Wednesday, 22 December 2010

A New Hope

So a series of five or more strange dreams caused a great disturbance this weekend up til now. These involved my mother working for the Daleks, an invasion of melting velociraptors, Andy Serkis being a drunk French man who ate fish by the lake, going skiing and climbing a scaffolding to reach my bed. Do I need help? I always see it as creative visual epiphanies?

Right, let's cut the crap and show you my final Animation. To see the entire collaboration of animation sequences from the first semester follow the link below

Collaboration of semester 1

As for the Rooster animation, here it is:

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Test Episodes

Here is a brief look at a test animation I did a few weeks ago to get the general idea of how to move the puppet. The rooster has a sort of jerky flow to its movements - I ended up filming our chickens back at home to study how they walk and peck etc.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Revenge of the Stress

The dreams have been all over the place... our house collapsing into a black hole, having a praying mantis scratch my back and being unable to find any clothes for the worlds biggest party (and everyone's invited).

This week has been an incredibly busy one; the deadlines (as I mentioned in the last entry) have finally caught up with us. This was inevitable and trully did make me work hard. The rooster animation is going slow but fairly well. The pupper is complete and i am half way through the final piece. The puppet itself is very flimsy but still managed to stand up on its own.

The set is very basic but I have concentrated mostly on animating the birds movements - pecking, scratching in the dirt and naturally... playing the saxophone. Today, however, was not a good day for animating. I managed to only do about 5 seconds of which I was very unhappy with, therefore, I became insanely stressed out and needed a break. This came in the form of a dirty McDonalds.

Other productive issues of the week included the hand in of the DPR (design project report). This was basically a 4000 word report on a topic of our choice. I chose my title to be 'do films justify the novels they were based on?' This essentially was me looking into adaptations and finding out their pros and cons. If you fancy a look at the full essay then click the link below.

The Unfilmable Book

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Attack of the Deadlines

Well not much to report dreamwise... I do remember there being the skeleton of a velociraptor chasing me and a few others up a hill. I then seemed to realise how ridiculous this was and turned around to beat it with a stick. Maybe I've been working too much with this chicken-skeleton armature.

This is one of the plasticine puppet 'extras' for the realism to anthropomorphic project. The sequence involves a Rooster pecking around in the soil, scraping with his feet, who then stumbles across a saxophone. The Rooster then uses his new found human characteristics to pick up the instrument and play some mellow jazz into the night.

The picture above is just a head-and-neck armature made for a close up shot. The actual puppet itself is still to come. So for now I am animating the inbetween CU shots and leaving the walk cycle for next week. Not advised but in these final stages it's all a bit mental.


Design Project Report in for next Wednesday ... Aaarrrgh!!!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

The Phantom Menacing Workload

So I have a dream about Tom Jones, as you do. I venture in to a nearby pub for help and was expected for some reason; the landlord told me 'yeah, 'he's out the back'. I sat next to Mr Jones and we did a cool guy handshake... everyone applauded and then he sang 'It's Not Unusual' as I casually ate an entire chicken. Brilliant.

The work at the moment seems to be falling into place. I have managed to be highly productive this week - designing a couple of business cards and also drawing up a comic strip for my new updated CV

It is still in the design stages - mainly needing some editing on toon boom and adding captions to the speech bubbles. It will be the cover of my CV and basically be more of a visual introduction. I have also started to email the contacts from the Encounters Festival just for a chat. Hopefully get some insight into the big wide world of film and animation industry. But for now, it's back to the drawing board...

Sunday, 21 November 2010

The Bristol Encounters Festival

Essentially this Blog was to write down things that I found interesting and helpful throughout my time as a student. I am studying Stop Motion and Puppet Making at Staffordshire University where I am currently in the third year, and let me tell you... it really is a whole new level now.

But I am not here to talk about work (not yet anyway) for I am still fresh from the Encounters Festival I attended last week in Bristol. It really was a fantastic experience for me and it's because of this experience that has led me to create this Blog. I learned alot over the four days about taking the next step and life in the industry. Brushing shoulders with the likes of Peter Lord, David Sproxton and even Andy Serkis can, without a doubt, really inspire anyone.

Me and my friend Ashley Lightfoot managed to fill three entire days with seminars, screenings, talks and even a filmmakers brunch. We spoke to fellow animators, peers, television producers, editors, web designers, company directors and really got a feel for the animation and film industry. The social networking for festivals like this are amazing and I highly recommend it. To sip rum with Peter Lord as he casually chats about CVs is something that I won't forget. Our tutors also managed to contact a couple of the lads who graduated from Staffordshire University and gone on to work for Aardman... so this led to a curry night and much merriment with drinks.

Sam Edwards, myself, Peter Lord and Ashley Lightfoot

The brunch we attended gave us the opportunity to talk to people directly within the industry and I thought that helped me alot with what I need to do in the near future. Like I said earlier, this Blog was made purely because of the Encounters Festival and it was one of the key aspects mentioned by all these big names; to get connected and keep talking. I managed to leave the brunch with business cards, email addresses and websites to check out, all given to me by enthusuastic and incredibly nice people from various television studios.

So today is sunday... a new start to the final year of my course. I have compiled one hell of a list of 'must do's' and it will trully keep me busy for the next year. I am going to re-edit some of my animations and enter them in to competitions, create a Twitter account and make some groovy little business cards. Day of rest? My arse!

How it all began...

I didn't want to ramble on too much with this introduction sort of thing, but basically I have finally got a Blog going so I can write down what goes on in this strange head of mine. It's almost surreal to begin with but I do love to write (damn it I have that essay to do for wednesday) and I also had the idea of beginning each entry with what I remember from my dream the night before... I usually forget and sometimes my dreams can be awesome.

Well I already need to crack on with the MAIN FIRST ENTRY because this is just a trial one to test the water (I'm going to be really cool and have proper titles and everything). So this is Tommy Grainger saying hello to all and I hope you enjoy this Blog.