late for the party, but i brought a killer rainbow

Literally.

Oh hi! It’s been a while I know! So long I didn’t get to round up week #6 nor #7 so here’s an update of what’s been happening for the last couple of weeks in my life, aka uni work I’ve been doing.

Apparently deciding to take a week ‘off’ for my birthday was not a good idea. By the Tuesday of week #6 it suddenly dawned on me that we only had 4 weeks until assessment time and that gave me cold cold sweats.

I had done the weight lift exercise using a puppet, but we are being marked on that specific exercise and I felt I should do it in 2D as well. Mainly because although I am satisfied with my puppet animation, I thought I could do better than that, and also I should practice as much as I could because how am I going to get better otherwise?!

Oh and practice I did…
ok, maybe not as aggressively but I swear it was hard times

Anyway, I went ambitious level +100 with it and have been closed at home for the last two weeks working on my lift. Good news is that it’s done, the bad news is that I am still a week’s worth of work behind.. oh well, let’s focus on the positives for now shall we?

I don’t really know how I got the idea for my lift, I started by drawing a cutesy little fat unicorn, which was followed by a girl.. And then I got bored of all the cuteness and decided there had to be a twist to the plot. Unicorns don’t exist, the girl and the unicorn could never have lived happily ever after! Anyway you’ll see what I mean when we get there (if you haven’t already skipped this whole blabber and just watch the videos already).

I’m finding that for animations to work smoothly you need a lot of movement references. I am not going to share footage of my ridiculous acting, but it exists and it sure helped a LOT. The unicorn doesn’t really move that much but he jumps so I got lost in youtube watching videos of horses jumping in slow motion. Thank you youtube. And then I used One punch man for an impact reference/more of an anxiety relief (although I kind of ended up doing my own version of an impact).

Ok let’s just get to it! Here’s my FINAL draft:

and by final draft I mean I have done versions and versions of this animation, I don’t really want to deal with a unicorn anytime soon. It was hard work to get the movement flowing to an acceptable standard.

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-00-08-03 as you can see, it was a process..

Mid way this draft mess, I showed the work in progress to Steve, he wisely told me to simplify it. Which I kind of did.. But I was already in too deep to go back/let it go. Oh so stubborn.

Anyway you can’t really (I think!) present a draft-y looking animation on your assessment, so I then went to clean it up.

Honestly, I’m with Helena when she says she feels her animation lacks character. I feel the same about mine, I think cleaning it up made it lose a lot of the personality so (in the future) I might need to rethink either my way of drafting or cleaning up.

I had done the clean version yesterday (pyjama Sunday), and showed it to Steve today. I managed to make him laugh but he then said the sizes were not consistent, and that in the end she was too big. He told me not to worry about it and just move on. But inside I was like
and then got home to finish it (I needed to add the rainbow smears at least!) and got like
so I quickly tried to amend it, and here’s the final result. That I-won’t-touch-anymore-because-I-have-other-stuff-to-do-and-nothing-is-ever-perfect-and-I’ve-tried-my-best (this on repeat until I’m convinced).

To sum it all up once and for all (I really need to move on to other assignments!). Although a hard test to my patience and perseverance, I have tried to apply everything we’ve learned so far in this exercise. Follow through, smears, squashes, anticipation – you name it! It was great practice, and although I might have gotten lost oh so many times(!), my stubbornness to keep on doing it paid off (I think!). At least it’s done and I can move on. I’ve learnt a lot about the process of animating and how it works best for me. I’m probably going to start listening more to Steve, but then again if you don’t do it you’ll never learn. 🙂
It’s not like I think it’s a perfect piece of animation, I’d love to have the time to properly colour it and beautify it but I think it’s ok, and I’m pretty happy with it. It was just a very slow and enduring process and that makes it harder for me to be all hyped about it. Right now I just want to sleep!

Which is what I am going to do!

I’ll come back soon, I promise 🙂
(“please don’t!” – you beg)

Nick Cave – Heard


Nick Cave, HEARD:SYD at Carriageworks. Photo Zan Wimberley. Taken from here

Nick Cave is an American artist based in Chicago, not to be mistaken by the Nick Cave with the bad seeds. I just found out his work, and I’m completely wooed over. He’s known for his Soundsuits and has been showcasing them with performances where dancers put on these super hairy and colourful suits and move around. The effect is incredible!

