Monday, 29 March 2010


Oh hai thar!

Okay here's an update on the development of our advert idea. I've been working on doing a few bits of concept for the hobo character, just as a catalyst for our storyboards later. Obviously we'll each have different ideas of how the hobo should look. Jon has done some really nice hobo drawings in his style, and Michelle has illustrated some nice pics of the cardboard box thumbs. Looks like we're getting things done, and getting closer to starting the storyboards

I'm really proud of my team right now, and they have worked really hard. I have taken the leading role of the group, which was surprising and a little daunting, since I don't normally dictate orders to people. However, I have enjoyed the challenge so far, and have had no trouble with communicating ideas and suggestions to my comrades.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Development of Ideas 1

After much thought and consideration, we decided that the best possible way to display our animation skills in 30 seconds was to create an advertisement parody. My group felt that this was the best possible solution to come up with a snappy and funny animation. It also helps us focus more, since we have limited ourselves to the theme of adverts.

Knowing this, we began brainstorming about what our advert could present. I made the suggestion that we should have a really pointless product, and then create silly situations that it can be used in. For instance, a brick being used as a phone, or acid being used to contain fish in a tank.

Here are some of the "products" we came up with that we thought would be quite funny.

Then we chose some of the best of the bunch, and came up with funny situations or uses for them. Below are ones me and Jon came up with. Michelle did some in her book. I think she will be scanning up soon.

After doing this bit of idea generation, we felt that the most potential and funny "products" we had thought of were the cardboard box and the homeless man.

With this in mind, we can now do some thumbnail sketches of some of these pointers, and then start thinking about storyboards :D

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Pixar Lecture


I had a fantastic experience on Thursday 18th and Friday 19th. I was able to get my hands on a ticket to see the Pixar workshop that was organized by Escape Studios. It was a possibly one of the most amazing experiences of my life. One of Pixar's animators Andrew Gordon and one of their storyboard artists Matthew Luhn came to talk to us in a Leicester Square cinema over the space of two days.

Here are the links to their internet sites:- - Matthew Luhn's Page - Andrew Gordon's Page

I picked up an awful lot of knowledge from this Pixar fest. I found out more about how they plan out their plots to the films they make, and how to come up with some side-splitting gags.

Anyway, I will go into more detail about cool Pixar methods later on if I so happen to use them, which I think will be likely

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Research - Inspiring Flash Animations

Okay, this is going to be a long post, so bear with me while I waffle on a bit about some ridiculously good animations.

Basically, since my group have decided on doing flash animations, I figured it would be a good idea to start researching some straight away. Here are some I really like, with an explanation of why I like them.

BOB AND THE APPLE by *LazyMuFFin on deviantART

I love this animation, because it is just so unpredictable and silly. It is a very simple concept, and it uses cliche over-used film techniques like slow motion for comic value. The style of animation is quirky and suits the tone of the story.

Animator vs. Animation by *alanbecker on deviantART

This animation is breath taking. It isn't humourous as such, but you find yourself being blown away by the sheer brilliance of the timing and action in this clip. The animator successfully adapts the setting (Flash interface) so that it can be interactive with the characters. The tools are used as weapons to be used by the characters against eachother. The story is sound, and engages the viewer to keep watching. Very good use of two very simple characters - a stickman and a cursor.

I'm not entirely sure whether this was made on Flash, but I can't stop myself from putting this on my blog. This is a very fun random animation featuring a boy called Finn and his dog Jake. They are very daft and childish, which makes the main characters very endearing to watch. The animation is colourful and simple, but not lacking in quality and smooth imagery. I'm not surprised that this short has been made into a series for Cartoon Network.

I saw this Weird Al Yankovic music video quite a while ago, and felt that it needed to be praised again for its slick execution. Doogtoons recreates the story of the hungry couple in a very amusing away. The backgrounds are really nice, and there's some nicely demonstrated depth of field, done by blurring certain objects or people in the foregrounds and backgrounds. This helps the viewer concentrate on centre of focus. Also the part where the load music is cleverly done. The wiggly lines show the power of the speakers really effectively.

Simon's Cat has become vastly popular on Youtube, and I think it definitely deserves its success. This is a perfect example of a funny and simple animation. The concept, again, is very straight forward - a cat bothering its owner for attention. The quality of the lineart is clear enough to not need colour. The important thing that makes this so successful is that these shorts are based on real life.

Also, the time frame is just over 40secs. This gives me an idea of just how snappy and short our animation has to be. I'm quite daunted, to be honest. However, I think we're up to the task :D

Intro To The Project

Hey guys! This is where I'll be posting my progress for my Industrial Practises 3 work. This will incorporate my showreel and group animation development.

