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View Full Version : "Sonata" Short Film - Ryan McDougal


PureMoxi
10-11-2006, 11:10 PM
Hey everyone,

(update: sound design and new music now complete - check out updated version & let me know what you think.)

I just finished up an amazing and challenging year at Vancouver Film School and thought I would share my finished short. I produced it in 6 months from concept to final. Take a look. All crits and comments are welcome.

You can "right click and save as..." from the link below:

http://www.ryanmcdougal.com/downloads/RyanMcDougal_Sonata.mov


http://www.ryanmcdougal.com/downloads/Sonata_4.jpg

http://www.ryanmcdougal.com/downloads/Sonata_2a.jpg

shy-guy
10-12-2006, 12:07 AM
Hey man, good job with the short :). I really dig the lighting and the mood you gave it, very cinematographic.

I found the animation to be sutil but effective imo, althought there where a few gestures i couldnīt read clearly.

Btw, that song is popular, iīve heard it in two other animated shorts at least.

Congrats :thumbsup:

FracoisBennet
10-12-2006, 01:22 AM
there where a few gestures i couldnīt read clearly.

Btw, that song is popular, iīve heard it in two other animated shorts at least.


Hi Ryan, congratulations! You guys in that VFS class are great!:applause: I LOVE the mood and, because I'm french, I can tell you it's very "parisienne"!:wise: Did you used any reference? The story is very original and "fresh".

But I have to agree with shy-guy about the poses in the animation and about the music. There's something wrong at the beginning in the weight shift and later it seems to slide a little... I think you can also shorten the last part. If you want to change the music you will find a lot in the old classical music composers (Chopin, Handel, Shumann) I believe they really fit in the mood!

PureMoxi
10-12-2006, 05:26 AM
FracoisBennet - the base reference for the mood and lighting was Edward Hopper's painting "NightHawks" as well as works by Tim Burton such as Nightmare before Christmas and Corpse Bride. The intelligent use of strong rim light, soft fill and clear silohuettes was what I strived to achieve...for my first attempt at anything animated or anything on the computer for that matter, I am pleased.

Paris and those damn cool street lamps did play an inspiring role in terms of basic shapes and forms as well :).

shy-guy - thanks for reminding me about the music...I had forgotten to note that right now, the music is temporary as my sound design and music are being finished over the course of the next week or so. I think it will really add to the overall feel of the piece.

blz
10-12-2006, 07:03 AM
good one
i found it very enjoying to watch
keep up the good work :)

pommegenozide
10-12-2006, 09:46 AM
Ryan,
Have been watching your stuffs for a while and only want to say "Great Job!"
And congratulation!

echoBars
10-12-2006, 01:27 PM
Really impressive work. Lots of consistently great stuff coming out of VFS. I liked the animation of his hand gripping the rose. The style was subtle and emotive-the lighting, animation and rendering complimented eachother well. Good job.

JBoskma
10-13-2006, 04:23 PM
Great little film Ryan. Verry fluid and finessed animation. Great to see something like this in the heaps of snappy animation oriented reels and films. Beautiful work, I can't wait to watch and hear the fully orchestrated version. 5 stars

PHO 75
10-13-2006, 04:27 PM
excellent work my friend. a well rounded package. on top of the animation, the lighting, models and renders are nicely done. you've really worked out the jerkiness issue in this final version. The last version just seemed it needed some smoothing out. Also I think the sniffing the rose shot reads much better than before. That's scholarship time well spent.
The mood you've set with the lighting fits very well. I know you wanted to focus on animation but i also knew you wouldn't neglect the other aspects. a better move in my opinion, shows you're an artist.
i know it has been tough, subtle animation takes a lot out of you. i hope now you're doing something incredibly wild and cartoony and you're breaking every joint at every opportunity.
now it's over, let the job hunt begin. i'm not gonna say now you can relax cause i didn't, it's checking your email 3 times a minute and just staring at your cell phone all day. don't do what i did, be normal.
good luck buddy, stay in touch

Phan

J.Gaeta
10-14-2006, 09:42 PM
Fantastic work Ryan. I love the overall style and feel you gave every element in this film. It is a very powerful piece and you should be proud of the result. I believe your work ethic is something I and most others in our class will remember for a long time. You were an inspiration for a lot of us.... Congratulations and good luck.

