Monday, November 27, 2017

Final Project

Okay, time to bring this thing in for a landing!
For your final presentation you'll be presenting:

  1. Your stand-alone final animated film with sound.
  2. A one-minute demo reel with sound. This can include pieces of your final project.
  3. A short write-up of what you've done this quarter for potential collaborators/employers. This is short and informal. You can use this on your blog/Vimeo page.
  4. BONUS: Submit your film to the Ashland Independent Film Festival Student LAUNCH program. It's free! Here are the details. Deadline is January 5. Also, submit your stuff to the spring SOU Student Film Festival!

For the final turn in:

  1. Your updated blog/Vimeo page including your write-up
  2. Your final project and animation reel files in the courses dropbox.
  3. A pdf of your short write-up. Include a still of your work and a bio picture.

Our final presentation is Monday, December 4 at 8 a.m. Yeeks!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Project 6: Animatic and Storyboard

Here's Eric Goldberg showing how a storyboard pitch is done! Note, how as this video is shot, it basically becomes a rough draft of an animatic.
'Trouble Shooter' Storyboard Pitch from Living Lines Library on Vimeo.

Jamie Hewlett animatic for the Gorillaz video, Clint Eastwood.

Felix Colgrave's Double King. This fellow doesn't do animatics OR storyboards and he turned out just fine!
DOUBLE KING from Felix Colgrave on Vimeo.

I really like what he had to say about learning how to animate... This is from his blog on

Someone asked: i want to animate. i just ordered a light box. i have no idea what i'm doing. thoughts?
Good. If you learn animation in an academic context, it’s often taught with a lot of arbitrary dos and don'ts that are a hangover from old industry methods. More concerned with teaching formulas than helping you cultivate a genuine understanding.

Familiarising yourself with the medium and experimenting with it before anyone else has influenced the way you approach it, will harbour an uninhibited relationship with what you’re doing, and you’ll develop working methods that are informed by your current creative processes.

Missing out that step is like giving an anatomy book to a child that’s never drawn before. That would be a weird. Just give the kid some art supplies and let them figure themselves out, then when they’re older they’ll know if an anatomy book is right for them, or if they work with a completely different set of values and processes.

So get that light box and don’t worry about the ‘right’ way to do things. just Play around with it, see what happens, and if you like the way something looks then roll with it. Good luck!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Project 5 - Preproduction

This Wednesday, we'll look at several animations as research for your final projects. We'll develop our discussion around some of these concepts and principles...

Visual storytelling
Complete action
Narrative design
Writing a script
Story with and without dialogue

Visual Design
Line and shape
"Character" design

Animation Design/Production Design
How is the piece to be made?
Approaches to process
How process influences meaning

Foley and practical sound

Relationship between audio and image

Below are some approaches to animation that may inspire your own final projects:

Oskar Fischinger, who created this film using... paper and string... egad! An Optical Poem, from 1938:

Another fine example: Norman McLaren's Verical Lines from 1960:

Not to be outdone, here's Paul Glabicki's Object Conversation from 1985... No computers here, either!

A nice example of clear visual storytelling of some crazy stories... Felix Colgrave... viz Zachary Pearson...

Monday, October 30, 2017

Midterm Majesty

This week we'll take a look at the cumulative work you've done this quarter.
What to do?
You'll be "cutting together" a "reel" of your work so far. What the heck does that mean?

1. If you've already got your animations with sound, simply import them into After Effects, Premiere, or whatever video editing software you're happy with.

2. Put them on the timeline to create an edit that contains all of your work so far.

3. Export your mix, name it with your full name, and upload to your blog.

4. Put a named copy of your final mix into the DropBox folder on the courses drive in either ART352 or EMDA 352.

Get all of your good stuff turned in by Wednesday, November 1. Remember, in the grand scheme of life, this is your first time doing this, so it'll get better. In fact, we'll be doing another draft of your reel as part of the final project.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Project 4: Midterm Reel

Cut all of your work this quarter into a fabulous animation reel. All pieces should have sound and needed loops built in.

Due Monday, October 30.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Project 3: Walk Cycle and Looping Background

Create a walk cycle and scrolling background... yup... Due Monday, October 23.
We'll also look at advanced students in-progress work on Monday, October 23.

Ye Olde Walk from Richard Williams' useful classic, The Animator's Survival Kit

How to loop your background in After Effects...

  1. Export your walk loop from Animate: File > Export > Export Movie > png sequence. Make sure you choose Colors: 32 bit  in order to use transparency. Make sure you save your sequence to an easy to access folder!
  2. In After Effects, import the walk loop. File > Import > File... Make sure to select only the first image in the sequence! If there is a box that says "Import as image sequence", check it! If not, don't worry about it.
  3. After Effects won't loop the animation by default, so right click on the animation in the Project window before you add it to the Composition Timeline and choose Interpret Footage > Main... In the dialogue that opens, set Loop to a number high enough to get the job done!
  4. If you made your background in Animate, choose File > Export > Export Image and export it as a .png. If you made it in Photoshop, just save a copy as a png. Heck, you can also just import the .psd file if you want to get real crazy.
  5. In After Effects, choose File > Import and import your background.
  6. Drag your background from the Project tab to the Composition Timeline.
  7. Select the background in the timeline and hit "P" for position.
  8. Click the Stopwatch icon next to the Position label that opens under your background layer.
  9. Now set the beginning and endpoints for your bg - they should adjust automatically.

Miles demo's the basics of creating a walk cycle:

And creating a scrolling background:
More cycles from SOU alum, Jill Bruhn!

Sneaky Guy Cycle from Jill AB on Vimeo.

and. . .

Running Man with Cat from Jill AB on Vimeo.

Richard Williams' Run Cycle

Monday, October 9, 2017

Project 2: Loops, Principles of Animation

Ah, yes, the infamous 12 Principles of Animation...

Create at least one looping animation of a character.
Create at least one looping abstract animation.
Both animations should use overlapping action, secondary animation, squash and stretch, timing, spacing, and sound. We'll export these as png sequences to bring into After Effects to further develop.
First Draft Due and After Effects Intro on Monday, October 16. 

Check out the work of Keke who works quite a bit with loops...