Friday, 23 October 2009

"And that stupid Blog! He had it coming too!"

Boy I'm running out of Silent Hill quotes fast.

The continuing escapades of El Cubo continue. This time I've animated him doing a poorly executed backwards flip (or forwards, I lost track of where he's meant to be facing) as I couldn't for the life of me find out how to speed him up, so if anyone asks this is animated in a zero G atmosphere.

Another of the tasks this week (although its more of a "do or don't, it's your degree tasks) was pixcellation (I think it has a different spelling compared to doing something using pixels) , animating people frame by frame as if they were a puppet, like the works on the Pez website or Jan Svankmeyer. One of the confusing things I find about pixcellation is when objects get involved. At what point does pixcellation become stop frame animation (although technically all animation is stop frame animation) , is there a limit to the amount of time an object can be used on the screen before it's considered a different category or is it solely the physical presence of a person or a part of their body being animated that makes it what it is?

Not that any of that actually matters, but I digress. We made some pixcellation videos as a group and also experimented with our own ideas sing the Rostrum camera (which I found much easier to use purely because the digital camera takes so very long to take a picture).

Here is the rather literal paper cut (because I like puns).

You might see the above on Chloe, Al's and Thomas' too, or at least you should because they're welcome to it!

Here's the group effort, made out of a collection of tests, so we now have the ground work done out of the way ready for the all the important massive narrative pieces. Probably. Or at least some smaller work now we know the limitations of the medium.

OK, if this video still doesn't come up I'm putting it down to site retardness, not the file, because as far as I can tell it's still good.

That's it for this week, there was going to be a Rejection Girl quickie but it's so quick I haven't caught up with doing it yet.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Making a Blog ain't such a big deal...

I'm posting this a day earlier than I usually would, purely because I'm away tomorrow, but anyhoo...

The projects this week revolved around BALLS (ahem) and animating them using stretch and squash principles and giving them the illusion of weight. I'd tried to use a little bit of stretch and squash on the egg transformation to give the egg circle a bit of bounce, so I was quite happy animating the 2D part of it.

The other 2D project was getting Cubey the Cube to bounce up and down. I used the same amount of frames for both animations (6) before reversing it to get the bounce effect, but I think the ball was more effective. There's something wrong with the way cubey hits the floor, I think it needs more frames.

The other two projects were both using the program Maya, which I've found myself to be rather unproficient with. What's worse is seeing recent CGI movies such as Up and recalling the two animations I eventually managed to churn out, but here they are anyway.

I'm not especially pleased with either of these but his is the very first time I've used 3D software, so theoretically I can only improve. I hope.

On the Life drawing front, I've been trying to get a little more movement into the figures I've been drawing as I only ever seem to catch people lying down or sitting. here's a few examples pf the more recent ones I've done.

The last one is my favourite purely because it reminds me of the double-sword wielding android "Kuma" in the anime 'Afro Samurai' which may get further mention on this page purely because stylistically it's very bleak and unique in appearance.

You can see him here! ------------------------------>

One of the other life drawing examples I mentioned last time were the skulls, and the one based on a certain skull that seemed to have a lot of personality.

The main reason I like practicing skull drawings is because it reminds of a creature I designed for one of my Web comics, called a Sheepish.

That's a nice inked example, and here's a coloured one-

Basically (when I eventually write it) the premise of the story is that Andantino, the title character, is mourning the death of his wife and lamenting his inability to do anything during her illness and missing her final words to him. A strange celestial creature appears and tells him of a gate souls pass through on the way to the after life. As the souls pass through the gate, their final thoughts are seared on to the walls, and encourages Andantino to travel there to ease his guilt.

The rest of the story is still very much in progress, but I'm mentioning this because I always had the intention of making Andantino an animation before I considered it becoming a web comic. The story is based on a piece of classical music by Debussy, which had such a long name I lazily shortened it to "Andantino". If I can find a link to the piece I will post it at a later date, but while listening the song reminded me of a poor, sad man, crying over his wife...

If I did turn Andantino into an animation, then I do already have a soundtrack for it! Working to a piece of music is something I'm quite interested in because of the choice of either applying the song post production or making something that responds to the tempo and rhythm visually, which Andantino would. Visually the style would be very much like the comic (black and white), so when I watched Fears of The Dark, a French animated film, one of the segments had a particularly eerie charcoal like style-

The story ended pretty abruptly and poorly in my opinion, but the visual style was intriguing.

I realise that this is an enormous post considering it hasn't felt like I've done much this week, but finally I've made some designs for Rejection Girl and I will hopefully have a very short animation of her up in a few weeks. Here she is, looking mopey (colours are not final).

And that's it hopefully, the end of whittering for this week.

Friday, 9 October 2009

There was a BLOG here, but it's gone now.

Okay, the first week is up and this is what I've been up to.

