Animatic 4

Here’s a slightly different version of my animatic with enhanced performances. I think the hat could still be stroppier but it’s a bit better.

A Feather In His Cap Animatic 4.gif

Next up is completing it with a bit of lighting I believe. I’d quite like to get stuck into some sound before too long as well.






This is my initial animatic from today’s session. At the time I was quite happy with it but I can now see it’s very flawed. Although I had managed to get all the shots outlined in the brief, shots 1 and 2 are more or less the same and very flat.

Not only are my compositions here boring but they don’t aid what I’m trying to say about the characters. Initially I thought that shot 2 worked because it made the wand look menacing, cornering the hat in the bottom left of the screen, giving him reason to not want to participate in the wand’s trick.

At this point I was also trying to stick to the breif as best I could and not go a frame over the 10 second limit but those restraints have been loosened, I can fit in a little more exposition that was missing from this attempt

Animatic 1.gif

This second version, I adjusted the composition in shot one to reduce negative space but clearly not enough. I also changed shot 3 to be ‘More interesting’ by panning to show the hat leaving the stage, but it didn’t really help the gag. I missed the idea of watching him from the seats behind in silhouette.

Animatic 2.gif

In this version, things make a bit more sense. It’s obvious that the hat is a volunteer from the audience in the wand’s show. You get a sense of enthusiasm from the hat and a bit of showmanship from the wand. Their characteristics are readable. I also added the audience in so it doesn’t look like the wand is watching like a

I changed shot 2 to be a little more intimate with the hat. I realised that the hat is the character we actually relate to the most so it’s more appropriate to share the experience from his angle. It’s still not entirely clear that the hat is upset about the wand taking the feather so I may have to work out a way to make him a little more stroppy. Hopefully the audio will make that clearer, cutting the magical music when the hat jumps up.

The final shot is just as I wanted it, with the wand in shot ready to bow as the trick is finally completed after the rude interruption. The bow certainly needs some work as it just looks like he’s hanging his head.

Animatic 3.gif


A Feather In His Cap

My premise for the inanimate objects brief is to use the hat and the wand with the added object of the feather using 2D. I originally wanted to add the feather to the hat as a device that let the viewer know where the hat was looking. Now I’m thinking of the phrase ‘A feather in his cap’ and thinking maybe it’d be good to use the feather as the third object. Perhaps it could mean something about the hat being full of himself?

My idea now is to have the hat be an audience participant in the wand’s magic show. The wand will call him up on stage and try to use the feather in his ribbon as a part of a trick. The hat wont like this and will snap it out of the air before promptly returning to his seat where the trick finally complete. The feather turns from a dull grey one to a beautiful peacock’s feather. The wand will take a bow.


Martins Project

The last few weeks after work, I’ve been observing and drawing the house martins that soar around the estate all day. I want to make some kind of short film about them, their journey here and what they get up to over the summer. I’d like to have them swooping under the eves, making they nests from the mud off the ground and skimming over the water to drink. d mocking up some backgrounds. Here’s what I have:

Background.jpgIMG_20170611_124430 (1).jpgSketches.jpgTwo-Birds.gif

Earth Hallucinations

I had an idea on the train to make this so I made it. It initially came from me scrolling directly north from my house to see what was there but it was so visually boring I took it somewhere else instead.

I took a few screen captures scrolling along Google maps in one direction along areas of particularly square countryside in the fens and the broads. I took them into after effects and mirrored and transformed in various ways. I used colorama on the red channel to achieve the weird red and blue look.


Here’s my final showreel of my first year work. Being very selective, I’ve managed to keep it at just over 1 minute.

I’ve structured the editing and sequencing of the video heavily around the song I chose, Proleter’s ‘You Can Get It’. First there is a little introduction with a varied selection of my work from all disciplines then I start titling the sections of the video. I start with my work from TV Paint as its some of my favourite work comes from this and I’ve done a range of different things in the software.

Then I transition to work from After Effects with a lip sync clip. I decided to use the puppet I had created for that project┬áto lip sync a small extract from the music instead of using one of the lip sync projects I’d used before to avoid having to turn down the music. I felt that using one of the clips I had already made would have felt a little out of place and would have ruined the pace of the video. That’s why I didn’t include the music from my ‘Animation to Sound’ clip.

Moving to stop motion, I really like the second clip of the rig smashing the orange ball. I managed to time that to hit the beat as well, which is quite satisfying to watch. Next comes my showcase of moving from reference video to first pass to finished mystery box sequence. The fade from Valentina to the first pass is very smooth as I managed to line up the footage so she and the puppet were the same size and so their steps were in time. That part looks fab.

