Updates

Until now this blog has been for my Motion Graphics course. Now that the class is over I will be adding other work in progress work. As soon as I have any that is. If you want to see the work from last semester head to: http://katedi.wordpress.com/category/advertising-ideas/. Feel free to poke around a bit and let me know what you think.

Claymation: Music

My initial thought was to use Daughter’s song “Youth,” but once I decided to have a voice over I quickly knew that I needed to rethink the idea. The feeling of the song fit to my animation, so I was determined to find something similar. I tried to find an instrumental version of “Youth.” I was only able to find several covers, many of which I really liked. I had to abandon the idea of this particular song and find something else. I went on SoundCloud, where one can easily get music that individuals had created for free. I found the song Found Out About You (Piano) by Alison Doyle. It was a piano instrumental and it had somewhat of the eerie feel that I wanted so I think that it is the perfect solution.

Claymation: More Backgrounds

I believe that I am getting close with moving the clay and getting it to do what I need. I decided to turn to the backgrounds again. I once again started with drawings and brought them into illustrator and then photoshop for colour. I had a lot of fun with these ones, because I got to draw a castle and a scene outside.

The castle was based on Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. I had been there on  a family vacation and it was the castle that Walt Disney based his Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom on. I wanted to pick the most beautiful and extravagant castle, but I wanted to tie it into my heritage. I knew that I wanted a German castle and Neuschwanstein was the perfect one. Of course I made a few changes to the look of it, because I’m not the best at drawing architecture.

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I believe the result gets the feeling of a perfect castle across. I decided that I wanted to make it a white castle with blue accents, because in my figures I used a lot of reds, pinks and blacks. I thought that this colour palette was the perfect contrast. From this I needed to create a zoomed in frame for the door I created to fit on to.

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 This is where I ran into so problems. I tried to place the background into my video and it refuses to be scene. Thus far the After Effects has been relatively smooth sailing, but this image has thrown a wrench into my plans. I had also drawn and coloured both images with green grass, which is the natural decision. In the beginning I had decided to make the grass purple and gray, so I needed to fix the colour of the outside scene that I had done before. 

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I think this fits better to the animation that I have done thus far. I’m also going to add a filter and some effects to the entire animation once I get the timing of everything right. That will add to the sad feel in the center of the animation. 

Claymation: Issues

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I haven’t posted anything in a while, because I’ve been too busy working. And I have realized one thing. CLAYMATION IS REALLY DIFFICULT. Of course I knew this going into this project, but for some reason, I decided to give it a go. I have the set up, the characters, some backgrounds, a green screen and a stop-motion program, yet I’m struggling a lot. I think the trick is that I’m doing it alone.

I always thought that time was going to be the issue considering I have seen films and videos of other students in which their claymations have taken them years. I even watched a Tim Burton master class (http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/watch-70-minute-animation-masterclass-with-tim-burton-20130806) hoping that I would learn something. The animations of the students were not the best I’ve ever seen and it had taken them all at least a year. The whole time I watched I couldn’t help but think, hey they aren’t that great… Or so I thought. Until I started doing it. Then I started to believe they were wonderful.

My biggest advice for if you are going to do a claymation is not what you think. It’s not: don’t do it in your apartment. It’s not: don’t do it in a short period of time. It’s if you want to create a claymation recruit another pair of hands. I am having a lot of issues, but the main one is that I don’t have enough hands to move things, hit a button and the 10 other things I need to do at once.

I had a few serious issues while trying to make my figures move. The first was making my character walk. Making a character walk is difficult on its own. I tried my best to follow the model to the right, but it is difficult. One must constantly bend the wires and reform the clay to ensure that the clay covers everything. This was where I ran into trouble. My figures often broke or the clay revealed the wire. 20131230_153210 Plus the green screen I purchased had a texture, which wasn’t visible from far away. Yet when I got too close or the figures pressed up against the screen, the texture was easily visible. I was constantly having to fix rips and tears in the figures.

