Sunday, 6 December 2009
2.Draw more loosly. Using the life drawing and referencing skills picked up from my Tutor Kathy and my fellow students (Gaz and Rory you are an inspiration) i have started to use these skills to draw things that just come to mind. These are usually themed with an underlying thought but the work has recently had no physical reference.
3.Teach my boy Photoshop. I hope he becomes more interested in this program, i am sure he will. This is also an ideal way to go over some of the functions that i have not used for some time.
4.Learn Illistrator. I am having a course in Illistrator at the University. I am doing it in my own time. This will aid me in creating vector based charecter for Flash animation. At last we can say goodbye to the jaggies.
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Oh and sorry about the quality; i am hopefully getting a scanner soon..
The one i chose was called 'Lorraine'.
It makes you feel kind of sad because of the minor key, (Gm i think) this gives it a kind of melancholic feel.
When i opened up each file and looked at them as waveforms a few things became apparent. The way the patterns repeated in the piece of music that i chose shouted out to me that a visual pattern would be easy to sequence. There was also two definite sections; this would allow a certain ammount of repitition.
The next time i do an experimental piece i will make it completly non narrative and use total abstraction with no recognisable shapes or figures.
Also the way i shot the animation was all together too fast; when played back a lot of the movemens seemed far too fast. The only time that i got near the natural speed of animation at 25fps was on the last day of shooting.
I will post up a load of stuff later today; but i am afraid none of it is here at the mo. Well except these stills.
Monday, 30 November 2009
I am going to do the same method and see if i can get a lot better at it.
Hopefully the new software will come into play soon; this will make rigging and animating the charecter a lot easier.
I am sorry the animation is not uploaded here yet; but i got in late and the file is in the studio.
I think that my time-management skills left a lot to be desired in this module. Not checking the file sizes that we had to produce for the finished animation was a school-boy mistake;also not knowing how to produce the file type was pretty slack.
These silly mistakes could have stopped any entry being made to the competition and therfore resulted in a lot of wasted time.
On the upside the charecter works well; i only realised this when looking at him with no volume; it works. This is good. Hell yeh. Get over the comedy cat head figure and there is body and facial laungage that enforce the spoken narrative and become this character. Well i am happy enough with this project but expect a lot of stick from my tutors on not letting the character really 'let go'; this is something thatt i assure you one of my characters is going to do soon; so beware!
Thursday, 26 November 2009
The animation is now finished and all i have to do is stop myself from over-doing the animation on the character- ie keep going back and tweaking bits and pieces as i think this would cause an over busy character.
I have issues with the new flash CS4 interface and especially the way the tween don't work; maybe its me; but i just ended up using key frames and no tweens. Put a tween in there and the results were unpredictable at best.
I feel that my character is a bit of a comedy/scaredy cat character; the best things about him are the way his jaw moves and his shoulders and head movements are very expressive. He is looking for a response in the last second of the animation, his body language is saying "well what should i do, I've got a crushing problem here".
I have a first run of the animation with me at the moment which i will post; it has faults which i ironed most of out yesterday; these include more head and arm movement, better lip-sync on the last passage and a background (don't know if i am going to us that yet as it distracts from the character).
As for the Sketchbook work.
Well i have my sketchbook with me all the time; i have tried to commit more to single line drawings and trust my eye; this has worked sometimes; and others not. I have also been experimenting with drawing the human face more; conjouring up images in my mind and putting them down on paper. Reference work has been mainly covert; looking at people on my journy to Tremough from St Austell. This has given me the chance to observe family groups, teenage hierachies, people with animals and sole travellers. A lot of the poses have had to be sketched at speed as the subjects are rarly still.
This is the one which has been doing my nut in. The time code that we are working to and keeping the relevence to it is the thing that is tripping me up. Today i am going to put my footage into Adobe Premiere and see what i can do with it.
We shall wait and see the outcome; but i have two different styles to play around with...
Also this week
We were invited to a talk on some vjing project that the third years are doing. They asked us for some help and maybe to do some 3D work for them. This is good; i have a meet with them today so we can try a digital enviroment i have knocked up in Maya in the virtual reality studio. This is exciting stuff...
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
The pebbles i am using are also slightly translucent; so they give a very warm feel to the piece.
More to follow.
Monday, 16 November 2009
SOrry about the orientation of this one!
Friday, 13 November 2009
This changes when they are around a food establishment; where tit-bits are on offer and their pest eradicating skills are useful. The animals become more submissive and do the whole leg weaving thing, knowing that there is a chance of food.
The kind of animal i am going to be animating for the eleven second club is a world apart from the type of cat i have seen in the Canaries; but one thing remains constant, the relationship with food.
