Monday, 31 October 2011

Getting me in the mood...

for baking!.. Honest!

Just getting an idea of the kind of colour range, and what kind of cheery mood it should put you in...

Thursday, 27 October 2011

testy testy

just trying to roughly animate how a bag of sugar might walk... hmm...


I've been generating ideas for a design for this web banner. I've storyboarded one of my ideas.. it'll hopefully be quite fast paced and sickeningly merry, cheery and cute. Fast-paced so that it'll catch attention, and cute because it'll better suit the audience that appreciates cute cupcakes and treats..

So basically:

  1. gingerbread man enters pulling something on a string? tea towel? ribbon?
  2. he pulls in a mixing bowl
  3. bowl in centre
  4. things start to jump around and add ingredients to the bowl- sugar trots in and sprinkles in and exits
  5. egg rolls in, cracks on the side and opens
  6. net comes in and catches the shell (similar to slapstick hooked cane movement)
  7. butter comes in, jumps up and breaks into cubes
  8. cloud floats in and adds flower "flour"
  9. loud clunking is heard
  10. electric whisk clunks in
  11. electric whisk whisks everything
  12. POOF 
  13. bowl turns into cake
  14. piping bag/ writing icing ices name of blog onto cake

I know everything seems to be coming in from the left and exiting right, but i'd mix this up in the actual animation and speed it up so it's not so predictable and static.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

What makes a good banner ad??

I thought i'd do a bit of research on this before i started designing, since i don't really know where to start.
Here's what i've gathered so far:

  • Post banner ads on pages with related Web content -- the more related, the better.
  • Advertise a particular product or service in your banner, rather than your site generally.
  • If you do advertise a particular product or service, link the banner ad to that part of your Web site, rather than your home page.
  • Put banner ads at the top of the page, rather than farther down.
  • Use simple messages rather than complicated ones.
  • Use animated ads rather than static ones.
  • Your graphic content should pique visitor curiosity, without being too obscure.
  • Keep banner ad size small. If the page takes too long to load, a lot of visitors will go on to another page
  • A good banner advert should be visually appealing, attract interest, and be shown to an audience that is interested in what you have to offer.
  • some inspiring ideas for placement of web banners:

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

I miss life drawing

Just a little sketch using an online pose reference (40 mins- mechanical pencil 2B)

Oh, and i can't shade <:D

Case Study: Recent Successful Advertising Campaigns

Animation in adverts is increasingly becoming more popular as they allow companies to convey their desired message to the audience, whilst creating the right type of mood. Without animation being introduced, the creativity and the messages they extend to the public are limited, and the mood usually relies on how good the actors are.

As I will be creating my own web-based banner advert, it is necessary for me to research on current material that is available, concentrating on what makes them so successful, memorable and how the styles and overall aesthetic is appropriate to their target audience.

Twinings tea advert has played around on the idea of how their product makes the users feel, with the idea that their tea makes the drinkers feel refreshed, relaxed and comfortable, hence opting for the slogan “Gets you back to you”. Emphasising and dragging out this emotion became the anchor point to the animation. It focuses on inviting the audience into the story of a woman struggling on an arduous journey to find herself. She is first found to be worried whilst rowing in windy conditions, then her journey is made much harder when she loses an oar. The boat carries her through the rough waves of which she has no control. Birds of sea foam carry her to calmer seas and the shore. She gets out and is greeted by herself with a cup of Twinings tea and at last, she is relaxed. The public will be able to relate to this story as the character is fictional, and many have experienced being stressed, which is easily relieved by a cup of tea. Playing on the idea of the emotion the product gives you is a clever aspect to play on, as it will also make the viewer want to possess the product and relive the feeling.

The style of the animation has been very effective in capturing the attention of their target audience- this being middle-aged and mature adults. It is done in 3-D, with a fresh yet muted colour palette and a watercolour aesthetic to offer a dream-like quality to the whole animation. It really appeals to viewers whom enjoy a finer tea, rather than your average “builders tea”. Being able to communicate and convey a message without any script is what makes this advert particularly sophisticated and effective.

