Honours Project:

An Approach to Independent 3D Animation Production

Bachelor of Arts in Design (with 1st Class Honours)

Chapter 9 - Honours Project Conclusions

9.1 Honours Project Conclusions

The aim of the Honours project was to investigate the feasibility of creating a 3D animated series as an independent animator. I investigated this through researching independent animation production, conducting interviews with domain experts, and undertaking the animation process involved in the production of a presentable prototype of a pilot episode for an animated series, following the independent film-making production model.

The theoretical research carried out included areas such as the definition of animation, the principles of storytelling, and funding and selling a film or animation project. These are all areas that have been very important in my approach to the production of a presentable prototype of a pilot episode for an animated series. This practical, or production component of the Honours project is recorded in the self-reflective case study, which documents from concept to screen, the stages involved, methodology undertaken, and technical skills employed in the successful completion of the prototype of a pilot episode.

As a result of undertaking this Honours project I have:

- Developed research skills, in both academic work and animation project development.
- Improved existing and developed new technical skills related to 3D animation production.
- Investigated and documented the animation process from concept to screen.
- Gained some insight into the media and commercial environment within which independent animators operate.
- Learned about the importance of story in animation, and the principles of storytelling that can be applied to film production.
- Appreciated the importance of collaboration and the roles played in animation production by individuals with specialised business, legal, creative and technical skills.
- Identified a range of Eastern Europe traditional tales upon which an animated series could be based.
- Developed an understanding of the historical origins of the people of Eastern Europe, in particular the Slavs.
- Developed an animated series concept of cultural significance as well as commercial potential.

From the theoretical research, and the self-reflective case study, an approach to independent 3D animation was identified. I can conclude that the feasibility of creating a 3D animated series as an independent animator is possible to a certain extent. I have found out that it is possible to create the series concept, documentation, and a large part of the pilot episode independently. Though to fully complete a full-length episode for public release let alone an entire series, could require the collaboration of individuals with specialised skills at various stages of the animation process. These may be specialists in operating within the film business environment, such as producers, or experts involved in various aspects of the creative and production stages, such as musicians and narrators. It is also clear that with the participation of and reliance upon third parties and external funding sources, an animation project can cease to be an independent production with a high likelihood of loss of the creative control that independent animators enjoy.

In respect to the practical part of the Honours project; the series concept Legenda, and pilot episode Lech, Czech & Rus, I have received a positive response. Peers and superiors have given me positive feedback, as have various cultural groups. I have shown my work to a limited group at a Polish club, which resulted in a positive response from people from various age groups. As a result of displaying still images of my work on the internet, I have surprisingly received requests from people wishing to view my animated legends. This also includes interest from The Sorbian Cultural Information Centre, a Slavic cultural group in Germany who may wish to use my skills in order to produce a Sorbian legend. A small amount of funding money has been mentioned. I have also received an offer that will result in a Polish Ambassador to Australia taking my concept with him to Poland.

Three individuals have expressed their wish to help me with the Legenda series; a 3D animator, a professional musician, and the previously mentioned narrator / historical adviser. A team of individuals working on the project will offer a better chance of completing a full-length pilot episode. Completing this Honours project has resulted in possible commercial opportunities, and if I choose to pitch the Legenda series for funding and distribution with the aid of a pilot episode, I will be able to proceed from a solid background of domain knowledge, as a result of the research conducted.

As a result of delving deeper into the animation process for my Honours studies, I have gained greater knowledge and understanding of the research process, and through research, of animation production. The application of this knowledge and understanding has resulted in my improved technical skills, enhanced production experience and a marketable prototype.

It has been my intention that the final dissertation should be a useful reference source, documenting the animation process for others as well as myself to use as a guide when undertaking independent animation production. For me, this will certainly be the case, as I have found the vast amount of information gathered and learned during this Honours project to be invaluable, and the documentation produced is most definitely something that I will call upon in my future career in design.