Claymation: Changes

After the process of creating an animatic I made several changes from what my original storyboard was. My initial thoughts were to have my main character grow up through three stages of life. Then I thought that the main character should knock on the door three times. I thought the threes were a good consistent number to use through out my animation. Since the door knocking seemed to take up a great deal of time, so I decided not to include the middle life stage.

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This was the awkward teenage stage that everyone has. I thought it was less vital, but then after creating the animatic it seemed as though the door knocking seemed to be the wrong focus. I then decided to create the teenage character and reduce the length of the door knocking scene. I tried to stick with the reds, pinks and blacks to unify the characters, so that it was clear that it was one person. Plus I knew that my teenage-self needed to being wearing a lot of eyeliner, lipstick and have bright coloured highlights. I didn’t always look like that, but I think it was a good representation of my “rebellious” stage.

IMG_3374Next came the door scene. I initially was unsure if I should create actual props for my animation. I decided that I would try. I created a door, sign, letter and envelope so that the characters could completely interact with them. I created the door out of cardboard and drew the wood grain on a piece of paper to show make it seem like a large castle door. The real props brought with them some struggles in lighting. I’m pretty sure I used every single light in my flat. I think that the use of real props enhanced the real feel of animation.

The last final change was that I initially had the main character walk down the hill in the rain. I thought if I did something quirkier it would increase interest in the video. I decided it would be funny for the character to roll down the hill. After getting some much needed input I thought that the character falling towards the camera would add to the humour I’m attempting to evoke.

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I was saving the rolling till the end, because I was nervous to ruin the figure I had created. I thought that the best thing to do was to create a small version of my figure and make that do the rolling scenes. My figure was much smaller and without wires, so that the body was more bendable. It was obviously less detailed and less attractive. The decision proved useful and the rolling was much easier.

Claymation: Script version 1

I’m trying to narrow done how I want everything to go. So that after the photographs are taken the whole process goes much quicker. I had always thought that I wanted the song “Youth” by Daughter to play through out my animation. Below are the lyrics and the video. I thought that it was a song that fit with the feel of my animation, but recently I have been reconsidering it. I began feeling as though a simple voice over would be more effective and powerful.

“Youth”

Shadows settle on the place, that you left.
Our minds are troubled by the emptiness.
Destroy the middle, it’s a waste of time.
From the perfect start to the finish line.

And if you’re still breathing, you’re the lucky ones.
‘Cause most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs.
Setting fire to our insides for fun
Collecting names of the lovers that went wrong
The lovers that went wrong.

We are the reckless,
We are the wild youth
Chasing visions of our futures
One day we’ll reveal the truth
That one will die before he gets there.

And if you’re still bleeding, you’re the lucky ones.
‘Cause most of our feelings, they are dead and they are gone.
We’re setting fire to our insides for fun.
Collecting pictures from the flood that wrecked our home,
It was a flood that wrecked this home.

And you caused it,
And you caused it,
And you caused it

Well I’ve lost it all, I’m just a silhouette,
A lifeless face that you’ll soon forget,
My eyes are damp from the words you left,
Ringing in my head, when you broke my chest.
Ringing in my head, when you broke my chest.

And if you’re in love, then you are the lucky one,
‘Cause most of us are bitter over someone.
Setting fire to our insides for fun,
To distract our hearts from ever missing them.
But I’m forever missing him.

And you caused it,
And you caused it,
And you caused it

Now that I had decided to do a voice over I will need to record it very soon. I am planning on doing it next week, so that I can then figure out the timing. Below is the first version of my script. I am debating a few lines, but I think that the overall feel of it is right. I haven’t decided on a font for the text to appear on the screen either, but I think I want to use something that either brings the feel of childhood or desolation, I can’t quite decide. The script really makes more sense with the visuals. I’m really not happy with the line that is italicized, but I’m going to play with it more. Now I just need to find some music or some sound to play so that it is not simply my voice and silence. As soon as my voice-over gets recorded I will be able to solve that problem.

When I was a little girl
it seemed to be the perfect start.
Then he left
And the middle just seemed wrong.
I tried to focus on chasing my dreams.
But the response was always the same.
I decided to make one last leap
And everything was turned on it’s head.
It all seemed bigger and brighter.
I just hope
it stays that way…