WEEK 1 Extended Project

Conducting Observations

For my FMP, I have decide to do some observation on movement, this can be people moving and walking, vehicles moving, fabric, and how the perspective changes when the camera moves, whether its tracking or just panning. This would allow me to learn the way things move and how the perspective changes which I can apply to animation to match life.

I conducted my observations around Canterbury, recording everything I said above whilst using different angles, such as low angles and high angles. I believe I have recorded a sufficient amount of observations and will be analysing it on this blog by using rotoscoping to show examples and get a better idea on movement.

When looking at the video of the when I was tracking my classmate with a panning shot, you can clearly see how perspective of my classmate changes; you first see the front and side of my classmate as he approaches, this changes to a full-on side and then you can only see the side and back of him. What interests me is the timing of the what you can see, you see my classmate’s side-front and side-back the longest, however the shortest part you see is when you can only see his side, this makes sense as he is walking past me, I am not following him from the side but merely tracking him whilst staying in the same position. Another thing I found interesting from this observation is that my classmate stays roughly in the same place in shot-wise whilst the background moves across the shot, this makes sense as the camera is fixed on him as he walks past, meaning he will occupy that space in the frame until the camera decides to stop panning. I can use this if I decide on creating a shot in my animation that tracks the character, I can replicate it knowing the timing and the perspective of the character for each frame.

When looking at the way my classmate walks, he sways side to side as he takes each step, he also swings his arm back and forth which explains why he sways side to side as the weight and momentum being generated from his arms causes his shoulder blades to be pulled towards that direction as the arm hits the end of the its swing. From what I have read from the book, “The Animator’s Survival Kit”, I recognized the arch the wrist of my classmate’s arm always follows and this is common with all people who swing their arms as they walk, the wrist will always follow an arch. I can use this replicate a walk cycle in my animation that matches real life standards.

rotoscope hand arch

I did an observation on the movement of a flag to see how I would replicate it in animation. I found that as the wind hits the flag, it follows a wave pattern which effects the whole flag except the part which is attached to the pole and on closer inspection you can see that the wave of the flag begins at the bottom left of the flag and travels up towards the top right of the flag. The wave will always start at the pole however the way the wave travels across the flag depends on how the pole is positioned and the way the wind is blowing, such as if it was placed horizontally and the wind was coming at it straight on, the wave would start the size of the flag and travel all the way down. How strong the wind is also effects the way the flag flaps, as a calm day would make the flag not stretch out all the way and would flap only a little, a breezy day would make the flag stretch out but would flap slowly and gently, a very windy day would have the stretch out but would be all over the place.

I did more observation of having the camera move, except this time the camera would be at a fixed angle and will be following the main target through space, I did this by recording behind my main target whilst on an escalator. Looking at the footage, it looks as if the camera and the target aren’t moving but the whole environment is moving instead, this makes sense as the target and the camera aren’t really giving any sense of movement, like walking or running. If I were to animate this, I would animate character at a fixed point on the screen, then animate the background moving towards the camera and target.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 7

Final Analysis Report

For this report, I will be looking at the research I have been conducting over the last six weeks and will be assessing the historical, social, cultural and industrial factors that have influenced the development of my specialist area. I will also be considering how I can apply these contextual perspectives to my practices, along with also assessing what I have learnt from the research activates I have conducted and how they inform my own practices.

Week 6

Practitioners Report

This week I will be doing a report on two people within my chosen discipline (animation) so I can look at their work and learn from them, this will allow me to apply that knowledge to my FMP, such as I can learn specific techniques and methods in animation, I can learn from simple mistakes they have made and can take inspiration from their work to create an animated scene, trailer, etc.

Plan

  • Create a mind map of what I know about animation
  • From the mind map, create a list of people I want to look in to
  • Decide the main person and why?
  • Look into the person, how they got to where they are at now, what they have worked on, what they are working on right now, etc.
  • Collect examples of their work and look into them detailed
  • Why does this interest me?
  • What Have I learnt? Reflect

 

List of people and companies:

–          Madhouse

–          Hayao Miyazaki

–          Adam Reed

–          Kenneth Muse

–          Disney

–          Studio Ghibli

–          David Productions

–          Mamoru Hosoda

Who I have chosen?

