Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Friday, 5 December 2008

Still walking...

After working out what I needed to change and improve to make my walk better in 2D I had another go...

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In this one I have exaggerated the height of the leg on the up position as well as both arms and also played around with the head making it squash and stretch. The latter however quite obviously just looks wrong. Its too much movement and too bovious when watching it that the head is completely changing shape and size. I think that the extra frame giving more movement to the limbs works well and just give the character the extra lift it needed. Therefore it could just be the head that needs adjusting to make the walk better...

video


I kept the head changing shape a little so that there was still some squash and stretch, however it's a lot less obvious then the first attempt even though you can still see slight changes in mass. Overall I do think I have improved this walk and developed it. The movement is clear and quite smooth now and generally the leg and arm movement is good. There is a slight twinge when the right arm goes back at the highest cross over point and the same with the head where I think it must move forward slightly in one frame. In comparison to the live video walk I think its relatively accurate and hopefully recognisable.

After many more attempts at the 3D walk...many of them disappearing or completely changing with one click of the mouse :S...I've managed to complete one that I'm quite happy with...

video

The movement is much smoother then in previous attempts and more accurate in comparison to the live video. I have made some quite large exaggerations particularly with the leg movement so that it's really clear and obvious how the character is moving and doesn't just look like a normal walk. I made sure that I moved most parts of the body in each frame to try and make the movement look as natural as possible. I made the arms swing a little more as they pass the body to make the movement smoother and less like a march as well as exaggerating the bob by adding in an extra 'down' position. This has definately improved the bob movement in the walk. I altered the speed of the walk as it played a little to fast, particularly on the step forward. In general I am much more happy with this version of the 3D walk then the previous ones even though there are still a few things I could improve on.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

How to improve my walk...



Above are very quickly sketched ideas of how I could change my 2D walk and the main things I needed to think about when trying a new version of my walk. Below is the second attempt at 2D:

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Analysing this animation there are a few areas I still need to change and correct to improve the walk. I have added extra frames when comparing it to my first attempt. I think the arm movements are much clearer in this new one, but perhaps not as exaggerated. Also because I have added in frames the movement is slower. I don't think that this is necessarily a bad thing as you can see the movement better, particularly with the arms. I also think that the bob is much smoother and flows quite nicely.

To improve this 2D walk I need to work on the head shape. I tried to put in some squash and stretch which I think would work well if it was more accurate, but it varies too much in the animation above and just makes the head look a bit of an odd shape. I added frames to give the walk a bit of anticipation and overlap at the highest point of the walk and before the step, however I still think another frame could be added at the highest point that is really exaggerated with the leg and arm up much higher so that the movement is almost over emphasised.

3D walk :

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Second attempt at the 3D walk. I been finding this one much easier to recreate each key position in the walk as you can compare the live against the character much more easily then in 2D. Therefore the body positions of the character are quite accurate compared to the live version. The movement works well however is slightly twitchy and could be made smoother. In this version I also tried to alter the speed of the walk by making the lifting of the leg and arms a little faster. However they look a bit too fast now and un-natural.The movement in general is well exaggerated.

To improve the walk I still need to change the left hand. It could be brought forward in front of the body similar to the right arm rather than just straight up. Both of the arms could also swing a little more moving from back to front as at the moment the movement looks a bit too like a march.
The bob is more noticeable in my first attempt because the character moves down more. I need to try and make the bob as large as possible because this is a very key aspect of the walk. To do this I need to make the character move a little lower on the down frame and giving her a more upright stance on the highest up frame. I could also add in some head movement, even just a tiny amount to make it more natural as well as adjusting the speed. I need to get some consistency in the speed of the walk, maybe by making fewer steps so that the same ones are repeated more often and there is less variation throughout the walk.

My second attempt has got improvements and there is more urgency in the walk, however I still think some key parts could be changed to make it more accurate.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Animating our walks...

