Wednesday, 10 November 2010

I'm sorry Blog.

I've been pretty absent lately, mainly because i was stupid and i thought my Digital Animation client deadline was Nov 9th, not Dec 9th -_-' Fail.
So yes, i had locked myself in my room for many days and once i was told, i grew regrettably complacent, and now im feeling the burn again.

So once i figure out how, i will be trying to upload some screenshots of my work so far (but blogger hates me and wouldnt let me upload pictures last time so yeah, hopefully i can get round this).

BESIDES THIS, i went to uni yesterday (hooray!!) to do lots of work (boo...) and we had a nice task to do, studying the structure of stories and the way the 3 Act Structure.


We did a class exercise on learning these new principles by applying them to a 10 minute film we watched called Joyride:

Considering this video was for a small class task we had to do, I quite enjoyed it since no 1. i usually get so confused in films and i actually understood this, and no. 2 well it was just quite fun to watch.
It's about an engineer that gets captured on his late shift by some scots on a joyride. He's attacked with what looks like a miniture fire axe, is tied up and bundled into the trunk of his car while the attackers get in and drive around. The crafty engineer, while in the boot of the car, hacks out the wire for one of the tail-lights of the car with his foot, police catch on and make the guys pull over to question them about the faulty tail light. The police, we assume are also hacked with the miniture fire axe in a scene that very much reminds me of a scene in Kill Bill (particularly at 3:20 - 3:45)

As they drive on, more police chase after. The guy in the boot cuts himself free with a sharp object in the boot and manages not only to spill a load of petrol on himself (smooth) but also disconnect the wires to the headlights, and because the drivers can't see where they are going, crash into the woods and one of the scots goes through the windscreen. The man makes a break for it, but the last attacker restrains him and ensures his silence with a knife to his throat, as they back towards the car, a sudden touch of wires in the car meant the car alarm was sounded, allowing the police to know where they are. During the surprise, the engineer nutted the scot and ran free. He found he was back to where he was at the beginning of the story at a faulty sparking pylon he was meant to fix. The pylon sparks up again, and a sound of combustion is heard...
Can anyone say "IRONYYYY?!!!"

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Adobe Flash Course

I went on an Adobe Flash Course for 2 days and i learnt a heck of a lot of stuff that i definately couldn't have taught myself... It was very thorough and quite intense but luckily i managed to come out the other end with a shiny new certificate and a complementary Flash "Classroom In A Book" err book.

Below is some evidence i actually went :)... Also, there are some pictures of the work i did, unfortunately the don't move or anything since i stupidly forgot to copy the base files over.. and i'm not a tech pro so i have no idea how to get flash imagery on my blog. SO i hope these still images will suffice. 2 exercises are missing as the files didn't copy properly :(

The Flash Manual and evidence of note-taking :P

My certificate

The very first exercise. Intro to layers, and how to use the timeline.

Learning how to use drawing tools, modifying colours and shapes, using stamps, creating and editing text.

Learning how to use motion paths and animating layers.

Creating a moving bone structures, adding spring and constrictions.

Creating a motion movie poster. Learning about alpha transparencies, blurring, movie clips, motion tweens, 3D rotation and using motion editor with the timeline.

More bone structure and learning about authortime or runtime.

Creating websites, buttons with up, down, over and hit imagery, text editing and action scripting.

Adding video to websites and converting files using Adobe Media Convertor.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Friday, 21 May 2010

Starting the animating...

Okay i wanted to upload my animatic before the following video, but it's just not playing ball with the uploading milarky... i'll try to get it up another time..

This is just a simple playblast of the actual sequence without the camera angles just to show how i got things working and how everything linked together.. im sorry the video isnt better quality!! it looks better in the actual quicktime video (i hope!)

Friday, 14 May 2010

Further detail

Well i found out we have an extra week than i thought for the project so i spent some time making the kitchen more "kitcheney"

so i made these:



and this is what they looked like put into the room

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Set... so far

i'm trying to get the set done today...

it's definately taking a while, and with my perfectionist nature, i keep having the urge to make little things to decorate the kitchen with...
i play way too much Sims...

actually... looking at the print screen, the decorative border on the wall looks a bit too thick and high up... let's change that..


