For my final project, I decided to draw on the second summer (formerly called and perhaps more easily recognized in New England as the Indian Summer.) It is the second week of October, but the weather has been warm and pleasant. No better time than to find an excuse to get out and adventure in nature. That excuse was recording video for this project.
Chapter Ten: Show and Tell
In the final chapter of Animated Storytelling, Liz Blazer provides helpful tips on what to do AFTER you’ve completed your animated project. Most people animate with the hope of having their work seen. Personally, I hope no one ever sees anything I’ve created but… that’s just the lunatic perfectionist in me.
Blazer states, and rightly so, that there have never been more avenues for an individuals work to be seen by the masses than there are today – from film festivals to YouTube. Of course, she also reminds the reader that the large scale festivals are more competitive than ever with Sundance receiving more than 900 submissions per year for only 200 spots.
With that, she suggests that you first decide what audience you want for your project. Are you trying to get on the film festival circuit? Then make sure you know what festivals are appropriate for your particular piece and then follow the submission directions CLOSELY. Would you rather just share your work on your YouTube channel? Fine, but make sure you’re networking to get the word our about your piece or no one will see it.
Speaking of networking, Blazer reminds the reader not only to network with fellow artists and industry folk, but also with groups of people who will find your work interesting. Does your story appeal to a specific demographic? Then make sure you’re getting it in front of those folks whether it’s online or in real life.
This week we focused on advanced animation – the type of stuff that made me think that animation was too deep of a pond for me in the first place. I am thankful to have found that basic animation is both prevalent (a great skill to have for almost anyone working in communications!) and possible with a good plan and some patience. I am still wildly in awe of more advanced animation and after pulling my hair our trying to animate my one minute final project, I have ZERO idea how these artists can create full length works.
Green Screen/Simulated Dad from Onward
I don’t think anyone will try to argue that Pixar is the pinnacle of advanced animation. They are constantly pushing the envelope and evolving their processes, as is described here with the mixed green screen and simulation for the dad in the movie Onward.
Realistic Camera Movement
The creators of Wall-E wanted the film to feel as if it was filmed in the real world by real cameras. To do that, they needed to rebuilt the camera system, with the guidance of a live action cinematographer. Then, the animators added little imperfections that would exist in real life such as a bump or a slow lens focus.
The Three Brothers
In my opinion there is no animation more beautiful than the story of The Three Brothers in Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows. The mix of 2D and 3D animation and the limited color palette is unbelievably moving. The fact that it sits perfectly in the middle of a live action film is also amazing.
For my final project, I decided to start with cinemagraphs and combine them with more advanced techniques to create a fully realized piece. Drawing on the inspiration of a second summer – the surprise last warm days of fall – I created four separate cinemagraphs drawing on different aspects of movement in nature. It was also an enjoyable way to spend a bit of time outside with my little dog who has gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to my attention lately.
I edited the cinemagraphs together in After Effects incorporating sound effects, music, and the final two stanzas of the C.S. Lewis poem A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky. What I intended to be a celebration of the final days of summer ended up being a bit more sombre than I had originally intended. But I felt the tone fit well with the theme of the end of summer.
This animation was really challenging, with a total of 15 lines of animation and 40+ keyframes. Once I got to the end, I watched it through and realized I was really unhappy with the timing. It took several times through to get to a place where I felt comfortable stopping, and I’d say it’s likely I’ll tinker with it further on my own time. This project was certainly a good reminder that animation must not be rushed. Leaving myself enough time to work slowly and deliberately has always been a skill in short supply. I believe this course has helped me realized the importance of slowing down and really understanding what is going to go into a project before starting out.
Blazer, L. (2016). Animated storytelling : Simple steps for creating animation et motion graphics. Erscheinungsort Nicht Ermittelbar] Peachpit Press.