Animation Softwares

Right now I want to focus a bit on learning a 3D animation software. I want to discover if I actually like working on 3D sotftwares. Most of them are really complicated so it will be a challenge. I made a research in order to choose the best software I should start with.

Here is the link where I based my decision on. They have the 2018 top list of 3D softwares and explain their features functions and level of learning.

I made a small selection first:

  • Maya – Best for modelling, really complex software but really powerful tool. (Only free trial for a limited amount of time and then it is payed. A lot)
  • Hudini
  • Cinema 4D – Combines well with after effects which I am learning so it is really handy
  • Blender – FREE software, good for beginners, excellent to see if 3D is for me.

Ultimately, my plan is to try blender and know how to manover it. If I like 3D I believe Maya is a really good investment. All the big studios in the US use it.

Here are some of the features of the website!

Hopefully, in the future, I will be able to do things like this:

 

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🙂

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Screen printing part II – Serigraphs

Hey hey!

This is the continuation of last post’s explanation about how screen printing works.

  • After we wash out the grey liquid from the screen our design appears and this is how it looks:

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  • It becomes transparent where there as ink pressed against.
  • After this, like I said before, we put the screen to dry.
  • Once it is dry we can take it off the dryer and prepare for printing.
  • We need, lots of cut paper to print, ink, our original design, razor blade to spread the in and arm strength to do it!
  • First we have to decide where in the paper we want your design to be printed (middle, bottom, left, right). We tape our design where we want it to be on the sheet and we put it under the screen.

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  • It might not be visible but my original design is bellow the screen.
  • After that we mark where the sheet is with tape so that every print will be in the exact same place.IMG_20181002_163234.jpg
  • We place the paper on these marks. The little dots that you see are air suction wholes so that when we print something, the paper doesn’t stick to the screen. (sorry for the blurry picture)
  • We place the screen on top and put ink.

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  • with re razor blade adjusted to our screen size we spread the ink hard from the top to the bottom of the design, which looks like this:

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I had to push it really really hard and could only do it correctly on my 4th attempt… This is how they turned out:

As you can see I made a loooot of prints so feel free to ask me for more!

In this class I understood something. We are doing seripgraphy and not just normal screen printing. The difference is only according to the rules. Serigraph rules are (from what I understood):

  • Always print on paper, never less than 10 prints and never more than 200 with one design
  • Design has to be hand-made on transparent paper
  • Every step of the screenprinting is done with our hands, it is very tradicional.

I also asked the teacher if we could print t-shirts and bags and she said we could maybe do it one class in the semester but that the main goal was exploring techniques of serigraphy and printing on fabric is not one of them.

Oh and the screen printing process is not over!

  • After doing each print we always stretch the ink back to the top of our design. However, after the last print we do not stretch it back.
  • We put the remaining ink with a peace of plastic or cardboard back into it’s can.
  • With a peace of paper we try to remove as much as posible ink.
  • After that, with a peace of fabric we spread a chemical liquid through the screen. We then take the screen to the hose place and wash it with water! The grey liquid should be gone completely!

This was my second class of screen printing and all these things take a while. I could not bring my design home because they take 1 day to dry.

Next class, as I mentioned in the last post, we are doing 3 colors designs. I can’t wait!

 

Stay tuned 🙂

 

 

 

 

Screen printing – Erasmus

This semester, on my Erasmus program I will take a class called screen printing! I had never done this technique so it is a really good opportunity for me.

We have to teachers. The main one and the assistant (the assistant translates to english). In the first class we did the presentations and the teacher told us step by step how to go from the preparation of a screen to the printing of paper phase. They showed us a lot of ex-students work so we could know the possibilities we had and that helped me a lot.

The first class was really just an introduction and they told us that, for next class, we needed to take a design of ours – a black ink drawing on transparent paper because all screen printing designs are made with black and only when printing you choose the color.

First I did my research on pinterest to know a little bit more about my options and created an album – HERE, that looks like this:

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Second: After my research I made my design really fast

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It is quite hard to draw on this paper and at this point I just drew with ink and brush, later on I found out I could use pens..