MoutMout
10-14-2006, 09:58 PM
So much emotion!

It's a very good work and the movie look like real movie it's very sweet and the expression of the character is very good!

Love it!:thumbsup:

Winner
10-14-2006, 10:47 PM
I`ve got to say I thought this was pretty good ... technically. I liked the way you lit the shots, and the models and sets were well stylized giving an almost `noir` feel that I thought was really nice, and the way you almost always showed the character in partial sillouhette was a nice touch as it kind of added to his anonymouty with the lady. The style was illustrative of the feeling i think you were aiming for, and right from the opening sequence you could tell the kind of short this was going to be.

My crits would mainly concentrate on too many lingering shots of the guy showing the same emotions. I though the composition of many of the shots were really nice ( the part where the woman walks past the camera was wonderful ), but it felt a lot like i was seeing the same shot over and over, with only subtle changes in the animation. Talking animation I thought it was pretty good - especially the part when we see him through the window before he smells the flower ( by the way - it was slightly confusing there - seems like he's suddenly inside the shop ? -- theres no indication of any glass that could help maybe )... but i really felt the flagship moment for some great animation would be in his final change of thought to actually go and give her the flower, but instead we just see his feet, and then his hand ! I see the feel you were going for by doing that - but it felt too undersold for me. Maybe you could have approached this with some emotion in the lady at this point ? some kind of reaction from her that lets the audience know he did finally enter the shop... i dunno, but would have been nice to see some performance from her, but more importantly finishing up the story with a little `satisfaction` ( i mean after all, thats what you want him to do throughout the whole story, and you wanna see some indication of what happens when he does .. even if its only a tiny subtle little thing ). Anyway - good work... must have took you ages, and on the while its a nice impressive piece and the feeling i think you were trying to show projects well.

PureMoxi
10-15-2006, 08:58 AM
Winner - Thanks for the crits and for taking the time to really take a hard look at it. I did the entire production from concept to finish in 6 months but yes it was a long 6 months to be sure. As far as your comments regarding "finishing up the story with a little `satisfaction`", I guess the easiest way to sum it up is that I didn't offer a big prize at the end because I wanted the audience make up their own conclusions and leave it open ended.

I had originally had him smiling and being confident and then walking in, but it seemed a bit cheeky and took away from the overall display of thought and emotion that I wanted in the piece. Consequently, perhaps the character arc is a bit too subtle as it relies heavily on the still moment of just seeing his feet at the very end and does not have some big moment of the woman in his arms or some final scene with a foreshadowing of the future.

In the end, I likely could have pushed the contrast in the emotion further (as I think you can always push animation/acting further), but as it stands, I'm happy with where the story is and look forward to learning and pushing further in future projects.

Thanks again for the critical eye.

blz, pommegenozide, burdennwoe, MoutMout - thanks for the glowing remarks. I'm flattered and am happy that you enjoyed it.

JBoskma, J.Gaeta - my two favorite modelers...I really appreciate your thoughts and wish you well in the months and years to come...though I know you both will be rock stars...

PHO 75 - as always, thanks for the thoughts and for the motivation to keep me going. Hope the new gig is darn good and that you are ripping it up in Texas.

gatorji
10-15-2006, 11:12 PM
great job on this demo reel ryan. you were one of the most dedicated person that i have ever seen and it definately shows. The lighting and the mood of this piece is amazing. the suddlety of each emotion is such a difficult thing to accomplish and you've done a great job with it. glad to see someone actually worked in scholarship. good luck to you on your job hunt and it was a pleasure working with you this past year.

Lupin500
10-16-2006, 03:31 AM
Hey Ryan, great job!:thumbsup: Guess which one of the two stills is my favourite!:) I think your short film is very inspiring (not many choose your style of animation, subtle and emotional) and therefore it's original. Best luck to you!

