Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Frame Size

I've finally managed to figure out how to cut the frame size down on final cut pro so that i stop getting that black letter box framing the outside, so i've uploaded a version that doesn't have it.


However, upon looking back, I really should have used a generic PAL frame size so that it wouldn't look weird full-screened, nor would it lose too much quality when it was made bigger.

I'm kinda feeling the regret now... For some reason I was just set on the frame size that was default on Flash: 550 x 400.

Damn you Flash. Why ARE you that size?!!

The best way to watch this video is in a tiny window on quicktime- then everything looks sharp. Probably as big as the video window up there ^^... Which is miniscule!!

ARGHHHDHSO;FHSDG;S1!!;\EREWLRG\!!!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Post Production & Feedback

Sorry for the quietness- I've been working on Scene 19, the live action carrot massacre, the overall sounds of the final animation and general edits. I've been having a real problem with timing, apparently that's my only downfall according to my housemates, who have been regularly watching my work and basically witnessing the process from start to finish. Throughout this production line, they've constantly been poking and pointing me in the right direction which i'm incredibly thankful to them for!

So far, with their feedback, this is what i've produced. There are still some tweaks that need err... tweaking:


On top of this first test i've uploaded, I felt i needed some feedback from fresh eyes, so i've posted this first test video onto the BCU Animation Students Facebook Group:



As much as I appreciate those "Likes", i wish they were converted to constructive feedback -_-', suppose I can't complain. So far, the general consensus seems to be to just focus on refining and shortening the carrot massacre scene, which is totally doable, thank god. 

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the god-awful cheesy music. I thought it stuck out like a sore thumb, but without the music it didn't seem to be effective. Therefore, I have a love/hate relationship with the soundtrack. However, no one has mentioned it, so i guess it's not that prominent?... Let's hope i get some more..

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Update:

I've been told that one way i could improve the music if i'm unhappy with it would be to keep to only one track from scene scene 17 to 19, but just make sure it gets louder during the torture scene for more dynamic, then it should stop as soon as the knife stops.

This sounds like a really good idea so i'll have to see what that looks like:





Thursday, 10 May 2012

Scene 1: Intro Cont'd

So i believe today i'm continuing this scene and sorting out the acting. I'm quite worried about how this scene will turn out, I want it to be really good as it's the first scene you see of the animation.
However, it'll probably end up being of the same standard as the rest of it.

Animating the eyes and blinks:


Animating the arms and brows:



Although this was intended to be a test, I quite like the subtle movement in it, so i might keep it how it is. Or am i just being lazy? I'll have to come back to it if I feel that it needs something else, but for now i'm pretty satisfied.

The next thing I've done is tried to merge the title sequence and scene 1 together to make it seem like a convincing transition, typical for television:


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I've just realised I forgot to put in the carrot's stats at the beginning- just to add that extra finish to it. So here it is:





Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Scene 1: Intro

Today's been a hectic day.
Don't even ask...

I've basically had to do the same 2 tasks (dopesheeting and lip syncing) twice today because uni computers are crap and life hates me.

On the bright side, I've managed to record the missing 2 scenes! Still no word on the "Next time" extra that I want to add on if i have time.

Here's me trying to match up the lip syncing first on this first scene, before I do the acting. The first part doesn't really matter in terms of acting or matching or anything actually, since this will probably be covered with the title sequence as it fades in.

Forget that he has no eyes for now- I'm just focusing on his mouth.


It's so hard to lip sync when words slur together naturally... Particularly towards the end, you can tell i've really struggled with this.

It's pretty late so i might work on the acing tomorrow...

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Scene 20: Engagement

This was a last minute thought, I thought my animation ended quite abruptly, and not only that, I was intending to have a still image up for quite some time, which would be not only boring, but viewers might even think that the animation has frozen.

There's been new script that's been added so that it ties everything together. Hopefully the following image will be able to show what happens in the end.


Another after thought is that I might have a "Next Time" scene right at the end. It'd be a clip from next week's episode, of some other vegetables hopefully saying something hilarious- which would be a really nice way to end the animation.



Monday, 7 May 2012

Title Sequence

I'm really aiming for something really cheesy and a little bit ghastly.

This is what I've produced so far...  I chose for autumnal vegetably colours to filter the images. I wanted something simple, corny but got the point across. Obviously it will also be more effective once i've got the sound on it.


Having done that, I've tried to put some music tracks over it. But I'm actually finding this a lot more difficult than i originally anticipated... I don't actually have a lot of experience in putting music behind animations, let alone a cheesy title sequence. It's quite hard to think of what kind of mood i'm wanting, as well as finding a free sound (i'm using Garageband), AND being able to cut it to a decent length so that the music doesn't stop really suddenly- as it's only a short time that this sequence is actually up.

This first one has more a cheeky, cheerful feel. I find it also has that kind of boring talk show melody, the type that kids would turn off but totally suits the middle aged market for television. I quite like it, but it was hard to cut down the music for this one. And as a result, I think that the stamp of "exposed" on the title is timed a bit weirdly when played with the music:


This next one is a bit more jazzy, a bit more modern and rock. It kind of gives it a more exciting and american reality TV feel almost. I think the timing is a lot better than the previous one. It's just a matter of which mood I prefer... Or not at all! I could choose a different track altogether if my feedback pushes me to:


Scene 0: Title Sequence

So i've decided to go for a title sequence after all, to give it that cheesy talk-show vibe.
I'm definitely aiming for the cheesier the better- so if my title sequence has made your toes curl, i know i've succeeded.