The Studio/person I have decided to base my report on is Animation director, Mamoru Hosoda, this is because he has done a hand full of films in which I have found that the animation in some points are amazing, with both character animation and environment animation.

Another person I have also decided to do research on is Hayao Miyazaki, a Film director producer, screenwriter, animator, author and manga artist. I chose Miyazaki because he is well-known for his animated films and has been working in animation since 1963, which will allow me to compare his animated films to the modern films created by Mamoru Hosoda.

Researching

Mamoru Hosoda was born in September 19th, 1967 and began his career in 1989, the public first gave their attention to him in the early 2000s for his first two films in the Digimon Adventure series and the sixth film in the One Piece series. He worked for MADHOUSE from 2005 to 2011 and in that time he created “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” in 2006, “Summer Wars” in 2009 and the last film he created with MADHOUSE is “Wolf Children” in 2012. When he left MADHOUSE, he went to create his own studio, Studio Chizu which created his most recent film “The Boy and the Beast” in 2015.

Hayao Miyazaki was born in January 5th, 1941 and began his career in animation in 1963, when he joined Toei Animation. He first worked as an in-between artist for “Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon” and worked on many other things after that, like co-directing Lupin III with Isao Takahata, provided the screenplay and key animation for Panda! Go Panda!, provided key animation for the first episode of Tokyo Giants, provided the original concept for Jungle Kurobe, provided the director role for Lupin III: Tales of the Wolf and more. He later directed his first featured film, “The Castle of Cagliostro”, a Lupin the Third story that was released in 1979; after that he worked on his next successful film, “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind”, released in 1984 and with that he created Studio Ghibili where he continued to work and release very successful films.

 

Looking at their key works and comparing them

I will be analysing Hayao Miyazaki’s film, “The Castle of Cagliostro” and Mamoru Hosoda’s film, “The Boy and the Beast”, this is because I will be comparing the old animated films done by Hayao Miyazaki and the newer modern animated films done by Mamoru Hosoda. This will allow me to see what has changes have been made when creating animated films, this will also allow me to see what works with animated films and what doesn’t, such as certain techniques and methods used to create animation.

The Castle of Cagliostro

I will be looking at certain scenes within both films and will analysing the animation, sound, colours and art style. The scene I will be looking at is the car chase scene at the beginning of the film The castle of Cagliostro:

Edit. The video was taken down however here’s a link to the video on a different platform: https://vimeo.com/39790868

From the start you can already recognize this is Miyazaki’s work, from its art style to the way the characters move, full of life; the character art style is a mix of the manga creator of Lupin the third and Miyazaki’s art style, that way the characters are recognizable from the manga.

The colours used in the animation are bright, however it is also controlled by what feeling they want to communicate to the audience in a particular scene, such as in peaceful scenes, the colours are bight and also light, and in dark scenes the colours are dark and well shaded. The first part of the chase I will look at is when the cars are driving by Lupin; you can clearly see when looking at the footage frame by frame that the car and the background are two separate things as the car would stop some frames and the background would move, then back to the car. This effect makes it seem that there is an actual camera there following the red car as it drives by.

example-of-car-and-background

They also begin to slow down the car as it approaches Lupin by adding more frames of the car and background being still. This is probably because they want to allow the viewer have to process what is going on, on the screen; along with that they have more frames of the car passing by to allow the viewer to get a good look at the character driving the car, introducing her to the audience.

 car-passing-frames

The clothing of the character is also done very well, you can clearly see that the wedding dress veil is fluttering in the wind as the car drives past, this to show that the car is moving fast. It also gives the character an elegant look as she drives past, making her look beautiful and captivating the audience attention towards this character.

If we go further into the scene when the chase begins, we hear the music suddenly pick into a funky rhythm that uses trumpets, drums, piano, etc. The music fits right in for the chase sequence, giving it an action feel to it whilst also making feel quiet fun and lively.

