Monday, 27 May 2013

New WEBSITE!!!



I will be using my tumblr alot more than this, so please check it out :D

Thursday, 16 May 2013

SS2 : Markus Lupfer Promo Final

After Completing the final for Last Moments, I have 2 more weeks before the deadline, I have been contacted by Riz again to work with me on a fashion shoot. We worked quite well when we did the college advert so I decided to help out and since it is a live brief, it is a good opportunity to get my name out there and this could also help me improve my skills of being a film maker, though I specialise in visual effects. 

In this Project, we are collaborating with Dannie Bennett a 3rd year fashion student. The live project is from Markus Lupfer a fashion brand company. Their videos are mostly fun and quirky and each video they produced have their own different styles. Have a look at their website.


The Brief:
The final major project will conclude in three separate final outcomes. All three of these outcomes will be produced in collaboration with London fashion brand, Markus Lupfer. Through liaison with the Markus Lupfer brand I have defined a brief requiring me to produce an initial outcome in trend preddition, a second outcome in print design and illustration and a final outcome in marketing and branding. Through the trend prediction outcome I will liaise with the brand in order to understand and assist in the development of their conceptual trend basis for Spring/Summer 2014. Through this I will then develop my own further 4 conceptual trend ideas, which I will finalise in a trend prediction book. Further to think I will develop a range of conceptual print ideas based on Markus Lupfer’s key trend for Spring/Summer 2014. This outcome will require me to produce a fully illustrated capsule collection and a range of professional print and fabric samples in order to present to womenswear design department at Markus Lupfer. The final marketing and branding outcome will be the key focus of the final outcomes within the final major project. Through my brand research I have identified Markus Lupfer’s failure to actively market their brand. This has lead to a poor consumer brand image and also a poor level of brand awareness within consumers. Through this research I have identified three key areas to develop. The first area within the marketing and branding final outcome will be to produce a commercially relevant lookbook for the brand’s spring/summer 2013 collection. Further to this I will seek to produce a commercially relevant video advertorial campaign for the brand’spring/summer 2014 collection. The final branding and marketing outome will be to redevelop the brand’s packaging and labelling in order to be more in level with the brand’s premium price point and identity.

Before shooting Riz and I have divided our work to ourselves creating the manipulated stock footages. I have used After effects and premiere pro to manipulate it and layer other footages on top. We eventually ended up editing all same footages but with different effects. I guess it is a good thing because the more samples we have, the better.

This is my first time working in this kind of project, making a promo video for a fashion company, I am pretty excited for this project. I became in charge of the camera as usual because I take better shots than Riz :D and I know how to work it better. Riz is in charge with the lighting and staging and Dannie is working with the models, dressing them up and putting make up on. At the beginning, we planned to project images on top of the models but then later decided that it is so much better to do it in after effects and it would look so much better.


Here are some samples, we are trying to achieve  where we are using a projector to project manipulated stock footages on top of the model, but then decided to layer the footage on top of the model in after effects.




At first Dannie directed the models on how she want them to act for the shoot, but it wasn't going so well, so we had to put on some music so it will help the model do their thing. I ended up taking over and helping Dannie with directing because she is struggling. It is a good thing that I watch alot of fashion shoots in youtube because I love fashion, this gave me an advantage on how the model should act. although sometimes when I act some scenes I look very weird  (like a girl) but it had to be done. When doing this, it made the models feel very comfortable with me and they became much more loose and able to be them selves a bit more and looks much more natural in camera. Jokes had to be done too. It was fun shooting this film. 

After filming Riz and I decided to work on our own cuts because it is easier that way and Dannie can just pick out the good bits from our edit and compile it together. I have basically listened to the chosen song by Dannie and mark the beats where I think that there are potential cuts in there. It was hard deciding which footages of the models I should use, what I did is, I selected an outfit that I think matches with the other model and pair it together, so in the video it has a good alternate shots between both models (no favouritism) though one model was hard to work with and ended up having 90% bad shots, good thing the beats of the music are quite fast so its good to cut on the right time. 

This are two of my stock footages that I manipulated and combined together. 

 My Cuts

The process on how I worked is I worked on cutting the footages into place and then colour correct / graded it then overlayed stock footages ontop to give off a projection look.

