Week 7: Unit 12 Final Analysis Report

 

Introduction

In this report I am going to talk about what I have learnt about my specialist subject which is Animation. I will be using the research I have conducted as the bases for my report. I will write about what influenced me to take animation as my discipline, from the history, to the social aspect, the cultural and industrial influences.

For unit 12 I have learnt a lot about Animation, where it came from, how it evolved, how it has been influenced and how it has influenced others including myself.

Research and practical experimentation has been key to my discipline. I looked at various animators to see how the created animations. I looked at Sam Nicholson and Daniel Hashimoto in particular. Daniel Hashimoto was the biggest influence and this was where my experimentation followed in particular. Partly due to the amount of tutorials that are available online but also what he creates. I will talk further about my experimentation later in this report.

Historical

From the historical point of view  the factors that have influenced my specialist area is taking something ordinary and turning it into something fun, pushing the boundaries on special effects to create something that inspires people or makes them feel amazed by something.

From the Haunted Hotel to Gertie the Dinosaur to Moana, each one of these has made the people who have seen them amazed because at the time they were beyond anything else that had been seen.

Animation has existed for a long time, it started with a bet about a horse and since then skills and technology has advanced to what we have today. Along the way there were mistakes made and this created different effects which made objects appear and disappear and turn into other objects.

Without the bet on whether a horse takes all four hooves off the ground at once what we know about photography and animation would be completely different because of the equipment that was invented and the meetings great minds had for this to come to fruition may never have occurred.

Most animations created in the beginning where family friendly because they had to be simple, The Haunted Hotel was about a cup of tea being poured without anyone being present, the zeotrope was a simple looping animation of someone riding a bike for example and at the time they were great and fun for everyone to watch.

Culture

Films and art are apart of our culture, Animation can come into both of those fields, I have learnt that Animation can be used to tell stories, convey emotions and ideas, just like an artist does with a canvas.

There probably isn’t a day that goes by where someone can say I didn’t see any animation today, they are everywhere, TV, the internet, on our phones, electronic billboards and in stores that we shop.

The different types of Animation is what amazes me here, from puppetry like Punch and Judy on the beach which go back for years and years you get things like Button Moon and Dark Crystal / The Labyrinth and The Muppets (Jim Henderson), The Muppet’s Christmas Carol and The Nightmare before Christmas and more recently Kubo and the Two Strings. Some of these mix live action and puppetry (The Labyrinth and Muppets) and Kubo is stop-motion animation and puppetry as the Skeleton built to try and keep it in line with the animation style as the rest of the movie.

Animation varies in different cultures, the Japanese have anime and I believe that most of their ideas come from their rich history and customs.

The animations that come from Britain differ hugely, they seem to be about daily life or satirical events such as the cartoons you see in the newspapers.

The books we have are about little adventures like Squirrel Nutkin or Dennis the Menace, Spy novels, nothing extreme like you get comic books about super heroes, Britain has a culture of sports and niceties rather than exciting action movies and cartoons.

My kids like watching:

  • Paw Patrol
  • Transformers
  • Pokemon
  • Digimon
  • White Rabbit Project

along with various other programs. Not one of those is of English Origin, Paw Patrol is from Canada, which would account for the ski slopes in nearly every episode.

We have had some amazing writers such as Shakespeare and Roald Dahl, Charles Dickens and it seems that most of our animations follow this standard that seems to have been set or the British sarcastic point of view.

This follows through into the animations that we produce, some of which seem to be on daily life like Peppa Pig, Thomas the Tank Engine etc. to programmes like the IT Crowd and The Brittas Empire and cartoons such as Fireman Sam, Count Duckula, Dennis the Menace and 64 zoo lane just to name a few, most of which comprise of small events and morale stories, making friends etc., a tremendous amount of excitement seems to lack British Cartoons, but that is part of our culture and we appear to be quite happy with that.

American cartoons are completely different with the likes of Transformers, Mona the Vampire, Drake and Josh, Keenan and Kel, Sister Sister ( a couple of oldies) but teen sitcoms is apart of their culture, Wayside, again, cartoons and sitcoms about school, such as Saved by the Bell, Wayside, Alex mac, power rangers are all based with the younger generation / teens in schools because the school life is important part of their culture and the culture have a massive influence on animations to horror movies and most places in between.

The culture of a place depicts how the characters are going to behave because this is set out because of how people think that they should behave and what is expected from them and this varies from country to country.

 

 Social

Animation is influences by so many different factors, Hayao Miyazaki has made so many films and most have a strong lead character which is female, this typically goes against the social norm for Japan as females are usually made to be very sexualised and that is influenced by the men and is shown in so many animes such as Sailor Moon etc. Disney is also responsible for this type of animation, not so much sexualised but Pocahontas, Cinderella, Aurora to name a few had simple ideologies, to get married an live happily ever after, which is great, but it does give girls a limited view of how to be happy, the message here is you need a man to be happy, of course we know that’s not true.

Socially the message is getting across to Disney because we are seeing more and more films like Mulan (Technically not a princess as not born into royalty and marries someone in the army but is considered one in the Princess Line-up), Moana and Merida which have been Princesses in Disney/Pixar movies where they are about different values and how to be happy which is about family and friends, doing the right thing and end up happy that way. In all of the movies none of them get married.