Thursday, 3 May 2012

Scene 14: Tammy

Yesterday and today, I've been finishing off these scene. This scene has been a bloody nightmare for me as it took me ages to figure out actually what to do visually for this... I needed something sweet and innocent to sugar up the mood and to make it obvious to the viewers that this is when the character met the love of his life.

Looking at the miserable weather outside, I came up with the idea of the carrot being saved from the depressing rain by a kind gesture of offering an umbrella from Tammy. It's cute, it's warming and it makes you go aww... unlike the rest of the animation.

For this scene, I've had to take a few liberties, as usually i'd fit the animation around the sound... but the pauses weren't right and the mood was rushed, so i'm going to have to manually edit the sound so that the animation can take as much time as it needs for this slow song.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Scene 1 Research

As my animation is like a mix between an interview and a documentary (with less narration) so i realise that the beginning scene of this is crucial to how the tone of the rest of the animation plays out.

Originally, it was just going to be a plain conversing between the "interviewer" and the carrot. I had even scripted it:
Carrot: "Is it on??"
Interviewer: "We'll just jump straight in then if you don't mind. So tell us when your life began for you."
...Or something to that effect. And i've decided that it's boring, uninteresting and far too easy.

The animation is like a film of answers with the questions edited out so it is both an interview and a documentary... i guess.

I'm finding it hard to think of an alternative way to beginning the animation. So i thought it would make sense to research on some documentaries/interviews and have a look at how they start and introduce the programme and get some inspiration from that:

- Programme starts with a direct question to the person in question to introduce the actual topic of the programme.
- Offers statistics of the topic.
- Humour and a small explanation of what the topic means.

- Starts with a humorous yet informative scenario that happened within the documentary- getting straight to the point of the topic.
- States his location, which is a place highly populated with the people in question.
- Further explanation of what the topic actually is.

- Begins with a very cheesy but humorous title sequence for the series (little screens and snapshots of who he's previously interviewed)
- Quite a similar beginning to mine, in the fact that you've got the person in a chair and just having like an off-centre close shot of the character.
- Gives a brief background story on the successes of the person, and why you may know them.
- All the points above so far are very possible assets i could put in my animation. The cheesy title sequence would definitely give it a funny documentary series aesthetic and an introductory story of why the person interviewed is interesting is also effective in explaining what the purpose of the animation is.
- Unlike my audio so far, you can also hear the interviewer, even when the interviewee is talking e.g. laughing at jokes, which definitely adds a different dynamic and gives an obvious natural conversing feel. 
- Has some shots when the camera changes angle every-so-often so that the shot doesn't stay static. Good idea that i should take note of.
- Audio even includes when the people talking stumble or have "umms" or "errs" which makes it even more natural and more like a documentary- like you're not missing anything. I wish I added more of this into mine... Hopefully there's still time.
- Has shots of the interviewer when he asks questions... Maybe i should introduce another character as my interviewer??

- I chose this documentary to watch because it seemed to be guaranteed humour and rudeness which is what mine is pretty much about too.
- Starts with an explanation as to why the topic is occurring.
- Has small, funny clips of examples of the topic.
- Introduces the character, has her speaking to the camera about her experience so far as well as background narration to give more further information.

- Full background narration to get straight to the point of the topic
- Professional quotes and comments to back up the narrative script
- A touching little comment from the main person to gain sympathy from the audience. Not really something that I can apply to my animation. 
- As it's a more serious documentary, the tone of the full background narration would be a bit too intense for the mood of my work.

- Again, a more serious documentary to watch so probably not that relevant- until I noticed how they introduced the people they were making the film about. When introducing the people, they paused the film when it showed them, and text appeared at the bottom saying their name, weight and height (because it's about small people). I think this is interesting to do as usually this kind of introductory text is saved for maybe older films or sitcoms in the title sequence... but i quite liked it. If i added this to my animation when introducing the main character, it could add a humorous streak, and the weight and the height would give the audience a real life statistic to imagine the character to- so it would be more like a documentary.
- In one particular part, all the camera crew shake hands and introduce themselves to the person. This adds an element of fame to the character.
- Introduces their parents! That could be interesting... obviously I would have to make a whole new scene but I never thought of having his parents... Considering my character's a vegetable..
- Also has random shots of things in the city that the crew is in to give atmosphere and gives the narrator time to talk and the viewers can concentrate on what they're saying. This may be a good thing to add if i end up having a narrator too, a random blender or a fork on the counter.

After doing this amount of research, I have found that not only have I got some kind of idea of how the animation could start, I also have ideas of things that I could add to enhance the realism of the "documentary" aspect of my animation, including:

- Adding random atmospheric shots.
- Having a narrator or an interviewer.
- Having a cheesy title sequence as if like a talk show.
- Introducing the character with a freeze frame and some info text about them.
- A brief background story on why the character's interesting to follow.
- Alternating camera angles during the interviewing scenes.
- Having audio of actual conversing between character and interviewer.
- A scene introducing his parents?!

All i have to do now is pick and choose... Ugh...

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Scene 2: Everyone wanted me

It's getting late but I really wanted to get this filler done so that I could say I'd got about 2 scenes done today.

Well, 1 scene and 2 fillers.

This was pretty much the same as the previous post of lip syncing and animating little subtle gestures like arms, eyebrows, eyes and blinks..




