Imaging and Data Visualisation: Reflection

This was by far the most challenging module for me.

I find Maya extremely difficult and this module was extremely maya heavy. Despite how stressful it was I have enjyed it a lot.

I enjoyed the research task where I was reminded of the reason why I wanted to be an animator. To be able to create beautoful models and beautoful landscapes.

The Foating City tas really pushedmy ljmited Maya knowledge. However, I learnt a lot of new techniques during that assignment, from modelling techniques and texturing to camer amovement and rendering. This project was exciting to work on.

My least favourite assignment was the head model, however this was due to the haste I was in to get it done. I failed with first several models, and my finished model is far from perfect. However for my first attempt at modelling a head, I am extremely proud of it. The topology is another story. I actually found it relaxing in the beginning, but I beloeve that my lack of knowledge about why models get retoplogised hindered my ability to retopologise my own model.

Overall, this module has definitley been the most challenging module. It was a constant uphill struggle, however I truly enjoyed it. I beleive that I have learnt a lot from this module, as well as having information about myself revelaed to me. I know I have a lot to work on over summer. And I’m really looking forward to learning all of it.

Head Model

This was an assignment from hell. However, it was fun.

I am not proud of this model. My first models were all failures, I think I made about 4 or 5 before this one, all needing to be scrapped. And this one is rushed due to the deadline.

I found this assignment to be extremely challenging. I find Maya to be terrifying. I am not skilled in it. So being faced with this daunting task is why I did so many models. I would panic, and then not be able to work out what went wrong and end up having to restart.

After the failed attempts at mudbox, I turned to Maya, having become familar with the polygon based modelling system. I then bought an extended version of this tutorial after several more modelling failures:

I did very well with the actual face. I am very proud of the face as I spent a long time cutting the polygons, trying to keep a simple typology for animation purposes. I also think it looks a lot like Molly. I had her reference photos open on two image planes on Maya.

It’s the back of the head which I despise. I was running out of time and rushed the back of the head, ears and neck. It looks fine, but I know that there are a lot of topology mistakes which I am disappointed at myself for allowing myself to make.

As stressful as I found this task I am excited to revisit it during summer without the pressure of a deadline. Is trive for perfection in everything I do and for a head model that was made (ashamedly) rather quickly I am pleased with it.

Death
I had to render using Maya software

I used this tutorial for the retopology:

 

I’m going to be honest, I had no idea what I was doing with re-topology. My re-topology is very messy, espceially on the right side of the face. I got so conufsed that I had to restart the topology several times, but alas I could not get the ears perfected. Unfortunatley, I had to let it be as I couldn’t finish the right ear.

Topology is definitely something I’ll have to reserach over summer and I’m extremely disappointed with the outcome I have produced. I do not feel that I fully understood the purpose of topology as I brushed it under the rug in favour of the model. Which I am extremely diappointed in myself for doing.

However, overall I feel that I have learnt a lot, and its really motivated me to push myself over summer so that I can prove to myself that I can do an assignment like this.

Life Drawing: Reflection

Coming into this semester with a better understanding of life drawing and the human form, I was excited to see what this semester would hold for me as I was gaining confidence in my drawing ability.

I quickly found that although my overall drawing ability had increased I was still struggling in some of the more basic elements such as perspective and proportion. Although, this disheartened me slightly I liked how we could critique each other’s work and when this happened I was delighted to find that, despite my problems with proportions and perspective, you could tell the gender and weight of the figure as my drawings were consistent.

I saw myself improving but only by a small bit and I wondered why this was when I completed the homework and attended every class. It was brought to my attention by Conann that there seemed to be a lack of desire to learn and understand how the human body worked to gain understanding of how to draw the body. That week I picked up ’Anatomy for the Artist’ from our library, I was determined to learn, and the fact that it was not obvious made me realise that I wasn’t showing enough initiative. It turned out that picking up that book was the best decision I could have made.

I started understanding how the bones in the human body worked, how they interacted with each other to twist into the person’s desired pose. I found it easier to simplify the body’s form into solid shapes and apply perspective to my drawings easier. As my knowledge on the human body grew, so did my understanding of how to draw the human body and I believe it shows in my work.

Another aspect of my work that was brought to my attention this semester was how important research is. During the last week of life drawing we spent an entire session an analysing two articles and the better of the two was the one with more research and references. It’s made me realise that I need to do better with including my research in my blog and presenting it in my work.

