Stop Frame Animation Research.

Mackinnon & Saunders: Looking on there site I was quite surprised as to what they actually have created, mostly because of the Martian in Mars Attacks! and also the Hydra 3 headed beast in The League of Gentlemens Apocalpyse, There work for those two films stand out a lot because of the intense looks of the characters, they have very enhanced facial features giving them a more sinister look. They aren’t all bad though having worked on such childrens tv shows such as, pingu, postman pat and also bob the builder, many of these I used to watch with my younger brother and not even known these two was behind it. I recognise there name the most for there Animation The Sandman (1991) the characters in that are more emphasized and what I mean by that is the sandmans chin is very long and huge also the house is very crooked giving it a very creepy atmosphere. They also worked on the feature film The Corpse Bride, Tim Burton praised there work with this quote “They do such beautiful work. They really raised it to a new level for this film. These puppets are so real, they are so sensitive and textural, you really do believe they are alive.” there is also a video on that page of the making of the “puppets” http://www.mackinnonandsaunders.com/what-we-do/ which is very interesting and has given me more of an insight in what goes into creating an armature.

(www.mackinnonandsaunders.com)

Oogie Boogie: This scene in The Nightmare Before Christmas features santa clause being taunted by Boogie an evil sinister character. Boogies character is pretty much a hessian sack full of disgusting insects, I like the look of this as its scary and its a very creepy looking character, despite The Nightmare Before Christmas being very creepy anyways I think he shines the most. The change of lighting and fastly animated scenes when parts of the set illuminate with UV paints and gives other props/creatures, such as the bats, new dynamics. It’s very dark and creepy lookings, it reminds me of the style of how The Sandman is made, creepy and distorted.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyIiR3tTxDM)

Hot Animation: Is a company based in Manchester and began in 1998. Hot Animation are fronted by Jackie Cockle, Brian Little and Joe Dembinski. Their most recognised works is Bob, The Builder, they was joined by fellow animators Mackinnon & Saunders, who helped with puppets and props, to create this series. Hot also created Rubbadubbers, a series about a group of bathroom toys going on adventures, in the same vain of Bob, The Builder. In 2007, Hot created a animated sequence for the BBC’s Life On Mars http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Djm6k-GGIBk This reference worked very well with the series as it was set in the 70’s, Camberwick Green was set in the 60’s. It’s also rather funny, I like the morbid feel of it (Life on Mars sequence) when he mentions beating a nonce and Sam confronts him “Stay out of Camberwick Green”

Cosgrove Hall: Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall began Cosgrove Hall in 1976, the pair first met after attending the same college (Manchester College of Art & Design) and they worked together through out the 60’s and 70’s before finally creating “Cosgrove Hall”. In 1969 Hall created his own company called Stop Frame Productions which created Noddy (1975), some years after they created a feature length animation Wind In The Willows which was released 1983, this was very successful and won a bafta, the next year this was turned into a series (84-90) and followed the success of Noddy. There company flourished in creating childrens tv and created Bill & Ben (2001) and Andy Pandy (2002) these two shows was based on characters of books from the 1950’s. After researching Cosgrove Hall, Hot, Mackinnon & Saunders I found a lot of there success came from childrens tv and they collaborated many of times, I found it fascinating to discover stuff I watched growing up would be a big part of my University studies.

Aardman:

Kinetic Type. After Effects.

abolish

This is a snippet of my Kinetic Type intro I made, the type grainy effect was made by masking a texture and adding some bevel emboss and some colour in After Effects. For my intro I want to create a smashing sort of effect followed by smoke. I used a tutorial to help me learn some techniques to create the shatter, this is the tutorial I used http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorial/shatterize/.

I really liked this outcome and I will probably use a lot of what I learned from it, here is the video: http://youtu.be/MDQPb23kNg0

Typefaces. UPDATE.

