Tuesday, 30 March 2010
So to start with was a 20 mins standing pose.
After, it was once again a a standing pose facing the other way for 20 mins.
And finally, a 1 hour sitting pose, concentrating on the model (tone and proportions) but also how it relates to the surroundings ( negative space and measuring).
P.S: I will be away for the next 2 weeks, but I will write some entries as the time passes by, though not so often. :)
Monday, 29 March 2010
Ping Pong Ball:
Sunday, 28 March 2010
Saturday, 27 March 2010
So far everything is going smoothly, the use of joints at such basic way is really getting into my head, what i thought that would be a painful job, has become something rather enjoyable.
Friday, 26 March 2010
It is a hydraulic metal leg, such things use in Terminator or any other mechanical character.
It was a really straight forward tutorial, and even more im understanding how IKs and Joints work, also how to connect the control to the actual joint structure.
Here is the picture with the outliner organized.
but also because we are getting into animation, I decided to just show the movements of the leg , just upwards and the toes.
Also, to practice speed in painting I decided to paint the 3 the of them simultaneously. After all it was a good exercise, as I could manage to finish them pretty quick.
For the colour pallete, I wanted to use a flesh like colour on contrary of the dark brown, also I had the idea of using a golden handle but I think it wouldn't look good with it.
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
After the warm up, we had 2x 40 mins poses, where we could only use negative spaces and shading the character to actually draw it, so it meant no line drawing contouring the model.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Bill Plympton is an America animator, using hand-drawn animation techniques to give life to characters.
Plymptons's animations are really stylised in a sketchy style. By the stylisation of the characters and respective world, he tries to create a comedic effect to the story, Although stylised characters are already exaggerated , I perceive Plympton's characters as being a step even further, he over-exaggerates the characters by creating complete perfect caricatures. Plympton's illustrations and cartoons have been published in The New York Times and weekly newspaper The Village Voice, as well as in the magazines Vogue, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Penthouse, and National Lampoon.
As I mentioned before, his animations have an unique style, induced by the sketchy look yet communicative drawings. From coloured Pencils to minimalist line drawings, he approaches animation in many different ways.
Plympton is considered the 1st animator to draw every frame for an animated film. Although he uses less frames per second, as the movement is quite jumpy, this approach really creates an frenetic animation, that jumps from action to action, but that really suits the stylised characters.
Working with him is Signe Baumane, director and animator, who inks and colours each frame.
The Tune was his first animation, and the one, which Bill Plympton fully financed on his own. It features this really exaggerated characters living in these minimalist but yet exaggerated environments. The jumpiness of the animation is visible but it is also essential for this movie as it features a lot of singing and dancing. Bill Plympton, not only change characteristics on the characters but also he applies that to the all world, by over-stretching, over squashing and morphing.
I must admit, that I was not familiar with this animator, but I was stunned in the end , everything was working that really glued me to the screen. The characters were a delight and really an inspiration for my works from this point on.
Rene' Laloux was a french artist , animator and film director, who started in art by doing painting, and later worked in a Psychiatric Institution, where he started his hand drawn-animations with the interns.
In one of his animations called Fantastic Planet (1973) he uses drawings that are reinforced by the use of really strong colours. The design of the world was really interesting really similar to anything out of the surrealism, where the places looked like dreams, and it went well with the characters, despite his emptiness sometimes. One of the things I caught was the importance of music in this piece, not only it created atmosphere, but also it was used to emphasize the actions.
It bore a strong narrative that drove the audience throughout one hour of film, where it take on the social values and the idea of respect, in this animation humans become the target and the alien civilization Draag become the attacker. In my opinion, it criticizes the way people see the world, as a far superior being compared to other animals or plants. A case where the predator becomes the prey.
Although it had a good narrative, which I enjoyed to the fact that criticized society. i found myself disliking it because of its cranky and not appealing animation.
I don't know maybe because I am used to see hand-drawn animation where all the frames are drawn to the minimal movement detail, for instance's Disney. This one was rather weird, and the walking cycle looked a bit unfinished.