This is why we see more movies from Hayao Miyazaki like Princess Mononoki and My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away, they all have strong willed characters who look like they belong in the real world. Miyazaki likes to have girls as the female lead because they look braver than if a man was in the film according Ryoko Toyama.

All the characters below are the lead protagonists of the movies, I have watched all of these except From up on Poppy Hill, I know that all these characters are strong willed and close to reality even though what happens in the films isn’t necessarily anything like reality .

These compared to the likes of Sailor Moon and even CardCaptors which is an anime for the younger generations.

These are also lead protagonists and you can see the difference, one is influenced by the Japanese norms and the other which is Hayao Miyazaki.

Same with Disney, you have Pocahontas and Moana. Moana definitely looks more natural, she is more relatable for the next generation of youngsters. I definitely prefer my daughter to watch Moana than Cinderella. Even Frozen has a really good story to it. Especially when Elsa says “You can’t marry a man you have just met” where in most other Disney movies Aurora, Snow White and Cinderella all got married really quickly.

 

There has also been rumors (fan made) that Elsa might be gay as in the movies she has no interest in male characters, this is no way indicating that she might be but as of last year the hashtag #GiveElsaAGirlfriend started going around and if that was to happen in a sequel it would be a bold move by Disney. It could also pave the way for a reform on the differences between people and how that they can be portrayed in movies. Tiana was recognized as the first African American princess for Disney, so things are changing and just as dolls are created to make them look like children with disabilities maybe Disney Films will follow suit one day.

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Disney Princesses are trying to get away from the stereotype now of princesses and beauty where Beauty is apparently all they need, they don’t need a career, that how they look is all important. Moana has been the first “Disney Princess” that I can actually say that is O.K in my books, Her father wanted her to stay on the Island and as Maui says “If you wear a dress and you have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess,”

As you can see they are princess, most where dresses (exempt: Ariel for obvious reasons and Jasmine as it traditional dress) but they all have sidekicks:

  • Mulan and Mushu
  • Ariel and Flounder
  • Aurora and Woodland Animals
  • Cinderella and Mice
  • Jasmine and Raja
  • Pocahontas and Meeko
  • Moana and Pua and HeiHei on her travels across the sea.
  • Snow White and birds

but Moana wanted more and left the Island to save the world and get back the heritage they lost as way finders. I feel the new message that they are trying to send out is if you believe in yourself then you can accomplish anything, that there is more to you than beauty. Moana stepped up where Maui couldn’t even though she was only 16.

The social views definitely has had an impact on the social aspects of animation and has started a change in how certain characters are portrayed. That women can be strong lead protagonists instead of the usual Prince’s saving the day because this doesn’t represent the views of girls and women today who like to be independent and have adventures.

Industrial

Industrial factors has also changed the way animation has evolved over the years. The way technology has advanced animations have become bigger and better and we have come to expect it. The power of computers has allowed better animations, for example the wave animations used billions of particles to create and had to use several computers to data share in order to create this. We have 3 Dimensional and 4 Dimensional capabilities and Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, some of these are cool, and I really enjoyed the 3D element to my Pokémon Alpha Sapphire game but was disappointed that it wasn’t taken through as an option for Pokémon Sun or Moon.

AR seems to be a big hit, It is quite good in Pokémon Go and it is also present in Snatch but it can be used for so many other things and it still seems very limited in what we see it in.

Due to the way the industry has evolved the next movie, game or animation has to be better than the last and sometimes that pushes things especially if they are at the brink of what they can do.

The Jungle book was filmed completely inside so they had more control over the lighting and no real animals were used in the filming.

Moana had new software created just so they could create the waves with a more natural look but with personality so it’s not just Industry influencing animation but the animation is influencing the industry in the way of requirements. This is to be expected though as we have become accustomed to the quality of the movies that we have been experiencing and I doubt that anyone would settle for the quality of a new Star Wars movie and then going back to the look of the Back to the Future movie, not  that there is anything wrong with the Back to the Future movie as it was great when it came out but it is what people expect from now on.

Analysis of Contextual Perspectives

I have learnt that there is a lot that affects they way something is created.

  • Is it socially acceptable and if not is it pushing it too far?
  • If it fits within the norm has it been done before and now old hat and nobody cares?
  • If it does fit and hasn’t been done to death is there a new twist that can be done to make it something new or exciting again? like Bomberman which is being re-released on the Nintendo Switch with some new features.
  • Can the technology available keep up with the idea and if no can something be  created to allow this idea to happen?
  • Does the plot of the story keep in line with the culture? Style of clothing, landscapes, wording, environment etc. You wouldn’t have a historical story about Pocahontas for example without John Smith, it just wouldn’t work and some people might get offended as it is part of an important historical event. Even though there has been twists to certain story’s, namely Fairy Tales they have done it in a good way like:
  • Fairy Tale in New York
  • Once Upon A Time
  • Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
  • Grimm The TV series based of the Brother’s Grimm Fairy Tales.

I have also learnt how different types of animation have come together to create something new. Like Kubo and the Two Strings which came highly recommended from a friend of mine, Using puppetry and Stop Motion. Jungle Book:- Live Action and computer graphics .

  • Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • Jungle Book
  • SpongeBob SquarePants.

