Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Inspirational artist - Pascal Campion

I just stumbled upon this video based on Pascal Campion its interesting viewing and he comments on drawing, storytelling, and the fear of sharing your artwork.

Finally got a new scanner :)

Got a new scanner - not the one that I really wanted because it's too pricey, but the one I got does the job for now. At least I can finally upload some of the sketches from my sketchbook. Here are some of the ideas for the non linear animation. I drew a few pages based around eyes as I wanted to put an eye looking out from the Ten Bells pub ~ this is linked to a number of things such as;
  • the pub being so old and its as if its soul is watching all that goes on. 
  • Mary Kelly spent her last hours at the pub before 'Jack the Ripper' murdered her and the eye or the soul of the building is now keeping an eye on everything that passes it by. 
  • The eye has links to the 'Big Brother' outlook of this country - cameras watching you everywhere you go - to the point that they become almost invisible as we become less aware of them watching us....

This page of sketches has more connotations with the link to Jack the Ripper

Monday, 9 August 2010

Motion Tracking - After Effects

Been trying out motion tracking today - I found a tutorial on You Tube & thought how useful this would have been to use on an animation I was previously working on in Flash. I spent ages trying to put in a black shadow to look like a hole in a wooden stake that I wanted to have a creature pop out of. I had lots of problems because I hadn't used a tripod and consequently the footage was moving all over the place and to try to make the hole appear as if it was sitting on the wooden stake was just impossible and looked amateurish. I spent a lot of time trying to make it move with the footage using frame by frame!! I then deleted it because it looked so rubbish!

The motion tracking in After Effects is perfect for this problem, but I tried it out on the Flash animation and the tracker had a problem - I think it is because I have two sequences of footage within the same movie and it confuses it. A great feature though - I have come to the conclusion that I must keep learning techniques within After Effects, I need to do this while I've got a short window of time before getting back into prep for the new academic year that is looming.

Here is a Motion Tracking tutorial from YouTube. (Best viewed within YouTube).

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Flash & After Effects

Forgot to mention that before I started on the non linear animation that I had been working through a Flash & After Effects book. It's a good book for Flashites who are trying to learn After Effects. Sparodically I have worked through the chapter tutorials that were appropriate to me. It is called 'Flash + After Effects' [Chris Jackson, Focal Press] and it's been helpful to me, as I'm new to After Effects. It comes with a DVD with all the Chapter files on it so that you can complete the tutorials. Below is the first tutorial that I completed from Chapter 1. Some of it is basic stuff, but it includes a range of techniques that are good to learn.

Below are a couple of other tutorials: one from Chaper 3 and one from Chapter 7. The Swashbuckler from Chapter 3 uses the puppet tool to create a sequence of png's to import into Flash and the Fairy (Chaper 7), uses parenting & Expressions and the bubble effect for the fairy dust.

New thoughts

By stepping away from the non linear animation & having time to reflect - I've had some good ideas to enhance it. I'm going to add some rotoscope to the passers by. When I add to it, I will upload the newer version.

I'm off out to get a scanner so that I can scan in some of my sketches - I've been too long without one... madness.

I have uploaded a website based around the next animation ~ The Lockless Door.  The gallery is playing up though, so I will need to make adjustments to that. Not sure what happened there... it was working fine when I last closed Flash (or so I thought).

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

2D animation developments

Finally started the summer break (well sort of - still loads of prep work to do for the new academic year..), whinge, whinge :D. It has given me a few days to focus on the non-linear time & space animation though. I cut the footage down a lot from the original, but in doing so, I lost some funny moments that occured during filming that I could have played around with - but I made a choice with what I cut out and stuck with it and also learnt a few techniques within Premiere along the way (putting in keyframes, speeding up & slowing down sections). The footage is still too long - but I really didn't feel that I could cut much more from it.
The Ten Bells
I did some research on the 'Ten Bells' pub (where I shot the footage) & was surprised to find out the history behind it. It was once called 'Jack the Ripper'. Apparently Mary Kelly (the final victim of the notorious 'Jack the Ripper'), was last seen in the pub before she was murdered. I got slightly side tracked by the whole Jack the Ripper story and went on the Met History web pages regarding the facts and fiction behind the murders; this has culminated on many a conversation regarding the theories around the murders; but back to the animation....

I learned a lot of lessons from the previous filming. Number one was to USE A TRIPOD! Stupid mistake on the other filming that ended up a huge problem when trying to mask & everything is moving around. It made everything ten times longer to do - this was not something I was going to repeat! Also, it is so important to edit the footage, rather than just take the film, then plonk it in Flash to use - not good either, it just doesn't provide much impact. I would have liked to play around in Premiere more to create more blends & overlays, but time is of essence as always & I needed to crack on, so once I cut the film up & manipulated its speed I took it into Flash. I have now run out of time, but I will go back to this animation to add a lot more & tweak what I have already done, because although I wanted this to be disjointed, it could flow better & needs more time given to it.  I have added a few little things that are more subtle & that may only be noticed on a second viewing. There are numerous sequences that I worked on that I scrapped as they didn't work well, and as I've mentioned, I would like to work on it a quite a bit more, and hope to do so before returning to work as there are gaps where more animation is needed.