All of my photo’s are available on my Flickr account- happy looking!
All of my photo’s are available on my Flickr account- happy looking!
So we had our final presentation and after a minor breakdown (sorry) I thought it went really well. I knew my stuff, and so did everyone else in our team, and it showed in the way we talked about it.
The presentation itself, I thought, was well explained and we were able to get our game across.
Overall, I’m sad to see this week come to a close, and this semester too. Next semester I want to progress more and improve my dealing with stress- it got to me when presenting. (Sorry again).
Coming from a scientific course (Biomedical Science) this was going to be a complete change from what a lecture was. It also gave an idea of what to compare it to.
The course itself is well structured, each week’s lectures are relevant to what aspect of the world we were working for and they opened my eyes to how to approach each week. The information is so interesting and hearing the first hand stories from both Michael and Conánn showed how things like graphic design, story-boarding and even photography played a huge part in the way we needed to think.
Exploring all these things was amazing and the presumption that we were confident in things like Photoshop and After Effects gave the drive to work hard and develop these skills. My work has come a long way since week one and the urge to catch up with the skills of the rest of my classmates (?) is the thing that drives me to do better.
The dynamic of this course is unreal and it’s something all others should have. It’s like a family- everyone works together and pulls each other through. We can all meet up and all have a laugh, and everyone is glad to help each other out. I’m glad to have met such amazing people and can’t wait to be with them in second semester.
The course itself is stressful- without a doubt. Something my parents aren’t used to (“Why are you working! Its 12.30am!” Nicola Blair). Yes, it could be a bit over the top but after speaking to second year students, it appears not to be. Balancing this work and actual life is hard and can pile up (crying in a presentation is a side effect of this- very sorry). Sometimes it isn’t down to individual effort, but the fact team members are lower in their efforts (for perfect reasons of their own may I add). Pulling the group out of the metaphorical mud can be hard but worth it when presenting.
Presenting each week has allowed me to come out of my comfort zone and it’s something that really helps overcome nerves. Not being a shy person to say the least, it is easy to see how others struggle with talking to a large group of people. However, trying to convince people about the ideas your group have come up with, no matter how bizarre, is hard and these passed weeks have greatly improved this. It has also taught me of the importance of being prepared- internet cuts, corrupted files- these are desperate times. (Ask Alec- I did a wonderful reenactment of Tiger for our 12 Principles of Animation presentation).
Life drawing is another aspect that is new to me and something thoroughly enjoyable. It is completely beneficial and the looking back on my sketches shows how much I’ve progressed. Hopefully it will continue into the next semester.
Well, that’s it for now I (yes I used it) believed. This is Rebecca Blair signing out, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Michael asked us to have a look into a few different artists before we participated in life drawing this week.
Albrecht Dürer was was a German renaissance painter and printmaker. I had a look at his work and realised his sketches were completed in both ink and pen. I’ve included a few of them below.
Neal Adams is a comic book artist who works in pen and pencil. I found his style of work really interesting to look at- due to working in the one tone of pen, he creates the look of depth in different ways. This would be something work experimenting with in this weeks life drawing.
Video courtesy of SpydaCreations.
Some examples of Adam’s work.
Mort Drucker is an American caricaturist and comic book artist who is best know for his work on the comic ‘Mad.’ He was my least favourite of the artists that we had to research. I found his caricatures very harsh and scary (?). Not something I could look at.
Video courtesy of Stephen Silver.
Some of Drucker’s caricatures.
Charles Dana Gibson was an American graphic artist who was responsible for the for the creation of the Gibson Girl, the representation of the independent American woman. I loved his style the most as he created the feeling of movement and shape without the over use of lines. His limited line use gives the feel of direction.
Video courtesy of Robert Fair.
The work of Charles Dana Gibson.
My tonal study of the leg.
When trying to explain the world to Jakub, he found he was really struggling with understanding our world. I decided to do a bit of concept artwork to go with our story, as by way of explaining the story to him.
I created the picture below as we explored the idea of what the arena for our world would be. We had previously discussed the use of the world as the arena itself. All the inhabitants meeting in the centre of the world and as each person dances the world would build around them.
I thought this piece by Dmitry Kalischyk was very beautiful, and would link in with Jakub’s idea of incorporating tattoo work on the world that would match up with each character. Jakub converted that the characters would have individual artwork on their bodies and if they win the game, or show the most control, this artwork would be conveyed onto the world itself. In the piece above I experimented with placing this work over the moon.
