Thursday, 16 June 2011

Sword Slide Test Finished!


Problems That Occurred:
I wanted to have the sword go into the shadows under the flag, and wasn't sure how to do this. Mel helped me, and suggested putting a mask there. I changed the colour and size of it, and changed the opacity so the mask blended in more with the background

Then there was the problem of placing a shadow under the sword. I thought about placing a mask under it, but then I realized that I had to key frame it every frame the sword moved. Instead I found a better way of doing this. I added an effect to the sword called "drop shadow" and changed the colour, angle and opacity to perfect it.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

After Effects Tutorial by yours truly!

Here's a little vid I did on Livestream, it's me messing about on After Effects. I explain some of the tools I learnt to use in the program. (my friends start talking to me during this, I apologize on their behalf!)


To do list!

Probably a bit difficult to read, but here's a little to do list I did earlier. A lot of this is for submission. I'm getting there!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Compositing - How I have progressed with this area of production

Compositing is a rather alien film making technique to me, but I have wanted to try and learn how to use the program properly. I'm very good at doing technical stuff, but when I first went on After Effects last year, I knew it was something I was capable of doing. However, Since I have been busy doing other stuff like Storyboarding and Animating, I haven't had a lot of time to practice. This has meant that I have to begin relearning everything straight away.

I started looking for some nice examples of compositing in films, and the first film I thought about was Ravensbourne's student film "SPLAY", which can be found here:

The students that did this film really wanted to focus a lot on subtle animation and compositing. There's some nice bokeh effects used in this to really add some atmosphere to this barren environment. The lighting is well adjusted, so that the characters are the focus. After Effects lighting must have been included after the render passes.

So yeh I'm going to do a little vid of how I use After Effects, and then show it in the next post I do.

Emma, over and out

Monday, 13 June 2011

The Deep - My animated scenes composited!

My scenes are looking pretty neat now! Mel has composited shots 7, 8 and 14. Unfortunately, I've been unable to post them up on here, but you can see them on my submission disc, and on Mel's Blog. Here's Mel's Blog:

Sunday, 12 June 2011

27 AGAIN but with a difference


Lots of improvements and problems I came across trying to finish this.

It took a lot of patience doing the end, which I thought was going to be easy. I had to move the camera individually with the boy as he swam upwards. Very annoying. And then when I went back to finish the polaroid (tricky - required subtler motion) and then checked the whole animation, I lost the simming upwards part! I had to redo it. No idea why. I have a feeling I may have forgotten to save. DAMN IT EMMA

Anyway, I redid it, this time moving the whole kid body rather then individual parts like last time, which caused less complications. I also animated his eyes, eyebrows and head a bit more.

All in all frustrating. I've also had a cold with many headaches which has made this all the more tedious and painful. Finished this quite late, which means I have a lot of other stuff to do that is going to stress me a bit.

Will let you know how everything pans out later.
Am going to do my E+E report now. yay.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Birds finished!


It is finished! HOHOHO

Yeh this is pretty cool looking now. I worked hard to try and get this looking pretty good quality. I had to alter one of the birds a bit because he was looking a bit off. He didn't ease into a flight very well at the end. I had to remove a couple of frames so that it ran smoother.

The colours were chosen so that the birds would stand out in front of the yellowish tower. I also had to simplify the desing a bit, so that it was quicker to finish.

If I were to go back to this, I would probably add a bit more character to them, but as this is a very quick shot and we have a lot of other stuff to do, I'm going to leave it like this for now.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Reworking Birds in Toon Boom

I'm kinda all over the place when it comes to Smitten Haha! I tend to zip from one thing to another. I'm going back to my first assignment I did for Matt which is the bird flying scene. I'm going to go into detail and hopefully finish this for good.