I can use the knowledge I have gained from my research to experiment with what works and fits in with what I am trying to portray. If I am to create a story for cartoon for a child then using computer graphics would possibly not be the best and what if it was in another country then boundaries and art styles would change to suit the culture of the demographic. If I was to create a cartoon for the American demographic I would have to be careful about the subjects, trying to avoid delicate issues such as the current president, past atrocities, things that have happened to America but then I would make it like I would for the Japanese or for the English because they expect different things from their entertainment. Brambly Hedge would definitely not suit everyone.

Research

I carried out a lot of research for this specialized subject, from the beginning of photography and animation to how animation has been created with different technologies and how they came to be and have evolved into to what we know today. I have learnt about the different social and cultural ideologies that have had an impact on the style of animations and their content that come from different countries. I have learnt that history also plays a big part on the content and evolution of animation as inspiration has to come from somewhere and it usually is past events because it is something we know and can build on.

I know what kind of animations work together, like puppetry and stop motion, live action and stop motion could also work, live action and computer graphics/animations.

I have learnt more about myself and what influences my work, I have learnt about my working style and what motivates me when it comes to animation. I know what animation artists I look up to like Daniel Hasimoto Also known as Action Movie dad and Sam Nicholson who owns Stargate Studios.

Science fiction also influences my work which is why I also like the work of Daniel Hashimoto and Sam Nicholson as Sam worked on TV series like Heroes and Daniel makes home made movies come to life using After Effects.

 

References

ABBEY BOUNCY CASTLES,. Cinderella_6.Png. 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

“British Animated Television Series”. En.wikipedia.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

C64360d492fec726cacf3aba2cf8db15.Png. 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

Card-Captor-Sakura-Kinomoto-Moonknives-Ribbons-Konachan_646150.Jpg. 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

Disney_Princess_Pocahontas_And_Meeko_2015.Png. 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

Edwards, MJ. “‘Kubo And The Two Strings’ Final Trailer, New Clip, And Behind The Scenes Images Unveiled”. Rotoscopers. N.p., 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

Jones, Shanna. “Hayao Miyazaki: The Great Feminist Filmmaker Of His Time – Screen Robot”. Screen Robot. N.p., 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

Kent, Gemma and Julie Hassett. “Entertainment Edit: November | Motley Magazine”. Motley Magazine. N.p., 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

Mammano, Micheal. Sailor-Moon-Season-1-Essential-Viewing-Guide. 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

Moana_-_Action_Pose.Png. 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

Mulan And Mushu. 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

“Nickelodeon Shows”. En.wikipedia.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

Pinterest,. B8ac85e46d5aefd7f51dc27d8a7f0355.Gif. 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

Pocahontas_Disney.Png. 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

worldartsme,. Ariel-And-Flounder-Clipart-1.Jpg. 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

Experimentation

I have been really interested in After Effects after watching Action Movie Dad movies which are home made movies of his son where he has edited them to be little adventures. Daniel Hashimoto A.K.A Action Movie Dad has worked for Disney, Paramount and now works for himself.

The one I really wanted to learn (he has tutorials on YouTube) is the Dr Strange portal. In this he uses rotoscoping and this is my practice. Not perfect but I learnt how to do it by duplicating the movie, using the rotobrush selecting everything that I wanted in the foreground, creating a solid and adding an effect to it. In this I used particular in Trapcode from Red Giant.

It is far from perfect but I reckon now I know all the techniques to re-create this:

This clip is where I was playing around in After Effects trying to recreate the Hell Gate from WoW.

I learnt a lot form doing this using masks and being able to duplicate them within a solid and using adjustment layers to come up with some cool effects.

 

Stargate:

 

This is my Infograph so far using 2d animation and Illustrator to create vector images and After Effects.

I imported an image of Daniel Hashimoto and Sam Nicholson into Illustrator and I basically built up the image by using different shapes, I made the hair by using the pen tool and used basic shapes to create the arms, legs, hands and feet. I made them all on separate layers so when it was imported into After Effects I could animate the individual layers. The effects were mainly created in After effects by changing the opacity and since have made more progress to include audio such as speech and sound effects.

 

References

Action Movie Dad,. 0:06 / 9:36 Making Of “Get In The Boat” | The Power Of Stock Footage. 2016. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.

Action Movie Kid,. Walking Home (Dr. Strange Portal). 2016. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.

Cuthbert, Katie. Hell Gate. 2017. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.

Cuthbert, Katie. Rotoscoping Experiement. 2017. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.

Cuthbert, Katie. Stargate. 2017. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

Unit 12: Week 4: Fear

Introduction

Fear is used in many games and in several different ways from Jump scares, psychological horror and gory games. For this task I had to look at how others in the Game’s Industry used fear in their games and what did they use to do it.

Five Nights at Freddie’s:

I have played this game and find it rather terrifying. Not due to monsters or violence but because you know what is coming, you just don’t know when.

You start the game and you get the phone call which gives you a bit of the story and its like ok I have to survive till 6am…easy.

You can look at the cameras and its all good, you look around to see all the animatronics on stage not moving, you look somewhere else and look back and one is gone. I thought…where has he gone? You then get one camera not working and you notice two of them are now missing, you find one in the dining area and one in the hallway. You turn the lights on in the doorways to check and one is there and then not so you know they are getting closer.

Then you either survive the night and make it to 6am or you keep checking the lights and suddenly he is right in front of you which is scary.

