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#51 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 12:20 PM

After the most nervous, anxiety fueled day since taking my driving test in 1981,( interview for an MA course ) today I got back to work. This is a test of the  lighting setup  and timing of the final scene in Ska Lake. No animation on the figures as yet and the final composition  will be 1080p so  not as much of the wall posters will show.
Critical feedback very welcome.

simon

 

Attached File  S3 000.mov   15.27MB   163 downloads


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#52 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 01:25 PM

Added animation to   Charlie and  Bert, remade the figure of the granny and changed the animation.

The final composition will be 1080, this is VGA ( medium quality )

Any critical feedback welcome.

simon

 

Attached File  S3.mov   492.15KB   151 downloads


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#53 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 11:55 AM

Spent the day  trying to set the lighting for the opening scene, Very frustrating as the constraint kept slipping out of place . Anyway, it seems to be holding now. Here it is with the light  acting as a follow spot following  Robert's earlier suggestion to that effect.

Any Critical feedback  very welcome

simon

 

Attached File  Opening.mov   2.16MB   161 downloads


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#54 robcat2075

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 07:48 PM

On S3... I think if you used a z-buffered Kleig instead of a raytraced light you couldget a softer appearance on the shadows.

 

On Opening... I don't know if i mentioned this before but I think it really needs to have some simple detail or pattern on the floor so we can see where it is moving or not moving in relation to the camera. It's  not clear that they are moonwalking backwards without some reference on the floor to see them moving in relation to.

 

I hadn't noticed his shoes before... are those race cars? :D


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#55 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 11:16 PM

Robert

Thank you for your feedback. I will have to think about a pattern for the floor or possibly an outline of the room in the background, h'mmmm

Yes they are race cars on his feet, they tie in with the pictures on the wall at the end and his bed covers. The picture above the bed is of my nephew who was the starting point for it all, he's a professional racing driver. His parents  gave me a pair of slippers for christmas in the shape of a motorcycle so, as he's supposed to be a race fan, it seemed like a good idea to give him a pair in the shape of cars as its the sort of thing youngsters do and, most importantly, they are easier to animate than bare feet with all those toes !

regards

simon


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#56 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 08:35 AM

Following Robert's suggestion.

Have put in a stage curtain and added some boards  ( it is a theatrical performance aterall ! ).

The render is only a single pass so the shadows will soften with that.

Any critical feedback  very welcome

simon

Attached File  Opening 2.mov   2.62MB   151 downloads


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#57 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 09:32 AM

Have been distracted by coursework for a few months but, still plodding along with this.

I rebuilt the model of  Charlie, then had to redo the animation as the installation was  different.

That was a bit frustrating so, after the first pass at that, thought it might be a good break to have a bash at the lighting.

Initially there was only one follow spot but a proffesional stage lighting  person told me she would do it with two, and that seemed a way around the problem of when they move apart, so adopted that idea. This is the first pass at that.

 

The intro and outro need reding too but that will come later.

Any feedback on animation, staging or lighting, very welcome.

simon

Attached File  2L VGA 000.mov   39.5MB   127 downloads

Ps

Originally the follow spots were done using raytracing, but switched to z buffer for this.

Don't know why but, without changing  other settings, that seemed to have a distinct  change in the colour rendered ?

I will post  an example later.

 

This was the Ray Traced  result

RT 040.jpg

 

This the Z Buffer

Toon2 L 040.jpg

 


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#58 RS3D

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 01:58 PM

I enjoyed watching your animation. You did a good job co-ordinating the two characters in the action. Most important, It held my interest until the end.



#59 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 02:53 PM

I enjoyed watching your animation. You did a good job co-ordinating the two characters in the action. Most important, It held my interest until the end.

Thank you. I'm hoping to finish it  fully in the coming weeks. I have to refine the movements, timing, put in the overlapping sections and facial and finger movements yet.

There are another two scenes, before and after the dancing, and they  need  redoing also.

I had almost finished it when it became apparent that the  model of the young boy needed redoing so, that took some time and, because the rig was installed   from a different  position ( a T pose rather than arms down ) it meant going through and  resetting  all his poses ( fun ! ).

 

The saddest part of the whole project for me is that, Chris Hawkins who did the music for me, died a few weeks back and I didn't get it finished before then. He was one of the finest people I've ever known. A great loss to all wsho knew him.

regards

simon


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#60 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 12:52 PM

This is a transition  scene at the end of the dance routine.

