Of Embers & Flames

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Piece of Cake.

Messages : 334
Date d'inscription : 28/07/2014
Age : 25

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MessageSujet: Class Feedback   Class Feedback EmptyMar 24 Jan - 0:20

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Sept. 14, 2016

- Synopsis is good and clear
- Good thumbnails, they give the feeling of someone thinking loud, it is more what I had expected for - thumbnails. Super Sketchy but enough information.
- No worries about the background it looks like super sophisticated.
- The idea is good, works well as a metaphor / poetic.
- It can be touching.
- Missing couple keys: What is the conflict? What is the change?
- As viewers there is nothing for us to worry. Let us worry about the characters.
- What is the risk?
- Pick specific things: What if there is a third flame?
- What is the problem that makes the relation come apart?
- Generic characters in the desert, we should know the background of the characters.
- You are on the edge but not quiet sure yet.
- Why you chose to put the characters in the desert? Why not in a social life where there are lots of people?
- You can work only on one character and then work on her relation with other characters.
- How can you make it clear without society? Maybe sound can be the answer or maybe they are the last people on the planet.
- Maybe you can show footsteps that indicate that there are other people as well.
- Maybe because they are in the desert alone that’s what make them close to each other.
- Maybe those two flames can create another person.
- They can be a couple which are different from everybody else.
- Decide the mechanisms of the flame, what can it do?
- Catherine Slilaty made a film in her first year similar to this idea about creatures that can produce shapes with their heads.
- In my opinion, maybe you can show how only these two people ended up in the same place. What is the reason that made both of them to be there? You can check this animation called “The Wishgranter” although it is very different from your story. But you can see how there is a reason of being these two people in the same place. Here is the link: https://vimeo.com/175734318
- Also I really liked the idea of using sand animation, and I think that works best for the flame part. I used this technique last year in my final film It was so fun working with it. Are you thinking of combining sand Animation with digital Animation?
- I found this short animation called "Heart" that can be useful for Laura Lucic. Here is the link: https://vimeo.com/52369262

Sept. 18, 2016

I think this is a great idea and the more you will narrow it down, the more it will become interesting to engage with the complexity of relationships, encounters, connections.

I couldn’t help but to think about one of my favorite filmmakers : Wong Kar-Wai. Most of his work is about relations. He says love is a question of timing : right person, right moment, right place. It is a rare (impossible?) combination. Anyway, I wanted to mention his stylistique approach to establish a strong connection between two characters in subtiles, but yet very powerful ways. He uses movement, framing, focal length and editing. For example, the two characters can be still as the other peoples around them are in movement, directing the eye of the viewer to the stillness in the image (Chunking Express). To isolate a character in the screen, he (with his amazing cinematographer Christopher Doyle) sometimes does this crazy effect of having the other people around the character moving at a different speed (Chunking Express). This automatically draws attention to a specific character in a very poetic way I find. He is pretty amazing at isolating characters even in the busiest space, for example by using a wide angle lense very close to the characters (Fallen Angels).

I, of course, encourage you to watch all his films, but I understand you might be a bit busy for that ! You could then do a google search for images of some of these films to see examples of his technique.

Days of Being Wild. Dir. Wong Kar-Wai. In-Gear Film, 1990.
Chungking Express. Dir. Wong Kar-Wai. Jet Tone Production, 1994.
Fallen Angel. Dir. Wong Kar-Wai. Jet Tone Production, 1995.
Happy Together. Dir. Wong Kar-Wai. Block 2 Pictures, 1997.
In the Mood for Love. Dir. Wong Kar-Wai. Block 2 Pictures, 2000.

