I started by sitting down and writing up all sorts of different ideas surrounding my research, to get a general overview of each of the potential directions I could go. I find writing these ideas out and thinking on them is much more effective than exploring each one visually as I can quickly overview each of my potential ideas and choose which ones interest me quicker.
I knew I wanted to explore creating some of my earlier concepts in 3D so I started with the 'Clock Expanse' based on this early illustration of a clock graveyard type place.
I created a clock, animated it so that it would do a full correctly timed 12:00 hour cycle at 24fps, referenced the clocks into a new scene, placed them around and added a very simple day-night cycle and other lights for effect. Taking images from different times of the 'day'.
I considered this to be an piece that could be used on a large display in a public place to fulfil the need for a clock. It would both be visually interesting, but also look different depending on the time of day you went past the clocks. potentially useful in isolated environments that may not see sunlight such as underground. Giving a sense of day-night while also telling the time. a bonus aspect would be adding in weather effects that correspond with the season.
Taking these images into Photoshop I began to explore different visual styles.
I also started sketching different types of clocks, mainly ones I have seen myself as they're fresh in my visuals but each have different appeals and situations. This was a moment when I had the thought to open my animated piece with a compilation of different clocks, in different situations and cultures to introduce the audience the concept of time is universal before confronting the unnerving concept of infinite and finite time and how time rules over the way we live our lives, whether we like it or not.
More exploration for ideas, exploring new concepts that come to my mind. One of which I decided to jump into Maya and create. Though I didn't draw the idea, the exploration lead into it.
A pocket watch with multiple rotating rings. Texture painted in Photoshop. Each ring represents a unit of time, seconds, minutes and hours going from inner to outer respectively. Similar to the above clock sequence this one also correctly time-keeps at 24fps.
(currently the animation is backwards due to an oversight)
Storyboard of events. Sound will play a large role in conveying each of the environments. The desert scene with the fan clock will have the sound of an Azan being broadcast in the background whilst the pool will have an ambient echo of splashing. Not only will each clock have a different sound associated with both ticking and chimes / alarm but will also be distinctly different in how the clock-face is presented. For example the pool clock is there for swimmers to time themselves and to be seen in a large space so it is large and has the seconds printed on largely to see how much time has elapsed more precisely, the second hand also moves smoothly around for more precise timing that ticking while the digital clock is silent and efficient, telling the time as it is and without displaying any seconds besides the flashing of the 2 dots between the minutes and hours. For ease of reading the storyboard doesn't have the final design of clocks such as including roman numerals.
The general idea here is that of a compilation, increasing in drama through closer shots of each clock and their ticking function. my plan is to involve a much larger range of different clocks in the sequence.