The final assignment was challenging, I was stuck for ages on how to go about designing my character, what was appealing, what principles I should focus on. Whenever I started looking to my past work for inspiration on what to do I found that a lot of the techniques that we had been learning in class were setting us up for this assignment, such as the head rotations for the character rotation. The point of balance for follow through and over lapping. Perspective for solid drawing. After I realised this I looked at what I want to practice and choose the principles that corresponded to this.

I feel that my character is well designed for its purpose, it’s a diverse character with a lot of appeal. His weight allowed me to practice squash and stretch as you could see his stomach squash and stretch. His braid and flowing shirt allowed me to explore follow through and over lapping actions. Whilst his thick legs made for a good exploration of how his muscles changed with anticipation and how his centre of balance changed. Finally, his soft build allowed for me to explore solid drawing by using wider solid shapes, granting me an easier perspective to work with.

Overall, I have learnt a lot this semester. I now have a better understanding of the human form, and how to apply the techniques I have learnt in life drawing to my animation work. I have seen my drawing improve this year at a fantastic rate, and I hope to continue to study and understand the human form and the 12 principles of animation over the summer, so I can further my ability.

References:

Barcasy, Jeno. Anatomy For The Artist. 1st ed. London: Black Cat, 1998. Print.

Hogarth, Burne. Dynamic Anatomy. 1st ed. New York: Watson-Gutpill Publications, 2003. Print.

Thomas, Frank, and Ollie Johnston. The Illusion Of Life: Disney Animation. 1st ed. Abbeville Press, 1981. Print.

Williams, Richard. The Animator’s Survival Kit. 1st ed. London: Faber and Faber, 2009. Print.

New Narratives: Reflection

The journey I had this semester was not an easy one. However, I enjoyed every minute of it.

We kicked the year off with our very first research assignment into the Hero’s Journey. I didn’t realise exactly how useful this assignment would be until much later on. It continues to amaze me how I can look at movies, films, books, comics, even my own work, and see elements of the Hero’s Journey in everything. Whilst not the most fun of assignments, it was certainly one of the most useful in preparation for what was to come.

Our next assignment was to create a schematic for the movie ‘Birdy’. That movie will stay with me forever. It was interesting to have to break down the movie into the Hero’s Journey and then figure out what each of the characters were doing at specific plot points, what their role in that plot point was and how they related to the events happening. Did they cause this event? Or were they just an onlooker? Whilst a stressful experience I believe that it will come in handy in the future.

In correlation with the schematic, we had to make an artefact which either represented the movie or had significance to the story. Whilst figuring out the schematic was hard, this was more difficult. This required extensive research into the minds of the characters, the events that were happening around them, their reactions to said events and the symbolism in the movie. It’s so interesting to be able to dig under the skin of a movie and see how much implicit meaning there is in a story. How minute details can change your perspective of what is going on. We created a birdcage that was held together by bloodied bandages and housed a baseball, whilst feathers and a broken mirror was scattered on the surrounding terrain. The bird the cage was meant to hold was free. This symbolised how society caged Al. They caused him to rely on his looks and masculinity which was stripped from him during the war. He then tried to hold himself together by refusing to remove the bandages. However, Birdy was free. He had never been caged by society’s perspectives and through his traumatic experience he became truly free. This assignment held a lot more weight to it than it let on.  It trained us to pay close attention to not only what’s happening to our character, but also what’s happening around them. I hope that this will lead to a better understanding of narrative and storytelling in future projects.

Our final assignment was our fifteen second animation. This was exhausting. It had such a steep earning curve and we had so little time. I thoroughly enjoyed it, however itmade me realise a number of flaws about myself. I have a tendency to hide my ideas and this way of shutting down when I feel that a team doesn’t need me. However, I went through a lot with this team. As much as I had their back through this assignment, they had mine. I truly learnt the importance of communication and team work in this challenge. You can’t just divide out certain sections, slap them together and expect them to work. You have to be communicating through everything you do. My team and I did not have an easy time of it. However I learnt so much from each of them in terms of Maya and work ethic, and I hoped they learnt something from me too.

In conclusion, I have grown a lot this semester. The work load has been stressful but I’ve learnt that I have the strength to not lose myself to stress. I’ve gone from barely being able to model a coffee cup, to being able to rig and animate a simple model. It’s been interesting watching myself grow and become more comfortable with my position within the teams and by extension within the class. I have learned so much this semester, and knowing that there’s so much more to discover only pushes me to be even better than I have been the past year.

