Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The Cutting Edge Film Programme

CG Artists Toolkit- (Follow Through Animation)

So to follow our earlier sack animations displaying squash and stretch but also anticipation within animation, (the crouching before a leap and such like.) We moved in to the 'follow through' (for example the flapping scarf of the driver of an open top sports car) I chose to simply add a tail to a circle shape and have it hop along a small landscape/obstacle course. I am quite proud of how it has gone. But I think I need to start finessing these animations, using a little colour and the like. Or even changing  to cutouts, just to make it a little different.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this short test animation.

Monday, 21 January 2013

CG Artists Toolkit- PreViz (Pan Shot, Roll Shot, Pitch Shot)

The animation below samples a panning shot. It was very quick and easy to do and it does add an element of fluidity of screen left to right and vice versa. I wasn't alone in having issues with  bringing up thirds and also colour view in the window and had to resort to only animating in wire frame.

Here are a series of playblasts of a character in a staircase, exhibiting the roll shot of the camera at several 'speeds'. With each video there is an increased rotation over the same distance. At first 180 degrees, then 360 degrees and finally 540 degrees. The initial rotation of the first appears fairly calm but as the rotations increase the environment also becomes increasingly chaotic and disorientating. Definitely creates a mood! (I had the same issue as before with thirds resorting to animating in wire frame)

Final Animation for this post is the pitch shot. Here we have a superhero as he dives through the sky and the camera follows him. This has been the easiest shot of the set, with very few key frames to mark. It has helped me to understand how to track a moving object in a shot however.

CG Artists Toolkit- Settle and Rest, Secondary Action and Overlap

Here is an attempt at settling and resting a pendulum. I keep forgetting that you need to add hang time on a swing and it really does help with the authenticity.

Using the earlier settle and rest techniques I was shown how to animate a chain. After the quite monotonous key framing of opposite points in was quite a relief to realize having done one unit of the chain you could copy and paste it onto the other three units and then shift the whole time line with two buttons! The resulting  effect is great! The only way I can describe it is 'swishy'.

CG Artists Toolkit- Camera Rig

Creating this cam rig seemed pretty straight forward however towards the end I suddenly noticed my thirds plain didn't match Alan's and when the focal length was altered the  plane went from the neck of the camera to translate out of and beyond it! (Look closely at the picture above) Although when looking at the thirds through the camera everything appeared to match the tutorial.. I'm sure this is not quite right. So I expect to come back and fix this at some stage.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Project3: Storytelling and Commission- (Premise, Logline and Step-Outline)

Here's my first bash at the writing structure. Premise, Log-line, Step-Outline. It may well have evolved between the logline and step outline...
As mentioned in the document I'm on working titles so any suggestions on pun's would be fantastic. If anyone spots some odd sounding scenes in the step-outline, drop me a line and I'll try and fix it ready for scripting this week!

Cutting Edge Film Programme

Project 3: Storytelling and Commission- (3-Act-Sequence)

Here is the 3 act sequence for my chosen idea. An ex -western-clown who finds himself a job at a restaurant.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

CG Artists Toolkit- (Lighting the old Alleyway)

So I finally got back to the last section of tutorials I failed to complete earlier and here we have the lit alleyway. It took a few attempts with technical issues but I got there in the end. Onwards to texturing!

CG Artists Toolkit: Flour Sack Animation (with Sound)

The latest task as mentioned in my last animation post, was to create a flour sack that will jump over a box utilizing the squash and stretch technique we have been shown. I've completed my animation, although it may need a few tweaks here and there and thought I'd post up result number one with some sound effects added. 


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Project 3: Storytelling and Commission- (Story refining)

So having come up with five different story ideas for a restaurant a clown and a lasso, I decided to try and further them and see if they could be refined in any way and made even more believable. So here is the original idea 2- A very busy restaurant is thrown into turmoil when a mischievous clown awaiting the arrival of a children’s birthday part, roams around the buzzing kitchen, pulling gags on the cooks, which end disastrously.
In trying to further the story idea and bring it together a friend provided me with a great back story and resulted in the following idea.

