Saturday, 27 March 2010

A bit of a waffle on Animation

I've always liked the idea of animation, but I have to confess I don't have the patience to pull it off successfully. But digging through my old harddrive and the old site, I thought I would stick this post up to show my efforts.

I think one of the things, that have always put me off, is I've never found a comfortable workflow for executing my ideas. The main thing I used was macromedia flash and also tried toon boon studio.

The first "breakthrough" came when I worked out how to use motion paths in flash and this was my first effort. Frank the Robot Bin - To Binly go, where we all like to go

Next up, to learn  rotation in flash, I pretty much copied a Terry Gillingham animation from The Mony Python days, adding my own bit at the end.  I bow in his greatness, as he did his version by hand and  it took me all of a weekend for my effort.  

Next up, and probably my most popular (especially with 3-5 years old so I am told) is The Gallery. I do have some further ideas for this character, but the way I created it in flash, it would involve starting to build the character from scratch again, which I have struggled to do. Lesson Learnt from this about, creating characters separate from the main timeline.

Next up,  not the most original idea, but an animation very loosely inspired by Emily Dickinson poem She went as softly as the dew. I had a very clear idea on doing the water droplet to star idea, but it took quite a few attempts to get it right technically. I didn't enjoy the process at all, and I think this is one of the reason's why I say I don't have the patience.

Next up, is the kind of animation I would like to do.  When I was a kid, I really liked the pink panther cartoon show (couldn't stand  that ant eater thing though) . I think what I liked most was the style of the backgrounds. They would be this scratchy ink style with block shading and strong contrasts.  I also used to like the pyschedelic shaking from the Rhubarb and custard cartoons.  I did the backgrounds on this, with a really shite cheap non pressure graphic pen and the character, ship and sea monster with a mouse. So technically not perfect by a long shot, but stylewise I am happy with it.  The song is "Pour Un Flirt Avec Moi" Michel Delpech. I have no idea what he is singing about, but it sounds right for the cartoon.  

Finally, this is unfinished and when it gets to the corridor scene. Nothing else will happen, except the music playing. For this animation, I bought a fancy wacom tablet and tried out a few new concepts, such as having the characters turn and having objects in front of the action. This was also going to be the longest piece, with several locations and a good old fashion Mummy Chase.  The timing is off in the below, and things such as shadows are missing, and feet occasionally vanish (also the edges arent masked). But it should give you an idea.  The plan was to extend the corridor scene, introducing two new characters; The museum curator and a belly dancer  who would join in the chase, before turning the action back outside,  and giving a suitable "Deus Ex Machina" ending.

The reason, it is unfinished, is I switched from a PC to a mac, an no longer have macromedia studio and my wacom broke. If anyone wants to ahve a go at finishing it off, then please give us a shout, I will gladly send the files over. 

I am not turning my back on animation per se, more giving up on flash animation. I emailed today infact an idea to a fellow Leeds Savage Club member, about doing a very short, live action /animation short entitled "Space Cheese". I would also, like at a later date, have a go at producing some cartoon shorts, in the style that I would like to achieve.

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