Jump scares and fear of the unknown is what Five Nights of Freddie’s is about. It is a clever game, they don’t give out all the plot about what has happened at Freddie’s.

Automatonophobia and sound (the pattering of feet) are also used to make this a very tense game, you can’t run away or avoid them coming for you, you literally have to wait.

“Automatonophobia can be loosely defined as the fear of wax figures, humanoid robots, audio animatronics, or other figures designed to represent humans. Only rarely does the fear become a full-blown phobia, but it is relatively common to experience hesitation or nervousness when confronting these figures.”

The story continues with the rest of the games and you learn more of the story about what happened as you progress through the games. It turns out that at a party an employee killed 5 children and turns out that these children haunt the place and control the animatronics.

Arachnophobia – Fear of Spiders.

This is a good way to scare people as many people are afraid of spiders because they have 8 hairy legs and lots of eyes. Because they move in an unpredictable way and look far from human (its down to the amount of legs), makes them very scary.

Experiment

I created a show reel on Jump scares of various things from audio alone to monsters, apparitions and things that looked human.

The experiment succeeded in a way because my prediction for this was that it wouldn’t be entirely scary. The way we respond to our surroundings takes into account Visual and Audio and one by themselves probably isn’t that scary because you could have a picture of a demon while listening to the Fur de-lise and not really that scary or watching bunnies in a field while playing creepy music in the background which could be fairly amusing.

 

This following clip says it all and is fairly amusing. Cyber punks dancing to Thomas the tank engine.

People would come across this group and think that they could be fairly creepy just standing there, apply a Thomas the Tank Engine theme tune and all I want to do is laugh because it looks silly.

Visual and audio needs to be together to be successful to be horrifying unless you take away both, to be truly alone in the dark is also equally scary because again it is the fear of the unknown. We constantly rely on visual and audible cues to ground us and without that the imagination has the opportunity to fill in the blanks and that is truly terrifying.

Below we have a clip of Cyber Goths dancing to Thomas the Tank Engine, normally a group like this together could be intimidating but to see them dance to Thomas the Tank Engine makes it humorous. So audio has a huge part to play on how we perceive different events around us.

Alone and in the dark:

Reflection:

There are many ways to in still fear in someone in a game. You have physiological fear, Jump scares, violence and just plain terrifying like clowns.

The Japanese are very good at creating horror movies and games, The ring, Fatal Frame 1,2 and 3 and the Silent Hill Series. The closer something is to being real the scarier it is. If I was to watch Aliens or It Follows then I would say It follows is far more scary because it looks human (Automatonophobia).

With the game Fatal Frame you don’t have any weapons as such to defend yourself in a haunted environment, if you want to survive then you have to get close to the thing that you are afraid of. This is a nice twist to a games mechanics and probably truly terrifying.

References:

Fritscher, L.

What Is Automatonophobia?

Automatonophobia can be loosely defined as the fear of wax figures, humanoid robots, audio animatronics, or other figures designed to represent humans. Only rarely does the fear become a full-blown phobia, but it is relatively common to experience hesitation or nervousness when confronting these figures.

In-text: (Fritscher, 2017)

Your Bibliography: Fritscher, L. (2017) “What Is Automatonophobia?”, Very Well. Available at: https://www.verywell.com/automatonophobia-2671847 (Accessed: 24 February 2017).

Cyberpunks Dance To Thomas The Tank Engine. 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.

Dr Who – Hey, Who Turned Out The Lights?. 2010. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.

 

Week 6- Practitioners Report

David Hashimoto A.K.A Action Movie Dad.

This man has some serious skills and has been an inspiration for me for vfx. A little while ago I found a clip of what he has been working on on Facebook, one of those recommendations from the lovely people at Facebook – thank-you.

He turns his son’s everyday adventures into a masterpiece.

In 2005 he left The university of Southern California and finished his internship at Paramout Pictures. He has worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios as an artist and In 2005 he went to work with Dreamworks Animation where he worked as an After Effects Artist  on various things like Me an My Shadow and Kungfu Panda 2. He left Dreamworks Animation in April 2015 and is currently making his own videos under the name Action Movie Dad where he creates some amazing clips and tutorials.

I have recently being trying to re create some of his work in After Effects by watching his tutorials on RedGiant.com.

The one with the Dr Strange portal effect.

I have managed to recreate the portal effect for this and could probably do it without watching the tutorial now minus the part with the actor.

Danial Hashimoto uses After Effects in all his works but has the plugin Trapcode by Red Giant.

In particular he uses Particular, that was no way intended but couldn’t think of another way to put it and was a little amusing so I am leaving it there.

Particular gives a little more control over the particles themselves,  I have learnt how to make particles emit from lights, use null layers, tracking etc.

Maybe this is a bit more difficult to deconstruct in the way of Formal Elements because he is recreating the way something is rather than creating something completely new. I can say that the color yellow is used in Dr Strange after he meets the Ancient one (Tilda Swinton). I feel that as it is placed in Tibet, and the color of the robes that Tilda wears is close to Saffron Yellow which comes from the colors prisoners used to wear which means Humility, free form materialistic things.

