Fiddling with (Perfecting?) the bsckground

I seem to have hit an impass with the colours cjosen for the round(wooting) bird and the backgrounds. Nothing works! Here are my most recent attempts using Adobe Kuler and searching “leave”, “plant”, and “branch” to see what other people came up.

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I’m really liking these. I believe the darker backgrounds (behind the leaf) work better than the lighter ones for the darkness of the leaf and branch themselves help the colour of the birds pop out.
It took a lot of trial and error, but I can finally say I enjoy these and am most likely going to go with them.


The Survival Guide

Whilst constantly struggling with the bounce effect of the Wooting Bird looking succesful in my animation, I decided one early Monday morning to take refuge inside the Animation Survival Guide, praying that there would be some helpful information that I hadn’t already considered/attempted. I began, where I began in first year. At page one. Bizarrly, I have a fascination with the introduction to this guide, it’s strangely terrifying and motivating at the same time.

I know that animating a bouncing ball was one of the, or, actually the first University Animation Task those years ago in first semester (back when I had just learnt to cook shepards pie succesfully – for some reason those memories blend together).

Starting at page 36 is where the magic truly begins “it’s all in the timing and spacing.” In which the depiction of a bounding ball is shown frame by frame and the overlapping and timing is mapped out superbly. It isn’t until p.56 that I started to get a resemblance onto where I was going wrong, how the spacing of the inbetweens can affect the outcome and dividing the frames equally can have a profoundly negative effect on the animation alongside the extremes (p. 52).

In page 94, the bounding ball is depicted explicitely with a sequence of drawings exploring where the ‘contact’ should be, and where it shouldn’t be. When the ball lands on the ground, the force causes if to compact, this gives it more life. Meaning that when it uses the momentom to move onwards and upwards, the speed of the knteracrion withthe surface causes it to warp and strech  more quickly then it landed (by drawing the frame slightly higher than the point of contact).

After studying all this and doing my own quick practices, ( , ) I’ll give the animated bird another go. Hoewever, I believe my problem lives mostly in the speed in which the bird shoots off the ground (there’s not enough spacefor the necessary frames required, perhaps?)

The Animating Begins

I began animating in photoshop using a small blue pencil (10px wide). I have since deleted it (foolishly) after going over it with a red charcoal brush, in an attempt to neaten the lines so that they’re  more understandable. This animation is still in it’s rough stages and will need improving before I go over the lines in an attempt to finalise it.

Animating to sound is something I found quite difficult. I attempted to dope sheet the bird’s whistling but this seemed unhelpful because I couldn’t get it right. After an hour or so of trying, I threw it away and moved onto classic pencil and paper.

I began making notes of what happens in each sequence of frames (whilst going frame by frame in premierpro). In my first set of notes, I seperated the different movements. This helped me get an idea of how much work each section would be.


After doing that, I went through the soundfile and made notes of eat time the whistling was louder and quiter. This is because I wanted the beak of the bird to open wider when the whistle was louder (meaning I needed to get the timing exact).


However, when I went to animate, this proved difficult to figure out for I had marked down the seconds as they happened in the entire animatic (therefore my frame counts began at 29s 11f) but the photoshop file when animating began at 0secs 0frames. So I did my calculations again (see image bellow), after making a new sequence in PremierPro and ajusting the times accordingly. As you can see in the photograph bellow, the timecode in the video is in the correct seconds and frames for the entire animatic, but the timecode in the softare itself is reset to 0seconds 0frames at the start of this scene.


I also went through and rewrote the frames of the whistle using these new found calculations for easy access.


Once I had finished animating that sequence, I moved on and calculated the bouncing of the other bird in the next shot using this exact same method.


There was probably a much much easier way of doing all this, but this tis the way I did it. Isn’t there a saying: If it looks stupid and it works, it aint stupid. Or at least, I hope it isn’t!

So after all that and countless hours sat unmoving animating the whole rough animation.Here it is so far. It’s not perfect and far from finished, but it’s a step in the right direction.



Background for Animation

I started with some warm up exercices using doted technique and a variety of bright colours.



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When that proved unsuccesful, I decided to go with a more traditonal colour palett. However, I found difficulty in deciding on the background colour.

To make my choice easier, I imported a see-through screenshot from the storyboard.


When importing the see through image didn’t help, I took the final designs and imported the two birds side  by side. This showed me that the green shade I had chosen was too dark therefore I brightened it.

