Sunday, 10 November 2013

Apply Animation - Final video

Heres my final animation for the Apply brief.
My animation has changed alot from the final storyboard through how I added an extra scene and drew a monitor in which it was shown. I felt that this worked well as it made the story more interesting and engaging to the viewer. If I had more time with this animation, I would focus more on the zoom in, into the characters waiting for the Pumpkin, overlaying animation to make it move more smoothly.
Through Group critic, I found that I also needed to slow parts of the animation down and add more frames for the crying part for the pumpkin near the beginning of the short. There was also positive feedback through the use of colour and storyline.

Apply Animation - Surprise! (Making of)

Making my Apply Animation via Photoshop was an easy process to gain both good lineart and colour to the 5-10 second short. By using Photoshop, I can use the Frame by Frame animation, making it easier to make slight changes to the frames or reducing/increasing frames to make a smooth animation.
Through out the animation, I found it easier to separate parts of the sequence with in group folders, this helped me to keep my work organised and not become confused with which frame I would be working.

Here are a few screen shots to show how I edited my frames:

I first quickly sketched out the frames before editing the lineart. It is easier for me to sketch in a big brush size as when editing I can clearly differentiate the sketch and the final ink.

To edit the lineart, I first lower the opacity of the sketch layer and ink on top.

Comparing sketch to final lineart


Final lineart - I worked mainly on a basic 4pt brush to get the detail of the characters.

I purposely separated the foreground and main characters lineart and coloured this separately so that I can later blur the characters in the background to create a better sense of depth and focus the attention on the main characters.

Comparing the background colour - before and after

Final edit, adding a slight Gaussian blur.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

James Jean

James Jean Sketch Book known as a fantasy illustrator, best known for his wall art for Prada.

James Jean is by far one of my top five favourite artists, purely through how he creates such beautiful and meaningful work that seems to connect with its viewers both through how aesthetically pleasing it is to the eye and also through how the use of line, emotion, expression and use of colour makes the piece whole.

I admire James Jean the most through his sketch books, as he is able to just sit and draw people on public transport and portray their expression through just the use of a ballpoint pen. The singular use of adding a red ink to the lineart completely changes the outlook on the character shown. (I love how Jean can just draw people in a semi realistic portrayal and then create something completely fantasy based splashed with vivid colours.)

Drawing whilst on the train

Drawing on the underground

Part of  the Wall Mural illustration at Prada

Concept art for the animation "Trembled Blossoms"

As part of his work for Prada, Jean created concept art for an animation for Pradas latest season.

I loathe this animation, I love James Jeans work but the CG animation loses and contorts the beauty of Jeans illustrations and watching this, I cant help but compare it to his concept art for it and it makes me mad. I was expecting a beautiful animation that absorbed his concept art and made it move, not something trying to be 3-D and traditional at the same time. Not only does the short not look aesthetically pleasing, the kinetic movement of the characters is slow and sometimes jagged. (End of rant)

I feel that this animation can be significantly edited and made to such a better quality of work, if they just lose the CG and revert back to a more traditional means.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Alma - Rodrigo Blaas

Alma from Anderson on Vimeo.

The video starts with a view of the city, slowly ease in/zooming in on the main character, dancing through the street and writing his name on the wall. As he turns around, he sees a doll which looks just like him, so he tries to investigate. The shop door opens and he is greeted by an array of dolls, with a doll on a tricycle trying to get out the shop door.  As Alma reaches for the look alike doll, he ends up turning into the doll and we see that every doll there was also a child, and the cycle continues, awaiting for the next victim.

The animation uses digital process, such as Maya and possibly Unity 3D (however this is used for game design), which gives the animation a young audience approach matched with the softened and big eyed design of the main character.
In this animation short, I like the use of the detail of the frost and the snow falling, matched with the texture in the characters clothing, aids the aesthetics of the short.
The use of reflection of the characters expression as he looks into the window display works well through how it shows the intrigue and curiosity of the character. The movement of the character runs smoothly and life like through the slump and casual body language of the boy. 

Fear of flying - Conor Finnegan

A live action animated short film by Conor Finnegan.

FEAR OF FLYING from conorfinnegan on Vimeo.

