Friday, 27 November 2009

Self Evaluation

Well my work is complete and i must say i am happy with my final outcomes!
My original intention was to complete three idents which would be ten seconds each, but i was only able to complete two. Even though i did not complete my goal, i realized that i would rather have two pieces of work which were complete to a high standard then three which were only fairly good.

I have had an interesting journey throughout this project and i have learned a lot of things in which i shall need to experiment on dueing the christmas holidays. My main one is to be able to model and rig and character, i have found this to be the hardest thing through my time at Ravensbourne. I brought the Adobe Maya character rigging book which Steve said would be a great help, but even though i was trying the use the guide lines, i found it difficult as i was not able to read the book before hand. I am going to set myself some goals in which i hope i can achieve.

Since last year i think i have taken a big step with animation, timing in particular. I am really proud of my timing in my first animation with the sheep drumming. I thought this would be quite a hard thing to do as there was a lot of drumming to be done so quickly. When animating i first had the sheep reacting rather violent towards the drums, with his arms taking big strides. But once i played my work through play blast i found he was moving so quickly that you could not really see him hitting the drums, so i calmed him down as if he was playing a little softer which worked out better for an animation piece. I also done a test where the symbols were moving as he him them, but this took away attention from the sheep as they were constrantly moving up and down due to the fast drum beat.
If you remember seeing the video i took the audio from you would have realized that he had a rather big drum set with around five symbols on there own. I could have modeled a bigger drum set but there were other things to think about, such as, would i be able to do a lot more movement with a bigger set and would it take away attention from the sheep as there would be more crowding him. I should have made one extra symbol next to the main one as he is repeatedly one symbol throughout most of the animation which looks sightly odd.

One of the things i wish i had changed was the background. I had it this way because i wanted to keep to a black and white theme but right towards the end i was not to keen on it. I would have gone about it a better way. If i were to change it i would have made him look as though he was on a stage with a dark background but with really bright spot lights to give the impression that he was doing a performace. As i have really enjoyed doing this project i am thinking of changing a few things to see if they would have come out better than what i have already created.

When i had placed my text to advertise the black sheep, i was a little unhappy. Although it doesn't look to bad, it doesn't look to great either. I wanted to make the text look like it was being stamped on but i did not know how to create this in After Effects. I do not know very much about After Effects which was a draw back to me. I think the text lets down the animation a little bit as it just suddenly appears towards the end. This is another thing i need to work on in the future to make the text fit in with the animation smoothly.
Another thing i would change that i just notice was a spelling mistake, for the guitar animation, the quote is meant to say rock out or get thown out but it says rock out of get thrown out, that is something that is very important if this was a real ident.

As an overall project i am very pleased on how my animations turned out. I know there are things that i could have changed and if i had extra time i would have but like i said before i intend on carrying on this project through the christmas holidays, as i think this could be a project i can look back on and be proud on at a early stage of this course.

Once all my animation was complete, i needed to import my files to After Effects so that i could add my text which was made in Illustrator. The reason i used yellow and black was to show as a warning sign. If you were to go into the bar then it would be at your own risk.
I was going to use a sound effect of a stamp but i was unable to find one unless i paid for it, but as i was searching for one, i came across something better, animal noises. I thought having a sheep sound effect would go perfectly with the animation i had made, i animated a sheep so what could suit it better?

Warning and danger signs are yellow and black because they relate to bees which are well known for danger, everyone keeps away from them so that they do not get stung.

I have just realised that there is a spelling mistake in the sign, ekkkk, i wish i had seen this sooner!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Here is a couple of screen shots from my two animations. The first one is for Thursday night which is metal night:

I done some research in camera angles through music videos on the telly and through youtube. Have you ever noticed how a drummer in a band never really has all that much focus on a music video, there will be like a two second clip then they distance away back to the singer. This made my job a little more difficult. So i found the best thing to do was to just experiment with camera angles myself. This took a little while but i found this to be quite an interesting issue as i have never thought about camera angles all that much even though they are so important to many media programes.

As you may have noticed most of them are pretty much straight angle shots as i found having a camera behind the sheep or an angle did not really show much depth to him playing the drums. Where i have put in an angle i have found this to have broken up the other similar angles nicely and does not feel like they are to repetitive.

