Saturday, 27 February 2010


So my progress is coming along quite well after all the problems i have lately had. I have almost finished the bass guitarist. The main issue i am having is the lack of movement that he has. The rig of the sheep is very simple so i am not able to do much with him, which i never realised until now. My sheep has no movement in his body or legs due to only having one part of a rig for them all which i can not work with. The only movement i could have him doing is going up and down, or his waste can move forward or backwards. All this is not really the type of movement you would do during a stage performance. In the actual video, Daniel does not do a lot of movement his self, so the rest of the band staying in the same type of pace could work better as an overall piece.

In the last few days i have really wanted to change the whole character to the mooom rig as he has a lot more handles to be able to animate. I have done as much movement that i can without messing up the weight of him. Another thing that bothers me is that as he has no hands i have had to use his whole arm to show that he is actually meant to be playing. He also has, head, ear and foot movement.

The thing i am most happy with at this moment in time, is the secondary action i have in the ears, i think this really helps to make the animation more realistic. Even though i do not have much movement, this helps as you give more focus to the head.

The timing has been fairly hard to get when you have all the instruments playing at the same time but i took a lot of time to just focus on this to get the best timing i could. The thing i am most worried about in this is the lack of movement due to the rig and if i had a few more weeks i would change the whole character! Maybe this is something i could work on after this project to see the difference between the two characters.

I am unsure i will have the time to complete my drummer as i only have a week to complete him and i need to think about the lighting as well as, rendering and editing in final cut pro. But the one thing i need to keep in mind is that we were only meant to do a 30 second piece and mine is one minute 10 seconds, so already i have doubled the work, let along doing this with two characters. I have given myself far to much work and i need to set myself future goals because i seem to give myself to much do to which i do not seem to realise until it is to late.
I have still done alot of work and i shall do as much of the drummer as i can, and if i do not complete this i shall post up a playblast from maya of what i had done to give you an idea on what it would have looked like.

For the ending of my piece when the music stops due to a electrical fault. I have decided to have the bassist throw his guitar with anger. This gives other movement and pace to my animation. I am going to have the drummer throw his drum sticks and Daniel walks off stage. With a range of different things at the ending, it creates a different pase and the audience may even think about what could have happened afterwards, like a type of cliff hanger if you like.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Machine Head concert

Last night i went to see Machine Head live at Brixton academy. There were two support acts before the main band came on so i was not playing attention to how they were playing, i was mainly just dancing around with excitement. After them two acts i was pretty beaten and tired so i went upstairs where i could sit down to watch the main set.

I am really glad i done this, not just for my health if you will, but i was able to see the whole stage and actually look at how they move whilst playing.
I must say though that this band is heavy metal, so the movement was pretty intense. One thing i really took into account was the drummer, even though he was playing he pretty much was head banging throughout the show, this head was pretty close to the drum set, so i am guessing that he was not sitting all that close to the actual drum set but leaned over so that he could get better movement.
My song is fairly soft rock so i now mine will not be quite as mad as what a heavy metal band would be, but this has definitely made me want to play around with my sheep more, so that he actually looks like he is really enjoying his music.

As for the guitarist there were more swaying movements then anything else, which could be quite a nice effect for my sheep as i was worried that he would look a little dull. My last project featuring the sheep looked a little stiff, so i want to insure that i improve on this.

Overall i think this had opened my eyes to what movements i can do and it was great seeing it at first hand. My scene is meant to be on a stage too, so this is pretty much the best type of research i could do. I recorded a few videos too, but one, this website doesn't want me to upload any and the sound was pretty bad anyway, but there are a few images i was able to capture, whilst during the show.

I do have others but the quilty or lighting ruin them


My animation is on its way but i am having a few problems which seem to be fairly hard to fix, unless i had a key frame on each gap. Steve said that if i was to work on FK mode instead of IK then i would have a much smoother movement. I thought i had this but it turns out that i do not. So, my animation is not going to look a smooth as what i hoped which could be quite damaging to my grade. If the quilty of my footage was not bad enough i now have this to add to it. All i can do at this moment in time is keep my head done, get on with my work, and hope for the best.

