Tuesday, January 29, 2008

11 Second Animation

Just finished this recently. I'd started key-framing and planning out the animation well over 2-3 weeks ago, but sort of let it sit in the background as I dealt with other tasks, namely getting work.

With some animation jobs round the corner, I wanted to come back and finish this before things got too busy.

The concept was inspired from a nifty club called the 11-second club, designed to encourage animators (of all styles) to animate a character (or characters) around an 11-second sound clip from a film. I remember my friends Liam and Gemma doing 3D skits for the November entry, and figured it was worth doing just to simply test my skills.

While it's not traditionally drawn on paper, its drawn in Flash using a graphics tablet. I'm rather proud how this turned out all up.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Comics and Cartoons

Greetings comrades.

I apologise for the lack of updates/submissions since after Christmas. For most part, I've been focusing on getting a bread-and-butter job to support myself while I attempt to breach the world of animation.

But I've been drawing though.

Started working on a short 11-second skit of my fox character speaking a line from some movie. Figured it would be good practice before I commit to making a sequel to my previous film, "The Stone". That project is currently in the planning stages. Unlike the previous one, I want to see what my skills from the last 12 months has granted me through planning and making an animated film.

Today's journal entry however, is centered on my experience today.

Cartoons and Animation Seminar

My friend Gemma had received a job invite from a nice fellow named Mark to help out with one of his children's seminar entitled: Cartoons and Animation. Basically, the kids guide to comics and cartoons.

I'd helped Gemma the week before on aspects of Macromedia Flash as she was required to use the program to demonstrate animation for the class. However, his laptop was not functioning for the day, so she asked if this friend who taught her Flash (myself) could bring his laptop and come along to the seminar (with the insentive of being paid).

Thus, I had a job for the day.

We eventually arrived at a community hall south of Queensland without too much hassle. We met with Mark, got set up and waited as the kids pile in.

The seminar reminded me somewhat of when I went to the South Bank Library to attend a similar cartoon teachings. Only difference was pretty obvious.

These kids couldn't care less.

They consisted of a small group of only boys, early teens, skateboards in hand (they were skating out the front when we arrived) and naturally very...boyish. While I didn't pay much heed, it did disappoint me somewhat that the boys weren't really interested in cartoons at all. Just skateboards. Go figure.

Mark had them create a collaborative character on the white board. The creature became a strange fat-monster with one funky ear, a cape, bear arms, an eyeball on his stomach, a cigarette in his mouth and a penis on his head...AND in the usual place (which both were gratefully removed). All of which followed with laughter and chortling. During that time, I did my own rendition of the creature:One such event however, made me raise an eyebrow. One boy, who seemed interested in my work, posed a challenge to me: draw a picture of love. This peaked my interest and took his request, taking the time to draw a picture of love.

And it came out like this:
Having been in a relationship, the aspect of love I portrayed was the warm caring bond between a man and a woman. Touching, huh? 20 seconds it took to draw.

We then traded drawings and I quickly saw the boy's image didn't seem to embody what I perceived to be love.

It was just a naked woman. She had speech bubble saying something, but I can't remember what.

While I can accept to some degree that he was a young boy, many years before the true concept of love, women and life would sink in, it made me raise an eyebrow that this boy, at such a young age, considered love as a nude woman, perhaps deriving the "sex" aspect of life we see in television and the media. That love, in his eyes, was merely a sexual act or image.

That, or he was just goofing off. Either way, I thought it was worth noting.

The attempt had been to get the boys to come up with their own character and background, for which we could scan onto my laptop and edit in Macromedia Flash. Sadly, it came down to me making a rendition of the monstrous character on the white board, and use a previous background drawing made in a different class, as provided by Mark.

The finished animation was their character riding up a skate ramp, doing a back flip and running down the other side. Surprisingly enough, this fascinated the remaining boys. They had me correct the animation by having their character ride a skateboard and were otherwise quite impressed by it.

After which the seminar ended and both Gemma and I departed with Mark to get some late lunch, talking about the class and about animation, cartoons and such. Despite the kids having learned little, Gemma and I learned a lot from Mark about potential job opportunities. Should Mark need our help again, it will be interesting to see how the next seminar turns out.

Closing Thoughts

While I mainly stayed out of the central doings of the seminar (as it was officially Mark's job), it was nice providing help with the animation portion of the class. Gemma provided her artistic talent with the whiteboard, and even took the approach to keep some order in the room.

In some ways, I felt bad I may have upstaged Gemma, as it was her initial job in the first place. She had since told me however, she was glad I was there to keep her company. And I was glad to have been there.