Saturday, 14 May 2011

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Updating the animation

Having handed in the rough draft we have now had some useful feedback so that we can make the final edits and adjustments to the animation. Most of these adjustments are in the scene layouts and compositions of the shots. I have had pretty good feedback from Andy already and have started to make changes...

In pretty much every scene I have adjusted the positioning of the characters. In many of them the characters were very much on the edges of the scenes which didn't really make any sense. So, a lot of the have been moved over or complteely repositioned.

Two of the biggest changes are in the picnic scene and the transition from the hippies to the couple standing on the edge of the hill. I think the changes that have been made will be clear in the updated version, however, the picnic scene has just been reconstructed in a different order moving characters and adding/taking out characters so that it all makes a bit more sense, and I do think it works better this way around.
I have added in a completely new scene inbetween the hippies and couple to try and get across the idea that the woman is the same person just later in life. So there is a cross fade focusing front on to this character so suggest as time lapse and that it is the same character which I think will work better. Hopfully the next couple of times this happens after this, it will be clearer that it is the same woman.
To also help with this the woman is now dressed in yellow throughout the shots that she is in, hopefully to brin the idea that they are all the same person together a little more...

At the moment I am working on pans...just making them come in and out smoothly in toon boom, and I will also try and work out how to do as many effects as possible that we need or will help the animation. I have another meeting with both Andy and Derek to go through scene by scene again so will hopefully make the last changes over thursday and friday. The city scenes should hopefully be completed by monday as well. The timing of the animation should therefore be set by the end of monday for final composite of the music to be created.

By here's the changes for now.....

Monday, 9 May 2011

Professional Practice...

Over the past few weeks I have been working on my website...and on the third attempt...I think I've finally finished it. I was planning on using moonfruit to build the website, and started my second attempt on there using a template...however once again I got to the stage where I was out of storage space...
I looked back to wix to see what you get on the free website builder...and it turns out you get the same on wix for free as you do on moonfruit for the first wix it is.
I am much happier with the new design, it looks much more professional, and I am hoping use the basic design as the front of my business cards so that they match up. I also altered my CV to roughly match my website and the same with my showreel which is also on the site.
Although I feel my website and CV is finished for now...I will definitely need to make some changes to my showreel once I have finished the major project and add in some other bits and once that is done I think I will be happy to leave it as it is. Obviously as I complete work and do more, the more changes and updates I will I suppose it's never really going to be finished.
But here it is for now...


Sunday, 1 May 2011

Website, showreel and CV...

Over the past few weeks I have been working on some designs for a website and trying to work out the best way of creating one as well as putting together a showreel and adjusting my CV.

Having gathered and organising all the work I want to put on it, my cv, showreel etc. I came up with a basic website design and drew up some of the ideas below...

Having looked at lots of example websites it seems you have to go one of a few ways. Either very smart and swish and professional, or fit it to what you do and make it arty and more personal and a little different. When thinking about the design I was going for the arty personal feel.
I chose to use Moonfruit simply because I know very little about website design and it seems very simple and nice to use, and it is really easy to put everything you want on there in the way you want it.
So I had a go at putting it all together using the designs I drew up. Here are some example pages below...

It's all working quite well and all the pages link to the right places and I think my CV is stylised in the right way to fit with the branding of the website.

However... I have a few problems with it....

Firstly...I'm really not sure about the designs I have used. Although I think they do kind of show the style I work in and the type of animation I do, I don't think it looks very looks more like a website design to promote a children's TV show or aimed at children. Even though, if I manage to get a job in the industry, this could well be an area I would work in, I don't think I want my own personal website to have this kind of style. It almost looks too childish.

Secondly...because I did upload all my own images for the design of the website to try and make it look more personalised, I now have very limited space to actually put my artwork and animation up and will have to pay for extra storage to do this. Although this is an option and something I was likely to do in the future anyway, I think I would rather just get all my work up now in a nice neat way using a template, and then pay for my own domain and set up a website from scratch later on when I have a little more time to put into it.

So...basically...I am going to start over again, use a basic (but probably more professional and smarter) template for my website, upload all of the important work first...then try and make it more personalised if I have storage space left...

Take 2...

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Over the past few days I have just been colour editing and compositing backgrounds with animation...funfun..all in time for the rough draft hand in!...I will put an updated version of it all soon..however I just wanted to put up this scene as our Celt Weylin now has a shadow...

...oh yeh...

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

...and this is how it all begins...

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

new term...not that the last one ever really ended...