After Uni, I took some time at home researching Laloux's works, and I found a rather less known film called Time Masters,1982 , for the few minutes I saw I really enjoyed it. In this film is visible the delightful world that is seen on the other animation, where the environment looks like something out of Shaun Tan's illustrations. Also the fact that is set in space, gives a whole sense of science fiction to the whole feature. But one of the things that it doesnt share from the previous animation, is the crankiness of the animation. In this film the animation is far better, and the treatment of the picture looks much better.
This Animated film, reminded a lot of 1980' animated TV Series, such as He-Man or Transformers, not that I was one of the biggest fan of them, though the style is quite similar. Maybe because it belongs to the 80's.
Monday, 22 March 2010
Jiri Barta is a Czech stop-motion animator, who was famous by using ,once again, known objects such as dolls or far more natural sources such as wood to create his weird and twisted animation full of uncanny effects. Although, they had this effect, they also helped to create a richer critic to society values or even political.
I must say I wasn't familiar with his work, but after watching the short film>Klub Odlozenych (Club Of The Laid Off), I must say it is interesting and delightful to see how he uses objects that can identify easily with the actual people, and strongly criticizes society. Even though the characters were manikins with a rather scary look, I felt a strong connection between them and people in general, who demonstrated their importance for family and its values. Maybe they appearance helped to identify better or not, but the idea to fight for what is yours and your families was presented.
As I mentioned before, Barta uses any kind of materials for is animations, but with the only purpose to emphasize the meaning behind them and creating a strong narrative.
Definitely worth to have a look at his work, as it is a brilliant approach to animation, not only technically but also story-wise.
Brothers Quay or Quay Brothers are two identical twin American aanimators working in the are of Stop-Motion. Their animation, likely Svankmmajer's, features the concept of the Uncanny, by the use of dolls, the rich highly textured environment, where every bit of dust counts. The Quay Brothers had many influences, from writers such as Franz Kafka or Robert Walser to other Animators such as the Russian pioneer in Stop-Motion Animator Władysław Starewicz or the polish animator Jan Lenica. Also the importance of music in their animation creating a really expressive effect are influenced by the polish composer Leszek Jankowski or by the Avant- garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, creating music that is highly effective.
People may notice the similarities between this type of animation and the one of Svankmajer's, yes they were also influenced by him, who they paid a homage by creating a film called " The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer". Although their animations may seem quite similar, In my opinion they are really distinctive. While Svankmajer uses stop-motion in a surreal way, using well-known objects provoking the uncanny effect or any other concept. Brothers Quay's animation is a rather more expressive, from the dark and weird, almost distorted environments to the whole weird narrative, and the addiction of really expressive music. The use of dolls, yes gives the uncanny feeling, but also helps to create the world in which the narrative is set. this old dirty and long abandoned world or in contrary the world of dreams and nightmares, the unconscious mind.
All these factors seem something out of Tim Burton's film, but is good to mentioned that who got influenced by this animations was the now famous Tim Burton and his "unique" style.
here is one of the their animation, which was shown today to us. and where all the aspect mentioned before, an expressive world, dark, distorted and weird, with rather uncanny-like characters, constructed upon a weird narrative and accompanied by a really avant-garde, yet expressive music.
Jan Svankmajer is a Czech surrealist artist, who uses stop motion, to create the most distinct and weird works but yet brilliant. Being a Surrealist, Svankmajer applies themes of dreams, fantasy, emotions and desires into his works. Using as influences, the artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo or even Freudian concepts dealing with childhood and the desires that it often arises. His works not only are about dreams, but also share the uncanny aspect, where he uses everyday life objects creating a rather scarier approach and vision of them, by giving life or even a personality.
Although, Svankmajer's work lack in narrative aspect as most don't even have a 3 act structure story, the way it is depicted in such a surreal way using strong editing and camera angles are the delightful aspect of his films.
One of his most famous short films, is Dimensions of Dialogue, 1982.