Any critical feedback very welcome

I think the room might be too bright and the posters on the wall too 'real " ?

simon

 

Attached File  S2 Transition 000.mov   10.8MB   108 downloads


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#61 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 04:51 AM

Been busy with other things, this is a pencil test for that but, still plugging away at Ska Lake.

Attached File  Work.mov   9.02MB   74 downloads

 

I've revised the lighting and added some motion blur (25 %). This is a VGA version of a 1080 file.

Any critical fedback would be very gratefully reieved.  The lighting intensity changes as the lights follows  each figure. Is this too distracting or is it acceptable in the context of a "live" show

Likewise, the figures occassionally  have a partial shadow as the lights follow them. Is this acceptable or would it be better without ?

The idea is that the  young man is a performer  in a show ( of his own making ) so I was trying to make it look like a live show with a follow spot for each figure.

simonAttached File  Ska25.mov   12.4MB   74 downloads

 

Ps

apologies for lack of frame burn. I forgot to add it and it took 50 hours to render this version )


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#62 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 10:31 AM

Finally  ( ???)

hoping that this maybe the last version

Inevitably, when returning to something after  a long absence, you notice  the things you missed last time but I think it may be time to stop fussing and get on with the next project using the things learnt on this and the  ones in between.

I had a lot of trouble getting the sound to sync up properly post production and still not sure that it is.

Any critical feedback greatly appreciated. Much to be learnt and learnt from.

simon

 

Ps

this is a 720 from a 1080 render

 

Attached File  Ska Final.mov   36.12MB   57 downloads


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#63 Rodney

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 02:33 PM

Nice.  I like.   It's good to finally see everything in context.

 

My first impression is of the obvious amount of detail you put into each shot.  Regarding this I'm talking about performance factors such as the boy entering, turning on the light, going back to close the door...  all this works well because you took time to do it right.  My thought for that is 'wow.  that's a lot of work!'  Good on you!

 

The sound seemed to sync just fine for me.

If it slips in sync it's probably in the dance sequence of which see below for some camera movement suggestions.

 

I don't think my suggestions would be for this short as much as considerations for future work so keep that in mind as your read the following:

 

Camera Movement

Some shots would definitely benefit from a moving camera even if the camera moves or zooms or pans ever so slightly.

This would break up some of what seems to be monotony (a monotone pace).  Consider that change is important in animation so any frame that is exactly the same as another should have a purpose for repetition (i.e. to emphasize something).  A moving camera can make two shots that are otherwise exactly the same different because of the perspective of the shot.

 

Transitions and Story Through Lines

I'm not sure quite what to suggest here so I'll try to figure it out while typing.  Some of my examples would change story elements so again I'm not suggesting they be incorporated as much as considered for future work.  My thought regarding transitions is that it's difficult to see what is happening from scene to scene (specifically from walkway at bottom of stairs to opening of bedroom door to dancing with bear).  The final transition at the very end works because I was looking for an answer to what was going on and it supplied that.  Nicely done!

 

Here's what my mind thinks it needs to see; some change of pace on the part of the boy who has just returned (from school?) and is anticipating having a great time with his friend.  As such dropping off some props at the base of the stairs as he enters and turns on the lights would suggest what he's departing from in anticipation of what is to come.  Moving up the stairs a bit more rapidly would suggest he's motivated toward or looking forward to something.  Then as he opens the door perhaps a closeup on his face that smiles broadly and wham... we are into the dancing session.  The only time we really get the sense of his emotion is at the very end where he's falling asleep and much of that we get through the bear's subtle facial reaction.  I'll have to watch the video a couple more times to see how much fast vs slow pacing you've already got.  

 

Regarding the Through Line it echos what I've just said with regard to transitions.  The boy's interest in getting to his room, the first shot of the bear, the main attraction and the conclusion.  You hit the throughline well from at the end but there is little anticipation for it at the beginning.  Going from memory alone it seemed to me the boy was not particularly excited to get to his room.  The greatest jolt is the change from 'ordinary pace of life' to dancing on the stage.  Although I was anticipating seeing that scene (as I'd seen your earlier work on them in the forum) my immediate reaction is 'what just happened there'?  It's like a shot of the sequence is missing.  If none of the shots were to be altered I'd say adding a short shot of the boy reaching for the bear (who is not moving) would be enough to bridge the two shots (entering the room and dancing with bear).  The good news is that we do get the answer to that question at the end of the tale.  It's just not foreshadowed/anticipated in the earlier shots.  Alternatively, just showing the bear on the bed as we get a look into his room would help.

