Sunday, 28 November 2010

Finally. Another post.

So the experimental is coming along swimmingly, just 9 seconds left to go, which I'm hoping to get done tomorrow. I just wish I'd started it earlier so I wouldn't be panicking so close to the deadline, but I guess that's what I get for changing ideas so far in.

I'm happy with how things are matching up to the music, but I might still do a few frame tweaks once the whole thing is done.

I haven't been uploading my other WIPs to this blog simply because I've done most of it in the space of a few days, and it seems odd to upload bits each day.
So just incase you're curious - here they are:
Day 1

Day 2

I did do a dopesheet for the last 20 or so seconds, in which I planned for a creature to walk on from the side and then dissolve, but that idea just collapsed as soon as I started animating. With this sort of thing, it's much easier and generally better when you make it up as you go along. I still use the dopesheet to plan out beats and such, but that's about it. It does show, though, as the second half fits much better to the first.

I'm not happy with the stop-motion cameras shooting in 4:3, so I'm thinking of adding a baroque frame to make it wider and hide the black-boxing so it fits 16:9

This is the sort of thing I was thinking of, just wrapped around the outside of the frame.

When not meticulously placing tiny pieces of black paper, I've been getting back into Fentil things and other various artings.

Here's a sheet on a group of Fentil plants, called 'Pulmonaries' because of their lung.
I've missed doing these kinds of sheets, but I forgot how tedious they can be to make, and I am ashamed to say I cut a few corners, but hopefully they're not noticeable.

Also I've been dabbling in graphic design again, and practicing with some iApp-style icons for programs on my computer. There's an interesting piece of software called CandyBar, which is a really good way to change software icons. It has a nice interface, too. I'm tempted to get the full version - I just like to customise things.

I made a re-make of the new iTunes logo. That warpy effect really does do wonders.

And just incase I somehow manage to make it, here's a mock-up of what the Fentil app would look like:

(both in Flash, except for that warpy tunnel effect which I did in 2 minutes in Photoshop - both of which I am also making icons for)
I don't own an iPhone or iPad, so making an app like this would be fundamentally pointless and difficult. With the upcoming OSX Lion, however, similar app to those on iPods and iPads will be available on desktops/laptops.
I honestly can't wait when Apple run out of big cats. Maybe OS XI will be fish or something, though I think insects would be better.

Here's a little doodle I did depicting two parasites from a dream I had a few nights ago (19th of November)

The dream itself was pretty short; I crashed a car in a flooded tunnel and when I got out I was covered in these things.
I can't remember how I got them off, but I ended up in the back of a police car in the middle of a junkyard throwing poisoned/explosive knives at people.
My dreams are weird, but wonderful. It's like watching a strange new film every night. I just wish I could somehow record them, because I tend to forget them very quickly, and even if I write them down the second I wake up, by the time I've written a few bullet-points, most of it becomes a blur.

I recently re-discovered this short film, Trichrome Blue by Lois van Baarle on DeviantArt.

It's a really beautiful piece. The line-less, block colour style and the use of colour is wonderful. The music is good, too.
I really like that multi-screen TV effect. When I first saw this I thought that it must have been near-impossible to do, but now, about a year later, it just looks like a simple AE mask. Done.
It's one of the few animated shorts that really inspire me.
Although she's said she won't be making films for the other colours (yellow and Red), I can't help but wonder what they'd be about.

I also found this a few days ago:

It's a lovely little video. Part of 'It Gets Better' , which is a sort of project help stop intolerance to the gay, bisexual, trans and a whole rainbow of other groups. (No stereotype pun intended. Well maybe just a little...)
Also, all of the people on this video look really easy to caricature.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

11 second update

Nearly there

I've done more since this upload, but it just gives the general idea of whereabouts along this animation I am.

Also, I've had a sudden change of idea for my experimental.
My plan is to use small pieces of ripped paper, and just make them all fly about eachother, in a similar way to a large flock of starlings, weaving and bending to form amorphous shapes. I want to take it one step further, though and have the swarm form actual objects, which will animate and for a couple of seconds before dissolving back into the noise of the swarm.

I like the idea of perhaps starting with a 'solid' paper object that explodes.

More details once the scans can be uploaded..

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

-eleven related pun-

I'm out of punny titles for this one.

Anyway - A work in progress of 11 second club:

The blue demon's slave chain is still in rough. I'll probably leave that until the end.
Might smooth out the red demon's pointing.