We now have a few days before the rough cut hand in, only a few bits of animation left to do..but a lot of tweaking with the stuff that has been done already, making the backgrounds fit, making the pans link up, getting the names on the tree etc...lots of little things that will most probably take a long time...
So as I am only making small scene changes I have very little to put up on here. Below is an example of things I am adding in such as names just to show what I'll be doing over the next few days. Today I have also celaned up colouring on two other scenes and added in things to the stag scene such as grass that he is pulling at and him getting his antlers stuck in the tree etc.
I am hoping to get all of these small changes as well as the last bits of animation and backgrounds completed for the rough draft so that after that there is literally effects/shadows/titles/sound to do....Oh and the press pack, DVD cases/covers/posters/dvd menus/ professional practise/presentations/write ups/websites/cvs/showreels/business cards/innovations not much then?!?

Thursday, 21 April 2011

animation update...

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Here's an update of the animation...most of the completed background designs are now in apart from the dog walking scene as the software at uni couldn't handle it, the railwaymen scene as it's still being coloured, pans and other odd bits. It's looking a lot more finished now which is great, but there's still loads to do. As we have pretty much got through my first list of layouts/rough animation/clean up/colouring, I have made a new chart more for the compositing side of things including which backgrounds have been finalised, which compositions have been tested to make sure the backgrounds definitely work with the animation, notes, which backgrounds have been put into scenes in layers and what effects are needed. After getting through the first few stages I'm hoping we can then go through scene by scene and note down every possible effect/shadows/post production that needs to be done on each shot and just start to work our way through them! so...thats the plan. For the rough cut hand in, I would really love the final bits of animation that the second years are working on to be done and all the scenes to be in colour including the pans etc...

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Another updated version of the animatic,so far only up to the picnic scene has got the final backgrounds in layers as the next scene with the dogwalker is massive and so crashes a lot..think it's going to take some time to get that one we are getting there...but there's still lots more to come..

Monday, 18 April 2011

Below is some of the work I have been doing over the past couple of days.
I have animted and coloured the scene with the Celt in it which goes on from the first two scenes that Alberto is working on, which we will hopefully have soon to add to the start of this one.

I have also done smaller background animation which will only be seen in passing as the camera pans, so this just needs colouring now...

Over the past few days, Harriet has been putting lots of finished backgrounds into drop box so I have also been putting the backgrounds in their layers in toon boom and making sure all of the animation fits and works with them. This unfortunately takes a lot longer then I thought it would however it's really bringing the scenes together now. I havn't been posting these as I have just been putting them straight into the animatic which I will post again updated very soon, but this is an example scene of the backgrounds composited with the animation. It all needs shadows and quite a few scenes need effects, but it's getting there...

Friday, 15 April 2011

animatic update... It's getting more colourful! Everything that is final animation is actually now coloured...I just missed bits out when trying to do a really quick update and export when leaving the studio today..I'll make it better when I have more time! the music is also out of synch here...but when edited properly it's sounding really good and timed wonderfully! I have more sound effects and foley now, but they recorded extremely quietly and premiere wasn't very useful in playing with the levels so I'll put them in when I've changed them using the correct sound editing software, which will hopefully work a little better...So, small bits of background animation, pans, and city time-lapses still to do, and probably a lot of editing and playing around with things...but it's getting there!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

animation update...

...and other work from today...

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Monday, 11 April 2011

and this one...

I got three of the shorter scenes coloured today, all of which I am quite pleased with now. I think they are looking better now they are coloured and I can't wait to put them with their backrgounds...when the software lets me....
I was a little worried about the number of scenes left to colour, however as they are all broken down into short ones like these, if I can keep to doing 3 a day, with Chloe colouring as well and Leki coming back soon now, I don't think we will have a problem!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Animatic Update...

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Just got some more scenes coloured today and put the animatic together a little more...

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Finishing the colour, shading and adding the background in this scene...

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Animatic updated with some sound tests...

Monday, 4 April 2011

Updated animatic...

work from today...

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Friday, 1 April 2011

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Monday, 28 March 2011

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Updated animatic...

work from today...I managed to get these scenes below cleaned up and coloured. There is only one very small scene left of this bit, which I have animated..however the scene file has I'll re-do that one later. Other then this, the only parts left to animate are the part where the two men paint the cross on the tree, the celt - which Alberto is working on, and then smaller background parts such as the men throwing logs on the cart and the tree growing as the camera follows it. After that I think the rest will be down to the background designs, pans etc. So although I haven't completed all of the animation as I was hoping, I think with all the software problems we have had, we are still very nearly on target, which is pretty good going. I also wasn't aiming to have the soldier scenes coloured, just animated, so as i did this all at the same time i think it worked out faster and we have more coloured animation.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Friday, 18 March 2011

You can't really see the animation here as the character hasn't been coloured yet, however I just wanted to add the background in to see what it looked like!