..and now with a sink! coz it looked a bit bare..

now to add in my other objects...

can you see how it's going to work? ^_^ (yep- vair vair simple)
makes me think... why so much work for a pile of very unrealistic looking objects eh?!! EHH?!!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

New to texturing...

I thought i'd try and have a stab at some texturing today... it's a little tricky and since i'm still very new at this, all my objects still look a bit fake... but yeah, im happy with them and i think they get the job done..

im leaving the recipe books and the boxes til last as they need actual covers on them so they might take a little longer to do

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Cuppy Cake

Coz it wouldn't be my animation without it...

no cherry since that's where it's going to go at the end of my animation :)

More Stuff...

Kitchen Cupboard (with fully functional doors) :)
I also put in some trendy hinges for extra detail... i was going to stick in some triangles to hold the shelves up like you do in real cupboards but i got stuck... :p
In the actual setting, i will have the doors ajar, to make it a little more realistic with the imperfections... also something's falling off the shelf so the door has to be open..

Cake Stand

Mixing Bowl
the first picture is one i tried to do like a week ago-so bad, i couldn't even figure out how to get the lattice or the cross section off... oh, and there was a hole in the bottom. Useful or what?

a week later, and i think this one is more acceptable :)

the stalk could probably use a bit of work... and i dont know how to get rid of that green line, so if anyone wants to help with that, that'd be nice
Add Video

Recipe book (without the recipes)

Monday, 10 May 2010

What the....?!!

Okay so fabulous story right, yesterday i tried to knuckle down with Maya and couldn't even churn out a spoon... I wanted to punch Maya in the face.

Fresh minded today, i went to my tutorial and managed to model a tray of butter and a knife, came home and thought i might try and make friends with Maya, and made a very pleasing spoon and wooden spoon also!! :)

Wicke' Cool Yeah?!

So here they are- not looking too happy though since i havent textured them yet- i thought i might save that until ive modelled everything since i get more marks for the modelling? (right?)

Okay so the reason the butter looks very blocky is that we (the tutor and i) had trouble rounding off the edges BECAUSE i want to animate a slice coming off (the slice is there but you cant see it)... and so if i was to round off the edges on 2 sections, there would be a very noticeable dent in the middle.. but luckily he said he wouldn't penalise me when it came to it since he pretty much knows what i'm trying to convey...

Knifey Knife!! complete with ribbed pattern where the blade and handle are separated.

i'm very happy with my attractive spoon, i spent 3 hours yesterday trying to work out how to do it, and came back today to have another stab and here it is!.. hooray!

this wooden spoon was tricky since the scoop part is alot different to my previous spoon, it's quite shallow and thick, i basically made the scoop from a very shallow sphere, cut in half and extruded the sides to make it taller, and Apended the Polygon to give it a lid. Copy and pasted the shape and used Boolean > Difference to cut out the scoop top. The handle is made separate since i wanted a circular end to the wooden soon, so i made this out of cylinder... i then punched a hole through the end of it to give that authentic wooden spoon look :)

... this is the work ive done so far today so hopefully more to come!!
(especially with the fact that i've only got 11 days free trial for Maya left :l )

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Intro to Digital Animation

So this term's been pretty much introducing ourselves to the works of Maya and creating little CG thingies... so i shall post up some pictures of little things ive done so far...

although being a fast(ish) learner, im definately finding the software tricky to grasp and there was so many ways to do things...

Below, is a hilarious picture of the first thing i created using Maya- just playing around really... kind of ended up as an overly cartoony ice cream/fish...

What i found out from using CG software is that the realistic outcomes arent really in my favour when it comes to my natural cartoony/graphic way of drawing, so im going to really need to develop my 3-D awareness and general formal drawing skills further.

This is a vase/pot i made in a tutorial at uni, learning how to use the CV curve tool to create cross sections and then using a button called "revolve" it makes it into a rather fancy rounded object...

