A while back Sebastian Kuwar developed some color tests for the spider and the tree which you can find here. The general idea was that the spider would slowly degenerate in color from vibrant and saturated to pale and desaturated. In speaking with a professor and MFA committee member of mine, Dr. Stephen Caffey, he suggested the spider slowly moving more towards the tree in color. The dead tree in this case symbolizes death and showing the spider slowly move towards being the same as the tree in color and texture, would be a symbolic move on my part.
Color is a very artistic and emotionally charged subject…so I turned to math to figure it out.
The above image shows the timeline of shots in the animated short. Each rectangle represents a shot. Based on where the short shows a passage of time (for example when there is a night/day transition, or a series of establishing shots) I broke down how many texture stages would be needed. The spider shouldn’t change all at once, but also can’t change so subtly that on one notices the shift. To help give each change a little bit of meaning and context I described in terms of HP or the healthiness of the spider, changing gradually from %100 when we first see it to %10 when we last see it.
In the excel document I broke up the different stages of change and defined them. Off to the side you can see the Hue/Saturation/Value numbers for the tree during the day and during the night. I decided that the base color of the spider should probably remain constant while the specular color would shift to more closely resemble the tree over time. On top of that, the overall color of the spider would become less saturated and less shiny.
The excel document shows the slow transition of different aspects of the spider’s color, one set for moving towards the daytime tree color and another for moving towards the nighttime tree color. Finally there’s a combined set of numbers that reflect what the spider should look like at each stage in the actual animation (taking into account during what stages it’s night and day)
What does this translate to in practice?
Here’s all the spider color tests for the daytime tree color:
Here’s all the tests for the nighttime tree color:
Now here’s some tests in context with the tree and the spider together for each stage of the animation:
All this will be reinforced with animation and camerawork, of course, but nothing like color scripts and test renders to reassure people of progress.
Let me know what you think!