The thing i have got to keep in this character is the constant between the donor and the recipient; the relationship between cat and feeder, but with a lot of added presumption.
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
I am going to build a new character and animate it in flash. The sound byte is 11 seconds long (hence the name), so it is not long to get some kind of message across. The importance of situation and sillouette will be very important in this exercise; instant recogrition of the scene and emotional bond with the character are a must.
Simplicity is king here, i feel. Im thinking a cat character could be in the pipeline....everyone likes cats!
Have got hold of some gels from the media store and i am experimenting layering techniques.
May use cooking oil as a bonding agent. This could get messy.
Thursday, 29 October 2009
This kind of animation could be done by layering gels (lighting gels) and moving them in time with the music to create a rythmical narritive. The next thing i have to do is build a rig and borrow a camera. Lucky enough i have a light which could be addapted (old 200w disco light).
I have also watched some old 'dope sheet' programs, and the Beyond dope sheet programs.
This also gave me a few ideas, the oil on glass thing looked good; then i thought maybe mixing those two styles together i could come up with something a bit more experimental. We will see.
Our task this week for our charecter animation was to animate a person whos mood changes from one moment to another. My character is going from sad to overjoyed. I feel the best aspect of my animation is the way the guys chest is heaving and his shoulders are rising and falling. He even makes me feel sad.
The way i would improve it ( i know, i still have time but at the moment i have caught a lurgy and it would not be fair to come into the studio), is to make the first pose more expressive and hyper-typical of the emotion i want to portray. I am happy with the format i am using, and the next peice or work will incorperate my newly acquired knowledge of the bone tool.
As for drawing...
I have been keeping my sketchbook up to date, and as soon as i get a camera that works (i know, slackness) we will have a load of them posted on the Blog,
Thursday, 22 October 2009
This is like a clash between visual and aural mediums coming from a totally different angle, using the hands on approach of a turntablist, as a zoetrope. This is then married with several different digital mediums to create some nice looking kalidoscopic effects.
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
This is the first run through of my lifting animation. I am using flash because i feel it is a very powerful tool and that it has been under-used by me so far. I want to develop the images that i am using in photoshop in future to give more detail. But this is a bit of fun and something i am going to do a lot more of.
The guy has actually got four heads; each one with a different expression on; even tho this was not part of the exercise. I am thinking of giviing him another couple of sets of feet so he will not look so flat footed. This is yet to come.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
I am going to try and pick someones brains tomorrow (if there is anyone available), to run through the controls on the Dee model, as i live afar from uni and am deprived of the software at the moment. This has stopped me from tinkering with the 3D model at home.
Having someone to act out the pick-up would be a help also; for the timing and stature, as i do not want to jib it and just copy the poses out of the 'animators survival guide'.
Today i have designed a 2D character in flash and made him very posable. With the help of the various transform commands in flash i should be able to come up with a believable sense of weight.
I think that the way the feet are positioned along with the anticipation should make or break this little scene, hopefully by this time tomorrow i should have some kind of developement to show you.
Until then, laters.
Sunday, 18 October 2009
An experimental piece is to follow.
As i have not got Maya at home at present i thought i would do the walk cycle in flash; with all the constituent parts of the body in different colours so you can see what is going on.
This cycle is over 12 frames, which i feel is about the minimum you need to get a walk across. Also i feel the stride on the black leg is a bit too long; giving the appearence of a limp; but overall i think it is not too un-natural. I know that this walk cycle is going to get torn to pieces; and yes it is one of the disiplines that i have been neglecting; this exercise high-lighted that, and the need for at least one walk cycle to be done every week. Promise.
Sunday, 11 October 2009
The experimental animation class is something i am really looking forward to, and i have already had a mad idea which involves getting my hands dirty. The medium i am going to be using is poster paint and a rough form of printing. While the paint is wet a mirror image of the paint is taken and then a mirror of that is taken again and hey-presto, you have a frame !
This should end up with a vivid coloured, moving paint shape which i can move to the time of the music. The peice of music i am going to use is the forth one; it conjours up late nights in downtown Chicago; bleary eyed detectives driving through neon drenched streets; fly-overs and sleezy all-night bars.
The choice of colour and the amount of colour i use are going to be of great importance in this project; the way that the colour travels across the paper is also of great importance. I am thinking a right to left shift of colours to suggest some kind of car journey.
Before i get ahead of myself; lets go buy some paint......
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Please have a look and tll me what you think?
Other things that have been on my mind this summer are an animation of the Chrysilids by John Wyndham, with the various sects and groups being represented by different genres of electronic music. The narrative would be carried forward by music and light objects alone, in such a way that Fantasia does.
Thats me blert for today, arn't those Germans mad?!
