Thursday, 25 February 2010

Brian Andreas= absolutely wonderful!!

I have recently stumbled across the work of an artist that I am not familiar with.. and I admit I have completely fallen in love woth his work! His name is Brian Andreas, and his illustrations are absolutely beautiful! I love the glowing colours that he uses in the design, and I especially like the way he mixes lovely sounding words with lovely looking drawings. The designs that he uses are quite basic, but the fluidity of the lines really caught my eye and made me stop to have a closer look. I am a definate fan as you may have guessed! Here are a few examples of his work...

Final Flash Background

Aloha! I have finally kicked myself up the bum and made myself sit down at my laptop and practise using Photoshop. I thought I would try and draw out the background for my flash project, and although the final thing looks pretty basic, I am actually quite proud of it... my past photoshop productions have generally been a bit of a failure! Here is the finished background...

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Live At Five Review

In our second term of the Digital Animation course, we were given a challenging and exciting new project that would encourage creativity and enhance our ability to work to tight deadlines. The brief that we were given stated that we had to spend a day working with students who were specialising in journalism, and produce unique graphics for their weekly news programme called ‘Live at Five.’ We were put into small groups of about 6, and it was with these people that we would have to work together with on our chosen day of practise. On our Live at Five day we would be assessed on the graphics that we produced throughout the duration of the day, and also on how we worked together as a whole group. I was admittedly quite apprehensive about the project when I first heard about it, because we had to use an Adobe programme called After Effects and previously I had had some trouble getting to grips with the programme. Despite attending tutorials and attempting to practise using the programme on a number of occasions, for some reason I really struggled to get used to using After Effects, so when my Live at Five day came around I was generally not feeling particularly confident about it at all.
On Monday the 22nd of February it was my day to attend the Live at Five project, and my group had to all meet in the animation studio at half past nine in the morning. I was pretty nervous about the day ahead of us since it felt like I would be completely useless in contributing to the graphics made on that day. But my entire group were very friendly, helpful and easy to get along with so I relaxed quite a bit when we settled in. After waiting for about half an hour, one of the journalist members arrived in the studio and handed us all of the graphics requests that were required for the evening screening of ‘Live at Five.’ It seemed pretty complicated written down on paper and I admit I did panic quite a bit! But Peter, our tutor who ran the After Effects tutorials, was present and talked us through what the journalists required from us. I partnered up with one of my group members, Grethe, and together we managed to construct a variety of title straps for the journalists to use in their news report to document the names of any guests on the show. First of all we constructed the basic shapes on Photoshop then put them all together in a composition that was suitable for a title strap, and then added text and colour to the design. The other members of the group also paired up and were given different graphics to construct, which included some animated weather maps and sports tables.
Once we had completed the title straps, Grethe and I went up to the film suite to check that the dimensions of our graphics were suitable to fit on the screen, and unfortunately parts of some of the title straps seemed to be missing when we viewed them on the main monitor. But we fixed the problem back at the studio by changing a couple of things, and in the end the title straps looked really good on screen. We then took a quick lunch break to get away from staring at the computer screens.
When we returned to the studio, we found that we had been given a new stack of graphics requests... for the following day! This made us all panic quite a bit since some of the graphics for the current day were not completed yet. But we all worked well as a team and set certain tasks for individual team members.
My next task was to produce an animated map of Britain that showed different county names appearing in a sequence. At first I went into panic mode once again seeing as I had no idea where to start, but luckily Pete sat down with me and talked me through what to do. Admittedly the process in After Effects seemed pretty complicated, and I didn’t follow a lot of what Pete was talking about! But it was really helpful to have someone talk me through the programme step by step, and in the end I was really happy with the map that we produced. We managed to animate the typing so that it appeared on the map at certain times, and also added in spotlights to highlight important information.
By this point it was nearly five o’clock and all of our graphics were finally completed. So we all headed down to the film studio to watch the live recording of the ‘Live at Five’ programme. It was quite exciting seeing our graphics being used in a professional way, and they did look really good on screen. There were a couple of humorous moments during the screening since a few mistakes occurred with the timing of the broadcasting! But overall the screening looked really good and flowed well. After the screening we went to a quick feedback session of one of the team members, and despite a couple of small criticisms, the feedback on our graphics was generally positive.
I was surprised that I enjoyed the day quite a lot; previously I thought that it would be hell! But it was actually really interesting to be placed in a professional scenario, and it provided really valuable experience in being able to meet with deadlines, which of course is vital in animation. Our team worked really well together, there was great communication and we all worked hard to contribute towards the graphics. Therefore the work that we produced looked really good together, and we got good feedback on our graphics from the journalist team. I think that this project has been a really good idea; because it has given us a taste of what it is like to work under strict deadlines, and has provided really good experience in perfecting the time it takes us to complete the work that is required from our future careers.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Live At Five Day!!!

Here is the map I created for our Live at Five day!! I had quite a bit of help with it, but I didn't think I would be able to create anything! I also made a few title straps which I will upload later, I promise I will do a full analysis soon! :)

Friday, 19 February 2010

Flash project ideas

Here is a background that I drew out yesterday in Photoshop.. it's nothing special admittedly, but it was a bit of a breakthrough for me seeing as I've never really had much success on Photoshop in the past! It was also the first time I have ever used a graphics tablet, it is really hard to get used to! But it allows me to draw much more fluidly and the lines are much smoother. I might have to treat myself to a tablet when my money situation gets a bit more friendly.. one day!!!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

i meant 3 weeks, not months... gaaaarrr panic time!!

flash project

Oh god.. I am seriously panicking now.. we have been set quite a few big projects that all have to be handed in within the next 3 months.. and I have no idea where to start... heeeeelp! Im not feeling particularly confident at the moment because I am really struggling with getting to grips with the software that we are being introduced to. As always, Maya seems like an impossible task, and we actually have to construct an interior design for a room on there... I have no idea where to start! I have been trying to practsie over these last few weeks but it doesn't seem to be sinking in. I guess practise makes perfect.
We have also been given an interesting project using the flash programme, where we have been given clips of students talking, and we have to design and animate characters and lip sync them to the voices on the clips. It is really interesting and Im looking forward to getting stuck in, but I must say I am struggling with getting to grips with flash aswell!! something always seems to go wrong, but Im sure if I keep practising I will hopefully get the hang of it! Here are a few quick sketches that I have mapped out on a couple of characters that I am going to include in my flash animation:


Blimey eck it has once again been quite a while since I have updated my poor ole blog!! Quite a bit has happened since my last post! Before the crimbo holidays we were told that we would have to write an essay on the film/s of our choice, and we were given 4 different titles to choose from. In the end, I chose the question relating to representation, and focused on how representation was used throughout Disney's history. I must admit, I found the essay pretty hard to get stuck into, it has been quite a while since I have had to write and essay as long as this, and my writing skills have gone a bit rusty! But I managed to complete it in time, phew!! We were also set the task of producing 3 different backgrounds using different mediums, which I really enjoyed because I have considered going into background art and storyboarding in the future. I haven't actually got the feedback from this project yet, but as soon as I get my work back I will put some piccies of the finished drawings up on here :)