Here's a pic of how Matt would like the birds to be similar to. Found on google

Monday, 6 June 2011

Shot 27 onwards finally finished - Shots sent to render


I think my final shot is now finished. I had to alter a few bits to get it like this, though. I think I overcomplicated matters by not blocking what the body does before the hands, head, shoulders etc. I also had to change the end, because I lazily animated him swimming straight up, without twisting around to go behind him. I quickly altered that. Didn't want to labour too long on this near the end, because the lads wanted to have all the files for rendering.

I think I have finished the animation side of things for The Deep, thank goodness. This means my attention can revert to other more pressing matters, like Animating for Smitten, Getting all my work together for submission, and completing everything for E+E

Shot 8 Adjustments


Just added a little more detail to the animation in this shot. I added some wave effects to the flippers. I made sure the flippers straightened out when he kicks, and when he brings his legs back to kick again, the wave effect occurs. I also included the camera in here properly now, and I animated the arm movement too. I rotated the hips to exaggerate the motion.

Thumbs 4 Mel - Shot 3

Mel is working on shot 3 of The Deep. She is animating the part where The Kid is starting his journey to the underwater ice cave. He walks across jetty and climbs into Sub. Mel has been told to imagine a ladder going down the hatch of the Sub.

Its a tricky shot to animate, so I decided to draw out my interpretation of what he should do. It was tricky. He is holding a camera too, to make matters more complicated!

I decided he should swing his right leg into the door, and then position his other leg in the door after.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Today's To-do list of DOOM

Okay I am aware of my lack of scheduling lately, and I think I need a little more organization for the last 2 weeks, so I am going to write up a list of stuff to do in the next 3 days.
  • E+E Posters - Adjust Mel's version, and have a go at doing a new logo for the group
  • E+E Blog - Health and Safety post
  • E+E 1000 word report
  • The Deep shot 27onwards completion for render - finish MONDAY
  • The Deep animatic - complete my personal storyboards in Final Cut, for marking
  • Smitten - Bird shot completion
  • Smitten - Sword Clash
  • Smitten - Sword Spin - adjust handle (not priority)
  • Animation submission - arrange folders (Concept, Technical and Animation) for marking (See Dan)
E+E deadline is on Friday, so a lot of this stuff I will get done Tuesday/Wednesday.

Lots to do!

Final Degree Show Logo


I added a little orange in the letters in the end, because orange is blue's complimentary colour, and it helps make the letters stand out more.

People seem to like it, so we'll see if it gets chosen :D

Playblasting again again - Nearly there...


I've added a lot more detailed animation here. I've animated the mouth, and I've pretty much done the toughest part, which was the gathering of the Polaroids. The only parts that need doing now is the bit where he swims away, and properly going back and animating the eyebrows.

Problems - The polaroids were a bit of a pain. I had to try and stack them in the camera. I put their visibility on zero when the camera hatch closes, which helps. For some reason one of the polaroids was shrinking so I altered that so it doesn't shrink anymore.
The rig is still a little tricky. If you turn the wrists or meddle with the knees too much, the twist a lot. However, I'm an adaptable person, so I've just worked around it.
I forgot to mention that in the storyboards, Kid changes to a kneeling position instead of sitting on his bottom the whole time. It was a lot more straightforward to have in staying in one place, espesh considering how difficult the knees are to manipulate.
Kid's arms aren't very long, so I had to make sure his arms didn't stretch too much. To begin with, the camera kept going through his body, so I altered the position and angle of it so it looked more natural.

I think the bit at the end is going to need a few pauses, because it is a little too quick. That shouldn't be too difficult to alter. I also noticed that the head snaps too quickly near the end as he gathers the last two polaroids in to the camera. I've changed that bit already and it looks much better.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Playblasting again - more expressions, and hand animation


Vast improvements occurring, though I think he is blinking to much, particularly when he sees the eel. I need to remove some of the blinks, or turn them into half blinks. I made sure the hand that is supporting his weight at the beginning shifts a bit, and is palm adjusts as he pushes himself up. I haven't played around with his eyebrows much here, so that could be something to include.

