Friday, 25 March 2011

Animation - Ecstatic Walk

I think I should have gone a bit more overboard on this one and got him jumping right in the air. Will give it another go.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Character Design

Random character design. It all started off a bit too cutesy and I thought 'Can't have that'.

Animation - Walk Cycle

Maya - Walk Cycle, Contact Method

Animation Theatre 4

Jimmy Murakami (1933 - Present Day)

Jimmy Murakami is a Japanese American animator, director and producer best known for his animations for 'The Snowman' (1982) and 'When The Wind Blows' (1986). Jimmy Murakami has been nominated for both Acadamy and Emmy awards and has co-founded his own studio in hollywood 'Murakami Wolf Swenson'.

Fig 1.

When The Wind Blows, was a sad tale about an old couple (James and Hilda Bloggs) coping with nuclear holocaust. They planned everything with blind optimistic faith in the government handbook on what to do in the event of a nuclear war. So when the threat of nuclear war is apon the nation the couple build a shelter made from the doors in the house that are lend against the wall inside the house and prepare themselves. Both follow everything in the hand book with high hopes of being saved even though there apears to be no water, electricity, raido or T.V. and what seems as though no one to save them. Eventually the couple die of radiation poisoning still in the belief that they will be saved. The film was executed in a way that was different from most animation at the time, in that the drawn characters were composited on real footage of the inside of a house. Both animation and live footage were both blended together so well, it could have easily looked like a mismatch of two completely different mediums.

Fig 2

Bill Plymton (1946 - Present Day)

Bill Plymton is a animator and cartoonist who has been nominated for an Acadamy award for his short animation 'Your Face' and also for 'Guard Dog' and is well known for 'The Tune' which he financed entriely himself and released parts of the film as shorts to generate some income. His cartoons have been featured in The New York Times. He is according to Brooklyn Film Festival "the only person to hand draw an entire animated feature film." This in itself is a massive task even at his normal animation frame rate of 8 frames per second.

Fig 3.

The Tune (1992) is a tale of a songwriter (Del) who has 47 minutes to write a hit song and deliver it to Mr Mega the boss of his girlfriend. But Del is having trouble getting the last few lines from his blocked mind. His surreal journey takes him to a place called Flooby Nooby where he just may find what he needs to write his hit tune. This just over an hour journey transports the viewer to some surreal places that only the depths of your unconciousness could condure up, all in a beautifully hand drawn epic. Due to the movies manner in which parts where released as shorts and others are in a different medium The New York Times say it "has its choppy moments.......  two sections of it -- "The Wiseman" and "Push Comes to Shove" -- were released as short films to generate money. Both are bravura exercises, but they impede the flow of a story that too often seems like a strung-together series of shorts with no relation except their visual style." This does cause the film to lose some fluidity as it chops from scenes that have no relavence. Even so the biggest downfall is that watching something at 8 frames per second on a short might work well but after an hour of it it's almost seizure inducing.

Fig 4.


Santa: The Fascist Years, Brooklyn Film Festival, 2009, [Online] avaliable at [Accessed 23 March 2011]

Biography, Plymtoons, Date Unknown [Online] avaliable at  [Accessed 23 March 2011]

The Tune, The New York Times, 1992 [Online] avaliable at Tomatoes  [Accessed 23 March 2011]

Image Bibliography

Fig 1. Jimmy Murakami, Unknown Date [photography], Fig 1.

Fig 2. When The Wind Blows, DVD cover, 1986, [photography]

Fig 3. Bill Plymton, Unknown Date, [photography]

Fig 4. The Tune, DVD Cover, 1992 [photography],

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Life Drawing - Ten Minute Poses

All of these poses were between 5 - 10 minutes so it was important to work fast. There was lots of interesting expressions created here, particually making it interesting when drawing the hands and really tring to convey what the models behavior. 

Animation Theatre 1

fig 1.

Winsor Mccay (1867-1934)

Winsor Mccay was a cartoonist and animator from America. His early animations pioneered they way for the likes of Walt Disney. Winsor Mccay: His Life And Art, (2005) says that he "is universally acknowledged as the first master of both the comic strip and the animated cartoon. Although invented by others, both genres were developed into enduring popular art of the highest imagination through McCay's innovative genius." Two of his famous works include, Gertie The Dinosaur (1914) and The Sinking of the Lusitania (1918). Both works in their own right were pioneering, but each was so different from the other.