Another successful advert is for the Toyota Yaris car. Their focus is on this new car design that is suited for the busy urban community, offering up-to-date functions and current technology. The series of these adverts compare the car to others that may think it is better than this new model. For example, this animation has an ordinary man, whom the public can relate to, in the new Yaris and he comes head to head with a successful looking businessman in a giant monster truck. The idea is that although the monster truck looks nice, it is totally unsuitable for everyday life, unlike the Toyota Yaris, that has the technology to nip in and out of tight parking spaces easily. Therefore, the seemingly ordinary guy in the practical looking Yaris, has the last laugh.

It has a very fresh and modern rotascoped style animation, with an urban vibe to add humour. The young actors in the animation emphasise that the new car is very current and “cool”, and with the lack of rotascoped adverts, this animation filled a gap and immediately grabs the audience’s attention of the product being perfect for anyone who enjoys new technology and a practical car, which is advertised throughout.

The catchy rap and beat of the music also plays a part of getting into the target audience’s head, meaning that this advert will be memorable, and even more so with the unique style the animation offers. 

Case Study Research

So before i start writing about my actual case study, i'm going to post up a few adverts using digital animation to get the ol' creative juices flowing before i start wid da 4mal lang. YA G3T WHA AM SYIN' BLUD?!!

A slight change of plan...

So i had a little chat with my tutor last friday... and after much confusion and misunderstanding, we'd both come to the decision that, Yes. Walk cycles and bouncing balls are all very boring. A bit too mundane. So we thought we'd go back to focusing more on the web side of animating, but still combining the 2 elements of web design animation and the more traditional digital animation.

So the new plan is: i'm going to design a web banner ad. In which, some elements may be made on different softwares and brought together to create one giant ad. The idea is that i'll be studying the use of all the softwares and deciding the best one for the job for certain assets.

Although the work i did last week is pretty useless, it was not all done in vain, as after all that playing around i did, i now know the basics of 4 programmes:
  • Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Edge
  • Toon Boom
  • Pencil
Better get designing then...

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Balls, balls, balls...

I've been hard at work animating my first task- The Bouncing Ball

I used 3 softwares to create the same animation and noted down the process in which i did them as well as pros and cons. I will show all the screenshots i took in the programmes and then compare the final animations at the end of the post.

The first software i used was Flash, this being because i'm familiar with the programme and so it was a pretty standard process of creating all the shapes on the stage, and animating using a Classic Tween.

The blue line acted as my guide (the same as in my other animations) and the lines acted as the guides for inbetweens and the extremes. I was happy that all programmes had the essential onion skinning functions, as this mini project would have been near impossible to create a convincing bouncing ball without it. Using the classic tween technique meant that the inbetweens were automatically assumed and added in, and it was also just as easy to adjust them as necessary, resulting in a nice clean movement.

Toon Boom
This programme has really been a pleasure to get used to. Once i got round to how the functions and general display worked, it was quite straight-forward. I was even slapping my forehead in awe of some of the functions that were available on this programme that isn't on Flash. It really saves a lot of time and makes life a lot easier. I read an AMAZING blog that really well explained how Toon Boom works to an absolute beginner, which i owe a lot of credit to:

It has all the elements (or layers) along the bottom of the screen, and i've rearranged the workspace so that the cells for animating are highlighted on the bottom right. It was really easy to draw into this programme and animate it without redrawing. The useful table light function means that you don't have to turn a the other layers visibilities off to just view one layer, you can just select the layer and turn the table light off. Brilliant!

The camera view function also means you can animate your drawings without manipulating them or changing them accidently, and can scale the whole animation as if moving frames closer or further away from a camera in real life. 

Keyframing also automatically puts in "tweens" so you don't have to select a type of tween like in Flash, they are also easy to alter. I also noticed near finishing animating that the ball wasn't quite round enough, so i just went back to drawing view, made it rounder, and to my pleasure, found that it changed all the other frames to follow suit. Thank god i didn't have to change each frame individually!!

