Topic: [BRAWL 2018] The Court of Conundrums

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The Court of Conundrums

The Court of Conundrums on YouTube

Two champions of Riigo-Faloo brave the Court of Conundrums.
My first released film in over two years.

Re: [BRAWL 2018] The Court of Conundrums

You're alive!

Yes! A new film from Squid? This must be Christmas!
As to be expected, the animation is glorious, (Especially impressive is the turning of the king's body parts like at 1:15) the sound effects are fun and unique, the camera dollies and dutch angles are plentiful, and the story and voice acting is quirky in all the best ways. Well done sir!
You made my day.

I do feel the pacing was a touch slow overall, as a more frantic, mad-dash of a pace seems more befitting to your animation style, but it still works well.

While going over the film again, I felt that the camera angles from about 1:10 on just didn't feel very different. They feel (I use that word deliberately) like they are all about the same distance from the characters, and all from nearly the same position, just with the camera turned to look at one or the other person. Maybe I'm being nit-picky, and it's about the only flaw the film has...but maybe that's why it stood out so much.

Still, it's thrilling to not only see a new film from you, but also see a slight update on Darkmoor in the film's Youtube description. Keep up the good work on it!

Re: [BRAWL 2018] The Court of Conundrums

Whoa, I was just in bed, and I was thinking about how I hadn't heard from Pritchard in a while, and wondering how you'd been. I'm not making this stuff up. (I guess it's my fault for using mostly Twitter these days instead of BiM, haha)

I'd tend to agree with you upon these criticisms. I hadn't filmed at this pace for a while, and I was running out of time and willpower, so most of the shots are just set up as quickly as possible. It's a stark change from Darkmoor, as a small part of the reason it's taken me so long is that I've become increasingly particular about my camera angles. And I will sometimes spend over an hour not animating, but simply setting up a shot, and not even a very complex one, just a mundane dialogue shot at times.  And or course, for BRAWL I don't have that luxury. It also gets pretty hard to make things interesting when I'm restrained to a single set missing its fourth wall (with so many of my bricks consigned to Darkmoor, it's quite difficult building anything with the scraps, haha).

And thanks!

Fun fact: a very large reason why I'm so fond of slanted angles is that it's much faster to set up than level shots.  I think that it's actually mostly that.

Re: [BRAWL 2018] The Court of Conundrums

It's always a delight to return to Riigo-Faloo. I didn't even know you were planning to enter BRAWL aside from Welcome 2 Dank Memes, so this film was a nice surprise.

What strikes me most about it is just how colorful and well-lit it is. The focus (especially on the close ups) is really crisp and it makes the film really nice to look at overall. The subtle smears on the jester's hand movement is great, too.

Last edited by AnimatorUnknown (July 15, 2018 (09:39am))

Re: [BRAWL 2018] The Court of Conundrums

"A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one."

Really enjoyed seeing a new film from you! Lots of great symmetrical compositions in here, much like in "We the Pumpkins Three". I can't say I love how VO-driven the film is, but that's more personal preference, and it's BRAWL so I'm sure that helps with keeping things simple. One of my favorite parts, though, was the way the scenes early on would dissolve in and out in a way that emphasized the stained glass window. I'm curious: Was this a digital vignetting effect or a practical fade? Also, at 0:29, when the king drinks his potion, how was the purple energy effect achieved? It looked great!

Re: [BRAWL 2018] The Court of Conundrums

Thanks! Releasing this film as a surprise was intentional. For one, I wasn't completely sure if I'd be able to finish in time since my brickfilming has been so slow in recent years, so I didn't want to disappoint people if I could make it on time or if it fell apart. And it's also fun to have a surprise release. I made a few tweets about Welcome 2 Dank Memes during BRAWL week to divert people's attentions, and I ended up completing two films. Although I didn't start Dank Memes until the contest was less than an hour from the end. Basically making a brickfilm rapidly for one hour.

twickabrick wrote:

One of my favorite parts, though, was the way the scenes early on would dissolve in and out in a way that emphasized the stained glass window. I'm curious: Was this a digital vignetting effect or a practical fade? Also, at 0:29, when the king drinks his potion, how was the purple energy effect achieved? It looked great!

I'm please that someone noticed both of these. All of the fades are practical, which I did by ticking down the exposure every frame. This can be a little risky, since I have to physically touch my camera, and there is some slight shaking near the end of some of those fades, but overall I like the way it turned out. I also did this for one or two shots from Ella's Tale, and a shot of the green potion for We The Pumpkins Three (which is great because it emphasizes the potion's glow).
The most recent shot I had animated for Welcome to Darkmoor (and what also should be the final shot in the film, even thought I have more to animate) Was a dolly shot of the Darkmoor sign fading to black where I used this method, and it went swimmingly the first try, so I felt confident to try it several times in this film.

As for the Purple effect, that is accomplished entirely in-shot using a photography method I had personally developed (although I imagine someone else might have come up with the same idea as well). To add artificial yet realistic fog or smoke using motion blur and a long exposure.

First, I've got a LEGO X-Pod filled with some transparent elements to create the light.[email protected] … ed-public/

Then I set up the shot with the X-Pod rotating every frame to make the light move around nicely.[email protected] … ed-public/

Then I took an 8 second exposure every frame carefully yet quickly shaking a cloth napkin all around the figure for the duration of the exposure.[email protected] … ed-public/

The final product:[email protected] … ed-public/

Generally, this is suited more to photography rather than brickfilming, but since I wanted the light to be erratic and flickery, it suited me quite well.

I imagine this might also work well for a cannon shot or and explosion animation if used correctly.