Remember, remember, the Fifth of November
Gunpowder treason and plot!
It’s the run up to Halloween with the big night tomorrow. Lots of us in the office have been using this as a perfect opportunity to re-watch our favourite scary / horror films.
A particular favourite of all time is ‘Tucker & Dale vs. Evil’. It’s a hilarious horror / comedy following misunderstandings and mistakes between a couple of old friends and group of college students. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already!
The 3D animation pipeline can understandably seem very confusing to those who are not in the business. Actually, if we’re honest, it can even be confusing to those of us working in it! Technology and new techniques progress so quickly it can sometimes seem impossible to keep up. However, the fundamental core of a 3D pipeline remains the same.
HeadStuff have done a brilliant write-up of the process. Take a visit to their website to clear things up and get a better grasp of how computer animations are made:
Sian, may your day be filled with cake!
We hope you have a great birthday & are given many tasty treats.
If you’re wanting to learn the principles of animation at home but feel most comfortable working on paper then a flip book is a great way to begin creating.
Ideas can be as simple or complex as you want to make them. Something most aspiring animators would start with is a squash and stretch ball bounce. From there it’s whatever you can think of.
YouTube user Andymation chose to recreate one of his favourite clips from a film. It was a little ambitious but what he came up with was very effective. Watch the clip below and have a look at his other videos for some more inspiration.
‘Cabin Pressure’ is a brilliant animation by recent graduate Matthew Lee.
Graham, the main character, likes to follow all safety procedures during flights to ensure he stays as safe as possible. However his brash neighbour much prefers to do whatever she wants. As the flight progresses Graham begins to feel more and more uncomfortable.
You must watch this charming, creative and hilarious film.
See more of Matthew’s work at: www.matthewgrahamlee.co.uk
PES Film have released stopmotion animation ‘The Fish’ to help raise awareness of the devastation plastics can cause in our oceans. Their hope is that everyone can come together to help stop the use of single-use plastics and to make everyone more conscious of the amount of plastic-based items they use & discard.
Check out more artwork at - ergoasch.deviantart.com
Jared Jacobs, a stop-motion animator in the US, decided to immortalise one of his favourite moments in basketball using Lego characters. Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard made an impressive throw from 37ft right on the buzzer, causing the team to beat Oklahoma City Thunder.
The animation is a very accurate portrayal of true life events and even uses the commentary from the original footage.
Watch it here:
Jennifer joined us for work experience and had a go using Photoshop & a Wacom Cintiq.
She did a great job making her character blink and talk. Can you tell what she’s saying? Everyone in the office knew instantly - which is always a good sign!
I don’t have a single favourite director for the reason of enjoying too many films. However, if I had to choose one, I would choose Christopher Nolan. I first discovered Christopher Nolan when my Dad introduced me to the Batman films. I never used to enjoy comic book films, but now I love them, and I believe Christopher Nolan had a part to play in that. A lot of the older comic book films now seem quite dated and cheesy. So, when I watched films where Batman was played by George Clooney or the original Spiderman Trilogy, I wasn’t impressed. Then one day I am introduced by my Dad to Batman The Dark Knight (2008) by Christopher Nolan and I was immediately drawn in. From the get-go, the film had a darker and more serious tone. Everything about the film was exciting and everything from Heath Ledger's convincing performance as the Joker to Hans Zimmer’s thrilling score kept me hooked. Nolan’s take on Batman was based on the idea of if Batman was actually real, so his trilogy of films was a unique chapter in Batman’s film history and a return to success for the franchise after suffering several blows many years prior. An interesting realisation from recently re-watching Nolan’s trilogy was that it was the only set of Batman films I truly enjoy. Any Batman film since I simply haven’t been able to enjoy. For me, Nolan balanced humour and seriousness and that is probably why I enjoy the MCU films so much. More recently I discovered more of Nolan’s films. The mind-boggling Inception was a fun but at times confusing film that explored the concept of dreams and ideas. The heist like element of the film was particularly gripping and had me on the edge of my seat. Leonardo Di Caprio’s performance was surprisingly enjoyable as I’m not normally a fan of his. His performance blended well with the darker parts of the film as his character (Cobb) has a particularly haunting past. Again, Nolan uses the brilliance of Hans Zimmer to set the tone of the film and his score accompanies each scene of the film really well.
To conclude, these are the reasons why I enjoy Christopher Nolan’s work so much and why he is one of my favourite directors.
Post created by Morgan during his visit for work experience.
Media and film are relatively new subjects for me. I only learnt that media was a viable option when deciding what A-Level courses to choose from. Media soon became one of my favourite subjects as there were no major restrictions in both the practical and theory side of the subject. My eventual media teacher would often advertise on open days that “media has no right or wrong answer” which was an inspiring thing to hear as many times in the past I would not answer a question in class due to fear of saying the wrong thing. I was surprised by how diverse the subject was as I had originally presumed that media was just newspapers and magazines, but it turns out media can be a whole variety of things such as television, video games or music. The laid-back attitude of the subject was also an appealing thing for me when deciding to choose the subject. The ability to work in groups frequently as well as having a break from traditional paper-based work made the subject feel less draining and made the subject more enjoyable. When I found out that media accommodated games, film and television I was eager to get stuck in as those things have been a big part of my life and it made me realise that they aren't mindless forms of entertainment and ways to pass the time but rather important industries. For my first year in media studies, the main coursework task was to create my own newspaper front cover and double-page spread. This excited me as I had the creative freedom to base the stories on whatever I wanted. My stories were fairly music-based as I had recently got into buying Vinyl records. So, one of the main stories was the resurgence of vinyl records and how a format that was considered dead is now making a comeback. This creative freedom made me enjoy the subject even more as it allowed me to create things I was passionate about.
