Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Lighting in c.g: Exeter Ident

Now that all the animation was done in c.g it was crucial that the C.G department were given all the lighting shots from the stop-mo team. I needed the shot of inside the tower from the stop-motion team so that i could match up the camera angle and copy the lighting in Maya. It was a tricky and frustrating task matching the cameras in c.g to the shot in stop-mo but by trying two different methods I was able to achieve it. At first I took a picture of the stop-mo scene with a piece of paper lying on the base of it. I then brought the image in on a plane in Maya, drew a grid the same size as the paper then looking through the camera I moved the shot around until the grid matched the paper on the image. The second method was to use a camera with an aim in Maya and record all the camera details so that any of the stop-mo and c.g shots could use these settings when matching the camera shot to the stop-motion. The Cogs and Zoatrope require the same camera settings as I recorded other wise they wont look good when the stop-motion and c.g is composited.
I then used the same image of the stop-motion scene to set up the lighting in the shot. it was easier than I imagined. I simply looked at the actual real life stop-motion lighting and placed similar lights in the same positions in Maya. I then experimented with the intensity of all the lights and checked the mouth in the render view. After the lighting was complete I rendered the scene out in Maya, it took around half an hour to render completely. The compositors will now have to start creating masks to lay over some of the C.G shots.
This task wasn't the most interesting but I have definitely gained a better understanding of Maya and the general Production pipeline.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Animating The Phoenix: Exeter Ident

Originally I had planned to Rig the textured Phoenix but it seemed pointless as all of the movements only required locators to rotate the head, jaw, body ,wings and feet. So i quickly was able to do this i start thinking about the animation. This week I have started animating the movements of the Phoenix throughout the whole animation. I was giving some of the Block tests in Maya so I new where the camera was. The Phoenix had been fully textured to appear like it was made from rusty metal. Because the design of the phoenix suggests its a wind-up toy the movements were going to be quite mechanical but i still wanted the Phoenix to appear as though It had just been born. I watched some short clips of eagles opening there wings and tried to incorporate this in the animation of the Phoenix. I drew i small step by step storyboard to the animation and played around with the phoenix for a while to refresh myself with timing. Because this shot isn't particularly long its important that the movements of the Phoenix quickly suggests it has just been born. The phoenix lifts its head and opens it beak at this point the sound team will need find a apply a young bird noise that could be the noise of a Phoenix. The movement of the head and wings will also require some kind of metal scraping sound. The Phoenix has simple feet that made the animation of the body movement look quite crude if I had more time I would consider changing the feet so hat a body rotation could look better. The Playblast let me see how the phoenix would look in real time and the Art director and I were both happy with it, both agreeing that the movements would look good with the stop motion. The Zoatrope animation needed changing. The timing was wrong for the length of the shot and it didn"t rotate. I quickly done this in after animating the phoenix bringing the two animations together to create a finished shot. I then moved onto the second shot of the phoenix looking out of the clock tower. Because I had already textured the tower and animated all the moving parts for shots one and two i simply brought the Phoenix into the tower and but a camera looking over the Phoenix shoulder out of the stain glass window looking at the rotating cogs and clock face. This was the first time i really worked with moving the camera around in Maya and I really enjoyed experimenting with different shots and trying to match them to the animation. The Phoenix required little animation for this shot it just needed to look consistent from the last shot so it just looks up from the floor to the window. The next shot needed me to maintain the consistency by making sure the phoenix first movement was the head looking at the window then looking down at the floor before it jumps out of the clock tower. This shot involved some of the basic anticipation and jumping animation I learnt last year. The last shot is of the Clock tower and the phoenix is shot out of the clock tower. The animation for this was simple but we made a change to the shot. Instead of the camera facing the clock face i moved it to a slight sidewards angle so that when the phoenix flew out the audience can see the distance travelled making it more effective. The After Effects team are using firework effects to make the phoenix appear as though its on fire. The majority of all the C.G elements are now complete the only thing that needs to be done is the lighting but the c.g team require the stop motion team to give them all the lit shots so that the stop mo elements match the c.g ones.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Texturing The clock tower: Exeter Ident