“Ensō (circle) is a sacred symbol in the Zen school of Buddhism and is one of the most common subjects of Japanese calligraphy, even though it is a symbol and not a character. You may hear it called the Circle of Enlightenment, the Infinity Circle and even the Lost Symbol of Reiki. If you actually took the meanings of the two Kanji symbols that make up the word, ensō would translate as Mutual Circle or Circle of Togetherness.”

Only when Dr strange truly learnt to let go of the baggage he carried and let go of any physical barriers was he truly able to open the portal to get back from the cold where The ancient One left him. Which would be classed as enlightenment by Buddhists.

So maybe that is why the portal is round and yellow because of the Journey that Stephen Vincent Strange had to go through to get to a point in his life that he was truly happy – enlightenment only truly allowed him to become the great sorcerer he is.

He even gave up his own future to keep Dommoru stuck in an endless loop to keep the rest of the world safe.

 

For the Dr Strange clip Daniel took two films, one of his son leaving school and one arriving home. They were not lined up so he spent two hours doing some really complicated techniques (which worked really well) to line them up. He used a mask to manipulated the position of his son so it looked like it lined up and then made a guide circle and turned down the opacity and created two null objects and a light. He had to rename the light to Emitter that allowed him to use it as an Emitter otherwise After Effects would not recognize it. He made the Null object a parent to the Emitter and the Emitter parent to the Guide Circle. He did this so that he can rotate the Null Object and have the Emitter follow the path of the guide circle my copying the position of the Guide Circle and applying it to the position of the Emitter which gives the effect of a Catherine Wheel. catherine-wheel-firework.JPG

After this Daniel adds the Particular to the solid and changes the settings so it starts to look like the Dr Strange Portal. After he has it like he wants it he blends the 2nd scene so when the boy opens the portal and it comes towards him it is a seamless transition to his home scene. To add to the effect he adds sparks that comes off his son’s shoes which is done by motion tracking.

 

Daniel Hashimoto has influenced me creatively because of what he has created from a simple recording of his son in the park on a toy boat to being in a sea storm, from playing in a toy shop to destroying it with a lightsabre, sofa jumping to watching out for lava. The polar express coming down his street, Jumping in a puddle and disappearing. These videos have created fun and enjoyment and plus they look pretty cool, I want to learn how he did it and try and recreate it so I can learn and adapt those skills to create my own animations/videos.

 

Sam Nicholson

Sam founded Stargate Studios in 1989, it is a visual effects production company in Pasadena with over 125 Visual Effects artists and Technicians.

He graduated from UCLA graduate school of Fine Arts and has been active in film and television for over 30 years. His first job in visual effects was to work on Star Trek 1 and Max Headroom as supervisor visual effects artist and recently he worked on Heroes along with many others such as:

  • The Watcher in the woods (1979)
  • The Devil and Max Devlin  (1981)
  • Halloween II                           (1981)
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
  • Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
  • Two of a Kind (1983)
  • The Returning (1983)
  • The Running Man (1987)
  • Future Flight  (1987)
  • Ghostbusters II  (1989)
  • Millennium  (1989)
  • The Dreamer of Oz  (1990)
  • Highlander II: The Quickening  (1991)
  • Afterburn  (1992)
  • The Water Engine  (1992)
  • Interceptor  (1992)
  • Lifepod  (1993)
  • The Hidden II  (1993)
  • M.A.N.T.I.S  (1994)
  • Mirror, Mirror 2: Raven Dance  (1994)
  • Island City  (1994)
  • Naked Gun 33 1/3 The Final Insult  (1994)
  • Sliders (1995)
  • Twister (1996)
  • Moll Flanders  (1996)
  • Robo Warriors (1996)
  • The Secret World of Alex Mack (26 episodes) (1995 – 1996)
  • Dante’s Peak (title Sequence) (1997)
  • Asteroid (1997)
  • Volcano: Fire on the Mountain (1997)
  • The Lake (1998)
  • Mafia! (1998)
  • Houdini (1998)
  • Brimstone
  • Can of Worms
  • The Thirteenth Year
  • Gen-X-Cops
  • Pirates of Silicon Valley
  • Tempting Heart
  • The Soul Collector
  • Y2K
  • Purple Storm
  • Millenium Man
  • 2000 AD
  • Race Against Time
  • Quarantine
  •  Running Mates
  • CSI: Crime scene Investigation
  • The Wonderful World of Disney
  • Boycott
  • Tomcats
  • Repli-Kate
  • 40 days and 40 nights
  • The Guru
  • FastLane
  • Carrie
  • Second String
  • Helen Of Troy
  • Traffic
  • Spartacus
  • Breakin’ All the Rules
  • 5ive Days to Midnight
  • Seed of Chucky
  • Earthsea
  • Into the West
  • Urban Legends: Bloody Mary
  • Fields of Freedom
  • Las Vegas
  • Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King
  • Grey’s Anatomy: Every Moment Counts
  • Ugly Betty: 22 Episodes
  • Heroes: 21 Episodes
  • CSI: New York (2007)
  • Knight Rider (2010)
  • Maggie Hill (2009)
  • 24 (2009)
  • ER (2001 – 2009)
  • General Hospital (2009)
  • Defying Gravity (2009)
  • Private Practice (2009)
  • Outsourced (2010)
  • Adventure Scouts (2010)
  • The Walking Dead (2010)
  • Pan AM (2011)
  • Beauty and The Beast: A Dark Tale (2012)
  • Smash (2012)
  • Phantom  (2013/2014)
  • Soulmates (Visual Effects Producer)/(Visual Effects Supervisor)

This man has clearly worked on many titles and the ones that stick out to me are some of the firsts, Sliders, a great TV series, Using Portals which is relevant to the work I am trying to do – Portal Particle effects. They are many more classics here that have great effects, some better now than what they were from 1989. From Star Trek II and GhostBusters II to the Walking Dead and Heroes.