We started animating our own walks today working from the films we made last week. I think I've managed to do quite a clear walk to work from in terms of the body positions, shape and movement. Because my walk is quite a strut and it's really exaggerated, the main key frames are very clear which makes it easier to key out when starting the cycle. As it is a walk I have tried to create before (perhaps not quite as exaggerated) I know roughly what timing to use. However I need to be careful with this and make sure that it relates well to the live film. Watching the film definately helps when recreating and animating different walks, and I've found that as it's my own walk I can actually get up and do it over again so I know exactly where the limbs/body etc need to be at each point rather then trying to imagine different walks or using typical character walks. Below are the main key frames I think I need to use for my very happy strutting walk:



I started with the 3D walk, watching the film bit by bit to try to recreate it with the 3D character. what I achieved so far is below:

video

On this one in particular I think I need to work more on the step forward and the bob up and down. In the live film I move up and down quite a bit but my stride isn't really long, so I think I need to find another way of making the character bob down more without making the strides so long. I think the arms are working quite well in comparison to how they appear in the live film. I could do with changing the left arm slightly as it comes up in front of the character and also need to correct the timing a little more. I am pleased however with the way the body twists, particularly the upper body coordinated with the arm swing.


I then went on to sketch out my 2D version of the same walk cycle. Although I made thumbnails of roughly how the key frames should look I think it's going to be a little harder to make the character move in the same way as the live version as it's not so easy to compare the two directly. I think rather then only working from sketches after seeing the film I will also compare each frame I draw to a similar key frame of the film to contrast it and see where I can make improvements to make it look more natural and realistic. Below is my first attempt at the 2D walk cycle for this assignment:

video

I'm quite pleased with the way this walk turned out. I think most parts are quite exaggerated and the legs work well. To improve it I think I could move the legs a little higher before the reach to step forwards just to exaggerate the motion. With the arms I think the movement in general is ok, perhaps a little fast though (although my arms are moving quite fast in the film compared to my legs). There is a slight odd moment when the left arm is forward and the right arm is back where another inbetween frame is needed to link the movements. Thinking about the bob, it definately moves up and down, but also moves back and forth quite a bit which isn't really necessary and when focusing on this you can see the head change size slightly on the down frames.

I will therefore consider all of the points I have made above and continue to develop both my 2D and 3D walks. In particular I will work on timing, exaggerating the movement and the basic principles - squash and stretch, overlap + anticipation to make the movements more natural.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

more walks...

Trying to improve on my strut I managed to create a walk that I was really pleased with..it's not much of a strut, but as a normal walk I think the movement is pretty good.

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I also tried out a creeping walk. I had to add in a fair few frames for this one as it moved a bit too quick for a creeping movement, however I think it works quite well now. To improve it though I could make it more exaggerated - have the character leaning/ arching a little further back and maybe forwards a bit more. The front arms on the forwards motion could also move a little more as they appear to remain in one position for quite a while when they would naturally be moving forward with the body.


video

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

playing around with walks...

I found the readings for this weeks historical and critical studies pretty complex if i'm honest, however discussing them made the concepts clearer. It was good to have quite a debate going on about modern art nowadays and if there is still a place for it, along side the idea of the commodification of goods affecting modernist art - the importance of how the piece is made (methods, brushstrokes, medium) rather then the image created. I found this weeks seminar quite interesting and it was useful to learn more about the origins of various styles of animation and how they were affected by political/economical issues at the time.

With the practical work, having got the basics sorted last week I started to play around with ideas of different walks and how I could change them around and make them a bit more interesting - add character. I started to draw a few rough ones..but managed to do some better ones after Andy explained how best to add emotions into the walks and went through the submitted walk cycles as I could then see what I definately needed to improve. Below are a few examples of the 2D walk cycles I tried...

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Above: this is another attempt at a normal walk..i think the arm swing and leg movements have improved on this one, and the bob up and down works much better. Previous to this I was working by thumbnailing out the sequence I wanted and them working through frame by frame. What I now find easier to do is to draw the keyframes, copy them switching the arm and leg (to get the opposite) then doing each in between. This means that the walk is much smoother in the cycle and I find it easier to then work out where you need the inbetweens and also how many for the movement. I therefore did the rest of the 2D cycles using this method.

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Above are two similar walks. The first works ok with the arm and leg movement, however for a sad/ depressed walk it's a bit fast with a bit too much movement. I think the second is an improvement time-wise, however it needs a bit more movement in the shoulders to make it sway a little more. It also has a slight twitch in the shoulder where one frame is slightly out that could be changed.

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Above: the strut...although this is quite fast i think it works ok. It perhaps needs a bit more urgency in the walk - have the character leaning forwards a little more. The arms are well exaggerated but I think I need to work on the movement and the flick of the hand at the end - could do with another frame cushioning the movement as overlap. There are a few strange movements at the end, but I think this is more to do with me copying frames in the wrong order when repeating them to save it rather then the movement itself. Hopefully I can work on this walk a little more to improve it before submitting it.