Oct. 4, 2016

- Tia: She Threw her flame away but in the next scene, its back to her shoulder. (It was a story board error). Maybe the fire can grow back, (thats how the fire can be in your story to make things easier to explain.)
- Luigi: Story is much more focused and concrete minimal amount of society they live in. reduce story to two characters then leaving it with the girl at the end, I like it. Panel #12 Scene, how do you know its not the girl coming in again? One character should always enter one side of the screen. Even though colors can confirm a new character, but screens can help make it obvious.
- Girl is always on the right so she should always be on the right, unless having the girl on the other side of the screen impacts the story in a meaningful way.
- Luigi: Panel 25, love this, the dancing flames is a good idea, will there be any sound? Music? If you have temporary music that will help you with the pacing. Strangers flame breaking down makes a cool idea but cracking is a little weird for a flame. Maybe have is stretch and change shape?
- Kellie: Flame can disappear cause person is leaving.
- Narges: Flame can go over the girl (her own flame) to show how passionate she is.
- Luigi: Why stranger fading away? Could represent death. Maybe use another convention other than fading away. Fading away is not a bad thing, just most people can perceive it as the character passing away.
- Calvin: Have a flame infecting another flame while they are dancing. One flame affects the other flame more and the one who is not affected doesn't want to be around that other flame.
- Both get wounded in some way.
- Wisp: Floaty little lights of fire, Person of thing is impossible to reach or find. Brave had wisps, you should check it out again.
- Narges: Fire is the symbol of love and passion. When it goes away there is no passion.
- Luigi: Which fire cracks first? This is important and needs to be obvious.
- Sylvain: the guy can fade, a different kind of flame.
- Luigi: Maybe the flame can burn certain people. Panel 35 is the critical one. Panel 42, I like the ending. She is conflicted about her flame and blames it could be a cool idea. She tries to get rid of it but decides to keep it. There is some closure missing.
- Annie: Like the idea of hugging the flame, can be warming herself with her flame.
- Tia: Flame can be a metaphor, love yourself before you love someone else, be strong.

My Comments

I personally really like this idea, the idea in having flames represent yourself is a really cool idea and I really enjoy it. I think if you delved into the mechanics in how the flame works in your would would help you build the story you want to build. As soon as you know how the fire is suppose to move or interact is going to help you develop the story.

A cool animation that has a dancing relationship sequence that yuor idea reminded me of was The Thought of You by Ryan Woodward, fantastic animator I have to say, has a piece with a couple dancing ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBk3ynRbtsw ) In here you can see how walking away can really give the effect I think you want to portray from what I understood in your presentation. I would write more, but everyone said what was on my mind when we were discussing your idea. I really like it and I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Oct. 16, 2016

- Why doesn’t the girl like her flame? Is this information essential to the story?
- Good cutting continuity.
- Beginning should establish that the girl is unhappy with her flame: having her compare it to someone else’s might be useful, just to briefly focus on one character in the crowd or a few could be enough to make the viewer make a visual comparison, especially if we see a shot of her reaction to seeing those flames, and then looking back at hers.
- However, it seems like it is the girl herself that sees her flame as inadequate. This is difficult to get across, but achieving this could be really interesting. You may have to have different perspectives (meaning, POV shots of different characters- one from her OWN perspective, and one from another character. the audience would then be able to make the distinction.)
- Flames failing to connect works super well: compelling and interesting sequence.
- Having the flames have an independent consciousness / reaction, not dependent on their “master humans’” thoughts or feelings is interesting. Having the stranger’s flame leave on its own, then having the stranger DECIDE what to do: he can choose to leave with it, or stay with the girl- would be interesting. Having the flame and stranger act independently, rather than the flame leaving because of the stranger or vice versa.
- Her flame should be visually distinct from the rest of the flames.
- It can also evolve in shape/color/form throughout the film> this would greatly help to justify the end of her accepting/loving her flame.
- Would be nice to see crowds in many of the shots to create a sense of space and ambience: alone in a crowd, outside the crowd.. This helps distinguish and situate the main character and also to distinguish the stranger who leaves the crowd to go see her. She could also be outside the group in the first shot as the stranger goes to her.
- Making simple loops of various characters to be part of the crowd, and reusing them in different shots can help save time- the simpler the better.
- Stranger’s introduction can benefit from a pan up from his feet to his face, then a cut to the girl’s reaction.
- Possible ending suggestion: she accepts her difference, and walks into the crowd (not to assimilate- but just to be a part of the group)
- On page 4- after the dance, characters could be back to back.
- Stranger has to be shown visually leaving the screen / space to make the action clear.
- Visual ref ideas: many natural elements burn in different colors when ignited. You can use these different colored flames as inspiration for your design.
- Close-up shots should be used more often to visually depict intimate emotions, vulnerability, underlying thoughts: remove a few profile medium shots in favor of ¾ close-ups.