Life Drawing: Final Assignment

12 Principles of Animation

For this assignment we had to research each of the 12 Principles of Animation and show an understanding of each.

They were designed by some of the masters of animation and explained by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston in ‘The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation’. They are viewed as the ultimate guide to animation and to creating realistic and appealing character movements. You do not have to memorise these principles to a tee you just have to have a good understanding of how they relate to your animations and be able to apply them to all animations, whether 2D or 3D.

This playlist played a key part in helping me understand the 12 Principles along with ‘The Illusion of Life: Disney Aniamtion’ and ‘The Animators Survival Kit’. While the videos simplified the 12 Principles for me, they also allowed me to process the information that was presented to me in the two books in a more visual manner which really helped me as I am a very visual learner.

1.Squash and Stretch

Squash and Stretch is what gives an object or character mass. It gives the object weight and flexibilty. When utilized correctly it can give more appeal to an object as it moves more realistically. Squash and Stretch can also be used to give exaggeration to an object as its movements may need to be exaggerated in order to show the full extent of the emotion or impact. The best way to practice this, is to draw a half filled sack of flour.

2.Anticipation

Anticipation is used to set an audience up for an action that is to come. An audience watching an animated film needs to be able to clearly see what the character is doing to avoid restlessness. It can also be used to give power and realism to an action, such as a juming or thorwing action

3.Staging

Staging is important as it is ‘the presentation of an idea so that it is completely and unmistakably clear’. You want to be able to control what the audience is seeing and where their attention is focused. If you want them to focus on a facial expression, you wouldn’t use a long shot. Another thing is to only focus on one thing at a time, if too many actions happen simultaneously the audience will not know where to look and become confused.

4.Straight Ahead Action and Pose to Pose

There are two main ways of aniamting objects and chracters. The most cmmonly used is pose to pose, where you draw the key frames and then fill out the inbetweens. This can save you a lot of work as you are in control of where the charcater ends. Straight ahead action is when you draw one frame after another, however this can lead to many problems such as the character ending up a different size or not reaching their ending mark. Due to this straight ahead animation is more useful for unpredicatble animations such as fire.

5.Follow Through and Overlapping Action

Follow through and overlapping action are also related to another techniques called Drag. However they are all essentially different parts of the same prinicple. Follow through is the idea that appendages of the object will continue to move after the main object has come to a halt, overlapping action is the offset between the main body and its appendages, whilst drag is the action of delaying the apendages from moving with the main body.

6.Slow In and Slow Out

In order to achieve a life-like motion, all moving objects and characters must start out slow, gain momentum and slow down into the finishing pose. This gives the movement and added realism as without it the movement is a constant speed and very mechanical.

7.Arcs

Most living creatures and naturally moving objects will follow a circular movement or an arc. If the object does not follow an arc, the movement will look stiff and mechanical. This helps give movements character and personality.

8.Secondary Action

‘Gestures that support the main action to add more dimension to the character animation’. The secondary action supports the main action and adds personality to the movement, such as a character looking around embarassed whilst wringing their hands together to show thier anxiety at being placed in the situation. The secondary action of wringing their hands does not take over the main focus which their flustered head movements but adds to the audience’s undertsanidng of the discomfort which they are in at being placed in that situation.

9. Timing

Is all to do with the inbetween frames between main key frames. If a character’s head is moving from one place to another, no inbetweens suggest he has been hit with a tremendous force causing his head to snap forward, whilst ten inbetweens can mean he is cautiously searching his surroundings. The timing of a scene allows the hcharacter to move within the laws of physics.

10.Exaggeration

Exaggeration is used to add realism to an action as ridiculous as that sounds. When a movement is exaggerated in animation it gives the movement more appeal and more character whilst simultaneously making the movement more convincing. If a character is jumoing in shock, the frame used to show the peak of his jump may be strecthed beyond realistic, but the frame is so quick due to timing, it makes the action look more realistic.

11.Solid Drawing

Solid drawing is about being able to give a character depth, weight and personality, thorugh his proportions and his posing. A very important part of this is using perspective and solid shapes in the drawing in order to give the character mor personality. This can also be applied in 3D to avoid twinnning when posing a character.

12.Appeal

The tricky thing about appeal is that everyone has a different sense of what appeals to them. So appeal does not necesarily mean good looking, more interesting and charismatic to look at. This can be done be exaggerating proportions of a character in order to drive across their personality. A cute character generally has a larger head and eyes with a smaller body in order to emphasise how petite and adorable they are, whist a jock character may have a puffed up chest and broad shoulders, but smal legs and narrow forehead to show that he has a massive ego and little brains.

