Mein Animationskurzfilm ist jetzt auch auf DVD erhältlich.
Er kann im Online-Shop der Autorin Moon Suk bestellt werden.
As I mentioned before, The wild fields and the warrior is divided in two narrative levels. I had to seperate them visually.
Below, you can see some images of the setdesign. In this step I defined the coloration, the lighting and tested a little bit concerning the textures, which I generated at last with some digitised structures of different sorts of paper.
At some point of the production it turned out that I would need two narrative levels.
One part should be animated in a classical frame-by-frame style. In those parts the story would be told only by the warriors acting (except of the dormouse and the crows of course as I mentioned before).
In the other part a narrator had to tell the story. It should help me to submit the more complicated contexts of the plot. Only in here the figures of the fields appear. I decided to animate those parts in a cross-fading technique and fit it together in After Effects. This had the useful sideeffect of not needing to animate the fields frame by frame. That would have been very complex.
I was trying different materials and techniques. The sequences of the warrior should look like they were inked on paper. I chose a monochrome coloration design for that.
The cross-fading parts should be a little bit more colourful and I wanted to have some more depth in the pictures. So I decided to split the screen into different layers which I used like theater culisses and inserted some camera movements to further the plasticity of the scenes.
To manage a smooth transition from one narrative level into another, I had to come up with some special actions in which something or somebody covers the camera for a moment.
Designtest with ink and pencil, 2005
Designtest with marker and pencil, 2005
All figures you can see below are actually not mentioned in the original story. I added them to clarify specific parts of the plot.
I found some more early sketches of the fields and the warrior when I was looking for the concepts of the secondary characters. It’s interesting how deep you can get into a figure, digging for its character, turning out specific attributes over hours and days … just to realize that it’s not the one.
So you have to start it all over again.
The fact Moon Suk, the authoress of The wild fields and the warrior, originates from Korea automatically built an asiatic setting in my mind for the whole plot. For that reason I got inspired by some samurai images. I found them at that time while researching for the design of the warrior. Of course I know the samurai’s origin is in Japan, not Korea. But I didn’t want to create a scenery with a specific historical background anyway. So I felt free to explore all kinds of asian tradition and inspiration.
As you can see below, the warrior took a completely different direction in his development comparing to the character design of the fields. The more they developed separately, the better it worked for the story. Because the warrior had to symbolize the real world it was obvious to draw him more concrete than the apparitional fields and give him an outline which defines exactly the warriors shape.
During the process of designing the characters I also thought about totally abstract ways of telling the story. For example, I came up with the idea to let some industrial machines do the acting (the warrior would have been a tank who changes into a combine harvester) and many other stuff, but at the end all this seemed to be a little bit too strange and far-fetched to me.
Finally I am quite happy with the result of the warrior’s character design. At least he is the main character of the film. I wanted him to be a physically strong person, but also a bit instable, maybe naive.
Because the fields are interacting with the warrior, I had to come up with characters that represent the respective field. Firstly I thought about the creation of some real women character living on the fields. But soon I felt that the charm the story has to convey would suffer through this concrete execution.
So I went more and more abstract. At last those mystic and spectral but also magical and beautiful beings occur in my mind. Finally I used a collage technique to bring them on paper which would make it difficult to animate the figures frame by frame. Thus I decided to get some motion in it by crossfading the most important keyframes and do the creation of most of the animation later in the compositing.
Finally I am about to put my short film from 2008 Die wilden Felder und der Krieger (The wild fields and the warrior) on my vimeo account.
Currently I’m rendering some different sizes of two versions (the original in german and a second one with english subtitles), which will take a while. To reduce the time of waiting I’ll post some facts and informations about the development and the making of the movie, over the next few days..