monstrous news – monstra festival!

2018 is definitely starting off on the right foot!

A little while ago I got this email:

At first, I thought it was a prank because I had just been talking to my parents and my brother about this festival and how I really wanted to get in.. But no! It was actually legit!

So… this means my first film ever is going to play in like the best cinema room I know – and it’s soooooo freaking massive!!!

I am both elated and terrified!

stop the war

This month Sacha posted on our facebook page that Anna Ginsburg was looking for help to finish a short animation for Stop the war coalition – they needed material to show during their Bestival speech.

I was pretty stoked to help, and it was such a great experience overall. Anna was super nice and gave me all the freedom to do whatever I wanted within the style. It was also really good to get to learn how quick animation can be produced, we had a very tight deadline to turn it around so, in the end, a team of 3 managed to produce a 45-second animation in 4 days!

Here’s the final result:

the style issue

One of the things I struggled the most on this last project for The Children’s Society was style.

In fact, I think I’ve been troubled with style decisions ever since I began this master: finding a drawing style, a colouring style… It’s been a struggle and this project was no different.

Here’s a visual sum up of how I got to the final result:


and here’s the final result:


rough cut presentations

I have been neglecting this blog for a while now.. Mainly because we’re at this point where I feel I just need to keep my head down and work. This is quickly turning into a masters in patience and perseverance, more than an animation course – but then again this is probably what it’s going to be like working in animation..

Anyway, today we’re showing what we’ve been doing for the last 3 weeks. It’s quite comforting to see no one is anywhere near finished – so we’re all in this together. Nevertheless, I am starting to stress out about this whole situation. In my schedule, I should’ve had finished animating today but I am still missing 10+ seconds to finish it. And then I need to go back, clean up and colour. I’m dreading the time it’ll take me to clean up, but kind of (not so) secretly hoping for a miraculous recovery on that stage.

I’ve had a hard time last week – I think we get to a point in the middle of production when, maybe because we’ve seen our animation so many times and know all the mistakes and stupid details that aren’t as good as we wished they’d be, that we start to doubt the work we’re doing.

In my case, I got so tired of doing slow moves on my film that I started to doubt the whole drawing style and everything I was doing. It sometimes doesn’t help to look at my amazing colleagues’ work and their great drawing styles.. Definitely, makes me doubt about my own style – if I have one and all that.. But I’m also really lucky that everyone here is as supportive as they are talented, and talking to each other I realised we have the same existential crisis and doubts about our work.

In the end what really matters is having a finished project, so the quality, although we’re aware of it, might not be as good as we wished, but we’re studying so mistakes should be allowed!

Here’s what I presented today

ask me for the password to see it 🙂

Things I’ve learnt/realised so far:

  • Slow moves are one of the most painful things to animate. In the future, I’ll be very weary of them!
  • It might have been a lucky coincidence but I feel like I am animating quicker and more confidently as time goes by.
  • I loved animating the underwater bit, would love to explore more of that in the future!

That’s it for now.

See you soon!

more than words

The last stretch of the past term was focused on making our characters talk. While I can’t show you the last exercise for reasons mentioned in my previous post, we had two lip sync projects to complete. For the first one, we had to animate an excerpt of a little tale told by Clare Murphy, (whereas for the last one we animated a colleague talking about their deal breaker) and then transition it to the person that was animating the following excerpt.

Here’s my contribution for the tale, including the transition to Doreen‘s animation.

All in all, I really enjoyed doing this one, it was quick and easy and I don’t feel like the simple aesthetic made it look worse. I’d like to explore this kind of visual language a bit more.

deoxyribonucleic acid

On the last 2 weeks of the term, we were assigned to a second year to work for. We had 4 days to help them kick off their final project.

I got to work with Joshua. He was really nice and the whole experience was pretty chilled. I got given a blood sequence to work on. The aim was to pass the idea the DNA was mutating/being destroyed by a toxic substance. Joshua was looking for a realistic feel, so I thought this would be the ideal time to start learning cinema 4 d!

After an initial stage of research (I mean, I had no clue how to get from the blood vein to the chromosome so watching some educational videos online really helped) I’ve first done a quick draft of how the animation would look for the sequence.
Password: dna


The rest of the time was spent watching tutorials and adapting the models to my taste. I am not yet proficient with C4D, but I am definitely excited with the amount of possibilities it seems to provide and especially with how easy and intuitive it seems to be compared to Maya!

This was my result:


and here’s my result: password: dna


this particular one took me a while and I don’t think it’s anywhere near perfect. I was having trouble with the animation when I ran out of time to work for Joshua. I think it was a good start on learning the software but I need to watch more tutorials. I’ve watched half of this course from Lynda and will hopefully finish it during the break.. 🙂

Time, the running cheetah

Poetic name, that’s how fast time is going by!

Ok, so I’ve finished my gallop (at last!). I picked a cheetah because felines are the best and also cheetahs are the fastest running animals and they stretch and shrink their body so much – I just wanted to study how they move!

Here’s an amazing video reference that was really useful for keyframing

and here’s what it took to get Time done:
several drafts
(this is draft 2 of 3)
cheetah2
colouring with water colour
cheetah_c01

adding the details and spots
cheetah_s

cutting out the background
cheetah_c02

ta-dah!

next project (has to be) coming soon!