Scene 3: Raw Magnetic Attraction

In this scene, i just needed a filler- i noticed this as i've been compiling the full animation as i've been going along. In scene 3, there's some still images being shown, but the script is too long for the images, so i thought i could do a small animated filler.

This filler will be the carrot talking in his armchair, as he will be for another filler in scene 2 (another gap that ive noticed i need to fill) and scene 1.

This first test is to make sure the lip syncing is right:


Seems okay, now onto animating the eyes and blinks...

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It all seems A-Okay so far... But i think to add a bit more flair, it would be great if i could get him to have some arms, as in the original concept, he's actually holding a martini glass:


It might take some time but if he waved around a glass while we was talking- that would be brill. I'll need to do the same for scene 2's filler and scene 1.

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So the arms are done- they're quite rough, but they're as smooth as i can get them at the moment... it's a shame his arms are orange too- you can't really see the arm that lies across him very much... but besides that, i've managed to animate both arms so i'm pretty happy with the progress today...

It also means i can use all these assets for the other 2 scenes i need them for :)


Scene 15: She was a fruit

This live action piece has been quite hard to animate with since it requires a bit of subtle movement, and also, it goes on for longer than i'd like.

Blogger currently isn't letting me upload my first test.

But i can tell you that the same thing happens for 11 seconds, which is quite tedious, so i've decided to cut it up in the middle with a still of a cut tomato, and then animate the second half with pips flying at his face- for comedy value...

Hopefully blogger will be kinder at uploading my next test when i have it...

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The contrast of the picture is a lot higher than i thought.. Although i filmed the live action in day light, hoping for a sharper picture, i didn't realise that the kitchen lights were on too, which made the whole picture a bit too yellow and bright.

Oh well.

Here's the second test, and i think the final one for this scene, as i kinda like it like this :) (obviously if it was less bright, i'd probs love it a lot more.)





Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Scene 7: The Jackets

So i've had some time to think about this scene as this one was one of the scenes that was lying around undecided.

So i've decided to have one establishing shot of The Jackets and then having a crude cut out movement of them all going into the club/pub called "The Masher". This will marry up the joke of them getting "mashed" every night and also the fact that in the scene after, how the butternut squash crudely moves.

Either way, i feel it's a better option to go for than the original- one of the jackets handing a beer to the carrot. Not only is this unexciting, but it's actually quite difficult to do, since the character design i've done for the jackets it quite complicated.

This way, with the stupid cut out movement, it can purposely look ridiculous and funny, and also save me some hard labour.

Here's the first establishing shot of The Jackets. Looking proper hardcore.


Now that i'm looking at it, I think they all look a bit weird all being in the same lighting, especially since they're standing in a staggered position. I'll alter the brightness on the two behind so that they look like they're in the environment a bit more.



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A few hours later...

I've just finished the background for the second part of the scene. It was actually really hard to do, since i dont usually remember what the OUTSIDE of clubs look like, and i also seem to remember that they're pretty boring on the outside. a bit like an old building.

I had a stab anyway, with some help of google images, I based it on this club:


And then produced this:


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Animating crudely is always easy, and to me, it looks hilarious.


... Probably because it reminds me of South Park. Okay so i might be borrowing a small amount of empathy from loyal viewers of the show..

I feel it needs some mood lighting inside- like disco lights to making it look "pumpin'" :P

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Here we go:





Scene 4: Crap Neighbourhood

The only part that needs most animation consideration in this scene is the fly i've spontaneously introduced.

This scene is just mentioning about where the carrot's childhood friend grew up. And to add a bit ore atmosphere, i introduced a scabby fly.

Usually for something like this, I'd use a motion tween to animate the fly and then curve the motion path. However, since i'm exporting everything as a png image sequence, i can't use motion tweens, so i've had to animate it frame by frame like everything else.


I animated this as a test, but i kinda like it... the fly still flies in a weirdly straight line, but i can't seem to rectify it... either way, i did try and give him a bit of a lazy bee bob. I'm also planning to put a little "squidge" noise when he lands on his head.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Scene 18: Tell Them It's Not True

This scene is pretty similar to the last one. Just requires frame by frame lip syncing, which is easy but extremely time-consuming and tedious.

The first test is again, just to check the match-up


Okay, so it's a little bit out, about 3 frames out, so now i'll have to go back and change it.. i'm also wondering whether he should move his face upwards little bit when he says "true"... i'll just get the lip syncing down first..

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Better...

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I was just animating the face move, but even as i was doing it, it looked very odd... I've now decided against it! 

Right, now to put the rolling pin back on the mushroom...


This is pretty ship shape now i reckon, with a license for handmade quaint quality :P
Now finished with threatening rolling pin! oh, and i also got rid of the annoying white strip that turned up at the beginning.





Friday, 20 April 2012

Scene 17: No Vegetable Has a Juice!

Today has been pretty simple lip syncing for the broccoli.. the only annoying thing being that all the assets have to move with the broccoli as it bobs around which is actually pretty difficult- without making it look like his face his swimming around his head.

So this is the first test, just to see if the lips match up to the sound.


Next i'll be adding the faces on the other vegetables, and the mushroom and pepper need some weaponry. Oh and shadows to come too..

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It's all a bit wobbly but i kinda like it like that.
Handmade quality.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Scene 16: Suspicion (Carrot Kidnap)

So you may have been wondering where i've been... slacking off maybe??

Nope.

