This week kicked off thinking about the dynamic animation project. For my dynamic exercise, I explored a few options but have decided animating a strong-man strenuously picking up a large rock after having a chat with Robin about it. We concuded that compared to my other ideas, it demonstrated more animation fundementals better than any of my other ideas would have.
I’ve tidyed my character Lord Claude up a bit this week after making a fairly poor first attempt at drawing on the tablets. A friend offered to re-draw my character in their style to help me visualise them with a bolder, less sketchy outline, which helped no end and I’ve now got a clean cut character turnaround. I also thought about his character more and he’s certainly more of a fool of a character than I first thought. He may be old and stumbling but he can still pull a few overly dramatic poses which I think can be a funny juxtaposition type gag.
I had a chat with Lynsey about my character essay about Lady Eboshi and dispite not knowing the character she had some helpful things to say. One thing was that I should make a conection between the realism of the animation style and the complexity of the character. Otherwise, begining to write the essay hasn’t been very fruitful. I’ve found myself struggling to write the first introductory paragraph I think mainly because I’m not entirely sure where I want the essay to conmclude. Perhaps my essay question doesn’t work as well as Lynsey thought it would?
This week started with us moddeling our characters in Plastercine to get to know them in 3 dimensions and really get to know their shape. This was a valuable exercise that prepared me for making an initial character turnaround sheet, something that I’ve never been good at at the past, so it was good to have a physical reference.
Linsey’s lecture on character bodylanguage came in very handy for me as it was the most relivant thing we’ve explored regarding my chosen character, Lady Eboshi. Her character is very subtle and she doens’t do a whole lot of moving but a lot is conveyed through her body language and expression. I still haven’t begun a draft essay, but I plan to have a start by next Tuesday. I need to catch up on the research side of things.
Being introduced to TV Paint has introduced me to a whole other technique of computer animation. Begining to learn the software has given me a lot of inspiration for the posibilities of what I can produce. I look forward to using it more in the future.
Sarahs talk on ‘acting for animators’ was another great session that’s reminded me of all the basics of GCSE drama with Stanislavski and Laban. I can see how thinking about the wants, needs and goals of my character can help me develop my animations by giving them context and giving the character purpose.
This week focused primarily on character design. In our workshops, we looked at the characters we had developed the week previously and looked at their shape in silhouette to see how recognisable and defined they were. A good character should be recognisable by solely it’s silhouette. I didn’t change my character that day because the pointy hat, ridiculous, long hooked nose and crucifix staff all worked together to create a very identifiable character. However, it did lead to me thinking about the catholic iconography on my character and have considered changing it out for something fictional.
Our lecture this week introduced us to semiotics and the importance of shape, colour, context and style when identifying and creating a character. We had touched on semiotics in previous character design workshops and had built my character around triangles with the intention of making a villain, however I feel I may need to explore the more comical side of his design because he’s clearly not a serious character the way he’s come out.
The lecture proved useful for my analysis of my chosen research character, Lady Eboshi. Her sharp, black and red robes, pointed hat and pepetually narrowed eyes reinforce the idea that Miyazaki has painted her as an antagonist, despite the convincing argument against the idea. I know I’ve only scratched the surface here so I will continue to look into this case.
The workshops this week focused on walk cycles and character design, both of which I enjoyed throughly. The walk cycle session put the pressure on stepping up the complexity of the hand drawing on a much larger frame count than the other sessions. It put my ability to draw consistently to the test more than normal, that being something that I struggle with sometimes, but all went fairly well. The walk looked fine, but if you looked closely, you could see the claves shrink as they left the floor. Next time I’ll have to keep an eye on the limbs and make sure they maintain their size.
I was pleased with the outcome of character design and feel I’ve made something I quite like and want to progress with. The character is distinctive and amusing with their enormous nose. I’m not entirely sure about the religious iconography because I don’t want to upset anyone, but I like him being in a spiritual leadership role. It fits his his ‘holier than thou’ look and attitude with the turned up nose and head rocked back. I still like the idea of the character being a witch, but I want to see how they would look as a polititian – that’s another good possible role.
Life drawing this week was an improvement for me, I enjoyed the focus on tone. One task was to use chalk on black paper and mark only the higlights of light on the model without any outline. This isn’t something I had tried before, but I was supprised and pleased with the result. Its amazing how much can be infered by so little drawing. However, I do need to start speeding up with the 2 mins and less drawings, I found myself with a few unfinished sketches.
As for character research, I chose the character Lady Eboshi from studio Ghibli’s ‘Princess Mononoke’. She’s always been a character that’s stuck in my mind since I first watched it when I was small. I never knew where I stood with her when I was younger, she is a great example of blurring the lines between black and white, good and bad. I’m sure there’s a lot to learn about her.
The workshops this week followed the theme of bouncing balls because they demonstrate how spacing and timing is important to make animation look believable. I enjoyed these sessions as they pushed me for time – it took every last minute of each session to get the anmation planned, drawn and shot. In the pendulum sessions last week I found myself using rulers and divisions to get everything even and well spaced but in these sessions I found there was only time for rule of thumb. I doubted the outcome the first time I dropped the maths but I found it came out just fine. As long as the rough idea was fairly accurate the final clip looked cartoonishly charming even if the shots weren’t planned to the millimeter.
I did however conclude after the last session that I could spend more time making my demonstrations more bold and obvious. The ears on the appendages workshop clip I did were too small and not big enough to clearly demonstrate how they were reacting to all the bouncing around.
The life drawing session this week was more engaging with Peter. He worked with us to make our drawings a perfect whole rather than asortment of limbs or just a silhouette. We focussed on drawing different areas while studying how they related to other parts of the body, drawing lines between them and checking the symetry. It was nice to just start bashing out drawing after drawing whithout a pause butomething I need to start working on is my one minute drawings – every time I’ve failed to get the whole figure down.
Looking back on my first week, I don’t feel overly enlightened. It was interesting looking at pendulums and the idea of spacing and timing, but I feel like it’s spelling out what I already knew intuitively. I’m sure that’s what’s expected of me and I look forward to being challenged with whatever comes next.
I enjoyed my induction to life drawing and look forward to having longer, more focussed sessions. Looking back on my drawings from the sessions, they’re all terrible but I know I can get my head round the time constraints and change my drawing style to be more fluid and concise.