Scenario: Office Stress Part 01

Easter Week 02

During one of our team skype meetings over Easter we divided out the scenarios that each of us could work on. I took the stress focused scenario that we had thought of and I also took the task of developing a mood and style painting of the star gazing scenario.

For the stress focused scenario we had thought of a scene that focused on William being stressed working in his office and Julie looking in on him. I started by making some thumbnails exploring how the different possible office layouts/designs and camera angles could influence the composition and clarity of the concept. However, while drawing this I struggled to visualise a version of this which didn’t fall into the stereotype where William is the hard working male and Julie is the passive housewife standing worried, looking in the door. I ended up only including William in the shot.

I found that trying to make this piece work was an awful time black hole that week. I went back and forth a lot between different local values, different light spreads and intensities and different colour palettes. These were the versions that were somewhat acceptable at the end.

Aidan and Sorcha gave some helpful feedback on this piece, pointing out that William’s arms looked slightly out of perspective and unnaturally straight and also that the office looked too neat and organised (inorganic and over-planned maybe?). Poor quality figure drawing aside, I think that the composition was the biggest let down of this piece in the end. I think I tried too hard to break the focal point between the window and William as I liked the idea of seeing the rain (possibly animated) through the window. I revisited this piece a few weeks later, which I will blog about soon (yup you’ve caught me, I’m posting these into the past with the wordpress time machine). I tried looking through Jeremy Birn’s book, Digital Lighting and Rendering (2013) that week for some inspiration to fix the lighting. The best alternative solution that I could think of was to perhaps make a more apparent/interesting divide between the light from the city outside and the light from inside.

Looking back, I think that I missed an opportunity to get feedback on my early thumbnail drawings that may have saved me a lot of time later in avoiding poor composition. Sometimes in an early drawing I feel reserved about showing anyone as I think it’s missing what I truly want to express in that piece. I need to remind myself though that even at the roughest stage of a piece, the initial elements of a shot should still work without any polish. I worry that I can’t express the potential of a shot in it’s early stage (also dependant on the observer to a degree) so I guess that this is an area of communication plus technical skill in which I need to improve upon.


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