Ellen (a volunteer from L5) and I have been busy cutting out the images from the live action footage from the previous post, frame by frame. It was tedious. It was tiring. But we managed to do it.

I never want to see another quick selection or lasso tool ever again, unfortunately i still have scene 16 to film. Ughh... Luckily, it's not too long.

So having cut out the first lot of frames for scene 15, I slapped on his face and added some shadows.


I cut out the shadow of the string within the image, as i thought this would be useful to keep it accurate. Unfortunately, although i made this part opaque, it wasn't dark enough to look like a shadow against the counter top texture. So i tried to cover it with an extra layer, but yeah, it didn't cover up exactly and so ends up looking a bit 3-D :l oh well.

The rest is pretty nice though, the lines boil slightly which give it an illustrated yet 3-D feel. And the imperfect cut out lines gives it a little bit of a hand-crafted and loved feel.. I think so anyway :P

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I went ahead and did the shifty eyes that the other vegetables give when they're suspicious. This happens before the kidnapping- seems i've done everything backwards!

This was pretty easy, i was a bit lazy with the character design, but i think the simpler the better (maybe?!)... well if i change my mind and have time, i can go back and change it.

I also got rid of the sigh at the beginning of the track i previously had... It was lengthening the time of the scene considerably so the visuals weren't making enough of an impact.

It seems to drag at the end (s'cuse the pun)...
But i think with some shuffley background noise it'll be fine... so once i've recorded all the background noise at the end when i bring everything together, hopefully everything will be A OKAY!!

... I'm tired. I've been working 10 hours straight.






Monday, 16 April 2012

Live Action Filming



Today, i filmed some scenes that i'll be rotascoping the background in. It's mostly towards the end of the animation when the styles are more played around with.

I had some help from my housemate, holding vegetables, wiggling them around and essentially trying to act through them. While i tried to get camera angles right.

We played the recorded script while we filmed so that we could get the wiggling and timing right, and also used a white background so that I could edit out the background later on the computer.

Here's some of the material we produced:

Part of Scene 16: Carrot Kidnap
So in this part, I wrapped one of my carrots in parcel string and dragged him across the frame to make him look like he was being kidnapped.


The first is quite long, and a bit too smooth.
The second is more jerky, like he's actually being tugged along. It's also alot faster, so i think i'll be using this one.

Scene 17: No vegetable has a juice
This is when other vegetables start to gang up on the carrot. I was too lazy and couldn't be bothered to go to the shop to buy a courgette as the speaker was meant to be. So i subbed him for a broccoli and brought in a yellow pepper too.. :P


The first video had a problem, there's a little loose swingy bit of broccoli that swings around an insane amount, and i was having troubles thinking about editing around that..

The second is much better, less swingy, and the wiggles match up to the sound.

The third was just a play on a different angle, it was actually a lot more difficult than i originally thought to fit 3 vegetables into a shot. Especially with that yellow pepper being so bright and big, it kept biffing the broccoli over. As a result, this one looked a bit messy and the focus is off.

Scene 18: Tell them it's not true
As an improvisation, i thought i might be quite funny to have the carrot tied up and swinging around as if they were all gonna beat him up while he's hung up. It makes it slightly more interesting than just having him tied up on the floor or in a chair.

You'll also get to see more of the live action movement in it which will give it a much nicer effect :)

I only wish that we had played the sound to this aswell, but we didn't so the wiggling doesn't quite fit with the voice.


The first video, the carrot was swinging with the top of his head to the camera....
Second, was better, a side on view and some tugging whilst talking..
Third, waaaay too swingy but then it could be funny if his face was zooming, swinging into the camera and out again... May have a look if this shot has potential.

Button walks towards Carrot
This part is just when Button responds to what Carrot said by stepping towards him with a baseball bat.
It was hard to get the camera to focus on the mushroom so close, but i think it might work out better than way...
I had to use a red background for this one, as the mushroom is so pale against the white, it would be hard time for me to cut him out of it.



The first is kind of a little boppy walk, which i'm not quite a fan of.
The second is more to my liking but it's quite fast, so i'm planning to pause it for a bit at the beginning, so this can be when he's playing with the baseball bat, before he comes forward.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Scene 12: Grill Tanning Cont'd

So i'm working on the second part of scene 12 today... So far, i've animated the carrot getting up to lean on his elbow whilst tanning, and made a different range of lip sync mouths to look less happy, and then lip synced the rest of the script.

Just a quick test to see whether it links up again, and how the movement looks overall..

After this, i still need to animate a bit more as i'd quite like him to take off his tanning goggles when he says "got leeked".


As you can see, the second part of the lip syncing's a little tragic so... ONCE AGAIN, im going to sort that out. But otherwise i think the movement of getting up is okay.. or is it too fast? i'll see after my second test...

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So i've tidied up the lip syncing.. there's a little bit on the end of when  he says "got" that i'd like to add a consonant mouth at the end, so it doesn't look too slurred.

I'm also thinking of lengthening the pause between the two speeches- as it kind of sounds like he rushes into it- which is a bit strange.

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Now that i have this ironed out, im going to try animate him taking his goggles off.

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I've animated this part quite simply with shortcuts- i'm hoping it doesn't show too much!!
I also didn't know whether to give him eyes with his tan... Especially the fact that his eyes are meant to be quite long and definitely wouldn't fit behind those tiny tanning goggles... and you wouldn't be able to see the funny tan line as much if i put the eyes in...

or do i give him random small beady eyes- that he doesn't have in any other scene?!!

