Friday, 6 May 2016

The Final Piece

Overall I'm happy with how the animation is shaping up - I'm devastated that I haven't been able to finish the whole film in time for the deadline, but as a compromise my tutors and I agreed that I could submit 30 seconds of animation:

For submission, it was suggested that I close this off as a completed film as it is, therefore I decided to make him transform and disappear at the end - to replicate the girl's movements and make the film feel like it has developed. For the longer version I will have this transformation further down the line, however I'm happy that the film feels more complete as it is.

The audio fits nicely with it - I have had to fade it in and out, and place it on the timeline to time it nicely, however I think once it's been fully edited by Hugo it will fit really well together.

My project management skills are questionable - despite being able to contact several strangers to collaborate with me, I still left it late to contact them and haven't kept to the rough schedule I made in my statement of intent. I have learnt a lot from doing this project (basically collaborating on a film is the most important thing in the world to keep your sanity)...

I'm looking forward to continually working on this project over the next month to provide a finished piece for the uni's exhibition on from 10th June, as well as having some finished work to show for myself and my practice as I apply to jobs.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Transformation Animation Test

Initially I wanted to incorporate different ways of animating into my film, to show my depth and capabilities as an animator. For one of the transformations I was inspired by Cinderella's dress transformation, since this animation is beautiful and detailed.

I gave it a go, however I think this test I did looks like a swarm of bees are circling her, which didn't turn out how I had imagined. I enjoyed using this Photoshop brush, however I would have to go back over it with another, more solid brush to establish a flowing shape as opposed to this.

The main problem with this is it moves too fast, so if I slowed it down and added other elements to it it might look nicer, however I want the transformation to happen fairly quickly. For now I will stick with the original morphing technique I have been using to keep the animation consistent, but when I have more animation to go off I will consider altering these transformations.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Final Crit

This morning we had a screening of everybody's final films/concept work (or at least what everybody has so far). Most of us unfortunately haven't been able to finish the final piece for the deadline next week, however what everybody has produced so far is great! This is what I submitted:

Overall I'm happy with how the animation is turning out; most of the movements I've made look good, apart from a few pauses (particularly at 9, 20, and 25) look stiff. My next priority will be adding in a few extra frames to these pauses to continue the movement, which should make it flow better (like an actual dance should)

The crit itself didn't take very long - we sat through everybody's films in one go and then wrote down feedback to each other on assigned sheets of paper. Overall the feedback for my work was good, what everybody generally thought was that what I have is good so far and they can't wait to see it finished. This has been encouraging and motivating, but no specific feedback about any particular part of my work was stated.

After showing this video to my tutors and giving them the chance to think about it, we have agreed that I should have 30 seconds of animation done by the 6th May; this is a reasonable amount to produce to give a taster of how the finished animation will look/run, as well as compiling this onto my reference video to demonstrate how the rest of the routine will fit into my film.

My tutors said I should submit ready for the deadline:

  • Just the reference videos
  • Just the animation
  • Both elements combined

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Music Update

After receiving three responses from the Leeds College of Music with interest in participating in this project, I narrowed it down to one person, Hugo Hardy, based on the music he sent me:

Initially he sent 5 samples when he first heard about the project, since he was enthusiastic with his ideas. This suggested that he would be keen to work with me and efficient in composing music for me.

Though this connection hasn't been established for long, he has still managed to compose a 2 minute piece for me! There's room for improvement (which he is aware of) but I have decided to give him until the start of June to edit it and make sure it's a piece of work he's happy with, since I only just contacted him a week ago.

I wanted to set a reasonable deadline for him, and to make sure all elements of my film fit together to a high standard, rather than rushing him into creating a piece for me even though it's not his fault.

The music also needs to fit to my animation, so he needs the footage from me in regular updates to so that he can continually edit the audio as I make the animation.

He seems to be professional and passionate about his music, so I have been happy to collaborate with him so far. Sometimes he takes a while to respond to my emails, however I am giving him some leeway for now since he's also a university student with his own work to do.

