Dec 18, 2012

fruit of my labors: informative test

Bertie (animation/concept test) from Ana Kim on Vimeo.

alrighty, so. i wasn't going to post this, because it's not a very successful piece, but i guess it is an important part of my research and process, so i will post. i guess it's successful in that i learned a lot from doing it. also maybe you guys could give me feedback i haven't heard already?

i'm well aware of the compositing issues (green screening 101 in the works, here), but feel free to point out anything. i'm going to try backlighting my character with a magenta gel....and if i have studio space, hopefully i can move the set up further away from the greenscreen itself.

what i have coming next is a new version of Bertie; that is, i will finally put together the ball and socket armature parts that i ordered in the fall, and make a few adjustments to his design. this time i will put a hand tie down, too, so i can anchor the camera to his hand. (advice from our awesome guest critic).
i think i have to make the felted wool a bit more solid, too.

as for the set, i'm going to use different surface material and try to make things really smooth and lumpy, like in the surrealist paintings i've posted before.

and the blobs, of course. .......more brainstorming, but i think the replacements worked. now it's just....trying to get some flexibility in the movements, since i want to have many, many.

my peers and teachers have given me really good sound advice, particularly about the voices i slapped in to match the blob. seeing as it was done during the frantic night before my last crit, i wholeheartedly agree, hahaha.

sorry for the blabbering! happy winter break, and i'll try to post a holiday doodle soon!

Dec 15, 2012

it's a little late, but here's some pastel concept stuff that i did for my film about 3 weeks ago. it's the most accurate, in terms of how i envision my film to look like, ultimately. one of my teachers sort of suggested that perhaps i do my film in 2D with pastels. yea....not happening. HAHA. although! i've always, always, always wanted to do a pastel animation in the style of the Hubley' particular "The Tender Game." i've probably fangirled about it on my blog several times, haha.

ANYWAY, i completed a little video....animation/concept test, more like, yesterday. my intermediate stopmotion final! i used it as a test for my senior film. it doesn't quite look like how i wanted, but  i think the result also surprised me, too. i'll upload that by the end of the day.

Dec 7, 2012

still from test animation

test animation coming along. going very slowly, as usual. but walk cycle is not as mind boggling as last year!
you know, i really like this character, lol. i feel like there's a lot i haven't learned about him, yet. hopefully i won't inhibit him too much, like my puppets last year.
the final set will look more globular and....finished, lol. not an old science project. and NO MOAR ACRYLIC PAINT. so shiny...badbad.
i think i'd like to fill the space with more bounced light, next time, too.

my brain hurts. end of the semester, in one week!

he's photogenic, isn't he~ this might be one of those proud parent moments. HE HAS A BUTT.

though i'm really looking forward to building him again. soon!

Dec 4, 2012

blob update

the past 2 weeks I wracked my brain and tried to pick others' brains, too, on how I could achieve the look/animation I wanted for the floating blobby things in my senior film.

somehow I thought I'd give underwater live-action shots a try. 

except, the glass of the tank clouds everything, and I learned that balsa wood is SUPER DUPER buoyant (should have been a duh fact, haha), and well. it didn't work.

here's me sometime during the night last week. note the worsening acne. gross, but indicative of finals season.

I talked to my teachers some more, and all signs pointed towards trying replacement blobs. I saw Piotr Kamler's Une Mission Éphémère, and of course it had beautiful replacement animation, so. In desperate it goes.

so! clay blobs with balsa cores, so I could drill holes in them if necessary. I hashed out a short loop on paper, first.

The animation test came out ok, so that was that. No more time to test anyway, so I hope it won't look too badly! At least, for this semester...

Set time~

bought joint compound

I thought I'd try to texture it in a cool way, but it looked nearly as derpy as the botched plaster (the chunky blue mound) attempt, so I smoothed it back before it started to harden.

painted black blob on rig! 

set pieces covered in joint compound.

did some new pastel concept sketches. my film idea is slowly coming together. I have the pieces, I think, but still figuring out how they can fit together. I still don't think making a storyboard for my particular film will help...last year it made me feel pressured into thinking the film had to be a very logical sequence of events.

Nov 25, 2012

filmmaking process

(click to see bigger)

oh my blob

okie, so basically the things i've tried to solve this blob fabrication problem with.....have failed, haha.

first i tried clay on aluminum wire, slathered with baby oil to get the shininess i wanted. but the oil just made everything melty, and it was difficult to make the movements smooth, frame by frame.

then i thought maybe if i waxed a surface, ink could bubble up and i could have an easier time manipulating it. but it still leaves an obvious trail. it looks too flat, too....

next i'm going to try a water balloon shot live action under water. if i tie a stick to it, the movements could turn out okay...bobbing motion.

and then if THAT doesn't work, maybe ink/paint in oil.

and if THAT doesn't work, i'll be out of time and won't be able to do this concept at all by the end of the semester, HAHA. but i'm really hoping the water balloons will work. i must have da blobs! they encase trapped souls.....then who will Bertie interact with??? 
since it's winter, i couldn't find water balloons at nearby stores. off to amazon....i've basically been throwing my money at amazon this semester. nooo. 

three weeks left this semester. ho mai gaht.

also, isn't this piece of animation crazy??

Nov 18, 2012

Wong Kar Wai

here's an interview of Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai, from 2000 in France, about his film "In The Mood For Love." i think he is my favorite director.

Nov 15, 2012

Bertie 1.0

I have to say that I learned a shit-ton while completing this puppet. So when I do the ball and socket version of him in a few weeks, he will look a bit different. I want to position his head as it relates to the neck better, and fill him out a little, exaggerate the proportions a bit.

