Thursday, 31 May 2012

Spare Time Blog

I've recently made a new blog for other things that artistically entertain my mind other than college work.

It's a bit basic-looking now, but hopefully I'll get more time to modify it soon.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Kilogramme Animation

My tutor recently told me about Kilogramme. He suggested I have a look at what they do and write about them as I am interested in hand drawn and stop still animation.
Here's their' website:

Refuse and Recycling in the Ribble Valley

I looked at this video because of the hand drawn animation aspect. However, it seems it could be accomplished in flash, as well as Photoshop.
This video is about recycling waste in the right bins, and the 'dos and don'ts' that come with them.
This to me seems to appeal to young children, because despite the characters scenarios, it's fairly colourful, cartoon orientated and light hearted.

Tall tales

I looked at this video because of the Stop Motion animation aspect. Although, it looks like something you can create in Maya.
In this video, a little girl asks where does Milkshake come from. She gets an answer from the narrator, however, he tells her a story that all together doesn't sound true, making the girl question his response.
It seems to be a short appealing to the imaginations of young children. It's very light hearted and even a little comical.

Makinnon and Saunders

Two years ago, I messaged Makinnon and Saunders asking what their work entailed. I wanted to know in hopes that if they did animation, I would of liked to of applied for their' work experience.
Unfortunately, they messaged me back with the news I wasn't after.
They said they create puppets for films, e.g. Coraline, Fantastic Mr Fox, Fifi and the Flower Tots, etc. They work in Altringham:,Stockport&cid=0,0,8973570741153329473&ei=5S6pT-O0A8Sr8APU-on8AQ&sa=X&oi=local_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CBAQ_BIwAA  

I think the work and process that goes into the creation of the puppets is amazing, despite them not being animated by Makinnon & Saunders.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Olympic Idents: Research, etc.

A lot has happened in the last few weeks with this brief, I've forgotten to write about it on the blog.

I sketched a lot of ideas and cast aside many. I've become so focused on one aspect of it: the design.
Because of that, I've lost a lot of time and now I'm trying to cram everything in at once before the deadline.
Just when I thought I was on top of things, 50 things pop up out of no-where unannounced!

Anyway, I decided to do rotoscoping for my project.
I wanted to rotoscope athletes in action, without making it too 'pretty' due to the time we had left.
So I've tried to look at line art and other stuff. Works like these and similar below caught my attention most:

Hokusai Art - Manga, Portrait & Landscape Work

Kanji Brushstrokes & Hand Written

My Rotoscope Tests

(49er Boat & Gymnast using the Vault)


For the last couple of days, I've been getting up early and going to bed really late trying to complete my rotoscopes. So far I have finished three, and hope to finish two more by tuesday at least.
I'm happy with how the finished ones look now. I'll upload them on Vimeo once I've completed them all.

I decided to have my rotoscopes play within the olympic rings logos. I've kept the rings original colours so I can keep a sense of continuity and familiarity for the viewers. The only changes I've applied are when a certain rotoscope sport plays, all the rings change colours to one colour.
Swimming, Breaststroke = All rings turn blue
Boxing = All rings turn red

and so on.
I have to make 5 olympic idents lasting 5 seconds, so I want to utilize the continuity theme running throughout.

Portfolio Crit: Fuzzy Duck

I've arranged to have a Portfolio Crit with Fuzzy Duck hopefully some time this week if not the next.
Fuzzy Duck is a studio of collaborative artists that reside in Stockport.

My tutor referred me to speak to them about my work on Cargo:

It's important that I go so I can get some feedback on my current work, and how I can improve it.
It's supposed to be for my blog as well, which is why I have written this now.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

The Simpsons and then some...

Whilst altering my Bradford Museum post, I typed in Thor on the net and came across this image below.
Thor 'Simpsonized'!

I love it! The idea of cartooning a favored character, and in the Simpsons way made me ecstatic. I like character design anyway and even the thought of character animation. So when I saw more of these images, I was buzzing with excitement and ideas.
Basically, a man called Dean has decided to do some character designs based on 'The Simpsons' illustrative style. He has done so many and drawn them soo well! There's more images below:

Two versions of Gotham's villian Poison Ivy. I like the one on the left best.

 Two more Gotham villians, The Joker and his sidekick, Harley.

 Doctor Who Characters: The Doctor's Wife and The Doctor.

Two older versions of The Doctor.

Even Darth Maul!

There are hundreds more of his character designs on his blogspot:

I love his work already. This is what Dean has put his art about on his blog:

'Springfield Punx is a little pet project of mine. The idea of doing fan art parodying some of my favorite characters and stars in such a fun and simple style got me hooked immediately'.

I can't wait to see more of his work. I've now subscribed to his blog. When I get more free time, I'm going to scroll his blog for more of his character references and designs. I think they're just brilliant!

