In 2019 I was approached to develop a series of animations and stills for the Opera Alofagia. The Opera was written and directed by Anapela Polataivao. It starred the trio Sole Mio. And Manurewa High School students were cast in supporting roles.
This was my first involvement with a theatrical group and the learning curve was steep. Producing live video was a stressful thing, but it was a good stress. But they end of the experience I felt comfortable with the process, and was able to step back and enjoy the Opera. It was such a beautiful production. The music was phenomenal and those involved in all areas were so skilled. I was honoured to be a part of it.
The images/videos below document some of the early developments for my part. These works were developed in consultation with Anapela. Some of these made the cut, others didnt. The making happened in a back and forth process of discussing the overall vision that Anapela had. I was given plenty of space to make and some of the works I was really proud of.
Owl Animation tests
These are some key developments toward projections made since Thursday 11th of Jan.
There are 4 main elements/characters that Anapela has identified as key to the narrative of the opera: Dog/Turtle/Frigate Bird/Owl.
I began by developing a dog and looking at ways to morph this form from one shape to another, as Anapela had indicated that ‘morphing’ was something that she wanted. I have been looking to particle systems to develop this morphing effect. I will also look to morph the forms using shape keys – a more traditional method – also. I also opted for a large scale ‘Head only’ look for the dog, after looking at the potential scale of the
projection in relation to the seating and it’s proximity between the stage and seating, I thought large scale for this element might have the most impact.
Many of these animations are only short, but they are easily able to be looped, but are also not resolved, in as far as the potential for animations to take place in more dynamic ways, utilising more of the canvas of the trees.
Also the colours of these animations are not final, I will be testing to see which colours work the best against the green of the trees. Early tests have indicated that reds and yellows are absorbed into the green becoming indistinguishable.
Quick morph test, using particles
Dog in more traditional render.
Dog with texture.
I find the following tests more interesting, along with the morphing of red symbols over the face.
More patterned particle flows.
Am looking to wrap the previous animation or ones like it around 3D objects, just not sure which objects to choose,
Samoan, symbol morphs.
Underwater look. Will made this swim around in the trees.
I’m still making the owl. In a Samoan Tatau style. Hope to get it dont today or tomorrow.