I would like to focus on animation, using either Flash or After Effects. I would also like to bring some form of photography into the animation mainly something subtle or just a few simple images so that it fits into my visual style. I would like my animation to have depth, detail and hold some sort of meaning, whether it be relevant or something personal.
I have looked at various styles of illustrations and character styles; many of these have a sort of pop art/manga style to them. I like the feel of the Japanese elements and how it relates to pop culture.
TokiDoki - Simone Legno
After looking at many styles I did some sketches of my own to try and find out what sort of style I could go for. I drew a basic character as I like to make simple drawings that have a cartoon type feel towards them and also have a fun look about them.
I am drawn a lot towards scenery and find myself taking many photographs of landscapes, scenery and a lot of greenery. I have found many examples of animation that have a scenic feel and what really appealed to me is that these are also made up of mixed media, as they have taken photographic and real elements joining them with animation.
These Images have been taken from the book: Motion by Design - Spencer Drate, David Robbins, Judith Salavetz
PSYOP Sheryl Crow ‘Good is Good’
Mathematics Betchadupa ‘My Army of Birds and Gulls’
National Television ‘Exercise your Music Muscle’
After looking at many areas of animation and illustrative styles I began to do a few sketches of very simple ideas I have had, just to practice my skills and to try and develope the ideas I have. From doing this I have found an idea to start me off which I will work on and see where it takes me. I had an idea of creating a test scene using leaves, after talking to Katrina about this and taking a few photographs of leaves it gave me a more developed idea.
The idea I delevoped from this is to create a series of four animations that are all naturally relevant to each other, but also hold a relationship between them thay will also make not only a physical connection but a visual connection that draws your eyes to this pleasing yet calming set of animations. I will create these animation based around four main parts of scenery that will also relate to the four seasons; Leaves, Snow, Rain and the Sun. I want each animation to be visually enhancing but mostly I would like to see some sort of interaction between the user and the animation. So to achieve this the way the animation will be presented will be like an illusion, it will show the simulation of something that is real but really it has been computer generated. Each animation will represent a window and through each window the viewer will be able to see real life elements falling down and across each window, and some or part of these elements will actually fall onto the window or brush across the window in a way that will have the effect as if it were a real window that the viewer is gazing out of. I am still deciding what angle I would like to use, whether it would be straight vertical window that would be similar to say a bedroom window, or whether I will have the window slightly slanted as if it were placed on the ceiling like a sky-lite.
After not being so certain in what direction that I was going to take for my final project and also having many small ideas which were not really developed but more of a starting point, after doing a a few sketches and research I came up with a more concrete idea and have decided to expanded on this, which is an idea I previously mentioned. I really like the use of simulation and as I am also going to be focusing around simulation for my case study this is mainly the reason why I have chosen to go with this as I would like to link the two. I have thought more about going for the seasonal theme using autumn, winter, summer and spring and for each of these season there will be animations that portray this as well as the enviroment. The way I will show each season is to have it as though the viewer is looking out of a window as each animation flows making it look as real as possible. I would also like to display this by adding to the effect of simulation by using various elements from the real world, to do this I would place a frame around the screen that the animation will play on and somehow make this look like an actual window, around the screen that is seen as the window; I would like to have the use of authentic elements such as curtains or blinds to literally imitate the use of the real, to make it as homely as possible and to make it automatic for the viewer to respond and to interact with my work as they would the real thing which would complete the simulation process in such a way giving the animation a relative theme. For the autumn I will be using leaves and animating these to fall down and across the screen as well as hitting the screen like it would hit a window, using movement and the effect of the wind blowing upon them. I would also like to have a few leaves fall and settle on the bottom of the screen as thought they have fallen onto the window ledge. I will either scan the leaves in and use these to get the feel and the right texture of the leaves or I will create them on the computer to look as real as possible, I am thinking to go with computer generated images as this will show simulation at its best. For winter I will create snow, as well as snow flakes and give this a frosty type of feel as well as to the environment, the snowflakes will fall down and across the screen settling on the bottom of the screen onto the window ledge, I will make the window look icy and frosty to give the effect of simulation and also as a snowflake hits the screen I will animate it so that the water element of the snowflake will drip down the screen as it would on a window. For spring I will capture the rainy days and create raindrops, I will have the rain pouring onto the environment that you would see when looking out of a window and I will also simulate this in a way so that raindrops will fall onto the screen as it would a window and run down also giving this a subtle steamy effect across the window pane. For summer I will use the sun/wind, this will be the key area to the interactivity within my work, the sun will act as a trigger to sort of â€˜restartâ€™ the animation, it will clear the snow away by the heat from the sun melting it away, it will clear the rain again by the heat drying up the water, it will clear the leaves by the wind being so strong that it will completely blow away all of the leave from the screen (window).