I would be worried if I did something like this myself incase of any copyright infringement and stuff. But he says the people who work on The Simpsons saw some of his work were actually impressed:
(Article screen shot of Dean's work, with a built up story & Dean's own opinion about the topic.)

'Apparently, the Sun UK is reporting that "American Doctor Who fans are campaigning for the Timelord to appear in an episode of cartoon classic The Simpsons.'

'Now don't get me wrong, it's really cool to see the pics up there on the Sun and have a bunch of people see them, but I have no knowledge of any American campaign to get the Ol' Doc on the Simpsons.'

'At any rate, this seems to be an amusing example of media taking images and building a story around them.'
(A story built up around Dean's artwork of Doctor Who and the Simpson's, quote below)
'Geeks at the Comic-Con festival in the US leaked the colourful characters as rumours circulated that The Simpsons’ producers are planning a Doctor Who special.'
'Beeb insiders last night admitted that bosses were “impressed” by the creations.'
'But they stressed there were no plans at the moment for a Doctor Who Simpsons special.'

Article: Motionographer’s Role in the Industry (Right Now)

I went on a website to read an article, because it may help my PDP posts. That and I was curious to see what they had to say. This is the first article I've read from a design aspect unless you count creative review (not read creative review recently, just to stop any confusion).

I was puzzled by this article. I thought the title was referring to Moving Image/Animators, etc as a whole in the industry offering tips and advice what to do now to 'land a job' and so on.
I was wrong.
It's referring to the company/website 'Motionographers' position in the industry, and has a debate. The writer was trying to clarify any confusions other readers were having trying to understand about 'black-listed companies', etc. He also wrote to consider different sides of perspectives, choices, etc.

Design Book Review: Drawing for Animation

I'm going to keep tweaking this post until the 8th, as that is my deadline for my blog for this year.

We've been asked to write a review about a design book of our choice. I decided to read 'Drawing for Animation' by Paul Wells, Joanna Quinna and Les Mills.

('Drawing for Animation' Book)

As a whole, the book is visually appealing and informative. It details a lot of historical animation pieces and has the odd quote placed here and there. As well as stills from animations, there are a lot of sketches, rough drafts, character designs, paintings and so on.
The layout has a graphic design feel to it, sleek and clean. Yet some of it's images are placed like they're a story board or part of a film reel.
The book speaks to the reader using the three author's' different perspectives and gained knowledge through animation and it's many linked subject areas.

Below the following information are aspects I picked out of the book purely out of interest and curiosity:

Animal Farm:

One of the things I learned from this book was 'Animal Farm'. I found out it was the first British animation ever made. I was curious as to what it was about so I decided to watch it (I watched it on youtube on the 5th of May.).
It was made by 'Halas & Batchelor Studio' in 1954 and it was 'Britain's first full-length feature animation'.

Lasting just over an hour, it tells a compelling story of the struggle of farm animals trying to live a 'Utopian' life, free of unjustified actions handed out by the farmer. The animals drive their' tyrant farmer away out of a joined rebellion and begin their' dream of piece and independence.
Unfortunately, some of the pigs on the farm crave power over the animals. So they develop their' own political agendas and distort the once understanding laws of the farm. Life on the farm resembles that of a prison. The animals, aside the pigs, once again endure the harsh reality of working under a corrupt social order. In the end, the egotistical, power crazed pigs get their just deserts by forcing the hand of the working animals to create another rebellious fight for freedom.

It has a slight 'Disney' feel when you watch the animation itself, but I found it to be tolerable as I was engulfed in the story. It's a horrific and yet sweet tale. It made me wonder if it was a reflection on the Nazi Camps or if it were animal social order gone wrong.
It was in a way like seeing a dark side of Disney animations.

Quinn Quote: 

Joanna Quinn, an animator has a quote in the book, pg 43, that caught my attention. 
It says: 'Experimental drawing encourages personal research and investigation in the development of a particular style and mode of expression.'
'Experimentation is the freest aspect of drawing: in having no rules, conventions or subjects, the artist is free to discover them, technically, aesthetically and thematically.'

That quote speaks to me as a drawer. 
I've felt a little pressured when I've done drawings because I used to do a lot of manga during my high school years (I still do when I get some free time). I would draw manga a lot not just because I liked it. Because there were aspects of it that I was really weak with and felt I had to improve on in my experimentations. 
But I remember feeling pressured by others when they'd say 'you should do something other than manga' and other similar artistic persuasions. They weren't being mean, and they had a point too.
I now adapted my drawings, sketches around the constraints of our college briefs. But I've found it's not that big a factor as everyone had pressured me into thinking.
Also, I felt like people were trying to mold my drawing style, rather than let me disover for myself what it is. And anyway, is there really 'your own style' when we replicate what we see visually inspiring us everyday?
I have no intention of forgetting manga all together, that's for sure. The style just speaks to me as art deco (for example) would speak to another designer.

Bradford National Media Museum

On the 4th of May, me and two of my friends went to Bradford's 'National Media Museum'.