After It is done and I dont think the colours works quite well, I composite it all together and add more and adjust the effects on to to blend well together.

This is a shot that I wish to include in the final piece but I dont think the projection effect might work. because in this footage, the camera moves quite alot and it will take alot of tracking and editing to make it work. I just think this is still an interesting shot.




This is the first test I have made and Dannie was very pleased with the result, she loves the cuts going to the beat and the stock footages worked quite well. She wanted the final to be 2mins max.


Here is behind the scenes video that Riz composited which I have filmed :D



Final Markus Lupfer Promo Video

Bare in mind, this isnt an advert, it is a promo video where they just show their latest clothes in their website and just basically showing how quirky they are. This video might be played on billboards which I have heard from Dannie. So far Dannie is very happy to work with us though she picked my work than Riz's because I have basically completed the whole video in 3 days with out much sleep. I really enjoyed this project and hopefully I get contacted by Markus Lupfer or any other companies.


A little improvements just had to be made later on , just changing some footages because Dannie wasnt happy with the models acting. Riz took a render of the models scene and cleaned up the markers on the floor and will be compiled later.


SS2: Last Moments Making and Final

Awath and I havent found any Actors to act in our film so we have decided that I'll be the main actor instead.  2 actresses have backed out because of their deadlines too and found an actress willing to help. On the day of the shooting she decided that she couldnt make it because of personal problems, so we have to look for some one else. I finally found Amy, she has no experience in acting but we are willing to help her out, she doesnt have that much shots to do, it should take a day to finish her scenes.

We started filming Amy and testing her in many different camera angles. After filming for the day and tried compiling all the shots together in premiere pro, we noticed that Amy couldnt walk, one of her arm was still and the other arm is in motion, it was also my mistake for not giving her anything to hold on to, so we had to retake the shots. Another problem we have encountered is the bad weather where it rains quite alot, shooting out doors is very difficult, the clouds are blocking the sun light and ended up darkening our shots. We have noticed some grains in our footage thats because our ISO was too high which makes it grainy for filming.


We finally managed to film my scene and Amy's in a good weather, I started compositing some scenes together and added in some duplicated effects especially on scene 4 after waking up from flashback, I am supposed to feel dizzy and looking at the surroundings, so I have added in like an echo effect on every turn I make to give the illusion of dizziness. 


On this scene, Awath and I were both edit it together, we are pretty pleased with the pacing of the shots. though I wasn't happy about our work speed, we focused too much on one scene and the speed of working is too slow, so we both agreed to work on our own cuts since we are both focusing in visual effects and compositing, I think it is best we do it this way. 


I have went to town and took some more footages that I think itll be useful later on to fill in the blanks for the film which could add in some dramatic effect to the audience showing that the actor is thinking and looking through his eyes in first person view.


This is a test where I have to show that the actor is lost. didnt end up using it because the camera is set too low and there are alot of people in the surroundings. We did our best not to get any other people in the shot so the audience would focus more on the 2 actors, showing that this is only about them, kinda relating it to Adam and Eve where they fell in love at some point. But didnt want to show that, I only want the audience to think that.


Here are some early tests that Riz and I took just before this project, I have edited it to make it look like a flashback, I have also played around with colour correction and grading. I made the chase scene very dark so it will look like it is a bad memory that happened and gives off the effect that viewer is in rage mode that cant see properly whats going on but anger. I think this effect works well on horror films.




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I had a play around with the camera recording a time lapse video on my window and on a bridge. I have colour corrected it in different ways. I really enjoyed colour correcting and colour grading, Instagram got me into it :D I think every effects means different thinkgs, for example the cinematic feel give off a sense of epicness, blues and greens stand out a bit more than reds. Romantic feel is more orangey look with a vignet of blur to focus the eyes on the center. Sun Warm is used to highlight the reds and yellows which shows that the atmosphere is warm, it is mostly used when filming on the beaches, sunsets. Tilt shift effect mainly used on footages that are recorded from a far distance and blurs out the foreground and the background and only highlights the middle which gives of the effect of objects looking like toys. 

colour correction and grading is used to make the footage look more like a film more than just a pocket phone recording, it makes it look much more dramatic, enhances the mood to the footage and gives emotion to it.





