søndag den 25. april 2010

Dancing Hippos and Flying Mountaineers

In week 14 the Danish animator Christian Kuntz came to teach us dance animation for the week. After spending weeks trying to make animation with uneven and interesting pace, and lots of overlapping actions - having to animate strictly within a beat that should be hit with the movement was a challenge.
I choose the hippo from Fantasia and the beginning of the Michael Jackson song "Smooth Criminal." I once worked on a musictheater where we put up the stage for a so-called "Michael Jackson" ballet. I thought it was weird back then, but now that I've tried to make a hippo dance ballet to one of his songs, I can kinda see the idea.

Dance of the Hippo from Niels Dolmer on Vimeo.

Ten seconds of animation was taking things a bit too far, so not everything is animated.

Christian Kuntz is a part of the four-man company "framebender," you can see some of their stuff here: http://www.framebender.dk/

In order to expand our capacities to make our own films, we spend week 15 being introduced to the editing program Adobe Aftereffects having Henrik B Clausen as a teacher. We did some small exercises and finally got the assignment to create something that moves really fast. Out of these two pictures:
and photoshop and aftereffects I made this:

Untitled from Niels Dolmer on Vimeo.

fredag den 23. april 2010

TVPaint animation with Fabian

After the winterbreak in week 7 our lighttables and pencils were exchanged with computerscreens and tablets, so that we may animate on computer - still in 2D, we draw in the program TVPaint.
It fell upon the shoulders of Fabian Erlinghauser to introduce us to the program and more advanced animation during week 8 to 12. Fabian has among things supervised the animation in the Oscar nominated 2D feature "The Secret of Kells." I think Fabian left a really good impression on the class, and it seems we left quite a good impression on him aswell!

Week 8 was a relaxed getting-to-know-the-program week. I made a bunch of animations, some of the more interesting was these two:

Untitled from Niels Dolmer on Vimeo.

Hogarth Take from Niels Dolmer on Vimeo.

The last upper animation was a so-called "take," with Hogarth from "The Iron Giant."

The assignment for week 9 was to let our character of choice be tempted by a valuable item, ponder upon wether he should take it, but leave it in the end. I learned a lot that week - mostly by my mistakes! I choose Roger from 101 Dalmations. While the initial key poses I did were fine, having Roger freeze into them killed the acting and made him look more like a posing model.

Untitled from Niels Dolmer on Vimeo.

So I went into week 10 determined to make something better than the Roger animation. The assignment was a setting where our character was sitting alone on a date, realising that she is not going to come! I choose Bernard as my character:

Bernard's Miserable Date from Niels Dolmer on Vimeo.

Its a few too many things that's happening, but I think the animation is much more lively than the week before.

In week 11 it was time to make our characters speak. We could choose between two soundbits, which our animation then should centre around. My character was Sinbad from the dreamworks movie, and the soundbit is the voice of Gandalf:

Foolshope from Niels Dolmer on Vimeo.

Its rather amazing how much more real the animation becomes, once it breaks the silence and actually says something. Again, a bit too many things is happening - and how should anyone know that its supposed to be a cookie jar he is holding?! But I like the animation.

The last week was about monologue, meaning we had to do two characters. I thought I was beginning to get a rather good idea of animation, I just put too many things into them, so I wanted to make something where I only tried to tell one or two things, rather than tree, four or five! I choose Kerchak and Kala from Tarzan:

Wanna toke? from Niels Dolmer on Vimeo.

Four seconds with two characters was a bit much, so the animation is in a bit of an unfinished state. I think its some of the best I've done though, so I might finish it sometime.

All in all, it was five quite good weeks. I learned a lot, especially on the acting part of things.

Finally I will recommend a visit to http://www.cartoonsaloon.ie/ - the place Fabian works. They got some really neat stuff going on with their experimentation of styles, especially the backgrounds in the short "Old Fangs" are very beautiful and not something I've seen before.