Him grabbing the photos is generally a pain in the bum to animate, but I need to get that done soon

Will try and do a bit more tonight, and then hand in what I've done to Ben and Andy, it's running a bit late, but I should have the rest completely finished by tomorrow evening :/

Another vid, this time it's a BIG one - The Deep Livestream

Livestreaming! I cut out a few irrelevant bits, but you here my train of thought here.

Had a few twisted wrist issues. Mainly animating hands


Here's a playblast of the shot so far, without the part where he picks up photos


I think his arms are flapping around a bit too much after the "SHOCK" bit, and I have also worked out that his head is going to get in the way when he grabs the photos. I think I might move the polaroid photos closer to him so it's within his grasp

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Emma's brave attempt to upload some more videos - The Deep shot 27


I think I might be breaking the internet uploading all these vids, but it is for the good of animation!

Here are some various playblasts that I couldn't upload for a while because Blogger was being a douche. You can see the development process going on here. The last blast shows how I've blocked out the body at the end. The arms look weird because they are not animated properly yet

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Late Night Logo Design

Bit tired, admittedly, but I have finished what is probably going to be the last set of logos! Here they are!

Enlarge to see detail!

Smitten - Sword spin finished?

Hey folks!

Yup it's me again!

I have lots of vids to show, but it really depends on whether I can upload them to Blogger. I'm gonna try anyway!


This is a new line test I have done. I changed the angle of the spin because Matt asked for it to be at a different angle, so that it could disappear behind the pillar a bit more.

Things I found hard with this shot in general was the handle. The drawings Matt had done of it weren't in extreme detail, so I had to kind of imagine what it would look like at certain angles as it span. I think I made it look 3D and believeable, but I expect it could do with a little improvement.

Making it come to rest was fun though. Making the fast part was probably more difficult, because I didn't want it to zoom too quickly.

Here's the vid of the sword in colour and in the scene. It only requires shading if it is properly finished


Tweening in Toon Boom

Toon Boom is a fantastic program, but I have yet to learn all the animation techniques, one of which includes tweening. Using the help of this tutorial, I will be learning how to do it properly. That way in future I can easily move things around without worrying about redrawing things needlessly.

I will also be doing a Livestream later of some animation in progress, so I'll have that uploaded too, fingers crossed!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Fonts for Degree Show Logo

Above is a rather tasty link to a blog, containing several fonts that I'd like to use or try and use as reference for my logos.

My favourites include:

After close inspection the guy's work and his opinions of how his work should be used, I have found out that his free fonts are only for personal use. I will not use these fonts. However, looking at these fonts have given me a good idea of how I'd like my logo to appear.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

New logo designs for Degree Show

Above are the fave logos that everyone on Facebook and Twitter voted for!

I have now made a fresh batch of designs for people to vote for, based on their votes. Here they are below:

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Shot 27 The Deep - Progress

Well, I've started to get somewhere with this shot. It's about half done now. Here are some thumbs I drew to help me with the poses and expressions

Critique from Matt

E-mail from Matt Vadis about recent updates. Important bits are highlighted:-

Hey Em

Sorry I'm not into today, gonna try and crack on at home, but i'll be in tomorrow and thurs.

Guardian reaction shot - looks good, the ears don't distract me anymore so I think it's done, nice one.

Don wrist shot - there's still something that's sticks out with this one. I think the animation is okay, but again it might be the consistency of style. I know it's a very short bit of animation so i think it will work. I'm having a bit of trouble playing it through blogger, lol, so maybe on wed or thurs I can take a look at the toon boom file and give you better feedback.

Sword spin - coming along nicely, the aerial shot is great - you've got the weight and centre of gravity really nicely. As for the appearance of the sword, use the circular handle one that you've drawn in one of your sketches, that's how i've drawn it in another scene so we can match up the style. As for the direction of the sword I've attached an edit to a screenshot of your animation in white. I always envisioned the sword going into the darkness heading behind the pillar, but having said that, if it is difficult to change keep going with what you've done, cos it looks good so far.

I'll take a better look at the toon boom files in person, but for now keep going with it. Thanks

Pretty happy with the feedback I got. I agree with pretty much everything he said. There are bits that need adjusting, and I wanna make sure they look good.
Here's the image he's talking about for the sword spin

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Ravensbourne Degree Show Logo designs

This is a kinda side project I've started for our end of year show. I really wanted to get involved with helping make this year something really memorable, and so I figured it'd be fun trying to help design the logo. This logo will be put up on posters and T-shirts. I had a little doodle sesh brainstorming ideas. Some are very rough and a little uninspired, but I wanted to try different fonts and stuff. I experimented with altering the Ravensbourne logo, and bringing in classic animation knowledge like the ball bounce and walk cycle, so they can help show the public exactly what we're about. I thought about incorporating pencils and stuff into the design, but I felt that Ravensbourne really likes pushing it's technological side of things, and pencils might seem a little old fashioned.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Sword Spin in scene test 1


Seems to be going fairly smoothly at the moment. I think the perspective of the sword may need some work later on, but I just want to place the action for now with the simple kite shape. Still a little more to do, then I can adjust and add detail

Sword science! episode 2 - Aerial shot


Here we have an above version of the spin test I am working on. I think it was a really wise decision, working simply like this first. I have a clear idea of how the sword spins now. Critically, I think the sword spins too quickly at the beginning of this test, so I should make sure I don't over do it in the real test. I really like the way the sword slows down though. Works really nicely!

Sword science! New shot

Okay this is a little complicated but I have basically been given a new shot to work on, which is a sword that has been disarmed, and skids across the floor spinning at the same time. The complicated part is working out the physics of how this will work. Matt gave me some sketches of the sword, and the kinda action he wanted it to take. Here are some Photoshop sketches loosely based on those drawings he gave me. They also show some perspective doodles with lots of circles. These represent the circumference of the sword spin. I also worked out that the circles will get closer and closer together the further away the sword goes and the slower it moves.

Below you can see the scene which Michelle has beautifully illustrated for the final film. I should try and use the vanishing point in this picture, otherwise the sword spin will look very odd.

Above is a slightly boring but important pic I did in ToonBoom depicting the circulations the sword will undergo, from a bird's eye view. I might animate this first so I can perfect the spinning simply first, with some simple copy and paste.

Then I will do the real thing.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Updated Smitten reaction shot

Now with smaller and less flappy ears!


Might need to adjust this guys mouth at some point, but felt the ears were the priority to change for now

Tower shot revisited again AGAIN

Yes it's back again! Another test. Improved it drastically, though it still feels too robotic. I've included the bone, and I've exchanged the hand that slings the bone out the window. This is because he is eating the bone with his right hand in the previous scene. I was silly enough to forget that rather crucial point. Thanks Matt!

Here's a little screenshot showing my layout on toonboom

And here's the playblast


Monday, 16 May 2011

Tower shot revisited again

I'm sort of determined to nail this scene, which is something I have had to redo so many times before.

Here's another test, trying to simplify things more. After showing my previous test to Dan and Matt again, I realized I had put in FAR too much detail, for a shot that only appears for roughly 5 frames. So here's a copy and paste jobby, with a bit of rough arm animation.

I personally think it is a bit crap. The knight looks silly floating up in that same pose. However, animating him seems a bit pointless, espesh considering the camera pans up the tower. The face he is frozen may not be visible when panning at the same time.


Knight mmm test 02 with colour


Here's my more finished shot, with colour. The colours aren't exactly accurate to the model sheet, but they can easily be fixed.

EDIT - Matt isn't happy with how I've drawn this chappy unfortunately. Have given him the files so that he can update the look to match his style better. Can't help feeling a little frustrated with myself, espesh since I was quite pleased with the outcome, but Matt's boss, and I'm sure he'll make it a lot better.