It was hard to find any work specifically by Sam Nicholson and not by the company itself unlike Action Movie Dad but you can see that he has worked on these films and TV series in various ways.

The Use of 3D modelling is quite apparent in some of the show reels along with Green and Blue screens. Blue screens are used when a lot of foliage is needed to be included. So 3D modelling, texturing and animation are used within the films with a lot of VFX using various methods. The studio would of done a lot of research before filming, followed by concept art and box modelling, to 3D modelling, texturing and filming and photography with Particle Effects and tracking for the way people move among other things.

Stargate Studio’s Demo Reels.

Evaluation:

This was a very interesting task for me, i have been really interested in animation from when I started researching it and with all the different techniques that can be learnt. It definitely has made me rethink what i want to do for my FMP. It was a lot easier to find information on Daniel as it was Sam because Daniel is self employed and anything he creates is solely done by him, but when it comes to Sam, he is part of a company where hundred’s of people could work on one project such as Heroes so it’s hard to find information about what he has created himself.

http://www.modernzen.org/enso.htm

http://www.colourlovers.com/blog/2007/08/20/colors-of-religion-buddhism

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1885366/

 

http://stargatestudios.net/sg/sam-nicholson/

 

 

 

Week 5: Experimentation

This week I have been experimenting with Portal Effects and the different programs you can use to create them.

The programs I have been looking into to create these Effects are:

  • 3Ds Max
  • After Effects
  • Maya
  • Unity
  • Unreal Engine

I have practised with all theses programs on creating particles and found that After Effects is the most useful with more options, especially when you have Trapcode.

3DS Max would be more useful due to the option of more control of the position of the particle effect as in it can be placed anyway within the 3D Space compared to adding particle effects in After Effects you have to take the model into the 3D environment in Photoshop and save it so it can be opened in After Effects, by then you have lost control of position in 3D space for the After Effects Particle Effect. Its not so much of a problem, it just requires a bit more time and skills to get the look of the particles you want in the position you want and if it is an animation then the particle effects have to change as the scene changes.

I tried using Maya for particle effects but its not too dissimilar from 3DS in the amount of control you have from the program over the particles.

With Unity and Unreal Engine you have a bit more freedom in the way of Particle Effects but I truly believe that After Effects has the most control and freedom to create some amazing Particle Effects.

There are other products that can be used but they have a hefty price tag as they are used to create Effects for the likes of Star Wars etc.

Over the past few weeks I have been looking at these different programs and so far After Effects is a favourite. This is because of the amount of control you can have (especially when you have TrapCode)  and some of the great tutorials out there.

Here I was also playing with colour to see what the effect was on the meaning of the scenes. Does it change what people think of the environment by having the portal a different colour. I have to test this theory by using Survey Monkey.

These are some screenshots of the particle effects from After Effects without TrapCode.

The next were animations I tried to do in Photoshop.

Stargate wormhole experiment using After Effects.

 

Reflection

I could have looked into more ways to create Particles tonight by looking into simulators like HitFilm which is currently available for download free but there doesn’t seem to be as many tutorials around as there is for After Effects, Unreal Engine, Maya etc. I could of also spent equal amounts of time learning each program but with the amount there is to learn it proved a bit difficult. After watching a few tutorials online I probably became a bit biased towards After Effects because there is so much you can do and after watching tutorials by The Action Movie Dad I wanted to learn how to do it so I could make cool videos with my kids.

 

 

 

 

Animation Research

Week 4

Animation

Animation we know today has come a long way since it first appeared in the early 1800’s. Without all the progress over the years we wouldn’t have what we have today.

One of the first known animations was in 1829 in Belgium, he invented a Phenakistoscope, this was a device that allowed one person to view and animation which was comprised of several images, one slightly different from the next and shown by spinning the disc. it only worked if there was another disc with gaps in it. This was to create the illusion of continuous vision or phi phenomenon.

William Horner later made a version that allowed multiple people to view an animation together, this was called the Zeotrope ( Zeo – Life and trope – turn (Greek)).

The Praxinoscope came along in 1877 by Charles Emile Reynaud, he used mirrors in the center of the device, it simplified the viewing process, the images were reflected as they passed by and this reduced the amount of luminosity in movement.

The next step for Reynaud was to adapt his device so that images could be projected onto a screen. The opaque images were replaced by transparent ones so light could pass through them and these were then reflected by the mirrors on to a screen.

Edward Muybridge, born in 1830, was a British man who emigrated to America and became a bookseller. After an accident while travelling back to England, he had a short break and returned to America to become a photographer. His reputation expanded in the late 1800’s and the Governor of California Leland Stanford contacted him to ask him to settle a bet,  the bet was does a horse take all four legs off the ground at once when it is running?

