My animation is going to be a trailer to showcase a reboot of the game “Jaws” from 1987. The animation is going to feature an animated character exploring an live-action underwater setting filmed in an aquarium or fish tank. The idea is to showcase the gameplay elements, graphics and atmosphere that would feature in the game.
Because the game is going to be heavily based on atmosphere and exploration, creating the right audio setting is essential. Ambient sounds are going to play a key part in the game, as will a music score to enhance the experience. The music is going to help drive the narrative of the animation and provide extra setting to certain events, depending on the situation. Preferably, I’d like the music to be in time with certain aspects of the animation, to enhance the experience further.
The objective of the sound design in my animation is to provide a setting, tone and overall feel of the game. The background sounds need to be subtle and feel vast, while the sound effects need to be concise, provide information and rise above the background noise. The music score should provide context to the current situation whilst conveying a sense of narrative, changing and sweeping as the animation does. Overall, the sounds need to be second to the animation and music, only drawing attention to itself when required.
The majority of the sounds I require are easy enough to obtain and can be created in any medium-sized volume of water and recorded with an conventional microphone. However, for sounds specifically heard underwater, I’ll have to obtain from source above the surface and add an underwater filter in mixing, as I won’t have access to a hydrophone. When recording ambient sounds, I’ll need to pick the right location and time of day to ensure no unwanted audio spills over into the recording, such as the noise of cars, people and excessive wind.
Unfortunately, specific sounds like tiger growls and especially whale songs are going to be incredibly difficult to capture, so I’ll have to explore other methods to create them artificially or obtain the sounds from elsewhere.
Any legal constraints involving copyright for sound/music can be easily avoided if I create all those myself and from scratch, however it is important to ensure that my music doesn’t mirror another track too closely, else that has the potential to spell legal action.
My animation will feature only one human character, and a character that remains completely anonymous. She is simply a diver who does not speak or have any specific race, and is there only to provide a character that the player controls. Designing a character like this means you can quite easily steer clear of any racial or sexual discrimination/stereotyping.
The visual design might as well be the main aspect of my project. The graphical style aims to be simple and crisp, seeming almost like miniature models when staged in front of the large live-action setting. The interactive elements of the game will follow the same art style, whilst terrain pieces and certain other objects will be photorealistic to aid in discerning what is and what is not an interactive element. The animation won’t feature any gore, (despite from being a Jaws game) so I aim for the style to appeal to all ages.
The sound on the other hand I want to feel as real as possible, as to aid immersion and engagement with the animation. I think that the use of realistic and artificial is an interesting combination that I’d like to explore.
I am going to be recording all my audio digitally, simply because its going to make the preceding processes a lot easier. Were I to record in analogue, I’d have to obtain an analogue recorder (which are rare and expensive), and then find an analogue converter (also expensive) to convert my files to digital in the end anyway. Digital just seems the easier and more efficient way to go.
I aim to use a 256 bit-rate through .MP3 to process my audio recordings. 256 is a suitable balance between quality and file size. As for kHz, I aim to record at around 48 kHz as it seems to be the standard for most recorders and microphones.
I shall record all my audio in mono, specifically to give me more control over the stereo environment in mixing. Simply said, I’d like to create a stereo experience in my animation through the placement of mono sounds, so recording the initial audio in mono makes more sense. The technology I will use to record these sounds is going to be fairly standard; I plan on using a microphone to record sounds I can create indoors, and then utilise a dead-cat to eliminate wind noise when recording ambient audio that can only be captured outside.
I plan on having my final project finished before the 18th of March, and all my sounds recorded way before that. To ensure no content is lost before the final deadline, I’m going to make great use of Google Drive to store and backup all my files, as I have done in the past. In the case of an apocolypse and all my sounds are destroyed, I can utilise the recording function on my phone to capture last-minute sounds to include in my animation.