On our second class we repeated all the steps of screen printing and I took some pictures.. The steps are:

  • Take a new screen adapted to our design size and a razor-blade with the same length as our screen.
  • With the razor-blade, spread the grey liquid from bottom to top first on the front of the screen and then on the back.
  • After that, we put the screen inside the big machine, in the compartments bellow, for the grey liquid to dry.

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  • Wait for the screens to dry, maybe 10min or so
  • Once hey are they we open the top of the machine and turn off he lights
  • We place the design first and then we remove the screen on top of it facing down

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  • After we close the top lid and the elastic membrane acts there is going to be a really strong suction to press the screen against the design. In this part the lights can be on

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  • The good suction time should be about 2 minutes. After that we lift the lid and take out the screen gently. We run to the water hose and wet it on both sides so it is not photosensitive anymore.
  • with water we remove the grey liquid and our design comes out.
  • After that we put it back on the dryer compartment and we wait! We can also apply some red ink on the screen on parts or mistakes we don’t want printed out.

After this point I still do not know for sure what happens but next class I will learn better!

 

About my design

The idea came to me really fast but now I think I will try to make a story with this little girl that got lost with her umbrella. Like a small cartoon but told with prints!

I’ve always love the Japanese buildings and detailed illustrations so I think those will be my references!

For next class we have to present a design to print with 3 different colors. At the end of last class they showed us we can overlap designs and how the colors mix when overlapped. This opens a lot of options! we can also cut paper use it as a design!

I am really excited about this class!

Stay tuned to see my future designs!

 

 

Audio Book – Sound Practice

At the end of last semester we had a final major project for sound practice – an audio book!!!

We could choose any text or book we wanted and had to turn it into audio! The audio had to be between 7 and 15min.  You could chose either you to make the sound for your text file without a narrator so the final product would seem like it was from a movie or.. not!

I chose not to have any narrator. I chose the first chapter of the book “1Q84” from Haruki Murakami.

Here is the full script!

I crossed only the text I wanted to include on my audio because it was relevant to the story. In pink it’s the main character’s lines and in yellow the taxi driver.

The first step:

  • Underline the important parts of the script, read it out loud and time it to see if it didn’t go over 15min.
  • Searching for a lot of samples of little sounds I needed like cars honking, wind, a zipper of a bag.
  • Make folleys (record my own sounds) like taking coins from a wallet…
  • Record the voices I wanted in Católica’s studio with Leonor, a colleague of mine.
  •  Ask for a voice over on internet for the taxi driver’s voice.

The second step:

  • Cut and edit the voice over of Leonor, remove all the mistakes and make it smooth. I also had to choose between several tries she made of the same sentence to see which one fit better the context. I made make some human sounds like “hmm” and “ooh” so I could express her emotions by sound.
  • Between all the samples I gathered, choose the best ones and potentially look for new ones.
  • Organize my audio tracks so I don’t get lost and prepare to start the real editing!

This step looked more or less like this:

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The third step:

  • Editing and synchronizing all the sounds so it all works together.
  • Adding sound effects to create deepness on the voices
  • Changing the stereo channels of the sound to the left and right to create a more immersive experience
  • Hear it 1 million times until my head hurts
  • Show the teacher and make small changes!

 

This was a rather summed up report of how this project went but it took me 2 weeks to finish… And most of the time was on the 2nd and 3rd steps.

My final audio file could be a little better but for my first audio book I am happy about it!

HERE you can hear my audio book!

On my profile there is also a Vox pop that I did, check it out!!!

Shooting an Interview

Last semester we had a project briefing which was to shoot an interview.

Each of us chose a person to interview and had to present that person to the whole class. Only 4 ideas of interview could be chosen and mine was one of them.

The person I chose was my maternal grandpa. He was a really important person on the Portuguese military that helped organizing and realizing the 25th of April revolution.

Before the interview:

There were several jobs to do about the interview:

  • Being the interviewer and think about the questions to be asked
  • Being the responsible for the lighting in the room, during the shooting
  • Being the sound expert, watch for the mic and everything
  • Being the camera man and the several angles between shots

It made sense to me that I was the one asking the questions because it’s my grandpa and I felt like it would be more personal. We assigned everyone a different task of the above (we were 4) but during the real interview everyone helped each other.