The Governor thought this was true but didn’t have a way to prove it, this is where Edward Muybridge came in. But in 1872 when he tried to photograph the horse, the images were not quick enough to capture the motion, they both believed that a horse did take all four hooves off the ground but it wasn’t conclusive. Stanford decided to give Muybridge more funding and by 1879, a new technique was created by using multiple cameras to record the motion of the animal and it was for certain then that they knew the horse did take all four hooves off and Stanford won the bet. The Zoopraxiscope was invented in 1879 and was used to play back the stop motion photos that Muybridge had taken on the Horse.

Muybridge kept improving his ideas after meeting Marey in Paris and soon met Thomas Edison and the Kinetoscope was invented.

The Lumiere brothers showed the first movie to the public in 1895, in 1894 they invented the a camera which used 35mm wide strips and was 16fps. This became the standard for 25 years.

The first movie was a train arriving at a station

Melies came across something interesting in 1886 when a film his was using got jammed, after processing it he found something odd, objects disappeared and appeared and some suddenly changed into others. Melies was in the audience of the first showing to the public by the Lumiere Brothers, he offered to buy the projector from the Lumiere Brothers but they turned him down. Melies met Robert Paul in London to see his camera projector and soon after built his own and screened his first film in April 1896.

Melies died in 1938 after making over 500 films.

The Haunted Castle 1896

James Stuart Blackton (America’s Father of animation) started his career as an Illustrator and turned to animation.

He used a device to capture his drawings at 20 fps and played them back using a Kinetoscope. The Kinetoscope works by having gaps which quickly show black, this is repeated, and because of the way the mind works (Phi Phenomenon or Persistence of Vision). This is where the black areas are not perceived by the human brain so it interprets as continuous motion, if you look over the band though it will be blurred.

The movie Humorous Phrases and Funny Faces was created in 1906 and was a mix of stop motion and live action.

The Fleischer Brothers (creators of Betty Boop and Popeye) created the Rotoscope in 1917 which was the basis of the Lightbox we know today.

This made it possible for animations to look more real as they could record a person walking and play it back using the Rotoscope and have it displayed on a glass top which allowed animators to copy the way movement occurred and put that into their animations.

Rotoscoping was used as late as 2011 and 2010 on the Nintendo DS for games such as Hotel Dusk: Room 215 in 2007 and Last Window: The Secret of Cape West in 2010 and Another World on the PC in 2011.

Prince of Persia in 1989

Flashback in 1992

Nosferatu 1994

The Last Express 1997.

 

Windsor McCay

Lottie Reiniger

Matt Stone + Trey Parker

Mr Norstein – The hedgehog in the fog

Norman Mclaren – Neighbours

Peter Grabriel – Sledgehammer – Aardman Animators

 

 

Unit 12: week 3: Research Skateboards

Introduction:

This task was to learn and practice new research skills. We used AND, NOT, NOR, +, -, ++ and #. These are called Boolean operators. Boolean is either true or false, not either, both, one but not the other for example. This search method could be used to look up shorts NOT board shorts and board shorts won’t be included in the search results. It is also in 3DS Max, Boolean is used to create new shapes, intersecting one shape with another for example. I already knew about these but I didn’t know about Google Scholar.

We then came together as a group to pool our knowledge on Skateboarding into a larger mind-map. I have included a copy of yesterday’s mind map and the group on e from today.

The LRC also has access for students to e magazines etc and podcasts were recommended.

Below are some screenshots of the searches I did followed by a mind map of the information I found on the website referenced below.

 

screenshot1screenshot2screenshot3new-mind-map

image1image2

References

Music and Skateboarding | StoreYourBoard.com (2017) Storeyourboard.com. Available at: https://www.storeyourboard.com/music-skateboarding.html (Accessed: 19 January 2017).

Reflection

Before this task I knew very little about Skateboarding and still know very little, I missed watching the documentary on it but from today’s research task I found out about when it really started to kick off and why, where it originated, some music styles and how they have changed over the years. I also learnt about the fashion briefly while I was researching music as it is all part of the culture so it is hard to get info on one without the other.

I feel that there could of been a lot of information added but majority of the sources I found were either chat boards or information of particular bands or Wikipedia.

The information I did find was more involved with the culture of skateboarding so there was only a couple of paragraphs on music followed by the style and that if you want to know about particular music then its down to what is playing in current skate shops to find out or ask friends what music they are into.

Some primary research could of been useful here as in asking skaters what kind of music they are into or going to skate shops and listening to what kind of music is playing.

 

 

Unit 12: Week 1 and 2

Introduction

This week we created mind maps that portrayed who we are and what we love. This is to help us figure out who we are and give us a bit of inspiration and direction for our FMP.  It laid out what things we were interested in, our influences from our past, our experiences, our passions and all this added together makes a bigger picture. It shows us what we are like as a person, and shows us almost what direction to try and head in for our FMP.

 

new-piktochart_19300875_31bf77f6039b3d641a9d349c554a0e18f01fb942

Reflection:

I learnt a lot form this task, I found out where my passions lie, mostly with science fiction and fantasy, that I like to tell stories about this genre. I can see where this came from when looking at the mind maps. It comes from family, from experiences, from friends and personality. I was never an adventurous person. I didn’t seek adventure in the real world because I was cautious and afraid. My sister came home with bruises, broken legs and arms etc. and I couldn’t do it, I didn’t have the courage. But to watch others go on adventures like Captain Picard and Janeway, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker and this was fine for me. In computer games I loved to play Lara Croft because she could do things that I would never be able to do but I got to go along on the adventure with her when I played Tomb Raider and that was enough for me. It felt safer and just as much fun. I also was left alone, which was perfect at the time because of the stuff I was currently dealing with ( life changing event and not for the better) and it gave me time to process and reflect and also escape when I wanted too.