This week I have just completed texturing the clock tower. I decided to take on the role so i could develop my skills in Photoshop and understand a little bit more about how texturing works in Maya. The task seemed extremely teadious but after I had completed two of the tower textures i got used to the software and was able to quickly complete some church style brick texture for the majority of te tower. I focused on making the textures similar to the original design of the tower as apposed a matte texture colourful tower. I used a gold phong in the hypershade and a wood texture for the other parts of the tower such as the top and the owls. Pete was able to design a simple stain glass window in Photoshop that i used as a texture fr the stain glass window on the tower. I altered the middle window by placing a bird over it a saturating the colour to make it part of the stain glass. Once i had applied the texture to the model i increased the transparency of the texture so it resembled a stain glass window. The clock face and the phoenix were both textured this way. I used a simple wood texture for the owls and made the rim of there eyes a gold phong so that there was a pattern dow the face of the clock tower.
I feel as though I learnt alot doing this and will continue helping towards production using the maya programme.
The stop motion team have the set ready for animaton and test are taking place. The Lighing has been experimented with but a choice on what lighting to use hasn't been made. Its crucial that this decision is made so that the c.g team can light the tower and pheonix correctly from looking at the shadows and light in the stills.
Artistic changes have been made to the background design however it is mainly just colour alterations. The layers of Plants will look really effective in aftereffects. My favourite thing about the background is the revolving son it gives the animation a fantasy, abstract look and works really well with the moving clouds.
My next task is animating the elements of the clock tower and correcting any camera movements tp fit in the animation and stop motion.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Maya: Changes and development to the model phoenix

Whilst working on the Ident today Ben and Ralph decided that the wings and tail of the Phoenix needed to change. The old tail and wings didn't have much detail so after looking at some new sketches I started building new wings and adjusted the tail so it was flush with the body. I think the new wings give the model a more mechanical feel and will look a lot better when we come to animate the phoenix.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Animated Exeter: CG modelling

At the end of this week it was my aim to get all the CG elements of the Animated Exeter ident built so that next week we could start bringing them all together and experiment with textures and lighting. I was very pleased with the work that all the Maya guys done and luckily we have all the models built. In case the contemporary crafts students cant make the Phoenix in time me and Andy completed building a CG model of the phoenix. Ralph was able to draw up a design for the phoenix but it is very dull so me and Andy added some nuts and bolts to the model in Maya to give it more character and make it appear as though it is made from scrap metal. I took responsibility for building the body while Andy concentrated on building the head. I used a variety of methods creating parts of the model but mostly it is all created using polygon cubes that have been shaped by altering the vertices's. I was glad to be able to refresh myself with building in Maya because recently I have struggled using the programme after forgetting most of the software over the long summer break. This year i intend to be completely competent using the software.
The zoetrope and cogs were built in Maya by Dan, Jacob is building the clock face which is probably the most complicated part of the building structure and Sam was able to build the whole clock tower. Originally the top of the clock tower was going to be built as part of the set for the stop motion guys to work with and the wooden owls were going to be placed on top but we thought that the pan up the clock tower and change form Maya to real life wouldn't look quite right so we decided to build to top of the tower in Maya and Sean offered to build the owls in Maya. The owls were original small wooden 3D puzzles that the consumer builds. We took the stencil of all the pieces for the puzzle and Sean created them Maya he then spent long hours putting these pieces together so it was kind of like doing a puzzle in Maya. To see the owls visit Seans page
I have also been working with Alex and Mike for the Background design thay have been coming up with design ideas that will be completed by next week so that the background and moving elemants of the background are finalised and can be passed on to the special effects team and compositors.

Monday, 10 November 2008

The Pitch: Designing the website

Over the last couple of weeks I have been developing web page designs. Using the logo and flow chart we were able to create a design for the website that reflects music, animation and an urban lifestyle. The layout of the pages combines the profile elements of facebook with the graphic style of 123 Klan. We needed to include design pages for each genre of music and animation`as well as a profile page for the user, an animated introduction to the home page, a registration page, a watching page (for users to watch a larger screen), a chat room for users to communicate and share music, animations and ideas. The user will be able to create there own profile dedicated to one or more genres of music. They will then be able to upload there own songs or animations so that they can be listened to on the users profile page. By using the chat room the idea is that musicians and animators can communicate with each other so that a musician and animator can work together to produce an animated music video. The user can also download animations and music from another users profile provided they have access and permission from the user to work on there music or video. Any completed music videos are then placed onto the genre main page where they can be viewed by anyone but not downloaded. Users then give the videos ratings, the video with the highest ratings and most viewed will appear on the short animated show.
For the designs i focused on urban lifestyle and graffiti. Each page includes the 2dchoonz logo as well as our edited city image and wall.
This is some designs in development. When the characters for each genre of music have been finalised they will be included.

