Friday, 28 October 2011

Storyboard 2

After thinking about my storyboard, it seems like out of context, the paper scraps are meaningless. Where do they come from? Why paper scraps? why Why WHY?
Scraps of paper could be portrayed as rubbish (not the idea, as actual rubbish!), and I don't want this at all. So, I have created a new storyboard, following the same storyline, but with an added origin of the scraps of paper to give them a meaning and purpose.

Extra parts of Storyboard
Above are the new parts of the storyboard. Some scenes remain the same so I haven't drawn them out, but below shows the sequence of events including the ending.

Section 1
The first thing we see is a book - closed, stood upright.

Section 2
The book then opens up slightly , and releases scraps of paper (origin of the paper - they are from pages of a book)

Section 3
Same scene as previous storyboard, close up of rolling papers.

Section 3
Same as above, different angle.

Section 4
A different angle of the book is shown, still releasing paper scraps.

Section 5

Back to previous storyboard storyline, scraps of paper roll into a blank scene.

Section 6
Word 'Arts' is formed from the paper.

This now gives a reason which not just explains the paper scraps and gives them a purpose, but it also links to Sky Arts, as the Book Club is one of their biggest shows, and obvious links are present in my storyboard.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A Reflective World

Just finished completing a tutorial in both Illustrator and After Effects using reflections and 3D cameras.
I was given a template document in Illustrator and worked through editing all the layers and text to be ready for animating in After Effects.
By using a mixture of lighting, camera and coding techniques, the result is as follows:

I found this tutorial hugely helpful, and I really like how smooth and flashy the final outcome is. I think I may have to have a further play with this using my own work to see what I could accomplish with it.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Paper Test 1

I have just done a quick test to see how the paper will look on screen.

Photo of 'A'

Because this was just a test I just simply used some plain white paper scraps and a sheet of black card for background. When I actually create a final, I will be using lighting as well to create a much more arty scene.
The results are here:

I like the way it looks on screen enough to start some development on this idea. I do have a few things in mind which I will go into further when I look into it a bit more.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Moving Type Tutorial

Today I had a play around with moving type, using 3D space and cameras. We were given some text and an audio reading of...something....not sure what....and was shown how to move and animate it in 3D space, rather than sticking to plain 2D side-to-side-up-down space. I could now move in and out using a camera tool. The results are below:

There are more things I could do with this such as adding motion blur and playing with the easy ease in and outs, but I simply ran out of time in the session. I would actually like to play this a bit more, so I may very well check out these features and upload another video a bit more flashier if I get the chance!

I found this tutorial massively useful. A few hours ago i would not have had a clue how to operate After Effects in a 3D space. Now i feel i could create some really interesting things using this new found feature!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Storyboard Animated (sort of)

I have created my storyboard into a short animation using an app on my iPad (ooooh fancy!) called Animation Creator HD. It is very simple but it gives a better insight to my idea.

The only thing I couldn't do on the app was add the lighting I want for my final production, but again this is just a better visualisation of my idea!

Storyboard 1

I do have a few ideas for my animation, but i have chosen one of them i think could look pretty good as a final animation and created an initial storyboard for it.

Below is the full storyboard:

Full Storyboard

The idea follows the story of scraps of used paper moving around to form the word Arts.

The first thing we would see is a black surface with a single spotlight shining down onto it. (Yes, the drawings are on white paper, but imagine its actually black for the purpose of this exercise. The effort of colouring in the paper black wasn't worth the initial sketches :p)

Section 2
We will then see small scraps of paper then roll in from all sides of the frame.

Section 3

 Cut to a close of up one scrap rolling through the frame with others seen in the background.
Section 4

Another view closer up is shown from a slightly higher angle of other scraps rolling.

Section 5

Original angle is shown again, over the time more scraps have rolled into view and more continue to do so. A shape begins to take form.

Section 6
Once the scraps have come to a halt the word Arts is revealed.