I’m going to be looking for a bold block like typeface, I want to be able to use something I can break down and give off the smashing effect discussed into my idea. I also considered creating my own typeface and came across this useful page on Google http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/designing/designing-a-typeface-with-ai-fontlab-from-start-to-finish-part-1/ This instantly explains a good process to discover a style that inspires your designs. Despite wanting to create a new typeface this would be a longwinded process and would distract me from reaching my goal. I looked at David Carson, a well recognized graphic designer/typographer, I got this image off his website, http://www.davidcarsondesign.com/,

davidcarson1 

The title “Wallpaper” is a great indicater to this image, with out the title this collage would look rather strange, with the title the cut up scraps gives off a rough sort of feel, the title looks printed/painted which makes the piece look decorated which i say to refer to the title again, Wallpaper. I notice the worlds most used typeface “Helvetica” is used for the title, despite it being universal I wouldn’t like to use this typeface for my Ident.

“People have often showed me work they felt had “ripped me off”. But because my work is so subjective, and personal, when I look at the same work, I almost always think, well, no that doesn’t quite work, that’s not how I would have done it.  So, I’m not bothered. If it were just a certain grid and font I used, the work would be easier to copy, well. It’s much harder to do subjective, personal, no grid design that works, than it is to do successful formal, formatted work. Easier to do a business card than interpret music for a CD cover.” David Carson, Interview with http://www.fotorater.com/ May 1 2012.

When I read this I felt he was trying to explain that trying to recreate work is hard going, he says he uses no grids and i think a lot of this is shown because some of his typed pieces, they are very freeing and flowing.

davidcarson2

This photo, from The Magazine Factory stuff he did this year, shows how laid back his typefaces can be. I like how messy and random it is, which also relates to the photo of a beach, as David Carson is a surfer I think this reflects on him a lot too.

Typefaces I like:

I found this font on www.dafont.com called “Block Face” I took a preview of my company name and was very fond of the bold version of this, it’s read-able and gives a strong impression.

http://www.dafont.com/block-face.font

blcokface

I also looked at the font “Defused” which is a font created from the font used to create the Gears of War title over the logo, this is not the official font used, it was fan made. I liked the look of this one but the fragments coming off the font would be a pain to animate to the style I have drawn for my ident/intro/outro.

http://www.dafont.com/defused.font

defused

I searched the sci-fi section of dafont and came across a Batman Forever font, the font used for the title of that film, It looked similar to my first choice but it had a bit of freedom but also it was bold and sharp.

http://www.dafont.com/batman-forever.font

bman

I’ve decided to go with the Batman Forever font, it gives of the bold impression I would like to encourage and the sharp serif’s enhances that. I think this will be the perfect thickness for my effect also.

Storyboards. UPDATE.

Storyboards are visual aids in creating animations/films/live performances. They are guidelines to help you find stage positions, entrance, movement and also timing. Storyboards are the building blocks of any production without storyboards, it would just be heat of the moments placement. Storyboards are the visual script and without them productions would lack structure. Ray Harryhausen’s style of storyboarding is amazing, he includes a lot of information which not only shows direction, it explains timing and angles of shot.

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This storyboard from Ray Harryhausen’s book Fantasy Scrapbook, shows an intense fight scene with two dinosaurs, the explanation is thorough and even with the images being static, with the guides and arrows, you can see the storyboard come to life.

I’d like to recreate his style and process as I think it would help and be rather efficient, I like to be in total control of the animation. My idea for my Ident is for a fist to be shown tapping the floor, then my company name appears, the fist hits the ground harder smashing the ident thus showing the meaning for “Abolish”.

Idents 2

500px-Aardman_logo_svg

I came across this logo when researching this company, the logo stands out very well, the vibrant red could easily been seen on every colour surface bar red. The little lines around parts of the letter makes it look like it has movement, similar to the boiling effect. I found this on wikipedia on how they came up with there company name “The company name is taken from one of its early characters, a superhero created for Vision On in 1972. Unlike the claymation productions that the company are famous for, Aardman was cel-animated. The name derives from the Dutch phrase “aard man” meaning Nature Man, when joined together, “aardman” becomes “Earthman” more commonly translated to: “goblin”.” I like this logo because it grabs my attention and keeps it.

Lightwave

Used lightwave to test camera movement to emphasize a static object, I made my fist strike the floor and moved the camera to show the force, this was effective but I need to add background items to show how strong the slam was and to show the lightsource bouncing off other surfaces. After uploading this to youtube it’s clear I need to add more background to the scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTu1q9E3_5U