Tuesday, 28 June 2011

A King's Speech, A Few Sketches

I saw The King's Speech (2010) for the first time tonight. I thought it was a very good film. What caught my eye in particular was the way it was directed by Tom Hooper. The film has a very photographic quality to is and some nice set pieces; From the opening shot the Hooper has an unconventional way of framing his his subject and after listening to his directors commentary you realise it was all done to serve the story and not just to be different.

The various textures and colours on the brick wall provide a contrast to the minimal performance of Collin Firth as well as reflect the proverbial 'brick wall' the character is facing given his speech impediment.

During any dialogue exchange with Lionel Louge (Jeffery Rush) Hooper does not use the convectional method of framing the characters. The convectional method being the 'line of action' in which characters are frames with the same 'eye line' when talking usually framed off centre on opposite sides of the screen with enough space for the character to look into. Instead he he frames the characters off centre but does not put them on opposite sides of the screen. This approach was taken to reflect the unorthodox approach of his speech therapy as well as the man himself. The character of Lionel Louge appears odd in the sense that he does not conforms to the norms and values associated with addressing royalty that the King does.

A perfect example of the way unconventional way director Tom Hooper frames his characters.

The way that the characters are frames gives each shot a more personal and photographic feel. Hooper also sais that another one of the reasons this was done was because a lot of the film takes place in Lionel Louge's therapy room, being quite small he needed to come up with a way to frame it in different ways so the scene did not become stale.

Director Tom Hooper frames Jeffery Rush, playing  Lionel Louge, off centre but breaks the line of action for effect many times during the film. This is done to reflect the unconventional approach Lionel Louge has to speech therapy.

One of the things the director pointed out that i took not of was Jeffery Rush's performance. Most notably his body language. He said he trained as an actor in Paris as were taught to use their entire body to get across a character. When you watch the film notice the little things he does such as rub his thumb and for finger together, subtly pats down his jacket in place or balances on the balls of his feet for a moment

On of the things I notice in student animations is that they have great modelling, textures, light. etc but they miss the little character nuances that really bring a character to life. This is where studying live action film comes in handy.

The sketches below were copied from a book on the fundamentals for animation. I found images from the book online so thought I would take advantage as I have not put paper to pencil in a while. You can find them here:  Preston Blair Lessons: Fundamentals of Animation Drawing

Yes that is who you thin it is in the bottom left.

Just in case you missed him.

Monday, 27 June 2011

End of First Year

So thats it. First years is done. I received an 80/ 100 for my title sequence project which i am very proud of. Everyone in the group got a first as far as I know, but dont quote me on that.

I came late to the Cecile Award this morning. I wish I had come on time as not only did I miss the majority of the showcase of the years work but I received an award for 'excellence in blogging' or something like that. Its really cool, its a gold version of Cecile a life size skeleton we have in the animation studio it comes in handy when you're looking at anatomy.

This first year has gone so fast, I have learnt a but I was to go over the basics again during the summer. Over the summer I plan to make a short flash piece with interesting visuals; think animated poetry, I will go over the fundamentals of animation again in flash and in Maya to keep in fles in my head,  I want to learn to rigg to give myself a little bit of a head start for next year so I think tutorials will be a good way to get the ball rolling.

Finally I have been talking to some performance students about a collaboration next year involving some 3D projection mapping. For those of you who don't know what that is you can see some examples of it 'here'. The idea is to use 3D projected animations as storytelling divices for the piece; such as flash backs, environments and adding anew demotions to performance. Its a unlikely collaboration but I think we will get good results.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Back To Basics: Character Poses

The work for 1st year is done. But its easy to forget those bascis so i will spend some time going over them in both 2D and 3D if I can as well as over the summer. I decided to sart off with character poses as Maya was already open. I used the 'Max For Maya' rigg which you can download from 11second club.

Title Sequence Project: Finished

Friday was the deadline for our title sequence project. We were up until about 6am working on the final edit.  I have to think Leon Darren, a third year advertising student, for  his help with the edit. He has been amazing. Unfortunately the man who was supposed to do our sound was not able to complete it in time, he is a very busy man and has to put client first. He should be able to have the final pieces of sound done for Monday. Below is out title sequence with a different track that works well as a temporar fix. Keep your eyes peeled for the final sound mix version next week.

I have enjoyed this title sequence project and I am looking forward to collaborating with others in the future. Now we have identified peoples strengths and weaknesses we can create a team that caters for that allowing everyone to excel. I will now be working on the 2011 Showreel that will feature a ix of student work as well as collaborations with other courses. so look out for that too. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011