It looks fine in my opinion, but I carried on experimenting with colour anyway, using complimentary colours.

Changing Wooting Bird’s Colours

Because of the change in story (where the Wooting Bird is no longer a nightime species), I’ve decided to change its colours (because apparently I don’t hate myself enough).

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character-emotion-wb-1character-emotion-wb-2character-emotion-wb-3character-emotion-wb-4With the help of Adobe Kuler, Google, my friends and my own knowledge, I succesfully changed it to a colour I am happy with. However, oncew I put both of the birds side by side, the colours didn’t really work and i tweaked it a little until I found something I was contempt with.


I think the red contrasts well with the green, and the yellow helps keep them looking apart of the same story (if that makes sense..). Now onwars to changing the colours of the storyboard and animatic… yay….. *cries*


Copy-Written Music Trials

I spent my Sunday re-adding sounds to my Animatic as well as taking on tutor feedback and trying a bunch of different music. Here are six rough attempts. (By the way, I know the timecode is at 30fps, I will fix that in for the next blog post).

It’s worth noting that I only did half the video for this one because 1) Really wasn’t liking the vibe and 2) the song didn’t carry on well after the uplifting moment. I attempted to add different songs afterwards (i.e. Everything You Do by He Is We; Mr. Brightsky by ELO etc.) but because I’m so untalented in this department, I was unable to blend the two tunes together successfully without it sounding jarring.

The Counting Stars blend is my favourite one of the bunch, which is surprising because I don’t particularly like the song, I just feel like the timing works well and the change of tune 21 seconds in is quite effective.

The Nicest Thing Animatic is the only one of the bunch that has lyrics. Not because I couldn’t find an instrumental versi- Well, actually, I couldn’t find an instrumental version. But, that’s not the point! I think the timing of the lyrics and the lyrics themselves work quite well. It doesn’t make their encounter extremely overwhelming which I’m not really sure is a good thing, nor a bad thing at the moment.

Monday’s Work and USB Drama

So I did a lot of work on my Animatic on Monday in Chris’ session as well as back home in preparation for Manchester Animation Festival (knowing I wouldn’t have any time to work on it until the weekend). Like a fool, I forgot to back it up that Monday evening (which I’ve gotten into the habit of doing everynight) and all my latest work lived on a USB I had just bought. Which I lost…in Manchester……. Sooooo, basically, I lost my entire sound file compilation as well as my audition files/works and the only copy I have of the Animatic in the blog post bellow is from my google drive. This has majorly set me back and not to mention I lost a lot of steam with this project and am profoundly dragging my feet. I struggled immensely with sound and knowing I have to do it all again from basically scratch has really done one over on me. I am to blame, and I know that, but I just wanted to vent.

..Well, better get back on the horse so they say! *sigh*…

Animatic with sounds

It took some time for me to find the right foly sounds. Particularly because my name wasn’t added to the list in order to book out the mics after Chris’ first session. I went to freesoundcloud and asked Cahrlotte to book out a Zoom H4n for me to record birds.

The city wasn’t the best place to record because there was so much background sound of vehicles and people. This goes agaimst the natural jungle type theme I has envisioned. Fortunately Charlotte needed to take pictures for her project of the wilderness, so we took a train one rainy afternoon and ventures out into Hope Valley. It took some time, but in the small village of Bamford, we found someone’s back garden. It had bird feeders all over it and enough birds to satisfy my needs.

In this animatic, I added foly sounds I had recorded, as well as the sounds from freesoundcloud. The main one being the jungle atmospheric recording someone had done during their visit to brazil. It’s barely audible in the animatic because the other sounds and music over powers it, but I reckon it adds a sense of realism to the story’s location.

The music was something I really really struggled with. After spending 5-6hrs looking for music that worked together (one sad, one happy) and blending them in so that the transition from one to the other was almost unrecognisable, I felt contempt and pleased with the outcome. However, the feedback I received mentioned that the music was a bit too ‘twee’ and sounded like ‘someone was overcoming an amputation.’ Needless to say, I was urged to try out and experiment with other types of music.

This is fair enough, but with the Animation Festival, othee modules and animatadore planning, it’s hard to sit there for that many hours looking for copywrite-free effective soumds. This leavs me wondering if the proxy music even has to be copywrite free (seeing as it’s okay to have temporary music in the animatics for cmp until next semester). This is something I hope to get an answer to once Mel has recovered from feeling unwell.For now I will work under the assumption that copywritten music is allowed as proxy/temporary music and carry on from there.