Finished Product

I’ve now got the animation online for show!  I’m currently just finishing off the project file and the paperwork to hand it in but you can have a look at it here: 1812: Napoleon’s Final Invasion.

Rendering Week and Editing

This week I spent in the digital media labs at uni rendering all the After Effects projects I’d done for 1812.  It didn’t take too long really and, now, after four days, I’ve finished it all, edited it together using Final Cut Pro, made a few tweaks and designed the DVD menus.  I’m just waiting now for the file to be compressed to go on the DVD I need to hand in and I’ll be finished, pretty much, but for the paperwork.

In the end, I’m very happy.  I think it could go a lot quicker, especially in the first third of the animation, but it would mean a lot more content which I don’t have.  However, I’m still happy and I think it gives the viewer more of a chance to listen and reflect on the music.  I’m very happy with the way the cuts go with the music and also the style of it, having the old film and a slightly desaturated look to the whole thing.

Pathetic Fallacy – Cloudy Sky

I wanted a cloudy sky to show the trouble which the Russians were in as Napoleon began to march towards Russia in order to invade.

Sebastian Sulinski has a great tutorial to make a really simple overcast cloudy sky using just two layers on Photoshop and then After Effects.  Using black/white for your colours, use the filter Render->Difference Clouds to get a nice cloudy looking layer.  By doing it again, the opposite way around colourwise, and sticking them into AE you can make a lovely overcast sky.  Just move the layers around, mess with the opacity and put a screen blend on the top layers and it looks quite effective.

Look out for the flag opening of the 1812 animation to see it in action; it will probably make an appearance again in all probability!

The storyboards start here…

I’m hoping to have some storyboards to share by this time next week.  I’ve started by splitting up the piece into the recognisable sections (which I will have to cut down) which will serve as a scene each, hopefully.  Now I need to decide which of these to cut, actually do the editing and storyboard for real!  Here’s what I’ve decided (using the version from the Classic FM Anthems album) and you can listen to a version to see if it’s just about right by clicking here.

– Opening Hymn 0:00-1:54 (1m 54s)
– Development 1:55-2:48 (53s)

– Oboe entry 2:48-3:40 (52s)
– Brass entry 3:40-4:10 (30s)

– Theme 1 4:20-5:14 (54s)

– Russian Folk 1 (with La Marseillaise) 5:20-6:40 (1m 20s)

– Russian Folk 2 (with descending scales) 6:40-7:18 (38s)

–  Strings 1 7:18-8:52 (1m 34s)
– Russian Folk 3 (subdued) 8:52-9:30 (48s)

–  Theme 2 (with La Marseillaise) 9:30-10:28 (58s)
– Russian Folk 4 (fierce) 10:28-10:40 (12s)

–  Strings 2 11:08-11:50 (42s)
– Russian Folk 5 11:50-12:08 (18s)

–  La Marseillaise growing 12:08-12:52 (44s)
– descending scales 12:52-13:38 (46s)

–  Hymn’s Return (with ascending scales) 13:38-15:06 (1m 28s)

– Finale 15:06-16:10 (1m 04s)

As you can imagine I can’t animate all of this but the repeated sections could be cut.  I think I need to keep in from La Marseillaise returning til the end (which is about three and a half minutes) so up to three and a half minutes extra from before will do.

Tough job.