View Full Version : I need some inspiration

07 July 2007, 04:10 PM
For my Duke of Edinburgh Award, I'm choosing "Film-Making" in the "Skills" Category.

This requires you to make a short piece of film, or animation.

The thing is, I just don't know what to do!

I've not been using Blender very long, so it needs to be quite simple. These are the skills I currently have:

- Simple Modelling
- Simple Animation
- Very simple Soft Body understanding
- Very simple Particle Systems understanding
- Understanding of the Blender Interface (duh!)

And possibly more.

All I need is an Idea, and probably somebody who would be happy to answer my questions for 3 Months.


07 July 2007, 04:37 PM
a simple fort/castle with some simple guards moving around... blah,blah,blah..

there ya go, thats a start, now start brainstorming for ideas on what the guards might be doing there.. or even better..

a small short animation of some simple cartoony guards sitting at a table.. drinking beer or mead or something and telling each other what they hate about their job's :p

07 July 2007, 06:14 PM
But I'm not really that good...

I'd have to rig the guards properley, which I can't really do very well, unless somebody else did it for me :(

Remember, I only started Blender about 2 weeks ago...

07 July 2007, 06:19 PM
well then, perhaps you shouldnt be thinking about taking up an animation challange that has a deaadline of 3 moths :rolleyes:

though ive seen plenty of people that pick up darn lot in just about 3 months.. and as i saied make the guards cartoony, this way it will be a bit easier than via the realistic models way, you know.. :p

07 July 2007, 08:10 PM
But I'm not really that good...

I'd have to rig the guards properley, which I can't really do very well, unless somebody else did it for me :(

Remember, I only started Blender about 2 weeks ago...

There's a lot of ways to tell a story through animation.

First, get and idea in your head. Like "let's say...there's a castle and some guards and they are doing something."

OK - what are they doing.

Maybe all of the guards went inside and pulled up the drawbridge and left one outside.

Maybe they all are on guard and then something interesting maybe the princess arrives and does something.

Just make a simple "let's say" story in your head.

Then figure out how to animate it within your abilities. I start by doing a simple drawing. I find out very quickly that I can't even draw the guard I'm thinking of, so I try to think of something else I can draw that means "guard".

Like maybe a chess piece. Or a sphere with a hat and a badge on it. Or something that looks like a game piece in a simple board game. What I like about this is that a good simple symbol is often more universal than a detailed character.

Let's say you have a bunch of young guards and one very old one. If you do it in identical chess pieces, the young ones can be new and shiny and the old one can be dull and rusty - and maybe taking a nap. When the scene gets that simple it can let you tell a good story within the limits of your modeling skills, and also yields an animation that can make sense in the US, in Canada, Mexico, China, or India. To me, that's better than spending time trying to make a bunch of guards that look like something you see in everyone else's 3D vision of guards and castles.

By playing "Let's say" to get an idea, then drawing, and then simplifying it over and over again so you can get to the point where you could actually tell a good and real story and it wouldn't even matter if your characters were just colored cubes and your castle was a rectangle with a few triangles stuck on the top.

For action, make a character or two bump into each other. Make one sneak around a corner.

Does that help give you a few ideas?


07 July 2007, 08:57 PM
5+/A+ Lynda gets a digital cookie! :D

07 July 2007, 09:55 PM
Another thing - I just looked up the Duke of E award and see it's for folks 14 - 25 years old, and your profile indicates that you are on the young end of that - right?

So when you look for a story idea, be careful about trying to make up a story that's bigger than your current experiences. Sure, you could tell a story about castle politics or space travel - but that requires that you make up a bunch of stuff you don't really know about.

Even at your age, you already have a lot of your own stories to tell and you could use characters like those castle guards to help you tell you story.

Do you know about wanting to be a part of a group but feeling left out? Do you know about being ignored but then surprising people by doing something unique? Do you know all about wanting to express yourself as an individual but you are in a place where the rules say that everyone has to act and dress the same? Do you know about trying to learn to do something, and struggling at first but then getting really good at it? Were you ever going to be late getting somewhere and had to scramble or do something funny to get there on time?

I bet you could tell any of those stories with you own experiences, a simple environment and a few simple character shapes - as long as the story you are telling is all about things that you know from your own experiences. Stories don't have to be big to be good stories.


07 July 2007, 01:38 PM
First of all, while you still may have the opportunity, you might want to reconsider your "skills" category. After all, it's supposed to be a demonstration of your actual skills. Just make sure you pick something that you can finish.

If you stick with the short film category, I would strongly recommend that you pick the most simple scene imaginable and make the best of that. For example, two spheres. A big one and little one. There's a lot you can do with just that. Don't model or sculpt any facial features, at all. If they have faces at all, make them textures and keep it simple (just two dots for the eyes and call it complete). Remember, the goal is to finish this thing within the time given so, don't get distracted by details that will bog down the project's progress. Keep it simple. After completing the short film with everything simplified. If you still have time, you can then go back and decide to start making certain aspects better (textures, background scenery, etc.). But, you will at least have something that's finished because you focused on simplicity.

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