Monday, 29 December 2014

SIM: Part 2 Visual Narrative/Treasured Possession - Artist Research.

Stage 2 of this Sequential Image Making module has us looking at possessions and memories.

I've decided to submit a double-page spread composed of between 8 and 18 panels.

I've got a rough script together, but want to look at some practicing artists to get some ideas about how I can play with composition, transition, mood and style in my short comic. 

Lilli Carre

Lilli works a lot with comic books and animation, though this piece of illustration really stood out for me. The division of the image connotes sequential panels. Using the panels to form another visual element or image could be an interesting method to play with. 
We'll see what works for the narrative, but I'd quite like to break away from solely using rectangle panels. 

Brecht Evens

Here Brecht uses decorative elements to break up the monotony of the bog-standard panel.
What caught my attention more was his use of colour to infer which text belongs to which character, rather than surrounding it with the traditional speech bubble. 
In a story that is wordless, using colour to associate different image elements with each other may be a handy technique in furthering the clarity of communication in my images.

Jon McNaught

McNaught provides an example of how different sized panels are suited to different purposes. Like a wide establishing shot in film, the left panel which introduces a setting for the adjacent panels takes up a whole page. 

Also evident is the use of colour palette to communicate a certain point of time in the day. 

Expanding on this idea, Brian Hitch talks about the use of colour to produce mood also in his book 'Ultimate Comics Studio' 

Chris Ware

In Ware's graphic novel 'Building Stories' He uses a change in colour palette and panel border style to communicate abstract events depicted in thoughts and dreams. I'll use visual cues like these to help communicate what is going on in my narrative. 

Monday, 8 December 2014

SIM: Zoetropes - Animation

For our second task we looked at analogue and digital animations.

For the analogue animation we looked at zoetropes.
The animation consisted of 15 frames, so we looked at producing a cycle of movement. The movement had to be clear and simple due to the limit frames and we found that high contrast images were the most effective.

After seeing some examples, I particularly enjoyed the work of Neil Sanders and wanted to create some weird creature with an elaborate walk/flight cycle.

We were asked to bring in some action figures as a visual reference for movement, I dug out some old power rangers and some new-ish transformers.  My transformers are monster/dragon-like and boast pretty garish colour schemes, so I thought I'd use these as a basis to my animation.

As I began to re-draw the figures and develop my own monster from the two, I realised that the detailed and complex design wouldn't work well as a zoetrope image. Nor would it's length work well on the 11X12 frame.

After considering producing a free-hand animation, I remembered about my time in complementary studies last year and the rotoscoping sessions I had. What I took away from that is that I'm slow to draw free-hand and what I produce doesn't look great. However the section of animation that I rotoscoped worked really well.

This led me to deciding to produce the digital section of the week, a GIF, first. Then print it out and use a light box to trace onto a zoetrope strip.

So I sourced a video of a lizard to get a walking cycle from it.

I then roughly sketched over the top

And worked from these sketches to deviate slightly from the original video. I used bold colours for a high contrast and limited myself to block shapes to keep the image simple.

Considering how to use the stage area most effectively, after discussion with one of my peers I decided to duplicate the animation and have two lizards racing each other.

When it came to re-drawing the frames onto a strip of paper, I decided to work in black and white after seeing some examples of other's work and after drawing a couple of frames in pastel and felt tip in colour. I didn't have my ink with me to hand, so thought I would explore how mark-making looked in movement.

When not in movement the image looks pretty sloppy, I've used a white pen to block over some areas where I've been a bit too expressive with my mark making. And the simple nature of the image just looks unfinished. However, I needed to get the contrast to make the image work in motion and had quite a quick turnaround to meet.

Whilst using the light box, I noticed how pleasant the blue-green looked underneath the paper texture and tried implementing that aesthetic into my GIF, though it's presence is barely noticeable due to the low resolution at which the GIF is exported.

If I were to develop this image further, I would look at producing a more detailed image, as the digital method of animation has less limitations than that for the zoetrope. This would include shadows and backgrounds.