Wednesday, 26 February 2014

CS: First session - Flash basics.

Basic Animation:

Introduced to basics like the brush and paint bucket tools. Working in different layers. How frames work.
Created a small section of animation, initially drawing frame by frame and then extending to a keyframe every second frame. Also played with a separate layer of animation moving at a slower frame pace. 
Experimented with morphing simple shapes, filling them and moving them around the stage etc.

Timeline- shows frames, which are the separate images which make up the animation. Typically 24 fps.
Layers work the same as PS/Illustrator

Onion skin- shows a transparent copy of the last frame
Loop tool- allows you to play a self-selected section of your animation, which loops (replays infinitely)

[ decreases brush size and ] increases brush size.
F7 – Insert new keyframe to the timeline. 
F5- extend keyframe.

Easier to draw line first, then go back and colour whole image. Can use the < > keys to easily move between frames and use the paint bucket to fill shapes.

Complimentary Studies: Digital Animation and Rotoscoping - Research


Process of drawing over or scratching into film, combining traditional real-life film and hand-drawn characters. First invented by Max Fleischer in 1917.

Fleischer's character Koko the Clown in his 'Out of the inkwell' series alongside Betty Boop.

Rotoscoping was a technique employed by Disney for their animations, starting with Snow White and continuing through several other of their productions like Alice in Wonderland and The Lady and the Tramp.

Rotoscoping was also utilised in the 1978 animated version of The Lord of the Rings

Animation/art styles I might want to borrow from in my own work:


Crazy 1988 Japanese cel animation, adapted from the manga of the same name. Anime style with hand painted backgrounds. A lot of effort went into the detail of the expression of the faces and movement of the mouth when the characters are talking.  Though I know I wont be able to replicate the anime style of drawing, it might be cool to paint over some film footage for backgrounds.

Eric Carle:

I really enjoy getting experimental with mark making, it's been a while since I've implemented the collage style of Erica Carle's work into my own. Scanned images might be great to help be flesh out my animation.

Jérémie Fischer:

I looked at this guy in my last projected, but didn't implement his energetic method of illustration into my work much. My previous experience of animation makes me think that an energetic approach to drawing might be the way to go, and I think I'd enjoy working towards this scribbley style. 

Ben Newman:

My most recent project and another of my other ongoing project have both had a focus on using a limited colour palette, I've got on well with the process so far and I'm intrigued with how it would work in an animation.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Print Processes: Research and workshop prep

The theme for our Print Processes module is Nature vs Man-made.

 Initially I thought about the artificial products created by man, this led me to think about pollution and the effects on nature. Then I thought about the direct effects on animals. Particularly the selective breeding of pets, livestock and food.

I came across this interesting image of a Pug photographed in the Victorian era.

And also the work of Stephanie Metz

This led me to thinking about producing a pattern made up of the natural state of animals and exaggerated examples of selective breeding.

As far as influences go, my initial pattern mainly came from the simplistic style of my initial sketches and trying to carry over a limited palette from the last project. However I did get an idea for layout and use of white space from a couple of images on pinterest.

When it came to the session in which we learnt to make patterns in photoshop, I realised my simpler, less developed sketches of fruit, veg and fungi were more suited to be used as a pattern. So I've moved away from the idea of selectively bred animals at the moment and am looking more at the contrast of wild variations of food and how they have been changed for consumer preference. 

Following this development I also have the work of Emma Dibben in mind 

And here are my patterns:
The solid fill ones are the ones I know I'll be using, the line ones were for just in-case.

 I quite look forward to bringing in some earthy textures through a process like etching with this design.

IP/E: Monster Worship - Progress and Conclusion

The main development of our monster worship images has been led through our workshop sessions, in particular the final image was influenced by a character background development session where we looked at careers or day-to-day activities for our monsters.

From background research on the Ahuizotl I decided that it would be a pretty able swimmer.
Going back to a previous sketches I took the idea of the monsters being a costume and decided to draw the Ahuizotl as if his fur was clothing.

I found the result quite funny and decided to give it a go with the Tarasque, who is made up of loads of elements.

There's a charming surreal humour to the extraordinary being in a mundane setting and by removing the different elements from the figure I had a work-around to the difficulties I'd been having coming up with a design for the Tarasque that I was happy with.

I sketched out the scene and characters, imagining that the Ahuizotl, whose fur is not fake, walks in on the Tarasque in the changing rooms as he removes his different components.
Scanning these in, I began working in photoshop.

From previous experimentation I already had an idea as to what colours I wanted to use for the Ahuizotl. When it came to the wood, I just thought about which colour seemed most natural. And when it came to selecting colours for the lines, I felt the need to stick with a colour within it's master set. So I wouldn't draw detail on top of yellow with blue or pink for example.
Taking inspiration from Jérémie Fischer, I decided to break up the block colours by adding a section of wall in the middle which just featured vertical lines.
I initially thought about using a white drop shadow to help break up the separate elements of the image, but later removed this in favour of tweaking colours and positions of objects that would be lost within each other, preventing the image from becoming too busy.