When  I was designing my character for animation ased on the principle of appeal I started out using a few base shapes and adding silhouettes on top to explore waht was appealing to me personally.

Originally I believed that I would be drawn to the naturally curvy silhouette. I found characters such as Jessica Rabbit, Betty Boop and Red to be more visually appealing to me. I adore the way that they are overly sexual, yet it is obvious from their posing that they don’t care much for being treated as sexual object. I loved how confident they appeared and their pin up aesthetic.

However, when I drew the silhouette for myself I found it rather bland. I surprised myself by being more attarcted to the broad shouldered, big bellied, rectangular silhouette I had drawn. In my mind this silhouette was softer and friendly, yet bulky and gave a protective aura. I then researched similar characters and found myself looking at the likes of Maui and Hunk. Both characters, gave off the strong yet friendly vibe I was going for with my character and this appealed to me greatly. I also took inspirtion from the body types of male Hula dancers and the characters from Lilo and Stitch.

After life drawing last week I was proud of myself for having designed a character of a different ethinicity whilst still remaining respectful to the culture of the people whom my character is a part of, as well as representing a different silhouette.

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Nahele Clean Up
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Nahele Clean Up

I named my character Nahele as it is Hawaian for ‘Forest’, although Nahele is very obviously from a coastal environment, the forest gives off a protective mothering aura which is what I wanted my character to exude.

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Normal Garb
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Hula Garb

I explored the differenece between drawing for animation and drawing for illustartion by placing him in two different outfits. Ultimately I decided on the more simple of the two with a tank top to cover his tattoo as it was too detailed for every frame of animation. I designed his tattoo myself and you can read what it symbolises here.

I decided to look at solid drawing with my character. I wanted to challenge myself as I am aware that perspective is not my strong suit. It was also one of my first times attmepting to draw a heavier character. This allowed me to explore giving him weight by using solid shapes. Overall, I don’t think I did too badly, I think I managed to capture his calm nature yet heavy structure. I also choose a pose which alluded to him being a hula dancer. I think that it fits well with his character for him to practice Hula as it comes from the training to be a warrior and my character is calm yet protective.

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I do feel that I messed up the left foot a small bit, however I was trying to show the point of balance which we had learnt about in previous life drawing classes.

Next I did a series of drawings revolving around the three principles of squash and stretch, anticipation and follow through and overlapping actions. I wanted to show thatn not only do I understand what these principles are meant to do I wanted to show them working together in a series of drawings.

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In the first image he crouched, squashed like a spring in anticipation for his next action. The next frame shows him beginning to jump and his centre of balance shifting in anticipation to support his weight. The third frame shows strecth but also drag as his braid and shirt are still being pulled down by gravity. The fourth frame shows his anticipation to land by having his centre of balance begin to shift as his foot comes down, this frame also shows the overlap in his actions as his shirt and braid drag behind the rest of his body. Finally, the last frame shows his braid and shirt falling into place as his body returns to a more neutral position.

I feel hat I demonstrated those three principles rather well, although I am conecerned that as the frames progressed my solid drawing became less solid.

Overall, I feel like this assignment was beneficial, I can see how the techniques I have learnt in life drawing during class can be transferred over to the 12 principles of animation but also how understanding the 12 principles of animation is beneficial to my own understanding of drawing and how it can help me improve my life drawing.

References:

“Dsource Ekalpa India”. YouTube. N.p., 2017. Web. 15 May 2017.

Gardam, Tansy. “Looking From The Outside In – Gender Representation In Animation”. 4:3. N.p., 2017. Web. 15 May 2017.

“Hunk Voltron”. Pinterest. N.p., 2017. Web. 15 May 2017.

“Jessica Rabbit”. Disney Wiki. N.p., 2017. Web. 15 May 2017.

“Maui”. Disney Wiki. N.p., 2017. Web. 15 May 2017.

Pepi, Lorelei. “The Politics Of Representation | Animationstudies 2.0”. Blog.animationstudies.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 15 May 2017.

Thomas, Frank, and Ollie Johnston. The Illusion Of Life: Disney Animation. 1st ed. Abbeville Press, 1981. Print.

“Who Was The Real Betty Boop? These Women Inspired The Classic Animated Character”. Tech Times. N.p., 2017. Web. 15 May 2017.

