Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Amid Amidi And An Anti-Smoking Animation (now that's hard to say!)

Been doing research most days since we were given the essay brief for Critical Perspectives and have come across a web site which i now seem to be going to everyday. Its called Cartoon Brew and its run by two people one of witch I've heard of before called Amid Amidi who has a few books out which I've either read or bought, one of his books 'Cartoon Modern' is one of my favorite books ever because its all about 1950's and 60's animation which I love. He's not an animator though, i don't think, he just finds it interesting.

This website he's on is constantly updated and because I'd never heard of it before, I've been looking back at old posts, so i might never catch up!
I found this Video (below) which i liked, its an anti-smoking advert/ short animation by 'national film board of Canada' for 'The department of national health and Welfare'.

Kaj Pindal: King Size from Amir Avni on Vimeo.

There's some bits in it which i like, like when the dog coughs then kisses the boy, then the boy throws the cigarette into the sea and the dog follows, that bit is really nice. Also just the whole idea of its good.

Amid Amidi seems to be a well respected name in the animation industry and I'm gonna try and get some quotes of him talking about John Lasseter (if i can find any) for the CP Essay.

Monday, 29 March 2010

My Sad Lif....Lights

These are my lights at night when switched on, i think it looks quite sad.

Yer, my lights look like a sad fat man. Its because the lights 'beam?' makes eyebrows on top of two of the three lights, the eyebrows are tilting outwards which gives the impression that its sad. And to add to it, the light facing away from the camera (middle one) is casting light on the bottom half of the picture giving it a upside down smile. :(

An Animation

A guy posted this on facebook today, i watched it and thought I'd talk about it (anything to get away from research for the essay!)

I liked it in terms of animation, i uses the principals of animation, the run at the start is really nice because its not a cycle, the girl's running in all sorts of directions, pressing up against the wall and leaping of the curb. Also the camera movement at the start is nice and smooth.

The only thing i hate about it is the music, just don't think is suits the animation at all. I looks like it is a sort of horror/ scary animation short (by the image on their website CLICK). Even if they want to give the impression that its going to be a nice jolly short at the start, it shouldn't have the same music at the end as well, I personally think it changes the whole atmosphere. Its as if they've built up this whole ambiance then just said "its only an animation!, cut to the jolly music"

Foley is very good though, when were looking through the dolls point of veiw, the noise of the eyes moving is very effective.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

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My chosen 'kinetic Verb' being 'Sway' i though I'd best look at really drunk people who can't keep there balance. Hopefully this will help me in trying to get a nice realistic sway going........If not, then it was still worth watching them!

After watching these videos, what I have to be careful of is not to turn 'Sway' into 'Balance', which is quite an easy thing to do, but i suppose they are both sorta the same thing.
In my eyes 'sway' is more subtle than 'balance', so my animation shouldn't be really exaggerated movements but more gentle, slow movements. (but i still want a bit of a challenge so i might put one, slightly exaggerated sway in it!)

What i got from watching these two videos and many more on Youtube!, is the moment of balance they get from swaying to one side then moving back to the other side.
The tension builds for a second, weather he/she will fall or not and then we are relived by the drunk person either falling or just carrying on walking in a stupid fashion.
I'm gonna have to capture that tension where either the 'sway' will fall or move to the other side, which will mean a seconds worth of frames moving very slightly. Oblivious mine wont fall, so it will go back in the opposite direction.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Robert Clampett

When we were reading through some of the 12 (24!) principles, I'd think to myself where I might have seen them stand out in animations that I've watched. When we came to Exaggeration, the first person i thought of was Robert Clampett.
Robert Clampett was a director for Warner Brothers, he directed loads of really good Looney Tunes animations and he had a certain style which is easily recognizable. The animation is just crazy, he takes exaggeration to the next level in character design.

This video gives the reasons why he uses these really exaggerated frames.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


My idea was always very vague, even by the late stages of the brief. I knew that I wanted to use the television studio for this idea of showing a t.v studio in a new way, but the Idea was lacking in a good ending, in face it was lacking in any ending at all.
I knew in my head how I wanted this short film to look, but I couldn’t communicate the idea what so ever to the tutors and the treatments I wrote didn’t do any better either. Because of my bad communication of ideas the teachers tried to get something out of me and help to resolve the film and make it interesting to the viewer.
Having ideas from the tutors was helpful because it got me thinking more, but they came to me on different days giving me ideas to make the short film work and what I did was take both there opinions and ideas and tried mould the film round what they had told me, which I knew wasn’t what they wanted me to do with there advice but because I didn’t actual know what my idea was I just took what ever I could get.

I was pleased with my storyboards I made, even though my idea was still very sketchy. From the storyboards you can sort of see what I wanted to achieve in the short film and I kept on referring back to it when doing my editing on my first edit.
Once I’d talked about the edit I’d done, the comments I got were that it was the same all the way through it, so I tried an edit where the rhythm of the was messed with to make the fast cuts and slow sections were more exaggerated, but came to the conclusion after talking with the tutors that sound might be the key the this film working.

My final film isn’t totally different to how it was on the first edit and isn’t far off my initial idea, because I always wanted sound to be a prominent part of the short film and have extreme close ups of the equipment in the studio.
So there are elements of what I wanted the film to look like even if it had changed over time but the changes have made the film much more interesting.

All the way thought this brief my issue has been my idea and it had been the problem all the way thought to the end and has made everything much more difficult from making treatments to talking to the tutors. But over all I am happy with how it’s progressed over time however radically that may have been and I think the final out come is both audially and visually interesting.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Another Treatment Post & somthing else

My motto has to be something on the lines of, 'if your shit at something which might help you in your future then work on it', that's why I've posted a few things about Treatments!