Fig 2.

The Sinking Of The Lusitania was a documentation of an event that shocked the world at the time when a German submarine torpedoed the ship twice, sinking it within 15 minutes and killing 1260 innocent people. Winsor Mccay illustrated 25,000 images to document this event. The film is a dark and sad story thats amost portrays the event as good as if it had been filmed. The animation is beautifully executed down to the last detail, the smoke that rises from the ship bellows into the air in a filmic manner. The lengthy process in which this was made really demonstrates a determination to show this story, albeit anti German propaganda.

Fig 3.

On an entirely different subject, 4 years earlier (1914) Winsor Mccay made a gem of a piece 'Gertie The Dinosaur', purely for the sake of entertainment and to illustrate the possibilities of animation. Mccay would go on tour, in front of a live audience and would interact with his animated creation on screen. Gertie is considered by many to be the first animated character with a personality that was appealing to the viewer. It really did illustrate the possibilities of animation, although viewing in now it does sometimes come across as a little irritatingly repetitive.

Image Bibliography

Fig 1. Windsor Mccay, Photograph, 1906 [photography],

Fig 2. The Sinking of The Lusitania, Movie Still, 1918 [photography],

Fig 2. The Gertie The Dinosaur, Movie Still, 1909[photography],


Abrams, H N, 2005. Winsor Mccay: His Life And Art . revised, illustrated ed. California: Harry N. Abrams.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Animation - Camera Moves In Still Pictures

I'm not sure why but I really struggled with the idea of this.

Maya - Full Rig

All done, takes a little time but I think once I do a couple more of these it'll sink in.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Animation - The Ecstatic Bathtub, Walk Cycle.

I really might look at doing this again as it looks like it's limping :(

Animation - The Ecstatic Bathtub 3 Image Storyboard

This is the 3 picture storyboard to sum up the animation. I think this works well as I've made a real effort to incorporate all the elements of the story and it was quite hard to do in just 3 pictures.

Each picture nicely represents an act.

Act 1.

Man goes into shower turning on radio which is playing singing in the rain.

Act 2.

The bathtub gets ecstatic about hearing such a joyous song it breaks into a rapturous dance.

Act 3.

Man turn off and leaves shower as bathtub regains its position to find water all over the floor, and is perplexed as to how it got there as he doesn't recall himself splashing that much.

Animation - The Ecstatic bathtub, Storyboard

Remind me never to scan pictures using a photocopier where you can't get any preview. I'll stick to the A3 scanners from now on and if I want the contrast super high I'll do it myself in photoshop :)

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Animation - The Ecstastic Bathtub Animatic

I'm really getting a good grasp on making 2D animatics now. In this one I really have learnt that making a bathtub dance is a tough nut to crack and it's going to take so real effect to smash it how I can see it in my head. It's also come to my mind that I might include (during the bathtub dance) some close-ups of the feet moving a couple of times to break up the shot. I think it will add alittle more depth to it overall.

Life Drawing - Foreshortening

Foreshortening has always been a skill that's hard to learn quickly. Last nights life drawing gave me that challenge. I've not spent much time with foreshortening on figure drawing before and this was one of the most valuable lessons learnt to date. Not only am I pleased with my result but I seem to be of late, doing all my life drawing without using any messuring techniques.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Animation - The Ecstastic Bathtub Script Idea.

The Ecstastic Bathtub

Animation - The Ecstastic Bathtub Musical Score.

Oh dear I'm now thinking this might be good (sorry I didn't seee your comment earlier Oliver)

OK here's an idea for a song the ecstastic bathtub may like to dance too.

In this 'Singing In The Rain' clip there is a section from 2:28 - 2:50 that I have looked at where Gene Kelly dances infront of a static camera. This shot (not just for ease) gives a nice little dance routeen that doesn't look contrived. It's so relaxed and happy that I think (and hope) it will work well in giving my bathtub some life. It's a challenge I know but it's better to put off a challenge than to just play it safe.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Animation - The Ecstatic Bathtub

It seem baths can walk quite well. Found this on Youtube :)

Animation - The Ecstatic Bathtub Influence map

I've pretty much chosen a bathtub from the Victorian era. When looking at bathtubs as a whole it's really the best option as it has legs and it's easy to see how this can be animated in a quadrapedal fashion.