Here's the brief for those who are interested in knowing...


This unit builds directly on the Industry Exercises 1 and Industry Exercises 2 units, allowing students to use their portfolio of animation skills to develop finished broadcast animation pieces (in small teams) to be shown during Rave on Air, and to generate an individual show-reel to promote those skills to employers. Students also develop more advanced planning and organisational skills necessary to manage team productions.

This unit has the potential to allow inter-faculty collaboration through the use of animation to promote the work of other courses in the creation of animated advertisements for Rave on Air (product design for example). Intra-faculty collaboration is also possible through the use of other disciplines such as post production and sound design that naturally complement the animation industry. These collaborations will be negotiated on a per team basis.

Aims of the Unit

• To enable students to initiate, plan, and complete complex team projects.
• To enable students to work to broadcast standards of quality.
• To provide experience of establishing and developing team project schedules and tracking progress towards project completion.
• To enable students to demonstrate and promote the range and quality of their animation skills through the production of a show-reel.

The emphasis for this brief is upon fitness for broadcast purposes, if you read the learning outcomes and assessment criteria that follow this section then you will see that one of the main areas for your assessment is upon how well you meet technical parameters to enable your work to be broadcast.

You will be required to work in small teams, ideally, two, or three people per team.

You will be required to submit three pieces of work for assessment.

• An individual reflective journal (Blog)
• An individual interactive DVD showreel
• A group film fit for broadcast

This should focus on your plans for this project, your brief, your project schedule, and your performance as a team member. These can be supplemented by a group journal to help communication with team members, but the primary concern is your individual reflective account. These should be hosted on Blogspot, or Wordpress and the URLs submitted to your tutor.

Your showreel will take the form of a menu driven interactive DVD where users will be able to select which of your work they view. You will be expected to assemble a reel that demonstrates the breadth of your capability, and the diversity of your style as an animator. As such, you may use work from any point in your studies, or from outside your time at college. You may also consider generating new work this term to supplement perceived gaps in your portfolio. The main drivers for assessment here are NOT the quality of the individual pieces of work, but the way in which you choose to present them and to promote yourself…

This is where the majority of your effort will be directed for this project. You will have to choose a team first of all, ideally a small one of two or three individuals. Then you will have to negotiate a brief for your project. There are three main ways that you can fulfill this part of the brief, but all will depend upon you having a real client, and it is up to YOU to get information from your client to define your brief. This information should include a list of deliverable items, and a set of deadlines.

Way 1
Work as a junior on a BA film project.
Identify the film you want to work on, agree a role, agree deliverables, and then deliver them. It will not be possible to do much in the way of concept or modeling work for these films given the advanced state of their development, but it should be possible to do large amounts of UV mapping and texturing, lighting, rigging and animating.

Way 2
Work towards Rave Live.
This will involve you either working towards doing one of the six channel idents, in which case you will have to contact the graphics students responsible, or towards generating programme content in which case you will have to contact broadcast content creation students to find out their requirements. Be aware that work will need to be ready much in advance of May 19th, so it should be viable within a reduced time frame. Remember the panic that you had at the end of last term? That is a luxury that you do not have this term. It would probably be a good idea to attend all possible meetings about Rave Live, such as the one this Friday (26th) read your email, and look for posters…

The 3rd Way
Find an external client.
You may source a client for your project beyond the confines of college. The same conditions apply, you will negotiate a brief, and whatever work you produce must be produced in a form that is technically suitable for broadcast purposes. Other than that, the subject matter or content are entirely down to you and your client. This is possibly the most challenging of the three ways you can fulfill this project…


My group (Michelle Vinall and Jon Blake) have decided to go with option 2. We are going to create a 30second animation short that will be showed at Rave Live.

I emailed the student in charge of dealing with the animation submissions. Here's the email I sent her:

Hey there!

My name is Emma Wyton, and I'm doing 2nd year animation practise. Me and
my friends Michelle Vinall and Jon Blake would like to create a 30second
animation for your Rave On Air Channel 2 slot. We were thinking of doing a
flash animation, however we will be developing further ideas for it so we
can pitch our plan on Friday.

Is it possible for us to join in using our animation skills? Are there any
specifications or ideas that you would like us to incorporate into our
early development?

Thanks for your time.

Now we just have to wait for a reply and come up with some neat ideas of what we can animate. We have less time to do this project then we do for the other projects, so we really need to get started soon.

We have all come to an agreement that we will be using Flash primarily for our assignment, so we'll all do some research into some Flash movies that we like as a staring point. Coming up with an original successful idea will be difficult, so we need to come up with some fun ideas for that too.