Thursday, 29 April 2010

My CGI Blog

Here is the link to my new blog...CGI To be more precise

Monday, 26 April 2010

Short film summary

You can have the best animations but if the soty is bad, it will have an impact on the final piece.
Some of teh short films I have watched didn't make much sense yet they were well animated, but becausethe story was bad, the temptation to stop watching the whole animation was there.
(Note-Having a good story for an animation is a plus)

-Have a special drawing style can add a plus to an animation like a minus, it could be attractive or 8uninteresting.
(Note: I could create my own drawing style for my animations, but I have to be careful with the way I apply it to my animation).

-Some had a mixture of 3d and 2d objects . Nothing looked out of place, they both blended in well together.
(Note: Mixing 3d and 2d objects could be very tricky, and if in the end they don't blend well together, it will affect the quality of the animation).

Backwards- Aaron Hughes

Backwards is the title because the story is told in reverse (therefore watched in reverse).

# This animation has a drawing style of its own. The drawing is not professional like but has a kinder garden look to it (Like something drawn by a 4-5 years old ), yet the story is meant for adults.
# the animation style is wobbly like, even when an image is supposed to look still, it wobbles and gives the watcher the feeling that it’s still animated. (The good about this animation is that even as it wobbles, the animator managed to keep the characters’ sizes the same- they don’t tend to grow bigger or smaller, there is also a consistency).
# It looks like the background has been painted traditionally and the characters digitally coloured with plain colours (No 3D look applied, plain, full colours). (Salad Fingers video link)

# This animation reminds me of Salad Fingers because of teh simple drawing style and the plain colours.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

She who measures by Veljko Popovic

A very scary 3D short. The story doesn't make much sense at the beginning and gets even more confusing towards the end. The characters are weird looking but very funny to look at. The textures have a glossy like (Almost 2D) look, a bit like in The simpsons on PLaystation three.

Not many facial expressions except for the eyes. (A bit like WAllac and grommit...the dog).

Chick by Michal Socha

A different style from most animations you see out there. Fire like background (3D like) with a totally black foreground and black characters. The characaters and the black lines in the background tend to connect each other to form a new object...(Not like in most animations where the background and foreground are two seperate things, and remain separate). The story makes sense (A bit confusing at the beginning because everything is getting mixed together: Foregrounds and backgrounds) but then as we get closer to the end, we start to understand.

The music is very catchy and it blends in very well with the animation, making the actions and the characters look funny instead of scary. Again the animation style has an attraive point of its own because of the different style.

Divers by Paris Mavroidis

Divers is a short film featuring Women diving into the sea. They dive from sky towards the sea and before they reach the sea, a series of gymnastics is being shown. the animation explores the abstraction of the human body into shape and the absorption of the individual into the mass.

This animation was one of the best featured during the flatpack festival event I attended. The characters movements were so close to human beings movements that it almost looked real. The animation shows clearly what a human being movemnent would look like in real life, how it would be affected by different factors (In this case it was affected by how fast they dived into the sea, at which speed and the amount of air pressure affecting their movements)...the only drawback was the textures, the animator did not pay much attention to the textures maybe her focus was more on the characters actions, which she managed to achieve wonderfully.

The musi was also very catchy, instead of being there just to fill the silence, it actually emphasized the animation moe precisely the characters gymnastics.

Flatpack Festival 2010-Short films

For the flatpack festival I attended the one showing the following short films:

Backwards- Aaron Hughes
Divers- Paris Mavroidis
Chick- Michal Socha
Morris and the others- Edwin Rostron
Lebensander- Angela Steffen
Illuminated Sorrow- Masha-Sha
The Vinny Club- Digital Beast
Debt- Mike Weiss
Rendezvous- Alfred Dieler
From the ground up the order embrace-Nick Briz
Tea Break- David Grannel
The office environment- Mark Mullery
Ease my mind- Paddy Cahill/Hules Hackett
She who measures- Veljko Popovic
Lunch- Ana Husman
Where is your head at- Max Hattler
Sea of Glass- Sean Vicary

Starting with Divers by Paris Mavroidis

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Set Scene 1 (Previews)

16- Set 1 Preview

Here is a design of the set we might make for scene 1 of the storyboard, where it is raining and we see victor's house.

  • I also tried to apply different colour designs just to see which one is more suitable for the animation (I also tried to design a 3D house just to see how it would look like in real life)

15- Final Storyboard Page 1

Sunday, 21 February 2010

14- Coloured Characters

How the characters would look with colour

13- Expressions

Different expressions

12- New Frankenstein (Big Scale)

11- New Frankenstein

I was thinking maybe the first frakenstein character I designed was too complicated and I tought it would be hard to animate, so I thought why not simplify it.

The new character with the stitches is based on one of my group's character design (Sean's)

He drew his frankenstein with stitches on the forehead, Warren suggested that we add another stitch running along the side of frankenstein's face but I think it looks better with one line of stitches only.

I think it would be a good idea to give Frankenstein's skin a greenish look (Skin colour) and yellowish eyes. (Maybe his hair could be black).

