Wednesday, 16 January 2008

The New Term Begins.....

So, a little over a week into the new term and it's already a bit panic stations 'round these parts! Handed in my storyboard, animatic and time lapse experiments for the collaborative project; which I was quite pleased about the outcomes (apologies if the previous blog sounded grumpy) The reason for the panic is that on last count it's a full 55 days and a bit until the deadline for 3 different projects. One is the self negotiated project, a web design project and also a Sound design project, details of which to follow. Until then a little feedback info from a tutorial earlier today from Suzie concerning 'The Fox's tail'. It seems I covered the collaborative aspect successfully particularly with Paul's evaluation of the project, so I passed as far as she's concerned. She liked the drawings, animatic and the time lapse experiments. Criticisms were that the storyboard was too literal and too much of it, when a smaller chunk of the story would do. Also my personal evaluation was a bit threadbare. I kind of expected this kind of feedback but was glad to get it handed in so I can think about my self negotiated project which I have neglected all Christmas due to the time consuming aspect of storyboarding 'The Fox's tail'. During the tail end of the tutorial Suzie mentioned an upcoming project where will (in her words) "actually animate something"....between then and now this has played on my mind a bit as I actually haven't animated anything in particular (certainly not of any worth) My initial aims and goals for undertaking this course was to learn how to animate nicely have a solidly constructed sound track, working in conjunction with the animation to produce something superior to my last attempt at having a go at it. So, with her words and the previous incredibly long sentence in mind it's time to bloody animate see if it's actually at all still possible, or, if not time to cut my losses and stop putting it off and return to jolly old Colmans Mustard Factory. All of his brings to mind a 'graffiti in the toilet tale' from a friend; in a U.E.A. toilet he saw these words scrawled 'This is the only place I know what I'm doing!' I know the feeling. Anyway, I'll (literally) dig out an old puppet I made from my BA days and see what I can animate. If it's o.k. I may post the outcome on here, but if it's crap I won't (like my experiments with animating on a white board)

Self Negotiated project
The plan for this is to storyboard 'A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings' to build a puppet (with enormous wings) and to animate the puppet as tests for the final project. as mentioned earlier this project has been somewhat neglected, but recently I have started making a little headway. I've storyboarded the first third of the tale and through this it's made me panic a bit. My initial plan was to use puppets for the characters and as I overlooked quite stupidly at the very beginning is that there's quite a number of characters in the tale. Fot the time span as it is I shall adapt the tale into a shorter version, yet even with this in mind the characters are still plentiful! The opening scenes see large numbers of crabs as the focal point ( a solution to this is to maybe make 2 differently designed crabs, animate them separately and many times against a blue screen, then merge them together to increase their numbers on screen. I could try to create the whole thing in a 3d package, but I'm not so familiar with that method and if I didn't get the hang of it, I would have wasted valuable time. Also a first big problem and I'm sure a total nightmare, is that the weather is torrential rain in the opening scenes...that's going to be quite problematic to animate! I've also been thinking about the sound design of the tale, ideally I'd like to have some incidental music (opening and ending, also with an association with the main character) The tale is set in South America, so it would help if I had some traditional music from this area to sonically place the setting to the future viewers - I would like to collaborate with a couple of my musician friends to compose a soundtrack reminiscent of the traditional yet with a contemporary feel (like I mentioned earlier in an ideal world) If I could make a bit of a move with that I think it would be highly enjoyable as much as it is a challenge. I should get my time management down too. After all there's 55 WHOLE days until the deadline!

Sound Design
Was very eager to get this part of the course started and the first session was very enlightening and very enjoyable. Our task for next week is present for 15 minutes an analysis of a soundtrack from an animation. So, in time honoured fashion I got the wrong end of the stick - this evening I hit upon the best piece of sound design (in my eyes) that is, from the 1975 classic 'Jaws' I wrote a whole load of initial notes, a little bit of Internet research, then realised upon reading the course notes, that we should analyse the sound design from an animated film (which makes sense given the name of the course). Gonna check a few film out later (along with the animation, storyboarding and website building)

Web Design Elective
Very chuffed to be doing this part of the course -for years I've wanted to know how to ACTUALLY build a website that you see so many of nowadays. Previous attempts have involved opening Dream weaver many times and looking at the labyrinth of absolute and total confusion, then shutting it down quite promptly and pretending that it never existed in the first place. Well, it's amazing how beneficial it is to actually sit down and be walked through the intricacies of this particular piece of software! The goal is to have actually designed and get together a live website for assessment. I'd like (again ideally) to design and produce a personal website and also a Goober Patrol (band) website that I've been wanting to get together or ages. With the latter in mind I constructed 3 pages for our 'homework' criteria to look at in our session today. We didn't actually have a 'show and tell' with our pages, in fact they weren't shown at all - but got to grips a bit more with the software in the process. I like Dream weaver, yet it seems a bit 'blocky' and websites which use Flash seem more interactive and as 'organic' as is possible on a computer screen. From the research over the last week I have concluded this. The 2 websites I'd like to design are quite different in who they are aimed for, so therefore how they will be designed. One is for Animation and Graphic design so obviously the design should reflect that i'm actually any good at what I'm trying to promote; the second is for a punk band and we all know how discerning music fans are, so the design for this should be in keeping with the band aesthetics and hopefully for people not familiar with the band, draw them in to investigate further. All the staple aspects will be intact, yet I aim to try to make these areas different. I'd like to incorporate interactive areas, but for the main parts (music, video, news) keep it simple. It needs to load up in an instant and hopefully encourage the viewer to spend some time on the site. I have bought the domain names which was quite lucky, so at least that's sorted.

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