I have, however, been able to continue working when I found the time. So I will attempt to catch the blog up over the next several days leading up to the New Year-- when my schedule will (hopefully) mellow into some sort of consistency.
That being said: Thumbnails!
With the lip-sync complete, I began thinking about who the characters were, where they were, what their relationship was, etc. I settled on two salesmen in an office break room enjoying a cup of coffee (more on this tomorrow).
My next step was to thumbnail like crazy. I kept them extremely rough, limiting myself to a few seconds a sketch. Iterations were more important to me than detail, especially as these are mainly for my own reference. I wanted this clip to feel more polished than the typical 'medium-shot-of-characters-talking-in-front-of-a-matte-painting,' so I am also exploring my shooting. This gives me an opportunity to see how I would film a complex character piece, having never worked with dialogue before. The drawings are rough, yet I feel that I was able to get a general idea of where I want to go with this.
Another benefit to quickly generating thumbnails is the opportunity to time them to the clip. I have only done this a few times before, but I find that it makes it easier to keep things organized-- something that is crucial in animation. It is also much quicker to shift timing around in premiere than to shift keys in Maya. My instincts are that the original clip is a little rushed. While it works for its original format (radio), I feel that the clip can be re-timed to better suit a visual medium, and allow more of an opportunity to show the characters' thought processes. I will illustrate this point below.
Here are my thumbnails using the original timing of the audio (~8 hours including thumbnailing/shot planning):
...and here is my adjusted timing (1 hour):
With the timing of the shots and general acting locked, I am free to focus on pushing poses and the emotions of the characters in Maya.
-Notes on characters and setting
-Blocking 1 and reference footage
-Full blocking 2
Total time spent- 18 hours