Williams, Richard. The Animator’s Survival Kit. 1st ed. London: Faber and Faber, 2009. Print.

The Family Tree: Week 10

Following our feedback from last week we got to work.

Since the snake was Alistair’s model he decided to take it upon himself to model and animate a tail into the scene. I was really impressed with how it turned out as we were scared that the snakes movements would clip through the tail, however it didn’t and we rendered the scene.

We also changed the timing slightly in that scene. We allowed for a longer pause on the snake so that the audience could fully soak in what had just happened, and understand the humour of the next scene.

Whilst Alistair had been working on that I worked on our title sequence. We were looking for a font which gave the same soft, bubbly feeling that we wanted in for our animation. To set the tone of the animation.

Crewniverse Font

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This font is used by Steven Universe, a kid’s cartoon directed by Rebecca Sugar. The font itself is simple, with curved edges and a white outline to create a light, bubbly effect for the words. It’s nostalgic to look at because it reminds me of my childhood (which is ironic because I discovered Steven Universe in my md teens). I also love the way that they use colours in their title sequences. The colours compliment the background palette and the pastel tones they use further softens the appearance of the text. It very pleasing to look at,

However, we eventually decided against it as we felt it wasn’t round enough to give the fat, fluffy atmosphere we were trying to create. Even with its rounded edges it was still too sharp.

Bubble Writing

We all know the text that is bubble writing, it was an artistic staple of our primary years and early high school years. I decided to experiment with some bubble writing of my own. I thought the text made it look childish and soft, and the closeness of each letter to the next was meant to represent the closeness of a family and the support system they had. However, the closeness was this font’s downfall as it made the text look uncomfortable and squashed instead.

Soft Puffy Font

SoftPuffySample

This is an actual text which I found online. I thought we could download it and use it for our animation, however when I wrote the title out in the font it just didn’t look right. It was too far apart, the letters too thin, despite its childish and fun appearance it just didn’t suit the  atmosphere of our animatic.

Bumbazoid

bumbazo_specimen

Bumbazoid is a royalty free text sent from heaven. After many hours searching the internet for that perfect text, I stumbled across this gem. The fint is designed to look like a ballon, with the capital letters even having little strings hanging off the sides of them. However, I found that if you typed in lower case the effect was a lot nicer.

We decided on Bumbazoid because they are close enough to seem familiar to each other, but not close enough so the letters look like they’re trying to suffocate each other. Its appearance is fat and soft and reminds me of a marshmallow. Its very appealing to look at and we feel it fits right in with our animation.

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Trying out the different fonts with our title

Colour Palettes

Having decided on a font I went hunting for colour palettes to test with our font. Since we would be working with a purple toned background due to the lighting of the first scene. I worked around color palettes which complimented the background instead of clashing with it, taking inspiration from Steven Universe. However, we did not wish to lose the font to the background either.

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This using the reds and oranges on this colour palette I did a quick colour study using the font we wished to use. Although it is a nice, complimentary colour palette, we found it a little boring. It was too mature for the light hearted, fun animation we were trying to create. It was too grown up.

2

Using the light pastel pinks at the beginning of this palette I did another colour study. Whilst this was a lot more pleasing to look at and it gave the text a very light, fluffy appearance, we feared we would lose it amongst the pastel purple tones of the background due to the fact that we agreed not to have an outline around our font.

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Using the middle pastel yellow tones I did another colour study. Whilst these colours still complimented the purple background, they very much held their own against the background, It was clear what you were looking at without becoming overwhelmed by a clashing of colour, or too bright a combination of colours. It held just the right amount of pastel tones to be refreshing and give the text a candy-like appearance, whilst being bright enough to stand out against the background.

4

Another palette,another study. However it was alarmingly obvious we would not be using this colour palette for or final text. It was too strong, too harsh, it is designed to bring out passion and get the udience hyped, however we wanted a more sweet and calm atmosphere. incomparison to an angry, firey one.

5

This was an interesting colour palette, using the last three colours I experimented. I really enjoyed the way the colours seemed to both clash and work in harmony with each other, it was very interesting. However, it did not give that warm, fuzzy effect we were looking for and so we decided not to use it.

My experimentations with the colour palettes
My experimentation with the colour palettes

3

In the end we went with colour palette number 3!

I opened Photoshop and set to work on colouring the Bumbazoid text. Getting a gradient was a lot harder than I thought it would be, and I eventually asked Lydia to help me, although I’m pleased with the results.

