Weekly Review

Yesterday I had no tutorial and will resume next week.

The past week seems to be good progress. The weekly planner has worked smoothly and I am on task. So far I have completed the main key frames of the wandering of Amsterdam streets, the bird chase and the dinner scene. I have the remaining week to complete the law office scene and refine the rest.

Evaluation

To summarize…

The positives are:

  • Schedule is working well

Areas to improve:

  • Quality of the drawings
    • body proportions
    • body language – although it is getting there
    • human emotional expression

Tips for Progression

Thankfully, the weekly ‘Draw with Me’ series keeps the momentum of making time to practice drawing skills. However, to continue improving the flow of the animations it is best to practice and be aware of the 12 principles of animation.

Improvements

Body language and human emotional expression is on it’s way.

 

The Me Bird

My tutor showed us an animated short that appeared beautifully handmade with some digital editing. When I watched the making of video however, it was very poignant that they did not use paper as their main medium! That the dance was extracted from an actual dancer filmed on green screen, then watercolour paper textures were placed after. The final effect produces an attractive hypnotic outcome. The play with colour sets the mood, correlating to the events that occur to the central character – the ballerina. The idea of the ballerina desiring to break free from her cage carries some of the ideas from the inspired poem by Pablo Neruda.

The Me Bird was produced by 18bis in 2013 with creative directors Gabriel (Animation director) and Maria Ilka (Art director). Their aim is to increase interaction and connection between people through the convergence of medias and techniques. To play with the relationships between craftsmanship and computer, poetry and keyframe, drawing and rhythm, sight and storytelling.

From their website, their reel begins strongly and ends strongly with extracts from the same animated short. The middle shows an eclectic range of work demonstrating the breadth of skill. They also have a range of social media links such as blog on WordPress, Twitter, Behance and Vimeo. It is unfortunate to see that they have not had any recent posts or activity, yet the style they have built up is something I appreciate.

Reference:

18bis, N/A. 18bis. [Online]
Available at: http://www.18bis.tv/
[Accessed 19 June 2017].

 

June Checked List

Mon 120617 update:

  • Vlog FMPD video uploaded
  • Forefront post –  June: Animated Short in the making
  • Stitching together rough animation
  • Highlights and Shadows shot 01

Tues 130617 update:

  • Scene Bird Chase key animating shots

Wed 140617 update:

  • Scene Bird Chase key animating shots
  • Blog post on Reflection: Little Adjustments in the Details

Thurs 150617 update:

  • Scene Bird Chase key animating shots 38, 43, 44

Fri 160617 update:

  • Uploaded DWM ep 4 Dynamics

Sat 170617 update:

  • Holiday
  • Scene Bird Chase key animating shots 40, 41, 47

Sun 180617 update:

Reflection: Little Adjustments in the Details

For today’s tutorial, I had shown Kate my tutor the latest of what I have been up to. This past week I have done a number of key animating. I have revised my plan of achieving shots that will be discussed in further detail later.

140617 A

I have also been refining my first opening shot by adding highlights and shadows. I have done this in Animate CC and then compositing it in After Effects.

140617 B

My tutor advised me to add textures to the characters or character’s attire, which I thought would improve the aesthetic by making it more unique. I shall attempt to experiment with this.

As I have mentioned earlier, I have been revising the way I organize my work and thereby being more thorough of what my schedule will be like. Initially, I tended to work on a day-by-day basis where I would write on post it notes lists of things I would like to complete on the day. After a few days to a week I will cross check this with my Gantt chat.

Currently I am in a good position with my progress, however I have changed a few things to allow for a better projection of the work I can get done and hopefully it will be more accurate.

Below is my usual set up:

Below here is the new method I have been attempting to organize what I need to get done. Instead of the daily post it notes, I have found this long lost weekly planner and decided to make use of it. Every day I count the number of hours I have depending on the activities I may plan every week. In the notes area, I write the number of shots I need to work on for the week.

Below here is my Gantt chart. As you can observe, I have indeed completed the voice acting aspect, the environment remains 85% complete as I have a tendency to not work in completion, but make room for adjustments and improvements. As long as I have the foundation/basics, I can always make edits. Now that we are in June, I have planned to focus on this month the main animating. The month of July will be colouring and dealing with highlights and shadows.

140617 C

Now focusing on this month June, originally I planned to complete the key animation within a week, but now I realize it was too naive of me. So I have planned to complete the key animation within this June, then using the next half of July to fill in the gaps.

I had decided it was easier to split the animated short into 6 sections and that I would have the option of completing two parts per week that alternated rather than it being chronological. This would provide me with variation and an escape from boredom.

June: Animated short in the making

From the makers of ‘Paperman’ comes a new animated short titled ‘June’ for the ride-sharing service Lyft from the States. Directors John Kahrs (Paperman) and Kevin Dart (from boutique design and animation studio Chromosphere) discuss their inspiration of how the animated short came to be.

 

The origins of June is poignantly moving. Ricardo Viramontes the creative director of Lyft called Kahrs up in attempt to make his short story about a Lyft driver a reality. He began with the framework of a woman, a single mum who lost her job and was struggling to make ends meet. This character continued to evolve, eventually becoming a character from the neighborhood of Bronzeville in Chicago.

Similar to Paperman, what is striking about the animation is the 2D aesthetic with an added dimension, except instead of merely having monochrome, June is full of colour. In fact a kaleidoscope of colour. This idea came from the wheels of the car and how the kaleidoscope is a bunch of pieces that come together to create a beautiful mosaic that they want it to represent it as what it is like to be part of a big community. This display of spinning multi-colours produces a wonderful aesthetic effect and transition of the kinds of people that hop on for the ride.

The team had definitely done their research by actually going around Chicago, also using Lyft services and asking questions and being surrounded by the culture and the people. It was helpful that the music artist they worked with ‘Sir the Baptist’ had experience as a former Lyft driver. They also showed their work in progress to drivers and people to get feedback to see how relatable the experiences were.

Understanding how Kahrs and Dart has collaborated helps me understand others thinking process of getting inspiration. Through their thorough investigation, they are able to not only achieve a wonderful aesthetic, but achieve a touching short story.

References:

Failes, I., 2016. How ‘Paperman’ Director John Kahrs and Chromosphere’s Kevin Dart Combined to Make This Animated Short For Lyft | CartoonBrew. [Online]
Available at: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/shorts/paperman-director-john-kahrs-chromospheres-kevin-dart-combined-make-animated-short-lyft-146389.html
[Accessed 12 June 2017].