All the stuff I was hoping to get to this week I didn’t get to. From 6 to 12 October, I mainly learnt Dutch. A lot of Dutch. Veel Nederlands. I’ve figured out it might be possible for me to get through the rest of the Dutch course on Duolingo before I head off to Amsterdam for Blender Conference 2014 – that is, if I don’t do much else outside of work hours.
Speaking of languages, the one project I did any amount of work on this week was, strangely enough, The Quiet One. On Friday night I transcribed some subtitles for a test scene between Ktish and Mo and I’ve now posted it to YouTube.
The scene needed transcribing because almost all the dialogue is in a conlang (constructed language) I invented for Ktish’s tribe. Kardaahian is a properly functioning language too. At the time I went full nerd on it. You can hear Ktish say `ooTa?! (aunt) around 1:00 and around 1:10 Mo says `ooTa-NDi (your aunt). There’s even some conculture in the conlang with nouns being split up into sentient, living, transformative, inert and unspeakable types of things that have grammatical implications for stuff like verb governance and cultural implications like how Ktish’s tribe understands the world around them. For instance, stories are sentient because they given agency by sentient things.
The nerdy hubris didn’t stop there either. I thought since i was a clever linguist who also fancied himself as a voice actor I could create something a bit more ornate than for instance Na’vi. I quickly discovered that doing so added much more complexity to getting the scene right – I had to portray emotionally convincing characters in a difficult-to-speak language who sounded like they’d spoken it all their lives. There were many, many outtakes.
Doing that test scene taught me a lot about what to look out for during development and pre-production, and it’s the reason that A moment in the sun is so visually spartan and appeal-driven.
The scene is also the source for the snippet of robotic dialogue spoken by Mr Googly Eyes in my tutorial on using sound to drive animation in Blender. Now you know what Mo is actually saying.
As for The Quiet One as a project.. not for a while. After AMITS is done, it’s onto a quoll-centric project, then I’ll see how I feel.
This coming week I’ll be knocking over more Dutch lessons and occasionally whistling the music from AMITS so the project is at least somewhat on the front burners.