3D walks I am starting to find much easier to control and move now that I am more used to how you can move objects around in Maya. Creating walk cycles in 3D I found quite fun and much simpler then I thought it would be. Below are examples of these. Again I have tried a few normal ones trying to improve on them each time I do so, along with experimenting with a few fun ones with a bit more character in them.

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Above: These are just normal walk cycles. I am quite pleased with the movement in general, and I think the arms are working quite naturally, however the legs don't look quite right. I exaggerated them quite a lot, but perhaps a bit too much making it look very mechanical.

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Above: This is another normal walk however I have changed the speed and leg movement which makes it look easier and a bit more natural. Although I altered the shoulder and hip movement I could perhaps exaggerate this a little more so it is visible when watching the walk from the side angle.

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Above is a creeping walk. This was just from playing around with ideas. I think it's quite a comical walk and gives it character, but maybe looks more like she is doing a dinosaur impression with a bad back then actually creeping around!

Friday, 21 November 2008

improving my walk...

I hopefully managed to improve both my 2D and 3D walks today. I eventually managed to make a 3D walk that I was really pleased with and looked natural and easy..however then managed to crash the programme when trying to playblast and save it :(..but this forced me to make it again and again which gives me more practice in the long term. My final 3D one definately looks more natural then my previous attempt and certainly less awkward. I also played around with the timing which hopefully gave the walk a more realistic rhythm, and changed the way the arms swing, having them relax as they pass the body which I hadn't really thought about before. I've definately seen improvements in each walk I create, which just goes to show that the more you do it, the more natural and easy things become. Obviously it's not perfect and I still want to change parts until I get it right as well as play around with different types of walks - creeping, stomping, tiptoeing around..

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I think I've also managed to sort out some of the little kinks in my 2D walk. The leg movements are slightly smoother and the 2nd position (the lowest down position)is now better and right for the cycle. The arms aren't so jerky and work better with the leg movements. There are stil a few things that don't look right, such as the bob up and down. It's not as smooth as it could be and I need to be careful about size changes, particularly with the legs as theres quite a difference between the first drawing and last from where they have been bent and moved. However because it is a walk cycle I dont think it is too noticable in the repeat.

video

Thursday, 20 November 2008

walking is harder then it sounds...

Learning to animate walking has to be one of the key things to do..and it may be that every walk is different and everyone has a different style of walking due to their build, gender, mood, but to get any walk looking right you have to get the basic concepts right. In realising this I hope to develop my walk cycles to get them looking right so that I can then go on to playing around with them and putting different emotions and characters into the walk.

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After trying a few walks in 2D and a few in 3D there are things I need to change and work on to get it looking correct and natural. After trying a few times in 3D and getting used to the controls and the way that the character can move I eventually got a roughly half decent looking walk..(even playing around with movement of the shoulders, head, and hair) but again there are parts that i could smooth out and make more natral. At the moment she almost looks like she is creeping forwards at the start and although the movement is exaggerated, I think parts need a more natural movement rather then the slightly mechanical one it has now. To achieve this I think I just need to create the walk over and over until I'm familiar with it and can create the type of walk I want. I found it easier to make the 2D walk look more natural, however there are still areas i need to work on in this one.

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I'm happy with the way the legs move in general, however in the lowest phase (after the contact)I find I tend to make the front leg further forwards which wouldn't happen. I think I do it because I assume the character is moving forwards when actually the foot is planted on the floor with the body weight transferred onto it, so I need to make sure I correct this. Saying that, I also need to exaggerate the weight movement from each leg by moving the body mass over the correct foot. Looking at the arms I am quite happy with the movement, however there is one jolt which doesn't quite look right. So back to the drawing board tomorrow to practice and iron out the kinks... Life drawing this week helped by seeing the human figure walking and also looking at different types of walk and movement. Looking at contact positions as well helped me to get ideas for 2D animation and perhaps where I am going wrong with the poses.

