Posts Tagged ‘animation’

What Women Want

December 25, 2012

I don’t believe people really think about the practicalities of the things they off handedly request for Chirstmas. Having said that I don’t think people really want the things they say they do.

At about 2.40am yesterday morning I had the urge to animate a little.

16 hours later and I finished, only taking short breaks for eating and to use the toilet. More impressive (to me anyway) is the fact that I hadn’t slept since the previous day.

Despite the fact that there is still some colouring that I would have liked to have done, I don’t think it’s too much of a problem in the grand scheme of things. The main thing is that the joke comes across.

First thing I did was make a background. I then animated stick men straight ahead using the pencil tool, this was the quickest part of the process. I then went over this with the brush tool very loosely and coloured santa red.

Interestingly (to those that are interested) I recorded the audio about 14hrs in then spent 5 minutes on rough mouth movements which do the job well enough. I then spent an hour on sound and an hour putting it all together.

Wierd way of doing things.

Although I would not reccomend this method of working I find it amazing what a person can achieve when they’re on a roll. However as a result of going to sleep after awake being awake for 35hours my eye sockets hurt and part of my brain still isn’t responding yet insists on hitting itself against the inside of my skull.


Cold Call

January 4, 2012

What better way to start the year than with a nice little bit of animation?!?

I am often asked by people ‘how long does it take to make/complete an animation?‘ And I find it slightly frustrating, not because I don’t have an answer but because the answer I usually give never seems quite adequate enough and I am often rewarded with a blank face still expecting an answer.

I will clarify it. How long is a piece of string? There are so many variables.

It comes down to three things; Time (as in time available vs looming deadline) Money/Man power and Technique/quality. These determine more or less how long an animation (or anything else for that matter) will take.

The more people producing images, backgrounds and or colouring, etc means things will be quicker as they can all work in tandem. The more detailed or complex the drawings are or fluid the animation is the longer it will take as each individual image has to be drawn.

This animation should have taken a week to complete but ended up being spread out over a month and taking a little longer. Which is odd since there isn’t a lot going on or even any colour. The rough animation was done fairly quickly, and it was the cleaning up that took the longest.


Something for Nothing

November 16, 2011

This is a bit of a long one and there aren’t many pictures so bare with me.

I had an interview for a potential job a week or so ago. I spoke with one of the interviewers on the phone prior to the interview to see what they were all about and set it up. After the conversation I had a look at their websites and still wasn’t 100% sure what they did. There were 3 websites, each providing a different service all of which looked like they’d been made using the same template. I had a suspicious feeling but went down all the same because I would like some paid animation work and you shouldn’t judge a company by its website – well in some cases you can .

The guys interviewing me were nice enough although it took a while for them to get to the point of what they wanted me to do. I am told that they’re a bunch of technical guys with no creative art worker types working for them at present.

They want me as an ‘intern’ for 2 months during which time I would produce (by myself) numerous 60 second promos that succinctly communicate what their products are. I would have the opportunity to learn project management, and business. There would also be the opportunity to potentially get work from their future clients. They would pay for my travel.

I have a think about it.

My main motivation for working there would be to earn money animating and to learn more. Am I animating? Yes. Am I earning money? No. Will I be learning more about animation from people more experienced than myself? No.

1 out of 3 isn’t good enough for me so I decline politely via email:

I get a text at 4.16pm:

60 second animation, relatively simple, will take about a week to complete if working slow, budget £150 to work from our office, interested?

In what way is it simple? How do you know it will take one week? Is there a script? Why would I work slow? Is it story-boarded/animatic made? Do I have to design characters Am I just animating? I have so many more questions nevertheless I give them the benefit of the doubt and reply:

I’ll do it for £650. What facilities do you have in your office for animating?

They say:

Full time junior animators don’t get paid that much, It’s for boots and it’s cheaper to get our internal to do it. We use imacs. I believe you need to build a portfolio of published work before you can start quoting higher rates. Too expensive. Thanks though 🙂

If that’s the case why even ask me? Furthermore why was I not interviewed by the internal, someone who presumably knows something about animation? They’re bullshitting me and want something for nothing. I respond:

A week of work to me equates to 40hours. Full time juniors salary range from £420 -£625 a week (20-30k pa). Even if I wanted to work 40 hours at £150 (£3.75 an hour) I would effectively be paying to work.

They say:

I see how you have worked it out. We base it on what you get after tax for 3 days, we turn over about 30 million a year on ad contracts, clients including apple, boots, pepsicon, LG and many more. As projects are unpredictable, for animation we have 1 full time after effects senior and contract in juniors for specific projects. Budgets are always strict, will keep your details on file and contact you when your experience justifies 650for 3 days work 🙂

This is followed up by another text minutes later before I have sent my reply:

Just to give you a little more info, if you go online, use the reed salary calculator which give he going market rate for any job, animators in London get 18k,after tax etc, it works out to 304 a week for experianced  2d animator. Hope you find this helpful. Regards.

I don’t mind that I am being spoken down to or that they use smileys in their texts (it says more about them), but they’re wrong and the bullshitting persists. Who is this animator? Why wasn’t I interviewed by them and why wasn’t I directed to or shown any of their work? How does 3 days translate as a week? I’m obviously dealing with real pros here so I decide to negotiate my fee just to see how they respond.

Ah 3 days! £50 a day.  If that were a 10 hour day that would work out at £5 an hour. If you can double to £10 an hour you’d find a hard working animator at your service for the duration of the project. I’m sure that would be no budgetary strain for a company with a £30 million turnover.

I never received a reply, I guess my demands were too unrealistic. Oh well, back to the weekend markets for me, I obviously need to brush up on my haggling skills. In the mean time I’m going to be putting that photographic memory power I received from the accident at the toxic waste plant to use:


Flash to Photoshop – Importing Flash Animations Into Photoshop

September 25, 2011

I have made a really basic no frills guide to getting animation work from Adobe Flash into Photoshop.


Here’s why…

Both programs have their strengths and weaknesses: Flash is easy to use, quick to animate in and it’s simple to change the timings or order of images around. It only has two ‘brushes’ the pencil tool and the brush, giving only a few options in terms of the lines you can get if you include the four or so style options the pencil tool has. In Photoshop you can use brushes and create your own if you want, there are unlimited possibilities. However animating in photoshop is a clunky and doesn’t flow well.

Here is a way of combining the best of both worlds.

One can use Flash for the basic animation; whether this is just simple shapes or really rough drawings, like in the 1st or 2nd stages of the character development in image below.

When one is satisfied with the animation exporting a png sequence and importing it into Photoshop is simple. Once in photoshop there are any number of options from brushes, colour or textures…and more! (I can stress that enough) For instance a just going over the rough work with a brush tool (taking the character to the 3rd stage as seen in the image above) makes a hell of a difference, just experiment.

The guide I have made HERE simply shows you one way of transferring work from Flash to Photoshop.


Choir Boy

August 17, 2011

What started as a simple lip synching exercise using sounds of Arnold Schwarzenegger devolped into an intense 12hour+ animation frenzy.

It made perfect sense to turn him into the Hulk especially since Arnie didn’t get the role in the 1970’s TV show because he was apparrently too short.

This seems unfair to me because it didn’t stop Elijah Wood getting the part of Frodo for being too tall. You can do a lot with in camera magic and how short is ‘short’? Arnie is at least 6ft 2”! Ridiculous.

If he had been in it I have no doubt it would have been bigger than Star Trek.

The title came last minute mostly because i’m not a big Superman fan (let’s face it he’s just an intergalactic stepchild) and I couldn’t quite figure who Arnie (as the hulk) would be saying that to.