It’s been a rather intense few weeks recently, but at long last, it’s finally completed. Not Your Hat! is out of production and is now available for viewing online.
I will confess, it has become a bit of a rush job and I found I had made a few poor decisions with regards to time management, however, it has not really affected the final quality of the production, but just boosted the stress I’ve experienced towards the end of the project.
The main mistake of the film is that After Effects issue with the frame rate of the source animation. There’s not much more to say about this which hasn’t been explained before. Where I’ve been able to maintain the correct frame rate, I have done, and a few shots did have to become longer in order for the full animation to be shown. It’s a simple mistake, but I’ve learned of this potential pitfall and I’ll be able to avoid it in the future.
Another particular mistake I had made was to believe I could use After Effects to composite the hat into the quickly after everything else. This proved to be more difficult than I had expected, to the extent that it was simpler for some shots to just draw the hat in. The hat has been composited into some shots, but whenever the hat was interacted with directly, it had to be drawn in. I had to do this in a bit of a rush, so I was concerned that it would show, but as it turned out, it fit in perfectly well.
My experiences regarding the music has taught me be to wiser over the time management on the production of the music. The music which was created for the film I believe is excellent, but it needed work, which we ultimately did not have time for. In terms of the relationship of the music to the animation, I’ve concluded that music and much of the soundtrack should be roughly finalised for the animatic phase. Ideally, the soundtrack should be created for the animation to be alongside. This is my belief from my work on this project, although this is an opinion which may change after further work in the industry.
Throughout the film, there are a few cameos of character’s of my colleagues’ own films. I had intended to include more, but for the ones that had made it, I’m pleased with their presentation in the film. They fit in perfectly and help make the setting seem more populated. Even in the latest version, it seems a little barren, but the suggestion of extra life in the film does a lot for building the atmosphere of the world portrayed.
For the backgrounds, I feel I’ve managed to pick a decent aesthetic for final look of the film. It draw some influence from the work of PJ Loughran effectively, but managed to maintain it’s own identity. I had to create a variety of unique (not to mention processor heavy) brushes in Photoshop to get the watercolour aesthetic in the colouring, and I feel it’s proven to have an excellent result.
Finally, the main factor, the animation itself. I’m very pleased with what I’ve been able to produce. A common danger with student films is the persist with mid shots or close ups. With my film, I feel I’ve successfully avoided this pitfall, featuring a variety of composition, angles and perspectives. The animation of the characters is expressive and fluid. As a result the film doesn’t feel dull to watch and maintains a rapid pace throughout until the calm (if morbid) ending. There are moments I believe the animation could be better and the timing issue would have been nice to have done without, but ultimately I’m happy with what I’ve created, and I hope others will be entertained watching it as well.