Knight mmm test 01


I've given the group guard shot a rest for now, as there's other shots Matt wants me to work on. This here is a beat where the knight is sliding along the dining table towards the group of guards, and is thinking of what to do to defeat them.

It's not too overly exaggerated, but I'm thinking that I can adjust the angles and squash and stretch on the frames to give more exaggeration if necessary.

Will send this Matt's way for critique. Just need to add the left arm now, and then colour I guess.

Here's some doodles I did, to try and work out the best way to tackle the expressions

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Smitten - Update

And now on to Smitten

As you have already seen in one of my previous posts, I completed the Guard reaction shot. I am now doing another similar shot, except it includes 4 big brutes. They are reacting to a chicken being thrown at them.

This one has been tricky, because I have had to animate 4 characters. I've blocked out one already, and am moving on to the next one.

Matt said that these guys have different facial appearances, and come in varying sizes. Here's a expression sheet, with circles around the faces I chose for these 4 petrified pests!

Below you can see the sketch out of the poses, and the 1st guard drawn out.

The Deep - Update

Just a quick update!

I had a little trouble lately, because I realized that the scene I was given had some cameras and other things missing. I thought I was meant to put one in myself. I probs should have enquired more about whether the scene was going to have this stuff put in.

Anyway, I have the updated scenes I need to continue with my shots. I had to import Kid and his animation into the new scene, so that I could have it on there properly

Thankfully, the photo camera the boy carries now has proper animateable handles on it, so I can do more stuff with it without it falling apart and doing weird things.

Am going to finalize my shots I have done more, and also start shot 15, where he swims towards the sleeping Eel

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Smitten - Guard reaction shot WITH COLOUR + EARS I KID YOU NOT


Matt's reaction to this was much better then I thought! I loved it! I think the only critical thing he said was for me to add spikes to his hat, and to ensure that his ears are rounded in the animation.

Anyway here is an updated clip of the guard with his ears flapping away!

I didn't want to do too much overlapping here, because I felt that it might be too distracting.

EDIT - Talked to Matt about this clip, and he wants the ears to be less pointy and flappy. I kinda thought I'd need to do this. Oh well, will probs upload an update on this later on

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Deep - Shot 14 blockout


Here's a blockout of my next shot. Kid has just discovered the Eel, and is now swimming towards it. This is to show the Boy's reaction and determination to continue. I am also doing the next shot, which is a wide shot of him and the eel, the Kid still approaching with caution.

You can see that I have started to animate the feet already. I feel that this is always a good way to start refining a swimming shot, since the way he kicks and his body moves is key to making his swimming look believable. He surges forward a lot quicker, so I have to ensure his feet look as if they're doing more work.



Here you can see that the flippers are more animated, and I have had a go at altering his shoulders to flow with his movement. I have placed a box in there as the camera, again. I've decided I will do this for every scene I do to start with, since I'm not sure how I should scale it down yet. Basically, everyone in my group has the camera, but it isn't the right size, so we'll all be scaling it down. However, I want mine to be the same size as everybody else.

This shot seems to run too quickly at the moment, Kid seems to be rushing too much. He needs to be a little more cautious! Will slow him down a smidge

Monday, 2 May 2011

Smitten - Guard reaction shot WITH COLOUR I KID YOU NOT


Chuffed, I am!

I feel much better about my 2D animation after conquering this!

Here's a guard pulling a shocked expression after having his sword disarmed from him. I did a little playing around with squash and stretch, and anticipation here. I still need to do a bit of secondary animation with his ears, which should be fun!

Matt's verdict to come.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Updated playblast!


Stuff I've changed:

Camera position - I parented it to the right hand this time, as it should have been in the first place. Had to reanimate both hands. Also changed where the boy looks. Not too many issues, just some tedious pose adjusting.

Personal opinion: improvement! Needs expressions still, but I want to do the next shot now.

Shot 11 involves an over the shoulder shot of the boy swimming towards iceberg opening. Off I go!