I think with a black background and a single light to illuminate the centre, this could look really nice, as the shadows cast will dance around as the scraps of paper roll (got a bit poetic there, maybe i should join the Book Club!).
There is some development to be thought of however. For example, should the paper scraps be plain white? Coloured? Used? New? I will have to have a play around with this, as well as discuss it with my peers to gain some outside insight.

A Little More Research

I have looked into what Sky Arts have to offer to their audience. On their website, they split up their program listings into these categories:

  • Festivals
  • Art & Design
  • Books
  • Films & Docs
  • Music
  • Dance
  • Opera
  • Theatre and Drama

It seems much of their programming is based around performance art (besides some anomalies like 'The Book Show, which is one of their biggest shows). This is definitely something i need to bear in mind, as my animation needs to fit in with the feel and genre of Sky Arts.

After looking through descriptions of many shows on Sky Arts, i think it is reasonable to suggest that the target audience would be aged around 30+ (again, besides a few instances such as music festivals etc.) This is also a major piece of info i should keep in mind when creating my animation.

I have also drawn out a few quick initial ideas, shown below. I am going to have a think about these and how I could develop them into an interesting storyboard.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Rotoscope Tutorial

This week I attended a tutorial on Rotoscoping. Rotoscope is basically drawing frame by frame. It is incredibly easy to pick up, and from using it a little bit, I feel with enough practise I could achieve some really interesting things with it.
First I used Photoshop, and used the film/movie features on there to create a timeline. Using a simple template of the word 'Arts' I drew a small part of the word, drawing more and more frame by frame to give the effect it was being written out and filled in. Here is my first test:

After using photoshop, we were introduced to the tools available on After Effects. I found this much easier and smoother to se than Photoshop due to a choice of three brush sets. Single-Frame allowed me to draw onto the image, but only for one frame. This means the next frame it would be gone, similar to Photoshop. Constant allowed me to draw a section on which would stay on my animation until i wanted it gone. This saves a lot of time if I wanted to place a part of text or image somewhere in the same position for a longer period of time, without the need to re-draw it out EVERY frame. The last is Write-On, which records what you draw and plays it during the movie in real time. The timing can be tweaked, so that if I drew a section which actually took 30 seconds, I can speed it up to draw out on my animation in 2 (or whatever is needed). My test here is below:

The only problem I had in the session was that we were limited to using a mouse. This can be difficult to draw certain shapes and angles due to wired getting in the way, and movement of your wrist/arm. I was told that using a graphics tablet would be a lot easier.
I bought a Wacom Bamboo tablet about 2-3 years ago, used it once, and left it on my computer shelf. I have never really had any need to use it in any projects throughout College or University so far. Until now. So I dug it out, blew off the dust and plugged it in. And instantly I felt in control. Because it is actually just like drawing with a pencil, I could be so much more accurate and flexible. I could draw exactly on the line of my 'arts' template. And it sped up the process of drawing incredibly. I took full advantage of this new found control and used all available brush sets a had been introduced to, and my outcome is as follows:

I really like rotoscoping. I didn't even know what it was until my tutorial on it, and now i feel like I could create so much more with little effort! If only I knew about this in my animation project last year, that would have come in handy....

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Timed Brief

I was asked to attempt to complete the brief in a 2 hours session (yikes!) with the help of fellow student Dan Bylo who is specialising in Illustration. As Dan did not know the brief, it was my job to explain it to him quickly, but with enough detail that he understood. I did this really well and he got right away what we needed to do.
Immediately we got onto the first step to tackle the brief: Research. We created a mind map of all the things that we thought of to do with Sky Arts and what it was about. We tried to do this quickly, as we only had 2 hours to complete the whole brief.
After this, a series of sketches and rough storyboards were created to outline our idea. I had the idea that we could use an image of an old movie camera rolling, with spinning reels, and the word 'arts' would come out of the lens in a wavy pattern like film tape. Because of time restraints we used stock images of a movie camera and film reels and edited them to our own needs using Photoshop. We also did this with the Sky Arts logo.
Once we had edited these images, i imported them to After Effects where the magic would happen! But....
I had been away from After Effects for so long i had to catch up with what i forgot! I knew I should have carried on playing with it over summer!!!
I managed to get the film reels spinning absolutely fine, and the word to move and grow out of the lens. The only thing i had forgot how to do was how to make an object follow a custom path, to create the wavy film strip-like effect.
But then alas, i found the tools!
And then another setback, one to totally destroy the whole concept; Time was up >:(