The Family Tree Text

Here you can also see the credits which I had originally done. However, there was a problem that occured every time w tried to insert the credits, which meant we couldn’t use the Bumbazoid font for the ending credits. Thankfully the title was imported into the scene without a hitch.

Finally, Bardley added a sky and finished editing the rendered sequences together.

Here is our final animation:

Overall:

This journey has been insane. If you had told me at the start of this project that I would be animating a fully rigged bird and actually understandin how I’m doing it I would’ve called you crazy. Yet here we are. Our group had its ups and downs, hwever we all pulled through in the end. I am so grateful for the modelling skills I gained out of this experinece, the small nuggests of knowledge on rigging I have scrapped together and my better understanding of how to animate, use lights and cameras on Maya. It was truly a steep learning curve, but with my amazing team behind my back we all powered through. I was honestly astunded as I found myself relatng things back to lectures that we’d had, found myself able to point out inconsistencies in camera angles and timings and actually having a helping hand in the rigging of the mama bird. This assignment really pushed me, it was stressful, I found it diffcult, but if you asked me to do it again I’d say yes in a heart beat. I found it extremely useful in terms of pushing my boundaries and coming to terms with myself as a person, I did take something personal out of this and I feel that my work in the future will really benefit from it. I want to say thank you to my amazing team; Alistair, Bradley and Nuala, we wroked well toegther, we had a good bond and toegther we made this and I’m extremely proud of us.

References:

“Colour Palettes”. Spectrra.tumblr.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 May 2017.

Font, Bumbazoid. “Bumbazoid Font By Boba Fonts – Fontriver”. Fontriver.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 May 2017.

“Page 2 – Font Samples – Various Fonts For Sale – Artistmike.Com”. Artistmike.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 May 2017.

“Steven Universe Title Card / Credit Font? – Forum | Dafont.Com”. Dafont.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 May 2017.

 

Life Drawing: Week 11

This week we did not do any drawing as we were discussing two artciles and a film.

The Politics of Representation

Looking from the Outside In – Gender Representation in Animation

We discussed first how the two blogs used references. We discovered that although both blogs contained a lot of research and interesting points, only The Politics of Representation referenced their sources. This instantly makes this article more reliable than Gender Representation in Animation.

Secondly, we looked at the structure of each of the articles. We found that Gender Representation in Animation was more of a vent than an article. Although the writer had good reason to be irritated at the animation industry for their lack of interesting silhouettes for female characters, the way the writer structured it made it less professional than The Politics of Representation. The Polictics of Representation was structured in a casual essay format, still formal to the degree of reliability and referencing but casual enough so that you didn’t feel like you were reading an essay. It this balance between letting your emotions run the essay and letting your research run  the essay which differentiates the two.

Thirdly, we considered what each of the articles were discussing. This was the lack of representation in animation. This topic is becoming a frequently discussed issue within the animation community as the world becomes more accepting of different ethinicities, body shapes, sexualities and gender identities.

I had already noticed that the female form stuck to a generic sihouette, however I realised that this was a design choice made in order to appeal to the audience. More and more animations have been subtly trying to push these limitations but so far it hasn’t gone beynd making a female character a little more stocky or giving her a different race. Thus far female silhouettes have remained unchanged.

I knew that in the past racism was rampant in the animation industry, with people of different ethinicities often being stereotyped and becoming the butt of a joke. However as society progressed I thought the animation industry had too. Not as much as I’d hoped. I can only name two main characters of different ethinicities that have had starring roles in feature film animations. Having this brought to my attention is rather shocking as I would’ve thought having a diverse cast of characters would’ve heightened the appeal of the films.

In terms of sexuality, I know that there is very little good representation of the LGBTQ+ community in the animation industry. They are usually comedic relief characters with shallow development. Often, they are used as a villanous presence as well, as if their sexuality is why they are evil. Although, the latter has become less used in recent years, its still a shame to see such a large and improtant community be blindsided so easily.

Which is why when we watched the film ‘Happy and Gay’ I was so happy. It didn’t show different ethnicities or sexualities as the problem. It showed how society’s perspective of these people was ascew. A satirical depiction of today’s society. It made me uncomfortable in all the right places, pointing out very real issues with how soceity is run and how people treat one another. It also looks at religion and how people have forgotten that God loves everyone, except for those that treat their fellow man so badly, even if they do claim to be Christians and acting in such a way in his name. Whilst the film made me happy, you need a very open mind in order to watch it as it is very controversial.