Decisions, decisions...


Now i've got that dreaded stupid atmosphere animation to do now... WHY IS THERE SOME MUCH EFFING SMOKE OR STEAM IN THIS ANIMATION?!!!!!!

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So I animated the steam in a slightly different way this time.. I don't think i've yet used the same technique for the same effect :l haha..

This time i used the brush tool to create the steam on flash, and then used the motion editor to animate it, changing the alpha, scale, positioning and using a blur filter. I think it created an interesting result.

UNTIL, i realised i created the steam on a movie clip. Which means when i try to export it (how i need to anyway- exporting it as a png image sequence), it won't actually translate onto those frames. Which sucks. It will only work if i export it straight into a quicktime movie from flash- which i can't do. Because my flash hates me and i get glitches that way. 

Back to the drawing board.

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Okay, so that problem was quickly solved... i just copied what i did above, but just not in a movie clip!! haha... whoops. I forgot you could create a motion tween in a graphic.



So i think it turned out well for the environment... I realised that when you grill stuff, they don't really steam or smoke all that much. So i opted for the occasional sizzle lines. Hopefully you can see them on that stupidly tiny frame sized video above.

I think that's all i can do on this scene before i explode. I better move on.



Thursday, 12 April 2012

Scene 12: Grill Tanning

I'm still chugging along here- but these dope sheets are making my brain and face hurt so i might have to give it up soon...

I thought i'd just whip out the first part of scene 12 before i finish up for the day. I'm getting pretty used to creating the facial expressions for lip syncing on photoshop now- and for the speed i'm going at, i'm very thankful.

This first part is literally just straight forward lip syncing- so this first test is just to test the link-up..

The second part of the speech involves the carrot sitting up and taking off his tanning goggles, which i don't think i have the energy for- so i'll have to sort that out tomorrow- luckily, i think it'll be pretty straight forward..




Okay, so looking at this video, the sound doesn't link up (as always) so i'm going to have to go back in and polish this up..

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Now this one looks slightly better- his lips flap around a bit because i made them a little too big- but that's fine :P


So this section of this scene is done for tonight... i'll do the second half tomorrow.

Night world x

Scene 10 & 11: Beer Goggles

So this is the scene i'm doing today- i started late due to a random wild goose chase looking for a patisserie this morning... Anyway, never mind that.

This is the part when carrot (yup, he still has no name), reminisces about a bad account of beer goggles. It starts off with him talking over the memory. He's in bed and wakes up to something unexpected. The gag being that it wasn't a brussels sprout at all- but a huge giant friggin cabbage. I'm not sure it's all that clear if i didn't tell you that he was talking about a sprout he thought he met.

Anyway, this is what i've done so far.


I think the pause needs to be longer before the still comes in... And if i can, i think it might be good if there was some animated smoke coming off the cigarette, even though it's just a still image- i think it might add a bit of edge to it so it wouldn't be so static.

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So i had a go at adding a little bit more atmosphere with the smokey ceiling and the smoke coming out of her cigarette. This was actually pretty hard to do. It actually got to the point where I:

1) created a smoke stream on photoshop
2) cut it up into 16 layers
3) saved it as a .psd file
4) imported it into flash
5) created a symbol for the smoke
6) made a symbol within the smoke itself
7) keyframe animated layers of the smoke so i could animate it trailing upwards

I even had to make sure the front and the back of the animation linked up so that it could repeat itself and wouldn't jump. It may be simple to most but it was puzzling at the time for me. Here's the evidence:

Above- a nice smoke stream with parts edited out- mid animation

Keyframing animated smoke O_O' 

16 layers?!! just for a bloody smoke stream?!! dear god. Even i think that's too much work for a tiny bit of smoke that you probably won't be able to see in the updated animated scene:





Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Scene 9: Peapod

So i think i'll need a number of tests for this scene as there are a few tricky parts.
Including unzipping a peapod seductively, more lip syncing, a crying child and a dummy spat into the carrot's face.

This first test is of the unzipping, which seems to have worked pretty well. I just did it frame by frame as png images on photoshop and then put them in flash. I thought if i moved every single part it would get far too complicated.


The next test is just to make sure i'm getting the lip syncing right... I guess it looks okay but it doesn't actually match up... i then go to fiddle with it and it seems to make it work.. Hmm.. Well, it's only a short scene so hopefully no one will be too fussy :P



So before I give up for today, this what i've produced today... I think the timing of the dummy being spat out needs some work and it needs to turn a bit as it's spat out- i'll finish it off tomorrow. Oh, and i also need to get some sucking sounds and the child crying. Hopefully i can find that off a free sound site before i go stealing candy from children.


Actually, looking at it- i think it's all fine... don't know if that's just because i'm feeling lazy or because i actually think it's fine. Feedback showed that it was fine too so maybe i should just move on..



Revised Work Schedule

So now that my work is picking up, I thought i should probably have a plan of how to pace myself.
I already created a work schedule 2 months ago, but that was when I thought i was doing a different project- so when i looked back on it, i found that it didn't really match up with what i was doing and i needed a more detailed list of what to do.


Everything in my work schedule looks pretty understandable until about April 18th onwards, since i've actually planned to re-do and rethink parts of my animation. Yes, it might be a bit late to be doing that, but i've been needing the time to think of a suitable idea, and luckily, i have a bit of time to make these amends.