Rough soldier animation...

...and the software still doesn't here's a B..just thinking about titles designs for the piece...

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

This is the work I've been doing this week. It's all been a little slow this one for one reason or another...mainly due to software failures or meetings... however I'm on my way to getting the animation finished..The stag scene is shown below and I have played around with the timing a little and added some more inbetweens to make it a little smoother. I have quite a long soldier scene to get done and two smaller ones, but after that I think thats most of the animation done...though I'm sure I'll find lots I want to tweak and change given the time.

...and here's what happens when the software goes down and doesn't get sorted out..lots of playing around and doodling with brushes on photoshop...

Monday, 14 March 2011

Friday, 11 March 2011

Thursday, 10 March 2011

The animatic so far...

I managed to get the clean up of the old lady done today as shown below. There are a few bits that I want to cut it with, firstly when she touches the heart, she then looks around to see her daughter, and later when she sits on the tree she turns her head and this will be cut again to her daughter. I think this may mean her head movements need to be slowed down a little to make the timing a bit better, but for now its not much of a problem and is something that can easily be changed...

I'm hoping to get the missing shots that this scene cuts with completed tomorrow afternoon after the production meeting. This will then mean that the final scenes (ignoring the panning shots) are done and I can go back to the beginning to start on the smaller scenes.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Below is the work I have been doing recently. I have started to animate the final scenes with the mum and daughter and the old lady. Below is a rough of the old lady scene. This will be cut in with the scene of her daughter and boyfriend together in the distance.

I also managed to get this scene cleaned up. So we have an almost completed shot. It still needs shadows etc... and Harriet is still making tweeks to the background designs, but it's more of an idea of how it will look in the end.

I then went back to working on the scene with the mum and daughter and finished the clean up on this scene today...which for some reason seemed to take forever. Maybe because the scenes are getting longer towards the end, or because I know they are more important scenes I may be spending longer on them trying to get them to look right. Either way, it's done now...

And now I've started to clean up the scene with the old lady, which is again another long scene. I'm hoping to get this one completely finished by the end of the week, including the sections that it cuts to, which should be much shorter. If I get these done this week, I'll have finished the ending scenes of the animation, and the plan is to then go back to the beginning where we are missing about 20 scenes and start there. I'll be glad to get all the key scenes completed, though the beginning really needs to be done as soon as possible so that it actually makes sense!

This week I also received the first minute and half first draft of the music, so tomorrow I will update the animatic again with some music, and hopeful it will be looking a bit more complete!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

This weekend Harriet has been flying through the backgrounds so I wanted to try and put a few together to see how they are working. I think the one below is working quite well. Unfortunately toon boom is having a few problems getting things in layers and like to just crash when I try and do things with it, so the layers I will try and do another time. I think the only problem with this one at the moment is that it looks a little steep. Obviously it is on the top of a great big hill, so would be steep, however as the scene is on the top we kind of need it to look nice and flat as otherwise it looks like all the picnic stuff is just going to roll down and the characters sort of look like they are going to fall over.

I think this background is working nicely as well. With both the above and below clips however there is a slight problem with the colouring. the skin colour of the characters needs to be cleaned up or added in both, and there is a some more obvious clean up to do here and there. I'm hoping with some skilful compositing, adding shadows etc the piece will really come together.

Friday, 4 March 2011

As yesterday I started the scene with the pregnant lady sitting on the tree, and decided it needed just a little movement for it to make sense and run smoothly with the shot before it, I thought I would just finish off the colour on this one. As the colouring on the project is a little behind and takes a long time, I thought I better start getting used to doing some colouring now as I can imagine this is probably how I am going to spend most of Easter. I think it looks OK, however the difference between the shadow and light on the hair is a bit too dramatic. I think this is because on photoshop where the characters have been designed, the colours can be blended and mixed, where as on here they can't and so are being simplified. I think I need to lighten the colour just slightly to make it look better and more like the original design.

This next clip is a clean-up of a shot I was working on yesterday. It is slot into the shot below just as a different viewpoint.

I then started to organise and look through some things, as well as organising and sorting some scenes to send to the second years for colouring, when I realised one of the scenes I had given Leki to colour hadn't got the actual bomber in the background where it should be. So I had to do a bit of editing and working out an easy way of getting the symbol from the black and white scene into the coloured scene..which proved a lot more difficult then it sounds..or it just refused to work. However we got there eventually...