Friday, 31 October 2008


This week we looked at rendering an object in Maya. I had previously rendered my chair last year but was keen to learn more about the different textures and effects. I had never looked at the mental ray effects before and yesterday I discovered how effective they are. I am excited to learn more about the mental ray effects as i couldn't work out why some didn't work. i would say that my confidence with this part of the programme has grown. I want to be completely competent at modelling but find it very difficult and tedious to get the shape i want. I also want to experiment with lighting and camera positioning in Maya as well as getting better at the animation side of Maya and start using the graph editor to get more precise animation. I believe that learning Maya is essential in modern animation, I think my only problem with it is that it requires patience so il have to get use to spending alot of time creating exactly want I want. The end result certainly looks the most satisfying. Ultimately i would love to be part of the production team for a feature lengthy 3D animted film.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

After effects: Refresher

I was eager to start using the After effects software again. Last year i didn't really use the program that much and never got comfortable with it. The video tutorial session meant that i could familiarise myself with the program at my own pace so i was able to take everything in. I thought that the short clip we produced didn't look to impressive but by creating it i was able to understand how the timeline and effects work. Like most programs After effects has numerous shortcuts that can make the whole production take less time. I hope to be able to experiment more with After effects and hopefully use it in my upcoming projects. I think that a good idea can be taken a long way with the program and look forward to editing and adding effects to productions.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Soundscape Project

This week I was able to complete my sounscape project. I started thinking about what I could create last week. I wanted to include a music soundtrack that could set the mood of the track as well as playing a vital role. In this case i used a garage soundtrack, by editing the base and treble on the graphic equalizer i was able to create the illusion of swithching rooms in a club so that the music volume and sound was different. After the microphone induction i was also keen to inlcude some of my own recorded sounds. I rented out a boom mike and spent an evening recording random atmos noises, foley sounds and music to see how they would sound. I leanrt that by pointing the microphone directly at something the recordings sometimes didn't sound right. For footsteps and doors closing the closer the microphone the more effective the noise was but for things like sirens and toilets flushing I held the microphone at tyhe same level as my ears to get a more realistic sound. Now that i had practiced using the M-audio and Boom mic i started writing down a sort of script for my soundtrack so that i would know what sounds to include and when to include them on the mix track. My idea was to follow a man through a club night, he goes to the toilet to take some cocaine then overdoses unexpectedly. I needed to include club atmosphere and people talking to place over the music track to gain a realistic club vibe. Most of the sounds on the soundtrack were downloaded from the free sound project website but alot of the more specific sounds like the man racking up lines of coke were recorded by me. Sound List:
Club Atmos (recorded)
People Talking (recorded)
Garage music track (downloaded)
Bold sound 1 and 2 (downloaded)
Door creek (recorded)
Door slam (recorded)
Door Knock (recorded)
Police sirens (stereo)
Vomit (downloaded)
Urination (downloaded)
Heart beat (downloaded)
Heart monitor-Flat line (downloaded)
Heavy breathing (downloaded)
Coke Card (recorded)
Sniff (recorded)

Before starting this project i thought i would really struggle with the program and getting the correct sound i wanted but the audition refresher workshop really helped and i enjoyed making the track and now feel confident using audition. I look forward to editing the dialogue track.

Monday, 20 October 2008

The Pitch.

Over the last week i have been coming up with ideas to pitch to the BBC. In a group of three we combined are ideas. All of us wanted to do something that involved the music industry. We took a week to start coming up with initial ideas that could be pitched to a television channel like 4Music or MTV. I came up with the idea of an animated spoof version of Music celebrity news. I got from inspiration from the well known animated series 2D T.V. I went back to discuss this idea with the rest of the group. We brought all of are ideas together and decided to take an interactive approach and create a website where musicians can upload there own music and animators can then take the song and create an animation to it so that both the musicians and the animators can get there work out over the web. We also started generating ideas for an animated television program that could show one of the songs along with an animation. The program would be a series of short episodes showed every week either on a music channel or as part of another television program such as T4.
This idea requires us to come up with design ideas for the characters in the television program, website design and the style of the television programme. The style needs to be consistent so that the website and program are both recognized as being linked to each other. We discussed how the website would work and decided that each member would have to log on and create a small profile, alot smaller than that of My space or facebook. They can then upload animations and music, rate other animations and join in with discussions with other members. The site is available to everyone but i think the main target audience would be over 13s. We want all types of animation and music so all the different music tastes are portrayed through the character designs.
In terms of the style of the website and program we started looking at vector motion graphics and drew some really good ideas from a website called, the website uses small simple flash animations of characters and locations to get across its urban style.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

