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Saturday, 24 November 2007

Sound Sync. - Week 9 & 10

In the two weeks that's past we have been doing sound syncronisation. This project should give us an understanding of syncronizing our animation to a piece of sound clip. First we got teamed up in groups of three and twos, where after we got a random piece of music-soundclip. Our objectives after that was to;-
  • Visually reprensent the dynamics and characteristics of the sound.
  • Create a short animation based on the an abstract soundtrack.

  • Work succesfully in a team situation.

As you can get from the brief this was our first team based project. The soundtrack was 30 seconds long, and we should split the 30 seconds between the group members. In our group we looked at the flow of the soundtrack and divided the soundtrack at the appropriate times. Luckly the flow of the soundtrack allowed us to split the sound into three parts with approximately 10 seconds each. After that we looked into the characteristics of the sound in our group, trying to find proper research areas and inspirations. With our sound we landed on a very simplified look, with inspiration in geometric shapes and bright contrasting colours. From there on it was every man for him self, with the occationally helping hand.

When I studied my part of the soundtrack (the last part) I somehow saw flashing light in my head. Fortunately I wasn't passing out or going insane, it actually worked for this piece of the soundtrack:-) So my inspiration would also come from neonlights aswell as the geometric shapes. With these things in mind, I continued to sketch down the idea that was forming in my head:-

And for those interested heres the research pages for the project:-

The first thing you have to do whenever you have a piece of sound you are doing an animation to, is to break it down. This is where we got introduced to barcharts. In the animation world barchart consists of bars in which you can indicate a sound, whether its music/beats or speech, on a frame by frame basis. Maybe a bit hard to understand, soo Ill just show it then:-

As you can see in the barcharts I had five beats to syncronize my animation to. I split the cube idea into those five beats, which you can see in the previous sketch. This was actually the hardest part of the project, in my opinion. From there is was just building the cube and setting up the lights and generally organizing my scene for the animation.
The animation part was really just a case of building the first animation then copy/pasting the animation to the appropriate places. This is where the reward comes in, if you did a good job on breaking down the sound. Because you can basically just look at your barcharts and copy/paste the animation in, according to your barchart.

I think this is more than enough talking, time to show the stuff. First video is my individual peice, and the second is the whole teams joint up animations:-

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

I think the project was really fun. Sure you get very tired of the sound that you got, but when you've successfully broken down the music and you do the animation and it actually syncs up is a great feeling. Though I properly got a bit too overexcited and work through last weekend, so I basically finshed my piece by tuesday. So I went on to start on a personal project of mine; reconstructing Calvin and Hobbes in 3D. Still working on this, and hopefully Ill finish it up soon so I can show it to you guys:-)

Well that was kind of it for this time. Hope you enjoyed the reading, looking forward to coming home for Christmas and New Year!!!

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Character Design - Week 7 & 8

The last couple of weeks we have been thrown into the world of character design. This process is very important for the industry. With this process helps the people working on a movie to get a feel of a character within the story. The brief for the two weeks was:-

  • Research, conceptualise and design a character for animation.
  • Construct and moel a three dimensional macquette from a set of design sheets.
  • To understeand the significance of character deisng and realisation in relation to the animation process.

A macquette is basically a sculptured model, made from steel wires (as the core), foam (polstering), and plastasine/clay on top.

The difference between our assignment and the industry's process is the purpose of the character. In the industry the character is made for a motion picture, and conceptualized from the story of the movie. While our character has no concept relation, except for our imagination. This turned out to be the biggest problem!!
To brainstorm an original character from nothing, is harder than you'd think. Actually the idea of a completely original character is impossible. The character will always have some kind of realation to something on this earth, cause this is where our inspiration comes from. The brainstorm consisted of listing columns of form, personality, profession, and time. After this the different elements from the columns gets stitched together randomly, eg. form=lamp, personality=depressive, profession=doorsalesman, time=present day. So that's a lamp that goes around trying to sell light bulbs to people, but cant because he's depressed and doesn't shine himself.
Now these random characters are just to spark some creativity, some do without this and just throws ideas around in a group. The next step is to determine wether the character works, and doing some first concept art on it. This is were my weakness comes in; drawing. Damn that hand-mind coordination, would love the one inventing a pencil you just plug into your mind. Enough selfpetty, practise instead!!
In the process of delevoping the character you'll have to do some research, which could be lamps and doorsales men. Along with the development and research, theres action-, expression-, model- and in situation sheets. All this can be viewed in the final presentation, click the picture to continue to the presentation:-

The design developement was mentally hard work. Creating a background for the character and understanding why the character acts the way he does. All the development work was done the first week, the second week was reserved for the macquette.
Doing the macquette was great fun!!! I really like the sculpting phase, and painting the macquette reminded me of the days when I used to paint Warhammer characters. Funny how all this takes me back to what I did as a child. The drawing, using my imagination, painting is all things I used to do when I was a child, and loved doing it. Though I lost my patience as I grew up, and lost interest in those things. Maybe I'm destined to this line of work, just had little detour of growing up?? Spooky stuff:-)
Aaaahhh, nostalgic and philosophical moments. Moving on to the macquette, heres some picture of finished model:-

Final thoughts on this project is properly that I learned how much I like sculpturing, and will properly invest in equipment to do personal sculptures in the future.

On others things the last two week i got to mention our lifedrawing class in week 8. The class was about artistic inspiration and expression. The teacher (
Nick Price) brought music in, and played different genres for the class. Our assignment was to associate the music with our drawing of the model. This was the most fun lifedrawing class I done so far, and heres some of the best ones I did:-

That was the words for last couple of weeks, hope you enjoyed the reading...