Tuesday, 14 June 2011


Went into Uni today to give Matt all my work for compositing and whilst there did an edit for the aerial jump;

since it needed to be from a slight perspective!

So that's it! I know of one other background that we might need but it won't be needed before friday since Matt hasn't completed the animation for it yet. I have sufficient other backgrounds to fill my folders though so it shouldn't matter too much.

Am coming to the very end of this year now and thought I'd do some reflecting, it's been one full of new experiences. I made a lot of new friends through this project, people I hadn't even spoken to before in the 3/4 years of being on the same course! Matt, Iredia and Marios are three such people and it was a privelige to meet and work with them this year, we spurred each other on and I got inspired looking at all their work. And Team Smitten as a whole was a great group to be in, as I've said before. I had worked with both Emma and Yuki on a couple of projects but hadn't worked with Matt before but am glad I have now, I think he is definately one of the best 2D animators in the class and his work really pulls everything else together and makes it eye-catching. Plus he's a great guy and didn't stress us all out with deadlines and arguments, we all got on with things and didn't need to be bossed around which was good.

If I had to change anything it would be to do more animation tests! Not even to have in the finished film but just for practice since I didn't do a lot of that this year. However, as I don't want to go down the animation path in the future and thanks to all the work I did with backgrounds this year my illustration portfolio is getting stronger, and that's one of the main things I needed. I also feel more confident about drawing backgrounds. I remember at the beginning of the second term it would take me around 20-30 hours per background and now it's definately a lot less, maybe 10-15 for the more difficult ones and around 1-3 hours for the smaller ones.

Sending Matt my work to critique was the biggest help though, so many of my backgrounds were improved ten-fold from this!! And having Yuki work on backgrounds at the same time really got me motivated as we had a sort of friendly rivalry going on this year :D

I've also gotten experience with the programs ToonBoom, SAI and After Effects, not to mention learning new things in Photoshop like how to 'warp transform' pictures and use different brushes that I downloaded from files Emma sent me.

From here on we will still continue to work on 'Smitten' and hopefully polish it off enough so its ready to send off to festivals. It's a great film, I know it can go far if we can get it seen! So there may be future updates to this blog but purely for my own benefit of keeping track of what I've done.
I also will keep working on my illustration portfolio since I got some good feedback from both Dan and Lorna on it and have a bit more direction in where I want to go with my art style now. I feel really thankful for how this year has turned out and I don't think it could have gotten much better (except for having E&E not in the last term since it made things way too stressful in the last few weeks).

Thank you for following my blog and wish me luck in the future!!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Last couple backgrounds

As Matt animates we discover more backgrounds that need to be done that we didn't realise before, here are a couple such new ones I've completed;

(aerial shot of when Don is spinning in the air, not really a new one just edited to be extended)

And the scenes where the camera zooms down the banquet table to the guardians at the end. Matt gave me this screenshot from a rotoscope he completed to work with;

and I did it neatly like so;

Hopefully there isn't too big a difference in these two styles!

We will all be meeting in college on tuesday for some compositing and hopefully to wrap things up for the hand in on friday!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

fixed animation yay :D

Had a meeting again with Matt and the gang today and we managed to solve the animation problem!

Before whenever I tried to export the panning animation in the banquet table slide scene it would come out like this and show only something from a fixed camera point;

So we went into toonboom to examine the problem and found it was caused by this grey box on the screen which we couldnt get to move (a fixed camera);

then with matt and iredia's help we worked out we needed to change the selected camera to one that matt created which pans (in the below image look at the top right of the screen to see how to change the camera);

and voila! we have a new red camera that pans!

So without further ado here is the new animation test;

yeeeaahhhhh!! but need to get crit from matt on it now...

and more improvements i did this evening for matt;

(added a blur onto the shot so that when don moves its not drawing focus away);

(changed the colour of the wall to match the rest of the scene and blurred the edges of the window;)

(extended the shot downwards so you see more of the floor and got rid of the ceiling area which we won't see anyway in the shot;)

(havent changed this one but need matts feedback still, i forgot to show him it today)

(extended upwards)

So! 8 days left..
I've actually finished all the backgrounds, animations and after effects things I need to do for now.. So am finishing off E&E this weekend and will work on my portfolio as well unless Matt has more jobs for me :D don't think i need to make a To Do List right now.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

stumped with the animation :O

Forgot to mention in my last post but I have been following the to do list I set myself last thursday and so far have done everything according to schedule on the list :D

On Monday I spent the entire day doing secondary animation for the table but ran into a huge problem! I can't get the camera to pan across the image and so I can only see a small amount of the animation I have done.
Because of this I couldn't work out the animation timing or if what I had done looked alright. Here it is from its fixed camerapoint;

Was going to ask Matt about it but since I have a lot of other things to do this week, most importantly finishing stuff for E&E due friday, I thought I would leave it for now since the animation is essentially done, it just needs tweaking and it's quicker to ask him myself when I see him on Thurs.