When editing my final video, I knew a scene was missing a scene, where I had to look like I am in a hospital. It is impossible for me to shoot in a hospital, I have created a matte painting looking in first person view from my bed. Here are some examples that I have done below, I have noticed something looks off about it, maybe it was the lights and shadows where off. It was because it is all images and I havent animated the camera. I didnt like the look of it aswell, angles are all wrong and room looks so empty


I have then took some key footages on windows instead, to make it look like I saw the nurse next to me in bed. I couldnt get in contact with Amy any more to shoot it with her so I just matte painted her instead and I think I did a better job in the 2nd matte painting. it looks so much more realistic, everyone I have shown this so far thought it was real. I am happy with the result.



Here is my 2nd Final piece, "Last Moments"

In my cut, I have timed it well according to my story board, but I think there are some footages that could have been shot better, I wasnt the camera man, but anyway I am specialising more in post production. I have added in effects that made it look cinematic which highlights the blues and make it a little dark for the real time scene, but when it reached the flash back, I made the effects quite light, making the greens and yellows stand out a bit more and lots of white to make it look like a real flash backs. I have adjusted the appatures to make the grasses glow like pearls. I have added in Fish eye and a little push and pull effect in the scene where I had the flashback to give off a sense that I am having a headache. I have added in some slow mo effect to make my walk look much more interesting and dramatic. by the end of the editing, I have added in a  music, which was really hard to sync with the footage. I couldnt have more time to ask someone to compose it for me, but I think I have done my job here, I think I have increased my skill as a visual effect artist/ Film maker.


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

SS2 : Plan & Micro Projects + tests

I have decided to collaborate with Mohammed Awath because he wanted to focus on post production Visual effects which I am also interested it. His original idea was basically to film a person walking and incorporate some animation in the surroundings, but looking at the time schedule left, I dont think we can add in some 2D animation, it will take some time to complete it, because I have experience it in the previous final piece on "Only Time Can Tell Animation" though it might still work...We have decided to look for actors and actresses right away so, itll be easier to contact them early.

We have decided to do some experimenting in our own for some Visual and Special effects, like green screening and camera tricks. Since this is the first time Im doing a Visual effects, I have decided to try out some Video Copilot tutorials and try it out for my self, I have done the Iron man hud tutorial. I think it is very simple to make, it not as complicated as I imagined because I have used after effects quite alot. Though I havent used any tracking on it because it is hard to track my face without a marker, especially I have used a really bad camera phone to record a footage of me, it is very blurry. But I am still happy with the result

Micro Project 1



I have made another mirco project experimenting on live action comedy skit. this is an idea that came out of no where and I thought it was a very funny idea, I had to film it. I asked my friend Danny to help me act out the scene and he was brilliant. the footages came out as I had hoped because we worked quite well in it and we enjoyed our selves. I do think if I am to have random person to act out in my soon to be film with Awath, I need to be good friends with the actors or we wont get along and might mess up the project. This tutorial is very helpful when shooting with someone. Even though this tutorial is for interviews, I think it could also help when filming in live action short story.


After filming with Danny, I have began to edit the footages in premiere pro, I have timed every footages right, adjusting the speed of the video to match it together, but not too much that makes the movement irregular. I have then simply adjusted the opacity of the fore ground layer to make it appear like a real ghost. I hope I could use this technique when creating my 2nd final piece after we finalised with the story.

Micro Project 2






If I want to specialise on effects and post production, I needed a footage to work on, I have done some experiment on special effects on reverse shot test where I had someone walk backwards and played it in reverse on premiere pro togive the illusion of the person walking forward. This has been inspired from my research.
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After few days completing my micro projects, Riz Khan, another animator from the course has contacted me to to collaborate on a work experience to help promote Cranford College from London by having 7 adverts done. Our transport and food are paid for. I am basically in charge of the camera and lighting and Riz is in charge of mainly the directing and scripting because he has better grammar than I do :D I have used the things I have learnt from the video on "shooting an Interview" from above to use. I have made good friends with everyone. At first when we met the actors, they were very nervous because we behaved very professional. they arent even experienced, infact they literally work in that same university. So just before we shoot Riz and I got them to relax by telling some jokes and having fun. By the time we are ready to shoot, they will have confidence to talk to the camera. It takes some time to get them say the right lines, so we had to break it down for them, we switch camera angles so they can have a break from saying their lines and review it. I have kept the camera in mid shot so it shows professionalism and a little seriousness. If I was to use a wide shot, they would look too relaxed and feels more like a drama interview, didnt do close ups because its too serious.