LEVEL 2- Digital animation: week one

Back for my second year studying digital animation and the year ahead looks busy. I was keen to find out what type of work I would be doing this year and refreshing myself with all the software. This week has given me a lot to think about. The maya lessons and advanced maya tutorials are something i am looking forward to the most. I agree with george that the industry is moving towards computer animation and its is certainly the most successful medium of animation in feature film length animation. This year Pixar, Dreamworks and Warner Bros have all released computer animated films. My goal this year is to be able to use the software to create animations and try expressing my ideas through a more modern medium.
The lighting and sound side of level two will help me gain a better understanding of how a shot is put together and i hope to produce a really good quality sound track and be comfortable using the sound editing software. I hope to be ale to learn about lighting in 3D animation through the advanced maya classes.
I have already started doing mind mapping ideas for the pitch in December. I hope to be able to produce a series of short animations that could be shown as a late night comedy on a music channel. My initial ideas stem from an animated graphic version of a chart show to a music news spoof with animated celebrity characters.
The animated Exeter ident will give me an oppurtunity to share ideas with a group of people by taking different roles in a short animation hopefully we can achieve a really creative Ident that could be shown at the festival.
This next week i will be developing my ideas for the Ident and hopefully produce a completed storyboard for it as well as coming up with a final idea for the pitch animation.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

The Library : animating the lazer sequence

After completing the lipsyncing animation i was asked to animate a lazer sequence for another group. I was given a sequence of shots that were produced using 3D modeling software however i had complete freedom in what program i used to create the animation. I began playing around with Photoshop after sketching some rough ideas of what i wanted a lazer beam to look like. I realised that using a simple gradient in photoshop would result in the illusion of light. I began creating the laser and animating the movement of it and the lighting behind it and around it. It almost appears to glow green when it moves across the screen. I also had to animate a cross being burnt onto the side of a book shelf by the lazer. Using similar methods i managed to create a light effect in photoshop that makes the cross appear to glow orange when the lazer connects with the bookcase. i really enjoyed doing this because i had been getting usd o the program and really improving in terms of spped and understanding of the software. I look forward to gaining a better understanding of all the prgrams i have worked with this year and produce some professional looking animations next year. The laser scene:

Group Project: Production

After I had drawn up some final ideas for my dolphin lip sync i began experimenting with flash animation just to build my confidence when lip syncing the dolphin scene. My role included developing designs for the dolphin character, generating new characters to react with the dolphin and develop a funny story line that would put a twist on the speech. I began story boarding some ideas and sketching shot ideas. The ideas were simple because of the type of project we were animating but I wanted to add more to just a shot of a dolphin speaking so I came up with the idea of including a short shot of a dolphin fighting a shark with penguin as a referee. After getting used to using flash I realized that because I was struggling to draw using the tablet I would sketch my frames in a sketchbook then using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to color them to then turn them into individual graphic symbols in Flash making it very east for me to just drag and place the symbols onto the frames when they were needed. This process made Lip synching simple and a much more bearable task. My group member had created backgrounds for me in Photoshop which meant i could use the layers of the image in my animation. I decided to include a killer whale jumping out of the swimming pool then splashing down into the pool. I used the swimming pool layer to hide the killer whale the place the killer whale layer over the background layer when I wanted it to be visible. After working on the animation I got much more comfortable using flash. "It is a whispered truth amongst animators that 70% of a films impact lies within the sound". As well as the voice over it was important that the animation included a good sound track including background ambience and folly sound. My producer Holly worked with the sound designers and technician to create me a list of sound including a dolphin screech, splash, splosh, whistle, bubbles and under water bubbles all of which are crucial in making the animation successful. I added the sounds in Flash so that I could animate over them and make the mouth movements of the dolphin to the voiceover however I had animated the other shots before I began lip synching so it was a case of editing the sounds in Audition and fitting them to animation in Premier before i exported the film as a finished Quicktime Movie.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Group Production: development of ideas and the pitch.