I then continued to outline the scene I was working on previously. I was really hoping to get a lot further in this scene today, however there were some technical difficulties. As long as I finish this one early next week along with the final shots with the old lady, I should still be pretty much on track with the animation in terms of the targets I have set myself.

So putting it all together, along with the colouring Leki has done so, and a couple of bits of work from the second years, this is the animatic so far...

Thursday, 3 March 2011

I didn't get as much done today as I was hoping, however it's a good start to the shot and I am happy with the animation. It will improve in clean up as always due to it looking more detailed and generally cleaner in the line and movement. The first clip is showing scenes 73 and 75 and the one below will be slotted in the middle where there is a pause. This should work quite well and I find it easier working in this one as the 2 scenes have the same background so it is faster to blend them into one and simply edit them afterwards when putting the shots into premiere. I would really like to get these finished by tomorrow as I would then have the scene with the old lady to concentrate on the week after which again is a really important scene.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

This is the work I did today... managed to get the scene with the couple completed as shown below. I am quite happy with it, unfortunately the heart and names the soldier actually scratches into the tree didn't save due to toon boom just not feeling like it! however the important stuff saved fine, so not too much of a problem. it's probably easier to add this part in with the background to make it look more realistic anyway. the two clips below on differ in me changing the timing a little after watching it through, just to slow things down a bit towards the end as they seemed a little rushed.

I then went back to the previous scene as I realised I hadn't added the necklace on the character in this scene which is a pretty vital part of the story. I also went back to a scene I was working on a while ago with the pilot in the tree and added in his parachute to the branches. It's hard to see, however will be a lot clearer when it is coloured as it will show up from the background.

This is the final scene of the shot I was working on today. I initially just did it as a still, however after adding it to the animatic I realised she needed to be continuing the movement from the scene before for it to work well and so added in a few frames before this one below.

The animatic updated...

I am hoping to get the next shot completed by the end of this week of the wife in the scene above with her little girl. This will mean that the following week I can work on the very last scene of the animation, and then go back to the beginning and start working on the scenes that haven't been completed yet, most of which are from the first half of the animation.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Monday, 28 February 2011

This next shot I'm working on is the one where the soldier says goodbye to his pregnant wife. It's a really nice scene, and is a really important one to the story as it is when the soldier draws the heart on the tree, which is recurring through the next few scenes along with the necklace he holds. It is therefore key to the story coming together and being able to link in the two characters in this scene, in particular the girl as the child we saw before, and the mother and old lady we then see after this scene. Because of its importance I want to spend a little more time on it making sure that the animation is really nice and works well, and is as clear as possible. I think it will be done this week and is a big step to getting the end of the piece animated.

Friday, 25 February 2011

At last....after the software crashing non stop and moving the animation around a bit, many times...we have some animation with a finished background. I'm keen to get this scene coloured now to really see what it will look like, but I'm glad we got this one sorted in the end...

Watching it back, the timing needs to be sorted out a little with the camera movements, and where I have altered the animation I think the characters at the top need to zoom out more as they are too big and the squirrel needs to be bigger in the foreground as it isn't obvious or very clear at the moment. There also needs to be more of a hold on the squirrel before the pan down the tree. Once the characters are coloured they should all become a lot more clear, however it is starting to come together a little more now.

This is better...

Thursday, 24 February 2011

updated animatic...

I don't know why I am having so much trouble with this bomber plane..but its causing all sorts of unnecessary trouble. I still have lots of scenes to do and the idea is to try and get through them all so that the majority of the animation is done, and then go back a make tweeks and changes in the animation where things can be improved. However this one was really annoying me, and after chatting to Derek and changing from lazy tweening to drawing the plane out changing angles, it looks much better. I'm sure it can still be improved, but I'm happier to leave it as it is now compared to how it looked before. I did play around a little with the timing, but the last clip is looking the best at the moment.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

This is the last shot of the scene with the hippies. I'm am quite pleased with the way this scene is looking now. This is quite an important section as they are saving the tree and also starts to link the family together with the mother and daughter relationship and the necklace starting to be passed on. When doing this scene I did notice that I hadn't put the necklace in the other shots with the blond hippie character, and had to go back through them to add the necklace on. In some it barely even visible and probably wouldn't have been noticeable as you aren't really looking for it in the scenes before this one, however it would have bugged me if I hadn't have changed it!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Monday, 21 February 2011

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Friday, 18 February 2011

I have been updating this blog with new scenes pretty much as and when they are being done as line tests and then after they have been cleaned up. It is nice to be working on the next sections of the animation now and at the moment I'm feeling sort of on target with the scenes, although there's still a pretty big gap at the beginning and end of the animation. I have also updated the animatic as shown below.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Monday, 14 February 2011

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Friday, 11 February 2011


So..this week I have got a few of the bigger scenes finished, and a couple of the smaller scenes done. Leki has been colouring in one of the longer scenes, Chloe has just finished colouring one of the shorter ones which is looking really good now :) and Alberto has been animating the Celt character to start off the animation.
Below is a cleaned up scene that I have been working on the past day or so..all that's missing from this one now is the bomber plane to fly over the little boys head, and the very rough line test below it is the nest scene...also missing the bomber plane in the background...but the character animation is getting there.

