In Over My Head, But Happy

A Gantt chart is something we use at Propel to keep track of the progress we make on our project and if we’re on track to be done by the set times. Gantt charts are basically a project timeline, you have the milestone for your project as the different rows and the action steps that make up the milestones are the way you track how far along you are in each milestone. You set a number of days you will need to complete each goal. If you start to fall behind and aren’t completing the small steps on time, it’s easy to see how much time you need to make up.

For my project timeline, I have 13 milestones, 7 of which are the scenes, the other 6 include the script, the storyboard, the intro and outro, the editing, and the music. I have set a timeframe for each that I think is reasonable for the amount of work. The music overlaps with the other milestones at the beginning because I am working on the music as well as my animation.

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At the moment, I’m three days behind in my project. I have only completed one shot in scene 3 which means I have to complete four shots in less time to catch up. I will be working later and at home more often to catch up and stay on track.

In the upcoming weeks, I will be completing scene three and start working on scene four and five. I will have to put in more hours outside of regular school time to make up for falling behind. I will also be deciding on what will be coloured in the mirrors and brainstorm ways to make the message of the project clear to the audience. Finally, I will start looking for music online to accompany my animation.

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Well On My Way

My short film has gone through many iterations, things have been added and taken out but now I have finally landed on my final version. My original idea was to have a two to three minute animation but this would have been impossible due to the limited time and skills that I have. We shortened the film to one minute so I have a much better chance of finishing it. The story has changed as well, I was going to have words on each mirror but after getting feedback from multiple people I have moved the words to the last mirror. I have also changed the ending to better conclude my story as well as to not take away from the story’s message.

The key phases for my project include writing a script, storyboarding, the music, the different major animation elements, (example: the hallway and the mirror animations) and finally combining all of the animations and the soundtrack together.

Because my story doesn’t include any dialogue, my script was a description of how each scene would play out and what it would look like. Storyboarding is basically just translating the script into images. You draw out a very rough sketch of what you want the scene to look like. This is done so if you have to change something you won’t be scrapping hours of work. When finding music to go with your story, you should have a basic understanding of what emotions you want to evoke in the audience. I have separated my animation process into 2 different groups that are unique to my story. After everything is done, I will be combining all of these components together to produce the short film.

Time is slowly ticking away, so I have jumped right into my project. In the upcoming weeks I will be focusing on animating the short film. I have finished my script and storyboard so I’m going right into the animating. Hopefully I will also be able to collaborate with someone from Propel for the soundtrack but if not, I will be looking online. I’m very excited to continue working on my project but especially excited to start animating again, because writing a script and storyboarding doesn’t typically include animating.

Breaking Protocol

The past month and a half, time has just been flying by. When October started, so did our POC. I jumped right in and started learning how to use a drawing tablet, which proved to be harder than I had expected. As I was learning to use the tablet, I was also learning how to use Adobe Animate. Even though I was going into this practically blind, I managed to come out the other side with three finished projects. First, I created a 7 second animation of a stick figure leaning against a brick wall kicking his leg and nodding his head as he whistled, then someone popped up and scared him. This animation was fully colored and had the clouds in the background moving.  Second, I animated a sand bag and gave it personality. I decided to make this look silly and loose, I didn’t stress too much about it looking perfect and I had fun with the animation. Finally, I created a stop motion scene with Legos that depicted two astronauts on the moon.  

Before I came to Propel, I knew that I wanted anything that I made to have meaning and to benefit the world in some way. I spent the summer brainstorming ideas for what I wanted to do. I ended up deciding on a story about a teenage girl who walks through a room of mirrors where in each one she sees a different version of herself. The last mirror she looks in doesn’t show a pretend version of herself, its reflection is who she really is, imperfections and all. With my film, I want to bring up a topic that is commonly used as a joke in teen movies. We regularly put ourselves into boxes, Jock, Nerd, Shy kid, Class Clown. People are so much more complex than the labels we give to others and ourselves. If my short film gets a positive response out of at least one person, I will be happy with what I have made. 

Never stop questioning the norms and breaking away from them.

First step

For the past two weeks I have felt like I’m in the Twilight Zone. I have never been really, truly excited to go to school and I can now say that I was wrong.  At my home school, I was counting the minutes until lunch and then until the end of the day.  Of course, I had subjects that I got excited about, but the overwhelming dislike for school amongst my peers could tint even my favorite classes. 

The first week was definitely a lot of information all at once, but now as we start delving into our projects, my excitement and motivation to come to school is growing day by day. The way Mr. Patrician and Mr. Hansen teach creates an environment that promotes an inclusive work environment, while also letting each student learn in their own individual way. The program is designed similarly to how a real work environment would function, and that is my favourite part. 

For my project, I will be producing an animated short film. The film will follow a teenage girl walking through a room of mirrors in which she sees a different version of herself in each one. In the end, she has learned to accept herself for who she is and how she looks. The film will have many different styles of 2D animation.  Before I jump right in, I will be storyboarding a short story and then animating it. For my proof of concept, I will also have to do the sand bag test. For this I will have to give a sand bag personality.  Knowing how to do this shows that I know how to represent emotion without any facial features.  

I have had lots of fun the first two weeks, I can’t wait to see what is to come.