I'm the type of person who likes to work as they go along. I attempt to avoid the problems from the beginning, but will happily face them when I come to them. Hence, around April 23rd onwards, I'm recording or designing, minutes before i'm animating them.

I can't seem to think of more than one thing at a time! So i prefer to just get things sorted when they come along. Especially as this is the longest piece i'm going to produce, I'd like to keep my head screwed on as much as possible!

This work schedule will apply if I work EVERYDAY. Obviously, that won't happen.
But as there is 3 weeks where I'm just doing final touches to everything in weeks 15-17, I think this gives me some allowance to have a day off here and there so i don't go absolutely insane.

If i work at the same pace as i've been doing, I should be able to get this thing comfortably done on time :)
Brill.

So err... Looking at the schedule, I should probably be starting to get Scene 9 underway. Ughhhhhh!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Prep for Scene 9: Peapod

A late character design for the next victim of awful chat-up lines


Scene 8: Pervy eyes for the Butt Ernut Squash

So today i've started on scene 8 so far. This is when carrot chats up a butternut squash. I wanted the butternut squash to make a jerky entrance, similar to cut outs- just for humour value, which was pretty easy to do. However, swinging the carrots eyes down so he can check her out is proving trickier than i thought. I have two different versions, a more exaggerated and more subtle...

Although i've stuck tweens between the eye movements, it still seems a little jerky... not sure why. But before i fix anything, i think i need to decide on which movement i'll be going for:

The more exaggerated:

The more subtle:

After asking 2 of my housemates for their opinions on these, they both opted for the more subtle. And suggested a flirty/pervy eyebrow raise as he clocks her bum which i agreed would make a nice addition. So i've had a go at putting these in and i think it makes it a lot clearer before he started to talk to her.

I also went ahead and did the lip syncing. It was pretty spot on apart from needing to lengthen the pause after he says "Hey Babe"...


i'm now going to animate the background (just animating some bubbles in the bar pole) and maybe adding a shoulder bop at the beginning so it looks like he's bopping along to the music. I'll also need to decide whether to give the butternut squash a face. AND THEN pop some bursts of bright colour on it to give the illusion of disco lights.


I found that when timing his head bops- i needed to have chosen the sound track that will be in the club. So i found a track from a free fx website- royalty free of course! I needed a song that wasn't going to have a climax in it and seemed pretty predictable so that it wouldnt take anything away from the animation. The lights were quite startling and caused a few epileptic fits until it came to decision that it would be best to subtly fade them in and out.

A few finer details were brought when i was given further feedback from my housemates. They suggested that I should make the butternut squash more noticeable as a woman- either with stereotypical accessories or a face (both of which are pretty hard to do when the character is meant to be facing away, and more importantly, only 2-D).

A brilliant suggestion was just to give her a bigger bum. So a bigger bum she has. A more defined bum makes for a better pervert.


Monday, 9 April 2012

Scene 5: Steamer Sauna

Last night, I stopped working after attempting to animate the lip syncing for the rest of the scene.

So this morning, I animated the rest of the eyes, eyelids and eyebrows to go with it. However, when i tried to match everything up to the sound, the lip syncing was off... And even when i looked at the frame numbers on final cut, and my dopesheet AND on Flash, everything seemed to match up just fine! But when it all came together it just didn't.

So i've just had to do some manual editing by estimation- and ended up exporting about 5 different versions and re-tweaking every time. Luckily, this wasn't too much hard work, but it still confuses me how everything seems to match up on paper and screen but not in reality. HUH?!!

Anyway, here is the "final" (until i breakdown and think it's not good enough) scene for this section. My FIRST animated section of my entire animation...


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Flash testing

Okay so today i thought i'd pluck up the courage and start trying out the lengthy process of testing out lip syncing on flash.. no body movement yet, but just one step at a time... kind of a good thing that i didn't actually.. i'll let you know why.

So i did the same thing as last time, i made the crucial mouth movements on my carrot (in the steamer this time) on Photoshop and then imported them into Flash to animate with.

Immediately i noticed when they were imported, the quality of the images were DIABOLICAL. So i'm gonna need to find out how to sort that out, all the layers were grainy, pixelated and fuzzy?!! contradictory it might sound, yes, but that's just how bad it was.

Anyway, I ploughed on, as it was only a test anyway. I followed the dopesheet for this scene and keyframed every appropriate mouth shape to the sound. Which actually, didn't take too long.. Obviously if the dopesheet is correct that is..

So the next tribulation I came across was when i exported out of Flash, completely forgetting that that never goes smoothly on my computer. So had to export it as a series of images and exported it in photoshop instead.

Then i took this file into Final Cut Pro and put the sound on top. I'll be honest, the sound didn't match up properly, some bits were fine but others were quite off. I have no idea why or how my dopesheet got mistakes in it, maybe i'll have to revise them just to make sure. Either way, on final cut pro, everything is easy enough to edit, cutting out frames and shoving it together again. Of course, only if the body of the carrot isn't moving. Which it wasn't because it was a test. But had i just leaped into full frontal animation, cutting out parts and mashing them together in final cut would not have been so easy. Everything would have jumped and been glitchy.

Anyway, here's a little tester for you:
The quality is shocking, but it was more successful than when I used Toon Boom.


A few hours later...
I revised over this last test to try and rectify some of the problems i'd faced.

