Monday, 28 October 2013

Animation Timeline

I was talking to the first years today about their projects. They've just done one of my favourite projects from last year; a flag flying! When we were given the brief we all thought at first that it would be nigh impossible but it turned out to be one of my all-time favourite projects.

This wasn't included on my showreel for the Glammies because I was told to make that using the work I did in later projects, but as I say it remains one of my favourite projects.

Another project that I would like to share with you is my character animation piece from last year. Both the trait and the performance made it into my showreel however as that was fairly jam-packed, I don't know if you had time to properly see them.

I designed the character from scratch and my coursemates affectionately named her 'Julia Old'. The trait is my absolute favourite as having a kung-fu granny (I think) is pretty darn cool! My older brother provided me with video reference of him doing the kick as he's very good at martial arts.

The last two pieces I want to share with you are from before I even started university. In the summer of 2011 I had a week's work experience with Hibbert Ralph Animation in London.  I was so grateful for the opportunity!

The first tasks they set for me involved a bouncing ball. The first exercise was to have it bounce across the screen, then in perspective and finally in a room smashing things up!

As HRA mainly specialises in advertising, my last challenge was to create an advert about fruit. Where to start, eh? Well, after lots of drawings of various types of fruit, I came up with a pun around the words 'peeling' and 'pealing' and went with it.

Here's looking forward to future animation! I'm in the process of scripting out the film that I'll make as my major project this year and looking forward to learning flash in the coming weeks.

Have a good week everyone!

Monday, 21 October 2013

2nd Year has Begun!

Summer holidays go so fast! I blinked and now I'm beginning my second year at University! It feels good to be back to work and better still to be with my coursemates again. We had a brilliant year last year and I was incredibly honoured to be nominated for the 'Most Promising First Year' award at our end-of-year awards ceremony, the Glammies.

To see all of the fantastic work shown at the Glammies, go to the website --> The Glammies

Below is a link to my first year Showreel, shown at the ceremony; a collection of my favourite animations from last year. Spot Julia Old in there! Named by my friends, she's a gem and, unfortunately for me, the name has stuck!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Glammies Stings

At the very end of our first year of uni, we were given our first piece of collaborative animation work - to create short stings to introduce each of the categories at the Glammies show. The theme was 'Western' and we were given 2 weeks to create a sting within our groups. I worked with CiprianBethan, Yaw and Ryan and we, being full of ideas, made two stings! Our first pieces of coloured, collaborative animation work! I hope you enjoy them!

Until my next post!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Norman McLaren

This summer I discovered the works of the animator Norman McLaren. He was born in Scotland in 1914, spent most of his film career in Canada and died in 1987 in Montreal. Working for the National Film Board of Canada, he made many, many films using different media and in different styles. Some of his animations were etched straight onto film with no narrative and made to synchronise with music while others were narrative pieces involving live action.

I discovered McLaren's work by happening on an app for my iPad. 51 films, an essay and biography by Donald McWilliams later, I'm a fan. I've also been experimenting with the three workshops available on the app - paper cut-out animation, etching on film and synthetic sound. I've been enjoying it immensely and would recommend it for all. (Also, the app is free so no excuse not to play!)

My favourite film of his has got to be 'Pas de Deux'. The technique of 'live action with optical multiplication of imagery' creates a beautiful effect and the way the figures are silhouetted makes the dance very ghostly and graceful. I highly recommend watching the film. Whether you are an animator, a filmmaker, an enthusiast or just looking for something to do for 13 minutes, you will not be wasting your time.

"McLaren once said, 'Almost all of my films start with a curiosity about technique.' ... There was often a long gestation period between the technical curiosity and it's arrival in a film. The idea for 'Pas de Deux' was planted in Paris in 1951 when McLaren saw a cinema commercial for women's corsets. The images were multiplied. McLaren put that idea in his subconscious as an exciting technical possibility, and it would emerge in 1967 as 'Pas de Deux'." - extract from the essay 'Norman McLaren: A Filmmaker for All Seasons' by Donald McWilliams

I've been enjoying drawing from stills of the film. In animation, you need to draw the forms and 'see in the round' but drawing from this has been a wonderful opportunity to use other techniques; just drawing the shapes the light makes instead of seeing 'in the round' and drawing on mid-toned paper with a white pencil rather than the usual white paper and dark pencil have been liberating.

Dancers in general are wonderful to draw because of their grace and the lines they make with their bodies. If there were ever a figure where the 'line of action' is clear as day, it's a dancer.

"Animation is not the art of drawings-that-move, but rather the art of movements-that-are-drawn. What happens between each frame is more important than what happens on each frame. Therefore animation is the are of manipulating the invisible interstices between frames."
-Norman McLaren

I hope you enjoy the film and like my drawings. Until my next post!