Winner
10-16-2006, 03:59 AM
hey Ryan,

sure, i totally get what you're saying. To be honest i thought that may have been your process.. to animate the smiley confident thought change, then only to have removed it in the end because it removes from the `mystery` of the piece. Makes sense.

PureMoxi
10-16-2006, 11:05 AM
gatorji & Lupin500 - thanks for your kind remarks. I really appreciate it. Gatorji, I hope you are not knocking my two amigos in scholarship with that statement b/c if so, I'm comin' after you (insert sarcastic tone here). ha.

Winner - Thanks again for the crits. I greatly appreciate your sharp eye and your understanding of story and flow. Definitely contrasts with a lot of people in terms of what they pay attention to when they watch a film. Really appreciate it.

som3d59
10-16-2006, 11:25 AM
The animation and the music come together so smooth. I don't sure this is the same version as the one in your grad ceremony or not. But I found this one more enjoy to watch. Have you shorten it down? I feel it was longer before. Anyway, this is so sweet.

TheNeverman
10-16-2006, 02:57 PM
I love the visual style of this as well...
It's a beautiful song as well - what's the name of it? (classically ignorant I am...)

CBAnimator
10-16-2006, 04:11 PM
Its a very nice piece, I like it - You nailed the part where he smells the flower.
Someone mentioned earlier that this song is popular among demo reels, and I agree, Ive heard it quite a few times myself - which is a shame because the music does fit nicely.
I also like the fade-to-white at the end.. that means he was successful, correct?

Loewi
10-17-2006, 12:15 AM
This is absolutely stunning, turned out even better than I already thought it was when I saw it the last time. The best part is you are an absolutely modest person and one of the most receptive people when it comes to critique, no matter how dumb the things I told you, you always gave me the impression that i had a point. Joke's on you, buddy.. i know that I didnt have one!!

Don't be 'that' guy and i expect to see great things from you in the future, you've set the bar :)

Igo
10-17-2006, 06:09 AM
Ryan, if I worked as hard as you I mightve gotten a job as a modeler... but isntead I jerked off, watched movies, drew, sculpted, and contimplated suicide for half of term 5 and all of term 6 and yet I still gota job somehow. If YOU dont get a job, this world is truly upsidedown and show's favor towards the most cool/immature random people OR your timing is off, a company CANT hire you or you blew your interview... No preassure.

Watching this piece made me cry... seeing the credits and a lack of a certian someones mention. And I even called you on your grad night... you are truly dead to me.

[/sarcasm]

PureMoxi
10-17-2006, 10:18 AM
TheNeverman - the music is by Yann Tierson and is from the soundtrack for Amelie. The exact title is: COMPTIME D'UN AUTRE 'ET'E : L'APRE`S. However, as I said before, this music is for placement only as I am having my sound design completed shortly with the same mood and tone. Just a little difficult to get the rights to the music so that I could submit in a legit fashion to festivals.

CBAnimator - the fade to white...well, success? Maybe in the sense that he made a decision to take a chance and has won internally against his doubts, but, in truth, I wanted to leave it open to the interpretation by the audience. So whether he got the girl or was denied horribly is up to you. I suppose it matters on your mood and your empathy for the character. I hope you want him to win...but that is your choice.

som3d59 - thanks for the kind remarks. It is no shorter, just finessed the animation and changed a bit of the acting throughout. Additionally, I added a bit of details to the set throughout...glad you liked it more!

Loewi - Your thoughts were always valued. Self deprecation gets you nowhere my friend. Stand tall...you easily deserve the same praise.

mooingCow - Good to see it brought a tear to your eye...sorry for not offering a "anarchist credit" to my final version, I think that might cause a few raised eye brows with possible employers. Don't worry I still think you are special...