It didn't look amazing, but was certainly a foundation and gave a general feel of what was happening.

Anyway, here is the video we created:

Side note: This video may come out a little pixelated. This is because i have had to upload it at 1/3 quality due to my exceptionally rubbish internet speeds >:(
Like I said, it didn't go exactly to plan, but from this I learnt something; Timing is crucial. I had forgot how to use certain tools and this hindered me. Obviously I have got over this hurdle now, but it is a good job I encountered this problem in a tutorial workshop, just testing out initial ideas. I really enjoyed the exercise, and now I have had a taste of animation once again, I'm well up for the full brief now!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Initial Research

Sky Arts have two channels (with two identical HD channels if your all fancy with one of them sparkly HDTV's).

According to the information given by Sky Arts, Sky Arts 1 consists of contemporary arts programmes, like documentaries, cutting edge films and rock concerts. And suddenly a reminder; I've watched a few things on Sky Arts! I've seen documentaries on Guns 'N' Roses, Motley Crue, Meatloaf, Jimmy Hendrix, and even watched the highlights of this years Sonisphere Festival on Sky Arts! Alas, a personal link!
It's not just a light-hearted MTV however. It does host shows on other expressive forms such as 'The Book Show', a show about books (who would have guessed, huh?) and others based on more traditional art forms. Right now, Sky Arts 1 is showing a programme called 'Frank Skinner - Fame in the Frame', which has Frank Skinner pose as Vincent Van Gogh in a painting. Certainly different...

Sky Arts 2 seems to relate more to other forms of music such as Opera, Jazz and  Classic Dance. It does seem like music is a big aspect of Sky Arts, but surely there has to be more to it. It isn't a rein-visioning of VH1 with some painting thrown in there, so, like i should be anyway, i am going to keep an eye on the channel and look into their audience a bit more.

Sky Arts Sting

My first specialist brief has been given. I am to pretty much get involved with a student competition that Sky Arts has created which has been run in previous years.
The competition asks for a 20 second video which animates the word 'Arts', literally. This could be an animation which creates, fills or unveils the word 'Arts', and no limitation is given to the method in which i am to do this, only certain guidelines that class it eligible for entry.

The rules are as follows:

  • It must 20 seconds and the word 'Arts' must be visible before 17 seconds.
  • The word 'Arts' must be in the letterform provided by Sky Arts (basically their logo)
  • It music include music. It is encouraged to use the music Sky Arts have made available, otherwise any other music must be originally composed. Don't want to get sued!
  • The animation is to be produced in PAL High Definition, 1980x1080 aspect ratio and at 72 pixels/inch.
Here is a link to the brief from the original website, obviously holding more info:

The rest is up to me! Film making, cell drawing, digital animation, stop motion, and anything else of that sort is allowed. The motion graphic world is my oyster!

It is recommended to try to stay with the theme of Sky Arts, so here lies my first obstruction: I don't watch Sky Arts! Better get to some researching on their audience! However, i am looking forward to doing this, so wish me luck!

Second year of University - It All Begins Again!

I have actually started this blog a little late, been a bit of a hectic start at Uni!
I have chosen to specialise in Motion Graphics this year, due to the immense fun i had creating the short animation for my Print to Pixel project last year (which is actually previous to this post, wow it seems like ages ago!)
So from here my posts are going to relate to all new material and projects, and i hope all goes well, fingers crossed!