My second piece has a few more interesting camera shots compared to my first piece. This is because i had more space to play around to create interesting angles. Also seeing someone playing guitar is very popular in music videos which was a great help for me. I wanted a good mixture of close and wide shots as you can see what the sheep is doing close up, even though he does not have any fingers which i think ruins the piece a little.
So as you can see i have been away for a while, as most of you will probably know this is due to creating my animations in Maya. I shall be posting up images from where things have gone right and badly wrong where i have had to change direction with a few things. As an overall statement things have gone quite well. I was very worried at one stage about this project but with the help of teachers and friends of the class, i have been able to come up with a couple of idents which i am fairly pleased off.

Above is one of my failed tests of modeling a sheep, after a lot of experimenting and playing around with this model, it was then found that i could not use this as i had made each piece individually. But at least i learned that this is never the way to go of modeling, so that has been avoided as much as possible ever since. I also found that using the sheep fur tool in Maya was also a no no, only because it would take a while to render a scene shot, so trying to render out a whole animation would have taken forever and i knew that was not the real way forward.

Here was a very quick test of what a moom would look like if i tried to make him look as though he was wearing a sheep costume, but as you can see this does not look very good so this was scrapped straight away.

As time was going on and i was getting more worried as the days went on, i cried out for help. A few hours later and help was offered to me by Clym, he was a great help with creating my sheep. Clym made me realize a lot of things about modeling and just having more faith in myself instead of giving up so quickly. Thank you Clym for all your help, you are a star!
Once the sheep was completed i was on my way to animating.
This is my first image that i drew when i was trying to figure out how i would like my sheep to start looking, but this is not the type of look i was going for but was giving me a good understanding of what a sheep looked like.

Here you can see i have changed a few things, i wanted to rep-present the sheep as a person almost, by adding piecings and a goaty which makes him look angry. This is a style that is very much used in the grunge/ goth world.Here is a black sheep and is slowly forming in the way i wanted. The face is still "to cute" if you like and i do not think this would suit the setting of my animation.
Here is pretty much at its final stage, the sheep looks mean and has the piercings. The only problem i was thinking that i was going to have was, would i be able to model this?
After some attempts of modeling which was not going in my favor, i wondered to myself could i transform the moom rig to look like a sheep? I done experiments, and this did not turn to look as through this would work sadly.
Here i started experiments with colour as i know that i wanted a black and white theme for my animation. Adding bright colours to my instruments would liven up my work and add some depth to my piece.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Here is my drum set pretty much complete for me to use for my sheep to rock out to. I done a few different colours but as my main theme is going to be black ad white, i thought having a quite a bright drum set would really help to make my piece to look attractive. I also have a clip on which i intend on using from about 40 seconds in but i here is the full video. I will use around 7 seconds of this footage.

Around 10 minutes ago, i had my formative to see how i am getting on with my progress. I believe it went quite well, but i need to so some story boarding to think about what sort of camera shots i want going on. My first thought was not to have all that many, but as i thought a little deeper, it may work to my advantage, as i am having quite a heavy drum beat going on for one of my indents. As i only have 4 weeks to go i really need to start animating, so me being able to model a sheep is starting to become less and less possible. So, my latest idea is to use a Moom rig that was given to use last year and just add a sheep costume onto him. This may then become funnier for the audience as well as help me!

Friday, 23 October 2009

I am well on my way through working on Maya, and i must say, so far it has been rather enjoyable, yet i still have the hard parts to do. I have now nearly finished modeling my drum set which i am pretty impressed with. The quility of the pictures do not help as such but it does give you an idea of what i have created. I used a photo reference to help me which is bellow, but the colouring shall be completely different. As most of my work shall be black and white, i thought the drum set, should be red or blue to make it stand out.

Once my drum set is completed i then need to work on a guitar, which is going to be a little more tricky. I am going to model my sheep last because i need to do some more character creations before jumping into Maya. I am finding it a little difficult to create a sheep that doesn't look all sweet and innocent, i need him to be more aggressive.

Monday, 19 October 2009

So here is a preview of what i would like my character to look like, the only problem with it is that, it looks a little like a deer.... So any of you notice that? Remember when i had said that i started modeling my sheep in 3D, well that has been scrapped because the sheep was not going to look like it had any personality. So i went back to the drawing board and this is what i came up with. I think this shows character and that it is not just your typical day to day sheep that you see.