 

The Boy and the Beast 

The scene that I will be looking at in this film will be the first fight scene in the movie, when Kumatetsu and Iozan fight for the first time on screen. I’ll be again looking into this films animation, art style sound, etc.

The first thing I noticed was that this scene uses both 2D and 3D animation, as you can see when the crowd is backing up from the fight, they are all 3D models of characters; the only two characters that aren’t 3D are Kumatetsu and Iozan. They probably did this because it would be a lot easier and less time consuming to use 3D models of characters for the crowd as the crowd isn’t really drawing the attention of the audience, it’s the two characters in the centre.

example-of-3d

Looking closer at the animation, to create the illusion of something moving fast, they blur out the lines or even remove them completely on some parts and just leave the colour to be blurred. You can also see that they paid close attention on how a body moves and what rules apply; this can be seen when either of the characters are punching, the fist and arm stretch all the way out when punching, then the muscles retracted the arm back a little and finally the arm is pulled away. This can also be seen in the wrist and hand as the hand gets pulled back by the wrist.

tbatb-example

The characters also are moving independently from each other, which means they are timed differently, a couple frames one character moves, then the next couples frames the other character moves. This creates the feeling that they are both individual beings that act independently, making the scene feel more believable.

example-of-2-characters-moving

When looking at the art style and colours used in this scene, you can recognize Mamoru Hosoda work, the colours are bright on lighter colours and darker colours seem to be more saturated. The art style used for humanoid characters sticks closely to realistic proportions of a human body, unlike “The Castle of Cagliostro” who sometimes exaggerate specific features, like long limbs.

 

Comparing

When comparing these two films, they are similar in colour scheme but are quite different to each other on other things, this is because of the obvious age gap, however you can still see some techniques being still used in the present. The first big thing is that Castle of Cagliostro doesn’t do use 3D animation due to lack of technology back then, however Studio Ghibli do begin taking advantages of modern technology and use CG in their later films.

In Castle of Cagliostro, they don’t seem to use the blurring technique that The Boy and the Beast use to create the illusion of speed, this is probably because those kinds of techniques came later after The Castle of Cagliostro was created. However, this does not make the film any lesser, instead gives them a somewhat charm to it. For The Boy and the Beast, this technique makes action scenes like fight more intense as it makes the characters and objects look like they are moving very fast and have a lot of power behind, making them seem a lot more dangerous.

When looking at the characters, they are very different, The Boy and the Beast focuses on more realistic proportions, whereas Castle of Cagliostro is more cartoony such as elongating limbs or making parts of the body extremely thin. This is because they have two different themes, Castle of Cagliostro is supposed to be fun and comedic, whilst also being action packed and having adult themes, that is why the characters have that kind of art style, to both keep to the adult themes whilst being light enough to have comedy in some scenes.

The similar technique they use for both films is that they both have the background and the character animated to look like it’s being recorded by a camera, a lot of animated films and TV series also do this, however there are still some that do not due to lack of time or production.

Reflection

After doing this report, I have discovered many more things about frame by frame animation, such the techniques and methods used to create specific feelings or create illusions of movement and cameras.  I have also discovered that I am more passionate for frame by frame animation than vector based animation, this is because the characters feel more fluid and alive in frame by frame animation than vector based. I can apply what I have learned from this report into my FMP by using it to make the final decision on what I am going to and if I am going to use frame by frame animation in my FMP, I can use the techniques and methods I have learnt from this report to create my own animation.

 

Harvard reference:

Mamoru HOSODA – Anime news network: UK (no date) Available at: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=4068 (Accessed: 20 February 2017).

2017 (no date) ‘Mamoru Hosoda’, in Available at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0396074/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm (Accessed: 20 February 2017).

Hayao Miyazaki // Nausicaa.net (no date) Available at: http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/miyazaki/ (Accessed: 21 February 2017).

(No Date) Available at: http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/miyazaki/miyazaki_biography.txt (Accessed: 21 February 2017).