I have started working on my drummer first, as this is more complex and i want to insure that i will get this finished in time. My main issue at the moment is when my sheep puts his arms up with the drum sticks, the drum sticks do the same 90 degree movement which is rather off putting and something that real drummers so not do. I am able to fix most of my little problems with the graph editor but i am still learning how to use it properly but it is definitely something that helps my animation.
As i have done a beginning, middle and end for my work, i think i have given myself more work to do as i have a solid minute animation to do with two characters, where we only had to do 30 seconds with one character or prop. I have given myself to much work to do but i am hoping that i will be able to complete this to a decent standard. It is to early days to say if i think my animation will be successful or not. Next week is going to be a solid week on this project so i shall be able to see how things are going then.

Monday, 15 February 2010


So can you believe after all the trouble i had with my footage, i was able to complete my tracking in one lesson. Everything finally paid back as i know tracking your scene can be a tricky thing to do. I was able to do ten tracking points which were mainly on the ground as i had some nice black points from the style of the wooden flooring. I had a couple of complications but that is to be expected. Out of the ten ten tracking points i had around two problems.

Tracking is actually a hell of a lot easier that what i thought, when we were shown the tutorial from our teacher Steve, for some reason i thought i would have the world of trouble trying to get the right sort of tracking points, but luckily for me, they were pretty much set up for me.

even though i had a lot of issues getting to this stage i am still glad i done my own footage and i can happily animate. I did look for film scenes from films such as School of Rock and even the latest E4 programme Glee, but every time i ever saw the stage it was always accompanied by people, and i did not want to interact with others with was not the type of music i wanted to do.

The only worries i have at this stage is that as my footage is such a small file, i will have to scale my sheep rather small and this could take away a lot of detail from my scene. I am hoping that there is a way around this as this could really effect my grade.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Recording my own footage

Hello and welcome to my second industry exercise. For this project i am doing an editing piece, where i take a scene of footage from a film and edit your own animation to it. I had two ideas in mind to begin with.

The first one was a scene from the film Hancock, where he is sitting on a bench then suddenly rockets up from his seat to fly. I wanted to include some extra props into the scene, for example some extra buildings which he could fly around or anything he could possibly interact with. This was a no no from my teacher Steve as he said that there is already too much happening in the scene that my audience wouldn't really take any notice of my added piece.

My second idea was to use a scene from Batman the Dark Knight, where the joker is trying to blow up the hospital. I wanted to add in an extra character to interact with the building blowing up. I would have had him jumping out of the building, and trying to run for his life. OR, i would have had a character interacting with the joker by mocking him about not being able to blow up the building. This was also a no no due to all the special effects from the building blowing up that again, there wouldn't be much concentration on my animation.

So, after a chat with Steve he suggested about me doing something along the same lines as my last project with my sheep playing the drums and guitar and actually make a band. When he said this i really thought this idea could work. Straight away i already had in mind what i wanted to do, which was to get my boyfriend Daniel to play guitar on a stage (as he is in a band) and pretend to have the sheep by him so that he could interact with them. I wanted to make sure that i had a beginning, middle and end as i went straight into the music scene in my last project which i did not like.


After the first bunch of video's i found the quality to be very poor, which really effected me, i can not believe that i brought a camera which only turned out to be rather disappointing. It really just shows that i do need the top of the range video equipment to produce a good piece of work.
I had many troubles being able to use a stage as nowhere would let me now theirs, which was a little confusing to me. After many searches i has to settle for a recording studio called "Scream Studios", this is why the setting is not to my taste.

After being disappointed with the first set i went on the road to do another bunch of recording in a different setting.

Second Recording

Okay so, good news! I was able to get a better setting after a lot of hassling with them, they finally gave up and let me use their stage for half hour. I was able to create the type of scene i wanted for my stage and had a longer range so that i can fit the rest of my band easier. Also, as i forgot to have movement in my scene, this gave me the opportunity to correct my errors.

Sadly the quilty is still the same as i was unable to get another camera due to the cost of my latest one. I am hoping that i was be able to make me sheep a little pixalated like my scene so that they do not look like they have just been placed in. I will hopefully be able to achieve this with Final Cut Pro.

After weeks of being behind my class due to all the problems which i had with my footage, which was something my teachers were worried about, i am finally leveling up.