As for Film Studies, it's a different story. Again, the story revolves around college. Film was not one of my first choices when deciding my A-Levels; it hadn't even crossed my mind and I never attended an open day for the subject. It was only when I wanted to drop Politics when I started looking for a replacement subject. Eventually, the idea of checking out Film Studies grew more and more until one day I met and spoke to my current film teacher for the first time. At first, I was anxious. This was new territory for me. I never even realised that Film was a subject and thought that the industry was reserved for celebrities and people with natural talent. As the initial conversation progressed, I grew more confident in wanting to choose the subject and was already passionate about the subject despite not taking it before. On my first day as a film student, my film teacher made me feel very welcome and ensured I wasn’t overwhelmed. It also helped that I had two friends I already knew in the class so I had people I could work with when it came to group work. I was fortunate to join the class when they were starting a new film: Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Immediately I was taken aback. It actually felt like I was in a cinema watching a film. This was due to my college being fortunate enough to have a room dedicated to film by having a large screen and accommodating sound-system. By the end of the first lesson, I was overjoyed; I had found a subject I could combine entertainment with education. I always loved going to the cinema and now I could “go to the cinema” as a subject with people who were all passionate about films. As the first year progressed, I grew more confident with my film analysis as well as becoming more knowledgeable and appreciative of films that if I had not taken the subject, I wouldn’t know about or watch. I learnt that films were more complex than I originally thought and that a lot of time goes into films. Two particularly interesting directors that I learnt about were Alfred Hitchcock and Ridley Scott. I had watched several of their films by that point such as Vertigo, Psycho and Gladiator. Vertigo was the first time I experienced the classic Hitchcock cliff-hanger and realised why he was often called the master of suspense. Gladiator was a film I originally glossed over and considered boring. However, when I actually watched the film, I soon realised the greatness of the film. The technical competence of Scott really shined through the film and every shot and camera angle was like a painting. Going into the second year of the course, I get to make my own short film which is something I’m looking forward to doing as I have never done anything like that before, so it will be interesting and exciting to see how that turns out.
For the collage I have created, I wanted to show my perspective of the two subjects and what inspires/inspired me. I wanted to show the various forms of media and film and how many different routes and pathways it has. So, for example, I have included newspapers and magazines alongside radio, games and much more. By showing the different types of media, it allows people to realise that the thing they enjoy as an entertainment platform may well actually be something they can work on in an industry or pursue in education. I think it is important that people (particularly older generations) realise that films and other forms of media aren't simply for consumption but rather contribute a lot to society. On a final note, I think it is important that people pursue their dreams and passions rather than being confined to something they don’t want to do and aren’t actually passionate about and I think Media and Film are a great gateway for people discovering their passions or if someone is ever unsure about what direction to go in. I’d recommend Film and Media as there is lots of creative freedom given as well as combining entertainment and education.
Post created by Morgan during his visit for work experience.
Sidd has been brushing up on his hand drawing skills. It’s surprising how important hand gestures are when animating characters and conveying emotion.
We hope your weekend is filled with food, films & fun!
Netflix will soon be airing ‘Mama K’s Team 4’. It’s a South African children’s animation focusing on an all-girl team of spies. Normal children by day, spies by night!
The story was created by animation writer Malenga Mulendema, who submitted her story as part of a competition. Her hope is that the animation will help Zambian teens see themselves represented in worldwide media - something she feels is deeply lacking.
Triggerfish Studios will be producing the series and we’re definitely going to be keeping our eye out for it!
Walt Disney will be releasing their new live-action / CGI hybrid film ‘The Lion King’ later this month.
The majority of the film is CGI so director Jon Favreau wanted to find a new way of working with 3D animation. Traditional live-action film-making involves pointing a real camera towards what you want to film, tweaking the angle appropriately and going from there. However 3D worlds only exist within a computer, using virtual cameras to set-up a shot. This can make cinematography feel less intuitive, particularly to those more used to live-action.
The solution Favreau and his team came up with was to ‘enter’ these 3D worlds with Virtual Reality headsets. This allowed the team to walk through the 3D environments and tweak the virtual cameras in a way more in-tune with traditional methods.
This sounds like a brilliant way of working, merging the old with the new to get the best of both worlds.
Read more about the process here:
London animation company ‘Seed Animation’ created a wonderful paper world for their client ‘Gas Networks Ireland’. It’s normal practice for work like this to be done in CGI - it gives the ultimate control for a project and any potential changes that may crop up last minute. However they did such a great job of it they initially had us questioning whether they’d actually done it for real!
Watch the final animation below as well as their making of video which gives a brilliant insight to their technique. You can also read this post on their website.