Thursday, 4 December 2014

Final Idea for 'Moo'

Developing from my compositions and designs, I altered my storyboard slightly and finalised my idea:


Here's the final composition of cards and designs that I will use in this animation:

[Final Comp]

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Compositions (Development for 'Moo')



After the feedback I received in Responsive earlier this week, I looked on Moo's website (http://uk.moo.com/) to see what business cards they offer. I drew them all out onto one page to get an idea of the variety of sizes they provide (left)

This gave me a better idea of how the cards should be displayed on the table, so I was inspired to design 6 different possible compositions I could use in my final piece:

I will take them all into consideration when thinking of potential card designs.









Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Development of 'Moo' Idea

After looking and brainstorming through my initial ideas for this brief, I storyboarded my favourite idea:


I want Moo to be portrayed as a professional company yet creative and fun at the same time, so I think my idea works well to demonstrate this. 

Here are some designs I could use on business cards that I would animate:



I will take everything I've done so far to the next Responsive session, which will be about giving and receiving feedback on everybody's work so far.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Initial Ideas for 'Moo'






Inspiration for 'Moo'

Since I've decided to go with the Moo brief, I will need some ideas towards a final outcome. After looking through various pieces I'm starting to get an idea of what I want to produce:

The character design in the animation 'Dumb Ways To Die' is cute and simple with soft colours and round figures. I feel this look appeals to a wide audience, so I think it's worth considering for my designs.



The cartoon network ident uses a variety of drawing styles; using the same colour pallet links all of the styles together. The transactions are so smooth throughout the sequences merging them into one; I feel I could create an ident like this one with similar intentions - to merge all styles and types of businesses that Moo sell cards to into one sequence to show how lively and open Moo are to ideas and designs. (Allowing me to try out a variety of styles and set up an animation sequence!)
This ident is a very different style to the actual shows that are broadcast on Cartoon Network but this animation still works - I think if I pull it off right I could combine a variety of styles into one sequence.


Cartoon Network Summer Ident 2013 from CRCR on Vimeo.

My Pinterest mood board, which contains illustrations/art that have inspired some of my ideas:
http://uk.pinterest.com/alexneild/responsive-inspiration/


Friday, 14 November 2014

YCN Brief Analysis

After reading the briefs with the questions in mind, I have decided to take part in the Moo competition.

http://www.ycn.org/awards/ycn-student-awards/2014-15-ycn-student-awards/briefs/moo 

(Their website): http://uk.moo.com/

To analyse the brief, we were given these questions to answer:

What are the 5 most important words?

  • Playful
  • Passionate
  • All industries
  • Striking
  • Appeal

The 5 most important considerations?

  • Do my styles/designs appeal to their target audience(s)?
  • Does my idea encourage the audience that they have creative freedom with this website?
  • Is their new tagline 'Design Works Wonders' portrayed well?
  • Does it to show that 'Moo' are a playful, open, helpful, social and encouraging company?
  • Is the advertisement fun but professional at the same time?

Once I had established these answers I went on to consider:

Who is the audience for this brief?
Mainly business owners from companies that sell a variety of things such as; food, fashion, health and fitness etc.

Who should the audience be?
Anybody that wants to sell themselves; people from the creative industry who need business cards or need to sell their illustrations/designs, down to lawyers, or anybody who wants to work with clients.

Who could the audience be?
They could be family-orientated citizens who want to buy greetings cards (so anybody from all ages)

What do they do?
They design business cards/greetings cards to sell to people who are running a business.

What do they want to be?
They want to be creative, fun and encouraging to anyone who's in the business industry. Their customers want to be unique and able to sell themselves in their own way (summarising themselves into one business card).

Now that I have an idea of what the brief wants me to achieve, I can start researching and developing my ideas ready to pitch in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

11 Second Club

One competition that I would love to do towards 'Responsive' is the 11 Second Club.
This is an organisation that releases an audio clip every month for artists from anywhere to make a character animation fitting to the clip to be entered and potentially win the monthly competition.

The new task for November 2014 has been released:


It seems straight forward enough, and it allows me to use any technique I want - so I could either develop on stop motion/2D animating (the mediums I'm most comfortable with) or it could be an opportunity to practice 3D animation, to experiment and see how well I can achieve what I want.

I have also considered their previous competitions, to see what techniques other people generally use and if there were any other clips that gave me ideas;

http://www.11secondclub.com/competitions/july13

http://www.11secondclub.com/competitions/september14

http://www.11secondclub.com/competitions/january14

I found a few that I like more than others but they've shown me that most people usually make their animations in either 3D or 2D drawn.