I'm excited to see where this collaboration goes, and I look forward to hearing the final results next to my animation.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Animation Continued

This part of the film was surprisingly enjoyable to animate; After using key frames to establish where he will be moving, I proceeded to fill out the in-betweens. I wanted his lean back to have a big impact, but as I was animating it I discovered that it's the woman's trail that would provide the biggest impact - so after the initial test I added more circles around him, and I think overall it looks a lot better.

Making the trail guide him in his movement to the floor was inspired by Cara Lambert (who suggested it to me) and it makes the two characters feel more connected - like he's being influenced by her (which is exactly what I wanted to go for!)

Next I need to make the movement at the end when he's on the floor look less stiff - so I will go over this and add in more frames, exaggerating that movement slightly more.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Starting My Animation

It's finally time to start animating! After months of preparation it's finally time to get cracking on with making my film a reality. For the first scene I:

  • Added a gradient on the background to create a horizon line - gives the characters a ground and space to move in, so they audience can see where they are.
  • Created an intro scene where they are together and separate, to establish the story and lead into the dance routine smoothly.
At first I kept the male stood still as she disappeared off, however I felt that he was gravitated to the left, so instead made him step forward into the centre of the screen, so the audience can see the space around him (showing how alone he is) and give the scene more motion. At a later date I will edit this further, since I think the movement on the man is slightly stiff in places, however for now I am happy to use this as a starting point to animate the routine.


From the start of this module I decided to try not to set a strict, direct schedule for myself, since I wanted the flexibility to have extra time on certain parts if needed (and I can never keep to schedules).

Despite this I wrote on my statement of intent that I'd be starting my final animation on March 7th; it was a bit ambitious of me to say a specific date to start the film, and this project hasn't gone as I imagined it had... Since it was the start of March when students from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance contacted me.

This has set me back about a month behind in production - since I had to arrange a date I could meet That Ribeiro Company and record the dance, as well as edit it and my first reference together, and develop the visual style of the film further.

I'm ultimately glad I gave myself this extra time to organise my film, since I feel a lot more confident in starting animating now that I know roughly how it's going to play out. However this error in judgement on my part in time management suggests I'm not the best project manager in the world...

Next time I just need to set more realistic time frames to work to.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Drawing Practice - Stylising the Animation

Now that I've started getting used to drawing these poses, I felt more confident about trying stylise the overall look of the film.

Some of the heads look small - particularly on the male - but overall I think I can work with this style (with some practice). One problem I might encounter during the animation process is how to draw the hands and feet, since I haven't given these characters any, I will have to animate it slightly differently to the references. However this shouldn't be too much of a problem and it will give me the opportunity to come up with a creative solution to animate them.


I'm a bit late in organising this aspect of my animation, however I thought the best way to take on this project would be to establish the routine first, and allow the musician to compose a piece of music for me whilst I animate, rather than waiting for the music to be finished to then give to the dancers.

With just under a month left until the module deadline, I'm hoping there's enough time for them to get it finished... Instead I have decided I'd like to give them until just before the exhibition date on 13th June to have music finished for it, since it's not essential for me to have the music to animate with.

The music That Ribiero Company used to choreograph their routine for me is my main inspiration for what emotion and tempo I want out of the music for my short film. The mixture of piano, violin and vocals is good, it gets across the emotions of the song without being overbearing with the vocals, allowing you to enjoy the instruments; something along these lines would be the right level of emotion to portray the story behind the animation, without taking the attention away from it. Hopefully the musician I collaborate with can create something that will work really well with my animation.

My best bet to find an efficient worker is from Leeds College of Music, since they apparently reply pretty much straight away and as students they can hopefully find benefits in collaborating on this project as well.

As a back up plan I could ask permission to use Bon Iver's song, since it's copyrighted, and it would work well enough with my piece. Ideally an original piece would be a lot more beneficial to get the musicians name recognised, as well as making my film more memorable as a stand alone piece, however if I can't find a musician in time, as long as I have some form of music to accompany my animation then it will all work out.