In this short film is visible the influences I mentioned before, the portraits using flora and natural elements by Giuseppe Arcimboldo. This short film is divided, by 3 types of dialogue, the first part called " Exhaustive Discussion" shows a succession of actions where one of the heads eats the other and vice-versa, these heads being something out of Arcimboldo's Paintings. The 2nd Part is called "Passionate Discourse" and shows a intimate "dialogue" between two hyper- realistic clay busts, where most of Freudian concepts can be perceived.Finally the 3rd part, "Factual Conversation" is once again again a mute dialogue between two clay bust, where each one presents an object that belongs to each other, as they swap places these same objects start to be misplaced.
Also, one of my favourite short films by Jan Svankmajer, is a really short animation called Meat Love, Yes I mentioned it and posted before at the beginning of this unit as I find it really similar to what we have to do.
Anymore research about this Animator will be expressed in my essay as he is the chosen topic.
Once Again, I followed the character sheet model by creating a turn around poses, and also the final pose.
Also I did a emotions experiment with the character that in my opinion will help to animate the character. Although, the emotions may not be perfect, with the help of movement and posture, I will be able to create the desired emotion.
As I posted before, the influences for this character came when I researched some "heavy" Opera Singers and some stereotyped Italian chefs. where the proportions are associated to my choice of the character.
on the last sketches, I think I really achieved the comedic effect implied to the character, however I wasn't happy with the over all shape of the top, the "head".
So the choice for my final design is a hybrid of the last design with the right design from the third page.
Sunday, 21 March 2010
Also, my girlfriend had a cd with some American songs, which feature almost none USA songs, but rather from small countries in Central and South America.
And the one I kept on listening and became one of my favourites is Andy Palacio and Adrian Martinez - Baba
I went on youtube and watched a really interesting documentary about him, his works and his influences.
In this documentary, they outline how Svankmajer's works belong to a rather fictional side of art, such as the surrealism but also how uncanny some of his works may appear, where he uses different objects that surround us and explore them giving them character and consciousness. it mentions the way that his films are edited, in which the action is often cut to a already close-up of the object, to emphasize the action. However, what really stroke me the most was the influences in which Svankmajer takes on his works. In most of his works, he was influenced by a famous artist with a rather weird style, Giuseppe Archimboldo, yes the artist who used to paint his portraits using flora and natural elements in the place of the real human features. Archimbolodo's style was so interesting as it firstly takes art into the surreal realm. This style is mostly visible in Svankmajer's work, while watching Dimensions of Dialogue.
Jan Svankmajer - Dimensions of dialogue
Although Archimboldo's art was an influence, it was not the only one, in the same documentary, they mention a lot of Freudian Concepts, the idea that childhood is innocent age but yet full of desires and thoughts that can affect us to the rest of our lives.
Surely, I will have as main references this while writing my essay, also I will check some other possible influences.
Okay, now sticking up with the subject of this post.
Yesterday, after a 5 hours of working, I took the afternoon to go and visit Phil's exhibition called " Px3+J= ?". So when I finished at 3 in my job, I took the train to the remote and lovely town of Whistable, and how much that reminds me of my country, the beach, the wind, the smell of fish, the restaurants by the seaside everything made feel as if I was at one small seaside town back in Portugal. When I arrived at 2o past 5 at this beautiful place, I made my way to the local Arts Centre just off the High Street, on my way there, it was visible what type of place it was, remote full of independent shops, which sell the most variety of things.
When arriving to the exhibition, I saw familiar faces such as Phil Gomm (tutorphil for the bloggers), Phil Hosking (Photoshop Phil) and not so familiar faces but yet the artists of that exhibitions such as Phill Cooper and Jan Groszer.
Although, I arrived at about half 5 and art gallery closed at 6, which was quite annoying, I still had some time to "travel" through the exhibition. It was for my surprise to find such diverse works in such a small room, but yet so interesting to see.
Starting my "journey" by looking at Phil Gomm's Pictures, I really liked how despite being normal flora that we can see everyday, is explored in a rather more detailed and abstract way, as I didnt have time to get the names of the pictures, I enjoyed most of them. I liked that exploration of the colour and the shapes, which gave that abstract effect, where the viewer is presented with such familiar world but yet so unknown.