We have dicussed we the group and all agreed that Frankenstein should be slightly taller than Victor by an inch maybe, with wider shoulders ( we will make the final decisions on this according to the size of the set- Because we have to design a set as well).

10- Frankenstein - His face (Big scale view)

here is how I picture Frankenstein

09- Frankenstein itself

Even though it's not sure that we are going to use frankenstein, (Because we might not shoot the second scen because of time), I still want to design Frankenstein, and I might try later to make an armature for it, just to pratice a bit more.

8- Storyboarding (C)

Again I was thinking instead of seeing
Frankenstein's Face, we could see him fro the back (More suspense).
Or maybe if we decide not to shoot scene 2 when Victor runs away, we can finally see Frankenstein's whole face.

7- Armatures

Armatures: I have got a character design but I need to make sure there is a suitable armature enough for this character.

1- When building up an armature, it is important to think about the weight of the character.
  • The weight of the head is very important.
  • If the head is heavier than the rest of the body, it is important to find a way to make the armature and the plasticine around the body supports the head without collapsing.
  • The feet which are at the bottom should also be able to support the heaviness of the head and the rest of the body without collapsing.
  • To help the feet support the whole body including the head. it would be smart to add a lot of plasticine around the armature foot.
  • To build up the arm and the fingers, I thought we could add 3 to 4 short wires to the main armature's arm.
  • because Frankenstein has got a very round tummy, I have thought of 2 solutions to build his stomach.
  1. I could add round wires to the main armature (And maybe fill the gaps with plasticine)
  2. Or I could use the plasticine alone to make the body look round (But I prefer the 1st option because if there is too much weight somewhere without the armature supporting it, it might collapse, besides the armature wiould make it easier).

For the head, maybe we can add a ball there and wrap it with plasticine.

6- Storyboarding (B)

here is part 2 of my storyboard

1- As the shadow slowly pushes in on victor and as his eyes fly open,we can apply a fast zoom in effect that will focus on victor's face (Instead of seeing half his body and his whole face) that will emphasize the openng of his eyes.

(With maybe an audio= suspense or surprise like sound effect)

2-I was thinking instead of seeing Frankenstein whole body looming over the camera, we could have his dull eyes shown only.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

5- Animatics

Here is an animatic sample on how I visualize the animation in my head.

4- Storyboarding (A)

Each member of our group is working on different characters designs as well as different stoyboards. ( We do that so that later n we can pick up the best parts from each storyboard and combine them all into one and whole same storyboard). Here is the first part of my storyboard.

Here are some ideas on how we could animate each scene.
# The wee hours. Rain pattering desolately on the roof.
1-Maybe we can apply a zoom in effect that will focus on the upper part of the house (Meaning the whole roof and the top windows)
2- Then the zoom effect can focus more on the highest window ( Where I picture Victor's bedroom).
3- Then we can apply a fade in effect between this scene and the next one (While it is still zooming in).
#Victor sleeping. Wrestling with troubled dreams. Through a crack in the bed curtains, we see the bedroom door slowly creak open, throwing a twisted spill of light.
4- (maybe we can see victor sweating and twitching his eyebrows like he is in agony)
#A shadow appears. Entering. Shambling and gliding across the floor. Silent and furtive. Creeping toward the bed.

3- Frankenstein Expressions

When you make a 3D animation, it is ve important to plan it very carefully. One of the most important things amon others, is the charater's expressions. Planning those hels get a general idea n howwe can morph the character from one expression to the other, and how we can gradually animate the morphing to have a beauiful finish piece. It also helps think about we can exaggerate a character's facial expression, to make the animatio look more realistic.
So here are some expressions that I have been working on. (As we work on the animation, I will try to design more expressions for each different scene if needed-this will help see which one is more suitable for each scene).

2- Frankenstein Face

If our group decides to go for my character's design I thought it would be a good idea, to draw the face on a big scale just to start thinking about how we are actually going to model it with plasticne. So here is how it looks.

1- Frankenstein

For this project we have decided to go for the Frankenstein script with my group. We all agreed to work on character designs an in the end choose which one would be the most interesting for the project. So this is how I picture Frankenstein in my head.

Monday, 8 February 2010

A sample from our stopmotion animation

Obviously there is a lot of missing video frames at the beginning, check out rebecca's blog and sean or warren it might be on there, but here is a sample anyway (A draft).

Anticipation 3D

Anticipation: It's when the viewer is expecting a character to do something, or when something is expected to happen. (It's gives a bit of suspense) Again it makes an action look more realistic.
It could be a character jumping for instead or even a character about to pick something up.

Here is some anticipation in our group project.
If you look very carefully at the clown fish you will see it staring at the stickfa while falling and you expect something to happen as it stares at the stickfa, it will also start following it...the anticipation was used here to prepare the viewers for the unexpected, they surely didn't expect the stickfa to kick the fish but they expected something to happen...Anticipation could be used to make an action look more a tennis player about to hit a tennis ball. This is the link to my video reference for anticipation, a 2D animatio where you see tennis players about to hit a tennis ball.