(Outside the gallery entrance.)

It's the third time I've been now. The other two times I came were with two different colleges.
We only had an hour left to see everything by the time we got there.
We went in and spoke to one of the staff members there, asking if we could have a tour in the cinema projector rooms.
He sorted it out for us and took us there:

(Pictures of films and regular and a digital projector.)

Once there, we asked the projector people questions.

Cinema Machinery:

They explained how the projector machines worked: 
  • The digital projector has a 4000 W light bulb inside, but can utilize a 6000 W bulb if necessary. 
  • The 4000 W bulb is equivalent to that of a football stadium flood light.
  • The digital projector is worth £100,000 and their smaller projectors are worth £50,000.
  • The 'Christie' projector model brand is the first of it's kind currently being used in the UK.
  • The mirror in the digital projector is worth around £5000.
The movies that get shipped to the gallery are on a hard drive. I think they said they then plug the hard drive into the digital projector and then they've got the film saved on it. Not too sure, I could be wrong about this fact.
When asking them what else they've done and do, they said they used to connect the Xbox to the digital projector. They'd then would use the control pads, and they'd literally play an Xbox game on the cinema screen.
They used to do this so kids could have a go too, but they've stopped doing that now.
I asked them if they've attempted to do this with a Nintendo Wii. They said no because the resolution of a Wii is half that of an Xbox. This made me laugh.

I also asked if the grey circular tubes on the projectors were used to stop them from overheating. I think they said they act more like an extraction fan. The projector sucks in cool air faster than a hair dryer, and the grey tubes take away any hot air.

We were then showed an Audio Processor. Like the 'Christie' projector, they said the Audio Processor is the first model in the UK. The company that makes these audio precessors were called DTS (who deal with DVD/Blueray sound). They're now called Datasat:
It is being used on a trial basis at the moment. They said that the audio it churns out sounds 'crystal clear' and they showed us.

(The trial basis Audio Processor, Datasat)

They then went on to show us a depressurized bulb commonly used in the projectors.

(Pictures of a depressurized projector bulb.)

It's huge! When I saw it, I thought it looked like a prop or something used in the film 'Thor'.
It's quite heavy too. It feels like your holding a hefty baton or something.
It has to be placed in a case because if it were dropped, they said and I quote 'it would be like a shot gun going off in your face. If the shards went in your eyes, you can forget trying to see again.' 
'The shards could go straight through you to the back of your head'.

We were told that some people who worked for an Odeon cinema, tried to destroy a similar bulb by putting it in a bin and throwing a brick on it. There was a boom and the glass shot out the bin like a cannon, reaching higher than some buildings before falling back down again and hitting the colleges below.

The life span these bulbs have are a couple of months if that they said, so they get replaced a lot. They mentioned they recently bought a new bulb offline.
One of the bulbs in the digital projector has been in use for 144 hours already.
They said the bulbs 'are worth turning on if they're going to be on for more than one hour'.
The bulbs themselves are 'the most expensive, consumable part of the projector'.

After viewing the projector room on the ground floor, we then went to the IMAX projectors on the 5th floor.
The film there were enormous! The projector worker said they run on a 'Plata system' which means, whilst a film is being played, it's also being rewound. So once the films has finished, he could play it again in a few minutes. I was astonished, because they look too big to even begin the process of being restarted.

(IMAX films ready and waiting to be used.)

(IMAX projectors.)

These images below are of a giant machine that deals with the sound for the IMAX films. I can't remember if he said this was an audio processor or audio amplifier. I think it's a processor. 
Anyway, the projector worker said that in most cinema complexes, there are six sound amplifiers for them. In an IMAX cinema, there are twelve.
He also mentioned that when there are loud 'boom' sounds in the IMAX cinema, the projector room vibrates like a little bit of turbulence on a plane.

(Sound machines.)

There was so much more the projector worker wanted to tell us, but we had ten minutes left to see the rest of the gallery!
My friend managed to convince one of the security guards to let us see the animation floor before they closed for the night. We ran around with our cameras getting a bit trigger happy.
We said thank you to the security guard and the projector worker for the tour. They said we should come back again earlier to see more and we said we would.
The projector worker gave his number to my friend so we can ring him up for a tour earlier in future. She rang the gallery hours before we went there and no one picked up; but the projector worker said he would arrange it for us to see more of the gallery next time we visit.
It was a really good day, I certainly had a right laugh. I would definitely go again.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

London: More Pictures

These are pictures I took whilst in London with college on the 23rd of March. I'd been meaning to put them up but hadn't the time. Me and my classmate got carried away taking pictures. The stairs are my favorite pictures. I think this is because they resemble or have features of Art Nouveau. I love Art Nouveau.

The steps look like a waterfall to me. Ripples of cream water overflowing the iron stair structure.

Animals! I like taking close up pictures of animals in a means to use them as a reference should I need to draw them for a later brief. They're pretty cute too.