Wednesday, 27 January 2010


Taking to blogging like an oxygen-hungry fish would take to water, with desperation and somewhat greed and later pleasing satisfaction. Confuzzled as to where to begin...

For the sake of rationality and sanity lets try and divide our blogging plan into several different sections. Here's first attempt.

Projects, in terms of what's on now and what I didn't discuss, projects I do in my spare time, classes I take, side-interests, including technical stuff, research and pieces of work that don't really belong to a production. Also there should probably be a section on something less visual like thoughts about my dissertation. Likely to include information from a range of different subjects.

So here Is a list and I will cross over the bits when they are done. A bit like a shopping list maybe.

1. The 11 seconds Club. - Production process, thoughts, concept art.
2. The experimental project, stop-frame with sand - concept work, thoughts, prod. report, stills.
3. Life drawing classes, not just random, but to show how things have developed. Even if I hate to do this.
4. CG? Discuss the interesting bits from seminars, state your opinion, add some research if necessary.
5. What's going on in the world? Seriously. Update!!!, bitch
6. Post-production project - state what it is we're aiming at, show work in progress
7. Pre-production project - discuss
8. What is there to script? Little bits de la bobs of programming.

Ok. This is mainly for my use, so IF confused DO ignore this post

oh and P.S. here's a link to a real girl's jewelery catalog.

Friday, 15 January 2010

"Collaboration project"

The idea of this project (as soon as we came back from the Christmas holidays) was to "take us out from the winter stupor" by giving us what essentially was 3 days intense studio work between ourselves and (more importantly) the writers.

The Guinea Pig approach on Andy's behalf has actually worked well: making the writers work with us helped to 1. give us a kick 2. practise different roles within a group 3. realise that writers actually exist.

The main aim:

writers must come up with a story, we suggest, collaborate, bounce ideas off each other and grant them that in the space 72 hours it will magically make into animatic.

Then we WORK on it...

Here is the report:

1.What was it about?


Taken from the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, its in a way a comedic re-make. In terms of the genre (we were given Dramatic Narrative) it was interesting to play with this particular story as it lacks some of the basic traditional story-telling elements (like beginning and end). It does not prove of disprove any moral codes of the time it was written in. It has clear “bits” missing from the main protagonists personality (or “character”) hence its hard to tell the motives of their (her, Goldilocks) behavior. For example, what made her come into the house and start inspecting it? We
don't get any information on her background, or where she comes from, etc. As a story it didn't meet certain criteria of a classic faery tale narrative. Not intending to fill these gaps we just had “a play around” with the story, twisting and turning the events to make it (hopefully) funny.

The new story summary follows:
1.Goldilocks (who is now being transformed into a Hollywood type-attractive sexual stereotype of a young woman) is lost in the middle of the Alps. By accident she stumbles upon a lonely cabin and decides to let herself in.
2.To her surprise she finds the interior of the place very modern, facilitated with kinds of things you usually find in a night club or a bar.
3.She again helps herself to one of the three ready-made cocktails (hinting to the possible number of characters to show up and to the likely lack of time before they arrive), tries to sit down in one of the three armchairs, soon discovers a door to sauna, takes a towel from a rail and enters the it. Again, Goldilocks three times adjusts the temperature before satisfied.
4.Meanwhile other characters being three gay bears Julian, Horatio and Gunther come back from a skiing trip and discover someone definitely been messing about in their place, one notices that his towel is missing.
5.They enter the sauna where Goldilocks already made herself much too comfortable, are stunned for a moment . She is shocked too as she sees the three silhouettes of bears staring at her with a wild expression.
6.Instead of attacking Goldilocks or chasing her away the bears suddenly decide that she should stay for the night's party. After all she does have amazing looking hair/cool nails...

2.What was your role?

Originally it was suggested that I should be the designer. Personally it suited me fine although I probably would prefer other roles under different circumstances. An animator for example.

3. What did you previously know about the role and did you do any research?

I knew the designer is responsible for the final look of the film and can probably be called “the visual director”. I didn't do much research as there wasn't enough time for it. When working in a small group you have to compromise and sometimes take on different roles, no solid model of a role is strictly followed.

4. Did you think the role played to your strengths?

Yes. I can draw extremely fast and people seem to like my visual style. Hence being able to have extra time to go through other peoples' work and give it a touch of my style.
However I didn't think there was enough time to supervise the look of every shot as it should have been done.

5.How did the team work together?

To me the team worked pretty well together, but not everyone was happy with their role. The producer in particular is an odd one for having to be flexible, sometimes harsh and having to multitask. People coped with extra responsibility outside their normal artistic role but found it a bit strangling. The hardest of all was getting things done on time, but is always a bit of a problem in any production. We didn't have a real timetable to follow but enough people were enthusiastic and hardworking, able to push themselves to go that “extra mile”.
Communication within our team seemed reasonable, majority of cases we were able to pass jobs to each other quickly. People were ready to do more things when having a little extra time gap.
All in all we worked fast and did a good job. Even though some of us seem to have lost enthusiasm at the end when having to rush things.
The writers remained very open to suggestions and worked well and hard on their part.

6.Did anything not go according to plan?

Yes. Underestimated the number of things to be done. Hence were a little too relaxed in the beginning and rushed at the end. From the technical point of view didn't allow the extra time just for errors to be fixed. Struggled a lot with having to render the final animation out which usually is a quite straightforward process.

7.What went well?

Most definitely had a lot of fun in the very beginning (day 1) when having to pick a story and assign the roles. It was very pleasant to work with the writers on the whole. The designs of the characters on Jake's and my behalf were (to me) well done too, the storyboard artist made fantastic clear shots to work from in a very little time.

8. .How did you find it working with the writers?

On the one hand its always a bit of a “cat in a bag” having to work with people you don't know, on the other it makes you learn to adapt to different situations better. Our writers were very open to any alterations in the scenario, pleasant and seemed to like working with us. I am very pleased that they didn't get carried away with the plot and kept everything reasonably simple yet witty. They were also very enthusiastic and easy to communicate with.

9.Did you enjoy the project?

Yes It was a nice project on the whole. Loved meeting new people. Loved drawing a lot of pictures.

10.What did you learn?

To allow time for errors mainly. I learned that you will always be five minutes short no matter what your project is. Therefore its better to be prepared for the unexpected as well as to preempt the expected.

11.Would you like to collaborate with the writers in the future?

Most certainly will consider involving them in my own practice as well as suggesting the same thing to other people. You can never be an extra pair of hands short.
Off course the writers too create an extra “dimension” to the animation by adding to it from the new perspective.