More background Improvements

So I sent Matt an email for the backgrounds I completed last Friday, who emailed back with the following. I have also included the picture I drew before, any pics he attached to the email, and my improvements!!

Banquet landing shot is good. If anything make the pillars less bubbly, but everything else i think is okay.

Old pic;

New pic;

Remove helmet shot - attached an edit. I like the one you've done, but it might make Don look really small against it. I've put a image of Don in it so you can work around that, maybe try and make the archway look a little further away or make the bricks slightly smaller? i'm not sure. Do what you think looks best, if you have trouble don't worry, it looks pretty good as it is and we'll use that.

My old pic;

Matt's attachments;

New pic;

princess kick shot - attached an edit. the brickwork round the window makes it look much better, it's still a bit bright though. Maybe darken the shadows between the bricks and bring in a bit of darkness from the right, not much, just enough to add a little contrast. If that looks pants then drop it, but see if you can get the brick outlines looking darker.
My old pic;

Matt's example;

My improvement;

'Hmmn' shot - the background might have to be extended further left and right. This background has to be sort of on a loop so you have a choice, either extend it enough so that it can be panned behind the animation fast enough to create the illusion of speed, or actually make it so that it can be looped and we can repeat the background over and over. At the moment at the angle you've got it, it looks like he's coming towards the screen when the wall should be just passing. I've attached a screenshot from emma's animation if you want to use it as ref. Any trouble let me know.

Old pic;

New pic;

So when I go in tomorrow will show him the updates and see if they need more updates XD

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Fri-Saturday work

Here are the backgrounds I've done according to the schedule the past couple days;

A shot during the banquet hall scene where Don first lands on the table;

Kick out the window scene;

at Matt's instructions have added a sort of 'border' around the window so it stands out more and looks a little nicer..

When Don first enters the princess' room;

This is the shot which won't really be seen as Don slides down the table and it close-ups on his face;

Made the banquet pan a little bit taller so we can see Don's head in Matt's animation;

I've noticed the more I draw backgrounds the easier they are becoming, particularly once the colour scheme has been worked out. I am enjoying these quite a bit :D They don't take as long either so it's a good thing we left them to last and tackled the trickier ones first.
I think that's all the backgrounds for now until I get further instructions from Matt and once more animation has been done for them.

Will do the after effects stuff later tonight~!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Two weeks to go

Had a meeting with the group and Dan yesterday and since there are only a couple of weeks left things are getting hectic.

I have 7 backgrounds remaining (but cant do 2 til next week after Emma’s animated the swords and Matt’s figured out the dancing one)
1 background to improve
1 scene of secondary animation to do
1 after effects effect to learn
And need to download ‘camtasia’ so I can fill out my technical folder by showing the new programs I’ve learned.

As well as juggling E&E which comes to an end next Friday.

Here is my plan for the week
Friday (today);
Finish 2 backgrounds, set up everything for E&E and improve 1 background

Remaining 3 backgrounds and after effects

Day off

Secondary animation all day

E&E selling day in the afternoon, in the evening write final report and power point for the unit.

Anything remaining. Download and use camtasia.

Backgrounds are my biggest priority right now so I will do them first and then anything else as I can. It’s gonna be a very busy and stressful week.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Animating Food

Spent another while hunting round youtube looking for food fights/banquet scenes and ideas for the different types of food that would be on the table and came up with this scene in the movie 'Hook' which features multicoloured foods flying around;

With that in mind, my first random attempt at animating a bowl falling over behind Matt's animation..


I have also decided that I can't really draw any bowls and things falling over from this angle because you can't see Don bump into them at this angle... So instead will just try drawing them rushing past him like so;

That was my first sketch attempt.. but I did not use 'tweening', I was adjusting every frame to look right which was taking far too long.

So I used this video and notes I took from Matt about tweening to try it out in ToonBoom.

Working in ToonBoom using tweening;

And here is the result of a few hours work trying to get my head round this program;

and with Matt's animation on top;

Although it obviously needs a bit of editing so that my food doesn't go through Don's hand.. but want to hear from Matt before I do anything else.