Life drawing sounds like its going to be pretty interesting this term. i normally suffer terribly doing lifedrawing, mainly because although Manga tutorials are an excellent starting point for proportions because (surprisingly)the body proportions are the same, getting out of the habit of drawing men as muscular and people with overly large eyes compared to their face doesn't happen easily.

The project is drawing figures, but replacing the head with that of an animal. We're being instructed to look at the work of J.J Grandville (apparantly he was also called Gerard, but I think J.J sounds more slick) a french satirical artist who created anthropomorphic representations of Parisian society as a strange mirror to show the more bestial aspects of a person. Here's a pic-

The point of the exercise is so we don't get hung up on drawing faces, which suits me fine because they're my worst part. It also opens up some research into anthropomorphic art,which I have tried (although with more animal bodies) but can certainly help me improve.

I do have some lief drawing of various animal skulls to post up, but that will have to wait until I use the scanner because my camera decided to die on me, bless its cotton socks. I rather like drawing skulls for some morbid reason, and found that because of the blankness of expression of the eye sockets and exposed teeth that drawing the skulls from different angles could give the skulls more emotion. I'll post more on this next blog when I hopefully have the images, but there was a particularly coy looking skeleton that was from a "Chevrotain", which is a mouse deer-

Cute, isn't it?

Animation wise, the group have had to animate a circle in 12 frames that shows it morphing into something, before morphing back to make a big ol' collection of shape-shifting circles. I went for something obvious from a circle shape, an egg, so I made it a little more complex by having it bounce upwards before it hatches (briefly).

I liked this one, but I decided I wanted something alittle more complex. There isn't much point in creating animations if I keep going for an easy option, so I had the idea of turning the circle into a doorknob and the real focus of the piece being whatever it was behind the's the rough version before it was coloured.

I got the colouring idea from seeing the sketch work of Darrien Gibson (, who uses big swathes of colours you wouldn't expect to go together to give a strange acrylic-like effect just using markers. This was made using mainly felt tips.

I like this one, but I decided it didn't really keep to the project brief of a circle morphing, being more a circle turning on it's side, so I handed in the egg instead. Still, this one continues my love-affair with japanese mythology (that's an onryo if you didn't know) and gave me some experimentation with colour.

Whil working on the ghost above, I had an idea I'm tentatively calling "Rejection Girl", a collection of simple line-art animations featuring some poor girl being turned down by every man going. I think if I can get several done, I'd put them together into one larger one. So far, the possible ideas I've thought of include her being turned down by the sun and a manga character for being a different art style. I'd like to do these with other people if I get the chance, so I'd better get stalking-er, looking for creative people.

Monday, 5 October 2009

In the beginning...

...people had nothing- ah wait, wrong section.

Well, as the information on the main profile page told you my name is Sian and I'm studying Animation at Falmouth as part of the three year course. This Blog is to keep track of any projects, any ideas, sketches, videos, inspirations- whatever is related to the course, it's going to be posted here.
Being literally the first week on the course mind, there isn't much I can exactly post, so I thought I'd put down a few of the animation related things I've done in the past so people can get an idea of where I'm coming from.
I did a foundation course over the past year, and ended up assigned to the Media based group, which had a real mix of people from different areas (I think one guy was doing sculpture there) but I decided to focus on animation for the final half of the course.

I started doing looped GIF animations to get a feel for Photoshop and computer colouring software, so I made two(which were originally going to be part of a quartet) based on Japanese Mythology, namely a Bakeneko (cat with two tails or split tail) and a kitsune (multi-tailed fox), drawn in an anthropomorphic style-

(The kitsune)

(The bakeneko)

As GIF's these should move, but if they don't I'll link to my deviantart gallery if you're interested enough to look them up. I'm still pretty new to this blog thing.

Making these basic GIF's was pretty fun but time consuming, so I decided to go for a stop-start animation in the style of the old Morphs. I built the set so that the backgrounds could be reversed for the next sequence so I could save time filming (the bedroom and kitchen are the same set). It was filmed in sequence in about a week, about an Alien abduction of all things using some very cheap materials such as a thick coat to film the night sequences. The two characters were called (imaginatively) Death and Ghost, and were a chalk and cheese couple made for an almost sitcom like set up.
You can watch their first appearance here, as part of a Black and White project (the snow walking sequence is still the thing I'm most proud of producing)

Their longer outing is here, called The Visitors (there were originally going to be more aliens than just the one I made). I'm happy with the animation but the sound quality is dreadful after being recorded at 4 o clock on a pc gradually dieing from the outside in, and the timing needs work. I can't get it to load via the file, so you can view it here-

Other than those I've mainly made a few more GIF's trying out random thoughts I've had in my head, but nothing interesting enough to mention here.

So that's the work in the field of animation I've done so far. I may make another post at the end of the week after I've had time to get my thoughts in order ready for the projects to begin, along with any inspirations or artists I admire.

Other links to my work are , my DA account with more of the arty things and concepts etc, and , where I store my webcomics ( most of which are on hold).