We have shot 8 Adverts in a day and took all our energy away but it was a great experience for Riz and myself. When working in that college, we felt like we where big shots because, we got to do everything we want, they gave us all the food we need which I enjoyed and we got to redecorate the whole office. We even got to the principal's home, btw he is a millionaire and his home is gorgeous :D. For Post production a little editing is needed, just adding the logos and tags and we are done with our 1 days work experience. Here are some of the adverts.










After Completing the Advert shoot, I came up with the story about a man dying with a twist, I met up with Awath and discussed on ways to improve the scene and make it sound unique and simple to create. it took us hours to agree on the story and finally finalised it. I have then went on and do a proper story board showing the exact scenes I wanted to portray, though in filming, shot angles can be changed quite alot, depends on how good it looks like from the angle. We would be taking alot of footage to experiment and see which fits better.

So far the story starts off with eye blinking, woke up in bed in a hospital and tries to escape the nurses, as he tries to get past them, he bumps to a busy nurse unexpectedly and continues to rush off the exit. The story is about a dying man so he goes out to the city and wants to explore and remember about good memories. At some point he had a jolt in his head remembering flashbacks about himself on the floor near a well and got helped by a pretty woman but he cant picture her face because his vision is going off. As he came to, he found himself near the well same as the flashback. He wishes to know who the woman was, so as he approached the well to wait, he lost all his energy drop to the floor. Camera pans to his wrist showing he is a patient. few seconds later his eyes r blinking slowly, and saw a woman trying to wake him up on the floor. The mans vision clears up a bit and remembered that the woman who help him in his flashback was the nurse he bumped to in the beginning and now is in front of him. He is satisfied that he saw her one last time and dies peacefully. After the credits, blinking scene is repeated same as the beginning waking up from the hospital. this shows that the events that are happening is on a loop but the guy doesnt know that, basically he has a short term amnesia.




We havent got any contacts of any actors to help us for our film but 3 actresses are willing to help. For now, I have volunteered to be the substitute actor doing some simple walks. Awath and I decided to test on camera angles, Awath is incharge of the camera because he is much more experienced in using one and he understands most of the settings. In this test shot, all I had to do is walk and act sad because it is also part of the story in the story board. I know I am a shit actor but I gave it my best. By the end of shooting, I have then composited the good shots and played around with some of the colour correction, I have even added in slow motion to give the effect of sadness which works well with the cinematic music. I have dulled the colour scheme and made it blue/ greenish which shows a bit of sadness because if I kept it too light, it would look too relaxing. we have also incorporated reverse motion in one scene where I started waving my arms around. I think it looked really good when it is played backwards. I added in a quick lens flare just to test the look of it, I didnt even animate its path but its alright for our first test

SS2: Research



The art of digital matte painting is a powerful technique for film makers. This makes the art of film making so much easier yet so much more ambitious. An effects editor can use matte painting to bring film to life by creating any living location they desire, space, heaven, forest, etc... this most of the times impress the traget audiences at the same time.

Matte Painting is a visually altered painted representation of a landscape background that would usually be too expensive for a film company to build and create or even travel to. Live action video footage are usually combined with digital matte painting these days. The live action video footages were mostly filmed on green screen or blue screen if the subject has a green colour on it to give contrast. This technique is used to place actors into many settings which are impossible to go to.






These days Matte paintings are mostly digital images that are created by using photo references, 3d Models, and used drawing tablets. After creating the ideal paintings, it is then combined with the 3D model environments which allows 3D camera movement. This can be done by using Blender, Bonjou, Maya, After Effects, etc...

Chroma Key:

Chroma key compositing is a special effects post production technique for compositing where you layer two images or footages on top of each other based on colour hues. This is to remove a background from the subject of the photo or footage and replace it with a desirable setting or scene where matte paintings come to use. This is mostly seen in news casting, motion picture and video game companies. A single colour range in the top layer is made transparent which shows the background from behind. This technique is mostly used in video production and post production. The technique is usually called colour keying, or green screen and blue screen. colour keying can be done in any colour but mostly used Green or Blue because it doesnt key out our flesh colours.