 

My favorite part is that last shot with the boy going to sleep with the bear.  Very nice.

It does seem to me that a voiceover of 'goodnight' from the parent is missing with or without a verbal response from the boy.

He's waving as if responding to such at the end.

 

Hope that all makes sense.

You've put a lot of work into this one and it shows.


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#64 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 06:31 AM

Rodney

Thank you for your detailed feedback. Much appreciated. These are all points to consider next time .

 

I recently read a book by Blain Brown on Cinematography: Theory and Practice and that has strongly influenced my ideas on lighting and camerawork. It shows more in the  shorts in the Ideas Test thread rather than here, as nearly all of this was done some months ago and awaiting finishing with the sound. I did try to vary the camework a bit, there are a couple of zooms and a few angle changes, with a  short tracking sequence at the end as he gets to the bed.

 

I realise now,  that it might not show up as well  as it could, because the room  changes to a stage and the 'blank' background  removes   the reference points needed. They move apart laterally but the sense of movement about a space is  slightly lost, the camera changes  give a different angle but their position in the  overall space gets confused in the process ?

 

I watched a video essay by Tony Zhou recently were he  looked at the work of Jackie Chan before and after he went to Hollywood. One of the things he points out is that Chan carefully sets up shots and locks off the camera position so you can see the action moving around the space and it is setting up what is to happen next. He compares that to the Hollywood method of master shots, then 'coverage', with the editing in post production being used to  vary the pace and dynamics. One of the things I ike about European films is that they tend to favour long takes without the  continueing cutting back and forth between characters, usually over shoulder shots. The Italian, "Inspector Montalbano" series,  and the Swedish "Wallender",  were both noteworthy in that regard.

 

Because the Foley and dialogue sound was done after the animation I messed up the timing. On the recording his Mum says

"Goodnight  Charlie, lights out, straight to sleep"

and he replies "Goodnight, Yesssss Mum" then trudges off upstairs.

Because the tiiming was already set on the animation I had to ediit out the "lights out" and change the timing on the gaps between the words, so it would all fit in the available gap. There is dialogue for when she comes into the room at the end and says " whats all the noise"? then turns around and leaves because she thinks he's asleep. I didn't include it in the end because I thought it worked without and, again because of the timing. Big lesson here was, get your  dialogue sorted before animating !!!

 

I was very grateful for their help but, I have very little experience of working with actors ( this was only the second time ) and, while Sam goes to a Drama group ( I saw him in "The Crucible" a few months back ) his Mum  is a District Nurse with no acting experience. The Charlie character is supposed to be about 11and so was Sam when he agreed to do the voice, but the delay in getting it all done meant he is now 13 and his voice is deeper than would be ideal.

 

Your suggestion of having the bear on the bed as he enters his room is a good one and I may have time to set that up over the holiday period as its only about two seconds worth of frames. One thing I do like about computers is that they can be working on the teeth grinding stuff ( rendering ) while you get on with something more enjoyable ...

Thank you for your help and feedback.

regards

simon


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#65 Rodney

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 04:11 PM

Thanks for the responses.  That provides some excellent insight into the choices made.

 

Chan carefully sets up shots and locks off the camera position so you can see the action moving around the space 

 

I know of the video essay you refer to.  I always enjoy those from Tony Zhou (and many others too!)

The minimal movement in Chan's camera work is important because of his overabundance of movement expressed in his action.

If the camera moved, we'd miss parts of that action.

 

I do note that even when Chan says he doesn't move the camera we see movement in his camera.

He mainly means the camera itself is locked down (to prevent an excess of hand-held movement.  He still uses zooms and pans to great effect, progressing the action, foreshadowing and revealing thing we didn't see clearly before.  Ex:  That ladder over there in the background as they enter the scene is just a useless prop... oh wait.... no it isn't... Chan is using it as a weapon.  Ha!  Look at him go!  (Chan knows his stuff)

The locked down camera becomes even more important when dealing with multiple actors interacting with Chan.

The camera can't follow everyone, everywhere so it stays (primarily focused on Chan) although wide enough so that  we can anticipate and eventually see the most action.

An aside from this; the video in question covers how American directors/cinematographers tend to cut on a hit/contact.

This contact is an area of interest to me that is still in refinement and I haven't formulated an approach.

Just when I think I've got it down, (for instance, always showing the contact frame(s), I find myself reversing that approach (leaving out those frames).