Monday, 11 April 2016

More Background Tests

After reviewing my work so far, I think the backgrounds I had originally done were too dull and dark for my animation, and whilst practicing drawing over the top of one it was pretty much a block colour, which was quite off putting and boring to look at.

I decided to revise them and try out more brushes with a slightly lighter blue. I like these results a lot better, since it's a lighter colour I'm using they look a lot brighter than my previous choices. I particularly like the last 3 images since they are more faded, so it won't take the attention away from the animation, and it should hopefully suit a lot more colours.

The Final Background

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Composing My Animation

Since I have received all of the footage I need, I could finally figure out the details of my animation.

Overall I think I have made the routines fit together nicely - in my animation I will change the positioning of some of the sequences so that it doesn't seem as if the dancers are on top of each other. For example in Rachel's video, the camera positioning means that she is very low down and small a lot of the time, with her feet cut off sometimes; so for these sections I will make her bigger on the page and position her in correspondence with Kitt.

I recorded several different angles of the male dance, so I decided to incorporate them all into the routine, since different perspectives work nicely in response to her dance moves and will keep the scene more interesting. Using multiple angles will turn my animation into more of a montage of confused thoughts and memories, as opposed to keeping it at one angle all of the time; despite this I only have one recording of my female dancer, but with the focus of the narrative being on the male, this could represent him seeing her at a distance or in his imagination.

I don't have much time to arrange another meeting with Rachel to record more footage, so I have just worked with what I've got.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Material Tests - Background Development

After receiving feedback on the colour schemes for my background tests from a couple of classmates, they said they like the idea of using blue as my main colour, but to try using a more saturated background so that it doesn't look too dull. I took this on board and tried drawing a rough character layout in the main size I would like to animate this film in, and placed it on different coloured backgrounds (of the same colour scheme) to compare them:

The last test certainly stands out more than the other two; however I still like the tone of the first image, since both colours involved look like different shades of the same colour scale which compliment each other. 

I will do at least one animation test on each background to see which compliment the animated movements the best.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Glen Keane - Tangled Concept Art

Glen Keane is a famous Disney animator, best known for designing and animating iconic characters such as Tarzan, Aerial, the Beast, and Pocahontas.

One character I particularly adore the development drawings of is for Rapunzel; I own 'the Art of Tangled' artbook, so I can see plenty of drawings from Glen Keane and Jim Kin. The sketchy style used to draw out this character brings the whole image to life, since it's not perfectly realistic but you can still tell who it's supposed to be, which makes it interesting to see scattered throughout the art book for the film (especially next to the further developed drawings and the final 3D look of the film).

Despite the drawings being very sketchy, her limbs all look the right size in correspondence to each other. I think having this rough style (but slightly neater) to animate with could look nice - the small details such as the hands and feet wouldn't have to look realistic, as long as the audience can tell what they're supposed to be.

I believe having this loose style could allow the movements in my animation to become expressive, which will exaggerate the emotions behind them and hopefully give the film a nice image as well. 

The next stage of my project will be to test out drawing and animating in a similar style to this, as well as trying other potentially compatible ones, to figure out the final visual style of my film.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Drawing Practice - Basic Shapes

In order to figure out the style of my characters, I decided the best way to do this would be to draw the body proportions as cylinders and other basic shapes to get the position of the limbs right. This was a good time to get used to the graphite brush that I want to use in my final animation.

It feels light as you move the brush and it leaves a natural-looking texture behind, however if I draw in a sketchy way then it will make some of the lines look thicker, which will look odd and inconsistent. I will have to take this into account when making the final decision on which brush I should use to animate with, depending on the drawing style I go for.

Since I used screenshots from my reference video as a basis to draw these poses, I think they look OK. The proportions on most of them look correct - apart from second from the right on the bottom row with her left leg being in the air. Using these screenshots has helped me start getting used to drawing Rachel in a variety of positions, which is what I need to practice the most; now I need to continue practicing drawing in different styles to figure out the visual style for my animation.

