Wednesday, 31 October 2012

paper pumpkin

hey it's halloween . . here is the paperboy pumpkin I made last year, you could download it from sadlucy and make one for yourself.  Fill it with water and throw it at your neighbours.  If you are in London tonight why not come and see us do our halloween show in Bethnal Green for the Ministry of Stories . . . 

Sunday, 7 October 2012


You might have noticed the new "wallpaper" here on this blog, and its actual wallpaper that I made for the cafe scenes in the new animation . . . a lot of the film (written by John McIlduff) is about smell and so I designed wallpaper for this scene with things that I like the smell of most . . and that is ferns and tadpoles.  Now i need to make some more for another scene but I ran out of smells i like now . . .  

Thursday, 4 October 2012

peter, lily and the nose video diary 4: (subtitled, how to be organised . . . . )

I should probably space this out a bit more, posting up videos, but as this is kind of part 2 to the last video it's okay . . .

another compositing test for Peter Lily and the Nose

here is a brief scene from the film, trying out more layering techniques . . .

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

how animating can improve your life: part one

I realised while I've been filming scenes that although animation is not the ideal medium for someone like me who finds it hard to sit still and be quiet, it's actually somewhat therapeutic, I'm finding it has benefits that are improving my every-day life (apart from not getting any vitamin D) so I've started to make a few films with some of my thoughts about this . . . actually I could have just written it down, but I decided to talk about it instead, here is part one: how animation can bring you into a peaceful state of mind . . .

Peter, Lily and the Nose: compositing tests

This week I have started filming some scenes for my animation, and working with shadow-puppets it is the shortest part of the whole process for me, most of the time consuming work is making the puppets and trying to work out what they'll need to do and making different replacement hands and faces, and it's weird to realise after filming a scene that it took two or three days to cut out and design, but only maybe 30 minutes to film and then it's finished with.  I'm trying to do only one or two takes for each scene, I want it to feel spontaneous and not too laboured over.   When I read about other people making animation I get the feeling that we are all making it up as we go along - the process is old and simple, but you have to concentrate totally and react to how the puppets are moving and respond and make changes on the spot, and it's different for every film, sometimes every scene, the puppets don;t always move the way you imagined.

In this film I'm building up layers of animations to create the scenes - and here is an example I've roughly composited to see if it's working okay . . . I'll show you the process, starting with the first take, which I had to abandon as soon as I watched the playback, as the puppet already wasn't working very well - you can have a look here, Lily, the main girl character is slipping around on the motorbike . .

I thought it would give her character a dangerous vitality if she wasn't fixed down, but it just looked weird and floaty . . . so I added a pivot point to her bottom and I think it gives her a better sense of weight.  I layered this video with a pencil animation of the rain (which i posted earlier this year if you want to have a look) and an animated continuously moving cityscape background, the buildings were made in a loop so I could animate it for as long as i needed instead of just looping the footage like I did with the rain:

Here is the scene with all three parts layered together: