Sep27
2013

By: admin                Categories: AnimationGeneral

The following is an excerpt from Francis Glebas’ Directing the Story. Francis Glebas, a top Disney storyboard artist, teaches artists a structural approach to clearly and dramatically presenting visual stories. Here, Glebas teaches you multiple types of casuality.

Newton’s laws of motion, inertia, force, and momentum are very useful in action sequences and especially comedy. Life being out of control is very funny, if it is happening to someone else. Once again I would like to tell you a story in order to demonstrate the power of this next concept. Earlier I told the story of my storyboard work on Pocahontas. I am now going to show you how it applies to design, composition, and directing the eye.
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Sep24
2013

By: Elyse                Categories: AnimationGeneral

The following is an excerpt from Ideas for the Animated Short: Finding and Building Stories. This book is a comprehensive and practical blueprint for creative and unique animated short creation with a focus on the strength of a compelling story. Here, the authors explain the difference between a feature and a short.

Beyond the obvious differences in running time, scope, complexity, and resources, the animated short requires a directness, clarity, simplicity, and economy of plot and assets not found in feature films.

Initial ideas for a short are often too big, too complicated and cover too much territory because most of our references are based on the Hero’s Journey.
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Sep19
2013

By: Elyse                Categories: AnimationGeneral

The following is an excerpt from Designing Sound for Animation by Robin Beauchamp. This nuts-and-bolts guide to sound design for animation will explain to you the theory and workings behind sound for image, and provide an overview of the stems and production path to help you create your soundtrack. Here, Beauchamp provides insight on the Foley approach.

Foley is to SFX what ADR is to dialogue, bringing synchronized performance to the movements of individual characters. This technique is named after Jack Foley who created and applied this approach on many of the films he worked on for Universal Studios. There are three basic types of Foley: Footsteps, Prop Handling, and Cloth Movement. Each of these elements is performed by Foley artists who possess a keen sense of timing and a creative approach to selecting and manipulating props. Foley is recorded on a Foley stage, outfitted with a variety of walking surfaces called Foley pits. The recording engineer for the Foley session is called the Foley mixer. In increasingly rare sessions, an assistant engineer called a Foley recordist is hired to handle logistics. The Foley editor is responsible for cleaning up the Foley cues, tightening up the sync, and organizing the session for pre-dubbing.
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Sep13
2013

By: Elyse                Categories: AnimationGeneral

This is an excerpt from The Immersive Worlds Handbook by Scott Lukas. Focusing on the imaginative world of themed, immersive, and consumer spaces, this book gives you insider tips, experiences and techniques so that you can make themed spaces come to life and truly become immersive worlds.

Application—Experience and Mood

Work on this short written application. Take a minute to think about the best and worst experiences that you have had in themed and/or consumer spaces. Divide your piece of paper into two columns. Label one “Bad” and one “Good.” Think of one or more places that you can associate with each of the types of spaces. Write down the associations that you have with the places in each column. For example, perhaps in the good column you write down, “I got lost in the world that was there,” and in the bad column you write, “The workers there were rude and uncaring.” Take a few minutes to write down the associations. Next, go through the two columns and see if you can come up with any general trends that might be worth exploring later. For example, if customer service came up in the different cases on your sheet, you can circle that as one of the main trends worth exploring. After you finish looking at the trends, write a second short piece in which you discuss the keys to effective mood in a themed or consumer space. What sorts of things do you need to be on the lookout for in your own design spaces?

Mood

This last application helps us think about the role that mood plays in any themed or immersive space. Mood, or the associations that people have when they enter a space, is a key to designing an effective space. As you considered in the application, any guest who enters a theme park, restaurant, or museum will develop associations with places that they have visited in the past and they will make new ones in the spaces that you design. Looking closely at how mood can influence design will give you a head start at being able to better connect with guests in your spaces. What we can see by these many moods—and there are so many more that we could talk about—is that each one can have a potentially positive or negative impact in a design space. As is the case with other design aspects, we can only speak to some possible ways that moods can be used in a space. The specifics of their use is up to you. Another important thing to think about is what can be called the crosstalk between moods. This means that you could design a feature with a specific association in mind—like excitement—but then have a second feature that is connected to the idea of peacefulness. How do these moods speak to one another? Does one dominate the conversation? Do they somehow each have an ability to make a mark on the guest? You might think of mood crosstalk in terms of the overall mood of the space, that is, if you want one. If there is an overall mood, such as in a Zen garden, then introducing a contrasting mood, like excitement, will result in an inconsistent integration of design and mood into the space.