When we had finished discussing we showed our character designs to Mike. I was scared that my character was too generic and didn’t show off his personality well. However, my mind was put to ease when Mike could easily identify that my character lived in a hot climate, and was a stocky guy. He was a little intimidating, despite this my character’s expression proved that he was a jolly guy. I ws criticised for my lack of consistency with the side view as I made him too skinny, so I will redraw my character correctly.

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Nahele
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Nahele

The Family Tree: Week 9

Last week was hectic. Completely mad. At times it was stressful, but honestly, I’ve never felt more useful or had more fun.

After receiving the new file with the slightly altered landscape and newly textured mama bird I began animating. I redid mama snoring first (however I haven’t made a lblast of this scene with the new bird).

The next scene I worked on was an anticipation scene. The shots cut beteween the mama Bird’s expecting gaze to the shaking eggs to create suspense, and make the snake popping out even funnier. This scene was not to difficult to do thankfully, as all I did was make the Mama Bird’s eyes wider and have her lean forward in anticipation. However I did have some trouble with the timing, having to move everything around slighlty so that it was an even movement. And so in the final cut this scene is longer, I also edited the camera so it is further away allowng you to see the mama bird breathing and to make the close up of her face more dramatic.

The next scene I shot was the close up anticipation scene. Although the movements were simple, I found that contrlling how open the eyes were was crucial to this scene. There was a fine line between anticipation and shock which we did not want to cross..at least not yet. However the most difficult part was aligning the camera. In the last scene it had not been troublesome to postion the camera, however due to the staging needed for this close up, getting the right angle proved a challenge.

This was my first attempt at antimating the shocked facial exression for the bird. As you can see she’s too abrupt, too unatural and the joke wouldn’t land if she reacted in this way. Its so stiff andmechanical that the flowing element is not there.

However, my second attempt went a lot better. We made her head recoil more naturally, adding in a folllow thorough motion as a secondary animation. We also made her eyes less open, she still looks shocked thankfully, just more organic than the previous attempt.

Alistair and I actually got into a wee disagreement about this scene. We couldn’t decide how to make the happy emote look more natural. The riginal idea was just to have her head keep still and her eyelids turn up into a smiling face. But because she does not have a mouth which connected to smiling mscles in her face this did not work, looking dead ad lack lustre. After a brief disagreement on how it should be animated we agreed that there should be a secondary motion to her head, so that her emtoion becomes clearer. Which is why she does a happy wiggle.

After Alistair had his scenes done, we set them up to render, Is truggled with the render settings but with Alistaor’s help we managed to get all the scenes rendered.

We first attempted to put the movie together in Adobe After Effects, however we came across many challenges. We would lose entire scenes, entire scenes would seed up and we couldn’t slow them down, renders would be removed from sequences. It was a big mess. However, Becca came t the rescue and taught us how to use imovie to edit our short. This worked very well and we wrapped up the main animation.

Over the weekend, Alistair and I attempted to do artwork for the final credits,unfortunatley I did not get my pieces finished in time and we used Alistair’s amazing artwork.

On Monday Alistair and I put together a presentation, we filled it with our ideas, our concept art, our inspiration, our models and our thought process. Later that night we researchedand practiced what we would say.

Before our presentation , Bradley came in and added sound to our animation using previous sound recordings from Alistaor and Nuala, as well as a royalty free soundtrack which I had scoped out. We used hapy ukulele music, we felt that it would set the tone for the bouncing, hapy animation.

(Its the first few seconds).

The feedback for our presentation and animation was mainily positive, however we were given some critiques.

We are aware that we need to add in a sky, the title and the credits. However, it was pointed out that we had not used the uncracked model of the egg, having the uncracked model of the egg would’ve fueled more anticipation so we will be sure to tweak this. Conann mentioned having spiral eyes on the snake to charm our mother bird  into relaxation, like the snake from the Jungle Book, however we thought that this might make the snake look threatening, whilst we were trying to create a cutty, fluffy story about acceptance. So because we feel that it goes against the story we are trying to tell we shall not include spiral eyes. Mike did mentioned that he wished the snake had a tail as the way it looks at the moment is slightly unatural, to which we agreed, Alistair has taken this upon himself to do. We were told you could see the eggshells when they popped off the babies bodies, however we did not understand what they meant by this and no matter how many times we replay the scene we still cannot.

We are gong to act on these critiques before our hand-in.