First, i researched on how to maintain the quality of all my photoshop files when importing them into Flash... I found that i could either do a hunk of giant Actionscripting that i don't have the time for, or i could export each layer as a separate PNG file and then just import them all into Flash- which is what i did! it was an improvement on last time, still not extremely crisp but it was a quality that i guess i can accept.

I also redid my dopesheet for this particular scene. Oh my lord! i don't know how it went so wrong- but it turns out, i was like a whole 4 seconds out O_O" oh well, that's all sorted now..

Another thing i did was change some of the mouth positions as they seemed a bit off and added a few more.

And just to test all these out, i redid the animation just for good measure- and it looks like it lip syncs a lot better :) he has no eyes at this current time, as that's the next thing i need to test.


Another few hours later...

I tested out the eyes- a lot quicker to animate than the mouth. However, i was a bit lazy with the eyebrows- i only made 2 different positions. It still looks a bit stiff- which only means one thing... next test- body wiggling.


I'm not sure if the carrot actually needs this body wiggling of which i previously spoke about. So i thought i'd animate the background and then have another look... this is the first test for the background animation. i'm not sure if i'm completely happy with it.. it's hard to animate steam on flash... and bubbling water for that matter... but i have panned across some steamy ceiling very slowly at the top which i think is quite effective- even though you don't actually get to see much of it in this short clip.



I think it'll do for now- until i can think of a better way to animate the environment... I'm thinking, with some sound effects of the water, it'll be more effective and hopefully more convincing.. i think i'll go on to lip sync the rest of the clip now.





Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Testing...

So i was stressing today about how i'm going to start animating things.

I was brave and tried out one programme- Toom Boom. Only because, i remember that it has a an automated lip syncing system which i found quite appealing.

I basically mocked up some crucial mouth shapes made when speaking and imported the files along with the sound. It was pretty easy to do. However, the result wasn't all that convincing. I guess you can never fully rely on computers to do the tedious work for you... properly anyway.



I think i'll have to go in with the dopesheets afterall, and do it by hand in Flash. I'm also aware, watching this that the rest of the body is very static. For a test, i guess that's allowed. But it's also made me aware that as well as creating mouth pieces for the sound, i'll also have to make a number of eye and head movements so that the animation's more convincing.

It would also be good to have the body move around aswell- as he's also going to have arms and hopefully a drink.

It's gonna be hard work but thank god there aren't many scenes where this pernicketty stuff is involved. Maybe 3. But hopefully the effort will show through.

I'll do a test on Flash, and i guarantee it would look better. The only problem is that my Flash has a problem. The problem being that after the video is exported, the video always has glitches, so the only solution so far is to export every frame as an image file and then compile them altogether in Photoshop. I guess it's almost as equivalent of a 2-D render. Bloody Hell.


Monday, 2 April 2012

More bits n bobs

Carrot and tomato juice in the fridge looking like a pair of gormed idiots


upon looking back, it kinda looks a little empty, so i thought id throw in a milk carton for free... i would have preferred a milk bottle, but they seem hard to come by.



A seedy nightclub background- i'll also put flashes of opaque bright lights when i've animated to give it a clubby feel. (if i was really picky, id also like to animate the bubbles going up the bar pole)


Back of the club in a grotty janitor's closet/ stockroom...


a still from when carrot had beer goggles and doesn't wake up next to what he thought..

I based the horrendous cabbage on Estelle from Friends:








Thursday, 29 March 2012

Yet More Stills

Just ones i did today when the carrot (oh yeah i still haven't thought of a name for him!!) reminisces about his childhood with Button.. I've done a wide establishing shot and a close up- pretty similar.



Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Recording Sound

So i finally got round to recording most of the script (most, because im thinking of changing parts, but i can easily go back and do that)...

My lovely boyfriend agreed to be a poncy douchey carrot voice, inspired by those awe-inspiring accents from Made in Chelsea haaa...

Here is some photographic evidence, check out the professionalism!


When infact, we had no idea how to use any of the fancy equipment, so this is what we ACTUALLY did...


Far less impressive with a cardboard poster tube as a mic stand and a tiny recorder borrowed from his housemate. Student Lyf.

I also look unimpressed.
But i'm not really, except at my ginormous calves in this picture. Attractive.

Have an amusing blooper from today:




I have many more- but they're not quite as amusing. Enjoy sparingly.



Animatic

So i thought I would produce a handy animatic to get an idea of what the animation will flow similar to- also to get a feel for the timings. It's still very rough and most likely, i'll change a lot of the scenes as i go along and change story ideas.




Ending Shot

So this is the still to end the animation with...
Hopefully i've made the situation in the image clear enough!
I was debating whether or not to have the presents in the left bottom corner... but it looked a bit bare without anything there... maybe it would look more like a family photo without them?? how do i make something look like a photo??!


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

I can nearly start...

Finally!! i'm only behind on my work schedule by 1003948 weeks! but oh well..

So i've finished the script- hopefully recording it tomorrow so that i can dopesheet it up and start animating... just getting a few last minute things done before i start... including a really late redo character design of Tammy the Tomato:


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Jacket Potato

He's a bit hardcore


New Direction

So having gone to uni and received feedback, I found i was on the right track but needed to up the ante on the comedy value... so i've redone the script- so that it has more of a narrative and you learn a bit more about the extra characters.

It does mean however, that some of the work i've done on the stills wouldn't be used, and i have to make new images for the new script.. I also still have to storyboard the script, and decide which animation styles are going where, record the voice, dopesheet it, and finally, ANIMATE. phew. alot to do.