Anderson, K. (2014) Miyazaki Masterclass – THE CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO (1979). Available at: http://nerdist.com/miyazaki-masterclass-the-castle-of-cagliostro-1979/ (Accessed: 24 February 2017).

Bruschkov (2011) Castle of Cagliostro – char chase. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxbum3is6G0 (Accessed: 24 February 2017).

IGN (2016) The boy and the beast – clip #2 (English Dub). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Yp92Mq2GdE (Accessed: 26 February 2017).

 

Week 5

Experimenting frame by frame animation

For this experiment, I wanted to do something around frame by frame animation, this is because my main interest is around animation, especially 2D animation and the main two types of 2D animation are frame by frame animation and vector based animation, so I intend to do experiments on both of these types to learn more about them for my FMP, that way I can decide on which type of 2D animation I want to do.

Examples of people with similar discipline

Adventure time

I chose this cartoon because it is a very successful frame by frame animated show that has a big fan base. I knew it well however I have never really done research into how it is created, so I saw it as a good chance to do research into something I already knew, allowing me to understand the process a lot easier.

Week 4

The feeling of fear in animation

In order to learn about the proper way of conducting and writing up an experiment, we had to do an experiment on our main discipline we chose our selves, whilst also sticking to a theme which was fear. The purpose of this task would teach us the proper layout of writing up an experimentation we have done, along with the research we have done in it; I can apply this to my FMP if I decide to do any experimentation in the project.

Examples of people exploring fear in a similar discipline

I first did research into different examples of people exploring fear in animation, this would allow me to see how they approached the theme and what kind of techniques and methods they used to create fear. I can then use this information to create my own experiment using similar techniques and methods, and seeing what kind of results I would get.

Courage the cowardly dog:

I first looked at Courage the cowardly dog, this was because it was famous for some of the episodes striking fear into its audience. Courage the cowardly dog uses many different styles when creating fear, this can be seen through its storytelling, the way it portrays characters, its animation techniques and the way it signifies things. Such as with changing it’s style at animation, from normal 2D animation to stop motion animation on a specific character or scene. This makes the scene or character seem very unnatural, adding the fear of the unknown to it.

Harvard reference:

Courage the cowardly dog / nightmare fuel (no date) Available at: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NightmareFuel/CourageTheCowardlyDog (Accessed: 23 January 2017).

WatcherOfThe2000s (2011) Top 10 most disturbing (Scariest) courage the cowardly dog episodes. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdTymvjRuoc (Accessed: 23 January 2017).

The Tell-Tale Heart:

When looking at this, I believe it creates fear through the art style of the animation, the animation its self and how they used the voice actors. The art style has the characters and even the backgrounds bent and disproportionate, this makes the short very creepy because it again, like Courage the Cowardly dog seem unnatural. The animation also creates some creepiness to the short; the animation stretches the characters and changes pace with each scene, this is the same with the voice acting, being quiet and whispering, to being loud and shouting, not staying at a constant, making the characters unpredictable. This creates fear from the unknown to the audience.

Harvard reference:

Emmett, N. and Articles, M. (2015) Have fear, Five animated horror classics are here. Available at: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/classic/have-fear-five-animated-horror-classics-are-here-120494.html (Accessed: 23 January 2017).

Trickpiraten (2013) The tell-tale heart by Annette Jung. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDLLHTdVSgU (Accessed: 23 January 2017).

Week 3

Case study into the skateboard

This week, in order to learn about case studies, I did a case study on the skateboard in a group. Before we began our research, we first created a mind map of what we knew already about the skateboard.

skateboard-mind-map

We then began to do research into the skateboard, we first wrote down what we wanted to find out about the skateboard, then each of us separately went and did secondary researched on the internet. I did research into how the skateboard’s design changed and evolved over the years; the main search term I used was “the evolution of the skateboard’s design. Here is the final mind map with what we researched on it:

skatboard-mind-map-2

In my research, I included the year the skateboard changed, its name, its shape and a little bit of information about it. Here is what I wrote down on the mind map:

1940s-50s:

Skateboards were merely just planks of wood with skates attached to the bottom. These were called sidewalk surfboards.