During the pre-production stages of the project I started sketching characters to be used in our final production. The group decided on using animals as characters because it creates a more lighthearted and entertaining feel to the interviews we were lip syncing. Using animals also gives us the opportunity to relate the speech in the interviews and sound of the voice to a type of animal.
Together we discussed possible ideas and ended up deciding on animating a dolphin, aliens, fascist ants, rhino builder, polaroid camera, goldfish and a dung beetle. All the characters appearances relate to what is being said on the tapes. I decided to concentrate my character design and story-boarding on the dolphin scene. I mainly practiced drawing the shape of a dolphin and trying to understand how a dolphin moves. I began generating different ideas for the storyboard. Because the idea was similar to creature comforts i wanted to include more shots than just the typical mid shot I decided that I would include a wrestling match between a shark and a dolphin to make it more interesting and give myself a challenge. I wanted a referee character so decided on a penguin because of the appearance. I practiced drawing the movements of all the characters in preparation for production because it would be my role to animate the lip sync and movements of other characters including a killer whale jump.
After watching the making of PIXARS 'Finding Nemo' i realized how complicated making something look underwater was so began researching into underwater backgrounds and lighting. One of the biggest challenges for me in this project will be working in 2D and trying to achieve a believable animation that will make the audience laugh.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Group project: Pre Production.

The session we had on the structure of an animation studio and pipeline helped me to gain a better understanding of the importance of the roles. I hadn't realized that there were so may areas in animation and found it really interesting researching the role of a sound designer. I hope to be able to practice with sound in animation as it is a whispered truth among animators that 70% of a films impact is down to the sound.
I was excited to receive a project that involved a team of people. This way the group could be split into pre production, post production and production teams. I prefer the creative side and idea generating side of animation, this would include things such as character design, writing and story-boarding therefore i chose to be part of the pre production team.
Our assignment looks at interviews with Falmouth university students. However it is our job as animators to create funny interpretations o what the students say. So far we are in the initial idea stages. The majority of are ideas are influenced by the Aardman production 'Creature Comforts'. Because the interviews are in no way funny the character design, interpretation of the interview, backgrounds and body language of the characters is crucial to creating a humorous final film. I am currently working on character designs for a Gladiator dolphin and a Fascist Dog.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Evaluation: Sack Rig

This exercise was one of my most enjoyable. I love creating and building in maya and 3D animation is definitely an area I would like to work in. Animating the flour sack reminded me of all the weight movements and timing I had learnt doing the 2D character. After experimenting with all the possible movements i began trying to make the flour sack walk and look realistic. There are two ways of creating a walk cycle. The first is to make the character walk on the spot then move them along a platform by inserting keyframes and using the graph to get the timing right however the finished walk cycle can sometimes look more mechanical and make the character appear as though they are sliding along the platform. By animating the flour sacks movements manually and tweaking movements in the graph a more realistic walk can be achieved. i had to take into consideration the character of the flour sack so that the movements could reflect its personality. I also had to make sure all the elements of the character moved correctly during the walk, not just the feet and legs.
The flour sack approaches the end of the platform quite proudly then when anticipating the jump assumes a gymnast, bungie jump style pose before falling. This adds character to the sack.
I originally wanted the sack to fall and do a summersault as it fell but i had problems moving the point of rotation. Instead I inserted a long gymnast bar so that the character could appear to fall, swing round the bar and land on the floor.
Overall i am very pleased with my finished clip and look forward to practicing animating more complicated characters and learning how to create characters and rig them.

