For my final product I will be creating a short animation, much like Pixar, in Maya of a piece of stationary going through a variety of emotions. The piece I chose to create in Maya was a stapler, I believe this will give me more of a challenge compared to a pin or a pencil, additionally I can manipulate certain features such as the magazine assembly and base to make the stapler appear happy or sad.
The images seen below are a 360 view of my stapler, this will help me in a vast amount when it comes to animating as I’ll be able to get all the dimensions correct considering I can see it from all angles. Additionally I’ve recorded the stapler with the assemble out as then i can see what other shapes and animation ideas I can work with.For example at the front of the base, I may morph the shape to indicate a smile or a frown, or if this stapler sees a new and “attractive” stapler on a desk, the assemble could drop, very similar to cartoons when character’s jaw drops when they see something amazing or have a dozen staple boxes appear side by side and have the stapler jump in joy with the plate assembly flopping out of the lid.
To get an idea of different emotions, I recorded both female and male walk cycles portraying different emotion; sad, happy and normal, having both genders can give me an idea of different dimensions of the body when the same emotion is being played. I also made a running cycle if I wanted my stationary to travel a long distance quickly. The slow motion effect I added to the female cycles really help when it comes to seeing what small details change in each frame- hair, arm position, foot angle, etc. When it comes to expressing the feeling happy, many actions are exaggerated with big arm movements or smooth flow. Furthermore from comparing both walking and running cycles, the angle of the body is very different, when walking someone tends to have a straight back even if their head is tilted down whereas on a running cycle a person tends to be almost at a 45 degree angle to get the best aerodynamics.
To help get an idea of the proportions of stapler and write down key features of the stapler that I’m basing my animation off, for example the two indents on the lip of the hammer and the slight curves on part of the design like on the base and handle, that I wouldn’t have noticed from the photos. Labelling the key features like the handle and curved hinge will help when creating the model on Maya. By drawing out an item before animating will definitely help in the future and will be even more helpful for character design as I could develop facial features, characteristics, clothing, body shape, etc and decide which one works the best. If i was able to morph the stapler more for the animation I would probably work on different way to show emotion for example morphing the face of the lid or the label on the base to appear like a grin or show sadness by changing the colour of the stapler in each shot, making it either get brighter or darker over time.
My storyboards consisted of 3 6×2 pages, showing different angles throughout my animation. I believe that having different angles would keep the audience more drawn into the animation rather than just having a face on animation short. If we look at Pixar’s The Incredibles’ dinner scene then we can see that there are various different shots for the same scene, ranging from close ups (on Jack-Jack’s face) and long shots (the entire family sitting at the table). I decided to go with this story rather than having my main stapler being excited by other staplers because I wanted to have the challenge of animating the staples and attempt to not have the boxes collide with one another. I went over the initial drawings with pencil so the Mise en scene was much clearer and the movement lines where visible too. Pen it usually the most common material to use, other than sharp dark pencils because everything is much more visible and it would be much easier to create animatics.
I attempted to avoid any Copyright claims, this was done by both creating my own walking cycles, drawing the stapler by hand so I could make the 3D model slightly different when it comes to modelling and I created my own staple box labels for when the staple boxes fall either side of the stapler (this was done using Photoshop 2017. However when it did come to designing aspects like the stapler and staple boxes, I did look at original designs to get some inspiration. If I was to come across any photos that I would need for my animation, I would email the original artist asking them whether or not I would would be able to use their item.
A load of these steps are key during making an animation or any type of film; emotional cycle research contributes to adding certain characteristics to a character (modelled or real life), sketches help to discover what a character will look like & key features and storyboards for portraying how the story will go. If I was able to exploit the stapler in my animation I would morph various shapes to express happiness or sadness. I believe that if I had more time and adding a video of how the stapler works then it will make in massively easier to see the limits that the real life stapler can go through, then animating it in my short.