Art Direction & Tests

Furthering my researching into camera movement, I looked back at interviews with Birdman’s director Alejandro González Iñárritu, where in an interview with The Guardian, he said “When I wake up in the morning and I start my day, it doesn’t feel like a bunch of cuts. It feels like a constant move… Life is continuing and maybe not having cuts was going to help immerse the audience in that kind of emotional rhythm.” (Romney, 2014). In our artistic amibition, having a camera represent the movement and curiousity of the dog meant we would likely have the camera flow through scenes, but when I took a step back to consider this in a 3D context, this interview speaks volumes about the necessary simplification of the camera.


So effectively from this diagram above, the camera is no longer the perspective/reinforcement of the dog, but rather the camera now represents the memory.

While the camera follows the dog’s movement, the camera’s tracking is still dictated by the pace of the story/audio. So the camera is constantly going right to reflect “time flies when you’re having fun”, while in the ending (see emotion graph), the camera tracking backgrounds reflects Attracta jumping back in time. So while chronology of the narrative is slightly disjointed to reflect the Attracta’s fragmented memories in the audio edit, the linear camera movement makes the film easy to follow without disrupting the flow.

This decision correlates to the extension of our research potential into how memory is recalled. Condensed with this article, I found that the best way to represent Attracta’s recollection and the disconnected, fragmented mapping our brain works like, I found that if the camera remains consistent and restricted to a linear path, then we can empahsise the environment and the narration more, with the camera serving as a leisurely device to make sense of the visual information. Our memories are scattered around our brain rather than stored in a self-contained part of our cognitive thought. This means that we reconstruct memories based on association – so considerable visual information needs to be alluded or called back to. In the animatic, there are instances when the camera reverses or breaks away from the setting quite seamlessly in order capture the sensation of raw detached memories being drawn together without structure. It helps emphasise the rawness and authenticity of the audio, but it also expresses how we recollect memories. (See Animatic)

Furthermore, we can attribute this research further to the importance of the accuracy within our art direction. As Lilienfeld et al state: “memory isn’t reproductive – it doesn’t duplicate precisely what we’ve experienced – but reconstructive” (2010, p. 67). As such, our art style needs to accomedate this interpretation. We have to ensure the audience understand memories are reconstructed, hence the modestly surreal expression we’ve employed into the animatic. Our memory is “schematic” (Lilienfeld et al., 2010, p. 67), in that process our thoughts like a script to construct a visual in our head, hence the necessarily to apply real and relevant information (accurate setting and design), and blend these patches of ‘real moments’ into one free-flowing piece (Clifasefi et al., 2007).

As a result, this research influenced my attempt as some art direction tests.

In context, Jess had modeled and textures this set for an alternative project. So while she was delegated to storyboards, I took her design and developed upon it. I basically took the design, duplicated it and added an alpha map that would displace the outlines, then creating an image sequence using final cut, I wanted to create this sort of memory incomplete effect akin to how Assassin’s Creed recreates memories using this fragmented aesthetic (below).

The overall intent of the design was to visually interpret what my research suggested. I When we look at our most vivid memory, we focus on a specific piece of information and all the surrounding data becomes irrelevant and dissipates away. The meaning of this piece was to prove of a moment/fragment of a memory could be portrayed, while using a 3D render to test the validity of how it could be accomplished. This will be developed further in the coming weeks, but I keep calling back to my interest in Walt Peregoy’s design the art style of this film and how it captures an expressive and profound stimulation from it’s visuals:


Romney, J. (2014) The tracking shot: film-making magic or stylistic self indulgence? London: The Guardian. Available from

Mastin, L. (2010) Memory Recall/Retrieval. The Human Memory. Available from [Accessed 17th February 2017]

Clifasefi, SL., Garry, M., & Loftus, EF. (2007). Setting he record (or video camera) straight on memory: The video camera model of memory and other memory myths. In S. Della Salla (Ed.), Tall tales about the mind and brain: Separating fact from fiction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



2 responses to “Art Direction & Tests

  1. Pingback: Animatic Development | Ryan Hollinger·

  2. Pingback: The Animatic Presentation | The Animation Journal·

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