So our brief this term is to create a 30-second CG animation based on "the domino effect" where something causes a chain reaction of consequences...
I came up with the theme of baked goods and bakery equipment (surprise, surprise)... and have mocked up the process in my sketchbook.. ive really had to study all the objects i'll be modelling on Maya so that all the angles looked perfect(ish)..

This is a screenshot of the setting in the making.. kitchen counter if you cant guess what it is!

further on...

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Flatpack Festival- Shorts on Walls

[Before you read this, i'm sorry about the sheer crapness of this review. It's quite late and i don't function very well. Also, not being able to write is a major contributor.]

Being a film festival rookie, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of this event, so I went with an open mind and was surprised by what I encountered. Judging from the overpriced interval snacks, I was looking forward to seeing some hardcore shorts by amateur animators. However, the total mix-bag of what was shown totally threw me off-track, leaving me with some food for thought and inspiration.

The opening short, A Model Christmas, was one of my favourites shown. With obvious reference to Aardman’s Creature Comforts, the makers had paired an interview with humans with Lego replicas of the people themselves. The fact that complex human emotions were projected by a static little plastic Lego man’s face made the reel amusing and endearing to watch. The only problem I found was that it lacked originality, as it was so similar to what has been seen on Creature Comforts. The cuts between the scenes were also quite abrupt so it all didn’t flow very evenly.

Dougie’s First Day was an standard slapstick comedy, done in a stop-motion style. From watching this short, you could tell that a lot of thought went into it, and the details were well appreciated. However, the story dragged on a bit and I found the voice-over hard to follow.

Trolley was a mix of live action, with CG and 2-D animation. A wide variety of techniques harmonised with an interesting storyline. It was about a lonely boy seeking comfort and companionship in his imagination. The juxtaposition of the everyday moments with the fantasy imagination was particularly interesting and I found, quite relatable. However, the lengthy piece was pretty much a marmite work. You either loved it or you hated it.

Arguing is a Nice Hobby was my least favourite of the event. The CG style almost seemed lazy and there were several pauses throughout the film where the maker had literally just doubled or tripled the frames, making it look like the whole animation had frozen. This emphasised the “lazy” quality even more. The storyline was pretty predictable and almost cringe-worthy. However, it wasn’t all bad. The humorous little tags at the beginning with arrows to point out the characters and even the title were entertaining- for a whole second.

Bicycle Diaries was an interesting account of a man’s experience cycling to Mexico. It was more of a documentary fine art film than a story, so it was a series of linear 2-D animation scenes, possibly drawn over live action or photographs. I liked how the frame was never complete, an electrical power line could be passing in the background, and with the sound accompanied, you could almost imagine and visualise the story yourself. Unfortunately, the bleached white background was quite garish and it was quite hard to watch after a while.

Maiden Flight was the shortest film shown that evening. Although it was short, I found it to be one of the most effective. Done in a stop-motion style, it showed someone making an origami butterfly. Sweet and simple.

Let Me In was probably my favourite of the event. The drawing style was quite crude which was quite endearing really. The animation told four stories of who was knocking at different people’s doors. I thought it was amusing and light-hearted to watch. It impressed me that something so basic could be so entertaining, it really showed me that sometimes less really is more.

Through the Looking Glass was highly depressing. Full stop. It was about a girl whom was unhappy with how she looked. She tried dieting, exercising, making a “thinspiration” collage and even making herself sick, and the twist at the end was that she actually perceived her body image incorrectly. The CG style was quite basic but it also seemed to give off a sinister vibe- that might have just been for me.

The Moon Bird rounded off the event for the evening. Done to professional standard by the Brothers Mcleod who made an earlier appearance at the Flip Festival I went to earlier in the year. The story was about an orphan girl who was to cleverly outwit an evil sorceress with the help of the Moon Bird. I’m not quite sure what the style of the animation was, but if I took a guess it was 2-D with flash or something similar. Definitely the most impressive out of all the films but then again, we wouldn’t be expecting anything less from the Brothers Mcleod.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Out For Eggs...