Monday, 17 November 2008

BAF

Back from Bradford and ready to get back into the studio after being inspired by so many different and original animation styles/techniques and stories!
There was so much there..I'm glad for a day without watching a film of some kind..strange how tiring it is! Saying that though it was definately worth it, and some very memorable stuff!
It was great to see people like Al Jean, John Coates, Paul Wells, Joanna Quinn...in person and hear what they had to say about their own work, as well as doing workshops like the character design one, though I was bit disappointed that the storyboarding one was cancelled :(. However it gave us the chance to see even more of the films.
'Waltz with Bashir' was great..really made you think and one of those films when it ends you dont know whether to clap or cry!..especially with the shock of the real life images right at the end! I also loved 'Varmints'..such lovely animation with a message that really relates to the state of the world at the moment..again very emotional!so glad it won the award!
There were also some other more light-hearted animations I thought were great such as Skhizein, Post!, Operator and Cat-man-do, and loads of different types such as Bary Perves' work in stop-motion animation - the models and sets are so incredibly detailed and realistic... I just think its so beautifully created. (However i wasn't as keen on the actual story or opratic style)
Also loved seeing some of John Coates produced films on the big screen, The Snowman in particular :) one of my favourites!





Wednesday, 5 November 2008

sticky notes animation

I dont know if anyone has seen this before but I think it's very clever..mainly because i have 'to do' lists on sticky notes all over my bedroom wall :S!!...



http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7IeSqVboADw&feature=related

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

films and odd bits...

I loved the fact this week that I actually had a excuse to sit around and watch the Incredibles :)..analysing it really made a difference to the way I saw it though, and after reading some reviews you start to view it in a completely different way! It didnt necessarily change my opinion of it, but it does make you pick up on the more subtle areas that you never would have considered. I think this is useful for most films, particularly animation and is important when creating work.

I found looking at the different types of animation in the screening useful as well. I really like stop-motion animation, particularly with puppets and found objects such as Jan Svankmajer's work.I love the mysterious movement and objects used and the fact that everyone watching it will interpret it in completely different ways. Svankmajer's pieces are what inspired the Brothers Quay for much of their work which I studied previously at college. I tried to listen to explanations of The Brothers Quay's animations once..but I just got completely lost in what they were saying and was more confused about the animtion then just sticking to my own explanation of it! oh well!




above: svankmajer
below: brothers quay




Watching such a variety of animation just made me want to do it all! I can't decide on one I like best! I love the totally finished and perfected style of the 3D animated work, but I can't resist the more rough sketchy look of 2D hand drawn stuff, and I want to do more stop-motion work having done a little bit already. argh! there's so much I want to try!


Anyway! I think the crit we had today worked really well! It gave us a good look at what everyone was doing and how to analyse pieces of work. Also definately helped to explain ways of looking at my own work and things to check and look for when testing work for example the timing and arcs of movement in jumps and HOW to change work to improve it.
.... and i won a bag! woo! :) go no. 17!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

...week 4...

The reading and seminar this week I found really useful and will be key when writing stories and sequences in future. I enjoyed discussing the ideas of violence, the media and how films, animations and computer games effect the way people think towards violence and their behaviour due to it. This is an area I have studied previously when I took psychology, and so have a basic knowlege of studies and findings on this topic. However I didn't know much about sequencing or thought about how the order characters are presented, effecting how the viewer connects with or feels towards them. After reading examples of this from various films, news reports and even when watching The Incredilbes you can really see how this changes the audiences perspective.
Doing an in-depth study of the Incredibles helped to breakdown scenes and really showed the importance of the use of colours and their meaning, camera angles, sequencing..particularly with all the violent scenes. It basically showed how everything... backgrounds, lighting, movement, sizes..is done for a particular reason that should, most probably subconciously, be picked up and connect with the audience.

2D character performance....


video

Above is my 2D piece of work from this weeks studio day. Focusing on how the characters act together and communicate with eachother, exaggerating the emotions such as surprise, annoyed etc..but continuing the animation principles of squash and stretch, anticipation and overlap. I am quite happy with the final piece, however I did make a few alterations as I went along and there are a few areas I would still change watching it now. I think it is quite noticable about the size change of the larger cube character from the start of the animation to the end..I just need to make sure that after having squashed, stretched and moved my character around he goes back to being the correct size and that when he is moving he maintains the right volume. I think this looks ok at the beginning, however just trails off a bit towards the end.

Other areas I would change around are perhaps the beginning..slowing it down a bit..adding a few more frames when the character is waiting around just to exaggerate what is happening. After filming each frame, I played it through and added a few frames where it just didnt look right. For example when the large cube flicks the small cube away. I really needed more aniticipation before the flick which I think works much better now. Similarly I added to the surprised look when the smaller character jumps in. However I think I could develop this part further still, and give him a much more exaggerated shocked look. I'm also not sure about the small cube flying out at the end having been flicked away. Having him tumble over would probably have been a nicer idea.

