Wednesday, 17 July 2013


FINAL GRADE = Distinction

Fantastic work all the way through!

See individual blog posts for all feedback.

FINAL GRADE = Distinction

Brilliant, well listened and responded to feedback

See individual blog posts for all feedback.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Concept Pitch Proposal

Our  group (Robert Welland and Oscar Artini) decided to create our presentation on Microsoft PowerPoint. (Note the language shown on the presentation is not all that was told, Que cards were integrated highly within this pitch)

Pitch feedback and justification of chosen idea: Animation

Pitch feedback and Justification of chosen idea

The following images show the feedback sheets given back to our group members (Oscar Artini and Robert Welland) by the audience analyzing this pitch. We have looked through them and analyzed how we could possibly make our presenting skills soar.

Justification of chosen idea

As aforementioned within our presentation we just conducted, our group had decided to follow though with idea #3 (shown below) this was due to it having the largest potential on helping us achieve our main goals for this project. Which was creating an animation for Crisis that stresses their main target as an organisation, as well as making it appealing to teenagers.

From the storyboard below it shows our idea, the main levels of material will be Lego for this idea. This will be extremely helpful to our group as they are already freestanding characters and so it will be much easier to create stop motion with them, this will be much less time-consuming than our other chosen material Clay. There may be a negative side with using Lego in terms of generating a serious matter that is important. However our group made absolutely sure that we could create a very realistic 'street environment' set which helped gain back the importance element of the charity. For example the brick wall with the Crisis logo spray painted onto it or the general public walking by and taking no notice of the homeless character. These small elements help maintain the charity's importance to many people across the United Kingdom. Our group feel that these points justify why we have chosen this idea and also think this idea shall look professional.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Camera Test shots analysis

Camera test shots analysis 

The images shown below are all of our test shots for our animation, such things I shall discuss within this piece of work shall be the steadiness of shot, lighting and smoothness of movement.

Lighting tests

Regarding lighting within these test shots the two images below clearly indicate a large difference in their lighting. The one on the left showing a more clear natural light and the one on the right showing more of a glaring orange light. Our main purpose with this animation is to make it seem very realistic and shot as if it were in a real street environment. So, our group have decided from these test shots we would like to use a similar light to what is shown on the image on the left. This was done using natural lighting shooting the animation near a window, with clear skies. This gave us much more of a clear light and less of a dark glare (shown on the right) The light on the right image was done using a portable lamp borrowed from the RavensWood School media department. Our group tried many different angles when placing this lamp however we still gained the dark orange glare from each one.

Steadiness of shot

In this test shot sequence, we decided we wanted to camera to pan from left to right, to almost set the scene to the viewers watching it. We did this by freehand, using no tripod. This unfortunately showed us in a small sequence that the camera jolted over to a new position every shot which looked very rugged and not the smooth pan we had wished for. Our group then decided that for when this animation is being filmed properly we shall use a tripod and a wide enough angle to set the scene without having to move the tripod with the camera from position to position, we are deciding top stick with one angle. The two test shots below show how we wanted to also add a zooming effect to the set in order to try and pick up the homeless characters emotion, however due to our group shooting on a steady table, the tripod reached a point where it came in contact with the table and couldn't be moved forward anymore. So this is also when we took it to freehand shooting which gave a very unsteady look to it when it is watched.

The image on the left shows our first idea for setting the scene, and the second image on the right shows us attempting to zoom in towards the characters to pick up emotion, the images do not do much justice, however when watching our first test animation shown on this blog, you can see the extreme levels of the camera being unsteady.

Smoothness of movement

Concerning the smoothness of our Lego characters within this test shot sequence, we analysed when watching our first test animation, our group came to the conclusion that the movement of the characters was actually done very well however what let it down largely was the unsteady camera. This made us focus more on how the camera was moving and not the characters themselves, two images that support this below are the ones with the green car making its way passed the camera, this was one of the only still points in this test shot sequence which supported our assumption the movement of the characters and props was done smoothly.

The group, decided to use blu-tac in order to keep the Lego characters standing steady so they didn't jump forward or backwards each time a test shot was taken. Blu-Tac also contributed to making the Lego characters walking movements seem much more realistic and not too sudden. We have decided that the blue-tac shall definable be used when properly filming for this animation due to it proving itself successful within this test shot sequence.

Visual Effects Editing Guide

Visual Effects Editing Guide

There are many different visual effects that are used in animation films such as Wallace and Gromit. One example could be if one character falls off of something, they would attach the character to a piece of string and slowly move them closer towards the ground. Then the string would be edited or 'Rubbed' out in a program such as Photoshop. Within our animation we didn't use any Visual Effects, due to them not actually being needed as we didn't have any complicated motions with our characters or sets.

Visual effects can be found in a number of different formats such as miniature sets and models, matte paintings, live action effects: actors being placed in front of a green screen or blue screen. In this intro of this work I explained one such animation film that used visual effects, this was Wallace an Gromit. There can be downsides to visual effects due to it sometimes being extremely costly depending on how large the visual effect is. For example using a green screen to shoot an entire scene can be extremely costly in terms of editing programs, computers etc. As aforementioned, in our animation we didn't use any visual effects as they weren't necessary, but this next section is a guide to creating a visual effect could be for one making a character fall from the sky.

Step one (Materials, props and equipment)

Find your characters that you want to use for example lego, collect your materials for your background props etc. Find a clamp like structure that could hover above your animation, the last piece that you would need to create this effect would be string (preferably a ball of string) as this will help you understand the required length much easier. You will also need a camera and a tripod, a camera such as an SLR that takes photos only would be the best. The tripod is essential in order to keep a still shot throughout the animation.

Step two (setting up)

You place the clamp so that it cannot be seen in the shot of your animation, then you shall need to cut your string to the acquired length so that you can lower it each time a photo is taken of the character, you will lower it closer and closer to the ground of the set. Next you shall tie a knot around the lego character securely to hold it in place. The final stage should be to set up your background props however you desire and then move onto the next stage.

Stage three (footage)

The most important part of this stage is deciding where you would like to place you tripod ad camera for your angles. After you have decided your positions then you may start taking photos of the gradual change of the character moving closer and closer to the ground. I would suggest that each time you change the characters movements you take at least 3 photos as this will make the movement look smooth and not too sudden. After you have completed your movement that you wished to create (Once the character has reached the ground)

Stage four (editing)

The first part of this stage will be to located a computer that has an editing program 'Final Cut' found within it. After this you will need to start uploading your images that you have taken by attaching your camera to the usb lead it comes with and plugging it into the computer. Once the images have then been  uploaded to the desktop of your computer, then you highlight the images and drag them into a program called i stop motion, then export the file as a .mov and then import it into final cut. The images will already be in order so that you don't need to sift through them in order to place them into the correct order. You can then save this piece as something recognizable such as (Animation FINAL) as you will need to come back to it.

Stage five (photoshop) 

As you have used string to hold the character in place you will need to rub the string out in order to make it seem the character has actually floated into the shot from the sky. Going back to why its important to use this slr camera, it makes this stage much easier to  rub out the string as it is a photo, when it is filmed footage it is much harder to edit in within photoshop. You will need to place each image into photoshop and click n the rubber image to then start rubbing out the string which will make the character eventually look as if it is floating. You will need to save these images a JPEG, and as before you will need to place it into Istop motion and then import it into your final cut piece. Next you will need to locate the image within this edit and replace them with you new and improved images with no string showing. Once you have watched the animation through you will then see you have created a Visual effect that shows the lego character floating down from the top of the shot all the way down to the floor of the set.