The story/sequence/shot will dictate and therefore doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing approach.

But that doesn't stop me from trying to find an optimal way to approach it.

 

In the case of your boy and bear dancing there isn't much overlapping action in there dance. 

As such a locked down camera doesn't carry with it as much importance.  The importance story point is that this boy and bear are dancing.

 

Not that I'd expect you to do this but a fun exercise would be to take shots from the boy and bear dance and crop each to emphasis specific actions;  esp. feet moving, turning/twisting, pan with them as they glide across the stage, etc.

 

 

And HEY!  I just noted that your boy has similar car shoes to that guy in detbear's latest lego parody.

Hmmm... now there's a mystery to be solved.  What is it with bears' friend's and their rollerskates that look like cars...   :)


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#66 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 12:35 PM

Received  feedback today from whose opinion is always honest and direct,. They expressed disquiet at the proportions of the boy, finding it a bit 'spooky' that his head was not larger proportionally to the body, and his pajamas were  a bit too close fitting.

 

Does anybody else share this disquiet, or have any others, about the piece? If so please let me know, whatever they may be, and I'll try to avoid them in the new project.

simon

 

This is an early render but the figures stayed  roughly the same  at the end.

C & B.jpg


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#67 Rodney

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 04:39 PM

You can tell almost as much from what folks don't say as what they do.  If those two things were what caught their attention then I'd say you have done quite good.

A larger head would be a stylistic choice that would certainly make the whole show more cartoony.  As such the style would lend itself to additional suspension of believe that a boy could dance with a teddy bear, assuming that fact alone isn't enough to get us there.  As for the tight pajamas that seems to be another stylistic choice.  I've seen pajamas that tight and I've seen pajamas a lot looser.  I'm somewhat relieved you didn't go with the typical pajamas seen in most cartoons; the one with the door at the back region.


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#68 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 12:21 AM

Thank you Rodney.

The project  was intended as a test for a bigger one I had storyboarded, although  that will have to be redone if it procedes .

The character of the boy was  based, slightly, on my nephew   who coincidentally, turned 30 yesterday. He's a professional race driver but, when he was 17 and racing in Italy he still had his teddy bear  with him, much to the amusement of  the staff at the hotel he stayed in. Don't think he ever danced with the bear though  !

regards

simon


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#69 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 04:41 AM

"Dear Simon,

We want to deliver a wonderful news for you. Almost 10.000 films compete in this year competition from various festivals platforms. And your film is chosen among the shortlisted to receive the Laurel of Achievement. We congratulate you for your achievement in Cinema Grand Prix 2017. "

On the "most beautiful Island in the world, Bali"

Small steps

 

 

Whoo Hooo !!!


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#70 Rodney

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 05:35 AM

Congrats Simon!

 

Keep up the great work.  :)


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#71 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 06:13 AM

Thank you Rodney.

I'm currently trying to redo Happy  families, using AM and TVpaint for the hand drawn parts.

Hoper to test the first scene in the next week.

regards

simon


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#72 robcat2075

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 08:31 AM

Congratulations o

 

 

"Dear Simon,

We want to deliver a wonderful news for you. Almost 10.000 films compete in this year competition from various festivals platforms. And your film is chosen among the shortlisted to receive the Laurel of Achievement. We congratulate you for your achievement in Cinema Grand Prix 2017. "

On the "most beautiful Island in the world, Bali"

Small steps

 

 

Whoo Hooo !!!

 

 

Congratulations on the notice!


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Posted 10 December 2016 - 01:31 PM

Congrats, Simon!



#74 Fuchur

Fuchur

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 03:28 AM

:) Well done Simon, well done... :)

 

See you
*Fuchur*


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#75 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 12:02 PM

Rodney, Robert, David, Gerald

Thank you very much.

I have a feeling it might not be as  big  an achievement as it might sound, that might just be me  doing the usual cautious  routine  but, its a good way to draw the year towards a close and end on an upbeat. Its been a fairly arduous year. I've started reworking Happy Families with a view to getting it finished to the  appropriate standard this time and hope to post some updates on that soon Ska Lake would have been  impossible without all the help I received here  from ourselves and others. I'm very grateful  to you all.

Merci Tout le Monde *

Simon

 

 

* thats me being pretentious. My french is almost non existent. I  still correspond with one of the nurses who looked after me in 91. She once  told me "please write in english, its easier to understand than your french "...


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