When working on the 3D animatic, the main thing I changed was how the character reacts in scene 13 (after eating all the meat). In the story reel, I had him check in a box then look around, while in the 3D version, I have the character do more than that. Building off the original groundwork from the story reel, I have the character dive into one box, then move to the other side to check in another box, then finally drop to his knees in defeat. This leads to him lifting his head up to see that last morsel of meat, which transitions into the next scene. The reasons behind this change was to give a wider range of emotional build up leading to that desperate acceptance of finding only one piece of food left, as well as making the scene transition feel more natural than the previous version.
I feel the biggest issue when transitioning to 3D, is that my initial search for a suitable character rig proved harder than I thought. Originally, I tried to find a cartoon wolf rig, but found nothing that I was aiming for, and the realistic ones were either too cumbersome or lost the horror element of that lighter veneer that I wanted. In the end, I had to settle on the regular human rigs, but I also wanted to keep it a bit ambiguous to make that transition that they are wolves a bit easier. The other issue that I had encountered was the lack of control I had for the shadows and depth of field. Now I realize that I could have added those into the 3D animatic if I really wanted too, but since I couldn’t illustrate how the shadows were shaped or the specifics of the depth of field, more often than not, I found the results in 3D were not as satisfactory as I had wanted.
If I had to work on this again, I think the only thing I would do differently would be to put more consideration in the pacing of the story. Since this is a horror-based story, I feel the most important part is the buildup and the anticipation to the real fear factors. If anything, the main thing that would be different if I were to do this again, would be to make it longer in its runtime to give more set up to the pack’s food situation, the harshness of the environment and how that shapes the characters and even some hints to the Wendigo at the end. Obviously, that would go well beyond the parameters of the project, but it certainly something to consider later down the line.
The only part that I am still unsure of would be the build up to the Wendigo itself. Mainly speaking, the Wendigo legend is a very localized Native American tale of cannibalism and greed, but in terms of how that’s portrayed in the project, I feel that it may be a bit too abrupt of a leap in terms of the narrative. Personally I would add more hints to the existence of the Wendigo within the story’s world, but as to how I would go about that, I’m not too sure how to go about that without it feeling forced.