Before the real interview we had a couple of classes to practice. We were thought several rules about lighting, space on the screen and mic positions.

Here is the video about the 3 point lighting and here is one of the many videos I’ve watched before the interview to consolidate what we learned in class.

Interview:

All the group had to travel to Lisbon because my grandpa lives there. I thought it would be really complicated to move all the cameras and material and that it would be really expensive.. Turns out everything worked fine. We all traveled in the same car with the material inside it and managed to park near my grandpa’s house!

The setup of the interview went really well and at first I was a bit nervous so I just asked a couple of simple questions and then I started with the real ones (yes, I was more nervous than the interviewee).

All was going great and we had 2 questions more to ask when the battery of our camera died… Luckily we found a movie studio on the corner of my grandpa’s street and the people there did not have a battery for our camera but they were kind enough to come with us with their camera and film!

The rest went smoothly and we went home happy!

After the interview:

We had some problems with color and exposure that we only noticed when editing… But overall I am really happy with this experience!

Check all the details of this project on my report: Interview Report

HERE IS THE LINK FOR THE FINISHED INTERVIEW!!!

(you have to put in a password – 12345)

 

 

 

 

 

Vox Pop Project – Sound practice

This semester I am taking a Sound module in which we learn how to capture sound (with microphones and recorders) and how to edit it (with protools).

We had a project briefing that consisted on making a Vox Pop. A Vox Pop is a short audio exercise used by a lot of radios all over the world. There is an interviewer asking the same questions to a lot of different people and at the end he mounts them together!

First of all, we had to find a theme in order to come up with the question we wanted to ask. Then we learned how to work with professional recorders.

 

My main question was “what is your main goal in life? what is your role in the world?”. After I got my recorder from uni I spent the whole day asking people those questions and came up with about 30 or 40 answers. It wasn’t easy due to the windy weather but I tried to always put my back against the wind and the recorder in front of me. It was a good exercise because I had to deal with a lot of people and some are shy or don’t have the time or simply don’t want to answer. At home, after listening to all my answers. I chose the ones that were usable. I also thought about the soundFx that I wanted to include and got them at freesound.com

After this stage, the next step was to record my questions and my radio opening on a studio. At uni we have access to the studios and with Francisco Dias, a colleague of mine, we recorded our questions, radio opening and closing. I don’t really like how my voice sounds but I made an effort to do everything I could with this project so I would feel how it’s like to be in the different positions.

I drove my scooty to uni and started editing!! First I had to arrange and cut my voice recordings. I did the same for every other recording of the answers. There was a moment where I had to think which meaning or which type of vox pop I wanted. My questions were rather serious but the answers I got weren’t as deep as one would expect so I decided to go with a comic vox pop.

Some sound FX were added and I managed to make an effect with a recorded voice with the help of this video!

At the end I was happy with the outcome and learned a lot more about sound editing and capture!

Here is my Vox Pop so you can listen 🙂

Animating Documentary II

Before I start my post I just wanted to state that I have been reeeeaaally lazy on my blog pots…

So, I continue working with the producer for the documentary I mentioned a couple of posts ago. Sometimes it gets really hard because I am animating scenes where I can’t draw. I have to pick up pieces of drawings and make them move.. Given that, there are pros and cons of course.

Cons:

  • The animation ends up being jerky
  • It’s hard to smooth with any brush because the texture of the drawing itself is really difficult to get
  • Everything looks the same all the time. What I do is just move pieces around

Pros:

  • I don’t have to draw anything! I know I said it was hard like that but actually it makes easier between the client and the worker. Since I won’t be changing the drawings, the client always knows what to expect. It is really hard to not like the animators style if he’s not drawing.
  • There are times where a lot of graphic problems come up and it feels good to find a smart solution that works both visually and technically!
  • I am learning a different way of animating which is great.

I am also learning that dealing with “bosses” is not always pleasant. Especially when they take weeks to get feedback but then want things done urgently. It’s a part of the professional world and I am really glad I’m having a small little sense of it already.

Today I just finished animating a manatee swiming. Here’s a screenshot of the little guy:

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Stay tuned 😉