I am now officially praying for this to come to London. Please, please!

one punch man

Just rewatched the whole season of One punch man today (I know.. get a life..).

I was in desperate need of references for spectacular attacks/falls* and after a quick youtube snoop around for Looney Toons and Dragon Ball I remembered this sweet sweet animé series. My brother introduced me to it (and to all the animé stuff I watch, to be honest..), and I just love it! The series follows Saitama, a total anti-hero superhero. Saitama is so powerful that he’s always bored he can’t find a challenging opponent. It’s refreshing in the sense that you always know he’s going to win, but the plot is still super entertaining and filled with good puns. The episodes are around 20 minutes, and there’s only 12 so get in quick before it becomes a chore to watch the whole series (hey One piece! I’m talking about you…)!

It also has an openly gay character, that just happens to be bad-ass-awesome. There are not a lot of animés (that I know) this inclusive!

That’s it! 🙂


* I’m working on my lift exercise, I’ve done it with the puppet but we’re being accessed on it so I’m doing a 2D one..

silent spring in a big yellow taxi – research

Today we had our first character design workshop with Rory. We did some exercises in the morning to ‘loosen up’ and in the afternoon we had to start thinking about a character we want to develop on the subject of 60s counter culture. We’re apparently going to do a film for Royal Albert Hall (exciting!), but we’re still lacking a bit of information on what we need to do with our characters.. Anyway! That’s the theme, and we need to develop a character that represents in some way the 60s counter culture.

I’ll hopefully share some character sketches (along with life drawings) later this week. But right now I’m not feeling ready to commit to a character yet. I spent the day drawing a cartoon version of Rachel Carson, the author of Silent Spring, one of the landmark books of modern environmentalism. Environmentalism is one of the movements that comprised the whole of the 60s counter culture. Let’s just say this is an issue very close to my heart and I’d love to pay homage to a woman that so greatly affected the world with her work. If you want to know more, I find this article really good in depicting her personality and contextualising her work within her personal life.

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Carson’s Silent Spring influenced loads of artists, and since we’re talking about 60s counter cultures I’m interested in representing social groups I can relate to. Like females, in case you haven’t noticed! The second wave of feminism developed during the 60s, so I want to focus (or at least touch) on that too…
One of the artists Carson inspired was Joni Mitchell, that wrote Big Yellow Taxi as a direct consequence of Silent Spring.
I do have to say, I am not sure Mitchell counts as counter culture, since she’s a folk singer and so on… But she definitely changed the popular music panorama, being a woman songwriter singing politically charged songs. For me, Joni Mitchell embodies the feminist movement as well as the style of this era.

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So this is where I am right now… Torn between doing a homage to Rachel Carson, or developing a more fluid character inspired on Joni Mitchell. I’m hoping that if I draw enough I’ll get closer to an answer. So, let’s see!
I’ve also looked for 60s psychedelic graphic arts, and WOW! The colours and the drawings are so bold and gorgeous! Definitely a great inspiration for a future colour palette, and maybe even graphic treatment!

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Images from all over the internet, found by asking google to look for ‘Rachel Carson’, ‘Joni Mitchell’, ‘young Joni Mitchell’ and ’60s psychedelic art’.
 

Short Sighted

This Saturday I spent the whole day enclosed in a theatre watching a series of talks about how the universe of short films works.

Although some of the talks might have not been too enlightening for me, most of the day was quite useful. And overall it felt like a good introduction to what we should do when we find ourselves with a short movie in hands and want to get it seen by people.