PureMoxi
10-17-2006, 10:27 AM
Thought since a lot of us are a bit geeky about this, that I would show some of my breakdowns for a few shots in the film. Thought you guys might have some feedback on them or would be curious to see: (right click and save as...)

http://www.ryanmcdougal.com/downloads/compbreakdown_sh5.mov (http://www.ryanmcdougal.com/downloads/compbreakdown_sh5.mov)

http://www.ryanmcdougal.com/downloads/animprocess_sh4.mov (http://www.ryanmcdougal.com/downloads/animprocess_sh4.mov)

jlyapor
10-19-2006, 08:20 AM
what can I say? I was impressed. I feel for this character and I think it was ballsy of you to explore this style of animation, I personally like it cause it shows the subtle details that we dont really notice and its enough to bring something to life. I would've like to see more of the girl, but it was more about him right? so thats ok. thanks for sharing your animation process as well. You must be busy these days, I bet you've been sending out your work to cool companies. good luck to you man. cheers! you're DONE.

Pumar
10-19-2006, 09:03 AM
Very nice stuff man, not bad for six months work.

I witnessed you devlop, struggle, cry and laugh while working on this short, and i have to say i think it came out fantastic.

The animation style, look and feel of the overall piece is really well done, and i can't wait to see it with your final music score.

It will be interseting to see what you work on next.

3 pints of guiness way up dude.

AndrewChang
10-19-2006, 11:25 PM
Hi Ryan,

I love your piece, it's very inspiring and I love the mood as well. I think the hands are very well done in all of your shots, very smooth and emotive just by their animation alone. I'm also a fan of subtle animation and your short has really got me thinking more about my own work. Good luck to you!

dutchtilt
10-20-2006, 06:48 PM
THIS WASNT INSPIRING AT ALL! i just wanted to be the first to say that! sorry, my humour sucks compared to igo. I am very impressed with this piece. for me it is the subtle nature of some animation and the look dev.

i know a lot of people have said that...but ill say it again...

the lighting and look of the piece is what will seperate you from the thousands of animation reels out there...it is what will get someone to keep it on their desk...the animation will get you the job. and i have no doubts (if you arent already) you will be working very soon---congrats McDoogs---congrats.

PureMoxi
10-21-2006, 09:12 AM
Pumar - the music is coming this monday. i don't know how everyone will react to it as I have shown it with the music from Amelie and feel people are quite attached...

jlyapor - I chose not to show the girl b/c I wanted to focus on his inner struggle and found that while developing the short that she stole the show. Such is the truth when most women enter a room so I should have known...

If I had had more time to obsess, I would have liked to develop her character more and use that to enhance the emotional contrast between his "sheltered world of solitude" and the outside reality of hope and of happiness.

AND yes, thank G-d I am DONE. Loved making it and can't wait to do more...BUT it's time to let this one go...

AndrewChang & dutchtilt - thanks for the comments. i appreciate the kind remarks and for taking the time to watch...

PureMoxi
10-23-2006, 02:12 PM
Just a quick update...updated the film with the new music and sound design. Check it out and let me know what you think. pump up the volume...

I have revised the link in my original post but if you just want a quick shortcut, check it out here:

http://www.ryanmcdougal.com/downloads/Sonata_newmusic.mov

Igo
10-24-2006, 07:03 AM
sorry, my humour sucks compared to igo.

And dont let anyone else forget it Josh. Not you, not Nick, not Corey... NO ONE!

And Ryan, including me in your credits would only have done you good, and mightve aided you in that goal of having to actually beat women off of you with an axe handle.

PS- the Amile music works TONS better. I dont care if two other people have recently used it in their reels, it's good, and supports your piece way better than the new music. Amile #4 is what you have always animated your piece to, it's what was in the back of your head, it's what it was nearly based around. Amile #4 is to new song is like Star Wars Ep 5 is to Star Wars Ep 1.

PureMoxi
10-26-2006, 06:45 AM
Hey mooingCow - I agree that the new music carries a slightly more melancholy feel to it, but I would be interested to hear other people's thoughts as I think that I am far too emotionally invested in the previous Amelie soundtrack -- perhaps you are as well. it's hard to make change but I think that the composer did a good job with the new arrangement. I think that the sound design could definitely be pushed further in terms of the depth that it brings to the visuals. I am still working on that and thinking about other options so that I get it right...

