Friday, 1 June 2012

New Project To Keep Me Occupied

Since my final major project deadline I've been thinking what i can do well as having a break.

I decided to start a new sketchbook and think of something/ a subject I could work on which would involve doing short animations, 10 - 20 seconds long,  so i can explore different things within layout, composition, colour, animaiton principals, different styles and the software i use to create them.

The main topic which crept up was 'Waiting' as that's what I'm doing at the moment, waiting for my degree show and marks! I came up with a huge list of places people wait, obvious and obscure and thought I'd work on them until I get bored.

I started with the 'bus stop' as I'd been getting them loads lately...

This is how I wanted it to look once I'd done a few sketches and observations from standing at loads of bus stops

This is how it turned out..

It was refreshing working on this piece, it was quick to do and picked up on a good few new skills in after effects on the way.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Work Experience at The Neighbourhood

During the easter holidays me, Jack and Sarah had the privalage to work at The Neighbourhood for two weeks. I found it really interesting being able to see how a studio functions and started to appreciate the effort that goes into running a studio.

The best part about being there was having the opportunity to work on a live brief. It opened my eyes up to how much effort goes into a brief in the real world and all the ups and downs of it.
It was also really good to be able to look at a aftereffects file and study some of the tricks which people do to make sure everything is accessible and changeable. Having the flexibility to change things round is vital when working on a brief because the amount of changes that come in from the client is unbelievable.

As I hadn't yet started production on my FMP I was able to take what I'd learnt from working at  The Neighbourhood and put it into practice. As a result my files and program files were really easy to navigate and easily changeable. getting feedback from tutors and peers and having to change/ tweak small bits within Im' animation wasn't a time consuming ordeal (as it would have been on previous projects)

Thats the main thing I took away from my work experience

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

FMP | Facebook

 As well as having group crits every other week to get feed back on our progress, we've all been keeping in touch via a facebook group.
Its been good for many reasons, getting instant feedback if you don't want to wait till uni, also when people are just searching the web, they may find something which will relate to someones project, in which case we can just post it on the group.

Its kept the creative flow going throughout the whole semester...

It started off with posts on general stuff and people posting links to things which might help with research towards peoples projects

People wanted feedback on PDP elements of the course

During the later part of the semester, people wanted feedback on tests and were asking technical questions...

And a potato for dave...

Holden and Son | Making Space

After a portfolio visit with Manchester based studio 'Holden and Son' me, jack, john and ashleigh were given the opportunity to create a short animation for one of Peter Holden clients called 'Making Space'.

Me and Jack decided to work together on the brief whilst Ashleigh and John went solo. The collaboration worked really well, we set out to join our interests together into one animation. Jack has a love for stop motion and I really like hand drawn animation. It was great because the client's logo had a character in it which I felt would be really nice to animate hand drawn.

The company deals with people with schizophrenia and mental disorders and helps them deal with it. The key thing we picked upon was that this company is helping people deal with their mental disorder, so we wanted to get this across on our piece.
The idea is that the character isn't over coming his disorder, but has found a place where he/ she can deal with it.
We both worked on the idea, I animated the character and jack animated the paper, then we brought them together into after effects and made it look visually pleasing.
We decided to add backwards vocals to give a sense of distortion in the mind of the character.

Peter Holden liked the outcome and said he'd get in touch with 'Making Space' and show it to them in the near future.

FMP | Title Shot

I made a big deal in my animatic that my title will be embedded into the animation after a couple of shots, this meant I had to make sure I, firstly,  have a title for the piece and secondly it will looks nice and feels part of the animation.

Becasue the first section (before the title) is suppose to be the day before, i thought it would be good to have a sort of time lapse of the sky going from night to day, then back to night. During this shhot the title will come up.
So heres some references for the shot...