In other news, recently I'd discovered that someone had taken a flash cartoon I'd submitted on Newgrounds and stuck it up on YouTube.
The reason I never submitted it is because the flash file had an ActionScript camera, which works great when you play it back as a .SWF, but it doesn't work in Quicktime, because it doesn't understand the camera. I presume.
So I left it alone, thinking that the cartoon wasn't that great and that it wouldn't really get seen much on YouTube, anyway.
I was wrong.
So I search for a duck walks into a bar one day because someone told me about another stupid video about a duck asking for grapes (which makes no sense to me - why would a duck want grapes? Although, reality and logic stops being an issue when ducks can speak and no-one seems bothered by it) . So I search youtube and I'm taken back when I see a thumbnail of my duck cartoon. I'm even more taken back when it has 170,00 views, which is more than all of my videos combined.
One guy did a german translation, which was kinda funny, but some people had submitted 'english fandubs' which -by strange coincidence- sounded exactly like me.
So FINALLY, after about a year and a half since I submitted the original, I've stuck it up on YouTube.

I've cleaned some bits up, such as the intro, the scratches on the bar and the more detailed bottles on the back wall.
That's the way to best tell it's this version.

I'm still in the process of contacting youtube and the users who uploaded it to get them to take it down.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Stairway to eleven.

[EDIT 14/11/10]
Made a mock-up of how I want this to look:

The background is still under construction, but over all this is a good representation of how the finished animation will look.
I'm happy with the shading

In order to better capture poses, I've done a short reference video

My acting is bad to say the least.
I just realised that I forgot to account for the red demon only having one arm. Ah well, I think I can easily ignore the extra limb, as it's not really used.

and here's a character sheet for each ...well, character.
Blue demon:

Red demon

And one for the background

And unrelated to work, here's something Fentil related:

Tile tops are like trees, but not quite. They often form 'forests' like these:

They form a barrier that stops light from reaching the ground, and so anything living below them lives in perpetual darkness. Well, until one of the tile tops dies and collapses.

And now some cool videos:

Some pixilation of pixelation.

I really like the pixelation effect when the taxi is hit, finally crumbling into loose blocks. I just like the lowering of resolution in general, especially when the giant bomb goes off and the Earth becomes one big pixel.
The chamfered edge of each pixels was a nice touch. The slightly glassy shader makes it look even prettier.
I wonder how they got that amorphous pixel blob to be so fluid.

More pixels!

Trucker's Delight is pretty crude, but it's funny and the pixel art is amazing.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Cranking it up to elev-about 3ish

So, here's some sketches:

Initially I thought about having a drunk porter in a wine cellar being confronted by the king in front of other servants, or perhaps by extension of the 'theft' aspect; a man in the stocks.

Then I went more along the lines of perhaps making the object in question a little more personal, i.e. a body part.

I was quite inspired by this idea by this animation:

While I like the robot idea, I figured it might end up being too close to this short, so I went with the organic demons.

I quite liked using the demons again. I was thinking of using zombies, as their body parts would be easy to pull off and put back on again. The problem with using zombies, however is that they don't talk too much and I know it would end up being bloody. I wanted to make something a little more subtle for the 11 second club website.

A rough storyboard.

And HERE is an animatic:

I'm still thinking of maybe changing the characters, because I used a demon last time.
Maybe a pair of ragdolls, which also makes sense when one of them loses an arm, which also might help me shave off a few seconds. I want 2 seconds extra either way at most. I want to keep the extra to a minimum.

Speaking of ragdolls, I recently read a really interesting blog post by Media Molecule, in which they explained how Sackboy came to be.

Sackboy was initally going to be named 'Yellow Head' basing his design on the early program art (above)

Eventually they settled on the sort of shape Sackboy takes now

Some 3D renders of differentiated sackboys. That one on the top-left is just plain creepy.

In the end, Sackboy looks like this

It just makes you realize how different projects could have turned out completely differently based on slightly different choices. along the pipeline.

Full article is here.

And now, totally unrelated, here's a birthday card I made for a friend's 20th Birthday

She likes birds, red and black, and curly vines.
Everything was done in flash. The file is so big because I wanted to make sure that, when I printed it out, it wouldn't go all pixelated.

Finally, here's some stuff I've found:

Short, but sweet.

I'm not a massive HalfLife fan, in fact I've never played any. I do, however, like this guy's animation.
He usually does short action sequences using models/rigs from Valve games.
Watching this reminded me of a dream I had a while ago, part of which was in first person

Maybe I'll try something similar with this dream sequence in Maya.

While the animation isn't great, I do like this for the textures and reflections of the room. It's the sort of look I was going for when I made this:

I think the trick is not to make the 'white' actually white. In this animation, it has a beige tint.

Visceral have released another trailer for Dead Space 2. This one featuring a creepy rendition of Ring Around the Roses. They did something similar for the first Dead Space, but instead using Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

I really like that wobbling effect and the orange filter they use when Isaac sees the blue-lit hallucination girl. I hope it;s in the game.

Finally here's a cool cartoon I found on Channel Frederator's YouTube channel.


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