This programme caused me so much grief. You cannot lock down layers on this so you can so easily accidently move keyframes!! Grr... I also find it seriously irritating that you MUST make the keyframe BEFORE you animate anything, otherwise it just doesnt do anything, and because i was so used to the other programmes where you just move something and it automatically creates the keyframe, it was annoying to move something and then realise you have to do it again, because you didnt make the keyframe yourself >:(

AND ANOTHER THING!! When i saved this file, it did the opposite of saving. Basically, i saved this file, then did something wrong, so i went to the file to reopen it to! start again, and instead, i got NotePad with a load of gobbledy-gook written in it. Useful! (Not!). So i opened it from the programme itself, to find that all my layers were still named but with NO KEYFRAMES and NO IMAGES. Again, VERY USEFUL. It erased all my frames (as you can see the keyframes at the bottom are grey, meaning they're empty and yellow when they contain something) so i couldnt edit it later. So this screenshot is actually ANOTHER one i did, because i had to do it again, and then i saved it, and the keyframes turned grey ("Oh crap, not again!" says me) so i took a picture before i lost it forever and exported it.

On this programme, you cannot make an image and then play around with it further in the timeline to animate, you can only copy and paste it over and over and keep manipulating which is:

1) very time consuming 
2) annoying because you have to remember to keyframe everytime before you press command+v to paste.
3) you can't delete frames or keyframes in groups, you can only do them individually.
4) and you can't rotate anything.
5) you can't preview your animation
6) you can only view onion skin in the frame directly before or after the frame you're on.

i really think this programme is for kids or serious beginners as there are hardly any tutorials and one i found was from a 9 year old, who said in his tutorial "... and here, you have a vector layer. I can't explain what a vector layer does, but all i know is that you do not want it. so get rid of it."

if you'd like evidence of this, here it is (at 00:56):


So anyway here are the final animations of the bouncing balls (complete with hopefully, good timing and squash and stretch), here for comparing:


Toon Boom


I think the Flash video looks too smooth and a bit too perfect. I prefer the Toon Boom one for this task, it has more character and was just a really easy programme to use :)

Day 2 of Hard Graft

For the second time, i've lugged my computer down to the kitchen for another day of hard work. Looking at my work schedule, i'm slightly lagging behind so today, i will be focusing on settling on the animations i'll be making on Flash, Toon Boom and Pencil. I'll then work out how to do them, and write down any pros or cons to my experience, so that later, when i write my report, it will be easier to compare all the programmes.

So far, i was thinking of:
  • A bouncing ball
  • A convincing walk cycle
  • A short (5 sec) frame-by-frame animation

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Bouncing ball

Leaves much to be desired but at least i managed to do it in the end..


I had no idea what was going on so i actually went onto the Toon Boom Support Forum to message a pro about my troubles.
Here's the proof of the interaction (i sound like a reet goon):

I wasn't on camera view. CAN YOU IMAGINE?!! I'm still new at this so i have no idea what camera view does but oh well- now i can carry on :)


So i still havent figured out this keyframing problem so i had to leave a thread on the ToonBoom website asking for help. While i was waiting i decided to animate something quickly, so as not to waste time, i feel it captures my emotions for the past few hours quite well :)

3 hours later, a professional has replied to my plea. So i better read that now and see if it helps in any way.

A Slight Breakthrough...

Thanks to one very helpful blog, i finally managed to find out what i was doing wrong on Toon Boom when animating. I've been searching and searching over the past few days to find out what could possibly be the problem. I now understand that the exposure sheets act as the "graphics" would in flash and the layers are used to lengthen your animation. So this programme actually makes you "nest" all your animations. Useful!!

Here's the blog:

First stage of playing around (it's supposed to be a stickman throwing a ball)... at least he moves:

adding inbetweens... (i know he has no weight but i just playing around at the moment)..

an armless man walking...

I've been trying to animate a bouncing ball but im having trouble setting keyframes on this bloody programme. I'm pretty sure im doing the right thing, ive been reading and rereading this tutorial and it still wont go right. keyframes arent being set and nothing is staying put... desperately searching for the solution...

Right. I've had my fun. Now for the work.