This animation short contains a beautiful model set and backgrounds matched with the process of a digital animation layered on top. The use of this animation fits well with the story, which portrays an owl who has a fear of flying, and matched with this model and digital approach, it somehow engages the viewer more.

The plot follows an owl named Dougal who goes out to buy and stock up on food for the upcoming winter and bumps into two other owls, Lucy and Dick, who are about to fly south for the winter.
As he is too scared to fly, he lies and tells them he'll meet them later, and after buying food he ventures home. During that night he is then robbed by a squirrel and all of his food has gone. Knowing that in order to survive he has to fly south, he attempts to fly and falls straight to the ground. He decides to try and walk south but as soon as it looks as if his luck has ran out, he finds an airport in which he boards a plane and heads south. After flying in the aeroplane he believes he has overcome his fear of flying and meets Lucy again in the south.

A glimpse into the MAKING OF "FEAR OF FLYING" from conorfinnegan on Vimeo.

It was interesting to see the making of the animation through how they moved the model and merged this process by layering the digital animation over the top. I also like the use of the pulley to move the model which is then replaced with the digital limbs. Adding both of these processes together worked well through how the tactile appearance of the set and model make the short aesthetically pleasing and the digital process being used for the kinetic movements of the characters. The use of the green screen in the background is genius through how it gives a sense of depth and the scene being in another animated world. 

Apply Animation - Storyboard

For my initial idea of the surprise theme, I quickly sketched out the key frames of the short and was able to easily see and plan the animation through the use of these thumbnail storyboards.

initial storyboard 1

In these thumbnail storyboards, I vaguely considered the angles of each frame, which I need to consider when I create the final storyboards. 

initial storyboard 2

When creating the final storyboards, I thought about the distance between the character in the frame and the objective, for instance, looking behind the character, zooming out, low angle or close up, needed to be considered.  The angle of the frame and the expression of the character can help to create an atmosphere or strengthen an emotion that you want to get across to the audience, for example, to portray happiness, you would use a close up to show the expression of the characters face, or to portray depression/sadness, you would use a high angle of a character curled up in a corner of a room.

Part 1

Part 2

Apply Research - Looking at Animations that incorporate Photoshop

To gain inspiration for my Apply animation, I scoured Vimeo and Youtube and found interesting animations that had incorporated Photoshop into their work.

Mac 'n' Cheese from Mac 'N' Cheese on Vimeo.

This first animation is very detailed and holds a digital painted quality that is aesthetically pleasing and works well with the plot and style of the animation. The movement of the characters flow well as there are no jagged movements and the frames of the movement aren't visible to the eye.

Rabbitkadabra! from Rabbitkadabra! on Vimeo.

This animation is created through the use of Maya, Photoshop and other digital software. The style of the animation is cute through the portrayal of the soft lit scenery, characters that have big eyes and detailed appearance, eg texture of clothing, added freckles, etc. I found this video inspiring through the expressions of the characters and the plot of the animation, as it absorbs a happy ending which is appealing to a young audience.

The "A Fox Tale" animation is created through the use of Photoshop, After Effects and other digital software which creates this soft CG animation style that reminds me of a less textured Kung Fu Panda. (I also think its due to the kung fu/martial arts action scene in the animation that reminds me of Kung Fu Panda)
The animation is aesthetically pleasing through the use of the frame angles, close ups, long shots to make parts of the animation dramatic and the illustrative style used.

Apply Animation - Leek the Pumpkin reference Photography

To understand the character 'Leek the Pumpkin', I wanted some reference as to draw the head. As it was Halloween not so long ago, I used my primary photography of the pumpkin I carved as reference.
Using this reference helped me with the shape and lines with in the pumpkin head. For my designs, I will change the amount of light shown in the eyes to a darker hue and only draw a flame on the candle as the source of light. This is to make the character seem more cartoon like and cute; if I were to add a lighter hue with in the eyes and mouth it would make the character seem less aesthetically pleasing to the eye.


Apply Animation - Surprise!

