Friday, 21 November 2008

Week 4

Ideology is the subject in hisory and theory we looked at this week. So what is ideology? "It is a system of ideas and ideals forming the basis of an economic or political theory. The set of beliefs characteristic of a social group or individual." concise oxford dictionary. The meaning of ideology over the years has changed, first meaning 'the science of ideas' and in today's world it generally refers to the value system and beliefs of an idividual or a culture. To me the most interesting part of this lecture was asking the question, how and who create ideologies? Well, everything we can see and hear around us, like reading the newspaper or watching television, even talking to friends, can create ideologies through a very continual process of reinforcement and refinement by these various sources. We then moved on to discuss the different effects ideology has, for example our position as an audience when watching a film, and voyeurisms, which is the act of watching another from a hidden or unseen position which was brought into common usage by Freud.

Now for our animation studio work this week, we ran through all the principles we've studied so far: timing, squash and strectch, anticipation and overlap. With everything we've learnt we were given the task to create an animation of two characters interacting with each other; a big cubeman (who has the domination) and a small cubeman.

There is a good sense of timing in this animation peice however i think there could have been more interaction between the two characters to make it more of a performance animation. Also there's good squash and stretch with the ball that starts off the motion. After this, the afternoon session in maya was spent doing last weeks 2-D animation in 3-D.

Looking at it the playblast now, it looks a very rigid piece of animation. The timing is right but could have done with less arm exaggeration and more of an arc with the arms as he hits the ground and struggles for balance. There is also a lack of the principle squash and stretch, which would have benefited this animation well, as the cube character moves in anticipation there could have been slightly more squash and a bit more stretch as he starts to leave the ground. As he hits the floor there is hardly any squash, and this animation would be greatly improved with more a squash on impact.

In life drawing this week, we moved onto capturing poses quickly from an animation perspective: the subject moved slightly for each 5 minute capture. This would give us the basics in a human form animation sequence.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Week 3

This week our history and theory lecture covered the early history of animation, covering a number of areas. There was the early optical toys and discoveries where we have persistance of vision, flip books (discovered by John Barnes Linnet 1868) and Zoetropes, along with a few other discoveries. But where did the influence come from in order to create animation? Well there were various articles in newspapers such as the comic strips, as well as the theater with Vaudeville and its slap-stick, magic acts and song and dance acts. The Animation Pioneers of the early 1900's were either American or French (very much like the dominating companies today) including Windsor McKay and his famous 'Gertie the Dinosaur' in 1911. We then move on to the beginnings of the industrialisation of animation, which then leads to the creation of the big companies Disney with 'Steamboat Willie' in 1928 and Warner Brothers Animation with 'Looney Tunes' and 'Merry Melodies' in 1933 (which would last for 30 years!)

In animation principles this week, we learned about overlap and anticipation. Anticipation is the preparation for the action, for example, crouching before jumping and pulling your body back to run. When this principle is properly timed, anticipation can enable the viewer to better understand the movement, be it rapid or slow action, that is to follow and also creating the perception of weight or mass. Overlapping action is where a character fluidly moves into the next pose: s/he doesn't come to a complete stop before a change in position. The animator would therefore move different body parts at different times to make the character flow from one move to the next. After looking at a few examples we set to work on our 2-D character overlap and anticipation jump.

This is a well grounded animation overall, with good anticipation. However i think that i have overdone the overlap at the end of the jump, which would have done better with a shaky wobble, and loose arms that don't move in a linear arc. Another problem i noticed with this animation is the jump itself, the cube character doesn't go quite as slow as i'd have liked as he approaches the peak of the jump.

After spending the first two weeks of our afternoon session playing around in maya to get a good feel for the controls, we were set the task in this week to create an animation of a bouncing ball with the two principles: timing and squash and stretch. Overall i think this is a good peice of work, with good timing and just the right amount of squash and stretch. The only flaw i can see in it, is that the ball slows up a bit too much at the end of the sequence.

With this week in life drawing we carried on with capturing poses but this time within a shorter time period in between 5 and 10 minutes and the last pose in 25 minutes, which i think was quite a productive lesson for me.