Filmic Language Techniques

Making Of

screenshot spotlight experiments

Surrounding in this post you can see screenshots and frames from the final animation (/process). The lighting that I decided to use was only the image above. I used a spot light during the Charleston dance to highlight the character in the setting but also to show that she is the center – she is dancing and the light is on her as she makes her appearance as a free women (as the girls/ flappers of 1920s were more free and excited.) It also created the atmosphere of a threatre. Below is another idea I had of placing a light at the character to show the cast of window light. It worked really well – although the spotlight wouldn’t cover the entire length of the window it added a really nice effect and exaggerated the idea that I had that women were expected to stay inside/ at home – and the men were free outside. The light shows how she is tasting it as she plans her ‘Vote for women’ stage. Due to time I didn’t use this in the final animation – but here it is. test 4


Creating my Characters


Above is the finished characters made for the Charleston and corset scene. When making the different characters and scenes we used a character base that was made my Chanel. It has different layers for all the parts that were to be animated. Therefore it took some time to rig. However it meant that we could include pieces that would be animated with overlap such as the hair/ the tassels on the dress. Above the character has changed from the original sketch. I actually made that our fit (See below) but when reviewing it from the animation test – it didn’t feel that 1920s (it wasn’t obvious) therefore I designed several more – looked at some of the other outfits I had sketched and come up the one above. The hair I have made into a fuller bob so I could animate it more, and tassels to the skirt to animate. I decided to change the colours to that of the Suffragette character/ the Women’s movement. (as this scene is meant to highlight freedom — like the movement.) It also worked better with the background. I added the 1920s make up.

charleston costumes


Channel’s Bases


 Above is the suffragette character. I created her costume from my design – I researched into the costume of this period and from pictures of the actual suffragettes I produced this character. She has the sash and sign that highlights what movement she is – straight away to the audience. She uses the purple, green and white (the colours of the movement.) To symbolize this further. She had the most amount of costumes as I had to so her from six different angles. I am happy with her – she does have a bushy feather on her hat but it isn’t visible on the background.

banners (1)

Above are the banners and signs that I created for the scene when a large group of the women are walking to fight for the votes for women. These are important as they describe exactly what is happening for the audience. They were based on real signs from the era. A vintage looking font was used on the banners and signs to make sure it look even more of this era. And the flags have the colours (again) for the movement.


Above is the set up of the crowd for the second version. In the first version the characters looked a bit to similar so I had to change the hair, eye colour and that colours. I organised the character together so they could easily be animated. I had to make sure that not two similar character were together and that a sign or banner was visible at one time on the screen. I’m really happy about this as the characters work well together. On the first image you can see the main character of this part at the front with her sign so it connects together.

Crowds peopleAbove are all the characters for the crowd scene – I did change the colours of some of them but these are the original people. I made to angles so that the crowd has different perspectives and not look to flat. They all follow the same colour palette to ensure that the audience understand they are from the same movement.  I used the designs for my main character that I didn’t use for the crowd.

faceAbove are an example of the facial expression that were used. They had to be very simple as I used the pin too to move around the mouths. The eyes had a cut layer where the iris’s could move. I only used three or four mouths so that I wouldn’t have many layers.

more charactersLastly, other than the suffragette character (who is also in the scene with these three) these are the last characters. The first is a women in her underwear – she has a larger ‘chest’ and she fuller lips/ blonde hair – To capture the male gaze idea. She is going to be walking and then realizing (looking to camera/audience) that she is being watched and covers herself up. I have used red to highlight ‘sexy’ nature. The second I created of the first women to fly across the Atlantic ocean – she has a pilot outfit on and is going to be holding a pilot tool – in the background aeroplanes will be flying behind her (so hopefully people can recognize her.) The last character is of Marie Curie, I created this outfit from Mei’s section – she didn’t do a side version and I added the beaker which will be holding acid of some sort. This way it will connect with the audio ‘scientific’.


Making of Backgrounds


Finished background



The several images included above are the different versions/ early sketches and propps that I created for the late Victorian room for my suffragette. I wanted it to be a dark room – as to symbolize how she is trapped. This is emphasized more with the window light casting a shadow over the floor – like a prison. Compared to the background outside this room is muddy and small. I used the same colours of Green, purple and white throughout the suffragette part – I really wanted to emphasise the movement (a hidden message.) I needed a dark room, so choose darker tones. I also looked at the Arriety bedroom made by Studio Ghibli – I stumbled across this image and it was a perfect reference as the room is dark and uses similar colour palette. With this I created the colour version.