The main thing I took from these videos is the way the stars move because of the turning of the earth. also, the amount of stars there are out there. Lastly, the colour changes as the sun rises ad falls.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

FMP | Afterlife

This is how I picture the afterlife/ underworld of my animation. All done in Black and white to give total contrast from the 'real world', but still keep the same style of animation...looping two frames when there's no movement, you can see it in the piece of animation above.

Also, from watching the link below (sorry, i can't embed it for some reason) I want to add a bit of weirdness/ quirkiness to the scene. By this I mean distorting the characters at certain points, you can see it happening in the piece below at around 1minute 56 seconds.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

David Hockney Exhibition in London

Whilst in London I went to go see David Hockney's The Bigger Picture exhibition. My Mum and Dad had been just a week before and really enjoyed it (these are two people who couldn't be less interested in exhibitions normally) They even brought back a book of postcards from it....they were well good.

So I was pretty excited about going to the exhibition. When i got there I wasn't too excited about queuing up for an hour and a half. Once I was in there, it was a case of fighting through the crowds to make your way round the whole exhibit.

This is the exhibition (above), imagine that but with loads more people...

The work was great though, I had a different opinion on the paintings when i saw them up close from when i saw them far away. As I said out loud to Jack and John "you can really see his imperfections when you get right up close", although i was saying it in an arty voice to humor Jack and John a woman agreed with me and I ended up having a lengthy conversation with her about the paintings, so i had to keep up the persona for a while longer.

My fascination with colour in work meant that i was able to appreciate the work more than i would have done this time last year. The colours were just fantastic. he'd done so many pieces of work for the exhibition as well, and no two were the same, each were done with a different colour pallet.

It gave me so much inspiration for my own work, not really for my Final Major Project, but for what ever work I do in the future. I really want the book now.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Portfolio Visit | Daniel Greaves

I was lucky enough to have a one to one portfolio crit with Daniel Greaves at his studio 'Tandem Film'

I was pretty nervous to say the least, but I got so much out of it which will help towards my FMP and my views on where I'm going in my professional career.
I got near enough the same feed back on both my Feelgood and Train animation as Beakus gave me which only highlights the fact that I really need to consider timing in my work whilst taking into account what the piece of work is for.
He had a real good scrub through the feelgood piece and pointed out the design, like beakus, is really good and went on to say the characters feel like they belong to the environment you've designed. He was very careful with his words and didn't want to say things which weren't true which I admired, the overall feedback on my work and how I approach it was that the design of my work is very impressive and is working to my strengths.

What was good about showing my animatic for my FMP is that Daniel made me scrub through it and explain what was happening after he'd watched it through once. No one's ever asked me to do that, they've just tried to understand it and given me feedback which might not even apply. Once Daniel understood the piece he was able to give some really good feedback. As a result of the feedback (from both visits) I've made a new animatic with added shots which gets the story across better.
I showed a style test of how I wanted the piece to look, again, he liked the design of the animation. He said it seems I've got a lot of work to do if you want to get it all up to that standard!

What I've learnt from the visit is that design is a major strong point in my work and work needs to be done on my storytelling.

Protfolio Visit | Beakus

Me, Jack Maguire and John Hind went to visit Beakus studio last Wednesday whilst in London, arranged by John,  I showed three pieces of work to Steve Smith and Eleni O'Keeffe who kindly took the time out to see us.

I showed my Train Animation and Feelgood, the main bit of feedback I got, which applies to both, was that their too long for what they are. Feelgood should be shorter because it needs to be short and snappy as its advertizing a product whilst the Train Animation should be cut due to its lack of story.  I've been told this a few times now, and as a result I'm making sure my FMP is the right amount of time for what it is.
It was said for both pieces that my design work is really good. This was nice to hear as its something I've been working on to improve.

Lastly I showed my FMP animatic. It was really hard to do, as I had to sit there and explain the concept and it always makes me embarrassed, but I think its essential to do it and I just have to get over it.
It was good to show though, as I got a fresh pair of eye on it. The main thing brought up by Steve and Eleni was that there needs to be more of a reason for the Kid to scare the Bear, which is something I never considered, but it makes perfect sense now. I few suggestions were given which I went away and thought about and have now added to the animatic. Its added more work, but i think its work which is essential to the story.

