Noodle Lives On!

Wow, it’s been a long time since I blogged. To be fair this year I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, so an extra serving of blog would just push me over the edge and make me positively sick. But it’s nice to sit back and reflect once in a while, so I thought I’d post up some progress on my projects.

First off is my personal project. For this my idea was to encourage children to be more creative through an online entertainment channel, on YouTube and Vimeo. I’ve already worked on the branding and the idents for the channel. I’ve also drawn up a rather nice wee brand guidelines book to show off at the degree show, so I have something else more physical to show off. So that’s it almost done, right? Well, no, not quite.

My brand guidelines for my Noodle children's' channel.

My brand guidelines for my Noodle children’s’ channel.

I also want to demonstrate what type of show the channel would put on, plus some promotional materials for the channel. I was originally going to have a couple of shows, each in different styles to show off a little, but the first I planned out is so extensive it may just cover all my bases in terms of showing off animation prowess. It’s called The Inventor’s Institute and it allows viewers to send in ideas for inventions and see them visualised and featured on the show.

A test screenshot for my next animation "The Inventor's Institute"

A test screenshot for my next animation “The Inventor’s Institute”

So I firstly have to animate this wee character plus two assistants in his laboratory. But first I need to do voice recording. I’ve written out a script and recorded one of the characters thus far, but will need to  practice lip syncing, something that can be notoriously time-consuming. I’ll need to get all my other voice recordings done soon (I’m hoping within the next week) as this whole thing could easily take a week to animate in and of itself. But it’ll be a fantastic thing to show off at the degree show. The environment of the lab itself is all set up in After Effects and looks quite stunning when the in conjunction with the 3D layers I’ve set them all up on.

From the above screenshot it looks more like an animation than a motion graphics project, but worry not, as the main middle section is very much motion-graphics based. It also moves away from the characters allowing them to narrate off-screen, meaning all the less lip-syncing. Huzzah!

A work-in-progress animation for the more motion-graphics oriented side of the show.

A work-in-progress animation for the more motion-graphics oriented side of the show.

Thankfully the whole show is storyboarded and scripted, so the only thing to do now is execution, which shouldn’t be too troublesome (provided I don’t speak too soon, which I may well just have done there…)

So what to do after the animation? First off I was to do promotional material for the channel. The aim of encouraging creativity should be inherent to every element of the project, so the promotional material should take the same angle. I was going to hopefully create a flyer which folds out to an interactive comic. This comic would present situations in which the reader would have to fill in the blanks. For example, a moustache-less walrus is feeling rather ostracised by his peers, so the reader would have to draw a moustache onto the flyer to solve his problem creatively. This reader could then send it in to the channel to be featured on one of the shows.

I also quite liked the idea of a draw-on poster. Once again, it’d be a fill-in-the-blanks sort of template it would create, but it would have to be something a number of people could contribute to, such as dressing up a character or adding wacky extensions onto a house or something. It would try to capitalise on the doodling instinct every child seems to have as soon as they pick up a dull and blank maths textbook (or was that just me? Sorry Ms Treace.)

That’s the plan thus far. It’s a lot to do, so if you don’t mind I’ma get crackin’!

Listening to: Compass by Disasterpeace

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