In preparation of this I am firstly just looking at leaves alone to see how I can achieve the effect and if it would be possible to create the whole seasonal effect when it comes to timing and animation. I have drew some sketches of leaves and put this into an animatic to show and give a feel of what sort of approach that I will take. Doing this has helped me decided how I want to animate and the look that I want to go for when it comes to texture as well as what sort of environment I will have as a background to my animation. which gave me the idea to create a fake window ledge on the outside part of my animation which is behind the window, so then the elements such as leaves, can settle upon them after they have flown across and down the window.
Once I had my animatic in place and had some sort of idea of how I wanted my animation to look like as a whole I went and did more research by taking a few photographs, as it was autumn at the time this seemed like a good idea to get the right feel. I went to Hyde Park and took a few images of the trees and the heaps of leaves on the ground that have fallen from them, I got many ideas from this on how the environment adds to the setting of autumn and makes it whole, the autumn colours of oranges, yellows and brown gave me a warm sort of feeling even though the breeze from the wind was brushing so cold past my face, the trees were so bare and naked which gave it a sort of emptiness, but with the leaves that were once covering them are now left settled upon the ground brought back the warmth and colour bring the setting back to life. I picked up a few of these leaves in various shapes, sizes and colours to take home with me so I could examine them and get a better look of the style and texture they hold which would help me get more information when it comes to making my leaves and how they can look more realistic.
After looking at the leaves I had taken I decided to scan these in so I could make a test animation so I could look at a number of ways on how I can animate my leaves making them look as real as possible as they fall down and across the screen. I did some research online and looked at many videos of animated leaves which were mostly illustrated or drawn images of leaves and I also looked at video footage that someone had taken of the wind blowing leaves so I could see how the leaves fell naturally. I had found some tutorials to help me get the movements of the leaves falling down so I followed this slightly, chaning certain parts to go with my own elements. This way I could make a test so I can see how I will be animating my leaves. I will try numerous tutorials as well as experimenting with different ways that I think may work to see what the best way is to show my leaves animating in the most realistic and effective way.
While research I found more work that inspired me which also relates to my work as they also hold a season theme within their art work. I have always been very fascinated with Japanese art work, I mostly enjoy their wood block images as they look very simple but so effective, the paintings techniques have a graceful feel to them and draw you in with the lovely shades of colour, style and texture their work holds. I have found two main wood block paintings that really stood out to me and have really grasped the feel of the seasons within the imagery and the colours that have been used.
Autumn Grasses in Moonlight, Meiji period (1868–1912), ca. 1872–91 Shibata Zeshin (Japanese, 1807–1891
Evening Snow at Kanbara, Edo period (1615–1868), 1834 Ando Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858)
To achieve this effect I used the leaves I had found and scanned them in, I then put these into after effects and mess around with key frames, positioning, 3D effects and an effect called wiggle that randomizes the movements and rotation of each leaf, I used this to create the wind so it looked as though the wind was blowing the leaves as in reality the wind blowing the leaves wouldnâ€™t be in any sort of arrangement, sequence, rhythm or have any symmetrical patterns. Therefore by randomizing each leaf to move slightly different each time adds the simulation. This really helped me to see how the leaves could animate and how I can use 3D effects to make the leaves turn in all directions.
Toki Doki Images taken from: www.tokidoki.it Motion by Design: Various Images taken from the CD - from the book: Drate, S., Robbins, D. & Salavetz, J., 2006. Motion by Design Har/DVD., Laurence King Publishers. Tutorial Mentioned: http://layersmagazine.com/flexible-and-efficient-animation-projects-in-after-effects.html Japanese Woodblock Images taken from: Autumn Grasses in Moonlight - Shibata Zeshin: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1975.268.137 Evening Snow at Kanbara - Ando Hiroshige: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/JP2492