Animating for a documentary

A few weeks back I was told that the father of a friend of mine was doing a documentary in which he needed an animator to do a couple of simple things. We’ve exchanged contact and I’m suddenly in his project!

His name is Luis Correia and the documentary is filmed in Bijagós and it records the life and traditions of the tribe living there. They take everything they can from nature, food, clothes, entertainment…

The documentary starts with an old myth from the land. A girl, who was an orphan, was being raised by her evil aunt. The poor girl was doing all the hard work, carrying things and living the life of a slave. One day, while feeling really depressed, she takes a walk by the sea and seats on the rocks. She asks god to take her and turn her into another living thing. The sea levels raised until she was fully covered by water and turned into a manatee that then swam across the ocean.

For the people in Bijagós believe that manatees come from people. The man in the beginning of the documentary is telling the story while illustrating on fabric with paint he just made.

My job is to animate those illustrations! It will probably be a 10 second animations but I’m sure it will take me a month at least…

I already started making some animation work but there’s always things to improve and change. Working with Luis has been great and I can’t believe I got this opportunity!

For now I’m Illustrating on Photoshop since I don’t know any other program but it working alright. I’m doing a frame by frame 2D animation.

Here are some screenshots of some of the editing:

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The girl on the screen is the main character. She was drawn by the man who told the story and all I did was “cut” her legs in order to be able to move them around. I cut them in half so there is an angle between the upper and the downer leg making a small joint, the knee.

I have quite a few scenes to animate and I’m a bit worried about the time and if I’ll be able to fulfill what Luis wants…

For now I’ll keep trying and we’ll hope for the best! stay tuned 😉

 

Ps: sorry for any misspellings… I am a bit tired..

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Wacom Tablet

I just got a Wacom tablet!!!

I guess I should have gotten it a while ago since I long to be an animator but they’re quite expensive so it’s not that simple…

The tablet itself came with 2 software. One to animate in 2D and another one to paint frame by frame animations or to make illustrations. I’m still learning how to work with them but one step at a time.

Drawing looking only at the screen is challenging at first but I got it quickly. At first, I tried all the different brushes available and tried the difference of pressure on the pen.

My next step will be making small animations. 2D, frame by frame so I could learn the basics. I still didn’t find a program where I could do that easily but I won’t quit!

I’m really really excited about my new “toy” and the possibilities are infinite!

These are my first drawings using the tablet:

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I feel like I’m back to pre school but I really liked the outcome of the second drawing, the hat character!

 

More to come 🙂

 

 

Thinking of masters!!!

I am aware it is still early to think about masters but it’s also good to be well informed. I have this dream of going to the US for the masters, one in animation..

The only thing I did so far was contact several universities for information about their masters and applications for abroad students and most of them answered me back! I am looking at requirements lists and I have about 2 years to prepare 🙂

Feeling excited

Working on a Masters Animation project

A colleague of mine, Francisco Dias, talked with our drawing teacher, Sahra Kunz, who suggested that he offered to help on a masters animation project. Franciso told me about it and I obviously wanted to come along.

We first met with the people of the project while they were working so it was a bit strange because they were not expecting us. Later on, they contacted us and called us for a portfolio review.

On the review day we’ve met them and surprisingly it was more like a selection interview and not a review! Francisco went first and then me. To be honest I was quite scared when I entered the room. There were the 4 people of the project sitting looking at me, just looking, not saying a word. I eventually broke the silence and asked them if they wanted to see my work. That was the easy part, showing my work. After that they asked me how I would like to help and what kind of things I’m interested in, the programs I master and the commitment I was willing to give.

In the end of the interview, they said they would discuss “my case” and that they would find a way to test me… I’m not quite sure if I should be scared!!!

Meanwhile, they asked for my CV and I had to make one in 5 minutes because it was urgent.. This is an opportunity to make a real CV that I can use in the future.

I am still not sure what to expect from this project but I’m excited because it’s animation 🙂

Stay tuned!

 

Paper Project – Reflection

Reflection: Though I was quite happy with the final outcome I feel I could have done more. I didn’t research as deeply as I could and that’s what I would change in future projects. I finished the project really fast and I noticed I became much faster on programs such as after effects, adobe bridge and final cut pro which is really helpful for what I’m studying next: Computer animation.

 

I really enjoyed doing this project but it was really a lot of work and time-consuming. To make it a perfect project I would have to have a deeper research and pay more attention to small details that make a difference.

 

Paper Project – Animating

Adrian helped be setting my working space and told me how to set up the camera correctly for the situation.

I started photographing the animation. It took me about 2 hours to finish photographing it. At the end,I noticed I had forgotten the moon so I just photographed it separately and hoped I could manage to put it in my animation.

 

After imported all the pictures on adobe bridge and renamed them. I then imported those into after effects and started editing the stop motion animation. I had some problems with adobe bridge so this took me quite a while. I fully edited the animation.

Once I had it exported I put it on garage band so I could see the animation and hear the track simultaneously. ( Adrien advised and show me how to do it).

When everything was perfectly synched I put the track on after effects and saved it!

 

Here’s the animation! https://youtu.be/6MAsn4cespo

Paper project

Research: First I researched into different artist and animators. I found all kind of methods to use paper in animation. I decided from the start that I wanted to do a stop animation with paper and I looked some incredibly detailed ones…!

I could only animate a fairy tail from the Grimm’s brothers and as there are so many I couldn’t decide. I called a friend and asked her which one was her favourite and she said “Bremen’s Musicians” where there are 4 animals that are going to die if they don’t escape from their owners so each one of them decides to escape and become a musician!

 

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Development:

For the animation, I decided to use silhouettes on a coloured background with a light box bellow. I started by trying out different backgrounds.

And then cut the scenario with 4 different houses in the back representing each animal: The donkey, the dog, the cat and the rooster.

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Once that was done I had to begin thinking about the animals silhouettes. It was quite hard to find or make good silhouettes but after a while thinking I decided to pick up different positions of each animals to make it look like it was walking and make those positions go from really small to big so it looked like they were coming closer. I printed the silhouettes and started cutting them. It took me about one day and a half to cut them all!

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Finally I had to choose the instruments for each animal. I as knew I wanted to do the background song myself on garage band I first tried the instruments and once the song was finished I gave each animal one instrument. The process was fast.

 

Everything was ready so I booked the photo studio with Adrian, whom was really useful and started photographing….