Above is the view from the window that the suffragette is looking out form. She is too look down and see the men debating about upcoming election. This is very important in capturing the whole ‘point’ of the scene. Therefore it had to be clear. I created many sketches and colour tests. In the end I chose a orange colour which is completely different to the suffragette room – to show a contrast between her dark and trapped word. She is kept inside whereas the men let out to be free. I wanted the sky large to show the space they had to be free. Chanel helped to finish this background as I ran out of time nearer the ending – she had a good software that enabled her to draw more to the style. She draw over the sketch.

curtain finalThis is the finished background for the Charleston part. CURTAIN SKETCHcurtain colour2I wanted my Charleston part to be on stage to show how women are often forced to be looked at and serve men – during these times. Secondly, she is going to be dancing to highlight the freedom of the 1920s (wild flapper girls) – the red is dramatic and bold to capture this. I also will have a green corset flying in so this contrast really well. I used several references for this scene – because I was worried with making it look like a stage. You can see above several versions. I was also worried about fitting the character in without making her seem too small as we need to fit her whole body in.  I plan on putting a light onto the curtain to focus on her.


The image above shows ‘parliament’ big ben – although it is not to obvious it has a style. I decided to place the angle looking up to contrast with the angle when the suffragette is looking down at the window. Furthermore the sky is large her to show the freedom they are reaching for. A new beginning. The colours in this scene are the same in the male crowd one – to show how the suffragettes / women are trying to find rights in a male world.

Background and colour

Above are some background thumbnails I created to understand what different angles I should use for different parts. I used images on google for angles looking down at a city as this was the most challenging.

The background and colour have definitely been the most difficult aspect of our decision making in the group animation so far – I think we all have different ideas imagined in our heads but so far we haven’t really chosen a decided colour – with concept art. We had a group meeting on week 6 to sort out this issue – however we also have been working on making all the pieces of our character to start the animation process – and one member of our group unfortunately could not be here.

In the meeting on week six we decided that we wanted to try and use tones of a selected few colours for our different scenes. We decided on using different colours but using the same tonal value for our scenes so that the still transcend well. Before making any final decisions I suggested that we decide after each creating a couple of thumbnails with the colour in use with our backgrounds. I tried making these however I’m not fully happy with the outcome so I’m going to speak to the rest of my group this week and see what they have planned.

backgroundAbove is some background ideas and items for the first scene. I looked into some Victorian style rooms – here I drew down some of the furniture. I also tried to capture some light source into these images as it gives an extra mood and atmosphere to the scene. She is looking out the window into a world that at the moment is able to join – the light from the window is reflecting over her body into the ‘dark room’. I really like this layout however I might have to make it a lot more simple and work out the perspective a little better. The artists that we have looked at use flat colours and simple objects/shapes to represents items in the background.

not author’s own


Natasha made this palette for me

The colour that I was thinking for this scene was Purple, green and white – as this is the colours the suffragists used in there designs/ flags, sashes, posters and etc. I know that if not done correctly then it might look a bit ‘tacky’ or not that great. So I want to pick the right type of purple and green – maybe use throughout the scene or just have the scene tinted accordingly. The colour palette below the badge, shows a variety of shades – maybe a bit too bright but I want to experiment.



For the Charleston scene I want to use a curtain and so reds and maybe contrasting green in the costume of the girl so – above are just some more doodles and colour palettes. The three digital thumbnails were a away for me to play around with the tone and to make a mock up of some of the ideas – to see if they were successful. However I’m not to keen of them. The green one is awful and so I think I might stick to a realistic colours with hints of these colours in the scene instead.

4041 I go the paints out, and decided to create these different colour pallettes and see which tones of green and purple I think work well – ignore the thumbnails next to it . It was just an experiment to see how they would look together – however they turned out quite dark. The colour palette below that is a contrasting colours yellow and blue/ green and red – just cause I wanted to play about with them and understand how they would look together. These colour palette are very vibrant which I light however I don’t think that they work together than well – so maybe a lighter tone will be better suited.

Independant Final Character Concept


Above and below are the independent sketches that I made for my characters I have been looking at. I positioned them in different poses related to the character to also help me understand how I would position it within a filmic shot. I will be doing a dance for the Charleston section and so I have used the Charleston poses – it will be difficult to animate so I need a simple move that will reflect the Charleston. From this I can identify this shot.


39Above are some more shots of characters and costume ideas coming together.


These are my different variation of the hair styles for my 1920s hairstyle. I also drew some accessories. I circled my favourite.


These are some costume ideas I sketched up.


The corset sketches – how it will interact with the costume – also some early facial expression experiments.


different costumes for the 1920s character and action poses. Playing around with hair. Another page of corset ideas.


charleThis costume was difficult for me because I felt it was difficult to achieve the straight like look of the 1920s dress as our body shape for our character design is pear shape. – in the end I went for a simple low waist cut dress like so – im going to include a head piece. Not sure about the colours still – so will play around when creating the clothes – the scene will be most red and maroons so I don’t want her to get lost in the scene.suff 1

Different dresses

When thinking about the costume and colour pallete for the suffogette lady –  I took a lot of inspiration from the colours used widely for the movement – this being purple, white and green. I really liked this idea od the colours each meaning a different part about the suffogettes. I used all different tones to create a mixture of costume colours. The costume just needed to be of the right era and I played around with the colours and designs. I decided on a dress / colour pallet like the one main above as the purple gives her a wise / elegant look – the sash is included so that the audience understand her purpose. EXPRESSAfter collecting some research like the selection below and used my previous sketches to help me – I created dozens of expressions that could be useful within my scene. We will be using After effects to create our animation so therefore we cannot easily change the facial expression – and will need to pick only a couple of these above. I have put a star next to the ones I think will make it to the animation. I will send Chanel our artist to create the expressions – as she has created a particular style. – She will trace over the face. I must note for the 1920s girl she will be wearing makeup – circle lip and dark eyelashes – just to emphasis the 1920s style further.

movie expressions

Mixture of sources (add to bibliography soon)

When creating the expression of the character, like in the drawings below – I really want to be able to get across the feelings of the character as she moves aronnd. What is particulary hard is the short time to express emotion – I found it difficult to come up with expressions for the corset scene – where my character must appear surprised then in pain and then to a faint. Above is several references that I looked at to help me to get a better understanding of what these expressions may look like in reality. They are videos from YouTube where a woman is having her corset laced up. 47 Above are the first sketches I made of the facial expressions that my character could portray in the different scenes within my part of the group animation. They are just really quick ideas – I circled some of the ones that I liked and hopefully can progress forward.


Above is the storyboard which was my final version of the story. It shows the camera angles that I will be using to animate. I thought about the way the camera would be used to create a greater impact – for example the close up of the face to capture the emotion of the suffragette who realizes she has no power and is stuck – how large the men’s world is compared to her small confined space of a room. The camera looking down at the men then up at her and the women are contrasting to show how things are changing and to compare how they both are not outside. The Charleston section is better displayed below. examples of me just playing around with the camera angles – these are all different camera angles and ideas.

35Similar to the first image this is shows the exact amount of scenes and what will be happening all the other images here show me playing around with those camera angles before the final storyboard. Ill let you look down to see all the different ideas I generated before arriving at the top storyboard. Below are all the pages:

32The corset tighten scene.


Suffragette looking out the window camera angles & the corset tighten scene.

6The suffragette turning from window into the crowd scene/ camera angles experimenting.


    Entire storyboard version


Suffragette looking out of the window.

2Entire storyboard small thumbnails and suffragette turn.

50Corset tighten camera angles and expressions.

Week Four

These are the character mood boards I created to get a better understanding of how the costumes during the period of time that I will be making. Directly below is the corset. I wanted to get a better understanding of that ‘industrial’ looking corset and how tight they could go – this was actually disturbing to see. It shows how the idea of beauty would permantly destroy the women’s body – it was good to research as it meant I could go into animating with more knowledge. My corset will not be this detailed but implied.


corset1THE MEN

I actually in the end did not create male characters as there was too many characters to create – but here is the mood board I put together of the men that could have been in the voting section.


The 1920s

The moodboard below are images I collected from google. They show poses and clothing belonging to the 1920s era. I used this a great deal when deciding on the character costume and behavior for the final animation. I really like the dance poses of the Charleston and hope I can use such fun and excitement in my work.



Not author’s own (bibliography)

Below are some gifs that show camera angles I could use – the Charleston is mainly for the feet and so a close up could make animating a bit easier (after effects puppets can be restricting) and could create a nice impact. Below that you can see the entire body which Is also nice as you can see the ladies facial expression as she dances this very joyful dance. I like the two different colours too as it brings her out of the red background. I might think about doing this.


Women’s rights posters/ research


Above are a collection of images I gathered of revolutionary posters from the Women’s rights movement (and a pendant). Together like this it shows how colourful and powerful the posters were. I really like the illustrations and colour choices that are used. Furthermore the bold poses that are adopted for the face of women. It changes the idea of women at this is time – and shows how design changed the way we saw things. As a group we decided we wanted our animation to be as colourful as these posters. Design is colourful and vibrant and should really capture the audiences attention so they think twice.

Individual Character Designs

7 9 10 11 12 13


Above are all the early character design work that I produced for our group. We all decided to design a variety of characters, pick our favourite three. Submit them to one another through Facebook message and decide upon our favourite the next time we see one another. In the end we created a new character created from different parts of all of our characters. You can see that there are a variety of techniques that I used in order to create these characters. To begin with I created six pages of character heads / faces. In the same way as thumb nailing , this way I could get rid of any styles or habits I have because I force myself to create different head shapes and features throughout. I then selected my favourite and submitted those to Facebook.

For the bodies – I created the blob characters. I first draw out a variety of shapes and then file them in with a female character – this way I can play about with the scale and shape of my character. I really like this page as there are quite a few nice shaped people – however in the end they were about to ‘large’ looking and I wanted to aim for a womanly figure. Oh, I also made a couple pages of human figures made entirely made of different shapes. I really like these as I intended for them to remind me of some of the artists that we looked at who uses mainly shapes. As much as I liked these my group wasn’t so keen – fear not, for I continued and I finally created a few pages of doodles. At the Design Museum I really like the woman’s figure being captured in a curvy way and so I made several with a short figure with a pear shape – a thin waist and larger legs. My group liked the curvy woman idea and we used these sketches when creating our character from everyone’s work.


My Thumbnail Ideas

20 22 After coming up with with concept of women and design I separated the storyboard into four parts again and created dozens of ideas that could connect with different parts of the script – They were quick thumbnails that let me plot down the ideas that may or may not work with the topic we had chosen. From this I would speak to my group and then develop the ideas we liked further into storyboards. 19I also decided to create some questions to ask about this topic so I wouldn’t go off track to the idea od design – as well as some key points I might want to look into. The two posters were just the two most famous I could recall for design and women in history.24


At the end of week two our group had only managed to come up with a brainstorm of different ideas that sort of had the theme of a character interacting with the background that would change with the script. This was a nice idea visually but it didn’t have any meaning or connection to us with the concept of Design and society. I put forward the idea of women using design to push themselves further into society and to try and become equal in a modern world. Above is a spider diagram of thoughts / ideas / concepts within this idea that we could look at and still connect with the script. The group liked this idea and we went with it.


The script above has been cut into pieces and analyses so I have a better understanding of the actual content of the lecture. I also wrote a couple small ideas around the script as I was understanding it – when the script became clear, metaphors and imagery that connects with the concept would allow me to build ideas that work with the script and what message is being said.

23On the second week we spoke over all of the ideas we had generate personally and then tried and combined what we had – develop one another ideas. Spoke about the narrative of the piece. Some of our group wanted a character, whereas one wanted a motion graphic feel and so we compromised around this. Above is a spider diagram created from all the ideas that we came up with. We decided on keeping the narrative a linear structure because we are creating a animation that will move with the script / our character will progress through the text – the script is created so that we learn the main conclusion at the end. However we may later decide to change this.

27We divided the script into four among us, so we could pick out the adjectives of the script and again do some thumbnails and sketches to this word. Above is the word “inhibiting,” I had to find out what this word actually meant – I knew its meaning within the text but on its own I felt unsure and so I gathered synonyms and also used the words such as “forbid,” “prevent,” “shackle” and etc to create my drawings. I really liked this exercise because I didn’t have to worry about the plot of our animation just yet and meant I could draw anything and use my imagination to create visuals that for me captured the word inhibiting. Some of the ideas I got : a tidal wave element about to fall and restrict our character, she would be unable to move as it was too late. Another idea I really liked was one to do with shapes. The character is squashed into a triangle and cannot get out until she uses design to try and widen her horizon. . I like the idea of the shape pulling her in.

28some more thumbnails I created for a certain sentence at the beginning of our idea generation – we were getting quite stuck with ideas and so we each at home created some visuals like above, so we could express a variety of ideas and concepts. I also looked into the definition of words to understand the complex script better – finding the synonyms of these words gave more visuals also.

29Out tutor gave the class the idea of breaking down the script into sections and creating ideas from this. Also separate from my group I developed some ideas I got from particular sentences or words in the hope I might spark a idea. Above are the thumbnails I created for the sentence: “Analysis, visualisation, planning and execution that we call design, can help to ensure that changes..” this exercise also let me get rid of any bad ideas.


After our group discussion and the group spider diagram we decided to go home and create even more ideas and concepts that we would then come in and show to each other. This way we all could think up of several concepts that could potentially be developed into a final idea – Above is my rough idea generation I created. There are many ideas looking into the idea of a superficial reality – and how what we see now, and especially the media is ‘fake’ and not reality – but yet it builds our reality. I really like this concept as it does connect to us and could create different creatures and use our imagination to produce different visuals for the script.  Another idea that I liked was using revolutionary posters and showing how that design was able to progress that movement or revolution forward. In addition these posters really are about the people – just as design is, it is trying to reach out to people that may not have realized an issue.