Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Not Yet Dead

Nope, not dead. Just really, really, really busy.

Since my last post I've managed to...

- Tweak the storyline (crab is now an octopus)
- Finish all the animation
- Colour balance the stills
- Get angry at After Effects for not exporting properly
- Complete 1055 frames of clean up in photoshop
- Edit the shots together

...and find out that all my uni friends think I'm living in the stop motion studio.

Which is only half true.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Needs More Pirate

I've decided Eric the pirate just wasn't 'piratey' enough, so I've gone and re-designed him ...again.

The main things I altered were his body, limbs and eyes. Giving him a solid body really helped to get the 'piratey' aesthetic. Changed his eyes so he didn't look like an Aardman ripoff.

Initially I chose blue as the colour scheme, but eventually changed it back to the original red as it will stand out better on the yellow background. Apparently red and yellow colour schemes make you hungry.

Really happy with how the model turned out. I think he transferred from sketches to fabrication quite nicely. Although, his boots look like terracotta pots.

Armature Building: 1st Attempt

Armature Building: Research

If stop motion was a religion, this would be it's bible.

Possibly the most extensive book on puppet animation to date, this book covers topics from building armatures to job searching tips. It also has comments from leading stop motion animators such as Jeff Newitt (he's so dreamy).

Essentially, it's more delicious than sliced bread.

Eric Gets a Makeover

Now that I've got a story, I need a pirate. I liked the simplicity of original Eric's character design, so instead of a complete rebuild he's just getting a facelift. Namely a beard, some boots and possibly a bandanna.

Blood from a Stone.

It's only taken me 6 months, but I've FINALLY settled on a story for my 3rd year film.

Working Title: 'Treasure'

One Liner: A pirate finds a treasure chest.

Synopsis: A pirate following a treasure map comes across a large red ‘X’ marked on the ground. Excited, he whips out his shovel and starts digging. After a while his shovel hits something solid and he brushes away the sand to reveal an old wooden treasure chest. The pirate lifts the heavy chest out of the hole and breaks off the lock with the end of his shovel, before opening the lid. There is no gold inside, but instead a giant hermit crab. It uncurls itself and crawls away with the empty treasure chest on its back.

The End.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Short Synopsis

A plasticine man named Eric becomes suicidal after deciding he can no longer live with being a generic, colourless (off-white) character. The only problem is that being made out of clay makes him pretty much immortal. No matter how hard he tries, Eric just can't off himself. After a number of failed attempts (Jump, Gun, Guillotine, Noose) Eric is finally able to find something worth living for.

Script Idea - 3

A cartoon character with suicidal tendencies.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Generic Eric

Sound Check

I’ve managed to find myself a sound designer, which is quite madcore because sound isn’t really my forte. Said sound designer goes by the name of Sprott... Adrian Sprott who is a fellow student studying at QCA and likes making noises. Our first meeting was mostly just an excuse for pizza and mountain dew, but we did discuss possible treatments. Kinda need a story before we can talk about sound design in more detail.

Script Idea 2 - 'Cooties'

What if Cooties was a real disease?

Script Idea 1 - 'Manwich'

A man is making the most perfect sandwich ever.
Every step is carried out with the upmost precision, even going as far as measuring the exact width of bread slices with a ruler and symmetrically aligning the cheese. Finally after hours/days of work the sandwich is finished. Man stands and admires his work, picks up sandwich and is about to bite into his masterpiece... when his arms fall.

The End.

Inspirational Inspiration

While out looking for inspiration one day on the internets’, I came across three stop motion films which reflect the kind of animation I want to make for my 3rd year. Two of those films were by Aardman (naturally) and the third by the Lauenstein brothers who hail from Germany. All these animations have amazing animation quality and revolve around a simple theme such as love, equilibrium and religion.

Loves Me, Loves Me Not - Jeff Newitt

Adam - Peter Lord

Balance - Wolfgang & Christoph Lauenstein

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I like nonsense rhymes. There’s just something about the complete lack of logic in them that I find delectable. For experimental animation last year I made a film called ‘Ning Nang Nong’ based on Spike Milligan’s poem and had almost as much fun making it, as I did watching people’s reactions to it. Creepy is a pleasant change from cute. In thinking about possible ideas for my film I collected a number nonsense rhymes and other verses which amuse me:

I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one.
But I can tell you anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.

One fine day in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight,
Back to back they faced each other,
Each drew his sword and shot the other,

Now one was blind and the other couldn't see,
So they chose a duck to be referee.
A deaf policeman heard the noise,
And came to arrest the two dead boys,

A paralysed donkey passing by,
Kicked the policeman in the eye,
They fell right through a glass brick wall,
Into a dry ditch which drowned them all.

If you don't believe this story’s true,
Ask the blind man he saw it too.

There was a crooked man who walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

Hi Ho Silver!

I've decided to go it alone this year. Being (one of) the only stop motion animator at QCA I believe it will be easier in the long run if I just do my own thing. This way, I retain complete creative control over almost every element in my film and it also means I won't drag anyone else down if it all goes to hell. Plasticine doesn’t keep well in fiery infernos, so fingers crossed that won’t happen.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Project Brief

Students will be required to produce a major animation project over the semester which will entail group collaboration on a topic of their own choice. Individually each student will choose to specialise in one or a number of creative roles within the production team and is to sign a contract on that basis.

This project may or may not link with 3108GFS_Y2 (Animation Project 2) in semester 2. Students are required to keep a Project/Team Blog to which each member is to contribute during the semester. This is to document the production progress for others to observe and as a selfreflective process.

The diary/blog will include draft script ideas, details of crewing contacts, production notes, daily research, weekly self-assessment of production plan, references, developmental sketches, and other relevant notes.