Monday, 28 December 2009

Olympics animation - All Together Now

IOC ¦ All together now from fxandmat on Vimeo.

Here's another amazing animation I found. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw this on the tv soon. I think this wonderfully depicts the need for the countries of the world to come together and take part in this extremely exciting event. It encourages equality and brings all the nations into one big happy family, using the symbolism of physically pulling the lands together with the aid of rope. I love the style of animation in this clip. It successfully uses 3D animation and is brought to life with vibrant warm colours.

Here's the making of the clip below

IOC ¦ All together now making of from fxandmat on Vimeo.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Random Vimeo Vids

Galileo from Ghislain Avrillon on Vimeo.

Since I don't have a Vimeo account right now, I figured I'd use my blog to post animations from Vimeo on to here. I will eventually get an account, but this will do fine for now.

I really like the textures and sounds in this clip. The ending where they both fly hand in hand with the butterflies is very heart warming aswell. I couldnt help but think that maybe their character designs could have been developed a bit more, because they didnt look very unique.

Low Oxygen from Dylan Forman on Vimeo.

This is a fanatastic vid I saw not long ago. It is extremely simple. It relies on beeping, ambient and muffled groans for sound effects. The Characters are simple yet extremely expressive in their actions. The introduction of them is well done aswell. You immediately know how they survive in the environment they are in, and the dilemma they come across. It has bittersweet ending that leaves the watcher feeling sympathetic for the astronauts, and wanting to see more.


A Difference In Shadow from Michael Mier on Vimeo.

Oh man Just saw this and simply had to add it to the post it. Woaah. That is a fantastic clip. It's amazing how a film can lead you to believe one thing and then you realise what the true meaning is at the end. Fantastically lit. I like how the match strokes divide up the story, almost like chapters. Wonderful

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Jared's Project - Gil Elvgren

In Bill Presing's interview, he talked about a guy called Gil Elvgren, and I decided to check out this guy's art pieces.

Above is a link to the Gil Elvgren's website, which celebrates his artwork.

Gil Elvgren was born in 1914, and responsible for creating pin-up images of ladies during the 1930s-1970s period, before passing away in 1980. He was an extremely revered glamour illustration artist in America. Many other artists have been inspired by this influential illustrator

These are examples of some of Gil's work that I admire the most.

At first when I first discovered this guy's work, I felt kinda uncomfortable when looking at it. Being a tomboyish kinda girl myself, I thought that these girls in his pictures seemed very vain and tarty. I kept seeing more and more skantily clothed women in compromising positions, and I wasn't particularly impressed to start with.

However, I now realize what makes his work so successful. These images celebrate the youthful women, and present them in a fun and captivating way. The poses are extremely well drawn and demonstrate some fantastic life drawing skills.

The colours he has chosen have been thought through carefully, and I have noted that he uses complimentary colours in his work. For instance, the picture above has an orange belt right at its centre, and the figure is surrounded by blue fabric. This helps draw the viewer's eye into the picture.

Gil's compositions also help lead the eye around the paintings. The top picture features a lady whose arms and legs create a triangular shape. All the lines of the body draw the eye up to her pouting, mischievous face. Also, she is wearing bracelets on her wrist that stand out very clearly in the picture. These are very subtle and effective ways of guiding people to focus on the important parts of the picture.

What I love the most about his style of drawing is the way he makes these girls look so real and vibrant, whilst maintaining a retro feel to his pieces. I'm aware that I am not very good at drawing women myself, so I think I should study his work more so I can draw interesting lady characters. I want to be able to present them effectively by manipulating shape, colour and composition, and be able to draw a variety of poses involving challenging perspective whilst maintaining proportions

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

David Nicolas - Partizan Lab

The first person I would like to study for Jared's project is a Mr David Nicolas. Here's a link to his bibliography on the (Numero 6) Partizan Lab's site. (for some reason the video clips don't work on the web page)

He was responsible for making a music video that I used to know as a kid, which was for the song "Superman Lovers - Starlight".

Its about a man who dreams of becoming a singing star on tv, and so enlists the help of a little mouse to try and make his aspirations happen. He takes control of the TV network and puts his song on for all to see. Unfortunately, his song is not a success with the nation, but instead attracts the attention of some aliens with better music taste.

This video hosts some fantastic animation and presents some quirky looking character designs. It is very unique and has an interesting style.

However, this is not the video I want to focus on in this post. The music video I want to analyze is of a song called "It's Not The End Of The World" by Super Furry Animals. I watched this very recently on another artist's Youtube favourites list. It's amazing how you find things randomly like this! Haha!