Animation - The Ecstastic Bathtub

I've been brainstorming over the last couple of days as to the motivation of a bathtub being ecstastic.

There are a few ideas now bouncing round my head.

1. A fat person is bathing and the bathtub is very uncomfortable it dances with ecstacy when its occupant finally leaves.

2. A beautiful bath is in a shop waiting to be bought and gets exited when someone comes in to buy it. Much like a dog gets exited when it finds a new owner.

3. Someone is singing in the shower and the bathtub unbeknown to the shower occupant is singing and dancing in accompaniment at the joyous rapture.

Edit: Moving further on idea 3. Say a man walks into the bathroom, turns on the radio to say 'Beat It' by Michael Jackson (just happens to be the baths favorite song), gets into the shower, back facing the bath. Bath hearing the song starts to tap his foot. Then breaks into some cool Wacko Jacko style dance moves ending with a moon walk. Somewhere in the middle the guys in the shower looks over his shoulder and the bath is instantly back in its normal position. This also happens at the end when the bath is moon walking.

Life Drawing

Thursday, 3 March 2011

The Cutting Edge - Cloverfield

Fig 1.

Cloverfield 2008

Director - Matt Reeves

A leaving party for one of a group of friends is interupted by an unknown force attacking New York City. One of the group happens to be filming quests testimonials at the party and then proceeds to document the rescue of a friend that went home from the party and then thier attempted escape from the city.

Fig 2.

If watching this film with no idea of the films premise you might wonder what you're in for and that you should, as you will no doubt after the first 30 minutes find your self sucked into your worst childhood nightmare. This movie has been inspired by movies over the last 30 years, right from the early Ray  Harryhausen monster movies, Godzilla and the likes of King Kong. The difference here is the modern twist, the POV, shaky cam perspective that immerses you into the movies makes it feel like that childhood nightmare. As Variety see it as "An old-fashioned monster movie dressed up in trendy new threads, "Cloverfield" plays like "The Blair Witch Project" meets "Godzilla". All the things childhood nightmares are made of, tied in a small ball of phlegm ready for you to choke on. 

Fig 3.

Image Bibliography

Fig 1. Cloverfield, DVD cover, 2008.

Fig 2. Cloverfield, Movie Still, 2008.

Fig 3. Cloverfield, Movie Still, 2008.


Cloverfield, Variety, [Online] avaliable at  [Accessed 01 March 2011]

The Cutting Edge - The Blair Witch Project

Fig 1.

The Blair Witch Project.

Directors -  Daniel Myrick and Eduardo S├ínchez.

Three budding film makers go out to investigate the urban legend of the Blair Witch in a woodland near Maryland U.S.A. and document on film their findings on film. During their stay in the woodland they get lost never to be seen again. All that is left behind is what has been documented on camera and discovered in the woodland one year later.

 Fig 2.

The immediately successful aspect of this film that leaps out is the acting ability that comes from non actors. There is a feeling a sincerity that you rarely get even from the Hollywood a lister. Partly this could be down to the methods in which it was filmed, Film 4 give an interesting analogy "The dialogue between the three characters, whether scripted or improvised, is blandly life-like." The conversation is as everyday and uninteresting as the average conversations that go on day to day. This makes the whole episode feel like you really are watching a documentary and not a bunch of amateur actors. Even Time Out agree that "The actors never put a foot wrong".

Fig 3.

Unfortunately the acting isn't enough to make this film a masterpiece, although it was ground breaking in many aspects, from the way in which it was filmed with the excess of shaky cam and the manner in which it was marketed, in the end it just seemed to be over hyped. The shaky cam documentary feel ending up in making the film one of the most nauseating experiences put to film.

Image Bibliography

Fig 1. The Blair Witch Project, DVD cover, 1999.

Fig 2. The Blair Witch Project, Movie Still, 1999.

Fig 3. The Blair Witch Project, Movie Still, 1999.


The Blair Witch Project (1998), Film 4, [Online] avaliable at  [Accessed 21 February 2011]

The Blair Witch Project (1999), Time Out, [Online] avaliable at  [Accessed 01 March 2011]