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Sunday, 28 October 2007

Painting & Film - Week 5 & 6

As an animator you will have to know how the camera moves. In the understanding of camera movement, you get a better overview of what you are trying to accomplish with your animation. For these last couple of weeks we have been studying camera movements and the way it effects the audience's perception of a piece of film.
The brief for the two weeks was to:-
  • Research, investigate, and interpret a painting
  • Demonstrate storyboarding skills

  • Convey thoughts and meaning through the use of cinematic language

For those that dont know what a storyboard is, here's the wikipedia description; "Storyboards are graphic organizers such as a series of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of previsualizing a motion graphics or interactive media sequence, including website interactivity." We had to do a 1 minute film with the painting, where we pan/zoom/cut/etc. between different areas of the painting. And through the camera movement portray the meaning of the painting.

When we got the brief, my initial idea was to do some painting to the song "Pictures" by System of a Down, though the fixation of this song would come back to haunt me. The song has a military feel to it. For that reason I looked for civil war-like painting, those old ones where theres tons of stuff going on. I my search for my painting, I came upon a painter that had the style that I was looking for;
John Singleton Copley. After a lot of searching through paintings by John S. Copley, I finally found the proper painting;-

The Death of Major Peirson

As you can see the painting glorifies the death of Major Peirson. Major Peirson was a young british major that stood against a french invasion of Jersey, though in reality he died before the battle started and so John S. Copley plays with the truth to emphazise that Major Peirson's death contributed to the defeat of the French.
Now if you hear the "Pictures" song and look at the picture, they dont actually fit together very well. I wanted to do something alternative, but this turned out to be too difficult. I worked on the storyboard for the film, with a lot of quick cuts/pans to fit with the song. In the storyboard process I realized that the song and the painting just didn't fit together. Though I liked the painting, so I trashed the song.
The painting is really staged, like a scene in a theater play. This lead me to search in cinematic soundtracks, where I found a song from the film "300". The song is "Immortals Battle" by Tyler Bates. The song has a nice glofying feel to it, which fitted perfectly with the painting. Further the song has a sudden change of pace, which I could use to portray the death of Major Peirson. Thats enough talk, now it time to show. Heres the pages from my polished storyboard:-

This is the final piece I handed in (Warning! There is sound on this video, just if you are a sound-sensitive enviroment):-

The copyright is reserved for the University of Glamorgan, Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries.

Though these two weeks projects have been a little painful because of the struggle with the music, is has been a good lesson in planning. I definately learned how important it is to do the research and planning properly. I must say that I'm happy with the result. I think it captures the feel and mood of the painting pretty well.

Could only get one anothers work, which is Leon Roberts;-

Those were the words for this time around... Hope you enjoyed it.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Tasters Week - Week 4


To truely be an animator you will have to have some experience with 2D animation, or thats what the tutors say..

This week all the animation class gets moved around, so that everyone gets a taste of a different kind of animation. Us, the computer animation guys, have to give 2D animation a try, and the 2D guys have to try computer animation. The stop-motion group is doing computer animation aswell.

The brief (assignment) is to make an animation with a tennisball, canonball and a balloon. The animation needs to show the weight of the different balls, by drawing them falling down a staircase. I have never drawn so many drawings in a week before. Allthough the drawings wasn't anything but a circle most of the time, I most have drawn at least 200+ drawings. For a second of 2D animation you will have to draw 12 drawings, so thats means I'm never going to be 2D animator :-) Its such a lot of work, but when you put the drawings together and they start to move it's worth the trouble. As much fun as 2D animation is, I am still a Computer animator by heart.

The experience of 2D animation was really good. I thought it would be a pain to get through, but the resulting product was worth it ( said that twice now:-) In the future, the knowlegde of 2D workflow, is properly going to be beneficial for a career in 3D.

And thats enough talk about it. Time to show the products of the week, I must excuse the poor quality in the bottom-right hand corner:-

Tennis ball

Cannon ball


All copyright is reserved for the University of Glamorgan, Cardiff school of Creative and Cutural Industries.

The best of the three is in my opinion the balloon animation, cause the timing and spacing of the frames comes pretty close a real balloons movements. The worst of the three is the cannon ball. I dont really know why I dont like that one, maybe it's because I haven't actually seen a cannon ball fall down a staircase. Yep, thats right. They didn't allow us to roll a cannon ball down the stairs. Jeez, the nerve of the tutors. And they expect us to do some proper research ;-)

On the other stuff that animation, I finally got the grant from the Danish government through. So at this point I dont have to worry to much about money, which frees a lot of "thinking" to focus on my animation.
Thats the words from the week, hope you found the reading a bit interesting.