 

Life Drawing: Week 10

I was scared that having taken a break over Easter I would’ve lost the ease that I usually felt when drawing the warm up drawings. However, I found myself to slip easily inot the flow of the drawings. Despite this I still feel that my figures this week were a little stiff. I tried to focus on a different part of the figure in every drawing I did, however this often left my fiures looking sketchy and unfinished which was irritating because I had started settling into a smooth, curved style that added weight and depth to my figures.

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Nonetheless, I still felt proud of my drawings this week as I can see my understanding of perspective growing.

We then went on to draw our original characters for another assignment. However, I had not designed my character yet so I took this as an opportunity to  explore the poses we were drawing with different silhouettes and character designs. It was very challenging applying ideas from my head to the proportions of the life model and I feel that in a few of the drawings my perspective is off.

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Whilst the designs I came up with are fun to look at, and were enjoyable to draw, I do not feel that I shall be using any of them for my final design as they aren’t appealing to me. So for next week I am to have a basic rotation for my final character.

The Family Tree: Week 8

Over the week I attempted rigging on our models. There had been a problem with the rigging when we had tried it, in that the skeleton wasn’t bound to the skin. This meant that the controllers weren’t working for the bird. Despite my best efforts I could not get my head around the rigging. I did try many times but unfortunatley it wasn’t happening for me. Thankfully Bradley came to the rescue with the Mama Bird, and Alistair with the snake and baby birds. However, it was not smooth sailing and on Monday we had to send the rig to Alec so he could figure out what had gone wrong.

However I did not waste the weekend and did a couple of colour studies as I felt I was lacking in concept art.

We got feedback from Mike tday on our very first rendered and animated scene…of course there was a flaoting tree. We are very grateful that he caught it as we were able to start re-rendereing the scene that day after adjuexting the timing of the shot. The original shot moved qite quickly and left too long at the end of the shot for it to be interesting. With this in mind we were advised to have the camera stay at the beginning lnger so that we can focus on the title that will be added later and allow the focus to shift from the title to the Mama Bird.

We had recieved the model back from Alec, and after a lot of difficulty with resizing it and fitting it into the scene I was ready to start animating! Or so I thought. However, when we watched the animation I made we discovered that the newly rigged bird was a different colour to the bird in scene 1. Alistair and I also made slight adjustments to the enviornment in a different scene and thus my original animation was rendered useless. However I’m not annoyed because all I have to do is enter the same positions into the newly edited scene with the retextured bird.

Seaking of the new Mama bird rig, it had not been painted with the weight tool, so this job was allocated to me as Alistair did not know how to do it. This allowed me to feel a small sense of pride as I was useful in some form with the rigging process.

The Family Tree: Week 7

This week I created the egg for the scene.

Making an egg was a lot harder than I though. First of all I had to get the baby bird model off Nuala. Once I had the baby bird model I had to figure out a way to make sure I could work on the egg model whilst still being able to see the baby bird. So in the beginning I got a cube and placed it beside the bird model. With the two side by side, I began to model the egg from the cube to avoid triangles.

Once I had the correct height for the egg I had to place the bird inside the egg, I then discovered that it was too tall for the bird, and too slim for the baby bird’s pudgy body. I had to manipulate and move the edges I had created, whilst in wire frame mode, so that the bird was comletely covered but the egg didn’t look too stupid.

Egggggg
Egg

For the next part I needed my teams input, I had to wait until they were free before I could d the crack on the baby bird. They wanted a clean break with no pieces flying off, owever I found that to be difficult considering how big the baby’s eyes were and I didn’t want the egg shell to cover the baby bird’s eyes.

After a lot of deliberation it was decided that it would be a clean break and the baby bird would pop up, sending the top of the egg shell flying off. Having decided that it would cut off beneath the eyes I stated the long process of making the crack. Honestly this was harder than I feel it had any right to be. It was a lot of working in wire frame, accdentally cutting a face I did not mean to, deleting and starting the process again. It was actually quite diffciult but I am pleased by the result.

eggg birb
Cracked Egg

Having the two eggs, means that you can simply hide the whole one once the crack is needed to appear.

Alistair had finished colouring the scene this week, and it looks gorgeous.

SCREAMING
It looks darker rendered on my laptop in comparison to the rendered shots on the macs

Whilst I was struggling with this, Alistair and Bradley moved on with the opening scene, calling me over and asking for my opinion, allowing me to change details, it was a very inclusive process which I greatly enjoyed. I was told that I should I should make a sun for the scene, so you could physically see the sunrise. However, it was not used in the end.