Thursday, 4 March 2010

Final Week and reflection

It is now the final week of the project and I have completed it to the best of my ability in the time remaining. I went back over the footage and changed some of the frames where the animation looked odd and tried to adjust the shakiness the camera caused.

Upon reflection, I feel as though I haven't done as well in this project as I would have liked. I was unable to use Toon Boom and therefore learn a new animation program, I didn't find out how to track on After Effects until a week or two ago by which point it was too late to adjust my animation, and the amount of footage I was supposed to animate is slightly less than the 30 seconds specified in the project brief.

If I were to do this project over, I would spend more time at the beginning trying to work out these things and therefore challenge myself more. This project has built upon my flash skills and it was interesting to try and animate on top of footage but I am unhappy with the quality of the result, if we hadn't missed the first two weeks of college due to the snow I may have been able to add more in-betweens and lengthen the footage. The quality of the footage dropped after I imported it into flash as well so maybe next time I should investigate into green screen methods or try another program.

I am happy that I was able to add shading into this animation though, as there was not enough time during the last project. I also like some parts of my animation - his arm as he paints at the beginning and his angry face at the end.

Comparing this work to that in the industry, it is below the standard they would expect, although I think my idea was quite good, I just needed more time to complete it. I also need to draw upon more of the animation principles like 'squash and stretch' so that the animation flows better. I completed the animation itself over a week or so and this was highly stressful so I will need to remember and rework the method I had on my previous project which was to work on it slowly for a couple hours a day for a couple of weeks and then I will enjoy it more and get a better result.

You can watch the finished result below...

I also created a schedule using Excel for this project which can be seen below...

Monday, 22 February 2010

one week of progress...

I have roughly finished the animation for my industry exercises project today. However, there are still a lot of things that can be improved and upon watching it through I came up with a list that will help me…

Things that need improving;
· Tried to get better quality movie, flash may be lowering the quality!
· Add sound
· First part is fine, detailed enough
· Just more detailed needed on in-betweens during walk cycles.
· Size of character changes at end, he needs to be smaller.
· More animation on parts when he is standing still – for example he could do something with his arms or scratch his face.
· Very badly animated when he falls over their feet! Redo!
· Ending is fine as well.

I also plan to show this to Steve Crocker on Wednesday’s lesson and get his feedback on parts I can improve, as well as by asking my friends. I’m not sure how much I will be able to do in the time frame left but I want to try and make it look at least a little more professional! I feel more willing to do so now that the pressure is slightly off.

Also, last week Alex Hulse, another tutor, had a glance over at my work and gave me some good suggestions to counter the problem of the ‘jumpiness’ of the camera. If I import the scene into After Effects, I can use ‘tracking’ to hold it still (even though this will crop some of the footage out and means I will need to put black bars and the top and bottom of my animation.

Unfortunately, since I have already finished my animation and tried to compensate for the camera’s ‘jumpiness’ by manually moving the character in time and rubbing out the parts of his body that I needed to, it would be needless time and effort to enforce this in the final project when I have spent so many hours on it already and I would rather use the time to improve the actual animation itself than the quality of the camera.

Here is the test we did though, to show what I’ve learned.

If you compare this to the original footage it is much smoother… The green cube should be able to show that.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Start of Animating and Formative

Had my formative on Wednesday last week with Steve, but it seems as though everything is going alright at the moment. I think he was a bit concerned with the amount of work I've set myself and whether I can complete it in time, but I plan to work like a crazy person over this week and get my animation done!!!

Okay, so yes, I have now started animating this scene. I have run into a few bumps along the way but am progressing as well as I can.

Here are a few clips of what I have done so far...;

Just very simple animation of him painting..

And one where he walks behind Gene and Donald. The reason he moves around so much in this one is because I adjusted where he was standing to fit the camera movements of the film, unfortunately that file is too big for blogspot to support so I had to delete the film from the background.


We are much further into the project than I thought we were, there are roughly 2/3 weeks remaining to work on this and after consideration have decided to go back to using Flash, as I'm finding it difficult and am wasting a lot of time trying to get ToonBoom.

I also am disappointed in myself for the quality of animation so far, as I have already said, I plan to go back after it's completed and add more detail in, but if I don't do that this project will not be up to my usual standard and I feel as though I might deem it a failure...