For the Apply brief, I was given the task to create a 5-10 second animation that absorbs the theme of one of these words:

Surprise, Lateness, Love, Hate, Longing, Happiness, Fear

Instantly, I created a mind map, jotting down ideas for each word. I couldn't decide between two key ideas which really stood out to me, these ideas branching from surprise and longing.

initial mindmap - generating ideas
 Longing -
  • Setting, cold winters day, snow everywhere, little girl walking home with her parents.
  • A little girl sees a teddy bear in a shop window and wants it, looks up at the mum, she shakes her head, looks at the dad who gives in and gets her the bear.

  • Setting, rain on windows, stuck inside the house.
  • Its Leek the Pumpkin's birthday and he's upset as he believes that no one remembers his birthday however he hears something from behind a door which he opens to see his friends with birthday gifts and cake. 

When drawing initial sketches of both of the ideas, I felt that the Longing idea would take more than 10 seconds to give the viewer the full story and would be designed in a more detailed style to show how cold and wintery the scene is.
However the Surprise idea would allow me to easily add or remove parts of the story and simplify the illustrations. With this theme and use of my own characters, I felt that I would be able to produce a good animation through the process of Photoshop, Frame by Frame.
This process would allow me to easily add colour and change slight movements through using a graphic tablet.

I first created character sheets of the Scientist, Leek and the Skull boy, before creating the final storyboard. Creating the character sheets first helped me to understand the designs better and keep for reference.

'Leek' the Pumpkin

No one knows his real name
(Nickname: Stein)
The Scientist 

(Nickname 'Peanut')
the Skull boy

I wanted my characters to absorb the same style of characteristics of the two main characters, Leek the pumpkin and The Scientist, through how "halloween" and "Frankenstein" like, that the characters emit to the viewer. I then created another design, of a boy with a skull mask called Cyrus, which I felt matched well with the previous characters through the theme and style of illustration.

Salesman Pete

Salesman Pete from Salesman Pete on Vimeo.

from the

Salesman Pete is an animation created by the Steakollective group, who design short animations full of humour and aesthetically pleasing digital illustrative designs.
(See more of the animations, such as Meet Buck and Dog, on their vimeo.)
The story follows a salesman who is actually a secret agent and has a microprocessor implanted into his brain by some mad scientists, which gives him amazing strength and other qualities such as being able to cook. His steak sidekick joins him on his mission to retrieve this magic stone that can change anything into seafood, which has been stolen by some villains.

This animation holds gorgeous digital painted designs giving a unique style to the short, which makes me love it that much more with the added humour of the piece. The facial expressions of the characters makes the animation that much more fun and intriguing through how it completely portrays the emotion across to the audience without the aid of dialogue.

I would imagine that to be able to create this piece more than one digital animating program would have been used for certain parts of the short, for example mixing After Effects, Photoshop - Frame by Frame and Maya.

Walter Drop - designed by Steakollective

Back to the future redesigns - Steakollective

In the Steakollective group, there are different illustrative designs which are interesting to see as I can imagine each being animated into a short through the cartoony ink and colour of the characters. 

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Undone - Stop Motion by Hayley Morris

The stop motion animation "Undone", portrays the affects of Alzheimer's through the use of the sea and string as it devours an old mans memories and identity. The model of the old man is made with such attention to detail and semi realism which makes the model seem slightly creepy through how the rest of his body is made from similar string to the one that is taking his memories.

- Summary of plot -
An old man at sea fishing at sea, catches a blossom tree, which fades along with what could be a memory.
nostalgia and loss. Catches another memory, which he tries to hold on to but the string takes it away. He keeps catching memories alas the string tears it away, leaving the man confused and sad.
eventually the string and sea engulfs him and he reverts back to being a child.
- End -

I feel that this video beautifully portrays the way Alzheimer's effects people through the use of string as it eats and drags away his memories and the sea, which is distant, desolate and vast. The added sound track aids the animation through how it makes the stop motion feel daunting through the distant obscured voices that seem to echo and unravel into the sound of the sea, making the scene quiet but not peaceful.
In this short, the sea makes the character shown isolated, with suggestions of fear, bewilderment and child like mannerisms as he approaches each memory with confusion.
The sound track includes what I can only describe as a high pitched kettle whistle, distant obscure voices, the sound of crumpled paper which gives me the interpretation of alienation, empty space, unravelling and makes me think of something slowly being chipped away.