Not bad for a first time go, I think, but there is a lloootttt more to test/think about for the background. I have no idea if I'm behind or not, but this is the best pace I can go without sacrificing the quality of my idea too much.

eeeeee. Somehow I need to create floating black blobs in his environment. What to do....

also I need to make him a tiny camera ^^


Nov 8, 2012

test-version Bertie, almost there

this is how i can move Bertie's eyes~

added a mouth, ears, and his horns. my friends are telling me it looks like he's doing the duck lips, haha.  maybe on the final version i will soften them. what do you think?

I painted the balsa white so i could paint on an evenly colored surface

 and painted face! tada~

the wool is tricky, especially since it's my first time. I tried felting a thin layer on a mat, then gluing on the head. it worked! but trying to felt some more wool while it's attached as it's shown below was too difficult, so i had to rip it off. I think what i'll have to do is to make thin layers in sections, then glue them on.

 i'm away from school for the next two days, but i've been felting his body in the meanwhile.

this is Bertie on the train ^^ it was great because i was in the quiet car HAHA.

yay. after the felting, all that's left is his hands and feet. he's going to have black nails, to match his horns.
oh, also his eyelids. that'll be tricky...
i've been thinking what i'll need to do differently in the final version, and i'll have to move his horns up a little to make room for his eyebrows, perhaps change his mouth, and remember that the wood texture will show through the paint if i don't smooth magic-sculpt over it, too.

although, i don't mind the texture coming through. hm.

also i'm learning that you have to felt the wool very lightly when you're building up the general shape, because you can't undo it if it's stiff.

but he's coming out ok, no? ^^ it's actually been fun, spending time with him :)

some miro and tanguy

I've posted about Miro's Bleu tryptic before, and over the past two weeks I've been looking at his work more and more...studying his compositions and color choices. My teachers suggested I look up his process.
He was associated with the Surrealists, of course...somehow everything comes back to the Surrealists for me hahaha. Although I don't think he was "officially" a Surrealist, and I don't think he ever tried/wanted to be? But he was definitely influenced by their ideas/process. The whole unleashing the subconscious thing, haha.

ANYHOW, I've started to look at Yves Tanguy's landscapes, too, because they help me think about how I can visually represent abstract paintings as a concrete set.

These are some sketches I've done, thinking more about my senior film. I'm really set on having Bertie trying to take photos of these floating black blobs. I think he sees something in them through his camera.

Nov 4, 2012

he can see!

bertie is slowly coming to life!

i slathered vaseline all over the eyeballs so they wouldn't stick to the magic-sculpt (eyeballs are secured in the sculpey sockets with a chunk of wax)

spent some time sculpting his face shape with magic-sculpt. i've never really done this before, so i'm going to let this dry overnight and maybe sand some things down, 

i can move his eyes!!! ah! i'll have to make eyelids tomorrow 

his face reminds me of thomas the train HAHA. 
good thing this is my test-head. hopefully when i do the final version, it'll look better ^^

Nov 3, 2012

testing, testing, 123

ball and socket armature kit with my to-scale drawing of Bertie's skeleton! 

 i'm making a wire armature version of Bertie first so I can practice making his head with working eyes and practice felting wool. wasn't sure how to do the eyes at first, and the propoxy20 sockets+hand shaped eyeballs were a really, really bad idea.

 so i learned my lesson! and found what i hope are perfectly-sized wooden spheres~ 
below you can see them embedded in kleen klay, but i ended up using sculpey (to bake).

 eyeball painting~ stuck them in kleen klay for convenience

 below you can see what 2 coats of clear nail polish did to the dead-looking eyes from above. 
i made tiny needle-width holes in the eyes with a tiny hand drill so i can manipulate them with needles when animating.

tomorrow i'm going to try to sculpt his face with magic-sculpt around his eyeballs on a balsa head.
i'm hoping some vaseline will prevent magic-sculpt from locking the eyeballs into place....all fingers crossed. 

decided recently that i'm going to research some more Joan Miro. hooray~

Oct 28, 2012

stopmotion experimentation/update

hi everybody~

film development is going okay, still a bit stuck. but here are some experiments i've been doing, some successful, some not. but i'm learning a lot, like how i like creating illusions instead of showing literal objective action.

(i made the sound for this one ^^) the actual time of animation was only 2 hours (granted, it was 1am). but i've found that i get the freshest ideas from having big restrictions on my projects. something about the pressure just forces stuff from your brain.

sound exercise from Ana Kim on Vimeo.

next animation was done with a friend, Connie Leung. she came up with the idea of lighting from underneath.
experiments with fabric/fibers from Ana Kim on Vimeo.

the logistics ended up being terrible for this one, but i cobbled it together in about 3 nights. let's just say now i know what i should never do again, hahaha.

also i got my ball and socket armature kit in the mail last week! not cheap, but not unreasonable, either.

final armature drawing coming along~ 

i really need to practice drawing. noooo. can't get discouraged.

i really need a new banner, don't i? haha. it might be the least attractive one i've done, yet!

Oct 23, 2012

new developments

slowly exiting my mini film-crisis, but i'm still plenty worried about it. i realized that to sustain my momentum for the entire year, i have to make this film personal.

here are some sketches i did today. some new ideas. (though i think my old idea is the backstory to what might happen now)

(this photo is of a test armature i'm making before i work on my ball and socket armature, because i don't want to do felting for the first time on my final puppet, haha)