Project Planning – Task & Resource List

To assist me in planning my timesheet for my project, I have broken down my storyboard into a rough list of tasks, techniques and resources required. At this stage, I do not have enough knowledge of compositing to know exactly how I am going to complete certain tasks, so this could change once I start experimenting more with After Effects and gain a bit of experience, but for now it is a good starting point. My plan each week, where possible, is to work on the parts of my project that are relevant to the weekly tasks. That way I will stay organised and on top of my project.

Shoot video footage of the boy in the real world. For this I need to test whether my digital camera is good enough, and if not, source a better camera. I plan to shoot this next week, as I am using my son as the boy, and he is still on school holidays then, giving us plenty of time to get it done. I hope to film it on a gloomy, maybe rainy day (should be no problem here in Melbourne!). I plan to shoot the alternative scene suggested by Danny, of the boy falling into the portal by accident, just in case I need to cut time from this scene. Equipment – Digital camera, tripod.

Create special fx portal. I will create the portal using After Effects. I also need to create effects of the boy’s head disappearing/reappearing through the portal, and the boy jumping through the portal.

To help me become familiar with After Effects, my first task is going to be to complete the Lynda series, ‘Basic After Effects Training’:  http://www.lynda.com/After-Effects-tutorials/After-Effects-CC-Essential-Training-2015/371399-2.html

Starting tutorial for creating the portal, ‘How to Make a Portal in After Effects’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=5&v=VrOR3u1YFaM

Useful tips on how to film entering/exiting the portal, ‘Making of Portal Combat (Part 2)’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnzCYUr17nk

Lectures from weeks 6,7 and 8 could all provide help for this task. I will experiment and see how I get on but may need to look for more tutorials to help me here.

Build Lego set. I need to spend some time putting together my sons (and probably daughters) Lego into a cool looking Lego world, and experiment with filming it, to see how it looks. Equipment – Lego!!

Film stop motion Lego animation. I need to film the Lego boy jumping out of the portal, then looking around the Lego world. I plan to include other Lego characters/objects moving around and have to work out whether they will all be filmed at once, or individually against a green screen and added to the scene later. Equipment – Digital camera, tripod, sticky tape/blu tac, 2 or more spotlights, green paper.

Useful tips for creating a Lego stop motion, ‘How to Make a Lego Animation’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukFWYe-ZeTw

Another series with tips for Lego animations, ‘How to make a Brickfilm’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9arfgJwBF2A

Helpful source of information for Lego animators, ‘Brickfilms’: http://brickfilms.com/

Add layers/background to the Lego world. I will film the Lego models in front of a green screen, so I can add a suitable background to expand the world. I also intend to add filter layers and/or colour grading to blend the composition to look bright and colourful, but also realistic.

One of the tutors, Andrew, posted a Lynda tutorial, ‘Lighting Tricks in After Effects’: http://www.lynda.com/After-Effects-tutorials/lighting-tricks-in-after-effects/485-2.html, that may be useful in helping me make the ‘real world’ darker and gloomy, and the Lego world brighter and more colourful.

An After Effects stop motion tutorial, ‘Using Stop Motion with After Effects’:http://www.schoolofmotion.com/using-stop-motion-with-after-effects/

The Week 9 lecture and exercises will help me here and I will also source other tutorials closer to the time.

Create giant hand special fx. I will need to film a hand picking up a Lego minifigure, and merge this with my Lego world. I will also need to create a shadow effect over the Lego boy as the hand descends.

I found this tutorial for creating a giant effect, ‘Adobe After Effects Tutorial-Giant Effect’:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HOeHaCF07M. The maker of the video uses rotoscoping rather than chroma-keying to create the ‘giant’, but admits that using a green screen would have been easier, so that is probably the route I will take. The quality of his final effect is far from perfect, but this is still a useful resource.

Another short that uses a giant hand, ‘Life of a Lego Man’:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlswx3T-Er8.

The Week 6 lecture and exercises will also help me here.

Shoot bedroom scene. I want this scene to be bright and well lit. It will have to be filmed after I have built the Lego city, as the city will be visible in the bedroom. Equipment – Digital camera, tripod, Lego props.

Create Lego boy wink. The final scene is a close up of the Lego minifigure in the boy’s hand, with the minifigure ‘coming to life’ and winking at the camera. This should be simple to do, with an animation layer over the minifigure’s eye to do the wink.

This Adobe Forum post from 2014 explains a technique for getting a still image to wink, https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1468316?start=0&tstart=0. Not sure if this will work with a Lego minifigure though.

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