Just an interface sketch for The Gull and His Guide that I'm continuously working on-and-off on for my entire life. I still have all the assets from the last build and I may be breaking them out to pull together an app. Need to rethink the design though. Hence the sketch.
I just got back from Andrew and Rachel's wedding and it was wonderful! Now that I've recovered from the 6 hour drive there and back I've started getting things together again. And that means more cool pictures and updates for you!
My new computer and monitor came in the mail and I set it up last night and it is BEAUTIFUL. It's been so long since I've had a computer I can actually do work on in my apartment that I completely forgot what it was like to not have to walk up to campus to get things done. It's wonderful. The computer is so pretty and I got to peel all the new plastic off f it and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
But I'm not posting to brag about my computer, I'm here to give you whales!! And gulls! I finally got the aesthetic down to something I like. No updates on the waves at the moment because I'm just not dealing with them right now and you're probably sick of hearing about them anyways. I've started drawing out my characters, and then redrawing them in pieces, and them putting the pieces back together like a creepy Frankenstein puppet thingy. Take a look at the pictures and you might get a handle on my process for making animations. They start out as drawing on paper, inked and scanned in, then they make their way to Photoshop. Color will come later when I get back to my home computer and have access to a tablet.
Above is the process for Gull (yeah that's what I decided to name the seagull cause I'm super creative). I sketched him on a separate sheet of paper first to establish his proportions, but I forgot that sketch at home so you'll have to use your imagination for that. Then it's just drawing him out piece by piece. You'll notice in the pieces I have three different heads and two sets of wings; those will come into play during animation.
...Aaaaand similar strategy for Mr. Whale. Three tales and a long train of body segments so I can create a fluid motion as he navigates the ocean.
And Lastly here are a few interface pieces. The cardinal directions will help the user navigate the ocean and that fancy framed empty box will hold the text for the story as it progresses. Next step will be coloring all these bad boys and churning out the rest of the environment. I expect I'll have one more pose for the whale and one more version of Gull by the time I'm ready to animate.
You can't tell from this, but the ocean scrolls across the screen to make it look super cool and parallaxed. This is just a shot of what is essentially the paper prototype for the Gull and Guide storybook . I've been kind of slow this week , which is probably about 2/5ths because my ankle hurts so it's hard to get to campus, and 3/5ths because i have no idea how to make an ocean look compelling in an animated environment without single-handedly drawing every frame (which
I'm NOT going to do).
Did you know that the opening storm scene in the Little Mermaid took a team of special effects artists over a year to create? Turns out waves and rain are a pretty challenging thing to replicate convincingly. Seeing as I am only one person and I'm trying to finish this app before the end of the month, I decided I need to start looking for a new strategy to get my wave-game on.
I've been messing around with a few different techniques to create the *illusion* of movement without selling my soul for a dose of carpel tunnel. Really to get technical any animation or film is only depicting the *illusion* of movement on a screen anyways by playing a reel of pictures faster than the human eye can recognize individually. So I'm not being lazy, it's just fact.
Here are a few of my early wave attempts so that I at least have something to show for this week. Sorry if it makes no sense to you my head doesn't translate well on paper sometimes.
Well I had intended to update my blog yesterday after I got a prototype of my whale/gull story working in Flash back when I still thought I was going to be productive yesterday. But early in the morning, I got so into dancing to this song that I lost balance and landed ungracefully on the side of my foot, effectively spraining my ankle and preventing me from really getting my groove on. It made a sad crunch like bubble wrap and I spent the rest of the day wrapped in an ace bandage watching Netflix and weeping about how much stuff I was supposed to get done.
So in other words, I thought I was going to have a really cool interactive update for you to check out today, but instead all I have is a little box that you can scroll up and down in containing a 2 second sketch of a whale and a sea-gull. At least this little non-functioning blip of an update can give you an idea of how the user will navigate the story by switching from above the ocean to below the ocean. Click the screen below and drag it up and down to test it out. It's thrilling.
A Gull and His Guide: Interactive
Once I made the decision to put my Kickstarter on the back burner, my mind flooded with creativity again! My newest project is going to be an interactive environment storybook of a short story I wrote a while back; The Gull and His Guide.The story follows a lost seagull trapped in a storm at sea. He is flying through the dreary skies looking for land, but can find none. A whale approaches the gull from beneath the surface and asks if the bird needs any help finding his way. The gull stubbornly refuses, citing that only a foolish bird looses his way at sea, and he is not a foolish bird. The whale apologizes and disappears again. But instead of leaving the bird to struggle, the whale breaks the surface once more, this time a short distance away. Through the storm his body appears to be a rocky outcrop from the ocean. The gull flies towards it, and as he does the whale slowly drifts farther away. The gull follows the apparent moving island and eventually is led to a lighthouse. The gull unwittingly prides himself for finding the way back to shore on his own.
These pictures may not be very telling, but I sat down this morning and pretty much hammered out the logistics of making the whole app! The user will be have limited control of both the whale and the gull using the buttons provided on screen. The story will progress as the user scrolls back and forth above and below the ocean's surface. When the screen shows the stormy skies, the user will control the gull by flapping his wings. When the screen dives below, the user will control when the whale comes up for air (thereby initiating the interactions in the story).