A clown becomes unemployed as the fairground circus he works in is closed down. To survive, the clown manages to land himself a job as a waiter at a local restaurant. Settling into the new role proves difficult however as the clown find it tough to kick his entertaining habits; Plate spinning, knife throwing, lassoing, rolling gags become a day-to-day thing within this restaurant. The manager is anything but entertained. The clown, being quite skilled with his lasso uses it as his best act; latching onto the staff’s wrists as they go to set puddings on the table and then tugging, sending ice cream flying. But the last straw happens when he lasso’s a cheesecake and accidentally swings it, smacking the manager in the face. The clown is promptly sacked. The day after the clown is forced to leave; the manager reads a review on his restaurant by a top critic. He discovers, to his horror, that the waiter was a hit and was also beginning to generate a lot of business. The customers loved the crazy antics of the clown waiter, laughing at and even being part of his gags and that was why they had continued to come back. In an attempt to rectify his mistake the manager goes looking for the clown to employ him once more. A few months later and all the waiting staff are entertainers from the closed down circus and they are reveling in worldwide praise.

Feedback would be appreciated!! I’m struggling on which ideas from my earlier five to take forward, which are linked here.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Project 3: Storytelling and Commission- (Influence Maps)

Having been given the variables of the project I set about on some initial research and a good place to start is a dictionary definition of each of my words.

A Restaurant- A place in which people pay to sit and eat meals that are cooked and served on the premises

A Clown- 1 A comic entertainer, esp. one in a circus, wearing traditional costume and make up
             2 A comical, silly or playful person
             3 A foolish or incompetent person

A Lasso- A rope with a noose on the end used esp. in North America for catching cattle or horses.

The definitions of my words better understood, a few days ago, I went on to create some very general influence maps ready for when I start to create the look of my stories when I have chosen one. They might also help me in generating ideas too.

Restaurants have taken to a very generic layout for optimum efficiency, fitting in their guests and providing the necessary facilities but some restaurants have a very specific cuisine that they serve and with that in ind have altered their premises to accommodate and communicate that. So I looked up some themed restaurant ideas and the general look of the interior of a restaurant.

There was not much to really search up about the Lasso. it is usually a piece of rope used in capturing or ensnaring livestock most commonly. There area few characters known for using a Lasso, the most obvious, Cowboys, less obvious Wonder Woman. But there is another angle to look at. What if the Lasso was not a rope but maybe a limb or attached to the person wielding it, hence the images from Tangled. A similar idea could be used on mouse or rat characters. Or any character that actively usesiits tail to grab things...

Now there are many different versions of clowns, each with their own types of acts and personality as well as make-up and costume. Mimes,black and white clowns that express everything through gesture. Auguste Clowns, the brightly coloured generic clown, harlequin clowns who are jester like entertainers and more. I discovered a novel way in which each clown identifies themselves within the 'Clown International' Organization. Painted eggs. Clown's have a trademark face make up that is unique to them and within this organization is a gallery of eggs with the face paint of each member upon it along with their character name in the business.

Well thats my research for so far, no doubt there will be more to come!

CG Artists Toolkit- (Animation 1: Bounce 1&2)

So here is a look into the animation movements of a bouncing ball within Maya. Its a fairly repetitive process, but if you're not paying attention then you could wind up with a very odd looking bouncing ball! I feel I'm becoming much better acquainted with squash and stretch now and the spacing between bounces and hang time. Its not just a technical tutorial this one. Its helped me grasp general drawn animation better as well!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Life Drawing- (Session 13)

With this session we began with the usual short poses but they were followed with a similar take to our animation drawings, taking a look at emotive poses and trying to add the emotion through our drawing styles and framing of Jane on the paper. The first drawing was an attempt at nervousness which I associated with a sort of claustrophobic isolation. The second drawing was sorrow so I added the sense that there was rain using my eraser to create striations in the charcoal. The third and final drawing was loneliness (I think). So I drew the figure being gradually enveloped by a cloud of darkness.