Who knows, if things don't get sorted out...i may return to Amelie. However, I would definitely prefer something original and new....

hoboken
10-26-2006, 09:14 PM
nice stuff...the lighting is wonderful...I hope I can do this stuff in the near future. Just starting out:)

(addition) - Sorry forgot to ask so editing this now...did you use maya for this and did you model this yourself or did you have a few other friends working with you.

p4roxysm
10-26-2006, 11:29 PM
Hey Ryan, I gota say you've really put it all together quite nicely. What I really like about the reel is that it's neither a typical animation reel, nor a typical animation either. Comedy is great, but a departure from that is always a nice change. I think it's extremely difficult to creation an emotional connection between a sequence of images and an audience, but you pulled it off, not only through the dramatic lighting, invisible camera moves, great music choices, but also through the very subtle facial and body expressions in your main character.
There is however, a bit of monotony throughout the scenes as someone had suggested, but I think if you added more contrast in terms of the pacing or the acting, it might have pulled the viewer away from their empathy. Anyway, I see this animation as an excerpt or a snippet from a larger piece of unknown animation, which is cool, because it wants you to know more about this main character and the girl he seeks.
Nice work!

Zoober
10-27-2006, 06:57 PM
Hey Ryan, you tackled a really tough story and definately pulled it off with nice animation and a great mood throughout the whole short and the work you did during your scholarship really put some nice polish on it. Hopefully I will get to see it in theatre at a festival soon.

It's also cool to see the 'behind the scenes' content that you have on your site. It really showcases the thought that you put into the subtext of your characters.

PureMoxi
10-30-2006, 02:33 PM
p4roxysm - Hey man. Thanks for your comments. I chose to make the story about one moment and to some degree that placed me in a smaller spectrum of emotional variance (from my own perspective). I didn't want the pendulum to swing too wide given the way I wanted to represent the character's emotion and the subtle animation that I was going for...I don't know if I had created more contrast if it would have broken the connection with the audience... I think there could be different approaches to moving a story along and enhancing the emotion and the energy of the whole piece. Mixing up the pacing and acting to create greater contrast is definitely a good thought to that end...I suppose that just means I have more to learn and bring to future projects...giddy up...

hoboken - Thanks. Everything was done in XSI and i was responsible for all visual elements for the piece (modeling, animating, rigging, rendering, lighting, editting & compositing).

Zoober - Thanks for the kudos. I'd wish you luck on the job hunt but i think you got snatched up already...as right you should have been...

rvallet
11-01-2006, 08:16 PM
Very subtle :) I love it :)

dmc3d
11-01-2006, 11:10 PM
My deam favorite american.
How can i say about that. Very good, emotional and fluid.You are a very hard worker and talented, so i cant wait to see more about you new projects.
Hope to see u onde day again may friend.
Take care

cheers

PureMoxi
11-07-2006, 09:06 AM
rvallet & dmc3d - Thank you for the kind comments. Much appreciated.

Just got my web site in order...more stuff to see if anyone is interested. C + C is always welcome...

http://www.ryanmcdougal.com

aniworld
11-09-2006, 05:36 AM
really great work. subtle nice and really touchy animation. all the best and keep doing great wrok.

Greedo
11-09-2006, 11:15 AM
Really nice lighting/mood and good animation. Ive seen some good stuff come from VFC.

HEKTOR
11-09-2006, 11:37 PM
Hello!



Very nice animation, is very emotional. I love that lighting, its look very cinematic.



Congratulations!



P.S

Really Sorry for my English!

edux
11-11-2006, 12:35 AM
Hi you did an excellent work, the animation is perfect to show the feelings of the character the lighting... simple but very dramatic... love it

carlosvk
11-11-2006, 09:14 PM
Hey man,

I like the whole piece over all, but especially I like how you approached the character. His feelings are clear through the film. Shows that you payed attention to little details, and I think that those little details make a big difference in the final product.

Cheers,

Carlos.

PureMoxi
11-13-2006, 07:25 PM
aniworld, Greedo, HEKTOR, edux, carlosvk - Thanks for all of your thoughts. I really appreciate it.

monster_155
11-13-2006, 08:10 PM
hey man love it really 4 stars cuz its really new idea

keep doing like this romnitc stuff

u will be the most important 3d artist in this world :)

good luck

monster_155
11-13-2006, 08:11 PM
hey man love it really 4 stars cuz its really new idea

keep doing like this romanitc stuff

u will be the most important 3d artist in this world :)

good luck

PureMoxi
11-18-2006, 07:55 PM
monster_155 - thanks man. appreciate it.