Correct hand posing

I've done some reference photos with my grandad's old camera, to get an idea of how the hands should be shaped in my current "The Deep" test

Serious face is serious :V

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Resizing issues

Been trying to resize a camera object that is made up of several parts. It keeps coming apart!

Apple + G = Group Selection
Group Selection + Scale = WIN!

Rookie mistake, but I'm glad I got round this with the modeling genius, Fahran! Thanks man!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Smitten - Tower shot revised


Oh dear. It's not the best bit of animation I've done.

Well, it's taken me a while to get this animation to this point. I think some bits of this shot are ok, and then I think he is walking so awkwardly too. Ughh.

After this shot I need to animate him cartwheeling, and then after THAT will be doing some shots that focus on expressions. Yay, my speciality!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Deep - Shot 8 Playblast 1



So, what dya think?

This shot is the part where Kid has already left the sub, and is looking around the ocean before heading for the massive iceberg. The shot has the blocking done, and some bits of animation on the shoulders and hands. I parented the box (camera subsitute) to the boy's hand, so that I don't need to faff around with animating them separately.

Had some issues with animating the left hand. It kept doing that weird spinning thing that happens occasionally, I think probs because I rotated it wrong. Anyway, I fixed that problem. I have also realized that I should have placed the camera in his right hand, not his left. I'm not sure whether this'll be a problem right now, but I had agreed with Mel that his right hand is his strongest. Mmmm. I shall discuss this further with Mel later. We need to keep in cognito. The beginning part shoul probably be a little slower too. He's underwater, so I think he should be a bit more slow motion.

The next stage is refining the arms and hands a bit more, then animating his head and legs. :D

Sunday, 17 April 2011

*IPP* Louie Del Carmen

Louie Del Carmen wrote a very kind e-mail giving me some feedback on an animatic I did a while ago! Here's the correspondence below:

Dear Emma,

Sorry it took so long to get back to you.  Now for the feedback to your short......    

Overall I like the idea of the story.  I like the "hunter becomes the hunted" theme and thought that you told the story as best as you can with the boards that you drew.  Here's my recommendations on how you can best improve your work:


1.  Drawing -  although boards tend to be rough, there is a certain line quality and level of drafting that is expected.  Basically what you see on most "art of" feature animation books is what you should shoot for as far as quality of drawing.
2.  Staging/Framing/Compositions -  Some of your shots are decent but overall I am missing some dynamic cutting and framing as well as use of creative staging. 
3.  Acting / character development -  I'd like to see you come up with designs that are really appealing and pushed.  Consequently I feel that your contrasts in acting can be pushed further as well.


I felt that the timing is very even and quite sluggish overall.  The animatic or reel is your chance to simulate movement and animation so use it your advantage.  Learn better timing and spacing and plan your shots more carefully.  


Improve your drawing and film making and your boards will improve concurrently.  Remember that you are the film maker which means you are the director of your own movie.  Therefore you have the responsibility of holding the audiences interest and you should do everything in your power to make your story the best as it can be.

I hope this helps.  Take care and much luck.

Best regards,


Name: Emma Wyton 

The visitor commented:
Subject: Feedback on animatic

Hey Louie!

I just want to start by saying congratulations on all the fantastic work you've done! I am immensely inspired by your success and have really enjoyed looking at your work and watching your interview on CGMW. I am a huge fan of Dreamworks, and had a riot seeing Megamind recently

I have been working on my storyboarding and animatic skills lately at Ravensbourne College in England, and recently completed an animatic for a pitch.

I was wondering whether you could give me a little feedback on how I can improve. Would that be okay? I understand you are busy with the recent film "Rise of the Guardians", but if you do have a spare moment, I would greatly appreciate it!Here's a link to the vid. My friend helped me upload it. you very much!

I look forward to hearing from you

 Emma Wyton

 All in all, extremely positive, though it definitely highlights areas of my work that needs editing, to help perfect it.