Excerpt from The Immersive Worlds Handbook by Scott Lukas © 2012 Taylor & Francis Group. All Rights Reserved. The Immersive Worlds Handbook can be purchased Amazon.comBN.com, and wherever fine books can be found.

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Sep10
2013

By: Dave                Categories: General

Focal Press is delighted–nay–elated to announce the publication of Directing for Animation, by Tony Bancroft.

We publish books on how to draw. We publish books on timing for animation. You’ve got books on how to rig, how to sculpt, how to make a stop motion animation, how to use Flash or Maya or Blender. What none of these books do is teach you about directing your own feature. A lot goes into directing a full-length animated feature, as I’m sure you know. And a lot isn’t taught in workshops or art programs. This book covers the things you didn’t learn in art school.

Tony Bancroft, director of Mulan, supervising animator on The Lion King and The Emperor’s New Groove, is here to show you the ropes on how to direct an animated film. He’ll show you how to navigate the murky waters of big time studios, how to develop stories that matter, and how to avoid pitfalls that can beset even the most well-meaning director.

One man’s word isn’t the end all be all though. So this book is packed with interviews with other animation directors featuring the likes of Pete Doctor (UpMonsters, Inc.), Chris Wedge (Ice AgeRobots, Epic), Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda 2),  Tim Miller (blur studios) and many more. This books is packed with industry insight and inspiration.

If you’re interested, you can go to Amazon, or you can click the cover below to buy direct.

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Sep10
2013

By: Elyse                Categories: Animation

The following is an excerpt from Chris Georgenes’ How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS6. Fully updated for CS6, How to Cheat in Flash CS6, is a goldmine of artistic inspiration, timesaving practical tips, tricks and step-by-step walkthroughs that you’ll wonder how you survived without it. Here, Chris helps teaches you the art of lip syncing.

Lip syncing is an art form in its own right. It is the art of making a character speak to a pre-recorded vocal soundtrack. This technique involves the creation of various mouth shapes and matching them to the appropriate dialog. This technique can also be very time-consuming, especially if your dialog is very long. You can be as simple or as complex as you want. There’s a big difference between South Park and Disney style animation when it comes to matching mouths to sounds. There are two basic methods of lip syncing in Flash which we will look at here.

1 Here are the standard mouth shapes to use as a guide. Each shape corresponds to a specific sound or range of sounds. Each sound is noted below each shape. For most animation styles, you do not need to create a different mouth for each letter of the alphabet. In most situations, certain mouths can be reused for a variety of sounds.

2 Using the standard mouth shapes as your guide, draw your character’s mouth shapes, taking into consideration the design and angle of your character. After drawing each mouth, convert each one into a Graphic symbol.

3 Based on the design of your character, you will likely want to have your mouth symbol on its own layer. This makes it easier to edit it for animation.

4 The next step is to import your sound into Flash. Sound formats supported are WAV, MP3, Aiff and AU. Go to File > Import to Stage and locate the sound file on your hard drive. Once imported, create a new layer in your Timeline and select a frame. Using the Sound drop-down menu in the Properties panel, select the sound you just imported. Next, set the sound from the default “Event” to “Stream.”

5 On the main Timeline where your character resides you can animate the mouth talking by creating keyframes and using the “Swap Symbols” method via the Properties Inspector. The Swap Symbol panel will open, allowing you to scroll through your Library.