Personality Test

What was the task about?

The task was about finding out more about yourself and what type of personality you have and what that means. It was about learning about the way you learn and what impact that would have on my FMP ideas.

What was the theory behind the test?

The theory behind the Myers Briggs Test is to make types of personalities useful to people and helps them to understand the type of person they are.

Discuss how you took the test. Did you have to be brutally honest?

Yes, I had to be brutally honest for this test otherwise it would have been inaccurate and useless

I took the test once for myself and the results came in as Mediator: The results are as follows:

The Mediator

mediator

After completing this test my results came up as INFP. I feel that this does represent my personality most of the time. I try to sort issues out with talking and trying to resolve issues that way.

Often I do find myself getting lost in a daydream when I am thinking about something creative, whether it be a solution to a problem or I am making something.

It says Open – minded and Flexible which sometimes is not true because I can be stubborn at times. I do like peace and quiet and I hate it with a passion when my children argue (even though this could be most parents).

When it comes to making something I like to think that I am creative as for Roald Dahl Day I made my son a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang costume from a box, fabric some string and some paint. He won a book for an original costume.

I can be really passionate and energetic when it comes to something I believe strongly about and that I am really interested in, I get lost in my imagination and when it comes to creating something I can get lost in time with it too. Sometimes I have to keep reminding myself that I don’t have all the time in the world to complete a task.

Sometimes I can be dedicated and hardworking but that can require a lot of effort, especially when it’s something that I am not that interested in doing so I have to just get on with it. I would always pick doing something fun and maybe challenging to do, especially if it involves my family over something mundane.

Altruism: I do put the kids and my partner before myself, I will always give the last of what I have got to anyone who needs it. I have often given lunch to the homeless and quite often my breakfast and lunch and even dinner to my daughter because mine is quite clearly better than hers (even though they are the same – Not according to a toddler).

I will make sure my family have got everything they need and want even when it means I go without.

Yes I am impractical. I do occasionally neglect some day to day matters (not the important ones) but I would rather watch a movie with my kids than wash up because that can always be done later but making memories I feel is more important.

I definitely agree with the fact that I dislike dealing with data, I see the grand design of things and forget about the little things, I get an idea of how things should be and most times it doesn’t help as I realised yesterday with an issue at home.

Taking things personally is definitely a big thing, maybe it’s down to anxiety issues but when things happen or don’t happen I tend to worry that I have done something or not done something.

Getting to know me can be a hard task, I am quite reserved until I feel confident enough in a social surrounding e.g. / college, work or at a party, I don’t feel comfortable going to parties where there is going to be a crowd, especially when the number of people there that I don’t know is quite high. I didn’t attend my friend’s birthday party for this reason, whether this is anxiety or personality type, I just can’t bring myself to do it. I am quite happy sitting on my tod watching a movie at home with my boyfriend than go out with a big crowd. I did make an exception at Christmas and I went to a Christmas meal with work, it was about twenty people and was tired afterwards, I am glad I did it, I drew the line at going to the clubs with them though.

The data suggested that I am quiet and reserved and my friends are few and far between because I prefer to have a few good friends instead of loads of friends that are not good and this is fine with me, I have a couple of friends, I don’t see them a whole lot but they are still there.

Yes I did learn something about myself, the fact that I sometimes don’t see the little details in the bigger picture which has caused upset in my household a couple of times.

I agree with most of it, some bits I don’t agree with, like the mediator relationship, I can be selfish at times (sometimes it can be too easy) and that causes arguments.

Evaluate and Reflect

This was a very interesting task to do, I learnt something about myself that is so true, a few things that I would like to change and maybe somethings to improve, like my confidence and learn how not to miss the little details in life.

I do believe that my personality type is that of a mediator because I feel like a ref at home, I am always trying to talk to my children about resolving conflict and that there are better ways of dealing with things than brushing it under the carpet or being aggressive.

References:

NERIS Analytics Limited . (2017). 16 personalities. Available: https://www.16personalities.com/. Last accessed 13/01/2017

Part Two.

I did the Myers Briggs test on Callum because I did the interview with him, turns out that from my perception he is a Mediator too. This is either because I don’t know him very well ( I don’t know any of the other students very well, not that I understand their point of view because I am older than they are). His results are possibly true because I thing he is quiet and reserved and does things to make others happy (I got this impression from the interview).

Evaluation:

Body language is important when understanding people because it can give away a lot. You can tell when someone is angry and upset or nervous by the way they behave, even without them noticing they are doing it, you can tell when someone is nervous for example and this can add to the data you can collect from an Interview.

microexpressions

I planned the interview with open questions in mind because I feel you get more insight and information that way rather than a yes or no answer.

I am not entirely sure on what it would be like to interview someone I don’t know, I would imagine it could be more difficult in one sense because I would be nervous but then it might be easier in the other aspect because I would be impartial and I wouldn’t know anything about this person

so any judgements I would make about this person would solely be on what I find out from the questions and the body language they display.