EarBrawley
12-09-2006, 11:47 AM
This is an icredible piece. From lighting to animation, its truely a work of art. You've really created a short thats emotional and breathtaking. I think you will have great success as a filmaker in the future. Can't wait to see your next project. Cheers.

RobertoOrtiz
12-09-2006, 05:49 PM
Great work!

Plugged!
-R
PS Thanks to Rens for the heads up!

M-TUNE
12-09-2006, 06:41 PM
:applause: Very nice

ArneK
12-09-2006, 07:50 PM
This is a really sweet piece, Ryan. I love the look, lighting and the mood. And the flow between cuts is really good. If I have to crit anything it must be that the animation feels a bit floaty and even at times. You could have tightened up your spacing a bit. But overall I think this is a really great piece of work! :thumbsup:

mister3d
12-09-2006, 08:49 PM
That's great!
What I would make is in the end, when he opens the door to make slo-motion with maybe leave-out frames, I hope you know what I mean, to make the end more dramatic. But what I don't like is that the music after film is finished becomes louder, ut's not nessesary imo.
Just my humble opinion, :) .

NolanSW
12-09-2006, 10:05 PM
I usually don't comment on animations since I'm the most qualified to crit but one person that really nailed it is commenting on the cuts. I did a fair amount of editing back in school and I really noticed that your camera cuts really worked. Your actions from one cut to the next really stands out. This is something animators tend to neglect because it takes planning and good storyboards. Great job. :thumbsup:

JBoskma
12-09-2006, 10:27 PM
Here comes the job offer parade!
Giddy up my friend ;)

Djampa
12-09-2006, 10:30 PM
Very good.

I enjoyed it very much.

Crits - It's all ok for me, very nice story, good cameras, good lights, nice mood you achieved, overall very good work, the expressions are very nice, the timing. Only thing I can say is keep working, animation is all about doing it... more and more and you gain experience and gets better and better. Keep on this track !

Keep up the good work !



Cheers,

jlyapor
12-09-2006, 11:29 PM
glad to see this, congrats on front page. i've said this before, I really enjoy your piece, there's lots of thought behind it.

J.

dutchtilt
12-09-2006, 11:50 PM
YOU on the front page??? Very well done my friend!!! let the gushing begin!!

-subtle animation, lighting, look dev, flow:::::these are all very very well done---i really enjoyed your piece and hope to run into you sometime soon in the NON-vfs environment!

you deserve it Ryan---
congrats---

(bears suck)

AVTPro
12-10-2006, 12:08 AM
Go in Dude!! All she can tell you is NO!! Oh..sorry, it's just a movie. :)

Nice Camera, composition, color, character, Nice short.

and Nice shoes. Who could turn him down wearing those kicks!?!

Rui_Padinha
12-10-2006, 01:44 AM
Congratulations on a great piece, I have nothing but the deepest respect for your work and your achievement.

good luck and safe travels (hope the car is doing better now)

Rui Padinha

PHO 75
12-10-2006, 02:04 AM
congrats my friend, you definitely deserve this.

caulfield
12-10-2006, 02:51 AM
liked everything about it, but it was way too long. each shot should establish something - you established each emotion about five times! Sorry to say this but I watched it in fast forward.

sLIMsHadr
12-10-2006, 03:21 AM
Beautiful film for many reasons. :)

Biofreak
12-10-2006, 03:24 AM
Good job. VFS is amazing, i wish i could attand it.

p0rcupine
12-10-2006, 05:22 AM
Congratz on the front page.

I never saw you working, but you were there all the time.

and I know you worked really hard on this piece and it shows.

It's got really nice mood which I really liked.

I am sleepy so please excuse my weird way of talking or writing.

Again congratz on the front page and hope to see each other out in the field in a few years.


Cheers.