This was a very quick piece to demonstrate the use of tattoo work further on the buildings and characters. Clíodhna suggested we look at the artwork from the ‘Tangled Storybook Deluxe’ application. This illustration of Rapunzel and Flynn under the lanterns is very beautiful and I wanted to create a quick piece showing the three species in harmony together. I then added the tattoo artwork based on Jakub’s tattoo work.
This, finally was based off of the line “the city itself was a glitch” from our story. Although in Champion’s piece the blues are used to create a calming atmosphere around our couple, I wanted to reverse this feel but with the same colour scheme. I tried to emphasis the movement of the buildings with the exaggeration of lines, as obviously in the painting they would just appear static. I tried to incorporate an almost motion blur look to the lights.
So our completed animation looks great. With a bit of help from Clíodhna and some feedback from Michael, Jakub tried to hold some of the poses for longer, so the eye could get a jist of the movement.
As mentioned previously, I did colour the animation however Jakub proved so much faster at completing the character over the top. He also created his own music for the piece!
When the final piece itself was created, we felt a background would help with visualising the dance battle.
We had a lot of fun with this project- especially filming our dance reference videos. I had a bit of fun creating a blooper seeing a Gianni tried to kill Clíodhna.
Once Clíodhna provided us with her page layouts and Lina with the typography, we next needed to edit the pieces together.
When completing the actual pages Jakub helped me put together the square species page, while I put together the other to. We all agreed to change the original triangle page layout as we felt it left out the actual feeling of the dance style from the character.
With a little spare time, I created a little title page for our book. I wanted it to be simple and show the three species of our world, while hinting at the general composition of the world itself. I like how it turned out, especially with the blue standing out against the black background.
After looking back at our drawings we realised we need something to tie both the game and characters together. How would these characters learn the different dance styles? Would there be a school with lessons? How would they know which genres even existed. Bingo. A book. I remembered as a child my little sister used to have hundreds of ballet orientated guides by Osbourne. We thought that in this book we could maybe include some of the history of each species, as they may not have come into contact with on another before.
Lina, Clíodhna and I decided to work on the book as a trio while Jakub focused on the animation. I tried to help with the colouring (I did the colour blocking for the two separate dance styles) but Jakub was a lot faster.
The three of us decided to have a look at various books and textbooks for examples of their layouts.
The books that we thought were like what we had in mind were the following:
-The Young Dancer: A Young Enthusiast’s Guide to Ballet by Darcy Bussell.
-Tap Dancing For Beginners by the Johnson Smith Company.
-Little Ballerina Dancing Book by Fiona Watt.
We decided to complete three main pages, one for each species. Kind of like a brief introduction for the other species. On these pages we would include small footnotes on the history of the species’ dance style and music types.
After looking at these designs we realised we had three main tasks. The illustrations, the typography and the composition of the books again. We then split the three tasks between us. I was tasked with the illustrations (I requested this as I wanted to have a go at developing my digital painting skills).
Based on the our previous adaptations to of the characters to the gesture drawings, I selected the ones that I thought captured the characters the best. I first created the outline after drawing the basic gesture shapes on photoshop.
When colouring the characters I wanted to make sure they still looked like they were moving so I thought a water colour style would look best.
From a young age I’ve adored the work of Stephen Cartwright and his style is one that I wanted to replicate in my own illustrations. The book ‘The Usborne Book of Fairy Stories’ was one I cherished and the fairy illustrations match the graceful look of the dancers perfectly. Cartwright’s work looks to be done in watercolour and gives a lovely softness to the characters themselves.
Some of Stephen Cartwright’s illustrations.
Video courtesy of Usborne Publishing.
Another artist who I wanted to try and replicate was that of M.Srta. Manoli uses watercolours to create her hand painted work but this style is also reflected in her digital illustrations.
When completing the characters I decided to stick to the original colour schemes are reflected by the previous groups.
Triangle species- green.
Square species- blue/green.
Circle Species- pink/yellow.
I was really happy how these guys turned out- I think they really capture the personality of each of the characters. I experimented with keeping the line art from the original gesture drawings under the characters and found it looked better with it included. It gave a better sense of movement. I included an example of with and without the gesture drawing below.
When speaking to Clíodhna (as mentioned she was in charge of the page set up) she suggested I draw some diagrams of different feet positions/poses for the pages. The books that we had looked at included quite a lot of these.