Monday, 1 June 2009
(The finished animation is to follow)
Friday, 29 May 2009
We have also gone down the route of stero-typing. Everything you see is of no surprise and in some instances is even expected (such as the cup of tea and the knitting). Where the realism lets go is on the whole ambience of the room and the outside; and the fact that you are invited into a very personal memory in the form of a flashback. The depliction of this memory is slightly hazey and lacks the same colour of the 'real-life' scenes. This is supposed to say it is of a long time ago.
I hope it does and all my worries are unfounded, but for me to say whether we have succeeded in doing what we set out to do is a hard shout, familiarity can chuck your perception.
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
The weather has been kind to us today in the respectof foley; we needed the sound of a car going thruogh a wet road; a hard sound to get if the weather is fine, but today it is raining, so we got our noise. The sound of the clock ticking has come from an old metronome; which gives a very audiable clear tick; and this will enable us to duplicate it and dumb it down a bit in the wave-form editor (it only has one click per second and we are after tick AND the tock).
Other foley has represented its own problems; such as the stairs when i only live in a flat, (we tried the stairs all round the campus but the reverb was wrong on every attemp). We got over this by finding a creaky floor-board in my flat and having my son (Jake) creep over it inching forward all the time.
We have decided against the rain sound in favour of having stormy skys; this now gives the impression that it has just rained in the classic sunshine and showers (cornish fashion).
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
This could be compared to taking a medical realist drama and plonking it firmly into the relms of urban horror/fairy tale (think Brothers Grimm meets the Candyman).
It is a shame that this narrative can not be made into an animation; but if i have time and the reception is favourable i may take it on in my own time (maybe over the summer).
The advantage of doing the storyboard digitally is the way it can be instantly inserted into an animatic and the ease of correcting any mistakes made in the continuity. This brings me on to the dis-advantages. The fact you cannot see the previous peices of work (i work off a single screen lap-top at home) can lead to deviation in line thickness, colour palet and character dress,etc.
This is the first bit of the storyboard before i made corrections.
The next phase is to see if the story is working so far; that is if the narrative is being carried forward at the right pace (remembering there is no sound at the moment).
Friday, 8 May 2009
The team is getting on pretty well and i feel that the pre-production and prodution are well on the way. Because we are dealing with two different time-periods the look can be changed to suit. In our case we are using 2d for the older 1940's stuff with some hand-drawn animation. I feel that this has to be got on with asap as it could be quite time consuming. The 3-d stuff is being modelled as planned and the shading is being done by one person as planned.
Had fun moddelling a ball of wool in a wicker basket today; used two different methods. I bump maped the wool and made the basket out of separate straws. Both i feel went well, but i must make sure my images for the bump map are dark/light enough in future (so the bump definition shows up).
Thursday, 23 April 2009
The first is:as she is refering to the fact that she does not intend to fall out with anyone in the future then we thought we would highlight the solitude that a lot of old people experience and have her sat in a room by herself. In this way we thought that we could offer a copy of the finished animation (or maybe an edit) to help the aged (a charity).
Secondly, as she is talking about her husband; a flashback into her younger life highlighting what a non confrontational person she was and also the love that was in her marrage. We feel it is important that we get this in as to not put across the wrong message.
The mediums we are going to be using are all digital, some 2d and some 3d, making use of the toon shader in maya.
One of our team is going to be in charge of all the shading so that the continuity is preserved.
So far so good.
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
This is a similar task to that of a music video where you have the sound first and work the animation to the sound. The post syncrinisation of the animation will differ from that of a music video because it has a historical context to the brief. Also there is a very Cornish flavour to the project; and in the 60 years since the recordings were made the place has changed drasticly.
We are also being told that we are to work in small groups; this i am going to find hard as i have just finished working in a group and i have a feeling that maybe i have put my cards on the table too early.
Hopefully i can find a group who will allow me to take a backseat this time and not think i am shirking any responsability, as i would also like the chance to do something out of my comfort zone; maybe something more traditional like model making or drawing.
We have a meeting tomorrow and i am sure after that i will know a bit more.
Friday, 20 March 2009
On the upside all was completed on time and the brief was satisfied. I feel that the quality of the final piece was compromised by the last-minute attitude of our group (we could have done with at least another render), but the pre-production sketches provided by James offered a good start for our design bible and basis for our research (think Mega city one/Metropolis).
This was all put together by Gabe, who also done most of the post-production work.
The purpose of this 'block-through' is to show which bits of the production have to be detailed or even built at all.
As it happened, we could have got away with a lot more as we had to make compromises on the lighting for the rendering time and so we could meet our deadline. In the end to meet it we had four machines going for hours at a time and had to hope that the final result was right and all the render settings were the same on all the machines. As it was this was the case.