Today i received my Maya Character Rigging book which i ordered from Amazon about five days ago. There looks to be some really interesting things and shall help me to be able to start rigging. The only thing now is that i need the time to read it, and with all the projects and life out of university, it makes it a little difficult!
I finally received an email from melissa and this is what she had to say:

Hi Karen! As far as the model of the sheep, my friend created the model for me to rig and animate. I credit him at the end of the reel. There's nothing easy about modeling lol. We went to Fullsail University together. The method for modeling was mostly get some photo reference and model to the pictures. I drew up the ideas i had for what the sheep's face should look like and he interpreted them to work in a model. I have no idea if that's helpful at all, but you can see the sketch on my website! Sincerely, Melissa As a student studying modeling and animation... There are a lot of resources cgtalk highend3d and animation mentor links have been important resources to me. Feel free to ask me any questions! Repiled on the 17th october at 2.14pm

So, if you can gather from the email, it was not quite the information that i was hoping for, she pretty much said what i already knew but at least she got back to me and tried helping, it looks as though i need to send an email to her friend.......

My next step is to do a few more drawings, read my new book and start modeling in Maya again!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

So, what is the lastest change to my progress you ask? Well! It is going a little slow. When i went into university on Monday i was feeling a little under the weather but nothing that would stop me coming in, until Wednesday. Wednesday i had my weekly lesson with Gareth and oh my, did i feel terrible!? I felt so ill that i had to leave at lunch time and have been stuck in my bed since, and yes i am in my bed right now if you were wondering.
Before when i had said that i had emailed a lady called Melissa about any tips on how to model a sheep in Maya, well, i am still waiting to hear back from her but it is not looking good. I was having difficulty processing how i would go about this. So, i emailed my teacher Jared about my situation and he was very helpful. Now the one thing i really need to remind myself about animation is KEEP IT SIMPLE!!!!! I don't have to make a complex sheep, having it simple probably makes it look more animated then trying to capture the real thing. With some useful words and websites from Jared i was on my way. But i have more of my own research which i have collected and now finding useful. A website called turbo squid ( which is a site which sells 3D models) has helped me figure out how i want my sheep to be. They had a range of different models and there was one i quite like which is going to be my inspiration.
Now i would post the picture up if i could but you are unable to safe pictures from the website, so heres the link,

I am now back into Maya, slowly reminding myself of everything, and i have now started modeling my sheep, though i have only created the form so far. I just need to create the eyes, nose, mouth and start doing colouring and texuring and i shall pretty much be there. Then i have all the props to make, eeekkk.
I am unsure how far i should be in my project so far, but i'm hoping i am not falling behind.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Above are a few images of The Black Sheep Bar. This should help to get a little understanding of what the bar looks like. The first image is artwork which is inside the bar, there are also other images of artists and staff who have worked there.

Okay so i have been trying to model a sheep, but there has been no luck. I haven't done any modeling so i don't really know what the hell i am doing. I've looked for tutorials but there was nothing. I done some further research and found an animator called Melissa who has animated a sheep. Whilst looking through her website, she had posted her email address for people like me to contact her.
I am now waiting to hear a reply from her to see if she has any tips for me to help out on my project. I just hope she contacts me soon. Until i can sort myself out with a rigged sheep, i don't feel like i should create other things, such as a drum set as i am worried that i will have no luck with a sheep and may even be forced to go in a different direction.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

I have been told by my teacher Jared that we need to produce a blog during our first term of our second year.

The first week started off great met new people and made new friends. But now the hard work is about to begin already and what a adventure it should be.

My class were given three different briefs from which we could choose from but none of them cried to me in the slightest. To my delight, we were also able to create or slightly change the briefs to our interests.
For the time being, my brief is going to be to create three different icons ten seconds each, for a place called The Black Sheep Bar, which is in Croydon, for any of you who may know. They have a set routine each night for music, for example Thursday is metal and Friday is indi music.
I am going to focus on three different types of music, two of which is above and have a black sheep rocking out to each night.
I have done some research into The Black Sheep Bar and i am just waiting to hear from a member of staff there as i need to pitch my ideas to him and hope he agrees to what i have to say. But as they are my client, the focus is on them and i shall do whatever they ask of me, as long as it isnt something i cant model or animate.
The only issue i am having at the moment is contact with them. Ive waited a few days to hear from someone which has been non successful. So as i had a friend who used to work they called James i am wondering if i could talk to him instead.

Todays lesson we had a presentation on When I Grow Up I Want To Be......
Now even though i am not taking the character brief, there has been some really interesting information about the best way to go about making a character. My teacher showed us a book called Maya Character Rigging, which i am really interested in getting my hands on, so i am going to try and find it on the internet for cheap if possible.