Must remember not to use multiple layer to colour, have to use the 'fill' tool to colour things on the same layer as the lines.

And got some feedback from Matt about the sword fighting thing.. Here are some reference pictures for drawing the ceiling;

which I will work on next.

And also he requested the chicken background without the chicken so voila;

More work to do...

Sunday, 29 May 2011

26/05/11 and beyond

Had the usual weekly meeting with Team Smitten and things are nearing an end. I still have 3/4 more new backgrounds to draw and a couple of edits to the old one as well as some more animation and after effects tests for secondary animation but then it's all good and ready.

So -
Extended the third staircase background to the right and up as Matt requested since we will need the camera to pan slightly when Don jumps off the end of the banister;

And a new background for when Don first sees the chicken;

Another new background I'm going to be working on is one that will be quickly shown during the entrance hall sword fight. It's going to be blurry and basically similar to one of my first backgrounds but here is the initial rough attempt;

Preparation for some secondary animation;

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Short animating tests

Today I decided to do some very quick animation tests for things that might be on the banquet table that get pushed aside by Don.. since I will be doing some secondary animation thought I might as well get the swing of ToonBoom first.
I have not animated for awhile, save the leaf test, so I'm kinda rusty.. today is like a warm-up and tomorrow or the day after I'll tackle better things!!! Each of these animations took between 5-15 minutes..

Reference for things on the dinner table;

and a reference for pots, pans and things falling..

(last 20 seconds!)

And also decided to also make my own reference;

Animated it quickly for 5 mins or so in toonboom for practice;

(and with background)

cleaned up..

Testing it out if it were a jug..

Another reference for a knife and fork;

And my attempt in ToonBoom;

weird don animation from the top of my head.. just him drawing his sword.

That's all for now.. ToonBoom is very useful and is quite similar to flash but I had a lot of trouble copying and pasting things so I decided to draw every frame instead. I had this problem when I animated the leaves as well.. I don't mind too much since I prefer this method as it gives it a more lively feel..
since spoken to emma and have worked out how to copy and paste frames! I think Matt and Yuki already gave me this advice but I forgot >< you need to copy the image rather than the keyframe and paste it the same way otherwise they will affect each other and we want to keep them separate..

Friday, 20 May 2011

Background Improvements

Not much new right now, here are the changes to the backgrounds that Matt suggested yesterday;

(changed the perspective of the bricks on the wall slightly as well as the shape of the chairs and the pillars are less 'bubbly' and more 'square')

(one on the left - slightly adjusted the headboard and added a little shading to it)(the one on the right - added the shape of a mattress to see how that looked)

(changed the interior so it shows the end of the princess' room and blurred it)

(made the blue part darker and adjusted the banister)

Also changed the long shot of the tower so that there is more wall showing on the inside which isn't worth showing here.

All verrrryyy minor changes though so no surprise if they look almost the same XD

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The final stretch

There is only one month left till hand-in so I'm going to use this post as my To Do List and update what's happening with the my part of the project. We had a lesson with Dan today on what we need for hand-in. Obviously we are splitting things into three folders - artist, technical and animation.

Artist will be my main folder and I can fill that with backgrounds and initial concept art.

For technical, since we're a 2D group it is slightly different, but I will be filling that folder by showing how I learnt new programs - after effects and toonboom!

And for animation I will do some more animation tests.. I would like to do at least one shot of Don, even if its not good enough for the final film Matt may be able to use it to help with future parts of the animation. And of course I can animate things falling off the table.. or maybe leaves blowing on the trees at the beginning or something.

- The tower itself is fine, just need to change the inside parts! Create a separate layer since they will be moving at a slightly different rate to the outside of the tower when panning.
- Push the perspective more on the bricks at the back, change the design of the backs of the chairs to match the bed in the princess tower. It looks a bit too out of perspective at the moment.
- For the part inside the tower use the other end of the princess room, and change the perspective on the floor since it looks a little wrong. Might be worth blurring the room slightly to stop the audience focusing on it.
- The colour looks good now, just change a bit of the pattern, maybe add a hint of a mattress to the bed.
-Last edit needed to the entrance hall before compositing; make the back part of the hall a little darker and change the banister a little like shown.

TO DO LIST for next thursday;
-finish all edits to backgrounds (thereby finishing all backgrounds!! except the ones that need to be rotoscoped, just waiting on Matt for that for now).
-Animate at least two more scenes, one with Don and one involving a background prop i.e. a bowl falling off the table as Don slides down it
-continue learning toonboom and after effects by working on the animations and also the particle tests (which should be less subtle in the entrance hall).