Our next step is to complete the book by adding the images together!
Today in life drawing we did a longer drawing (thank gosh). I love the gesture drawings but sometimes it is nice to just stand, listen to opera and draw for a long period of time (40 minutes if I’m not mistaken). After looking at the work of Bernie Wrightson (his ink drawings are superb and I love the style) in class we wanted to have a go at this style too. Wrightson uses a cross hatch method but the lines are direction (shown below). They all start from a point and work out, heavier lines for more shaded areas. For preparation for these ink drawings next week, Michael wanted us to practice tonal studies again- to appreciate the ability to use one tone to add depth to a piece.
Pieces by Bernie Wrightson.
Full body tonal study of Jackie.
I didn’t get any feedback this week (Michael never stopped by me) – unsure if this is a good or a bad thing. I was really pleased with the tonal I was achieving in the body- next time I’ll focus on a larger area to achieve more detailed hatching. I’m quite excited for next week- pen is one of my favourite mediums.
So our next step was to create motion drawings from these dance sets. We decided to take a ten second snippet from each dance style to show how a move would progress.
Video courtesy of Hamilton Cline.
I showed my group the video above by Hamilton Cline on how to animate a walk cycle, to help us create the frame by frame drawings that would form the basic movement of our character. We wanted to create a basic frame by frame animatic of sorts to lay down the key poses for each step. Inspired by the motion drawings of Glen Keane (I originally was made aware of him through Facebook) I thought it would be a good start point for the look for the movements.
Ballerina by Glen Keane.
For this process I wanted to have a look into life drawing itself. I had a look back at the previous life drawing sessions with Mike that we had, more specifically at the 60 second sketches. The line of action and movement was a lot stronger in these than my longer time period drawings as I had to work with time to demonstrate the movement.
Keane used the gesture drawings as shown above to create this beautiful video based off of a ballerina. After studying this we realised it would be important to get a grasp of these poses. We therefore did a bit more research into gesture drawings.
Video courtesy of Opéra national de Paris
After further researching I found ‘Duet’ by Glen Keane too. I loved the scene in which the ballerina goes from graceful dancing to a fall. Her elegance subsiding completely to clumsiness- possibly like our characters as they move from familiar dance styles to unknown ones.
Video courtesy of Pedro Daniel Garcia Perez.
Movement from graceful to careless.
Sorcha saw me watching these videos and suggested I look at ‘Thought of You’ by Ryan Woodward. I thought it was very beautiful- you can really capture the love of Woodward for his wife from this piece.
Video courtesy of RyanWoodwardart.
The idea of a gesture drawing is that it captures the movement of a character in its distilled form. Each drawing acts as a keyframe, put together they form the overall animation. These drawings convey the emotion and character of the person, what they are trying to show as they move. Fluidity (as told to use weekly by Michael) is one of the key aspects to this. It brings the action to the piece and combines the action of each limb together in harmony. I used Clara Lieu as a guide line, her blog provided good insight into this drawing type.
I also looked at the art of Matt Jones and Alex Woo for their guidance on gesture drawings. They even had a section on dancer sketches which was really interesting! My favourite thing was the quickness to these drawings- you could actually feel them as if the dancer is moving passed you.
Finally, Jakub found this video below on life drawing and gestures too!
Video courtesy of Sycra.
I have a lot of the gesture drawings in my sketchbook based on the reference videos of Clíodhna dancing. After we felt confident enough, we then went to the reference videos and added frames to create the movement for our character in the little animation we wanted. Clíodhna worked painstakingly to do this for Jakub to work over.
My first attempt at blocking in the poses for the ballet video.
Clíodhna’s gesture drawing for the hiphop video with the added frames to make it more fluid. Jakub had begun to block in the key poses for our square character.
I did a very quick brief animation of the gesture drawing alongside the character to demonstrate to Lina what we were doing.
From these initial drawings and the frames from the animation tests, we then wanted to place the characters in the poses, based on the designs from the previous groups. (Even, Jack, Samantha and then Kirstin’s take on these designs which was the style I focused on). Although we knew we were using the square character for our final animation, we wanted to show all the species and how they moved, as all partake in the game.
I was inspired by the graceful look Kirstin managed to capture in these frames from her groups animatic.
While we worked on these, Jakub worked on the animation, adding the keyframes between each pose to create the square character.