After drawing these poses, I wanted to test how I could draw the dress in motion. Overall I think they have turned out really well - using blue to shade it in really makes it stand out and compliments the red lines quite well. Setting the shaded blue to a lower opacity allows you to see where her legs are, giving the viewer a perspective of the actual shape of her body. It could be an interesting technique to keep these lines in my final animation faded under her dress, so it has a sketchy look to it.

I will use this as a basis for future tests I do and consider how the fabric will be animated.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Drawing Practice - Skeletons

Being able to draw the human body is one of the main reasons why I wanted to challenge myself with this dance animation project. In the past I have found it difficult to get the proportions right to make my drawings believable enough as humans.

In order to get used to drawing onto the computer like I have done with previous projects, I decided to take screenshots from my reference video and focus on drawing those poses, since this is what I will need to draw later on anyway. To start me off, I wanted to try and figure out the basic skeleton of the character and establish where her limbs would be placed.

I drew these skeletons very quickly, so they don't look very neat and the proportions on some of them are slightly off, however giving myself this task to do has helped me to start thinking about how I'm going to draw out my final piece; once I get used to drawing the human body I can figure out my drawing style, to make my animation look well finished and professional.

I tried to capture a variety of poses in key points of the dance routine, however a lot of them show her spinning on one leg, just at different angles.

This has been good practice to develop my drawing skills, so hopefully the longer I draw for the better the results will become.

Material Tests - Lines on Background

After deciding I like the graphite brush the most, I decided to compare the texture of this brush onto the backgrounds I have experimented with so far, using the same lines on each background. With the blue colour scheme as a basis for these trials, I wanted to compare how the colours work with each other as textures.

Looking at all 6 of these lined up together is interesting, since I can see how much the colours stand out on each compared to each other. On tests 1, 3 and 6, the darker colour stands out a lot more - the tone of this colour on the background compliment each other quite well, despite them all being different shades of blue. The light colour is completely washed out on all three of them - the glow of the blue particularly contrasts with test 1.

However on tests 3, 4 and 5, the lighter colour stands out more. On 4 and 5, the lighter colour has the illusion that it's glowing slightly, which is a similar effect achieved in Glen Keane's 'Duet'. This would make it easier to keep the background consistent if I end up changing the camera angles or end up having close up shots to the character. If I changed the camera angles on a textured background then I would need to repaint those sequences as the camera moves, so that it looks more natural and give the impression that the whole camera is moving. Once I get all of the reference footage and put it all together then I can decide if I need to change the camera angles or not.

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

Test 6
Considering all of these images, I think a solid background will bring out the colour of the lines more; it would also be easier to animate over since the colour is consistent, and there's room to provide my own shading if the animation needs it; similar thoughts could be shared with test 6, except with a dark line being the focus. 

I will do animation tests based on tests 4 and 6 to see which moves better, and looks more visually appealing to the audience. I think these two will work best in my final piece because they both have hints of texture, but not too much to make it too complicated or require many changes throughout the film.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Material Tests - Backgrounds

In continuation of my development of the visual style for my project, I carried on experimenting with brushes in Photoshop, except this time I need to consider which will be most suitable as a background. I want to keep it simple, and ideally not have to change it much throughout the film; so I have provided samples of various Photoshop brushes; this would mean not drawing any features in the background, but rather just keeping it a simple colour that suits the colours and textures of the moving lines.

A lot of the textured brushes on Photoshop have to be applied in at least 3 layers in order to reach the original colour you picked, which has shown various shades of blue and grey in the results below. However having to apply 3 layers could create an interesting way to have a shaded background, provided it doesn't look too strange next to the animated dancers.
Brush Samples

I like the texture of tests 1, 3 and 6 here, because they all look painted; if I use one of these textures in my final film I think it would bring the piece to life. I could also use the background as a way to reflect the characters emotions; for example test 1 looks slightly foggy (as if there is bad weather), which could represent the characters lost, overwhelming thoughts as they dance.

