Shaun Clark and Kim Noce at Mew Lab made The Magic Fish for broadcast on a BBC television show for children. It’s an Italian folk tale about a couple who have very little but get some assistance from an ancient chestnut tree and a magic fish. The animation is full of mixed media painting, paper, and photographs. My favorite part is the ocean with the little boat near the end.
Last night I posted the background image of the snowy landscape for the next shot in the animated movie, The Visit. If you’re interested, what I’ve done this evening is to take my background landscape and cut it in two pieces along the line of the little hill with the path on it. The line goes more or less horizontally across the middle of the image. That makes two images – one with the far away hills, sky and large trees on it, the other with the near ground and path on it. In Adobe Flash, I place the two pictures on different layers. The near ground image goes on the top layer so it stays in front of the background hills. So it looks like a single image again, but now I have my little foreground hill on a different layer than my distant background hills. Then I place an empty layer in my Flash program right between those two image layers. This is where I animate the father walking with little Oksana. So, when I’m finished, it looks as if they are coming up from just behind the little hill close to the viewer. Click the play button above to watch them.
On top of everything I add a few layers of snow. To give the illusion of depth, I make the top or near layers of snow move larger dots at higher speed than the lower layers which should look like snow that’s farther away. I also drew a few pine branches and layered them in just behind some of the snow. So there’s a quick little shot for our little movie. I’ll go in and add some shading and light effects tomorrow so that it all looks just a little bit better.
We’re making a fairy tale. What could be better than that?
After quite a long break for coffee and ice-cream that’s lasted since November 2007, I am picking up the film right where I left off and this is my image for the evening. It’s a background for a shot of Oksana’s father leading her from home and into the forest. I’ll start working on the two characters tomorrow. They will come up over the little knoll and walk toward us. It’s amazing how difficult it is to start work on something like this again, but how pleasant the work is once begun.
Here is the latest version of the animation done so far:
The Make the Movie blog has all the posts from the beginning of this little production. You can see the pencil drawings, storyboard film, background paintings, and animation tests. You can also find the original story there.
The Visit is a short animated film I was working on about 5 years ago. I was unable to finish. However, the story is so captivating to me and my drive to finish projects so strong that I am gearing up to complete the thing sometime this year (2014). The story is my adaptation of an old Ukrainian folk tale about a little girl who is cast out of her home to live in the forest. It’s a pretty serious and tough little story. No laughs really.