Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Speaking from Experience: Animation Research.

Starting to look at animation videos online- a particular interest of mine, and something I touched upon in college, this would be a great time to develop my interest through this experimental brief. 
Throughout my time studying it at college, I found pixilation stop motion to be my favourite, and most appropriate for my current deadline and time for this brief. Pixilation is the process in which live actors are used in a frame-by-frame sequence to create an animated series- making very small movements and adjustments to create a natural flow when put together in the video-making process. Here are some of my favourite examples of pixilation...and animation generally...
'Her Morning Elegance' by Oren Lavie. Shown this during our animation project at college, I instantly "fell" for pixilation. This video is a great example of how, even in a restricted space, you can create a whole series of varying events and images- useful shot angle too, as it allows full manipulation and view of the model, and being able to see the full body movements. A great video- would undoubtedly take a lot of preperation, and hours to capture on film, but after that the process of turning it into an animation is relatively simple. I'd really like to have a go at an animation like this- would be a captivating piece for the audience- gaining full attention, and with the addition of sound and/or music could be quite memorable too.

Surely one of the best music videos of all time- Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer', though a great song in it's own right, was, and still is reknowned for it's amazingly creative and unique music video, which saw Gabriel photographed frame-by-frame under a sheet of glass for sixteen hours to create the animation- combining stop motion, claymation and pixilation in the final cut.
A really mad, abstract design- I've always found the video so inspiring- showing you how to push the limits with materials and movement in photography. 

Whilst it would undoubtedly make things a lot harder for me- I would really like to create handmade items to animate with, if only for a practice run...I think the smaller details really set animations apart, and I have always really liked the handmade craft look in design- combining this with found objects could create a really interesting result.
Seriously one of the best animations I have seen in a long time- It made me laugh. Hard. A brilliant use of facial expressions, concept and sound production makes this a unique and thought-provoking piece. A really simple shoot set-up, proving that simplicity can sometimes be the best option.
This has inspired me, if I do go on to create an animation, to work more with sound than speech or type- this way, it will translate to an even wider audience- transcending potential language barriers and break it down to it's most "organic". Instead of saying there is an alarm clock ringing- hear it!

Brilliant animation, I'd love to create something like this- and viable in the 5 week deadline.

Another animation I sourced whilst studying at college, this final piece graduate animation is so creative and resourceful- showing what a little patience and a whole load of post-it notes can do. I love the design theme of this- shows how specific you can be with materials- would really push me to resource and research materials and objects to create an animation like this.
I find the dedication put into this really inspiring, and after a little break (about half a day break...) over Easter and a slight re-charge of the batteries, I'm up for a challenge.
Perhaps slightly biased as Regina Spektor is my favourite musician, she showcases a wonderful selection of animation music videos with collaborations with various directors. 
In 'Us', I really like the blend between real time footage and stop motion- a juxtaposition of times- some juttery, some smooth- fitting to the beat of the music and character of the words and lyrics.

Also- a great blend between found and handmade items- very creative considering limited space provide
Again, another of Regina's stop motion animation music videos which blends in effortlessly to real time images- this time through a "blend" technique- such as the shape of the wings at the beginnning of the birds becoming the shape of Regina's top- clever visual tricks and techniques which create a stronger connection between the imagery, reminds me of the papercraft style of Su Blackwell. 
This video is a great example of how small additions can make a big difference.

Yet another Regina video! (The last one...I promise...) I really like the subtle details in this video- once again combining the real time with the stop motion- particularly used in the classroom scenes- the chairs filing in under the tables, the book pages turning, and the chalk writing on the board. Really simple techniques which would take a day or so completely- watching all of these videos has left me really inspired. This may be the way forward!... Crit with tutors ASAP...

The four stop motion pixilation series from the Amazon kindle range that I recently posted on this design context in regards to my 'What is Graphic Design for?' brief. I really, really like these pixilations- telling a story so well and simply, with great handmade charm and detail, they were the first thought and inspiration that came to mind when I learnt about this project.

The largest problem I would face with persuing this style of animation would be to find at least one model who would have enough stamina and kindess to potentially be photographed for anything up to around 10 hours in one go- I would happily model myself for the work, but even with a camera remote, this could cause a lot of aesthetic detail faults and blemishes, and feel that if I were actively looking onto the animation as it was being shot frame-by-frame, I would see the faults (and therefore ammend them) far more readily.

Another animation sourced through my animation project at college- the award winning talents of animation PES have always left be awe-struck and slightly bemused. If I am completely honest, I have no idea how half of these visual effects are created, though I would, naturally, love to find out!
What I like most about 'Western Spaghetti' is PES' use of inanimate every day objects, and, when applied out of context, making them into unusual and really creative pieces- seeing similarities in aesthetics or motions between the two objects. Definately something to have a play around with.

'Fluffy Mc Cloud' is a charming illustrative-craft animation created by Conor Finnegan for his graduate film from IADT dun loaghaire National Film School in Ireland.
I really love his character-design focus in this animation, and even without speech, he brings his characters to life through their expressive personality traits, facial expressions, and the sound used. 

A really charming brief- definately beyond my reach of design from where I stand right now, but it could certainly influence my work- I love the hand-drawn type and the beginning and the lack of speech, once again, transcending language barriers- almost in a "silent movie" style.

Rather amazing stop motion animation video I found whilst looking for source material yesterday evening- a really strong, creative concept- where an old man is haunted by his VHS casette tapes and video player. Brilliant, tense music used in this piece- creating an almost sci-fi like atmosphere- inspired me to perhaps get in touch with a couple of my friends at the Music College and see if I could get a composition put together. Right now, the inspiration and idea generation process is looking really exciting. Can't wait to really just get stuck in and start planning!

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