Maya: Character animation finished flour sack

Monday, 21 April 2008

Maya: Bouncing ball

Having already created a prop using this 3D software I was keen to get animating in the program. I had previously designed and animated a logo for a title sequence but I didn't use any animation techniques such as squashing and stretching. When we did the 2D drawings of the small character jumping etc. I realized the importance of stretching and squashing and was surprised how effective it was. Maya makes stretching and squashing easy. Using the graph I can easily edit a movement and also repeat a movement and create a cycle. When creating an animation of a bouncing ball the graph is really useful however I wouldn't recommend it when animating characters because the graph makes some of the movements look unnatural and mechanical.
The Process of animating a bouncing ball is really interesting, if certain squash or stretch isn't right then the whole animation will look rubbish. Its also important when stretching and squashing that the volume of the ball remains the same throughout the animation. The thing I found hardest about animating the ball was the timing and working out the speed that a ball falls at and bounces back at as well as what height.
When we were given the brief to make a football, bowling ball and ping pong ball bounce using the Maya software i was keen to experiment with the height of the bounce and amount the ball stretched and squashed. For example the bowling ball barely bounces to give the illusion of weight where has the ping pong ball bounces high and a lot because it is light. I used the stretch and squash techniques the most when doing the football to give the illusion of the material it is made from.
I began experimenting with rotation and movement so that the balls could bounce and roll across the screen and look realistic.
i got some help and inspiration by looking at some of the old Pixar films and videos on of bouncing balls and the physics involved.

this link shows a maya video of two balls bouncing:

Monday, 14 April 2008

Finished Ident

The completed ident isn't exactly how i imagined it to be. Unfortunately I didn't manage my time as well as a should have done therefore had to cut some corners in order to meet the deadline. If I had planned it better then the characters in my ident would move more therefore expressing more emotion. I used windows movie maker to edit the film so that it appeared black and white and slightly older looking. I rejected the boiler suit costume idea because the uniforms were practically see through and didnt look as good as i wanted them to on camera. The location I chose was good bacause it allowed the human characters to walk forward easily therefore i was able to increase the size of the animated characters easily as they move towards the camera. I enjoyed doing the project and look forward to learning more about 3D animation so that i can practice this in my upcoming projects.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Ident project development of ideas

Right! So i decided that my ident is going to be a mixture of live action and animation. How do i go about this?
I firstly needed to come up with a story and setting. I began getting some inspiration from music and television. We were told that the ident should include an upbeat soundtrack that could appeal to a student audience. I began listening to rock, house, trance, garage, indie, hip hop and all other popular styles of music. I watched tv to help me generate more ideas and one advert stuck out from the rest. The Vauxhall Corsa adverts basically tells the stories of small characters in the real world. I wanted my idea to be similar to this, including little characters that reflect student lifestyle in their image and personalities.
I am a student so research into lifestyle wasn't that challenging. I began taking on board my everyday experiences and trying to merge them into my ideas for the ident project. I was incredibly fortunate to of have an amazing weekend that ultimately sparked the idea for the ident. In student life there are a variety of different people who all come from different backgrounds and social groups. For example Emo's, Grungers, Townies, Chavs, Hippies, and the sporty types to name a few. Im aware that not everyone fits into these categories and it is very judgmental to start categorizing someones personality. However everyone is able to identify with the groups and recognize the differences in music preference and fashion. I decided that my characters should represent different social groups and interact with live human versions of them. As i began developing the idea further i realized that the appearance of the human character wouldn't matter because their personality could be represented through the small animated character. I then began coming up with idea of how i could hide the personalities of the human characters. In preparation for a rave i had bought myself a boiler suit and mask a perfect way of hiding your identity i then decided that my live action characters would all wear boiler suits and masks. There is also a hidden meaning behind the boiler suit and the small characters that students could identify with.
So now I had my characters designed all i needed was a background. I began looking around Falmouth for locations to film and only found a few really good spots. I later decided that the background could just be animated or created as a still graphic in Photoshop. I began sketching ideas and playing around with images in photoshop till i thought i had developed enough ideas to come of with a finished background design. Now that all the ideas are finished i need to animate it. I think that i will animate the characters in Flash as 2D characters and edit the film in Premier

OSTN ident project initial ideas

I was extremely pleased when receiving the ident project. It would give me a chance to use my creativity and own methods of animation. I began researching into similar idents for E4 and Nickelodeon. These channels have a similar target audience as the student television network so many of the idents were a good reflection of how i wanted my ident to look.
After taking a keen interest in 3D animation my initial idea was to produce a 3D animation for the ident. I wasn't sure how i wanted to do this but many of my thoughts revolved around a 3D finished product.
I began looking at the design of the OSTN logo and started coming up with ideas that represented the colours in the logo. I think it is important that the ident is closely linked to the design of the logo because the channel is new and any ident, advertising and design should clearly represent the channel. E4 idents work in a similar way. The majority of the 'e-stings' all include the colour purple, the colour of the E4 logo.
I began exploring the options i had by creating mood boards that included the colours blue, green, yellow and orange. By mind mapping and bullet pointing things associated with these colours and student life i was able to generate a lot of ideas. One of my first ideas was to have the four colours interfering with everyday student life. For example a student type character could be walking along the street when a drop of colour lands on his shoulder, or a bar maid could be pouring a pint that is green. After i came up with these ideas a began looking into the idea of mixing animation with live action. I could have the students and background as live action and the colours animated in after effects then layered over the live action. I was inspired by the Roger Rabbit film, The Last Action Hero, Space Jam and an episode of The Simpsons where the mixture of live action and animation is really effective.
I would then need to take into account filming, actors, lighting, sound and location. I began coming up with more ideas using live action and animation. My strongest idea was to have live action students interacting with animated characters. I quickly began developing this idea.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Flash animation

