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.