Then I showcase a few character sheets which I threw in because I thought they looked nice and showed the initial plans for characters that are included in the reel.

Then I finish off with my work from CG which isn’t my best, which is why it comes last, but it does show I have a basic understanding of the software.

I round of the video with a little self portrait animation that grows, holds on normal, then explodes to reveal the title card. I quite like it as a little flourish to the reel, I just hope it’s recognisably me!



Parcel Pete’s Second Take

Yesterday afternoon, I shot a second version of my mystery box sequence with Pete. This one had its flaws again, but it was certainly better than my first.

With this shoot I got the timings a little wrong on some of the pauses, but this has been cleaned up in post. I’ve continued to struggle with adequate lighting for his dark uniform which I think I’m going to have to deal with. I also suffered another breakage with his left ear. I managed to glue this back on and continue shooting very quickly.

This morning, I sat down and put the footage into After FX. First I did the chroma keying with Keylight 1.2. The keying worked a lot better this time around, but I did have to cheat a bit. I keyed it so the edges were clean, but there was some partially translucent parts in his trousers and hair. To fix this, I duplicated the clip so that the translucency disappeared.

Next up I masked out the rig. I had to use this at two points, the first time because I found I had Pete’s foot pinned into a rift in the floor and he wasn’t stable, the second time because because he had a bad lean towards the end of the walk cycle.

Pete AE

Because I had already duplicated the footage, I applied all three masks to the second duplicate clip.

Then I went ahead and animated the smoke. First I did the big mushroom cloud, which I made fairly unconventionally. I animated a shape layer on hold keyframes every two frames to try and blend it in with my stop motion footage that’s on doubles.

Pete AE 2

I’m not sure if this was a silly thing to do, but it looks good so I can’t complain. I seem to have got the spacing right so that’s a bonus! I then masked the cloud to appear as if it is coming out of the bin. Then I did the whispy smoke that comes out initially. But first I tried doing it with smoke rings, but they had to move too far in a short distance of time ti look right.

Pete AE 3

Instead of animating a shape layer for the whispy clouds, I animated a mask on a grey solid layer so I could use the feathering effect to make it look smokey. This seems to have worked quite nicely.

Finally, I reworked the background a bit. I needed to fill in the space on the left of the screen behind the bush. I tried putting a wheat field in but it was too flat and I couldn’t draw it very nicely. Instead, I’ve put a long hedge line with a classic cast iron fence running along the road. Behind that, I’ve put a tree and then further behind I put a hill side. This could do with some work, but I’m going to leave it overnight to see if I like it. I’ve reworked the colour of the bush to help fit the new scenery.

Pete PS 1

Showreel Analysis

Let’s start with this. Despite the reasonable overall quality of animation, this showreel is quite flawed. First there is the audio problem. The music is a little too loud, especially at the beginning where it’s covering up what’s being said in the dialogue, which is cut from various films. There’s also a little issue from poor editing of the music track towards the end.

Some of the clips could do with being a little shorter, especially a the clips towards the end. We linger on the dragon for way too long and we start to see the flaws. The video should never have passed the 1m30s point. He’s made some pretty good animation look very corny. The titling is also vague and there’s no contact details on the video.

This one is pretty darn good, however I feel the structure is a little random. We start with some initial roughs of some different walk cycles, one of which turns into the finished article which makes a nice transition, but from then on, it seems to be clips from a few different projects randomly inter cut with concept drawings. All the work is great, but we could have guessed that from the first minute, the second feels gratuitous. There’s also no contact details.

This one had no trouble giving out the contact details – It even has them in the thumbnail! I thought it was interesting to see the contrast between a working animators showreel and a students. I watched Gemma’s one here and it certainly didn’t feel like 3 minutes, which just proves you have to be really bloody good to be able to go above 1 minute 30. Have I sold myself short or been realistic leaving my own at 1 minute?

In spite of what I just said, it could probably have been a little shorter, since it is much of the same throughout, but it need the time to show both her work on key animation as well as the cleaned up footage.

Her showreel making skills seem to have got her employed on a few great projects, so I can’t poke too many holes.

The animation for this one is stunning, it’s quick cut, in most cases with a really fun soundtrack. Again, it hits two minutes and as we go into the second minute, I check to see how long more its got. It’s got a very uniform style but still explores a few different looks around that.

What’s strange about it, is after all that, we get a name and email address dumped onto the video in Helvetica. What’s that about? I’ve just seen some crazy design going on and now this? It’s a bit of a let down, but it works. There’s also no date on it.