See y'all April 19th, yeah?



Monday, 22 March 2010


Finally!! it's finished!!... We papped out all the sound and editing last night, with help from Joe and Ashton for voices, i managed to do my main part in the animation :)

Take a look at my Final Cut Pro screenshot of the editing i did- looks pretty pro huh??

Yeah, anyway, this is the final outcome of all our effort :)
we worked really hard, so... ENJOY!!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Filming Even More And More Cont'd

Part 8- Pulling at Window Bars

Preliminary Research

The arms of the model were bent to show the strength of the pulling, this was an easier method than fixing the hands onto the window bars and pulling and pushing the model itself. The hands were already starting to melt under the lamp as they were facing it through the window. The only problem was the walls again, moving when the model's weight was countering.

Part 9- Chalking Wall Again
It really does look like the chalking scenes are the most effective. I like the irritated look on the model's face. It's a similar effect on the opening scenes, the fact he doesn't look when he chalks up.

Part 10- Going Insane
The uneven speed of the rolling eyeballs and swaying head makes the insanity seem even more convincing. This scene goes on for a bit longer so it gave us a bit more to play with when we edit the whole film.

Part 11- Rocking Back and Forth

Test 1
This was to check the speed of the rocking, the timing and spacing. However, the lighting was flashing so we had to start again. Also, the speed we tested made him look like he was hopping more than rocking.

The reason for the very attractive jump he has is meant to be because he hears a banging which makes him twitch :) when he stands up, this is when the switch-over is made into the kid's room.

Part 12- Kid's Room
The idea is that the previous scene is lead into this one. They're in exactly the same position so when the sound of a light switch is made, the room's change.

Preliminary Research

This is our first run cycle- and a very make-shift one but luckily, i think it still gets the idea across. Funny how the most difficult action we did was at the end. The kid brings his fist in like he's really happy he's not grounded and runs off. His room does look a bit empty though- poor deprived child.

The only scene we had to get rid of was one where we were going to have him sleeping in the corner, but the movement you make when you're asleep is so small that it was difficult to do without making him look like he was shifting around, especially in the small time he was given just to do this, not even 3 seconds. Tests from this are shown below.

Filming Even More Cont'd

Part 3- Working out
The prisoner's working out. I think it worked out pretty good, although the bed starts collapsing heavily towards the end... Personally I think it adds to the effect :p

Part 3.5- Chalking up
We doubled the frame at the start of the chalk line and after to show strength in the drawing of the line. The slump afterwards just shows he's sick and tired.

Part 4- Throwing a Ball

Preliminary Research

The classic playing catch with himself, is a good gesture to emphasise boredom or loneliness. We used a blu-tac ball and attached it to his hand, his foot and then onto the floor, adding squash and stretch into the effect. For the flying back in the air, we attached a strand of Ashton's hair to the ball and dangled it from above and shot a frame :p it worked well! apart from the mattress sliding down slightly.

Part 5- Head Banging

Test 1
This test lacked weight on his head, it almost looks like he's stroking his head against the wall. It could also gain from being a bit faster. We thought it might also look slightly better if it was more of a close up zoom.


Part 6- Chalking up again
I think this scene is quite effective, it just shows the tiredness like all the other chalking scenes. I like how the chalk rolls off and he drops it :)

Part 7- Banging the Walls

Preliminary Research

This scene was split in two, as we noticed that the banging started to go off-screen. So i thought another perspective would be an easy solution as well as focusing on the activity he's doing. The walls move slightly everytime the hands touch the wall, but this couldn't have changed unless the walls were made stronger.

Filming Cont'd

The next part was all the following scenes. The cut scenes in fact, which emphasise the boredom that the character is feeling. The next part we filmed had no tests since it all worked out pretty good!.. thank god for that :)

Part 1- Waking up

Preliminary Research

He's seen to be bored, just woken up, scratches his balls, yawns, slumps down again and chalks off a day. I particularly like this opening scene because the fact he scratches his crotch might be quite crude but some (male-wise) of the audience will be able to emphathise with him, that he's only human and it's obviously a favourite past time for males in the mornings. Also, when he slumps down again after his yawn shows he isn't ready for the day and has nothing in particular to look forward to, and the fact he chalks of a day without even looking, emphasises this- it gives off the impression "i've been here for so goddamn long, i don't even have to look where to chalk off. This is pretty much the highlight of my day. I'm so bored."