This gives me the opportunity to create something different to try and stand out from the rest - but I think ultimately the best option for me is to try a few of the competitions, rather than just one, so I can properly compare techniques and see which medium I'm best in.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Final Storyboard

After simplifying my ideas, I have designed my final storyboard and concept art:


I am happy with how this idea has turned out, because I believe having only 3 scenes will make it easier for me to focus on combining lip syncing and actions into longer sequences, rather then constantly changing the angles and cutting from scene to scene.
Having fewer, longer sequences will make the story slower, which should reflect the mood of the character (how tired she is); this should make the story more consistent and allow me to see how well my animation flows.
I will animate the title sequences in Photoshop, but the rest of it will be done in Maya.

These are my props. They will look slightly different when I make them 3D in Maya, but I tried to make the designs as simple as possible:



Now that I have my designs and idea in place, I can start building everything in Maya and start animating soon!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Lists...

After taking my 3 chosen briefs to the session, I have been given the task of re-reading the briefs considering these points as to what I want to get out of this module and any competitions I enter (the class were split into groups to create these lists with multiple brain power):




And to consider the motives behind the companies who set up these competition briefs (our tutor asked every group to contribute different points for each list):




After taking all of these lists into account, I have decided to pick the 'Moo' competition, since it sounds like the best overall!

http://www.ycn.org/awards/ycn-student-awards/2014-15-ycn-student-awards/briefs/moo

Now that I've picked my brief I can get started on ideas generation to try and win this contest!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Study Task 2 - Animating Skills

For this study task, we were taught a variety of ways/tools to animate with on Maya, then given 3 files containing balls, a segmented pendulum or a normal pendulum to animate with.

The first are two different bouncy balls; the red is a realistic ball of your choice (I chose a bowling ball) and the green was provided with a squash and stretch tool where you could have the freedom to create your own ball.
I enjoyed this task the most because I had the freedom to be more creative rather than mathematical.



I decided to keep the pendulum simple with its movement, so that it would flow better when played on loop.



I found the segmented pendulum slightly more difficult to flow in a natural way; each section is supposed to follow through just after the section before it has finished the action.



I think I pulled off the anticipation of this ball well, because you can see the squash before it bounces into the air, and I added in a small squash at the end so that when played on loop, it would look like there is a bigger anticipation.



I wanted to create an interesting scene when making the turntable, so I wanted to see how a water texture would look. I like how this turned out, mainly because you can see the reflection of the light in the waves, which move appropriately as the camera turns.




Wednesday, 22 October 2014

"When Will My Life Begin?" Development

After re-evaluating my initial storyboard I decided to simplify my idea, due to the complicity of Maya and my lack of experience in it, I wanted to set myself more realistic goals to achieve with this animation. Here's another storyboard I made for it:


I think this idea flows through the story well, with the transactions between scenes and the simplicity of the actions will allow me to focus more on lip syncing and developing my skills in Maya at a realistic pace.

Here are the props I could use:


Trying a few designs out allows me to see what I want to design compared to what will be achievable in Maya. There's not much difference in what I want compared to what I can achieve, since the simpler the objects the better and easier to work with.

I will consider everything I've documented here and produce more refined designs.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Responsive: The First Three Briefs

A few days ago my course (joined with the Illustration course) were briefed into the new module 'Responsive'. It's split into 3 parts, and revolves around starting to get our work out into the world; The first part of the year - what we're starting now - is entering competitions and taking on live briefs. We have to choose at least 5 briefs in total, whether they are competitions on popular websites or tasks set by someone you know. As long as I expand on small tasks and document everything I do towards the briefs, then I can do anything.

After our introduction, we were asked to look at all the websites provided and choose 3 briefs ready for our second session.

I chose:

Moo

[Insert Image]

http://www.ycn.org/awards/ycn-student-awards/2014-15-ycn-student-awards/briefs/moo


Propercorn

[Insert Image]

http://www.ycn.org/awards/ycn-student-awards/2014-15-ycn-student-awards/briefs/propercorn


Digital Cinema Media

[Insert Image]

http://www.dandad.org/en/dcm-show-emotion-film/

I will take these to the next scheduled lesson and see what I can do with them next!

Study Task 1 - Modelling Skills


Our first study task of the year is to create two objects in Maya - One truck provided with a tutorial and one of our own choice, to practice the skills we have been taught so far.

On the right is a basic truck I made. I found it harder than I anticipated to make, due to the fact I've never used this software properly before, but once I got used to the tools I managed to finish the job.

Final render view


Basic colours

For the second item I wanted to make something simple but interesting at the same time, so eventually I chose a mobile phone:

Final Render
This turned out quite well; it's a symmetrical shape so it was fairly easy to construct. I used this item so I could experiment with different lighting and create a floor texture; in order to achieve the final render I had to change the reflective quality on the black screen to make it look realistic. Here are a couple of experiments I rendered:

Too bright
Too dark









At first I found this task difficult, but once I got used to the tools and different shapes you can make then I enjoyed it a lot more.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

2 Potential Ideas...

Idea 1

'Yellow Submarine' - The Beatles.

