Friday, 4 December 2009

Experimental Project

Ok, so I've been on a bit of a creative rollercoaster in the past couple of weeks. My initial idea was altered, as I decided to team up with Orla to do a much bigger project, which would require two people. We intended to go to the beach, and do some pixelation down there with sculptures on the beach. However, the weather has been absolutely appauling, and its been too wet to be able to take a camera and tripod outside. So with only a week left and the sudden dawning realisation that we weren't going to make it to the beach we had to drastically rethink our approach. Therefore we decided to make origami dinosaurs. Relevent yes? So we spent a good few days making dinosaurs and the set, and we decided we wanted to make it look like an old style film, like the original King Kong. So we imported our footage into After Effects and used various layers and effects to create and old film look. Overall, I am quite pleased with the end result, considering we didn't have any stop motion equipment, so had to just take pictures and then go back and change things after we had imported it all onto the computer, which made it a very long process, as we had no onion skin option. But I think it works well with the sound clip we chose, and I think if we had had more time we would have been able to make it much better, but considering the limitations we had, I think we did pretty good!!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

11 sec club Update!

When I first set out doing this project, I wanted to create a very smooth flowing animation that looked polished and perfect. But as I started to do it, and put in the keys, I realised that a really smooth animation wasn't picking up on the mood of the character. So I altered my angle slightly, and decided that I wanted to make it look a little more disjointed, as I felt that would reflect the mind of little Arnold. I went down a sort of "cut-out esque" sort of approach, using flash and photoshop to layer up the different parts of the animation, putting the eyes, arms and tears on separate layers, so it would look like I was layering paper on top of paper, while still being obvious that it was actually a Flash animation!

Sounds slightly complicated, but was actually a alot easier than animating each and every frame. And far less time consuming. Because I had opted to do a full colour detailed character, as opposed to just a sketch or mono chromatic character without too much detail, it was taking an eternity to draw and colour each frame individually, and I realised I was running out of time, so took a slightly easier shortcut. I think if I had possibly managed my time a little more efficiently, and spent less time doing tests and character design I could ahve probably done it frame by frame, in traditional animation stylee!

I have to admit that I am enjoying the character design parts of these projects more so than the actual animation, possibly because I prefer drawing than computers :P

But overall I have enjoyed this project. I think if I had had the entire year to work on it, I would have got the animation more refined, but overall I am pleased with the overall look of it.

Here is the (almost) final version!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Experimental Project update

Right, after working out HOW to go about doing it as I had first wanted, I realised it would cost a small fortune to get enough stuff, SO I have had to modify my idea a little bit. Instead of having characters animated onto pixelated objects, I have just had to find interesting objects to pixelate. And what did I find?? 5 year old funny shaped potpourri. Excitment! I thought at first it wouldn't work or be very experimental but I plan on combining it with some pixelation of some willing volunteers, in a sort of Harry Potter-esque moving photograph type jobbie!

Ive done the first few seconds of the pixelation as a test, just to see if I like the look of it. I am possibly thinking of altering it slightly but here is what I have so far. I think its important to be able to tweak thigs as you go along. If you find something you don't like early on, its better to change it then, than to carry on and end up hating the end product!

Ok here is a little test!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Experimental Project

I was definatley thinking I wanted to do pixelation for this project, and then (while re-watching episodes of Sesame Street like a cool person) I saw what used to be my favourite part of the whole show and it has really influenced the way I want to go about this project.

I really like this method of combining the different styles of animation, and Im thinking I really want to do something similar, combining my original pixelation idea with some hand drawn animation. How difficult it will be remains to be seen, but watch this space, we shall see what happens!!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

11 Second Club - Week 1

I'm really excited about this project!!! I like the idea of being able to spend a nice long period of time on one animation to make it awsome! The idea behind my animation is there is a little caterpillar and he is upset because he is stuck inside his cocoon while its all nice outside :( and he is depressed and resorts to eating "9 cans of aerosol whipped cream" poor caterpillar. His name is Arnold. I did a character design for him, and I wanted him to be as caterpillarly as possible while keeping him silghtly cartoony, so i found this picture of a caterpillars face - and cartoonised it do make Arnold!! Here he is!

Poor sad Arnold!! Well I also did a scene layout sort of jobby so I could work out shots etc. It's a bit difficult because the animation is only 11 seconds, but thats half the challenge!!! SO here it is!

I've also done a preliminary lip sync test. I wanted to do a quick flash pass at it, just to work out timings and mouth shapes because his mouth is not a traditional mouth and has 4 moving parts. So here is a first rough pass at lip sync of the first bit of dialogue!

Well, watch this space for updates!!!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Mood Change Animation

Ok here it comes!!! The triumph that is Alfred throwing his mate into a pile of poo!!! I spent longer on working on timings for this one, but I still think he needs more weight behind the throw. More anticipation a bigger lean back maybe. See what you think! :D

Monday, 26 October 2009

Heavy Lifting Man - The Result!