Anyway, for one part of the story, Carrot talks about how his sex tape got leaked. Quite literally... So i've been doing the rather disturbing imagery for that. IT might not be mega kinky but i would be lying if i said i felt entirely comfortable doing it :P

I still need to greyscale it and make it look like it;s on a newspaper, but the base of the image is done anyway (i think).

The faces are simplistic and different from the other images, but i think i like that... Anyway, have a look for yourself.

From this (provocatively placed veggies):



To this:


Okay... So 40 mins later, and i've tried my best to make it look like it's been papped into a newspaper:





Thursday, 8 March 2012

Interview Lounge

I'm very undecided about how this turned out.... Whether it's the overuse of collaged images... i dont know whether it takes away from the carrot... also the light from the lamp- distracting?? but without it it looks like it lacks some atmosphere?... maybe the light's the wrong colour?... i don't know..


Also, i went over and corrected the still image of the carrot cake- more depth and more crumbly!



Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Sauna steamer


can you tell he's in a bamboo steamer??

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Just Grillin'

This is what i spent today doing- a carrot tanning under a grill with stupid goggles on... i'm still halfway through trying to draw a funny carrot newspaper.


Saturday, 3 March 2012

The last of the dishes

I finished these off this morning... carrot and coriander soup and carrot cake.

 still one more still to go.



now im looking at it, i think that cake could do with more crumbs...

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Yes this pretty much took a day...

Don't ask me how- it just did- and somehow i got neck ache from it too :(...

Prize if you can guess what it is


Still halfway thru an image of soup..

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Today's work...

So i got started on some stills that are needed in the story that come up as flashes if imagery as the narrative goes on...

I have done some unfinished Yearbook photos of the carrot with crazy hairstyles- unfinished because i'm undecided on his name which needs to be in the images... and i also did the image of the casserole that pops up.





Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The extras

Having written the script and the storyboard, i pretty much know which characters i have to design now.. which i have done today- they're very rough though so i will probably definitely change all of them... there's something not quite right about them, but they offer a good chuckle... especially with the script i think it'll work well..

angry beetroot that gets hit on

a mean piece of sweetcorn
 bullied button mushroom
 cool cucumber- accidently looks a bit like Mr. T.
Tammy the Tomato

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Research & Influences


Searching for styles and inspiration regarding vegetables is surprisingly amusing and easy to come by.
And usually, different animations for this subject would have their own unique style.

I've found a couple of well known and lesser known animations that i've found inspiration in. Whether it's in humour content or style.




Now, I absolutely LOATHE the annoying orange. He's very annoying. But i just had to reference it as it's popular for a reason. Undeniably, the style is it's own. It uses a live action background, what looks like some naff google images. But it's the faces that attract people. The eyes are one eye doubled, to give it a really unsettling look, and the mouths looks a bit strange- i don't know if they're upside down.
The only thing i can commend is the originality of the aesthetics.



I found this video a few years ago. It's very amusing as it personifies vegetables, giving them a funny life each. The arms and legs for each character also allow them to further their actions and hold items. The facial expressions are typical to anime- which is something i don't want to go too near to. But the humour aspect and the way they talk about life as if they're living inspires me to apply this to my work.



Not alot to say about this video, other than the style really intrigued me. A live action/ photographic background with animated facial expressions ontop. They also have shadows under their eyes to give them a stuck-on feel. Interesting merge of techniques. I like.



I laugh everytime i watch this. I love the stupid faces they all have. I want my characters to have an endearing moronic touch. It gives an alternative idea or perspective of how vegetables might act when we're not around, say compared to the vegetable suicide video (3 videos above). Instead of being actually very intelligent, this animations suggests that they're actually just as stupid as we think they are. I love that so much.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Rethink?

Having looked at my work from last week, i can only conclude that they have confirmed about how BORED i am with my project. 


and i HAVENT EVEN STARTED.


NOT a good start!


The whole thing is it one style and it's all quite vectory and it's boring. And i like to get a bit more practical with my work. At least i'd like a project where i can be more practical.


Yesterday, on my walk back from uni with Joe, i came up with a new idea, a more exciting idea that will definitely engage me for a few months.


It's still on the line of food- mostly vegetables. But i was thinking of doing something along the lines of a comedy interview/documentary of an e.g. arrogant carrot and his superstar lifestyle (he thinks he's awesome because he helps people see in the dark).

I thought i could introduce his friends and characters aswell. 

So it'll just be him ranting on as if in an interview and then as he talks about memories about his life, it'll cut to the scene of various different things he's talking about- and i thought this would allow me to use different animation styles too so i wouldn't get bored e.g. some in digital and some with live action and rotascoping...

It's all going to be quite rude and crude as this carrot is a bit of a dick and thinks he gets all the babes and he'll reminise about his dating and veggie chat-up tactics. e.g. "I want your butt and my nuts squashed together"



I've done a few pages in my sketchbook to jot down ideas and try and show the feel of comedy i'm after...








I've based the carrot's design a lot on the Worms games. The character design for this game, i find is highly impressive. The facial proportions allow for extensive expression and exaggerated emotion. The fact that the worm's shape is similar to the carrot makes it easier to translate the inspiration. I don't plan to copy the design but have a recognisable influence.

I love the cut-out mouth when the worm is sideways- i definitely think that this is something i'll apply to the carrot's design.

butternut blow up doll