Saturday, 24 September 2011

Puppet Making - Zabrina the Zebra

Over the past week I have tried to knuckle down and really go for it with Zabrina the Zebra. I have now finished her sculpey body (which will be stationary compared to the rest of her body) and painted her in classic stripe form. I wanted to keep the legs and body as a solid because it would be a strong base to animate from, but also from listening to the voice over for Zabrina you'll notice, as I have, that there is no extreme movements from the animal as it's just a 'creature comforts' style interview. 

some assembly required...

This is what motivates me in the morning... a messy desk!
If everything  is out then the game is on...

I have just finished sticking the body and legs together and now will concentrate on the 'arms' and head. The neck will also be an important body part as it can really help accentuate the movements that mirror Zabrina's snooty personality. Another reason why I have limited the moving parts is because I can now pay more attention to the arms, neck, head, blinking, mouth pieces and animate them in harmony without worrying about  walk cycles or general body movement. This is always a relief for an animator when you can cheat the walk cycle!

So here is Zabrina the Zebra as of 24th September. I am very ashamed at how long it has taken me to get to this stage, however, I am very positive at the final stages and how she has turned out so far. 

Below is a photo that I have drawn upon (very badly I have to note) to give an idea of the final look of the zebra. I haven't decided this but I may find room for a wire tail that can also be animated.

I apologise for the badly sketched arms. And I have to admit that I took those ears from a Google image!

I have subscribed to a Youtube channel which I am going to throw in here because it covers the raw basics of stop motion animation - anything from the general puppet making process to constructing your very own animating table. The latter is something I need to do if I want to animate from home. You've seen my new desk but this is primarily for model making and prep work, whereas I need a base camp for sole animating. And with this new room there is a lot of potential for a decent size table. Anyway, here is a link to that channel...

Even with the rather lengthy process in making these puppets (probably more on my behalf) , the radio station Signal1 is still showing great interest with our work. My fellow colleague May has finished two puppets of the shows presenters Perry and Louise (who are involved with helping Blackbrooks Zoo) and you can check these caricatures ... HERE!

Random Video of the month...

This is from the Minton road trip to Grimsby. The lads from Minton Movie Productions (myself, David Alexander and Neal Bradley) journeyed to this tasty fish town to meet Steven Cummings especially for an Orphan Boy gig. The final gig to be precise...

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Me, myself and I MEAN BUSINESS

It has been a ridiculous amount of time since my last entry. Something which I am not proud of because I know for a fact that it proves my lack of motivation - in other words being bloody lazy. But this doesn't involve me sitting around at home and playing with myself as I have been rather productive within many aspects of my post University life.

My first priority was of course the CV. It took me a while to adjust to the fact that I may have to work in some real shitty jobs so as to earn my keep, but I have now perfected two types of curriculum vitae. One for the likes of Asda or a random pub and one for the animation world. When I say the animation world, I basically mean anything involving what I've been doing over the past few years; model making, film editing, Foley sound effect work, set construction or, of course, pure animating!

Cover layout for the DVD case. Re-named CVD

I initially didn't know how to present my CV. There is a previous blog post where I had described a comic strip being used for the cover of the 'paper' CV, which I might still use. Then there was issue of the show-reel and how to promote that; whether it would be emailing people the link or just posting a DVD with the animations on. But I want to make the best first impression possible and with the DVD case and design it hopefully gives a little bit more than just a disc on its own. I will also include my paper CV (with the comic strip cover) as an insert for the DVD and then finally include the disc with my show-reel.

These two designs are just a little addition to the DVD case. I wanted to make it look authentic so created my own 'certificate' and 'CVD' (curriculum vitae disc) logo. I have done a summary of myself as a promotion but in the style of a typical movie style synopsis.

So that was one productive aspect of my rather idle approach to promoting myself. I have also been working as a handyman for various people to earn a little cash in hand. This involves painting houses!

So being a little more relaxed about my financial difficulties (which also included a slightly shameful sign on to the Job Seekers Allowance) I could now concentrate on just being myself and carry on with my passion of painting and drawing. The animation aspect is only on hold for a little while but I shall continue with the making of the zebra puppet as soon as possible. But to keep myself inspired, I have been sketching...

Views from Jephson Gardens. Leamington Spa

Views from Jephson Gardens. Leamington Spa

This guy was actually done a few years ago but I uncovered him in an old sketchbook

So amongst all this chaos which is my life, I do feel a little more positive towards the next stage. Moving house sent everything up in the air for a month or two whilst I organised my room and re-routed post and sorted life issues out blah blah. BUT now I have a spanking new desk and that alone will give me the urge to sprawl out and pick up the model making again. I always knew that come September I would still be in the 'educational frame of mind' and think I would be returning to University - so I would use that initiative and convert my room in to my Studio Room from Room. Let's hope it works out...