Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Technical Failings

So, my long battle with technology has come to an end! My long serving, loyal and loved computer has gone motherboard up. I've lost all digital copies of my work for the past three years, and I'll be redoing pretty much everything.

Did I mention my deadline is FOUR WEEKS away? Yeah.

In a way, it's good. I have to rethink everything I've done, I'm forced to try and remember the things I've lost completely, it's forced self-review. Also, I do find it easier to work with tight, tight deadlines. I go a bit manic, get no sleep, drink far too much coffee...but it works.

Here goes...

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Recommended Viewing No. 02

The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9! – Jake Armstrong (2009)

This is a thesis film, that was animated entirely in *gasp* Flash! Having seen all the crashing and swearing and tears that Flash has produced in my classmates, it marvels me that such an animation as this could've come forth from that hideous program.

I feel I must state - I do not like slapstick. Looney Toons, Tex Avery-esque animation and Animaniacs have never appealed to me.

However, despite this, the slapstick in this animation is so neatly woven into the story that it doesn't run cross-wise over my nerves, and in fact, makes me like it more! This is an example of excellent suspense and story-telling in the most classic tradition of twists and turns.

The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9! on Youtube

Behold Yet Again! Backgrounds!

Here we have some sketched background for my graveyard, and a colour version of the same - both done by Sarah Dargie, the animating architect! I love them!

(To see some of her other work, check out her blog :) )

Behold! Refined character designs!

Here's some of the lovely Freya's character designs for John! All variations on the theme of 'scared boy dressed as a mouse'.

(Freya is very talented, and you should go look at her work on her group's blog, right now!)

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Recommended Viewing No. 01

Yankee Gal - Antoine Perez, CĂ©line Desrumaux, Francois Pons and Gary Levesque (2008)

This is film that is so captivating, that from the first second, you hold your breath. The stylised 3D animation combined with perfectly placed 2D is pure technical excellency. While I find the song in the nightclub jarring and somewhat disturbing, it only adds to the tragic descent of the aviator.

Made by four students from the Supinfocom animation school, every single frame of this animation has been so carefully considered it’s terrifying viewing for any student animator working on their final film!

Second Batch of Concept Art...

Wow... Looking back on these is...informative!

These are the set of concepts that I gave to Freya, who has agreed to character design for me, to sort-of convey the look I was after. I have a tendency for my drawings to end up looking rather too anime-esque, so thankfully, Freya's sorted out John's face, and now it looks really, really good. (Thank you Freya!)

Note: There is a page on the right linking to some of my classmate's blogs; go and have a look!>

First Set of Concept Art

This is what fell out of my head after I’d come up with the plot of my animation. Of course, now the character looks very different (and far better!) I do like the evil pumpkin though…

(If you don’t know what my animation is about, take a gander at the ‘About The Film’ page, up the top.)

(Drawn, scanned in, and coloured in photoshop, taking about 2 hours.)

A Brief* Introduction...

Our brief for this project is to create a Production Bible for a 3 minute animation (with audio) of our own making, a full animatic of said animation, including (up to) 15 seconds of keyframes and inbetweens. We can work in groups, or alone, or a mix of both.

The Production Bible ( aka PB) needs to have, essentially, the paperwork of the making of the animation. A script, research, references, concept art, storyboards, final designs, layout and a Programme of Study document - all of it. It's a collection of your work that can given to someone else, and they can understand your project, and hopefully(!), the way you work.

The animatic is simple in comparison; it's a video made up from the storyboards (with additional instructions, maybe) with the right timing that you want for the full animation. For example - if two people were talking for 10 seconds in the animation, the animatic could have a single drawing of the two people talking, held for 10 seconds.

The animation sounds simple, but it's not! Up to 15 seconds of animation means up to 375 individual frames (all individually drawn!), as well as the possibility of animating different object on different layers, which means the number of frames could increase massively!

Saying that, this all sounds rather serious and 100% soul destroying.

It's not! It may be hard work, but I love animation, and this is the first time I, as an individual, get to make my animation, from my story. It's...exciting.

*(Oho! The hilarity of puns!)