"In the town, where I was born,
There lived a Man, who sailed to sea,
And he told us of his life,
In the land, of submarines"

I could use this in a storytelling environment, put on a posh voice and make Moom read a story from a book; This would give me the opportunity to dress up Moom and create strange props such as the yellow submarine, to bring the story to life in a fantasy way, much like the Beatles with their videos that look slightly like hallucinations.




Idea 2

'When will my life begin' - Mandy Moore, Tangled.

"7AM the usual morning line up
Start on the chores and sweep 'till the floor's all clean
Polish and wax, do laundry, mop and shine up,
Sweep again, 
And by then 
It's like 7:15"

This could be said enthusiastically, as if I can't wait to do all of these activities, or I could say this in a bored, fed up manner making it sound like I don't want to do the activities listed. This could allow me to practice body language on the character as well as lip syncing; and the list here gives me a few opportunities to practice modelling a variety of props (choosing only one or two out of this list).




For this module the main focus is animating with the Maya software so idea 2 would be better to explore this. Idea 1 would be better for making the sequence look nice and experimenting with textures, but primarily what I need to focus on is animating.
I will develop idea 2 further and try to simplify it.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Mind Map/Idea Generation

To figure out a starting point for my new project Character and Narrative, I created a mind map of songs I could potentially take lyrics from:


After contemplating all of these I drafted out my ideas in these thumbnails:


The first idea, 'U can't touch this', is originally an upbeat song about how high in confidence/ego the singers are. Another way to interpret the phrase 'can't touch this' would be in a strict manner where someone isn't allowed to touch a valuable object, such as in a museum with rare artefacts.

The original song 'When will my life begin' shows Rapunzel in the film Tangled running around her tower listing off chores/activities she does whilst stuck in the tower. A more obvious way to talk about doing chores is if there's a child/teenager that doesn't want to complete the chores, so my idea would involve me sounding tired and fed up listing off chores I had to do later that day.

'Yellow submarine' was originally sung by The Beatles, in a generally surreal experience singing about a man who lives in a submarine. It could be interpreted into a storytelling environment talking about a man that I know...

The song 'Patience' by Take That sings of a love story where the man needs time before they can happily be together. Another way I could take this phrase is if someone is frustrated and asking someone else for patience as they try to get a job done.

'Home' is sung by Michael Buble and describes his sadness about missing his family while he's travelling the world. An idea I thought of relating to this involves a documentary style tone to the voice describing my surroundings and time period.

'Be our guest' is a song that features on the film 'Beauty and the Beast', involving the servants inviting the main character to enjoy their service. I would say the lyrics in a similar way to the original except having one character giving a tour of the kitchen/dining room.

Out of these ideas the two I like best are 'When will my life begin' and 'Yellow submarine'. I think both have a lot of potential, so I will draft them both into storyboards to see which idea pans out the best.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

3D Animation - Jonathan Mafi

This is a good example of character animation in 3D:


Finished 3d Animation from Jonathan Mafi on Vimeo.

You can tell how the characters are feeling based on their body language - the character that walks in the room and shouts is obviously angry and assertive based on how he looks and interacts with the other character, whereas the guy on the left seems slightly frightened and stands up straight readily listening to his commander. Based on these observations we can tell that they are soldiers, because they are trained to walk and act in a certain way.

I have to take this into account when making my own animation, once I decide what dialogue I'm using I also have to get the right body language to complete the action to a realistic standard.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Character and Narrative

So my class had our first briefing into the new project today! We found out that this project will be based on learning Autodesk Maya to lip sync a rigged model to our own voices.

We will be taking a verse or chorus of song lyrics to record ourselves, but they can be said in any way that we wish. This ranges from screaming and shouting our lungs out to whispering or muttering, depending on which way we want to take this project.

This is the character I will be animating, called Moom (given to the whole class):



He's an interesting looking character, who is easy enough to adjust and change features slightly (such as the teeth), so I'm looking forward to experimenting with it!

This character also needs at least 1 prop to assist in the performance, so I will need to take this into consideration when generating ideas.

So the first thing I need to do is start generating mind maps with different song lyrics and movements of Moom.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Audio

Using Audacity, I downloaded sounds from Youtube and Freesound.org and opened them up like this:


I then selected the part of the track I wanted to use, exported it and added it to my Photoshop timeline, positioning it in the right place.

I decided to use simple sound effects because I wanted to emphasise the action in the animation, and the sound effects help describe what's happening through the story.

