20/05/2019 – 25/05/2019
I presented my idea to my tutor and she could understood my idea and commended the accuracy and vision I had for the final outcome. However, my research was weak. To concretize my idea in all its creepy glory, she suggested starting points for my research. In particular the Uncanny Valley theory, this explains how humans can recognize when something isn’t human no matter how real it looks. Our minds can distinguish an AI face from a human face from subtle details that make us alive and human. The hardest thing for animators is to replicate to high degree the millions of things you need to take into consideration when making hyper-realism, things we don’t realize but we subconsciously know like the way light hits out skin, posture, facial expressions, shadows etc. The problem with creating the feeling of Uncanny is that I need to master 3D modeling and spend months constructing hyper-realistic ducks. Instead, I only had 2 weeks to learn Blender, a 3D modeling software, from the ground up. Instead of killing myself to replicate real life, I decided to go in the opposite direction: make it look wrong. There is one artist I admire called Miguel Vasquez who has mastered both hyper-realistic and off putting, but in an interview he stated it took him 7 months to make the Ed, Edd n Eddy characters. I opted to make things look wrong proportionally, technically and aesthetically on purpose, to save time and create my desired outcome. My best example are the veins on a rubber duck, there’s nothing more wrong than that plus the dimensions don’t correspond to most commercial rubber ducks. She also suggested Family Guy, particularly the episode when the characters become real, this was also done in the Simpsons as well.
The final tutorial was very helpful, it just helped find the right path and finish my animation to the best of my abilities.
I presented my idea and the group responded well to the concept, but we’re hesitant. My point came across and I’m satisfied that what I have been working on will pay off as the creepy aesthetics worked, especially for the ducks. The only problem when delivering my pitch was the clear picture of the final outcome in my mind which couldn’t be translated to the audience. It’s easy to forget how simple everything may appear in your mind, but how wacky, even stupid, it can appear for others. A good example is when Seth MacFarlane was pitching the idea for his movie Ted, a buddy comedy between a grown man and his childhood teddy bear. Everyone was reluctant, especially Mark Wahlberg, but when you know you’re great idea is going to work deep down inside you, you stop at nothing to make it happen. To this day, Ted set a record for the highest original R-rated comedy opening in history with 54.4 million dollars. This example pertain a little to me as I had success in the final exhibition that no one understood in the final crit. I had some good advice, in particular from a classmate that recommended Cool 3D World. This is a youtube channel that makes wacky and creepy animations. This was a very good visual aid and it showed me what to do with my animation. It taught me how to use 3D to my advantage and get the biggest reaction out of my audience.
It was in a way the same for my idea, everyone sat there a bit lost and confused. They saw the pieces: the hands and the models of the ducks, but they couldn’t piece it together. When I finally put it all together for the exhibition, they really enjoyed what I had made and some asked to watch it several times. The second year’s also gave me more advice on how to improve it. My concern was that I could it make it creepier, especially with the audio. One of the second year’s stated that because the style wasn’t realistic and it looked lo-fi, I should go deeper into that style. He used my audio as an example, it’s very cheesy and when you hear it just makes you feel weird. This mini exhibition was very useful and it gave me great advice for the future.