After realising that the lenght of time actually spent in the city was less than 2 seconds, the aim of this part of the animation was to portray that there is a lot going on within Chew, and not to show a highly detailed lot of buildings but just the idea of this. The nature of the shot; the way it pulls back at speed bombards the senses and before you know it you are looking at the chew logo. This gave us a get-out clause on a lot of the detail.
As it was the biggest problem (besides the lack of light, which actually worked in our favour) was when the camera went up in the cloud (Fluid container, actually like cloudy water) the light from the ground started to act really weird. The blue lights just set the sky 'on fire', this i feel must have been part of the fluid set-up, but as this was the only render we had time for we had to find a quick fix. We ended up putting a pure white scene in between the transfer from maya to after-effects. this gave us the desired white-out and got us out of trouble. If i had time i would have un-associated the clouds from any lights and this would have also spead up the render time.
Going completely off on a tangent this has led me to start thinking about the way that light acts in fluid containers andthe ways in which this could be used in abstract animation. This is an area which i am keen to research and maybe find a way of expressing a narrative through this. The use of the 3-d space created by the cloud give instant perspective and the way that certain lights in maya work could have some really impressive results.
As for now, this is our finished ident, sorry if it lags a bit, you might have more joy downloading it and then viewing. Bye for now..
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
We had a go at lip-syncing in flash today, it was ok, but i can also see it can be very time consuming and also very rewarding at the same time. The planning side of this is very important as you have to make all the mouth shapes for the noises before you start; this enables you to have a clear run at your animating.
Monday, 2 March 2009
Thursday, 26 February 2009
Friday, 20 February 2009
These are some backgrounds i have done using different mediums. The top one i have used pencil and then scanned it into photoshop and then used gradients, layers and various selection techniques to get the feel of a desert at sun-up. The problem i had with the printing of the background was that the colour management chain from the macine t the key drive and then on to the printer made the image a lot darker.
My initial reaction of having to do an ident aimed at this age group was to go out and drink some cider and get me 'teenage head' back on. Then i began thinking that i never really took it off and this realisation has given me the confidence to come up with some great ideas (well i think so anyway).
The pitch is on Thursday and by that time we have to decide which one of the ideas that we are going to go for. I am in a small team with Gabriel who is probably the nearest to my age in the group. This project is going to rock. We can not wait.
Monday, 2 February 2009
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
But i think that they can relax and breathe a sigh of relief because i feel these advances in on-screen technology can enhance the cinemographic experience and inject some life into the industry. With narrative based productions seemingly going over the same old 'stability-occurrence-stability' format; the injection of some 'wow factor' can not only add strings to the script-writers bow; but enable them to re-invent the wheel- that is, take the simplest narrative form and present it as though it were the a new concept.
By this i mean that the target audience in western animation, is,mainly children. So in making the tale of sinbad the sailor for instance in a two dimensional traditional cell-type animation in the 1950's now makes it possible to bring real life actors into the production with a high degree of CGI; therefore the actors are benefiting from the work that the speculative value of the film generates. This was proved to be true in 'Sinbad and the eye of the tiger' Ray Harryhausen (1977) which exhibited a high degree of stop motion animation and made the film a success; even though its two predecessors had seemingly exhausted the subject in hand. (Releasing princesses from evil genies or magicians).
Now surely the gate is open for another Sinbad film to be made just on the basis of CGI?
This also brings in the question of shelf-life of these productions. Unless a film is either totally believable or not believable at all i feel has something to do with the shelf-life. As we discussed in our lecture there is a place that the consciousness does not want to be in believability; when a production is uncannily life-like but there is just something about it that un-nerves you. This is true in robotics as well as animation and is called the un-canny valley. Whether there is a correlation between the believability of a film and its shelf-life is open to much debate; but personally i think that there definitely is. To give you a contentious example of this i cite the second volley of star wars movies; especially Clone wars. This for me is like Industrial Light and Magic have just found a new toy water pistol and proceeded to get everyone soaked when they could have just had an occasional squirt here and there and the fascination would have lasted a lot longer. The scenes when the same space ship is flying past again and again in the background remind me of the background scenery on a Hanna-Barbara chase sequence!
Surly this will limit the longevity of this series of films. I know this is not strictly speaking the un-canny valley theory i was on about earlier; but parallels can be drawn.
All in all i believe that CGI will carry on to supply traditional actors with work through speculative developments in film; more outlandish plots and the continual need for a human element in all productions; be it voice or live acting.
These are times of fast change in visual technology; and i believe that as happened with electronic music production, a plateau will be reached where any development is so minute that the viewer will not register it and any speculative value will be lost and narrative based production will prevail; be it with Thespians or not.