Here is a sample 4rm the video link above:

Timing and Spacing/Slow in and slow out

Timing is very important, in an animation, if the timing in a scene is wrong the whole scene will be wrong, let's have a look at a bouncing plasticine ball where I have made a mistake in the timing.

(And spacing makes an animation more fluent and more realistic).

In this animation you can see that there is a mistake in the timing between two frames, when after hitting the ground the ball heads towards the sky, there is a missing frame in-between (The extra frame should have been closer to the previous frame, so there is also a mistake in the spacing, since the next frame is too far 4rm the previous one).

Missing frame- this is where slow in and slow out are useful

To make an animation look more realistic, (An animation with a beginning and end point- like for instance someone starting a run and coming to a stop or someone standing up or even a thrown bouncing ball, or something falling from the sky) there should always be more frames at the beginning and at the end of the animation, in the middle there should less frames than in the beginning and the end. If you look at my video, there is a mistake in the timing and spacing, when the ball flies off the ground, there should have been more frames, then later less, but there is a missing frame so that the slowing out looks wrong a bit.

Appeal applied to 3D

Appeal, the attractiveness of the character, the way it captures the attention of the viewer, it could be physical or theatrical. It's not the physical beauty (The character doesn't have to be pretty), what I mean by attractiveness, it could be the angles of a character's face or the proportions, it could be the nose or even the eyes, or the whole face, there should be something special that captures the attention of the viewer.

One of these characters is more beautiful than the other and one of them is more interesting, which do you think it is ? (If you guessed right the most interesting one is the most appealing).


Arcs are used to give more realism to movements, in real life for istance if you want to pick up something or walk, the movement is like a rotation it follows a certain arc (not all the time, it depends on the movement). In animation in order to make the same movement look realistic, drawing an arc could help, the movement of the animated object should follow the arc.

Here is a stopmotion test where you can see my flatmate picking a mug, and you can see the arc the arm is following when she is bringing the mug to her lips.

(If you also look at the boucing plasticine ball, you can see that it is following an arc).

The same thing could be applied to a thrown object.

Here is a test that shows how it would look when following an arc (You ca comare it to the streched and squashed bouncing-there was no arc to help the animation, so it looks less realistic).

Secondary action applied to a 3D animation

Secondary actions are like other actions that can be added to a main action, for instance let's say a character is reading the newspaper while toying with his breakfast (It could be cereals in a bowl). The toying bit is there to make the main action look more interesting, secondary actions are there to emphasize the main action or make it look more interesting.

I will use our group project to show secondary actions applied twice in the sames scene.

I-You can see a secondary action applied to the character when is in falling down underwater, his arms are swinging (since he is trying to getback to the surface, he is kind of swimming...), this is to emphasize the main action: The character falling down deeper and deeper.

II-Another secondary action applied when the character is swimming to pick the perl out of the shell, you can see that it is flapping its legs in the water to get to the shell and even when he picks it out of the shell, its legs are still flapping, it emphasizes the action and makes it look less dull.

Squash and stretch 3D TEST

Here is a video where my finger squashes a plasticine character, the head is squashed to emphasize the weight of my finger on top of the character's head. It makes it look more realistic, it feels more like the finger is really pushing down on the head.

Theatrical exaggeration

Here is an example of theatrical exaggeration applied to one of the 3D (To be more precise stopmotion) animations we had to make for one of our group projects. In this animation, you can see the stickfa giving a powerful kick to a fish with its foot underwater, in real life it is very difficult for somebody to kick this powerfully underwater. Because of the water pressure, our movements speed and effectiveness are restricted. Also the fish wouldn't have been flying this fast in the water neither been rotating that way.So we can say that a theatrical exaggeration was applied to this scene.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Exaggeration - Squash/stretch

Exagerration in animation could be physical or theatrical. Physical could be for instance drawing a human face with extremely huge eyes (Which you would never see in real life-in this case the eyes are stretched, so stretching and squashing could be combined together to give an exaggeration effect). Exaggeration could also be theatrical, like for instance the elephant and the mouse, the elephant is not scared of anything, the only thing that scares him, is a little tiny mouse (We often see that happen in cartoons, and this is theatrical exaggeration).

So exaggeration is used in animation to give a stronger look to animated options, to give stonger expressions, it could be to make something look more realistic, for instancein real life something might look boring and pale when while exaggerated in an animation, it looks way more exciting, more expressive. Exaggeration is often used to give a character a more powerful expression, an expression that communicates more to the viewers.

Exaggeration could aso be used to create one's own style.

Squashed ans stretched (4rm 2D to 3D)

Squash and stretch is used in animation to give an animated object more reality. For instance, if you throw a light ball against a wall or on the ground, there is a sense of light weight, when you look at it, it feels like the ball squashes a little as it hits the floor and stretches very slightly as it heads up. When you try to animate the same scene (the light ball bouncing on the ground), to give the ball a sense of weight and a sense of impact, there is a need to squash it as it hits the ground and stretch it as it heads down or up.

Here is a test to show what I mean.

Squash and stretch could also be used for an exaggerating effect. (For instance to give a character a stronger expression)