LaFlaca in Space – Unity Dabbles

LaFlaca in Space from Oriana Neidecker on Vimeo.

For our final animation assignment we were tasked with making a character and a world in Unity.  I’m fascinated by virtual reality and Unity is one of the “easiest” ways to make VR content.  They  also have an amazing asset store filled with content for you to use.

In the future I want to make  surreal dreamy VR, most likely dealing with abstract shapes and patterns but for the purpose of this assignment (and being the midst of finals) I decided to go with something just plain old weird 2D in Unity and raided their asset store.  Baby steps.

I originally made a vampire lady character in Fuse and played around with their built-in add-on but once I entered the space world I went back to a skeleton that I found and tweaked it.

I was surprised to see how much you can do in a little time in Unity, how much is available that you can play and manipulate. It made the experience very enjoyable.  I’m sure the frustration builds with the level of difficulty and once you really build something with the ground-up.  But for the time being I’m very happy and satisfied with my skeleton dancing in space.

 

 

The Rabbit & The Moon

I’ve always been fascinated by mythology.  My mother is an archaeologist from Mexico and my bed time stories were usually Mexican myths.  One of my favorites is the story of how the image of a rabbit ended up on the moon.  Perhaps it is the most memorable to me because I so clearly see the rabbit every time I look at the full time (in different orientations in different parts of the world).

In the future I would love to animate myths, fairytales, and the archetypes that derive from them in virtual reality.  I think it would be amazing to experience them in 360.  To me dreams and myths are very related and VR, if done correctly, is  very dreamlike world.

My mom is currently working on a book about one of her sites in Mexico and there are new stories and myths that come from the site.  I promised her I would animate her stories so I used this myth as practice.  This is my first time using After Effects.  I’m not going to lie the first two weeks I was completely paralyzed, I had no idea how to maneuver After Effects and was pretty much sent into existential despair with my perceived incompetence.  But I pulled myself together and sat through 10 hours of After Effects tutorials on Lynda.com (After Effects CC Essential Training by Ian Robinson I highly recommend).  Once I got my basics down I was able to somewhat execute my vision (good enough for my first)!

My only regret is not using the Camera layer in this animation but I’ll focus on that for the next one. I planned on it but half way through creating my project I deleted a composition that I used for all of the movement of the 3rd incarnation of Quetzacoatl (despair round 2). This set me back some hours and hindered my exploration of the camera.  I learned its is super important to ORGANIZE and pretty much don’t delete ANYTHING, at least while learning.

The Rabbit + The Moon

 

Rabbit + Moon Final from Oriana Neidecker on Vimeo.

Characters

This week I finalized all of my character development and the script of my animation but have yet to animate anything.  I’m finding working with key frames and puppeting at the same time very difficult.  I’m also struggling with the concept of time and keep resetting everything.  But…. here are all of my characters and the media I’ll  be using.

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The Rabbit + The Moon

quetzacoatl

I ‘m animating an old Aztec myth about the image of a rabbit on the moon.  In the myth Quetzacoatl, the god of wind and learning, who is often depicted as a feathered serpent, goes down to Earth to observe nature, man and the animals.  On Earth he takes a human form and in this story is wandering through the desert.  He walks under the beating sun day after day and begins to suffer from hunger.  One night he encounters a rabbit eating in the moonlight.  The rabbit asks him what is wrong and he tells him of his hunger.  The rabbit was a kind creature and immediately offered Quetzacoatl some of the grass he was eating but Quetzacoatl refused saying grass isn’t enough to sustain man.  The rabbit asked him what he was going to do and Quetzacoatl told him he would probably die.  The rabbit overcome with sadness offered himself as food to Quetzacoatl.  Touched with the kindness of the rabbit Quetzacoatl revealed his true godly form.  He picked up the rabbit and raised him up to the moon, leaving the rabbits imprint on it.  He told the rabbit that he would be rewarded for his compassion and man would always seem him painted in light on the moon.

My mom’s a Mexican archaeologist and told me this myth at an early age.  I only ever remember seeing the rabbit on the moon.

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I want to recreate this simple story in animation but add more transformative elements.  I want to play with color and movement and make it somewhat psychedelic.