I will hopefully complete this scene on Monday and move onto some others. I'm keen to get some of the smaller linking scenes done so that the animatic starts flowing a little more, and some of the beginning scenes as none of them are done yet. However I feel its more important for me to go on to do some of the longer end scenes as this is what really brings the animation together, and I recon some of the shorter ones could be done by the 2nd years or anyone who fancies chipping in nearer the end of production if needs be.

Anyway, I quickly updated the animatic again today...there seems to be a long gap of black screen at one point..but nothing is missed out and there is now quite a long stretch of cleaned up animation.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

the scene with the railway men...

Really wanted to get this scene completely cleaned up today as it would be quite a nice longish one out of the way and ready to colour. However, I am nearly there, and am quite pleased with the was looking a little slow in playback in toon boom but I'm not sure if it was just a bit overloaded...hopefully it looks a little smoother here...if not...i'll be adding in a few inbetweens!

Definitely looks faster here...timing needs to be changed slightly when the tall guy hugs the small one as it doesn't quite match..but some keyframe tweeking should sort that!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Monday, 7 February 2011

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The scene where the pilot lands in the tree...

This scene is now cleaned up...

However there is a lot of things going on. I know what I am meant to be watching as I made it - although it's kind of both characters really, however I wasn't sure how clear it was and whether is works, or whether both the characters are moving too much and are too far apart. Anyway I have been playing around with the camera movement to see if it helps and makes a nicer shot...

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Below is a quick test showing some of the animation of the picnic scene cleaned up. The whole of the little girls animation is completed, it just decided not to render this all out for some of the many technical problems I've been having today. I think it is working quite well, and the boy is near to finishing. Unfortunately all of these frames that I did today including the end of the girls actions and all the the boy's that you see here wouldn't save properly in toon boom and so it is hit and miss whether I will actually still have them, or have to do them all again tomorrow :( So I just wanted to put this very short clip up so I felt I have actually achieved something today in case I go back to it tomorrow and the worst has happened...but for now, fingers crossed.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

editing the animatic

Now TVP is up and running again...sort of...I have started to put the scenes I am doing into the animatic in place of the stills that are there. This should let us see how it is working, how the timing of the piece is going and what we have left. At the moment, it barely looks as though much has changed, but i can't wait until we've got some more scenes animated and in there and hopefully it wont be long before there is more animated scenes then stills!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Friday, 21 January 2011

Whilst I am doing some animation and getting on with things, I need to make sure that all of the scenes are ready for the 2nd years and any other animators to take and get on with. I made separate files for each scene last week, however I now realise I need to make it absolutely clear to the people I give the scenes to, what needs to be done. So Andy suggested that for each of the scenes I actually set it up completely in animate pro, layout and instructions and key frames all timed out and ready to go, so that the animation comes back looking exactly how it was planned to...hopefully! So today I have been doing a lot more organising, and going through scene by scene, putting backgrounds into scenes and adding key frames and notes. By doing this it is making it easier to also see how the scenes are going to connect and any problems we may have. It also cuts down the animation in places as where some scenes cut, there is a lot less animation needed. I feel a lot more organised having started to do this, and I feel like the actual amount of animation to do is more manageable as once I have gone through them all the key frames are basically there. After doing this, I'm hoping to put the rough animated scenes and some more completed scenes into the animatic. this will replace the drawn stills and it means it will start to look a bit more like an animation and will come together a bit more. It also means I can keep Les, who is creating the music more up to date with how all the scenes will look and the length of them etc.

Below is an example of the way I am laying out the scenes, showing on the the keyframes and some notes to the animator about what is happening or key things that need to be in shot.

I am yet to have the animatic with completed scenes, but hopefully on monday I'll be able to use the program I need to do this. I am hoping to get the first half of the animation all completely sorted out into scene files and animate pro files by monday so that I can start giving them out to 2nd years and happy helpers :) Hopefully I can get a bit more animation done as well, but this weekend my dissertation needs to come first.