I am a big fan MysteryGuitarMan because he combines his stop-motion music with special effects and visual effects. In my example below, he has used the special effects to change his shirt and guitars. First He has used his shirt as a blue screen and used Chroma keying to change the colour and rotorscope it to make the change seamless by using the guitars as dividers.

As for the acoustic guitar change, he has motion tracked a picture of the acoustic to the back of the electric guitar, and used a morphing program for it to transform to the ukelele, rotorscoping is then used to clean and merge everything together by fading it together. Some parts he had to motion track his dog on a green screen on his hand.



In this video, I liked the idea where he used a slow motion effect on the background and he is dancing and singing around in real time which makes him look like he is superman moving in the speed of light. He has accomplished this by recording a footage of the background on a slow motion camera which in his case, he only had a camera that can shoot 60 frames per second. in the second footage, it was shot on the same place but with a green screen at the back of Mysteryguitarman. this was shot outside on the same place to get the right lighting for the camera. The first footage was then imported in final cut pro or premiere pro and played at 24 frames per second to give a slow mo effect and then layered the 2nd footage ontop and keyed off the green screen to make him appear moving in real time. If the 2nd footage with him on it was slowed down, the song would also be in slow mo which it will kill the whole purpose of the whole video.



Reverse motion film, I think this is an interesting effect, I could use this effect on my film because it is very unique, I can tell a story as my actor walk and interacts with the surroundings.



I find this video very helpful for creating a short film and promoting myself




I would love to do some matte painting for this second project because it is part of being a visual effects artist. I will be taking some raw footages and manipulate it so it will blend well with the short film I am about to create.
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SS2: Moving into Visual Effects - Research

After completing my SS2 2D animation final, I have less than 2 months before the deadline. I have decided to create my 2nd Final piece and move on to Visual effects because I am deeply in love with big famous movies such as Iron man, Batman, Transformers, etc... I would love to film and direct my own movie, but more importantly I would like to focus on post production, which involves compositing and adding Visual effects. I am particularly in love with colour correction and colour grading.

Before I get started, I have done a bit of research about special effects and visual effects.

History Of Visual Effects


Motion pictures is one of the earliest form of entertainment technology, people usually are entertained just by watching normal everyday reality footages. As time passes by, people were able to produce comedy skits. Other people  used the first magic camera tricks just by stopping the camera and changing the scenes and playing it back again. Double exposure also began just by layering one footage on top of each other and this began the art of special effects. George Melies a famous magician became the father of movie special effects. He is well known for creating the first Sci-fi genre "A trip to the moon" it is a combination of animation, theatre play and special optical tricks. 

George produced 4000 films in all and discovered new techniques as he goes along. Many film makers these days are inspired of his work and working processes, people these days are improving and working on more realistic special effects. 

A popular iconic movie King Kong is one of the most loved character that has brought to life by special effects. It is a combination of stop motion animation and real life acting. Special effects has been used because there is no such thing as a giant gorilla and there are impossible scenes to shoot which are very dangerous to accomplish, even scenes have to be recreated by mostly creating a set and combining it using matte painting usually done in glass. this is done depending on how realistic the scenes they wanted it to be. During 1933 people believed King Kong was real because people have never seen this kind of film before, it is quite new at the time. 


looking at this image the footage of the girl is layered on top of the footage of the stop frame animation of king kong and parts of the background has been matte painted on. They have also used projection on the background for the live action.


In the first Star wars movie, they have been inspired from King Kongs Stopmotion effect to animate the robots AT-AT, these where all animated frame by frame to bring models to life.


Artificial visual or mechanical effects introduced into a movie or television show. The earliest special effects were created through special camera lenses or through tricks such as projecting a moving background behind the actors. Greater flexibility came with the development of the optical printer, which made it possible to combine separate pieces of film and replace part of an image, thus allowing for effects such as characters flying through the air. Special effects have also been created mechanically on the set through the use of devices such as wires, explosives, and puppets and by building miniature models to simulate epic scenes such as battles. The growing use of computer animation and computer-generated imagery has produced increasingly elaborate and realistic visual effects. Though each movie studio formerly had its own special-effects department, effects are now created by private companies such as George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic, formed to provide the revolutionary effects seen in Star Wars (1977) and later movies.