Aslo, showed this piece which I did with jack. We described what it was for and why we did what we did. As a result they both understood it and had no comment on it...which was a good thing!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Portfolio Visit | Kilogramme

Me and Jack went to visit kilogramme studios on the 24th of February. We showed work to both Jon Turner and Claire Grey (also some of their freelance illustrators and animators)

I showed my train animation which I started working on when I did work experience with them. They thought it looked visually nice and they liked how it went from the storyboard and animatic (which i did whilst with them) to the final piece.
Although, they thought it needed more of a story for the length it was. I'm really surprised at how long the piece is now, as My last animation was so much shorter and still got the message across, even more so, my final major project is shorter than both of them at the moment and has a proper story to it.
So i've learnt a lot from that piece of work

Feelgood went down well, they laughed at it (which was a good sign), they thought the style was nice. Jon said the style reminded him of the designs for sleeping beauty, which I referenced when creating the piece. They still thought it could do with a cut down version which get to the punchline quicker.

Lastly I showed a style frame for my latest project (FMP) so I could get some help with style.

Both Clair and Jon liked it, but work needed to be done to make the character not slid along the background (which I've noted....but think my animatic is showing that it won't be much of a problems with the final animation due to choice of camera shots)
I also showed two of their freelance illustrators/ animators, Craig and David, both gave me some good Photoshop tips which would help with various things throughout the process of making the animation.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Colour So Far

FMP | Animation Style

My way of animating has developed due to the time constraints of the projects we get at university. I really enjoy frame by frame animation, but its so time consuming. But from watching loads of animations over the past 3 years i've managed to home in on a type of animation which I think works but doesn't require too much of my time, well sort of.

This animation by Dylan Forman starts to show how holding on a pose isn't too bad. Also, stretching the character within the inbetweens is something which I did a little of in the feelgood birds animation, but I think I can take it to the next step and really emphasize the stretches within my new animation, but I need to be aware that if the background doesn't have a looseness to them, it would look out of place. At the moment i plan on having the backgrounds quite loosely done, but if it gradually changes, i need to be aware of that before i start exaggerating the stretches.

This is another animation by Dylan Forman...

Again, there's lots of limited animation in there, but its real fast pace, which works well for limited animation as the faster the movement, the less frames are needed. I need to keep this in mind for my animation. There are slow bits within my piece, so i need to make sure i keep the frames to a small amount, but be weary that it doesn't look lazy or crap.

Lastly this animation by a US based studio called BUCK

There's actually a lot of frames and fluidity within the main character in this ad, but its the background character which I'm focused on; The busker and the bin man. You can tell there's less frames involved in their movement, maybe because there not the main vocal point of the piece and they can get away with looking a bit jittery, but I think it works well and feel even if they were the main character it wouldn't look too bad!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Setting | Canada + Pat the Adventurer

I decided a while back that my animation would be set in the lovely Canada. I wanted to pick a place where Native Americans actually inhabited (which was mostly everywhere) but also somewhere which I'd enjoy to research more into. I've never really payed much attention to Canada really, but once I'd started looking up certain areas around America, it didn't take long for me to realize that it was a beautiful place to set the animation.

I got a few images off flicker to help me at first, until I was explaining to my grandma (Patricia Burns, but we call her Pat) what I was doing for my final major time I saw her she'd got out her photo album form when she went there her self, plus a book she'd bought whilst there with loads of photographs of the Canadian Rockies.

These pictures have informing me on the look of the piece, making it look hopefully like the Canadian woodlands and great lakes. Specifically looking at the trees, the rocks and the mountains. Also, when looking at the just book, the night time scenes.

First the book...

I liked the mirror image created in this photo, could be good when looking at transition between the real world and the after life

Now Pat's pictures

Thanks go out to Pat for all the she is running out out a helicopter...