As well as having most people from moving image on this blogger I've also started following other people as well, one of which is a 'Pixar' blog (its not an official one, just a fan one who seems to have a lot of inside knowledge or a lot of time on there hands)

This guys (or gals) latest post was about Pixar's next short film (which will be before Toy Story 3, which should be pretty good by the looks of things)

The short is called 'Day & Night' and it just looks amazing from the two characters and the typography in the poster which is below...

Firstly I'll get the treatment out of the way....well the guy has called it a Synopsis (which if you read down a few posts at "treatments 'take 4" you'll start to understand that they are both the same....sort of!), ANYWAY, hears the treatment/ sinopsis....

When Day, a sunny fellow, encounters Night, a stranger of distinctly darker moods, sparks fly! Day and Night are frightened and suspicious of each other at first, and quickly get off on the wrong foot. But as they discover each other's unique qualities--and come to realize that each of them offers a different window onto the same world--the friendship helps both to gain a new perspective.
(read the guys full article on it at

So this treatment gives us no camera angles or how they will shoot it (which i kept doing), its telling us what sort of characters they both are and how they react together plus a vague description on how they resolve there problems. It sums up with 'the friendship helps both to gain a new perspective.' which leaves you (well it leaves me) wanting to see it.


Right, boring bit over with, ok, this 'Day and Night' is Directed by a guy called 'Teddy Newton' who's work i love. I first saw his work in 'The Art of The Incredables' (which a book of the art work from 'The Incredables') which i also love, he was a character designer for the film 'the Incredables' which was Directed by Brad Bird. Brad and Teddy Newton came to Pixar together after they both worked on 'Iron Giant' (brad bird was the director again and Teddy Newton was Story boarder Etc) So they both came into this new medium together (3D animation)

The reason why i like 'The Art of The Incredables' was because of teddy Newtons work, hes very much influenced by the style of the 50's and 60's animation (which i absolutely love my self) so the book immediately applied to me.
This new sort film has Teddy Newtons style all over it, from the characters (having both eyes on one side of the nose is very 50's, that was inspired by Picasso's cubist movement which looked at things at different perspectives/ time)

can't wait to see it! :D


Nic told me that my video reminds her of this advert (above) which I'm fine with, it has a beat that builds up over time, introducing new things every now and then which is what i was/ still am doing. My short film is 2 minuets though, so i have to have a lot more thing to introduce to stop people getting board of watching the same thing.

This video (above) made by a guy on you tube (he's suppost to be quite famous on you tube?!?) any way, this guy is using things around the house to make a beat for a song, its very good sound wise (bit of a cheesy song though). He has some clever ways of having a musical pause (iron steam and stapler)

But I'm not a fan of cutting up the screen to see every sound he's made, i don't know where to look and especially with my film, if i was to over lap sounds,(all my sounds are very very short) meaning things will be popping up then going away whilst other things might carry on, it would get too complex and no one would know where to look.
Saying that though this guy has overlapped sounds (i'm not musical, so i don't want to try and start overlapping!) so I suppose cutting the screen up helps in a way.

Monday, 8 March 2010


I've sort of took inspiration from the short film by George Lucas (a little bit too much inspiration now I've looked at it!) Only from the credits at the beginning, having extreme closeups of televisions and blued lights from computers. Also the darkness of it all, you feel enclosed in this mess of wires and lights.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Treatment 'take 4'

Today I got this e-mail off my dads friend....

Tom, You asked 'when you write a book do you have to write a treatment?'

I said 'yes', which is in fact a lie,

The answer should have been 'no, I have to write a
synopsis'. Which is pretty much the same as a treatment.

In publishing they ask for a synopsis. In film and TV they ask for a treatment. They're very similar. Basically, a summary of the whole thing. Everybody hates doing them and there is no right or wrong way because everybody has a different idea of what should and shouldn't be

The only rule is if somebody asks for two
paragraphs don't give them three pages and vice versa.

Sometimes you're asked to write a treatment after
you've written the whole thing. Everybody hates doing that as well. It seems pointless and sounds easy, but sometimes it's hard to condense the whole thing into a short document.

Have fun.


(He also gave me this website to look at, he said its quite long winded and that they should have written a synopsis!)

Saturday, 6 March 2010

"Treaments, Take 3"

I spoke to my dads friend yesterday when he came round, hes an author and has three books out at the moment. His latest book is aimed at 13-14 year olds and his last two were 8-9 (I think)

It suddenly clicked that he would have to somehow sell his idea/story to a book publisher, so i asked him weather he has to write a treatment! (he said yes)

So i asked him what is a treatment (me still confused on what they are) and he answered, "every publisher wants somthing different, some what a in depth analysis of the characters that will feature the book, whilst others don't what too much said about them" he goes on to say "you can sit at the internet for hours (which i tried to do) but will never get a certain answer to want people what from a treatment"

Remember that this is for books though, so it could be different for a moving image.

He also said "i hate writing treatments", looks like I'm not alone!

His books:
The Courageous Cats' Club
The Courageous Cats Compete
The Angels of Mona Terrace

Here's his website->>>>>>>Click>>>>>>>Steve Wood Books

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Messing with contrast/ brightness/ colour, in Film (& T.V)

This episode of scrubs came to mine when messing with colour and contrast etc to make clips look sharper or more interesting.

The episode is based loosely on 'The wizard of Oz', the start of the show everything is normal, just like any other scrubs episode, but after the break (half way through) the colours are so much brighter, everyone is wearing bright coloured clothes, women where bright coloured lipstick etc. I'm guessing that the brightness is upped in premier (or what ever software they use!)

Changing the contrast and brightness, making colours more vibrant, makes the whole second half of this episode look like a different world, a fantasy place.