SimonRobinson3d
12-10-2006, 05:33 AM
Really fantastic work !

Beautiful, subtle and incredibly powerful.
Looking forward to seeing more work from you in the future.

Skinny Ghost
12-10-2006, 06:29 AM
Nice! I have this DVD sitting on my desk right now.

Cody.

FRENZIEDmind
12-10-2006, 07:08 AM
AWESOME WORK!

crit: only thing is that the pupils seemed too much like holes (and I know they actualy are with in reality...) IMHO. That's it.

SkullboX
12-10-2006, 01:31 PM
Winner - Thanks for the crits and for taking the time to really take a hard look at it. I did the entire production from concept to finish in 6 months but yes it was a long 6 months to be sure. As far as your comments regarding "finishing up the story with a little `satisfaction`", I guess the easiest way to sum it up is that I didn't offer a big prize at the end because I wanted the audience make up their own conclusions and leave it open ended.

I had originally had him smiling and being confident and then walking in, but it seemed a bit cheeky and took away from the overall display of thought and emotion that I wanted in the piece. Consequently, perhaps the character arc is a bit too subtle as it relies heavily on the still moment of just seeing his feet at the very end and does not have some big moment of the woman in his arms or some final scene with a foreshadowing of the future.

In the end, I likely could have pushed the contrast in the emotion further (as I think you can always push animation/acting further), but as it stands, I'm happy with where the story is and look forward to learning and pushing further in future projects.

I totally agree with the choices you made in this respect. The movie was about the male character's emotions, mainly his doubt and trying to gain self confidence. I agree a smiling close up at the end would have been incredibly cheesy. More importantly, it's not relevant to the rest of your story whether or not they eventually get together. You established very early, and very effectively, that it was his doubt that would set the tone for the rest of the animation, not necessarily the girl, which is only shown out of focus (again, excellent choice). he last shot, on itself was therefor very effective.


I do have some comments though. While the cinematography is great especially in the first total shot, I also thought his staging didn't help the narration. He's standing in the middle of a large part of the sidewalk in front of the door he's appearantly very afraid to get in. The animation shows his doubt, but the staging suggests it's more likely that he's lost or did something bad and has to make up for it.

My main point of critique, is that you repeat yourself too often and too similarly. You nailed the acting, but he doubts while looking at the store, his mnid strays, he doubts while looking at the flower, his mind strays, he doubts while looking at the girl, etc. While repetition is often a powerfull narrative tool, in such a short amount of time you lose the dynamic of the story if the expression and shot length are this similar. The shot where he imagines himself walking with his girl was really good, and a nice interruption to the doubting in front of the diner, so perhaps more of these dynamic interruptions might have worked better, perhaps to form a greater contrast with the slow paced main narration.

This was especially notable in the last few shots. He doubts, smells the flower and strays in his mind tryin to collect enough hope, doubts again, (we cut to his feet) he walks away and then he doubts again, then finally walks in. I would have cut down on the amount of times he doubts in this final sequence, most likely cut to a shot of his feet where he's already standing still, then have him turn around.


It might sound a bit harsh, but after all the praise you can probably take it. If not, then allow me to add some more. I though it was a very well produced movie. You obviously had a very clear idea of how you wanted to tell the story and it comes across very well, especially the acting side. I do think it would have added if it was told a little more dynamically and editing alone probably could have added a lot, but I'm being only this critical and detailed about my comments because it's already a good short. Apart from the narrative, the cinematography is really strong, the characters well designed and the animation is consistant and smooth.

A very nice short, good to see this stuff coming from VFS, and I hope we'll be seeing more short animations of this quality.

JBoskma
12-10-2006, 01:59 PM
Since when know nasty-creature animators anything to say about emotional pieces? HUH Bastiaan?

John Keates
12-10-2006, 02:37 PM
So Nice to see some subtle and emotional ainimation. I think that the drawn-out aspect works well with what you were saying.

Best use of adams-apple animation I have ever seen.

PureMoxi
12-10-2006, 05:31 PM
Whoa...Thanks for all the comments.