CG Artists Toolkit- (Life Drawing and Flour Sack Animation))

So we began the morning life drawing with a series of emotive stances. One of fear, boredom, excitement and so on.


Later we moved onto action poses in which peers would be drawn completing a short movement e.g. throwing a ball. We had to draw the start position middle position and the end position of most drawings. As the exercise went on we had less time to complete the drawings, eventually we were sketching out body's in just one minute. I feel I made a rather messy job of these and I need to improve on my communication of actions. Maybe some large marker pens of different colours would make them easier to read...

After the mornings exercise we got down to a new animation. To ensure we had grasped squash and stretch we have been told to create a short animation of a flour sack somehow jumping over an obstacle in its path. A box. Below is my initial action plan. A really basic series of sketches showing the key movements.

However I have already changed some of the actions realizing they may be a little too time consuming. In doing a test I discovered making the sack stretch one way took nearly 10 frames to do. So I let him stretch just the once and instead of bending forward and back up again I've made it look as if it is inhaling and exhaling. Unfortunately I could not save the test movie because the lighting was so poor and my animation was hardly visible. I am hoping I manage to do a decent job of the run up, although that may also change to a hop, but we shall see.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Project 3: Storytelling and Commission- (Like-for-Like)

Its not the first time I've given story-boarding a shot but I definitely feel more informed on how to create one this time. Please find below a like-for-like story-board, taken from the opening sequence of Pixar's 'Monsters Inc.'

So there you have it, young Phlegm Failing his first 'Scare Simulation'. I'm hoping that the images are fairly clear. Trying to depict camera movements is pretty tough. And I'm not sure I've used all the right terminology but there we are. I'm hoping each of my pictures will go in order when viewed but in case they don't, here's a simplified version on A3 canvases and to follow is  the clip I've storyboarded from the original motion picture 'Monsters Inc.' 

I've found many samples of the clip but they appear to be the subject of a sound replacement project, so I apologize for any unexpected sounds or voices and so on.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

CG Artists Toolkit- (Interior, Whimsey Kitchen)

A sunset filled interior complete here. That's all the lighting tutorials done (finally) I couldn't believe how many lights were needed for this particular exercise but they really did add that extra assurance of light pouring in through the windows.

Project 3: Storytelling and Commission- (Story ideas)

So I started to think about little stories I could construct from a restaurant environment, a clown character and a lasso for a prop. Here are a few ideas.

A clown is asked to perform in a western themed restaurant but has been instructed his act must include a lasso to comply with the whole feel of the place. Not possessing the skills, the clown arrives in the morning at the premises while it’s closed, to practise handling a rope. The problem is the performance is at 4pm…to a pack of unforgiving children and parents. The clown practises very unsuccessfully, the lasso catching onto all kinds of things with bad consequences. For example, the rope successfully catching a door handle and when pulled with glee, slams into the clown knocking him over. Another example being in trying to throw the rope forward it catches on a plaque of mounted bull-horns in the wall. When yanked forward it slams into the clown pinning him, by the horns, to the floor. 4’Oclock rolls around and he faces the audiences. To his utmost surprise his every disaster sets off applause, even though he destroys half the restaurant in the process.

A very busy restaurant is thrown into turmoil when a mischievous clown awaiting the arrival of a children’s birthday part, roams around the buzzing kitchen, pulling gags on the cooks which end disastrously. On entry to the kitchen the clown first frightens chef number one by mistake, who leaps backwards with a pan in his hand, knocking out chef number two. Chef number three is squirted in the face with the flower gag. Having been blinded while chopping, he accidentally puts a knife through his hand. Chef number one faints having seen the knife in chef three’s hand and so that leaves just one chef to try and take care of the entire kitchen. In a bid to rectify his mistake the clown sets about with his circus skills to keep the food cooking and help chef number four, using a number of surprising techniques. This is where the lasso comes into play, pulling pans this way and that whipping knives of the walls to chop and spinning plates and so forth. In the end they save the dinnertime rush.

