Story Development Process
To initialise ideas I like to listen to music and imagine a story that would go with the music. This works well to establish a basis for my story or to get ideas flowing. I then started to create a story in flash using the music as a basis. This didn't go well as I was thinking more about how each shot went with the music and not the overall story arc. Not to mention the music is much longer than I would like the animation to be.
To further weigh my options of the story I opened up a Photoshop document and started drawing various different concepts, from colours, characters and locations. This lets me evaluate and build upon a specific scene, location or character.
I started with sketches to get a feel for drawing the character. experimented with a use of colour as I plan to re-texture the characters. either to be more abstract or take their current designs and enhance them. I was also thinking of the character in a sandstorm, pushing his weight against the winds, having to hold his hat. Thought it may make for an interesting scene and ties nicely into a story idea I had with rituals and magic. Though this idea became very particle and effects heavy, maybe something I will experiment with.
I also considered creating my own characters. though I realised the more complex I make them, the more difficult it will become to model, unwrap and rig. So I started simplifying the designs.
I liked this design, nice and simple with enough detail to create character. I kept thinking about what I might want to achieve and learn from the project. I'd really like to create my own character, but I realise I can't do everything with the time I have. So I look at what aspects I may be least comfortable with and I found that I want to push my storytelling and cinematography skills further. If the story I decide to go with requires me to create a character or re-texture the models accordingly. I can do that.
I started thinking about sci-fi elements and considered the idea of clones. I dialled this back through time to see how I could adapt the idea into a western style. Difficult, but it gave me the realisation that the characters can truly be whoever I want them to be. As previously I got a little stuck on stereotypes based on how the characters looked.
The concept here is a montage, showing a character that has regular struggles every new moon, having to isolate himself while he splits into two of himself. Stealing the identity of his previous body and disposing of the body. This concept was interesting to me as it covers some unique animation with the character coming out of another character and I had some good ideas for cinematography. All I need to do to round out this idea is consider what drives the character and the reasons for the event that happens. Perhaps dissociating the split from the moon and tying it to the character himself.