Ok so here is the final result! It needs a bit of tidying up, there are some volume issues and it needs a few more frames after he has lifted the ball, so it looks more realistic, but overall I'm pretty pleased with him. I'm going to give him another go though, to make him perfect!! Go Alfred!!!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Heavy Lifting Research

Ok so I did some videos of me and Ma lifting the microwave up. NB When I was lifting it up, it was full of oranges to make it heavier :P

Monday, 19 October 2009

Heavy Object Liftage

Ok so this is the next assignment, getting Alfred to pick stuff up. Heavy stuff. I am going to go home and film myself moving breeze blocks, so I can see how ridiculous I look and then I'll put it on here!!! Watch this space :D

Monday, 12 October 2009

Oh Lord, she's a second year!

Ok Second year! Let's go! I am determined to actually succeed in blogging regularly this year. AND getting all my stuff up too, so you can see what I'm up to! I have decided that last year was my practise run and this year I WILL make everything awsome, and if its not I'm going to redo it until it is :D Simplez! Ok so I have a couple of things I've been working on, I've really gotten into the character design side of things over the summer and have been playing about with drawing on Photoshop (although I am still VERY amateur; I am hoping this will change dramatically over the course of this year!). I also have a couple of sketchy type things just on paper I've done as well, and I've been doing some "proper" drawings of famous people, because I am becoming more drawn ('scuse the pun) towards faces and the varieties of expressions and characteristics and such that can be evident in just one face. So i thought I would practise some faces of people that were recognisable to see if I could capture the face well enough for people to know who it was.

Here are a couple of examples!

Ok please say you got that it was Bob Marley and Michael Jackson.......

Here is a photoshop cartoon type character designy sort of dude that I was working on on Sunday.

This took me a couple of hours to finish and its not amazing but I'm going to practise some more with Photoshop and try and do at least one character design every week! You read it here first!
Ok so the projects coming up this year. Well we have a character animation project coming up which I'm really looking forward to, I'm wanting to take a more traditional approach, possibly hand drawn on paper, or possibly Flash, I will see nearer the time which I'm feeling more. After saying last year that I was prefering 3D to 2D, I have completely switched around. Sure the 2D can be very time consuming, but I fully get into the zone and its actually quite relaxing!
Anyway, we also have an experimental animation project to do. to accompany a soundclip, and I really want to experiment either again with 2D, but in a slightly different way, possibly combining it with stop motion, but I am really into trying this pixelation malarky. I reckon that "Neighbours" is pretty sweet, so doing something like that would be pretty sweet! There's also a sketch book project to do for Kathy, which is going to be a bit of a challenge as we have to draw like strangers, which I have found a bit tricky so far, but I've done a couple from photographs, but it totally doesn't have the same impact, so I may have to just look like a creep and draw people in the pub or on a bus or something! But thats going to be awsome also!
But to kick it all off, here is a little walk cycle I did this afternoon to get back into the swing of things. And I'm actually rather proud of him. I've named him Alfred.
So that's it so far! I will keep you posted as I progress! Year 2; And so it begins!!!

Saturday, 25 April 2009


Well of all the places to have a history project about!! Still whatever floats your boat I suppose :D The ideas our group has atm are really positive, everyone is getting on and really combining ideas, i tihnk we are definaltey in with a chance of making this awsome. (although to be fair after my shocking ident project, Tottenham Hotspur look I take it back, that could never happen..)

I am working on character design at the moment, which I am really enjoying. I discovered earlier on that I was more at home doing things in 2D. The background project for Kathy I really enjoyed, and I thin that in the future the design and pre production side of things is definately something that I would be interested in getting involved with. Its definately more my cup of tea. I invested in a Wacom graphics tablet recently (which is going to take me a looooong time to pay for) because I am so interested in this area. I thought it would be a good idea to invest in something that would help me develop more with drawing on the computer, as that is something that I have never really experimented with before, and as everything is going digital, I figured it would be good to get some practise in. And it was definately a good idea. I have been doing a lot of the character designs on there and i am really enojying drawing on it. Its not quite the same as pencil and paper, but I definately enojy it, and am determined to do a good job with this work.

Bring on the finished product!!!!
FINALLY!!! there is some serious issue with internet, or blogspot hates me, i'm not sure which.

Anyhoo, here is (yet again) catch up!!

Ident Project Hell

Things aren't going as well as planned. The first 2D atempt fell on its face. It just didn't have the feel that i wanted. So on to a combination. Maybe a 3D character in a 2D environment might work...... This is definately the most dificult task I have had so far. I have an image in my mind of what I want it to look like, but getting it to come out of my mind and into reality is failing miserably :(

Shoot me

Ok combination failed too..... I have like a week left and this is tooo muuuuuch presssuuuuuure!! it's like I have a complete mental block. Nothing is working, everything is ballsing up and it seems like there isn't much I can do about it. I'm going to have one more attempt in pure Maya. This will possibly be THE most difficult thing I have done so far, because for a start, I'm not so good at sitting in front of a computer for hours on end, and secondly, Maya is definately not something that comes naturally to me.


