There is not a lot in terms of tutorials for creating an aurora effect in Maya. However I have managed to find this one website where someone has done something similar that is being very helpful to me in explaining particles/curves/motion etc.
This is the music I will be using for my animation. It is a short 1:30 piece from the Umineko no Naku Koro ni OST. This music will not just simply be placed over the entire animation… I will have to edit the parts I want with the appropriate part of video.
Song: “White Shadow” by dai.
Aurora reference video 2
Second video. This one shows terrain under the aurora which will also be very useful for reference in the later part of my animation.
Aurora reference video 1
On my storyboard I have not planned the aurora part of my animation. I don’t see the point of planning movement that is seemly random and doesn’t really make any difference what it will do. Instead, I pasted the link to 2 youtube videos showing examples of aurora movement. I will base the aurora in my animation from these 2 videos.
This is the first one, showing just the why the aurora moves in the sky. This will be most useful for the beginning scenes where the snake first starts the metamorphosis.
I have produced a storyboard for my final animation. I have written notes on movement/timing etc which aren’t visible on tumblr so here are links to larger files:
My idea is a combination of narrative and aesthetics… The story deals with a snake which is run over. The “spirit” of the snake then metamorphosises into colourful swirls in the sky… this is the aesthetic part. A large portion of the animation is going to be focused on an aurora in the sky. The snake-like shape will gradually expand into a full blown aurora. The finishing scenes will also show landscape, and to make this short animation more… “complete”… I am ending the video with a link to the beginning: the car zooming past.
Images of aurora. Colours and shapes which I find interesting, relating a bit to the effects in the music video a few posts down. I also researched these because the shapes the aurora makes in the sky is shown in swirly lines, similar to the snakes. The first image shown here is a drawing of the aurora and so the lines are exaggerated. The last image is a slow shutter speed photo of when a car has driven past, showing the lines of the lights with the aurora in the background also.
I think I am getting closer to deciding on a rough idea with these as I see a good room for development in this half narrative half aesthetic idea of snakes and colour swirls in the sky.
I did a quick search on snakes after my previous piece of research. These are some images I thought were interesting. They all show the idea of a snake-like object used in different examples. I could use some of these to change the snake in to.
I found this image interesting as it is very stylised but still includes snakes and nature objects. The woman is drawn in a simple way, but her hair is a colourful tangle of small creatures and plantlife. This could also show metamorophosis… in a Medusa kind of way.
This music video shows some kinds of abstract pattern which is used to make something not very interesting into a capturing visual experience. I have struggled to show what I mean by aesthetic before now, but this video pretty much sums it up. It is not metamorphosis by itself, but I would perhaps like to use elements of this…