Thursday, 26 January 2012

Artefact 01

Please watch the following video on the link above. Because I've used a sound clip which from Liar Liar and it only has a third party content licence i cannot embed it.

The purpose of the first artefact was to show a baseline animated performance through the context of lying, in this case, attempting to lie. The process of this was working through layer between the key poses. I started with the lip syncing, through the following layers:

1) Open/Close path.
2) Wide/Narrow Path.
3) Key Shapes Path.

Then i moved onto the Motion cycles. Initially i worked Pose to Pose shaping the key poses according to the key frame. This was worked over 2 or 3 times. Before finally running an expression path which went through 2/3 passes. Finally another few passes went ironing out any glitches or unsuitable motions.

The feedback was generally positive, which is pleasing personally as my second year animation was poor. Within the context of the research their were still aspects which could be improved, to create a better piece for a baseline performance. I feel it is important to mention at this point that the scene, (from the film Liar Liar) was not copied exactly. The sound was directly from their and the piece at the end where Jim Carey holds the pen up in the air was kept. I never intended to create an exaggerated performance, however, due to the intensity of the dialog it was inevitable that the piece would lead that way. This was an aspect, in hindsight, that i should of seen. However, the general consensus was that the trunk (hip/waist area) was too static, and the change of weight between motion was not sufficient. When the poses met their key points the body was too static, there was no follow-through between the weight which meant it lost its fluency.

It is clear that the trunk needs some work. It was also mentioned that the piece was too long, so the next piece will be a segment of the first and improved on, to create a better baseline performance, which will hopefully give me a platform to progress with the research.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Splitpost: 24 hours to find a connection.

So yesterday i posted an interesting video by James W Griffiths (located in the previous post) with an interesting video filmed on a Nokia N8. Well, imagine my surprise 24 hours later when an advert pops onto the TV, and.... Wait!

If you haven't watched James W Griffiths video, do so now by clicking here. Then watch the following:

I know, I know. Yep, even the subway. In the context of this discussion, it makes Griffiths effort feel cheap. Thats no disrespect to Griffiths, what he did was brilliant, well planned and well executed, and filmed on a Nokia N8 and probably on the budget of the flight. It's very absorbing.

But why am i bringing this up?

One interesting difference is the use of narrative. Griffiths has used the relationship of two cities as the route to connection, the link is a metaphor for love and friendship that is established at the end. You feel isolated all the way through with it being from a point of view perspective allowing one to speculate where the narrative is going while at the same time allows to be engaged by the shots . Not only are the environments similar (but at the same time different), so is the timing and pacing of the movement between the shots.

The advert (I'm not promoting it by mentioning the company's name) is left in its shadow in comparison. Okay, we know it's all about the visual language, we need to know it's two single people, we need to establish their isolation independently from each other. However, the moment in which they meet has none of the awe that you find in Griffiths Splitscreen. It would appear that the advert is aimed at 25-40 year old middle class, inner-city mock suburbian types, who all have identical lives (although the message is they have an identical problem: they have no one to share there identical lives with), and dream of nothing more than finding the 'one' to go to the cafe with. And therein lies the difference between the two. One is about love, the journey you take for it, and how rewardingly sincere it is at the end. and one is about meeting someone.

The advert is the latter.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Splitscreen: A Love Story

Found this great little short on A lot of prep and time has gone into the shots and really opens the imagination to what can be achieved on mobile phones, yes, this was shot entirely on a Nokia N8. Wonderful stuff. I love the accuracy in the speed between the shots of looking above to the apartments with the trees flowing by. It only had to be slightly off pace and it would be ruined. That said, with it being made using a mobile phone, it could of been edited on site using a laptop, meaning mistakes were not as costly, and easy to retake. I'm feeling very tempted to get a flight.....

Anyway, Enjoy!

Splitscreen: A Love Story from James W Griffiths on Vimeo.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Some animated shorts...

Here are a couple of shorts that have been posted on Cartoon Brew over the last few days. The first one, A Good Wife by W. Scott Forbes is a short that is primarily driven by shot (I know all film are) and is a good example of how to composite a narrative structure. It's loosely tied to animation rather than a generalized animation as its presence is very minimal to say the least. Still the timing and pacing of the piece is spot on, with the choice of visual cues very well planned.

A Good Wife from W. Scott Forbes on Vimeo.

The second is a short by 5 graduates titled Swing of Change. It has a lot more animated action than the previous piece, but is a great example of characters experiencing an emotional arc. This arc is at the core of all good animated shorts.

Swing of Change from Swing of Change on Vimeo.