It only just hit me yesterday evening how much work i have to get done in such little time. So waking up early, i lugged my 28" mac downstairs to the massive kitchen table, along with the graphics tablet to set up the ultimate workstation. No more mister (miss) nice guy (lady). It's time to get a boot up my backside.

So, to start of this day of intense work, i thought i'd share my work plan... i know some of the dates have already planned, but you'll just have to trust it was being stored in my subconscious :P

Time to actually put this plan into action. Obviously, im aware i may not stick to this plan to the letter, but as long as everything gets done, i'm not too worried. More posts to come as i beaver away.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


So i recreated the pear in the big city on Flash. It was pretty easy animating the pear in a separate graphic and then popping it on the stage. I drew the leg poses for each stage of the walk cycle instead of using that dreaded bone tool i used last year...

so here's the result... my demented looking pear and his world.... why are there those stupid marks on the exported video?!! i always get these -_-'..

Saturday, 15 October 2011

studying with Toon Boom


at least pencil knows what it's doing...

decided to play around with colour.... 

i have no idea why the background comes over the foreground (it is definitely below all the layers in the list..) but yeah.. its weird.. a little feel good  but i think i prefer the little black and white one i did before. it seems a little more handmade and endearing

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Learning how to use Pencil at 21 years old

Just watching some tutorials..

and doing some testing... excuse the crudeness and i know the second bounce looks like a rollercoaster but oh well..

The most annoying thing ive found using Pencil is that you can't choose how many keyframes you can onion skin through, you only have the choice of the keyframe immediately before or immediately after... so you basically have to guess where your inbetweens have to go, unless you draw a rough guide on another layer and draw ontop. However, i guess it's not a bad programme to get for free... oh!! and another annoyance is that you can't colour pick your colours, you can only use the given default colours or use a colour slider/mixer which i find a bit time consuming to use...

a walking baked bean

it's a bit of a primitive programme but easy enough to teach yourself how to use, but for anything detailed, i'd need to use a different software with more advanced controls.

Thursday, 6 October 2011


For Specialist Study 1- i have chosen the following objectives to focus on:

Since these objectives, they've been slightly changed so that i can produce the following:
  • learn how to use other 2-d digital animation software i.e. pencil, toon boom, flash, (adobe edge)
  • use the most appropriate programme to create an animation to go on the web, advertising my baking blog
These objectives will link nicely to my dissertation which will be based on the demise of 2-D animation in advertising as i'm exploring the uses of 2-D software and seeing if i can create an effective and likeable advertisement for my blog.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

A little something new to me..

I don't know what possessed me to colour something today. i dont think ive ever had enough of an incentive to get off my arse and actually do it but i did! i found an old sketch i did a couple of months ago and had a go. It was amazingly good fun but i dont yet own a graphics tablet (gasp!!) so it was made quite a lot more difficult but i think it's okay considering it's my first try... her hand's a little too small, and im not sure her thigh's in the correct place and her skirt looks too flat. but hey ho. i'll know for next time.

3rd Year- Preparing for Dissertation.. ARGH!!!!

So the dreaded time has come when i have to come up with a subject to write about for my dissertation and also connect it to the work i'll be doing this year. After much (MUCH) stress, anger claws, screaming and looking like a helpless wreck infront of my boyfriend and my tutor, i've found something i may be slightly interested in looking at. Obviously i would have never come up with this idea without my tutor's help.

Recently Adobe Labs has introduced a preview for a new animation programme called Adobe Edge, meant to be Adobe Flash's successor. I've downloaded it and unfortunately the preview will expire in 88 days (dec 30th... oh well)... i thought i may look into this programme and compare to to flash and see whether it is that much easier to use and whether it will limit the use of Flash in the future (as come on, let's face it, Flash constantly PMSing).

Then, THEN! i thought to bulk out the research even more, i might throw in a bit about Toon Boom. This programme has also become popular as it has an interface that encourages the use of traditional animation learning techniques and so it therefore amazing for beginners. Although, it would be purely for animation and Adobe Edge is more for web design...

I've been playing around with both programmes and will continue to do so, as well as watching some tutorials to introduce me to some more of the new functions. Here are some i've been looking at that i reckon have been quite helpful: