Children's Fable - query

I am new to this forum. If this discussion thread is misplaced, please advise and re-direct.

I am a poetry and fiction writer. I have narrated and co-produced a 20 min. children’s fable, complete with music and sound effects, entitled “Thelodius & the Song of the Secret Garden.” It is a strong, somewhat traditional story-line, which I would like to see animated. It is not comedy, but contains the prose-poetic intonations of a classical form. Thus far, the project has not been commercially developed.

I am not an animator, and so I am not able to collaborate technically. My wish is to open the project up collaboratively to a new (visual) creative direction. I have no pre-conception of style. My only concern is to ensure that the style works to maintain the integrity of the writing.

Two minute-long samples of narration and song can be found on my website: www.darcyblahut.sasktelwebsite.net/childlit.htm on the “children’s lit” page.

If interested, I can share the full-lenth demo.

All constructive feedback is appreciated,
Darcy

Well, you’re obviously not a spambot…

…but what exactly do you want? Someone to hire? I don’t get it.

what PurpleMint said, more details would be cool. do you have anything in the way of storyboards or a script that can be checked out.

dblahut

Thanks for coming to the forum with your wonderful idea. I would wish that you have all the success regarding your story. Personally, I believe that you are on to a fabulous start, and the children’s genre is never really a child’s exclusive genre, there is a child inside all of us.

Now while I can’t help with your project immediately, I can only offer you this advice, and no doubt you have heard it before.

“What you are onto is hard work, and you can only succeed if you further your own dedication.”

I am not sure of your circumstances, but please interpret what I stated as you may. Kindly keep us updated on your progress, and understand that blender is a wonderful tool, among other tools, and we are a supportive community as long as you are prepared learn what blender is about, and least can run the software. Never know, with your creative mind, you may even find a new avenue to release your talent.

kbot, As much as your florid prose makes my head reel with the songs of angels, I fear I must…

…point out that wasn’t very helpful. I can summarize it in six words: “Continue being a good human being.”

Or perhaps you were just making this thread float to the top to give dblahut more exposure?

Haha maybe I was . … bumping the thread . . . or I had a more sinister intention.

Wonder what that scratching sound is coming from under your bed ?

I think I understand for the most part were you are coming from, but I would like to know how much experience you have in writing (Edit: never mind this, I checked out your web site), and also with visual mediums of art. (animation/film)

I listened to the sample narration and here are some thoughts I had that might be helpful in your consideration. Actually, as I start to write below I’m realizing just how large the scope of considerations that you need to take into account is, wow. Ok, I’ll still try and be helpful here, but I have no idea how much you know about anything, nor am I an expert in this kind of thing, so what I say may be very confusing. (possibly even to myself)

(note: if you haven’t already noticed, I will be using a lot of perethases to explain things that I think need explaining, it’s a bad habit I have when writing, but I do it so naturally I’m not going to try and work around it right now.)

Visuals in story’s work very differently when it is spoken or read verses when actually seen, if you were to make a full blown animation (same amount of movement as you would see in something by Pixar, or live action filming.) I can’t think of a way to use the narration I heard without a lot of re-writing and re-recording. If you did use it as is I think it would end up reading (coming across) like a documentary or news story, and would be very difficult to craft it in a way that would get the watcher to engage with the story itself.

Another thought is to make the visuals more like the 2-D Japanese anime style (if your not familiar with this it is more of a sequence of still images with just enough movement of the pictures to make the viewer believe everything else is moving as well, I should also note that this style lends itself heavily to dramatic action oriented scenes, so if there isn’t much action or you don’t want that to be the focus it isn’t really a good pick.) this style would probably let you use more of the narration you have as is, but I really depends on the plot of the story as to if it would work well or not.

From what I heard of the story I defiantly thought and got the feeling of a traditional fairy tale, which my first reaction to is to say watercolor picture illustrations, but that is for a printed version. (Which by the way I was always very fond of as a kid, and still am today.)

After reading a little more of your site I’m thinking you are likely way ahead of me in your considerations with all of this, but even if you are, I had fun writing/thinking it over because I’ve recently been doing a paper covering 9 different versions of the Cinderella story. :slight_smile:

Well I hope you aren’t left to confused by this post (and my very poor grammar/spelling), if it did help out at all, or you want to talk about it more I’ll keep an eye out for this thread.
~ATS

There were several bits of conversation above and from others. To summarize:

(a) I have a bit of formal training in graphic design and some fine art. I pursued oil painting seriously for about a decade. I have the ability to cartoon. For the past ten years I have primarily been writing. My best work, I believe, has been as a poet (and I include my children’s stories in this). Many of the children’s stories definitely lend themselves to a picture book form. Thelodius, I think, has potential beyond this.

(b) I have a text for the narrated story, of course, though not posted anywhere. I do not have a story board, though the plot is simple: there are four main scenes (no more than 3 or 4 minutes each), and each separated by a song…scene 1, song 1, scene 2, song 2, scene 3, song 3, scene 4, song 4. In all there are a minimal number of characters, one central protagonist and 5 or 6 other secondary characters (sheep, and beast, a strange creture, and bandit, a couple of children and a some shadowy figures). (Yes, it is very much like a traditional fairy-tale, though its structure is quite fable-like…fable…fairy-tale…both and…call it whatever you like).

© I have downloaded the Blender program, but have absolutely no experience with animation. Zero. I am starting from scratch, and am familiarizing myself with basic mouse functions, and navigating through windows and panels. Having said this, I obviously have mind to play and learn the application. It looks daunting!

(d) Placing that “daunting” feeling aside, I am certainly interested in learning the program, though do not want to wander aimlessly. I also have some genuine presuppositions about learning and collaboration. While I appreciate the encouragement to do the work myself, I also aware that work done in isolation (i.e. not shared) runs the risk of turning out flat. It was the best thing for me to turn the work over the a musician and let him work his magic with it. While I can piddle on drums, It’d have been foolish for me to set myself up as a musical expert…the work would have suffered and lacked the layered dimension of a shared work. Animation is much the same. I can experiment and appreciate something about this creative avenue, but would the story be better served by involving others? I tend to think that it might…and don’t take this as self-deprication. My concern is giving the story depth and quality.

(e) I am not a techno-guru. I have some free-space on my personal site, though seemingly not enough to post the enitre 215 MB sound file. Even after zipping the file, it looks to large to upload. What’s the best way to get such a large narration sound file uploaded? I think this may help the conversation and help evaluate if any re-writing/re-narration really needs to be done prior to pursuing animation.

(g) Question: Were I to, what are the first steps I should take in using Blender to do static character mock-ups? What sequence of tuorials would you suggest?

(f) I can’t disagree with the statement that I should work on being a better human being. This is always a good thing to work on.

Thanks,
D

Yep, sounds like you have a good idea of what your doing here. lets see what I can answer… so in no particular order.:spin:

If you uploaded the story (if you’re concerned about just anybody seeing the story you could PM it) I could give you some more technical understanding of what it is going to take to make. (and thus what you’d need to learn to do it) I have a working understanding of almost all the areas of CG animation, but I’m not very good at actually doing most of them yet. (I’m still a freshmen here at school)

In answer of your question about where to start learning blender, I would say wherever you want to, so whatever keeps you interested and pushing your limits. But beyond that generally work goes something like this: basics > modeling > texturing > animating > lighting > composition > rendering/post-production. so learning in that order might not be to bad, it is very roughly how I’m doing it myself. I see you have some background in painting, that is really good, that background will be very helpful because essentially you are doing the same thing as when your painting, the only difference is the tools.

For uploading the sound file, if you have it is the same format as your sample, which is a .wav, that format is VERY large in size (but great quality), I would suggest converting it into .mp3 or something else, you will loose some quality, but as long as you keep the original .wav file safe for use on the actual project it wont matter.

(sorry about all the run-on/fragment sentences, I have to go now so I don’t have time to fix them.)
~ATS

Hello Darcy,
the project you are posting about is fascinating but by any means, no small task and therefore I would recommend that you also post on other forums where 3D enthusiasts hang out.
In addition to posting here, I would try c4dcafe.com
I used to be part of that community and remember that there were members who worked in the industry and also did fun projects on the side.
You never know what comes of it but it can’t hurt to try there as well.

Your proposed project interests me for a number of reasons.

You can see a sampling of my previous modeling and rendering work here;

http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=90455&page=2

and a very old sample of animation here;

Having worked on several attempts to complete a serious animated work, I can tell you what is needed to even think about getting your project into an animation.

  1. you need a script. I don’t mean a narration; I mean a script; scenes noted; dialog; A SCRIPT. There are several script creation programs available from the web. There are also some very good tutorials on making scripts (they have their own notation and style.)

  2. From the script, a storyboard can be created to show how it will look. Some knowledge of film editing is useful here to know about establishing shots, middle distance and closeups. I made the storyboard for a Star Wars fan fiction animation. It was, of course, based on a script. Storyboards can be quite rough as long as it’s clear what is being depicted. Storyboards use a specific, unique, notation to indicate camera and actor motion.

  3. The next step is animatics. This is a simple animation done mostly with placeholders, ie; simple objects representing the figures that will eventually replace them. The purpose is to establish staging, scaling and timing.

  4. Concurrent with animatics, artwork needs to be created to give detail to the characters and scenes. It can be based on the storyboard. The point of artwork is to unify the look of the animation. Artwork should suggest the overall color themes for each scene to enhance the mood created. Artwork can be any style that get the idea across.

  5. Only when all of the above has been accomplished should you consider creating detail models and landscapes. Then comes lighting (no small endeavor) and finally rendering.

So, do you still think you want to make an animation?

Listening to the narration I can easily tell that this doesn’t need animations. Just stills.