Moving towards Phil Hosking's wall, I was presented by some sort of Kadisnky style (not that I want to associate both), but the use of bold colours and the abstract shapes, Although not being the greatest fan of Kadisnky's work, I do agree with his ideals, of using colour to express. Although the shapes are not really defined in Phil Hosking paintings, the colours are the high point of it. The epxressionism delivered by the colours can be perceived by each individual differentely and that what makes it interesting.
On the far end of Hosking's wall was 2 series of sculptured busts, while the 1st 4 were interesting to watch, the last 4 were the ones which stroke me the most in which he could actually just by making a bust capture what the character is and its personality.
Once again, moving towards Jan Groszer's wall, I saw the favourite part of this exhibition, more specifically the Totem Series, I dont know if is because I like machinery and all its details or not. The totem series were moody and dark photographs of different machines abandoned in this remote place. As I first looked at the pictures, our brain resembles to something that we have already seen somewhere, and the picture of my brain was of a German Bunker abandoned for long years after WWII or any kind of Steampunk, the beautiful textures and lighting shot by the camera creating such a atmosphere of post-apocalyptic place never again to be inhabitated. Something out of the "the Road".
Also on Groszer's wall were far more intimate pictures of the author nude in different rooms of his old flat in London. A far more honest approach than the Totem series, I perceive it as the comodity of home, the idea of comfort, "there's no place like home" slogan, on the contrary,I also had the idea of moving the new skin coming into your body a new life to be build from that time onwards. The pictures were beautifully shot, with a lot of contrast created by using black and white photograph, but also the lighting, On one hand,they could distinguish the portrayed element, Jan, on the other hand they also camouflaged him as part of the house.
Finally, for my last stop in the exhibition, were the paintings by Phil Cooper, once again the abstract factor as presented in some of them, the strong use of colour. But what I found diferent from hosking's paintings, this painting had a different athmosphere, a more cold and wintery effect to them.
Overall I really enjoyed the exhibition despite not spending much time in there. What elese can I say about the town of Whistable apart from loving it, and definately a place that I will visit more often.
Friday, 19 March 2010
Although, I didnt get the paper I managed to do my hand- drawn animation, or at least 4 letters out of 5, out of the layout pad from the Uni's shop. thanks Jackie for pointing me that.
So here's the animation:
Radio, Universe, Banana, Elephant.
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
So taking my composite picture found here.
I could apply some scaling, for instance small lower part and big middle part and normal top part, or I could polish some round bit and create them more oval.
So I researched some opera singers with a heavy build.
Not that I will be creating a heavy build character, rather one with some shape.
For more inspiration, I looked at Italian chefs, as my scene will be set in a restaurant, our pepper mill could actually resemble an italian chef. Although, it seems I'm stereotyping people and also my character, it is only for the purpose of the character.
So i researched some Italian Chefs and all of them share something in common, they have a mustache, surely I wont add a mustache to my character, but once again, it is only to help me set proportions appealing as well as resembling.
Yes, all chefs also share the body proportions in common, that actually are similar to a pepper mill. So I have Opera Singers and Italian Chefs as reference Already two iconic professions that can stereotype Italy.
Ray Harryhausen is an American film producer and a special effects creator, who uses Stop- motion to create the most incredible of the environments. Harryhausen's passion started as a child, he liked to make his own models of dinosaurs and other monsters, all perceived from the museums he had visited and films he had watched. The direct influence for his work was the ancestor in special effects Willis O'Brien, with the creation of Kong.
Although Harryhausen's stop motion follows the same concepts of O'brien's one, by the means of the evolution of technology, Harryhausen's is more fluent with lesser bumps. and allows him to create superb environments such as the colossus in Jason and the Argonauts.
Jason and the Argonauts was showed to us yesterday, as a film which it is known only by one name, Ray Harryhausen because of the special effects.