AHHHH!!!! I have discovered something. Modelling I enjoy. But getting the goddam things to move the way I want, i actually hate. My model has gone from a human, complete with hands, eyes, feet, mouth, clipboard; to ball with arms and claws. But with time running out I think I'm down to a "just do it" mentality. Whatever works. Which is really depressing because I really wanted to do this idea justice, and I have definately failed miserably. I am definately feeling like I don't want to embarass myself my pitching this on thursday.........


Well, after seeing everyone elses I can definately conclude that my ident sucked more than a little bit of ass........ it was confusing and long and pants. But i learned a lot i suppose......mostly about time management... and maybe next time i wont be so ambitious with my idea. A pass would make me more than happy!!!!!!

Friday, 20 March 2009


gaaaaah! why will nothing upload to the internet??!!?!?!?! i cant even attach pictures to this or emails or anything! OR MOODLE!

help :(

Friday, 27 February 2009

Catch up time!!!!

Week 3

Life drawing is definitely making me understand more about the way the body moves in certain situations. Studying weight and movement is really helping in my understanding for animation practice. How would a certain area of the body react in this situation? Which muscles or groups of muscles would the weight be on. I’ve started looking at myself more as I’m drawing out thumbnails. Where would the weight be? Where is the centre of gravity? Noticing more position of hands and feet instead of just assuming they are parallel to the body or floor.
Learning the History of early animation, certainly opens my eyes to the initial amount of labour and skill that one has to possess to be an animator. It is very easy to think that it is all done on computers these days, but without a certain artistic quality the animations would be very lifeless…..

Week 4

More extreme positions in life drawing helps with over exaggeration in the animations. I still feel I need to work more on exaggerating the correct parts of the animation though. Holding poses for the correct amount of time to increase the power of the action etc. Need to speed up more on the 2D side, having to leave earlier on Tuesday means 2D is suffering slightly and is more rushed. Possibly try to cut down on number of frames or simplify drawings??? Finding 3D easier than 2D, but liking the more artistyness (so a word) of 2D.
Ideology and Audience in Historyness – makes me realize I may be putting accidental stereotypes into things….not cool. Not sure I agree with the whole stereotypes leaking into everyday society thing though…… I don’t automatically think fat people smell.

Week 5

Still finding I’m rushing 2D. I do my frames stick them in, but by the time I’m done I have no time to fiddle with it so it sort of has to stay as it is. Have been doing some by myself at home to try and work out timings and stuff, but its difficult without the software and not having a camera at a fixed point……Not living on campus as well means I cant come in whenever, I have to try and work it around petrol costs and painting (to get money for the petrol). Damn finance people not giving me my loans….
Wasn’t feeling the media mechanisms lecture. A lot about propaganda, fair enough it has its place, just felt like being back in History lessons at school. Not good………I learned that sometimes you buy a pan because its shiny though

Week 6

Bradfoooooord!!! Wicked time, lots of gambling with free tenners, drinking, partying and buying wind up dinosaurs (named Andy and Kathy). Some pretty kick ass animations too :P everyone seemed to like that Varmints….was cool but I preferred Simon’s Cat in Cat-man-do



They have a channel on Youtube with more of their stuff on it…good times check it out.

Week 7

Feeling rough so missed History (lame times)

Animation was cool this week, doing walks. Traipsing around outside with Georg….opposite of lame…..helpful though. Easier to understand the exaggeration thing. Walking is definitely easier in 3D. Its easier to key frame and then fill in the bits inbetween in 3D because you can change things if you need to…but that might just be me being lazy……still think 3D is easier than 2D, but again with the time thing.

Live @ 5

Well, where to begin. Although most of our team were assembled and ready to go on time, it took a good hour before we began to get anything to do. However, I think we did really well in getting everything done, everyone pulled their weight, and from a producers point of view, it was really easy to just ask people to do certain things, and they would just get on with it. We got all of the graphics done by around 1 o clock, but just had to wait for the journalists to pick up their respective graphics.

When it came to watching the rehearsals, the graphics were all working fine and looking really good, exept the weather map, which although graphically sound, they seemed unable to use as a weather map, and instead had someone reading the weather out like a report, then flashing a map up on screen. Not the best I've seen, but from our perspective, it was quite enjoyable and I think we turned out some good graphics!

I think Tom may have some examples on his hard drive but dont quote me :P


Saturday, 31 January 2009


well finally! my internet company has decided to let me upload stuff again! Jesus, ok I have loads of stuff that I've got to put on here, that I was writing in word last term, so it'll be a bit out of order but it'll be here at least!

Just starting work on this essay, I swear I used to find them easy, but its been a long time since A-Level English, and I'm not allowed to be creative! Or have opinions! I've never been good at making cold hard facts interesting..... oh well back to the grind stone i suppose.....

Liking Maya atm, but its getting a little bit too maths like and technical for my liking. This project has got me stumped a little bit, but get the essay out of the way, I'm sure I'll figure summin out.

LOVING Kathy at the mo, well, not Kathy, backgrounds, not that I don't like Kathy, which I do, but not...yea anyway :D

Seriously considering backgrounds as a career path.......

Wow......I have a long term goal......shocker.......