This animation tells the story of a child growing up and becoming a soldier. We see him get enlisted and meet his superiors and how his superiors act in the conflict. There is some very iconic war related imagery in the clip. Examples include scenes where the soldiers being waved goodbye as their train departs, the man receives the letter in the mailbox asking him to join the army, and the bombs dropping through the hatch at the bottom of the plane. These help the viewer see that it is to do with war. Without showing these parts in the music video, it might not have been as obvious that the film was about conflict.

Occasionally, we see the singer in the form of one of the puppets appear. He is pictured descending what looks like a never-ending spiral staircase whilst singing and playing a guitar. I learnt from Dickens' book "Hard Times" that staircases often suggest how a person is ascending to heaven or descending into Hell. Baring this in mind, I think this shot of the singer may symbolize how the world is slowly tumbling into a hellish chaos.

There are some nice reoccurring themes in the film that contrasts the life of a child with the life of a soldier. We see a young boy playing with a remote controlled tank toy, and then later on we see the soldier's tank trundling along. Again, we see the little boy with a paper airplane, and then moments later we see him taking the role of a pilot in a war aircraft and being parachuted down from the skies. There is also scene where the boy is playing with a toy boat in his bath, and before this we see the navy ship sailing in the ocean.

What I really like about this animation is how it represents war visually. The themes are supported by the way the animators have chosen to animate this. The boy's appearance doesnt change that much in the film, with the exception of uniform and clothing. He retains his big baby head and little body. This exaggerates the fact that he is still very young and yet he is participating in a life threatening and frightening career that requires a lot of bravery and courage.

The concept is set in what appears to be a machine operated puppetry machinism. All the scenes flip in and out of the shot in a rather machanical fashion. All the scenes are contained in one box-like stage, and change very frequently. Shutters are used to narrow the frame and focus in on important parts of the scene. At one point the singer is magnified by a set of lenses. The mechanics remind me of the arcade game scene after the credits of James and the Giant Peach. I tried to find a clip of it on Youtube, but I couldn't find it. Hopefully you know the bit I mean. This style makes the world we live in appear to be manufactured and unnatural.

Everything is pretty much in Sepia, making the scenes seem rusty and colourless. This effectively dates the movie, making it look older. There are a few parts of the video that have colour. The little puppets' eyes glow red. Maybe this is to represent the life that may be snatched away from them because of the war.

Numero 6 achieved the special jury prize at the 2002 Imagina Festival and took silver at the D&AD awards in the same year. I think this is deservedly so, considering that I havent seen an animation like this at all. It represents war in an effective way, and I commend it for that.

Bill Presing from Pixar - Interview

This is the link for an interesting interview with Bill Presing

Seriously I found this really inspiring. I have an interest in trying to get into Storyboarding, and to find this fantastic opportunity to see what a skilled storyboarder from Pixar Studios says about his experience is just amazing for me. this is right up my street.

There are so many things I have discovered about the industry that have opened my eyes. He also gave me a handy tip about how to improve your storyboarding skills, and that is:

Take a movie you really like. Then choose your favourite scene from that film. Then playe that scene, but pause it at every significant key frame. Then draw out what you see

This way, I can identify what makes the scene good, and i can use this knowledge for future projects.

Okay I havent quite finished watching the interview, so I might add to this post if I find anything else worth mentioning about the interview on here.


edit: Okay other tips Bill gave for aspiring storyboarders is that you have to be able to:
  • Stage well
  • Have a sense of acting
  • Emote - draw what the character is thinking
  • Draw a lot - "If you think you draw a lot, you need to draw more. It isn't enough!"
  • Be as clear as possible
Also, here's his blog if you're interested

Animation Research - Christmas Project

Jared Taylor, my Animation tutor, has assigned us this task to do over the Christmas holidays. Here's what he said in an e-mail he sent us a while ago -

You have to first of all expose yourself to something new or unknown,
it can be a recommendation from a friend or a tutor, but it has to be
previously unknown to you.
It can be a film, an artist, a designer, an architect, a musician, a
band, a sculpture, a painting, a play, an album, a book, or a poem,
Then you are going to research that new thing.
Give us some visuals that relate to it if possible.
Also some written commentary... It doesn't need to be much, 3 short
paragraphs will suffice.

I think this is a great way for me to expand my ways of thinking in terms of storytelling and animating, so I figured I definitely give this a shot. I have discovered many excellent random animations I havent seen before recently, and I figured this would be a great opportunity for me to share them with others and analyze them in depth.

Expect to see a few new posts in the next couple of days.