Next came adding the Tarasque. I had already worked out a scale between the two characters using the scanned images before I started colouring. It was just a case of going through the process of 'which colour adequately represents which part of the image and what can I do to bring definition to these blocks of colour?' once more. When it came to adding in all of the Tarasque's elements of clothing I found myself really exhausting the colour palette.
Something that I'm particularly pleased with is the way that I used the lines on the bear-leg trousers to give a sense of weight/ the trousers scrunching up. I think it really comes across effectively when looking at the image as a whole.

After some feedback from Ben and Rob, it was just a case of going over the image and clearing up a few parts of the image, making sure there was clarity in the facial expressions and  to make edits where shapes of the same colour overlapped, or where the lines gave the wrong impression. 

I also toyed with using the dissolve blending option to create some shadows. Though I think it works well on the sample I made, I couldn't see the shadow effect working over the whole image, especially as I had already used the darkest of my seven colours quite frequently across the image already. 

My final image. I'm not sure how to articulate the way I feel about the result. 
Maybe I let the requirements of the image limit my work too much, I feel like it could be stylistically more interesting or complex. Maybe if I had done something other than working with blocks of colour as a base for the image. As a final result for the module overall, it doesn't feel much like a concluding piece, as there was no opportunity to bring in other techniques learnt over the module.

However I do feel like I've got on well with the new processes introduced, that I've produced some effective and interesting work and look forward to implementing a few of these skills in my work in the future. I've already taken the limit palette and colour separation practise on for the preparatory work for my new print processes module. 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

IP/E: Monster Worship- Colour separation and Photocopy technique

There are two techniques which act as the focus for our final images in this part of the module, they influenced my choice of artist research ( mainly from Nobrow) because they employ similar techniques to their own work.

To use a limited 7 colour palette, made up of 3 pantones.

Red, red-orange, yellow-gold, green, blue, blue-purple and a very dark brown.

My focuses for this were 'How am I going to get as much information into the image as possible?' and 'What colour should I attribute to which form?'

Trying to bring information through the shape of block colour and trying to be as accurate with the colours as possible.

 Thinking about bringing more information to the blocks of colour by using line.

If we were to prepare this images as if they were to be printed in the Nobrow books, they would have to be separated into the three main colours, or masters - red, yellow and blue.

If the image has been produced in photoshop, it's a simple process of using the magic wand tool to highlight the three different sets of colour, copying them as a new layer and adjusting the levels to produce a completely black image, which can be used in photocopying, screen printing etc.

 Alternatively these masters could be produced by hand using a lightbox;

By using these masters on a photocopier you can imitate the screen printing process, by simply assigning a single colour to each master and photocopying over the same sheet. This requires the sheets to be cut straight and the masters to be aligned correctly on the page.

My sheets were a bit wonky and it was a right pain in the arse trying to align things on top of the copier, so my practice image turned out a bit wonky, which I could've fixed by cropping the paper down.

I'll probably use photoshop to generate my masters as it'll save on time and by printing them out they're more likely to line up correctly.

You can get some really vibrant colour combinations. 
It seems wiser to print the lightest colours first and gradually get darker. 
A little bit of overlap can add to the image, but complete failure to line-up looks derpy. 

Monday, 10 February 2014

IP/E: Photoshop and Illustrator stuff

So we've been having digital sessions every Wednesday with Ben alongside our workshops with Rob, where we've been looking at working in Photoshop and Illustrator.

Here's 3 images from donkeys ago which I forgot about. They utilised our painty books, some image sourcing from the Plymouth City Museum and some techniques we picked up in session.

The theme for the images were a series of words given to us:

Uxorious: Having or showing an excessive love for ones wife.

'Always we are a pair,
the 'he', the 'she.'
Appearing, like lions, to guard the temples;
So beware, evil spirits,
do not approach,
for we:
the 'he,' the 'she'
the 'life,' the 'death,'
the 'globe,' the 'cub.'
Are here
on guard

I spotted these pair of foo dogs, the nature of their legend seemed to fit the word quite nicely, especially after reading an accompanying poem.I thought it would be funny if the drastically smaller and less dominant of the two was the male.
This image was made in photoshop and demonstrates the use of scanned textures through layer and clipping masks.
I wasn't really happy with this image from the get go, my initial sketch was just meh. But with those trippy colours I think this is probably the best of the three.

Pensive: Engaged in deep thought.

I thought perhaps these two lions could be having some comical thoughts 'how long do we have to pose for this ruddy photo' etc. That or something a bit filthy. I hope I don't make that face when I'm being pugnacious.
Demonstrates the use of coloured lines in photoshop using a layer mask. I also had a play about with brushes and layers to try and create some digital texture. Could do with a bit of a tidy on that line work...

Pugnacious: Eager or quick to argue, quarrel or fight.

He may look like a dapper gent with that fancy plume, but this wild rooster is a loud, saggy-faced aggressive explosion of feathers waiting to happen.
Demonstrates the use of illustrator to produce a vector image.

Things what I gone done learned:
-Photoshop 'int so scary after all.
-Illustrator is well fancy, but a profanity-inducing headache of an experience.