After doing the chair in maya i found the flash lip sync project quite tedious and boring. It was interesting to learn a little bit more about the software and learn the mouth movements for certain sounds and letters.
it was the first time i had ever used sound with an animation. Adobe audition is a brilliant program that enabled me to edit my sound so that i had the best quality voice for my character and a crackling police siren in the background as well as a quiet garage tune being played through the car radio.
When it came to lip syncing i had forgotten to change the imported sound into a 'stream' from an 'event' therefore i found it quite hard to make the lip sync look good in the actual movie clip of the animation. After realizing this i changed the sound import to a stream and began going back over the lip sync making corrections which became very frustrating.
I did enjoy using the tablets to draw with on Flash. i created my background on Photoshop by getting photographs of main places in the area i grew up and layering them on top of one another. by doing this it added to my characters personalty.
I think that if i enjoyed doing the project more then I might be swayed towards the 2D side of animation however at the moment i am excited about developing ideas for the up and coming projects and hope that i can use a range of 3D animation techniques.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Pioneers of computer animation.

Computer animation is one of my favorite fields in animation. It offers more realistic images and speeds up production. I was surprised to find that the earliest computer animations were created in the 60s I thought that it was a more modern discovery but then i am only really familiar with 3D design computer animation that is seen in feature films by Pixar and Dreamworks.
I had never seen any of the early 60s abstract forms of animation. They explore the movement of colour, shapes and text and express the beatnik movement and psychedelic culture of the 60s. More importantly these animation were a break through in computer development and animation. Scientists and mathematicians would be the first to practice computer animation because they new how the computing programing worked.
In the 70s people began experimenting with story-lines and characters. Hunger la Fain (1971) is an early computer animated film by John Whitney. It includes characters that morph into different shapes and facial and body movements. The standard of animation doesn't come close to the 3d characters we see today but the short film has an artistic presents and unique style. The timing of movements in the film isn't correct in most places but because of its style it doesn't really matter. In modern day pieces of animation the movement of the characters and props is perfect.
In the 80s computer animation developed into 3d. Technology companies used this animation to advertise their modern products. The 1981 animation 'Glider' was use for a panasonic advert. this animation reminded me of the Dire straits music video for Money for nothing. The shapes and figures are very 'square' and the movement is slow. Macintosh advertised their latest computer using Adam Power's 'Pencil Test' (1988) animation short produced on the Mac computer. The pencil icon is characterized so emotion is reflected in its movements.
Pixar are now one of the most recognized 3d animation studio after the success of feature length films such as Toy Story and Monster Inc. The Toy Story DVD includes some of Pixars earlier works. The 1987 film (Reds Dream) features a unicycle dreaming of being in the circus. The unicycle has its own personality and character that is reflected through its movements. One of my favourite Pixar animations is the 1989 film Knick Knack the snowman. It features multiple characters and has a hilarious story-line. It was actually rereleased with Finding Nemo but had been altered so that the animation matched the quality of Finding Nemo.
I definitely want to explore the world of 3D animation more and hopefully concentrate on producing pieces of 3D work. Although the work takes patients an time i believe that the satisfaction of a complete piece is greater than in any other style of animation.

click the link to watch Knick Knack

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Finished chair

After completing the chair I began developing more ideas on how I could improve the look of the chair and give it some character. I decided after watching the film Scarface that i wanted to make my chair look similar to Tony Montanas in the film. By stretching the chairs height it adds authority to the chair. I rendered the chair in shiny black to give the impression of leather. The chair has smooth edges to make it look valuable and modern. The cushions added are red to match the carpet a fit with the Scarface style theme.