Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Test Animations

Another sequence, this time for Barry Purves' project. This is a practice run for the final scene, where the boy can literally be seen growing up into manhood. It involved adding or squashing the plasticine to widen muscles and create the illusion of adolescent growth.

This link will get you to a better quality video for the animation above

Friday, 18 March 2011

Return of the Puppet

So it was time to animate Barney, the main character for the Money Tree Project, and it was by all means one hell of a task. I feel that the walk cycle was a bit of a failure (but I'm putting this down to fatigue as I started animating this at 4pm). So you could believe that or just assume that friday afternoon got the better of me!

The animation sequence I completed at the start of the day was of Barney's upper body movement - simply to get an idea of how easy his arms and hands could move.

There is also an update with the props. I have almost completed the sofa after much labouring with a needle and thread. Myself and Jon built the staircase and also helped Alex and May with the tedious (but incredibly rewarding) task of making the branches for the trees.

With the new armature made to replace the ball and socket armature,
I used a simple structure of twisted wire and steel plated feet.

The leaves were made by a 'leaf shaped' hole puncher and glued onto
strands of wire covered in brown paper

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Test Animations

These two pieces are tests for the upcoming animation collaboration with Barry Purves. My theme is puberty and have been trying to animate hair and body growth. The first animation of the breast needs re-thinking as it looks more like a breast 'sagging' as oppose to 'growing' (tut tut). The second animation is of me snipping off tiny bits of wire for each shot (and then play the entire thing backwards) to simulate hair growth.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

I was lucky enough to get my hands on some free tickets for this years Stoke Your Fires at the Pottery museum in Stoke-on-Trent. I was only able to attend one day, however, it was the Tribute to British Animation event and gave us a real treat in various presentations with speakers such as Barry Purves, Vivien Halas and Tony Dalton.

Tony Dalton, film historian and curator of the Ray Harryhausen Foundation

It was pretty spectacular to not only watch a slideshow on Ray Harryhausen and be reminded of his legendary status, but to get up close and see one of the Skeletons used in his animations was just gobsmacking (Tony Dalton wasn't sure if it was from Jason or Sinbad... but who cares, it's a Harryhausen armature!). For obvious reasons we couldn't pick it up and unfortunately I only had my phone camera to take a shot... so the quality is a bit blurred (I was kicking myself for not bringing my digital camera).

The other photo above is of the models made from last year, under the theme of the animated film Robots. My assigned Robot was the character Fender and it was quite an experience to see this model put on display in the art museum of Stoke.

It was also a great feeling to sit with Barry Purves in the cafe. We do see him every week for his project, but for him to seek you out and sit talking about opera, amongst all these other animators/enthusiasts, was really cool. His semenar on his passion for puppets was very enlightening and as always gave us all more inspiration to crack on with our own work.

First look of one of the sets for my own animation 'I am Your Father'

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Epic fail and the redemption of Barney

Unfortunately the foam latex had to be ripped off Barney (the star of the Money Tree animation) as the armature itself was still loose in a few of its joints. I therefore have to tighten these and begin the process once again of mixing the latex and cooking the puppet. However, this time I do have a pair of hands to also foam up.

Wire armature hands with heat shrink tubing over the fingers
One of the pictures above shows Barney's clothes for the opening scene where he walks through the forest. These were done by Lynda Barnes, our second year assistant. I have also begun sculpting the head for the puppet which will be primarily out of super sculpey with inter-changeable mouths. The plan for this week is to get the puppet smothered in foam and get him pruned and ready for a walk cycle.