In a bar and restaurant a father and son approach the bar. The son has clown like attributes, a huge smile, huge eyes and large frizzy blonde hair. The father picks up a menu, meanwhile the son clambers onto a stool and begins to make a nuisance of himself with a length of string. A short way down the bar sits a grumpy looking woman with a meal and her nose in some romance novel. The boy makes her the target of his pranks, lassoing her drink at first. He then begins to lasso her chips one by one, hiding behind a menu when she looks round. When he successfully pinches a chipolata, it’s the last straw for the lady. Subtly, she sinks a fork into a pile of mushy pea’s, and as the boy prepares to ensnare more of her dinner, slams her hand down on the fork catapulting pea’s into the boys face. With a smirk, the lady dismounts her stool and picks up her belongings… a bright orange huge wig, a red nose and a garish coloured jacket that she pulls on before leaving the restaurant, with a squeak of her nose at the still stunned boy, the clown lady leaves.

A clown and a cowboy are sat in a restaurant in two separate booths back-to-back. The cowboy looks very serious, focused on his meal in quiet. The clown, whilst trying to eat his own meal has his various gags going off, irritating the cowboy to the point he decides to take action using a number of objects on his person to counteract the clowns gags. After several fairly minor gags, the clown sneezes; his red nose flying off, bouncing off the table and his glass and backwards into the cowboy’s dinner. The nose displaces a whole sausage, throwing it to the floor. The cowboy, now feeling cheated peeps over the back of the booth and using his lasso ensnares one of the clowns sausages. The cowboy yanks it back thinking he's won, when he finds he's ensnared a squeaky dog toy instead. Furious, the cowboy flies to his feet, the clown also stands to face him. Both draw weapons. A gun each aimed at each other’s heads. They fire simultaneously. The cowboys hat is thrown from his head by a bullet from the clowns gun, while the cowboys weapon simply shoots out the flag message entitled ‘bang’. After several moments of silence, a wide-eyed, shaking cowboy, slowly returns to his seat to finish his dinner. The clown sits with a smug look on his face and does the same.

In the middle of a street there is a restaurant entitled ‘Pies R Us’. A normal looking young lady enters the premises and comes to a halt when she see’s the inside. The interior of this restaurant is mayhem. It’s a restaurant for clowns. And the reason it is called ‘Pies R Us’ is because no one leaves unless they receive a pie in the face. As she tries to back out, a series of clown shaped obstacles stop her. The lady is forced to run a circuit around the restaurant dodging all pies and gags to come around and hopefully escape with some dignity. In a bid to get out she uses the loop on her little hand bag as a lasso to swing from the lights and open doors and bat chairs out of the way and so on. She wins her battle, making it outside without getting pied. But in staring back wistfully at the restaurant having had so much fun, she is faced with a lone clown with a custard pie. After a quiet moment of smiling, she takes the pie and pie’s herself before walking back into the restaurant to order some real pie and get involved with the chaos.

Well those are my initial story idea's let me know what you think and any suggestions you might have! :)

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Life Drawing- (Sessions 11-12)

By the end of last term the thought of photographing and uploading my last two sessions of life drawing (and one of animation drawing) had completely escaped my mind. Now that I have remembered, here are the results of those last sessions for 2012

Session 11
So we started with the usual quick poses and moved on to slightly longer ones. This time we had an interesting look at Jane's figure as she began to utilize props. I feel i began to improve with the longer poses.

 These later poses were something between 20-30 minutes each if memory serves. I decided to revisit a technique we tested in a previous session. i liked the jagged immediacy of the acrylic paint. It helps me add the shadow and dimension to the form fairly quickly. I like to then build further onto it using the charcoal.

Session 12

We began with quick poses, around two minutes for each of them before we went on to try something different. In this eercise we were encouraged to draw only the most important shapes when studying a moving subject. So in the case of the second landscape image, we were told to draw Jane as she slowly walked around the room. I was forced to try and convey the general shape of her body whilst in that motion in essentially one line with each stage I studied. It was difficult but an interesting exercise.

The next few exercises were just encouraging us to try different mediums when drawing the static form.