Test 1

Test 2

Tests 3, 4 and 5 turned out darker than the rest, which is true to the original colour I picked out. After evaluating test 3, I thought it looks slightly too textured, and that it needed another colour underneath it to keep it solid, which is how test 4 was created. 

I think having the dark undertones in test 4 make it look better, since the colour isn't completely solid, however the darker shades won't take the attention away from the animation. You can see the slight difference in this when comparing it to test 5, since that was just one solid colour.

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

Test 6

The brush used for test 6 reminds me of a roller brush when decorating a wall in a house, which has created a natural painted texture here. In order to decide which texture I definitely want to use in the background, I want to test out the textures and colours of the lines against each background to see which is most visually appealing.

A potentially nice effect to have could be using a painted background, and having the moving lines look as if they are etched into the paint. I will experiment further and see if any brushes can create this effect digitally.

Material Tests - Photoshop Brushes, Drawing the Characters

Part of the apeal to do this project was the space to be able to consider the visual style of the piece, to suit the overall concept. Since I now know that my theme is exploring feeling lost, I have been able to properly consider the potential brushes I can use to draw this project with.

I like the feel of the graphite brush a lot, it runs smoothly as you draw and leaves an interesting texture on the page - one thing to be aware of is keeping the rough edges of the lines when rubbing out parts, or some parts will become too smooth and unnatural compared to the rest.

Though all have produced similar results, I prefer using the graphite-style brush, since I believe this will produce the textured drawing that I'm looking for.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

That Ribeiro Company

After receiving 10 responses to my email to the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, I decided continuing with a third year student would be the best option out of all the candidates, since they would have more experience and be more confident in their work then anyone else.

The only third year student to contact me is Sara Ribeiro, a choreographer who has formed a company called 'That Ribeiro Company'. In her email, she specified that she works with 5 male dancers and she's familiar with the 'Thought of You' and 'Duet' animations that I attached to the first email I sent.

This instantly appealed to me, since it struck me that I could have one routine from each gender (since I already have a female dancer) and combine them both to have two characters who feel lost, and eventually find each other at the end, fading in and out of each so that they both get screen time, so that it can cover two perspectives of the story.

In the email I responded to her with, I specified that she could create a minute long routine with one of her male dancers, which I can later merge with the female reference I have, so that the story can involve two characters.

She is on board with this idea and is going to send me some footage of their progress on Tuesday 15th March, so that I can review it and give feedback to improve the routine or incorporate random ideas for my project into, ready for the final recording by the 21st March.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Colour Schemes

Now that I have decided the theme of my project will be exploring the feelings of being lost, I can choose appropriate colours to set my animation in.

Feeling lost is generally considered sad, lonely, and sometimes fearful. This means that muted colours would work best to portray the calm yet sad emotions from both characters. It seems the best colour to describe this with is blue, since it's the darkest colour and closest to the gloomy grey and black on the colour pallet.

Using both the monochrome or shades options on Adobe Kuler, I have selected what shades of blue I like the most:

Out of the two, I like the second images colours better, since they are quite gloomy but appealing to look at as well, so hopefully the audience will enjoy watching my film. On the first image there are a couple of shades of grey mixed in as well, so that will give me more options as to how many shades of colours I can use in my animation. 

I will start experimenting on Photoshop and Toon Boom with these colours, to see how well they sit and animate together.

Monday, 7 March 2016

The Northern School of Contemporary Dance

After sending out an email about a month ago to the NSCD, the message was finally passed on to the students. So far I've had 6 responses of interest from all year groups, which gives me a lot more choice as to what routine would suit my animation the best.

Since I already have footage from Rachel, who danced solo, I thought it could be a good idea to get at least one more routine from another dancer in response to Rachel's, so that I can explore the concept of feeling lost further.

This would work by having the two separate routines playing through, fading or cutting from one to the other, to suggest two people are lost and are trying to find their way; in the end they will find each other, shown meeting in the centre of the screen.

If I go through with this idea, I could gather as much footage of different routines as possible and choose the best parts of each; then the two characters in my film could be represented by multiple people.

