This is my first animation with Blender. I worked on it off and on over several months to learn the various functions of Blender (when I wasn’t getting distracted playing around with features that weren’t going to be used in the animation). I finished it about six weeks ago, but I’m just now getting around to placing it online. After I finished working on it in 2.49, version 2.5 has ironically added the Spline IK feature, which would have been perfect for this project.
Y’know, I like it … I really do … but I don’t want to say that too loudly because it could be better. What you need to do now is some meticulous editing. Believe it or not, you’ll shave about a minute off this film and barely notice that it’s gone.
First, go through frame-by-frame and clean up any “pauses,” like the one that the red square has at 1:30. Anywhere, anytime, a shape does not go through absolutely fluid motion, start to finish, it stands out horribly. Every instance needs to be fixed.
The “visual story” that you are telling is unclear. The snake-thing makes a very nice, creative introduction at the start of the piece but we never really come to understand what it is or what it represents. We can guess that “the red wash” is “the act of infection” but when it happens to the snake-thing nothing happens.
Somewhere about two thirds through the piece, I think you fell in love with it. Usually happens. But to me, it’s a visual story … and it wanders.
Turn off the soundtrack during all the editing. The story has to stand strong without any music that might be “better than it is.” You’ll be laying-in the music track again anyhow.
Start cutting. Especially in the front sequence of rapid establishing cuts, literally one-half second makes a huge difference. For instance, the character should not “swim on” after every cut: he should already be there. Precisely where he should be is an artistic decision. If a half-second isn’t pushing the shot forward, out it goes.
I created a mesh of long squiggly lines and then applied two displacement modifiers to it. Both displacement modifiers used a cloud texture, but one had a larger noise size to create large arcs and one with smaller noise size to create smaller arcs. I then animated the displacement modifiers with a null object. I turned on “Wire” in the material render options and set the Emit value to 2. The Glare composite node helped add to the glow.
I have attached pictures of the object, one with the modifiers turned off and the other with the modifiers turned on.
Thanks for the comments. I think you bring up a lot of good points. Actually, a couple of these I thought about when I was finishing the animation.
I think one problem I had is that I really wanted to use this music for the animation, but couldn’t really cut the music with it transitioning smoothly. I actually cut out about 30 seconds in the middle where the transition wouldn’t be noticable.
I also felt I was not getting across the story like I originally envisioned. I actually changed the title of the animation, because of that. I think part of my problem was that I was having issues with creating some of the scenes how I originally visualized them, so I either removed them or altered the scenes considerably. I should have adapted my approach better, rather than simply comprising the scenes.
I probably won’t revisit the animation to try to fix the problems, since I already spent so much time on it and want to start new projects. I just see this as a nice experiment to become familiar with Blender. With future projects, I’m hoping to improve my skills with editing, composition, use of color, and story telling (plus many other things I need to improve upon).