M-TUNE, ArneK, RobertoOrtiz, NolanSW, AVTPro, sLIMsHadr, Biofreak, TheKeeper, Skinny Ghost, FRENZIEDmind, John Keates, Djampa, mister3d - I'm glad that you enjoyed it and took the time to let me know what you thought.

JBoskma, EarBrawley, jlyapor, dutchtilt, Rui_Padinha, PHO 75, p0rcupine - back in the states and still indebted to you folk for being mad talents and pushing me further...

SkullboX - Thanks for the crits and really going in deep on my short. ...and no, I didn't think it harsh. So much more to learn and to improve upon... Like I said, I am happy and proud with where the piece stands now and know with the comments from you and the other kind souls only push me to go further and make the next one better. Thanks.

John Keates - Dig the notice on the adams-apple...Never thought I would find a moment where that part of the rig would be relevant:>

BartokDesign
12-11-2006, 12:38 PM
The animation and lightning are very good , specially the light mood , I found it great.
congrats.

Slurry
12-11-2006, 01:27 PM
Holy Crap! Excellent short Ryan. I am very impressed with your technical skills. To do all of that in 6 months, and by yourself, is truly an accomplishment.
I thought your animation was superb. And you are still a student!
Great future ahead of you, my friend. I wish you all the best.

Art

3d55steven
12-11-2006, 08:39 PM
great stuff dood, well deserved front page :)

steve

HappyCalaveras
12-12-2006, 12:17 AM
I love the lighting and shadows, the contrasts are really nice. I dig the set and character designs as well, very nicely done. The animation is pretty good, however I agree with previous posts it would be help to add some more variety of emotion to him beyond wistful/forlorn. Maybe even show him get angry with himself for hesitating (a mental kick in the ass of sorts)?

Fantastic work, keep it up!

Chris Buckley
12-12-2006, 12:26 AM
HOLY SMOKES!

That looks fantastic Ryan!

Great beats and I love the ending. I think it would have been cheap to show what happened, and it keeps you thinking after it's done!!

Well done and congrats!

-Chris Buckley

PureMoxi
12-12-2006, 03:41 PM
HappyCalaveras - I agree -- a moment of self anger or a "mental kick in the ass" would have been a good choice to break up the beats and the flow. Something to consider for the next project.

Chris Buckley - wow, it's been a while since 4th term but I should be thanking you for the thoughts and advice you gave me early on...

BartokDesign, Slurry, 3d55steven - Thanks for the comments...

Igo
12-13-2006, 04:54 AM
You better have a job after getting all that front page exposure. No preassure.

priad
12-13-2006, 09:49 PM
Great I love it!!! You have reach the good sensibility very good piece, romantic and well made. Intimist work !!:)
Congrats !!:thumbsup:

petpetrol
12-14-2006, 02:28 PM
Ey Ryan, I do have to say man, a very very nice short. I realy liked the smooth movement and the subtle eyeblinks, it made the character feel sincere and alive. Next to that the lighting was also very well done. Congrats man! 5 stars from me :)

Greetz,

Paul-Erik

PureMoxi
12-14-2006, 07:30 PM
priad, Paul-Erik - thanks...glad you enjoyed it.

mooingCow - thanks for the pressure...always appreciated.

thewave
12-15-2006, 03:19 AM
Bravo....well done. Subtle...emotional...evocotive....storytelling.

Very well done indeed.

Reality3D
12-17-2006, 07:47 PM
I liked it a lot Ryan. It has subtle emotions, really. Congrats :)

hopper2k
12-17-2006, 08:51 PM
Hey Ryan, I thought this was great. I like the subject matter alot, and it hit me personally as well.

PureMoxi
12-18-2006, 06:37 PM
thewave, Reality3D, hopper2k - Thanks guys...

lostPin
12-18-2006, 07:26 PM
Very nice piece of work. Congratulations!!!

J.Gaeta
12-19-2006, 05:00 AM
I missed it! Congrats man! You were a great inspiration through out. Great to see you get the attention you deserve. 58 represent!

Lupin500
12-19-2006, 07:17 AM
Oh, I missed it too! Congratulations on the front page Ryan! :thumbsup:

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