1959-60s:

Skateboards began to come into popularity and their shape changed, their were two types, the Rollar Derby Skateboard and Nash Shark.

1964:

Coming near to the end of the popularity of the skateboard, a new skateboard was released which was said to be made by surfers for surfers. Its shape took a lot of inspiration from the surfboard, it was called G&S FiberFlex Pintail.

1970:

Next came the BananaBoard, its was known for being skinny and flexible, along with being made from polypropylene and had added ribs on the underside of the skateboard for structural support.

1975:

The Road Rider offered the first ever skateboard that had precision bearings made just for skateboards.

1980s:

Skateboards shape changed again, the ideal board to ride was the Old School Fishtail.

1990s:

The skateboard began to focus around more street skateboarding, this gave birth to the well known skateboard, the Popsickle.

2000:

The board hasn’t changed much since the 1990s, however the concave may have gotten a little deeper; along with that, more people are riding their own custom boards.

Reflection

I believe I have done fairly well with this task, as I was able to get the information I needed very easily and apply it to the final mind map. From this task, I have put into practice my secondary research skills on the internet, I can apply this knowledge and skills towards my final major project when I have to secondary research into a specific thing.

Harvard reference:

Filingenie (2016) Evolution of the Skateboard deck Infographic. Available at: http://www.bestinfographics.co/evolution-of-the-skateboard-deck-infographic/ (Accessed: 27 January 2017).

Week 1 and 2

What I love?

At the beginning of this week, I worked on creating a mind map of the things I love, this would include things that I like and are interested in, hobbies and seeing what I know about such as techniques and methods for frame by frame animation. The purpose of this task is to discover more about myself and to see if my interests are linked to one and another; I can use this kind of research for my FMP to narrow down what I want to do and learn by using my interests and also finding the best base for my FMP that meets most of my interests.

In my mind map, I included four major things I like and love, these were animation, script writing, concept design and landscapes. With that, I then explored more into each one, going deeper it what I like and love about them, along with what I knew.

mind-map_page_2

Reflection

From creating the mind map, I found that I knew a lot about concept art. I found that I knew more than I expected about script writing, however I needed to do more research on it, along with also animation and landscapes if I were to go down that line. This is useful information to me because I can now use it to see what I need to research if I go down one of the paths that link to my mind map in my Final Major project, such as I might go down a path that involves animation as it is linked to several other interests and have my interests in landscapes be the main theme.

Unit 11

To begin with first day of my 2nd year on the course, I looked back on last year and answered some questions to see how I have progressed and receive feedback from each answer.

Questions:

  • What did I learn?
  • What are my strengths and weaknesses?
  • What did I enjoy?
  • What were my goals at the beginning of last year?
  • Did they evolve? Did they change?
  • What are my career goals now? (short term, mid term, long term)

Answers with feedback:

For the first question, I learnt how to use adobe photoshop, premier, illustrator, 3Ds Max, audacity, Madefire’s motion book tool and after affects. I also learnt about photography such as how to use rule of thirds and what the basic shots are called, I learnt about layouts and how they have an impact on the reader, I learnt about audio with its foley sounds and ambient sounds. The feedback I received was that this gave me a very good bases for the next year.

Evaluation for Interactive Promotional Video

For this project I had to create a interactive promotional video which will promote a side scrolling beat ’em-up that has an 80s theme and is called “streets of fury”. This would mean I would have to create a video with two different paths so I can give the viewer interactivity; I would also have create characters and a story to fit the beat ’em-up genre and the 80s theme.

The video:

Strengths and weaknesses

For the final outcome of this project, it had many strengths but also weaknesses; some strengths are that the video takes into accountant the video and sound quality of VHS tapes back in the 80s, this is because back in the 80s VHS tapes were very dominate in America which is where the beat ’em-up is set. The video uses two different colour pallets to show two different sides to the city and game, a light colourful place to show the good side of Venice Beach and a dark saturated place to show the dark side of Venice Beach.