Jason and the Argonauts is a 1963, fantasy and mythology feature film directed by Don Chaffrey. It shows Jason's trip to Colchis, a land on the other side of the world. As he adventures in this quest many incidents will occur, from fighting with Titans to fighting with hydras and skeletons.
Exactly, this film is really famous for his story, because apart from being a transcription from a Greek legend, it was also changed to adapt better to time. And no, the acting is horrible, making us laugh in some parts where he shouldn't suppose to. I mention what is famous and well produced for its time in this film. The special effects, yes the special effects are a delight to look at.
Although they may look a bit dated, as nowadays the use of CG took over the special effects in film. For that time the use of stop-motion was the only technique used and how mastered it was by Harryhausen. From the fight with the Colossus, though a bit bumpy it created actually a good effect, to the fight with the hydra and its seven heads which had been a challenge to animate. Not forgetting the most dynamic and interactive scene of them all, the skeleton fights, Although this scene looks also dated, it is still a pleasure to look at it because it was one of the 1 big steps onto intereaction between special effects and the characters. Previously in King Kong, also interact with the set and with the characters but no in such dynamic way, as a sword fight.
While, Jason is fighting the Skeleton is visible some faults, not by the part of animation , but rather from acting, but really who cares when you are presented to such an innovative and frenetic scene in the history of cinema.
To conclude that Harryhausen was a real master in stop-motion, creating scenes never imagined possible by man.
As the action will be set in a Italian restaurant, I decided to look at some Italian songs. This is just an excuse to present my love for international music, yes it is true I listen everything from Mexican and South American songs to Italian and French, I devour everything that it is international.
Digging into the artists I know from Italy, names such as Eros Ramazzotti or Laura Pausini were in my list.
Although, I really enjoy these songs, they wouldn't create a great atmosphere as they are just pop songs.
For the Animation, my idea was to use a genre that would distinguish and also stereotype the restaurant, so people when watching the Animation, they would perceive it straight away.
For this purpose, I had to go for a specific genre, Opera. Opera is a distinguished genre, where the singers actually prove how good they are by the power of their voice, and not by special effects made by the mixing table. I will use Opera because it actually portrays Italy immediately, as the greatest names are mostly Italian.
So I had to dig once again into onto my names list, and I found really famous tenors such as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli.
The only problem was that most of this names are quite contemporary, or at least from the past 50 years.
I had to research some names and I came across with names such as Mario Lanza and Franco Corelli, though the biggest name of all tenors was missing, and this was pointed to me by Phil, Enrico Caruso is considered the most famous of all tenors, because of his gifted voice.
All these voices are great, however what I really have to choose is the song and thereafter get the artist. I mention this because most of the opera singers, they sing operas by Verdi or Puccini. They don't really have anything innovative, rather beautiful operas by the grand composers of all time.
For the songs, one has been in my head since the beginning of the project, more precisely since I decided to add music to my animation.
Enrico Caruso- O Sole Mio
Mario Lanza- Funiculi Funicula
Enrico Caruso- La Donne et Mobile
for now these songs sang by these artists are my top 3 choice. The song I really wanted to use was Carmen by Bizet, though it is not italian, but rather French. Thus, my primary choice out of these 3 is Funiculi Funicula, because of its live, is a really fast song that can be associated to the movement of the pepper mill, also Im thinking of putting 2 half songs, so it would be one for the beginning part and the Funiculi Funicula song for the pepper mill part.
As my first idea was actually to add some motion or expression to the character at act 3 to finish well.
So the 2nd draft for the script is:
(Throughout the whole animation an italian opera will be playing, song and artist not defined until the moment)
It all starts with a shot of the table where all the condiments and other objects will be. Being these objects, the pepper mill, a olive oil bottle, Italian bread, olives and Parmesan cheese, as well I'll be adding a set of menus with a typical name for a Italian Restaurant to set us in the place quickly.
(On this table, the objects will get life and start to act, mainly the pepper mill.)
(focusing on the objects table)
We hear the waiter serving the table starting by asking if they would like any bread or olives, the customer replies affirmatively
so the waiter approaches the table and gets the bread and olives, and it starts the "pick me" game.
