Archive for August, 2013



A quick test with my character Farnham


New Character? Look again


Farnham's room

Nighttime


When drawing, animating, or even creating a live-action movie, the creators have to direct the audience’s eyes to what they want them to see. It can be done by having the following:

  • Visual Clarity. The content that you want to show has to be presented clearly in the structure
  • Contrast. If you have characters in mainly dark colors, create a lighter background to make them stand out
  • Focus. Balance, and position things in a way that the content that you want the audience to see is not dominated by anything else. Increasing the blur as objects become more distant can also help.

I tried keeping this in mind when I was working on a scene. Before I knew of all this, this was the background I created:

Original

Original

I was aiming for the cluttered room look. Now that I look at it, it looks like there’s a bunch of items that are screaming “look at me” and if I were to put a character in this scene, the audience would get distracted by the randomness. So I tried something new:

Depth

Depth

The characters are in focus, but I still felt something was missing, and the eye still wondered a bit.

Not too long ago, I wrote in a post about how, in a very wordy way, the “lack of shades and shadows diminishes realism and does not accentuate shapes to improve the overall quality of a scene.” I experimented with the idea here and there with what works on this background, after I realized that some objects appear to float above the floor.

I had to fix the issue of course and who knew that shading could do so? Well certainly not me. But it definitely created a more pleasing and uniform composition. Here’s the final (for now) result:

Depth, Shadows, and shading

Depth, Shadows, and Shading

Now the characters stand out more clearly, and are also more in focus. I will probably add more blurs here and there, and maybe decrease the saturation of some objects, to make the characters stand out even more.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, and hopefully learned something new, tell me what you think of this in a comment, and follow me if you would like to stay updated with the adventures of Bo in “Bo the Creature.”


When animating a character, a lot of animators observe subjects from reality to create particular movement. It could be from a live-action video, or even watching themselves in the mirror. Whatever technique they use, is fine, as long as the outcome is a believable. A believable animation, does not have to be realistic. It is important to distinguish the difference. The animator’s goal is to convince the audience of the character’s existence. If the animator manged to do so while still creating illogical movement, then the animation remains believable. When watching a cartoon, we might not realize that what we are seeing is not quite realistic, but still accept it because the structural work is below our threshold of awareness.

The animator’s work is to create movement that is a result of a character’s thought process, or a reaction to a stimulus. As long as the character’s weight and volume in space is consistent, the animator can get away with doing a lot of things. The key word here is consistent. Consistency is important throughout the whole animation. If you have been animating quite a realistic animation and suddenly bring cartoon violence, it will confuse the audience and it will start to ask questions, that don’t relate to the plot. As I have mentioned before, the animator’s goal is to convince the audience of the character’s existence. Rules need to be set up from the beginning, and need to be followed till the end. You can’t be selfish, and not think of your audience.

 

 

Mutant


Mutant

Mutant


How to Let Your Hero Beat Your Villain – Villain’s Tragic Flaw.

“A life spent m…


“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
― George Bernard Shaw

Voiceovers


image

Unless I want to end up with a silent film, I need voices for my animation. Unfortunately, I can’t hire voice actors, so I just need to learn on my own for now. I purchased a microphone recently and started to practice yesterday. I believed it was going to be easy. Boy was I wrong. I found that reading children’s books helps with my little girl voice however. After reading the same passage several times, I improved. I will try to do different voices to continue progressing. Everything else is much tougher. Especially making a guy’s voice. Even after I change the pitch, the voice I hear still sounds off. Really strange actually.

At first I planned on using a voice changing software, but I find that the quality of all programs do not meet my standard. It’s too bad since I actually liked some of the voices I got from it.

I played around with audacity’ s options, but none really seem to do what I want. I don’t know if it’s because there are limitations, since it is a free software after all, or simply because I don’t know how to use it. I am after all not an expert in the audio department.

I will try to find some good books to read, since YouTube hasn’t been much help. I guess I can’t rely on software after all. I actually wish I started voice acting earlier because learning in the short amount of time I have is going to be tricky. Nevertheless, I will persevere.


As I edit, my own creation scares me

Screenshot


Before you can start animating, you got to have a story to base your animation on. Without it, there is not direction, no end. I started my movie on an idea. When I began, I did not know where it was going, I just animated. But I know see that I did the wrong thing. By knowing where I was going to end, I could have planned a better beginning. Alas, it is too late. Not to say that the beginning of my story is terrible, but I cannot do much about it now. There is so much that goes into a story that I did not think of before I started studying how to direct it. I had my story before, but as I look back I realize that it is not a very captivating story and it doesn’t have a lot of suspense, and beats, things that are vital in a story. Really, what I should have done first, after deciding on a basic plot, was to develop clearly the antagonist and protagonist.

Crafting a villain is much more complex than I thought. It takes a lot of planning, and it is very important to know your character, especially his/her background, since it can affect the choices they make strongly. The appearances they have can have a great effect on how we perceive them, since we as humans tend to, unwillingly, judge others based on looks. I am still working on my villain for the story, which will completely change the direction. It is exciting, yet nerve wrecking at the same time. I have come up with so much ideas, that at times don’t seem to be enough, but at others too much to deal with. This doesn’t only apply to working on the villain, but for the story overall.

Brainstorming is an important aspect of story telling. I wish I had done more of that before.  I recently have been doing that a lot which caused me to modify things in the story, add and subtract. This project will be my first substantial story, so I don’t have too high expectations of myself. Hopefully it will all turn out well.

“Do all work as…


“Do all work as though you had a thousand years to live, and as you would if you knew you must die tomorrow.”

-Mother Ann Lee

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