6 Click once to preview each Library item and click OK to replace the instance on the stage with this symbol. It helps to name your mouth symbols starting with the same three letters as they will be sorted by name in the Swap Symbol panel, making it easier to find the mouth you want.

7 Click OK to swap the symbol instance on the stage with this new symbol from the Library.

Hot Tip: When you name each mouth symbol, include a description of what dialog sounds it should be associated with. This simplifies the process of choosing the appropriate symbol by allowing your eyes to scan down the list of names in the Library without needing to select each symbol to see the thumbnail.

How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS6: The Art of Design and Animation

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Sep05
2013

By: admin                Categories: AnimationGeneral

The following is an excerpt from Francis Glebas’ Directing the Story. Francis Glebas, a top Disney storyboard artist, teaches artists a structural approach to clearly and dramatically presenting visual stories. Here, Glebas teaches you how emotions drive the story.

There are four main emotions: fear, joy, sadness, and anger. For storytelling it is interesting to think of emotions in story terms. By this I mean that they go through changes based on events that happen. For example, once angry emotions are triggered, the action could start with a stare. This could lead to threats, either verbally or with the eyes. This could lead to a confrontation, maybe with yelling or pushing. Then it could lead to a rageful fight. The loser could develop desire for revenge. These all suggest being part of a sequence of actions that build because of a character’s emotional reaction to the events of the story. Normally, people don’t go from peacefully content to rageful in a few seconds. They build in intensity. Rage comes after someone crosses a point of no return.

Joy and happiness are not really powerful story drivers. Imagine a character who is happy for a whole film. It would be boring. Happiness is usually the destination emotion or used as a contrast for other emotions. Anything appears stronger if it is contrasted against something else. So the journey from a terrible loss back to happiness would make a good story arc of emotions.

Laughter is great for a change of pace. A funny scene could be inserted within a dramatic or terrifying scene to take the edge off it as comic relief and to provide contrast.

The five stages of grief are usually experienced in sequence: anger, denial, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. There is a clear progression of emotions and your audience can watch and identify with your characters as they struggle through the stages of loss.

Fear and terror are also powerful story drivers. Fear can force people to act under extreme circumstances. Paranoia could be classed as a fear that can be very interesting to watch, because you can present a situation where the character doesn’t know if what he or she is afraid of is real or not. This makes for very interesting narrative questions. The audience will want to know if the threat is real or not.

Wonder and awe usually have a specific moment to appear in a film. This is when the character has an “ a-ha ” moment of insight and understands what is at stake beyond their immediate circumstances and how the situation affects their world.

Pride, envy, suspicion, and arrogance are great emotions for villains. These can also drive interesting narrative questions. Will pride go before the fall? What will their envy cause them to do? Are their suspicions founded?

Courtship and flirtation have a whole range of emotions associated with them that can drive a story in interesting ways. People in relationships go through a whole dance of acceptance and rejection signals often played out on the face and body. Shy, bashful, and coy emotions contrast with seduction and suggestiveness. Whispering secrets definitely gets the audience thinking about what was said.

Some of the most dramatically interesting emotions to watch are those when a character has something to hide. During the courtship example, one may hide how he feels when learning that the other party likes him. And, once outside the door, he will jump for joy, letting out his true feelings.

It is fun to watch people lying and trying not to get caught in it. People trying to hide their emotions usually will leak the real emotion in some subtle way. A poker face is the ultimate example of trying not to show what someone is feeling. If someone has been hurt and is trying to hide it, her smile might be big and forced, but her eyebrows might leak the sadness under the guise of everything is fine.

It is interesting to think of the verbal expressions that go with emotions. They help in giving story ideas: “ If looks could kill ” ; “ Pride goes before a fall ” ; and Pinocchio’s lies were “ as plain as the nose on his face ” are several examples. In the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit , the characters are warned not to laugh, but can’t help themselves and they “ die laughing. ”

Excerpt from Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques for Live Action and Animation by Francis Glebas © 2008 Taylor and Francis Group. All Rights Reserved. Directing the Story can be bought Amazon, BN.com, or your favorite online retailer.

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