But as time progress, animators and film makers started to used more CGI computer generated imagery to create a much more fluid animation and it has a much more easier way to manipulate, Visual effects involve the integration of live-action footage and generated imagery to create environments which look realistic, but would be dangerous, costly, or simply impossible to capture on film. Visual effects using computer generated imagery has recently become accessible to the Independent filmmaker with the introduction of affordable animation and compositing software.


Visual effects are often integral to a movie's story and appeal. Although most visual effects work is completed during post-production, it usually must be carefully planned and choreographed in pre-production and production. Visual effects are designed and edited in Post-Production, with the use of graphic design, modeling, animation and similar software, while special effects are made on set, such as explosions, car chases and so on. A visual effects supervisor is usually involved with the production from an early stage to work closely with production and the film's director to achieve the desired effects.

 


Visual and Special Effects Techniques
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  • Bullet time
  • Computer-generated imagery (often using Shaders)
  • Digital compositing
  • Dolly zoom
  • In-camera effects
  • Match moving
  • Matte (filmmaking) and Matte painting
  • Miniature effects
  • Morphing
  • Motion control photography
  • Optical effects
  • Optical printing
  • Practical effects
  • Prosthetic makeup effects
  • Rotoscoping
  • Stop motion
  • Go motion
  • Sch├╝fftan process
  • Travelling matte
  • Virtual cinematography
  • Wire removal


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

SS2: Only Time Can Tell Final

Final Improved Version



This is my final Improved Version. I have completely changed the colour scheme, I took off the the green colours because it is a very striking colour that kills off all the other colours and makes it look more unpleasant. I have highlighted the background with more pinks blues and whites. this gives more of a romantic feel to the audience. I have taken off the unnessessary fallen leaves, ugly loooking tree and out of place fence with gates. I have dont this because it doesnt look very romantic to me and the audience according to the feedback I got in class. So I have completely redesigned the background and imagine a modern looking city with some unusual looking trees that are shaped as hearts if seen when sat down on the bench. This will enhance the cuteness to the story and would most likely attract more young women that are in love. In this improved version, as I was compiling the 2D flash animation to the backgrounds in After Effects, I played around with the shadows on the character layers. as I was experimenting, this made my work so much more appealing, it looked more like a paper cut out which looks like couple cut out doodles, similar to South Park art style, though mine has a drawing effect on it which makes it look like a doodle. I have kept this style because most young couples doodle when in love, so this is the effect i was trying to achieve.

Examples: 

 

I have also changed the colour of the balloon in the beginning because most people confuse that the boy magically caught the balloon and gave it to the girl. I have matched the part where the buildings grow together with the girl.

Submitted version for the Clock Makers



This is the first version of my animation which I have submitted for the clockmakers competition. If you compare this to my new and improved version, you can notice big changes, like the background, colour and layout of the bench. I have taken off the unnecessary trees, and character tracking. I have kept it mostly fixed in the middle which is inspired from simon's cat. This is because I wanted to focus on the main character the girl "Lisa" this is also similar to stage acting where there are no cuts. But there are scenes that I had to have cuts to adjust for the background and close up scenes to show more emotion of the character. Having close up scenes minimises my work too from avoiding full body animation which makes my life so much easier. This saved me alot of time. I still kept the minimal colour and soft light washes to give the illusion of water colour effect which would appeal to the audience.

As for the music, I am so Thankful to Joelle Symons, she did a really great job for me, she timed every notes to every frames for me. it was awesome that she made the tune very catchy and goes well with the animation, we can feel every emotion the character is feeling.

For more improvements, I would love to correct and take away the scene where Lisa goes off to take a cup of coffee because it is not relevant, there is no need for her to go off screen. Though if I take if off, it might not match with the music well and it would sound off.

Here are some concept art that will help support my work, I have made one by experimenting on none digital media and changing its look completely. I have done this because I want to see this in a completely different perspective, different style if it were more aimed at a more mature mature audience. 

I have also Asked a few 1st years and 2nd Years to do some work for me to see how they would look if this was their own animation, almost like a fan art

My Concept Art:

Lisa


Sofia 1st year Concept


 Cat 2nd Year Concept:


Tamara 2nd Year Concept