I feel as though I haven't really achieved anything new due to time constraints, only practised getting better at flash. It's interesting timing my character with real life ones but I don't feel as though this is as big a step forwards as I wanted it to be.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

character design

I'm a tiny bit behind with my schedule, but I have been toying with the character design in my head for the last week or so, constantly changing my opinion, and have decided to change him slightly so that he's not such an old man.
Now I want to animate him as a middle-aged, short, fat guy! This will be more challenging and I won't feel as bad for him getting beaten up :D

I have also found a useful walk cycle on youtube of someone with his figure which I can adapt for my animation;

Anyway, I quickly drew him onto photoshop and started playing around with the colours..

it is important that I keep his design simple because this time I want to add shading to his animation, something I didn't have time for last time.
I think I am going to go with the design of the first picture, because it reflects the outfits of Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor, and because it just looks better :P

My next step is to work out the storyboard completely and to start drawing the key poses, I want to get into this as soon as I can.

I have also finished working out the storyboard. Here is a VERY basic animatic of what I want to do, took about 10mins, sorry for rubbish quality;

Before I finish this project, I need to try and get a better quality version of the clip, with sound. But since this was ripped directly from the DVD and not from the internet I'm not sure if there is anything I can do. Will have to enquire about it at college over the next few days.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Development and Research

Have spoken with a few of my friends about my project and have recieved a few helpful ideas with things to watch for research!

Clym Smith, another student in my class, has recommended several useful films like Mary Poppins which I have found a useful clip for;

and Emma Wyton, has found these useful clips which show live action mixed in with animation...

and the same clip I found where the family guy makes substituted Jerry for Stewie;

These are all prime examples of the effect I want to achieve, and while I doubt I can get the same high quality they have it's always good to try!

Since time is fast running out, I have decided when animating I will focus on getting the key poses in, and then later going back and trying to add more animation detail, this project is not being assessed as much on the quality of my walk cycles so I think I can give it a bit of leeway if I have to.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Wednesday's Lesson and Correspondence

Finally had our first Industry Exercise lesson with Steve!
I pitched my idea to him, and he's allowed me to work in 2D for this project, since it's what I want to improve at :D Of course, I am still going to follow his 3D tutorials and complete them outside of lessons. I will post the results up here if possible...

So, after showing my storyboard to a few of my friends I think I am going to pursue my 'Singing in the Rain' idea. I was confused how to go about this though, since we won't be covering it in class, and so I emailed one of our heads of the course; Mike Smith! Below is the correspondence;

Hi Mike!

For my second industrial exercise project I want to animate on top of my
chosen film with a 2D character, and since you have experience of doing
this in the past, I was wondering the best way to go about it.

Can I animate my 2d character on toon boom/flash then import it on after
effects or do i need to animate the entire thing on after effects?


His reply;

Hi Michelle,

You can do one of the following production processes.

Traditionally draw your character animation on paper, clean it up then
scan to and if you require a specific look, import it into Illustrator
(or Photoshop) to tidy the line and colour. Import the coloured artwork
into After Effects, convert to 3D-2D and place accordingly into your
3D-2D BG - environment.

Using a wacom tablet complete your rough and some or all of your clean
up animation in either Toon Boom Studio, Toon Boom Animate or Flash.
Colour your character artwork in these software packages then import the
artwork to After effects.

Complete both of the above processes then separate out the artwork
(upper arm, lower arm, hand, fingers etc) and either complete pivoting
or hinging process either in the above softwares or in After Effects.
I'm pretty sure you can export to After Effects after you have completed
hinging but check the help files.

It really depends on what software you feel most comfortable completing
animating and what overall look or style your going for.

I hope that helps!



So my next step is to perhaps draw a more detailed storyboard, and generally just get animating!! Need to also finalise my old man design.
Here goes!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

singing in the rain initial storyboard and schedule

Did a quick storyboard for my Singing in the Rain idea;

before I go any further I want to get feedback from my tutor, and hopefully that will generate some more ideas and let me know whether I should continue with this one!
The clip itself is nearly 2 minutes in length, but I plan to crop out most of the end and have a 40 second clip in total. 30 seconds of those will feature my painter character.

I have also quickly put together a schedule of the next few weeks that I hope to stick to!;

Jan 18th-22nd
Continue research into 2D/3D animations, finalise idea.
Jan 25th-29th
Complete character design and have ripped a copy of the clip from the DVD.
Feb 1st-5th
FORMATIVE!!! Begin animating - work out the key poses and go over them in detail.
Feb 8th-12th
More animating..
Feb 15th-19th
Finish animating, add shadows onto character and go carefully over the footage to make sure he doesn't move incorrectly with the camera.
Feb 22nd-26th
Improve animation if possible, get feedback.
March 1st-4th
HAND IN!! have all animation completed by the second at the VERY latest, then spend Wednesday and Thursday burning to disk and finishing blog.

Apparantly there's going to be more snow tomorrow but let's hope it doesn't settle :)