On one side, we hear the waiter serving the table asking if the customer wants Olive Oil, the customer replies yes ,on the other side, we see the pepper mill trying to grab some attention by moving around and jumping.
After, the waiter asks a similar question, if the customer's would like some Parmesan Cheese. the pepper mill hearing that decides to grab once again the attention by jumping and making some "grounding" noises.
Finally the waiter approaches the table once more to ask the igniting question, if the customers would like some fresh pepper. The pepper mill hearing that starts to get excited and as just like a soldier is ready for action, our pepper mill is also ready to season the food.
For the last time, the waiter reaches the table to get the pepper mill.
On the way to the table, the pepper mill builds his excitement, and when arrives he starts to perform his "job".
(the previous music now intensifies and is louder)
Seasoning food gives an ecstatic and joyful feeling and the pepper mill seasons and seasons ecstatically the food without stopping creating a cloud of dust that occupies the whole screen, while this is happening we can hear people sneezing and coughing.
when the cloud of dust partly settles,we see the silhouette of the pepper mill bowing as a matter of thanking to the customers. In that position we hear him sneeze coming from within the remaining of the dust in the air.The dust finally settles and It is a shot of our pepper mill looking puzzled and sneezing at the same time. As he keeps on sneezing , a big sneeze is approaching, the pepper mill attempts to stop but in vain. The result is the a huge sneeze in which all the settled dust is in the air again leading to the screen to become black and it ends.
Although, the last part was partly phil's feedback, it was really making sense in my animation, as I compare it of a theater or even a opera, when the curtain is going down in the end. the actor or singer bows and then the curtain goes down.
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
The second is a sitting pose, as a continuation from the warm up. For the last one, I wanted to try something more expressive and with high contrasts, so I decided to get some charcoal and draw more openly but never leaving proportion.
I can say I just have a problem in this tutorial, for not paying attention of what I was really doing. When editing the attributes for the Toe_lift, I didnt realise I had put minimum and maximum, and then the attribute was locked on 0. after realising it, I actually felt a bit newbie :p
It just calls to pay more attention when doing things in Maya :)
Monday, 15 March 2010
Willis O'Brien was a Irish-American motion picture special effects, who used stop-motion to create actions not really possible to do in real life. Alongside with Ladislaw Starewicz, he was a pioneer in this field of animation. He was known of working in many films in Hollywood, such as Lost World (1925) and King Kong (1933).The latter being one of the most famous in the history of Hollywood cinema.
King Kong is a 1933 action film, co-directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. Where by the pioneering work of O'Brien, a lot of monstrous fights can be seen. Its plot evolves around a photographer who wants to take the "perfect" picture of these beast that lies on this never visited Island. However, to complete this picture, the photographer has to find a woman to travel with him and pose with the beast, in a tableaux-vivant, in which the photographer likes to call the Beauty and the Beast. When they arrive to the Island, they are not aware what really lies in there, but after seeing this tribal ritual, they start to realise that they just stand inside a trap. Where the Big Kong reigns. Not only they can find, but actually they bring him back to New York to be the center of attention, this and the feeling of not being loved results in King Kong's death.
On one hand, I find King Kong technical side an important step for the history of cinema, because it opened the door for the special effects in films, and it created worlds never seen before, and impossible to portray. However by applying stop-motion, it created more dynamic scenes such as the fight with the dinosaurs, or when Kong attacks the sailors in the log scene. It applied stop-motion in scenes, but also made it interact with live-action footage which by the means of editing and montage created delightful scenes.
On other hand, It is also a good achievement in story-telling, and what such a sad story, I felt so sorry for Kong, who was taken from his habitat, where he lived with a new found love, the woman to be transported to a true jungle full of "rifles" of capitalism, shooting at him from all sides. A love story between Kong and the woman, that resulted in his death.
The latter happening was labeled as " the beauty killed the beast", but in fact it all started where they decided to bring Kong to so "civilized" world.