The only criticisms i would have on this part is that his clothes keep dancing, but so early on in our learning stages, im not sure this can be helped because we have to touch him to move him so his clothes will obviously shift. Also, have you noticed the wiggly pillow monster?... Me too.

Part 2- Foot tapping
This was the first proper cut scene showing boredom. A simple foot tapping to entertain himself. I have to admit, i was a bit wary of this scene as to me, foot tapping would resemble waiting, and he's not waiting for anything!.. but being a team player, i took one for them.

Okay, so he pretty much is supposed to be seen tapping his foot, he looks out of the window hopefully, sees nothing and continues to tap his foot.

Test 1- (if this video is red, i'm sorry that's Blogspot's fault)

This first test was just to see whether we had got the speed of his foot down... Also, you might notice a HUGE glitch. That is because someone really cleverly nudged the camera, and so we tried to match it up again. But even the magic of onion skinning couldn't help us. Oh, and wiggly pillow monster strikes again.

The bed shifts. But i do like how his foot slows down as he proceeds to look out the window.

Getting down to it.. Intro Time


just a quick animatic so we get a taste of the type of things we want to happen

There are alot of tests, so i'll say what's going on, upload a video and comment on it :)

Frame 1: Bird's eye view of the prison, spinning intro.
To do this, we fixed the camera vertically onto a stop motion stage, looking down into the warped perspective set and covered the surrounding light with a cardboard box, cut to fit over the camera and set. We shone a light (covered with tracing paper to filter out some of the strength) through the window of the set to create atmosphere.

Test 1
This test was before we discovered that we had to block out the surrounding light, and so after this, the cardboard box was cut to fit over the camera and set; which meant that the lighting isn't focusing and there isnt much atmosphere. Also, we found that the base of the set spun unevenly so it started to fly off the edge.

Test 2
After the mishap before, we found a plastic CD case holder that could act a turn-table so that we could tape the set down onto it, spin it, and be able to keep it in the centre of the shot. And yay! it works :)

Test 3
We directed the light through the window, covered it with a couple of sheets of tracing paper so it stopped the light bleaching the shot. We filmed an 180 degree turn and it looked pretty pro. However, when reviewed with the rest of the group, we were concerned with the fact it was quite a short scene, and it was a bit of a shame since it looked so cool :p
We thought we'd try and lengthen it out, not by doing more turning but adding a zoom into the character.

Test 4- Final Intro
This is the final scene for our intro. We think it turned out pretty good and it'll blend in well with the following scenes.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Lighting Tests

We did a ridiculous amount of light tests. Strong lights, dim lights, surround lights, colour filters, tracing paper, double the tracing paper baking paper, next to the light, next to the window, near the window... we tried it all!!..

The things we discovered from these tests:
  • We liked the effect of having the shadow of the metal bars on the floor
  • This can't be achieved without having a bleaching glare through the window
  • Bleaching can be avoided by filtering through tracing paper
  • Blue filters make rooms look cold and give an illusion of night time
  • Green filters make it look a bit sci-fi.
  • Surrounding light doesn't give a very good effect
  • Directed light is preferable if it's not too bright.
I guess from these tests, our favourites were: double tracing paper, next to the light, and tracing paper, blue filter next to the window.

Take a look at some of the test pictures if you're not dead by the end.

blue filter next to the light

blue filter next to the window

double tracing paper next to the light

double tracing paper next to the window

green and blue filter

green filter next to the light

green filter next to the window

normal, lights off

normal, lights on

normal, lights off, random figure

normal, lights off, shorter figure

tracing paper, blue filter next to the light

tracing paper, blue filter next to the window

tracing paper next to the light

tracing paper next to the window