Sunday, 20 July 2014

bam.. a week of schedule to go..

My work schedule for News from Nowhere ends on Friday the 25th July, so a busy week ahead.  There are still a number of changes to make, and some finishing off tasks - before moving onto the final presentation of work on 8th August.

I had a very useful peer review with some of the guys last week, and am looking at implementing some changes to help clarify the narrative.  Shouldn't take too long, though means inserting a new scene - all be it straightforward.

Other than that, a rough list of things to do:

  • normalise audio
  • re-render each scene at full res - no compression.  Then render a master. Will be a pretty large file!
  • final credits - speak to Phil re what needs to go on there, and credit all Creative Commons audio sources
  • finish A1 poster design and get printed
  • print some postcards of scenes with the scene 'idea' overlay
  • website to host News from Nowhere once its out there -
  • add to this list!

he's GONE!

updated poster design

Saturday, 12 July 2014

... three weeks and counting... (and a couple of days)

Been a recluse the last week or so.. locked in dark stuffy rooms searching and snippin sounds and taping the film together.  Pretty much have everything now, and the 'artwork' as I am now calling it, is coming together.  All footage is placeholder as its compressed, so I need to swap out for AE files or uncompressed - for rendering out of Premier... bit of a pain that.  Also been attacking the 'things to do' list..  which for some reason keeps getting longer instead of shorter!

things to do .. and not to do.. page 7!
Overall the animation has a retro feel to it - in some cases I have let the footage create the mood and just stood back - its a wonderful process of evolution in editing.  Keeping the retro thing going, I came across the RKO intro a while ago.. and thought that may be just the ticket for News From Nowhere..

I found a free Bi-Plane model (I have run out of time for modeling) and banged it in the opening titles... will look something like this - via AE!

News from Nowhere

Was playing around in PShop - thinking of a card/poster ideas.. As in the animation there is a small 'homage' to Gerry Anderson, I have been playing about with a Thunderbirds Typeface from ... The idea of the TV of course is that the main character is watching TV through most of the show...

News from Nowhere

So... will work more on edit next week and start to replace placeholder footage, Chris is still away I think, so no supervisor meetings yet... Also I have a 'cut-out' idea I would like to construct, and if time allows, a sort of 'artists book' type thing - its all starting to be rather enjoyable!

Monday, 7 July 2014

"you can do a lot with sound.."

...bit of an industry in joke... leave the sound monkeys out of the loop until the last minute.. Well, I take it all back!  Two days and I have just 10s of audio... ok, its the most complex part when the bombs are dropping, but flippin heck! - and if I wanted the thing to sound REAL... I'd be here another month!  Take heed!

Audacity... life saver and sound adjuster...

Saturday, 5 July 2014

News from Nowhere..

Been a whirlwind week, lots of distractions and some amount of frustration with Adobe.

However, this weekend, I locked myself in a darkened room, and managed to catch up, for the most part.  As previously mentioned, I have a reasonable pass of all animation shots rendered/captured - so now was a good time to drag it all into Edit.  Usually I would use Sony Vegas edit software, its intuitive, and has a number of cool features which make it a breeze to bash through loads of footage.  I decided this time around though to use Adobe Premier - its part of the Creative Cloud suite of software, and has one unique selling point... I can drag in After Effects files to the timeline, without the need to render uncompressed footage.  So, enter the learning curve.. omg, Premier at first seems like a pile of pooh to work with - next to nothing 'just works' it is not intuitive at all and most frustrating of all, there isn't a single visible adjustment for bezier curves.. meaning if you want to insert a transition... its A>B .. no choice.

OK.. so skipping the day of wanting to smash my fingers to bits with a hammer... things with Premier are getting better.  Some of the frustrating corners I was backed into actually mean there is a tad more user input into some settings, and zooming in on the timeline is a nice touch, also snapping/ripple delete are cool features (though not unique).  Cross fading still makes me ... cross... but I at least feel its getting better.

lots of placeholders to be ... replaced!
Sound effects and Music are the next big hurdle.  Regarding a soundtrack, I did find a Jon Anderson track I would like to have used - so much so I had a fair email thread going with a nice lady at the PRS, she was very sympathetic, but at the end of the day, with my wanting to publish my short movie on YouTube and elsewhere, the complicated web of rights needed from Sony/Warner/Tristar (who?) was all adding up to £££ so.. *poof* there went that idea.  Here's a link to the song, anyway:

As I looked for alternatives.. I had an epiphany- be VERY careful how you use music/songs.. as your own work can be overpowered, meaning your message gets lost behind that of the song, especially if its well known.

So, into the web - on a sound and sound effects ramble.  There are TONS of sites for royalty free music and sfx - I am going to enjoy the hunt!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

just crackin' on...

Finally got the Stop Motion scene set up... its coming together, a little too much light on top of the telly, and I'm not toooo happy with his round heed.. but, think I'll grow to love it.  In the true nature of diversity and technique, I'm shooting this on my iPhone - using an iPad as remote viewing screen and trigger. Software is iStopMotion from Boinx Software.  The whole thing is getting comp't together in After Effects - and should be at a cinema near you by August!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

mid-way blues...

I put all the current 'first-pass' animation clips into a timeline last night (everything baring the stop-motion) .... to get a feel for how things were going to look.  Well, its looking pretty much like expected, but at the same time, a little underwhelming.  I'm reminded of a John Lasseter quote I cam across last semester -

"Every single Pixar film, at one time or another, has been the worst movie ever put on film. But we know. We trust our process. We don't get scared and say, 'Oh, no, this film isn't working."

So, I'll just keep crackin' on, polishing as I go, the most important thing just now is that I finish it!

testing.. testing....

Bombs Away!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

2D World..

This week has been a week of After Effects.  Successful for the most part... but a good few issues to sort out along the way.  For anyone interested, you can view a waveform be dragging the audio clip to the time line, then press keyboard shortcut 'L' ... the waveform will be displayed in all its glory - very useful for animating to a beat.  Another tip; slow your particles down using pre-compose and time-warp.. omg, I spent a DAY trying to get particles to run slowly... AE still has some way to go 'out of the box', but usually there is a work around.

I also discovered the 'Puppet' tool in AE - very useful if used sparingly.. else animation will look like puppets... (fine if thats what is required)

I now have seven scenes rendered to first pass.  I'd like to finish the CGi based work by next weekend (20th) as ALL the Stop Motion is still to do, and the re-rendering, and the post work, and the audio.... yikes!

a still of the 2D scene as it looks just now:

reflecting on change...

and an updated shot of the Wind-farm.. a good deal of colour grading to be done..

solutions kill problems