it in a Disney style animated scene and then another in stop motion or claymation. The film tells a story whilst cycling through different mediums and we've all been split into groups based on those mediums, some working on special effects, some on 3D, some on 2D and some on stop motion, colour correcting, lighting or live action.

If you want to find out a little more about the project, there's a production blog about the project here. Unfortunately the project ran out of funding a couple of years ago and has only just been rebooted, so that blog is pretty dead right now, but it gives you some idea of what's already gone on with the project.

The group I got put into was a scene in a Nightclub. This scene is a tribute to the old Rodger Rabbit style 2D and live action films, although in reversal, this will be a live action character in a 2D world, in comparison to Rodger Rabbits live action world with 2D characters. I got given the job of designing background characters for the scene as well as working as a 2D animator on the project. This project is all done in TV paint which was a program I'd not used much before, so it took a little bit of time to learn it, as I'm used to flash, but it's actually a really nice program and quite easy to use, so I might even prefer it to flash now.

My team consists of two animators (also made to work on Character design), two background designers, A VFX and lighting artist for cleaning up the Live Action Footage and then a 3D modeller for the outside shots of our scene.

The backgrounds of our shots have now been completed along with some of the characters. We went through many revisions of these background characters, even though they are primarily going to be static in the background. Below are some of my preliminary sketches and then the final designs for two of them.

Character designing unfortunately isn't one of my strong points, so it took quite a few revisions to come up with characters I was happy with. But both of the above characters have now been approved for the film, so I'm working as an animator on the project now, which is what I'm more confident with :)

My role in the project is to animate the background characters and to tween the non-key frames of the main animated characters (that aren't the live action ones)

Below is one of my first completed shots, tweening a bug character 'bouncer' who gets pushed out of the way by the live action character named Caroline.

I'll no doubt be updating more with this project as it progresses :) But that's all for this update now!

See you in the next one!