The reason I didn't add imagery or specific sounds for the cloud was because I didn't want to narrow down the reasons why someone could be depressed. ChildLine are open to solving any issues, so I thought adding specific imagery and phrases would narrow that down, whereas now the audience can use their imagination and relate to the film in their own way.

After all of the improvements and applying audio, here is my final piece.



Overall, I think I've done well with this piece. The main point I would improve is the sound of the cloud. While I believe I made the right choice of the type of sound to use, I could have chosen a better crowd sound effect/smoke machine that go better together; Watching it back now, I wonder if it's easy to depict where the sound is coming from.
However, I'm happy with the movements and design of the animation, and I think it puts my point across well with the dramatic ending.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Improvements In My Animation

After receiving the feedback for my animation, I have taken on board some of the points made by my tutor and piers and made some changed to my film, such as:
The cloud. They suggested that although the movement of the lines are smooth and life-like, it should look more like a cloud. I acknowledged this and added another layer behind the cloud of a faded black/grey colour, to give the cloud a gassy feel.

The original
Final Cloud

It was also suggested that I add some imagery or text into the cloud at certain points to show that it's my characters thoughts, rather then just a cloud. This will imply to the audience what is wrong with my character; which will allow me to explore the issues that suicidal teenagers might be facing; giving my animation more context and reason behind it.
However after considering this, I decided the imagery would put too much in the image, so the viewer won't know where to look. I will use the audio as a tool to communicate why the cloud is there.

Another improvement suggested was to draw out the ChildLine logo at the end, or at least make it look neater. These were a couple of alternatives that I tried:

The logo taken from the internet, with a transparent background, so it could fit neatly on my black background.
My drawn out logo - which I traced from the original (above)
Out of these, I prefer the logo which I drew myself, because it gives the logo a sketched feel to it, which works well with the rest of my animation.
This version gives the logo a neater, painted look, which makes the logo slightly quirky but it's still faithful to the original design.

After watching my animation again after the final crit, I noticed that the walk cycle wasn't quite accurate. The feet was the main problem, I realised he was walking on his toes rather then through his heels, which was giving the animation a strange limp.

Original
Current
After I re-did the feet, the walk flows more smoothly.

Now that I've made these improvements to my campaign, I will find the audio to finish this piece off, and bring it to life.

Monday, 28 April 2014

The Final Crit

This is the video I presented to my class today:



The feedback I received was generally good, with a few suggestions to make it better:

They thought it was good that I had done further research after the interim crit to lead me to this outcome.
I need to find and add audio - I explained that I thought sound effects would be the best way to communicate what's happening
They suggested that I add noise representing the cloud; such as a lot of voices in a crowd shouting insults at him.
The cloud could contain images or words flashing up (to show that the cloud is his thoughts and worries following him) It should also look more like a cloud rather then squiggly lines.
I should make the ChildLine logo at the end neater or draw it myself to fit to the style of the animation.

It definitely seemed to have an effect on everyone who saw it, so I must have used the right body language, colour scheme and words to get across the sad story.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Progress - The Second Half Of My Animation

I have made a lot of progress in the past few weeks;
This is part of my walk cycle, animated with the cloud that will be following the character:



I think I have executed the body language well, implying that my character is sad and plodding along slowly.
To give it a finished look, I added colour to the character, removed the circles on the knees and added clothes. I will need to add the facial features to complete the look.
I will also add a background, so that the viewers know where the character is walking.

Scene 5
Scene 6 is the character back in his room, stood as he gives a big sigh; the bump on his chest in the first photo is supposed to represent this.
Apart from that, the main action in this scene is the cloud floating above him, then moving off the right of the screen. The movement is consistent and flickery, which is the look I was going for.
Now I just need to add his eyes, which will hopefully show the sadness I'm trying to get across.

Scene 6
Scene 6
Scene 7 is the final part of the story - the suicide. To pull this off, I decided to have the cloud do the action, which represents the characters thoughts as his depression is tempting him towards committing suicide.
I think it moves quite well, and smoothly, as it twists around the rope.

Scene 7
Scene 7 - The cloud floats around through the noose and back to the top left of the screen

Scene 7 - The character fades out, representing the end of his life
 After the scene fades out, a series of texts will fade in and out of the screen:

A fact I found on their website
I thought it would be more believable if the viewers can see actual figures




I chose these words because I thought it was the simplest way to explain to viewers who may be going through this situation that they can talk to someone about their problems/worries, and that it doesn't have to end in suicide.
I thought a black background would represent death and how serious this situation is, and thought it would go nicely with the rest of my grey-scale animation.

Now that I have filled the 40 second limit, I can go back over my animation and add the final feature, change a few mistakes and have it ready for the Interim Crit on the 28th April.