I definitely recommend making this film very intimate, and making full use of close-up shots: fluctuate between BIG FULL spaces (the long shots with the crowd) and tight, intimate spaces (close-ups of the girl’s face) can enhance feelings of loneliness, vulnerability, tenderness, etc.

You have lots of room to play with shape and color with the flames- absolutely go for it. Having the flame change and fluctuate throughout the film would be extremely engaging and can evoke a lot of emotional information for the girl character, and also the stranger!

Oct. 25, 2016

Class Comments

- The story telling is super clear now!
- Scale and compositing is really interesting and nice!
- We know you want to change the timing of the sand animation, but maybe it works as it is?
- The sand looks fun and lively!
- The Bg is not currently connecting with the action, perhaps something my neutral?
- Should the sand be more “fiery”? Is it possible to make the sand more like fire?
- Should the sand be from a different world? Does it exist in the world of the humans or not?
- Maybe the whole world should be sandy? Get a sand texture for the rest of the world?
- Perhaps you could use a coloured sand to make the sand more fire-like.
- What happens if everything is sand? Or if you use alpha channels to make many levels of sand?
- There was a moment where the axis was crossed, perhaps solve that with a POV shot.
- It would be nice to fill up the white spaces, give us some more colour!


I really like the way this is coming along, you are working in the right direction.

I think there is a lot of great stuff you could do with the sand, such as work with alpha channels to make it so that every coloured area is sand, yet not have to animate the whole thing as sand. It would require making a library of coloured sand animations (very simple movement) and then adding them into the sections that need to be the appropriate colour. Perhaps I am describing this poorly, but if you have any questions please let me know.

Apart from that, have you put any thought into how the sand-fire sounds? I don’t think it should sound exactly like fire or exactly like sand, perhaps something in between? It should be lots of fun to figure out!

Nov. 2, 2016

- The reaction shot of the girl after the guy leaves changes the ending, we know which of the two to sympathize with
- Perhaps this is an indication that your film might benefit of more reactions/close ups of the girl
- If you want to play with the color of the sand but don't want to be limited to colored sand, you can try using colored gels for the light (Luc has a lot according to Anna)

I think the plot of your film is very clear but I would love to see more shots like the last one where the girl comforts herself with her flame. I extended the duration of that shot because I think the audience needs a bit more time to understand that she now accepts it.

I also added a sound to the flame (though I think I put it really low because I barely heard it in class) because I feel like it was missing something to give it more character. Maybe not a realistic fire sound but perhaps a hum of some sort. If you choose to do this, the other flame can have another sound associated to it and when they meet, the two sounds can kinda make a melody.

Nov. 14, 2016

Maral (Guest Reviewer):

- You have many close-ups in ur film to show different emotions of the main protagonist. However, the technique that you chose to use is sand animation. If you use this technique, will it to be hard for you to do the facial expression animation?
- It will be a challenge for you to show why the girl does not like her own flame.
- How to distinguish the girl’s flame and other people’s flames?
- Does something happen so the girl regains her passion for her flame?


- Show the comparison between the girl and the boy: how does the boy like his own flame?
- At 01:41:12, (the scene where the young boy takes off the flame). Maybe you can use close up in order to put more importance on this shot.

My comments:

- I remember that in Omer Deserres, there are some magnetic sands of different colors. At the beginning, maybe you can buy some colourful sands but use only one color to illustrate one passenger and his own flame, and use another color to illustrate another passenger and his flame.
- If everyone has his or her own color in the world that you create in your animation, the girl may not like her own flame because the color of the flame is not similar to the color of her body.
- Maybe the girl has only a tiny flame, but other people have big flames, so she does not like her flames?

Jan. 13, 2017


- My opinion about the music is that maybe don’t put music constantly through the whole film but most of it.
- Worth trying with more music.
- The technique looks incredible.
- The good thing is that it already looks great. By finishing it, it will look better.


- The sand Animation is so beautiful.
- You don’t have to show expressions you can show the characters emotions with their body.


- You can add eyes in post-production.
- How are we going to differentiate between the elements, if all of them are with the same color of sand?


- I liked a lot your sand animation.
- The way that it is not so clean gives beauty to the style.
- I think your animation will look amazing.
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