Having said all that I am pleased with the way this piece worked. It's definately the longest one I've done so far, and probably the most satisfying when I saw it working and the characters interacting.

3D character jump...

the first attempt...
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after a few more tries...
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Although I still don't feel completely comfortable with Maya yet..and lets face it..it could be a while until I do..I was quite happy with this weeks work. I completed it whilst in the studio being taught and then created the jump again and again until I got it looking better. I saved my first attempt at it from Tuesday, and then saved another after a bit more practice..and hopefully there's a noticable difference!! I'm much happier with my later attempts!

The only thing I find with 3D is that I can never create the same thing twice..it always looks a bit different everytime..and I find it hard to just go back and tweak things here and there without messing it up and needing to starting over. This may be a good thing though as I can just start over whenever, and if the movement changes each time, well hopefully its just getting better each time and I'm making improvments rather then changing it for the worse.

I do feel I am getting to grips with Maya more now, however after the tutorial I had today I think it makes sense to practice a lot more..just playing around with ideas, movements, especially trying to remake some of the 2D movements into 3D and see what I can do. I will do this in the studio as well so I can learn from and with other people in the same situation..good thinking Georg!

Friday, 24 October 2008

3D squashing and stretching...

video

...well above is my attempt at 3D squashing and stretching. I think it is safe to say that at the moment I am more comfortable with the 2D animation particularly in terms of timing. I think I just feel much more in control of what I am drawing and making objects move. However I am already feeling more confident with Maya then I thought I would be at this stage. Looking at my 3D work I think that parts of it work ok, and I think the timing is alright but there may be too much squash and stretch in some parts because its quite clear that the shape is changing. I think I'll keep trying it and practicing using Maya until I am confident and get it looking right.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

putting weight into drawing...

Since the last life drawing lesson I think I have improved on my proportions when drawing the human figure. I did manage to do some drawings of my willing flat mates whilst sitting around the flat which helped...







Today however, as well as maintaining the work done on proportion and figure we focused more on weight and balance. I found this to be a nice exercise. I like to use charcoal...pastels..nice messy media, so adding tones emphasising weight I find I do anyway to most drawings. However to really exaggerate the transfer of weight I need to use the muscles of the body and positioning as well as tone. I think over the session I made improvements to my work, but still more practice will help...







Wednesday, 22 October 2008

jumping cubey man...overlap!

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..the idea of this one is to show the overlap at the end of a movement to make it seem more realistic and natural. I think that I did manage to do this but it perhaps could have been exaggerated even more. There are also other little bits that dont look quite right when you watch it over and over. One part I noticed was when the character takes off the arms almost look like they go up backwards rather then moving back past the body and into the air. I think this could be solved by adding one more frame into the beginning where the arms are positioned passing the body.
Other then these tweaks I was quite happy with the way my jumping cube character worked.

now for the 3D strechy squashy ball... :S...

Monday, 20 October 2008

HATS...

Discussing the ideas of film form and genre today really helped to put the texts I read into perspective and listen to others ideas. I found it interesting to see the various ways people catagorize films into genres of types, and to talk about how animations can be subcatagorized into types, forms, possibly even their own genre.

I find this area of history and theory interesting, however I think it could become quite complex, especially when discussing genres changing, and if nowadays you can give a film just one genre, and even how films are popular because they help to resolve personal or real life problems (or even just give us high expectations)...there are so many issues and discussions that could come from topics of form and genre and I think this could be an area that could be studied in great depth as there are so many questions branching from it.

I enjoying learning about the history of animation, finding out where ideas came from, hows it's developed...it seems so strange seeing the first animations, particularly when comparing them to some of the incredibly realistic CGI and feature films you get now!Though I have to admit I prefer some of the older work to the more developed animations, simply because you can see the changes, sketchey work, movement through drawing and art.

Watching 'Peter and the Wolf' however really caught my attention. I'd love to be able to create an animation in that style. The darkness within it along with the movement, music and realistic setting really gives it emotion without the use of speech. The characters themselves have clear personalities simply by the way they are built and move..and you just can't get past those deep staring eyes that most of the characters possess!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

...life drawing...