In order to get the students at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance involved, I could propose this idea to them, show them the footage I received from Rachel, and ask them to interpret their part of the routine in their own way.

Since it's late in the process already, I will have to set a deadline in the next couple of weeks for them to work towards so that I can have the full animation prepared and can have enough time to finish the final piece. I can ask them to produce a minute long dance each, since I will need to cut it down to 1 minute anyway, which will give them more time to work on better choreography.

In my statement of intent, I wrote that I would ideally start animating on 7th March; since I have potential contacts from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and my visual style isn't completely figured out yet, I think it's better that I spend roughly 2 more weeks piecing it all together, with the second reference video and my visual style complete.

From this experience in contacting schools, I realise it takes a while for the administrators to process my email to get to the students; if I had emailed in December or January then I could have allowed them more time to produce a good piece of choreography, which would have been ready for me by now. However I can still work with what I've got - I already have footage from Rachel so even if the other half of the animation isn't quite set up yet, I can at least start the final piece with what I've got within these next two weeks.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Concept of Feeling Lost

After meeting with Rachel and recording her dance routine, we discussed the reasoning behind her movements. She described the motions in her routine as representations of her life so far; it isn't a move-by-move story about her life, but more an interpretation of how she felt at times.

One of the main feelings she had at a pinnacle time in her life was feeling lost, but she eventually found her way, settled in to her environment and found people to talk to about her feelings. This instantly gave me ideas about how I could animate this film, using faded people in the background to show that she's looking for someone.

I could even ask another dancer to create another routine in response to this, to turn it into a story of how two people - lost in the ways of life - can find each other in the end.

Being lost ironically gives me a clear goal to aim for in developing this project; the colour scheme, staging of the characters, and music will all be influenced by this main concept, so now I can get started on creating the visual style for this piece.

Feeling lost is associated with feeling sad and alone, so using gloomy colours such as blue and grey would be appropriate to use, to give the audience a sense of the sadness the character feels. Blue is meant to be a relaxing colour, so it depends if the dance becomes frantic with a lot of sharp movements, or slow and calm as she steadily tries to find her way, as to if using blue is the best option.

Overall I feel good about the direction the project is going, I have a clear sense of the concept, which is a good start into the development of my film.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Reference Video 1

After working on this dance for two weeks, Rachel was ready for me to record the footage today!

Overall I really like the routine; however it turned out to be 3 minutes 45 seconds long so I had to cut it down, especially if I end up incorporating the aerialist dancer too. There are some sections where she is on the floor and the action isn't quite clear from this camera angle, but I will look closely at those parts as I analyse the film further to see if the should stay in the routine or not.

When asked what the reasoning was behind creating the routine in this way, she explained to me that she used emotions from her own life to express how she felt through dance; using this dance as a general symbol rather than specifically miming her life story.

The overview of her emotions in this piece is representing her feeling lost - in some of the movements incorporated into her routine, she looks behind her or into her surroundings as if hoping someone is there. With little details like this I can use animation to project whats going on in her mind; for example when she turns around I could draw another person in the background, either replicating her dance moves or just watching over her.

The music she used in the background when dancing her routine is called 'Hey There Delilah' by the Plain White Ts. It's an acoustic piece, so it's slow, quiet and relaxing. I want to collaborate with a musician to create an original track for my film, however I'm not sure what kind of music would suit my film the best yet. I'll develop the visual style and make sure I have all of the footage I need, and then I can allow the musician the final month of my project to develop the track whilst I'm animating.

In the edited video there are a lot of jumps where I have cut it, which give me the opportunity for either some nice transactions or for it to fade into the second characters routine - I will establish if I want to use another routine before making any final decisions.

See here for the original 3 minute video.
You can view the edited video here.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Conversing with Rachel

It's been nearly two weeks since I met Rachel Nagy in person, and she's ready for me to record the dance routine she's made!

She sent me a rehearsal that she recorded earlier in the week, so that I can get an idea for how it's going to look... Once I've seen the performance in person, recorded it and looked through it a few times I will be able to establish if it's the dance I want to use for my project.