So here’s some key learnings from that day:

Jordan McGarry on what makes a short movie successful/good and other advice on publishing a short online
– Your short film should tell people who you are, and a good short film makes people feel something
– Challenge the audience in a way that speaks to people like the other stuff doesn’t
– Make sure your film is as tight as it can be. Always try and give it a bit of a haircut on the final edit. Being shorter doesn’t hurt (this is actually something that she champions for, since on her current role at Film London she changed the maximum duration for accepting a short from 15 to 10 mins)
– Do the media/festivals planning before your film launches
– Send the film a bit before going public online to the press, in order to create momentum/buzz around it
– You can’t really upload a video and hope that it goes viral, find communities online that would relate strongly to your film to publicise it
– Launching a film online is easier if you have a festival laurel, and don’t put too many laurels on your film! Pick the important ones
– Regarding how vimeo works, when uploading a film you should have a strong thumbnail, a description that is on point and always credit everyone that’s worked on your film (and has a vimeo account) on it. The followers of the people that are credited on your film will see it on their feed as well. In order to get ‘staff picked’ you can email vimeo staff, but if your video has 30 likes in 24 hours, that’s enough for the staff to (eventually) watch it. So make as much noise on your social network as possible and ‘bribe’ people to go and like it!

Katie Metcalfe, Anna Bogutskaya and Johanna Brooks on shorts and festivals
– Get your film seen, forget about THE one festival (as in just sending your movie to big festivals)
– Don’t send a trailer to a programmer, they spend enough time watching films to have patience to watch trailers – just send the whole film
– Submit your film as early as you can to a festival as many of them have early bird fees
– You can always try to email film festival directors asking them for a free waiver, depending on the festival some might say yes
– There are festivals that accept ‘old work’, but usually a film in the festival circuit needs to be younger that 18 months up to 2 years
– Do your research! Make a festival list/spreadsheet with the festivals you want to submit your film to, and make sure your film is appropriate to those festivals.
– Check festival lists that allow for your movie to live on the internet and still be screened. At the current age, around two thirds of the festivals accept that
– Some festivals (at least Sundance) organise industry screenings for films they loved but didn’t make the cut to the festival for program reasons
– Once you get picked for a festival, online market the hell out of your film, create momentum about the screening
– Talk to as many people as possible in a festival, since a lot of work opportunities flourish from there
– Take business cards, postcards and posters to advertise the screening of your film

In the end of the day, we were shown some of the most successful British shorts of this year, and this one just really stood out for me. I’m guessing it is still going around the festival circuit, hence why there is only a trailer of it online!

Hope this was useful y’all! 🙂

William Kentridge @ Whitechapel Gallery

Went to Whitechapel gallery today to check William Kentridge’s exhibition, since EVERYONE I’ve heard talking about it said it was great. Well, I agree, it is really good!

From an animation perspective, it’s great to see the way he doesn’t limit himself to the flatness of a screen. A lot of the installations there were incredibly immersive due to their physical, three dimensional, expression. On top of that, Kentridge’s way of combining animation with live action footage was inspiring, and it is always good to be reminded that we can (maybe even should?) explore a lot more than just a character, or the ‘traditional’ drawing aesthetics(3D included here), in an animation piece.

Although not one of the works that used physical media combined with a projection, this was probably my favourite work displayed in the exhibition. I just loved the idea of using a book as the starting point for an animation, in a way a book can tell you a story just like moving image can.
I’m sorry in advance for the bad recording, but this was the only video I could find of it!

deadlift

Week #5 was about lifts and anatomy, as in how different joints of the body fold/rotate in different ways.

Steve showed up dressed for the occasion
photo154757099584335618
we had a blast.

Anyway, I’m going to keep this short today because I’m not too literarily inspired.
I tried stop motion this week, so my lift exercise (the usual Monday animation brief) was done that way, using a puppet. I had some issues with my puppet but I don’t think it shows on the animation. His joints were either too lose or too tight, and one of the hands kept on falling down.

Let’s put it this way, I really enjoyed the stop motion process but I am very clumsy and had to go back to the start after having kicked my tripod (oh so predictable!.). It’s the bad thing on stop motion, you can’t really go back to that frame and correct it. No. You have to do the whole sequence in one go, otherwise it won’t flow normally.
The whole video took me around 5 hours, and I could definitely feel the pressure building up as I was progressing. I think that if traditional animation requires patience, for stop motion you need to be on level 100 of zen.

Still! I managed, and I’d definitely like to explore this medium a bit more…
…but for now I’m happy to go back to drawing!

Bring it on Monday #6! 🙂