First proper life drawing lesson today and I really enjoyed it! I had experienced doing some life drawing classes from when I did my art foundation course, however that seems a while ago now and I'm glad to have the chance to do more on quite a regular basis.

From today I found it took me a while to get into it and I've found that in particular I could do with working on perspective and proportions a little more. I think the fact that I'm working sitting down meaning the paper is already at an angle doesn't help and for next time I will probably stand to have a better position when drawing.



Drawing the model in quite a range of positions enabled me to practice drawing from different perspectives using foreshortening, highlighting the importance of exaggerating certain features in order to make the human figure look natural and in proportion.



This will definatley be an area I will practice more in my own time to develop my skills of capturing the human body and movement.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

..back in the studio..

Getting back onto Maya today after doing the help/learning tutorials I felt I had more of a chance of understanding what everything does. From today I think I learnt more about the concept of movement and using graphs to change speed and way the movement works. When making the first of the bouncing balls I admit to feeling completely confused about what I had done to create it, however after doing the same thing a few times it becomes a lot clearer and the buttons and program seem more natural to use. When being taught how to create something on Maya for the first time it does seem extremely complex, however I've found that the more I do the same thing over again the easier it becomes and I can even start to see what I'm missing when things don't work, and can correct/change simple things to make it work.(Or in some cases just start over again..which often I found to be the more effective way of sorting problems!) I really enjoyed the 2D lesson today..there is so much satisfaction simply from squashing/stretching objects to give them a really cartoon-style movement, yet at the same time bring them to life so much more, adding character to simple objects! I think what I learnt most from todays work was the anticipation you have to put into drawings and animations. I had never really thought about this before, however the difference between animation with and without it is very obvious. It makes characters/moving objects so much more natural and realistic and I can now see why it is key to any animation..
video
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Monday, 13 October 2008

back to the history..

Discussing the issues of racism, age and gender stereotyping really helped to put what I have read and watched into perspective. Previous to the lessons I had never thought of characters such as Brare Rabbit/Fox/Bear as stereotyped black characters, however now it seems very clear and distinct characteristics can be seen and compared cosely to characters from 'Coonskin' and live action films. It's interesting to think about why stereotypes exist, linking this to the idea of conceptual development and how the media/news/film build up ideas and effect the way you think about certain groups or particular types of people. However I agree with what was said today about the way humans catagorize things naturally to make sense of everything, perhaps making it easy to put a message across, giving characters an identity, however at the same time perhaps giving a very one sided view of a race/culture/gender. I think this is key for animation to qucikly and easily put a message/story across, however I suppose you have to be careful of the way it's used...

I found today there was a lot of info to take in about film form and genre. It was good to hear about the various types and what they are based on and how film form developed over time, however I felt a bit lost towards the end. I think I will read up on this topic to get my head around it a bit more, as well as watch some of the examples to clearly see the differences between some of the genres.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

life drawing

First Drawing class last thursday and i was glad to get back into it! I think this is part of the course I will really enjoy as it is where I have more experience compared to the computer side of things. Just from the first class I could already see my drawing getting better from where my skills had perhaps gone a bit rusty over the summer. I hope to keep my sketchbook busy and aim to fill it with various sketches/drawings/marks of figures and movement, which should improve my knowledge of the body, movement, joints and the line of action. Consequently this should have a positive effect on any hand drawn and computer animation I do.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

..and so it begins...

It's been a matter of days and already I feel I have increased my knowledge of the animation process. When the concept of representation was explained and discussed between the group I realised I was already seeing a whole new level or view of animation. Predominantly this came from understanding that moving images, any images for that matter, seen on screen can be broken down very simply into their basic components, and it is our own concepts, experiences and understanding of what the images represent that make the image meaningful to us.

Learning Maya is perhaps what I am most anxious about. With little experience of CGI or 3D computer animation I find it quite daunting. Having read some explainations and watched the 'help' key learning videos I felt I had a very basic understanding of what you could do with the program. Having now had it explained in person and taught directly to me I am more confident about using it (perhaps only for making polygons move around the screen) but at least I'm brave enough now to play around with ideas and click buttons to find what I can do without being daunted by the complex look of the program.

I love the idea that (as animators!or soon to be...) we are creating illusions on screen, tricking the mind into thinking it's seeing flowing movement. Even with a simple concept of a stick man jumping or a circle morphing into something else, when I see my work come to life I just want to do more!