I told her about wanting to work with an aerialist dancer when we met in person two weeks ago as well - I haven't heard anything from my initial contact since then, but Rachel has given me the contact details for an aerialist in her class who is willing to work with me, so I can potentially combine the two dance routines to make my animation more interesting.

My next step is to go to the studio with Rachel tomorrow morning and record the routine for my reference.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Matt Jones' Blog

One of the main inspirations for my work is Matt Jones; I found his blog in my first year of study, but his life drawings are works of art in themselves.

One particular post, 'Drawing with Force', displays some of his life drawing sketches. He doesn't have any descriptions next to them, but it's easy to tell that he is skilled at drawing basic poses. A guest speaker that inspired him to draw these was Mike Mattesi, the same man who created the book 'Force: Dynamic Life Drawing For Animators'.

A screenshot of Matt Jones' Blog
Some examples of his work are below; using black to sketch them and then going over them in red marker pens really makes the poses stand out - they look rough but accurate, which suggests he drew them quickly. The line of action in each is clearly arced and dynamic, and it's obvious where the weight is shifted on each pose based on the way the character leans. Despite there not being a definite floor to make it obvious as to where the weight is, you can still tell based on the shape of the figure what they are doing.

After looking at his work, it has inspired me to practice drawing using different materials, such as pens, ink, and graphite pencils. A link to his blog is here:

Monday, 15 February 2016

Adobe Kuler

'Kuler' is a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud set; on a website, it provides a colour wheel with various 'colour rule' options to choose from, such as monochromatic, triad, and complementary. This will be a useful tool later on when I'm deciding the colour scheme for my final piece, since up until now I have always struggled to figure out which colours work well together.

This doesn't mean that every colour it suggests will definitely work together, but it's a good tool to help me understand what shades to use when colouring my work.

Here's an example of each colour rule available on the website:


I think for my project, either the monochromatic or shades options would work best, since using more than one or two base colours could become too complicated. Once the concept of my film is decided, I can then figure out which colour will best portray the emotions of the characters.

Friday, 12 February 2016

'Thought of You' Analysis

One of my main inspirations for this project is Ryan Woodward's 'Thought of You'. The reason it's so inspirational to me is because it's an expressive hand drawn film that uses body language and creative animation to portray the characters emotions. The sketchy, unfinished lines are what bring it to life, because it gives the viewer a taste of how it's made, and Woodward's process of drawing, which keeps the 3 minute film more interesting to watch.

By only using the basic shapes of the human body, rather than creating detailed character designs, allow the viewer to focus on the actions and relate to the story more, instead of focusing on the image. Even though the story is only basic and not very clear, it leaves the film open to interpretation, which engages a wider audience.

Since the female character is ghostly (a figment of his imagination?) this gave Woodward the opportunity to use creative ways to animate her. For example, in the first three screenshots below you can see the process between the female figure and her disapparating into thin air. The animation in this particular sequence is very loose but captivating and animated very smoothly.

In my animation I would like to involve disapparating and reforming of the human figure, as transactions between movements; however this depends on how the dance routine turns out, and if it requires a smooth animation or a rough film to suit the music.

Achieving the line of action in an animation (or any film) is important, since it draws the viewers eyes to certain aspects of the film (this is more down to the staging of the scene) but the smooth arcs created by the dancers graceful movements become more appealing to the eye. In this particular example below, both dancers are momentarily paused in this position, and both have a clear line of action.

Another factor to consider whilst animating is the weight of the characters. Woodward managed to use this creatively by exaggerating the size of the limbs as the male dancer tries to move, making it seem as if they're stuck to the ground; whereas earlier in the sequence the female is hovering in the air for a few seconds, before being caught by the man.

Heavy weight
Light weight

A lot of aspects in this film are amazing; with the help of the choreographer and dancers, they have pulled together something to be proud of. I will take this as an inspiration towards my film, considering every aspect as in depth as Woodward has (hopefully).