We had our first workshop on animation today and we were looking at creating dope sheets for creating an accurate lip sync, learning to spot sounds and letters to make the timing perfect for a stop motion animation. We watched a video on the making of a creature comforts animation, and it was really helpful to see all the  processes we’re learning being put to professional practice and seeing how its meant to be executed. It was something I’d always wondered how they get all the dialogue matched up with the movement of the mouths. What we learn was primarily based on using mouth shapes to match them up. This was incredibly beneficial to learn but I think I’ve already decided to not have characters and make my animation much more based on playing with materials and textures to create rhythm, shapes and expressive imagery. Purely because that would seem to fit my style of working more, and it’s what I enjoyed most about the previous animations I studied (‘velocity’ and ‘the man with beautiful eyes’). However what I learned is, as im still doing stop motion I still need to consider things like how many frames per second, which means also setting up a dope sheet to time my frames/images alongside the piece of audio(sentence) it fits to. Even though its my first time experimenting with animation I think it’s still important to learn skills like this and do it whilst continue to experiment with materials and my chosen style.

I had a quick chat with Anna, talking about my ideas based around material and pattern based work and she showed me these animations:

Jeu – George Schwitzgebel

There is a strong mesmerising use of pattern and colour, I can’t say im entirely sure what the animation is about, but ither way I feel inspired with it and I feel I can incorporate a similar style in my work, but in a way that reflects whats the speaker from the RSA is trying to say.

The Old Man and the Sea – Alexandre Petrov

This technique is done using oil paint on sheets of glass, moving the paint and re painting to create ech frame. The content isn’t something I wan tot replicate in my work but the ethereal fluid movement is something I definitely  admire. By having limited colour pallets in each frame it means the movement of the paint works really well, and the fact he’s panting water gives it a realistic ‘wavy’ affect.

I am incredibly drawn to this style of working and I think my combining styles I’m interested in from these animations I can find something that suits me individually and the audio.

I started by jotting ideas for what kind of drawings/painting I wanted to represent each sentence, very loosely based as for this type of working I think it needs to be hands on.


Starting with this basic type of storyboarding works well for some, but seeing as I was nervous about animating I think the best option for me was to just start and try animating so I got some glass, paint and a camera and begun. It felt very nerve-wracking to start with, but once I got used to remembering to take the picture every time I did something it began to feel more and more natural.

photo 1 photo 2

My first animation was very basic and consisted of just a head and appearing questions marks mimicking Peoples curiosity.

The sweep at the end of the animation imitates people’s ‘losing’ their curiosity, and although its there for representative purposes I think it seems better included because of the way I used the material. I continued using the paint for my second animation:

This animation is far more experimental and I worked it out as I went along. At first I would draw a branch, then photograph it, as it ‘grew’ but as I continued animated I realised it looked far more natural and animated if I painted as the branches grew, which is what I did for the main stem. In addition I pushed myself again by scraping away the paint on the bud to make it open more naturally as a flower. I think this could have worked a lot better if I was using oil like Petrov as the acrylic kept drying which meant I had to scape it, which meant a far less fluid animation, but I was able to learn from that. Lastly I did a third and final animation bu this was far less experimental and I was actually really not happy with it as I took the third sentence too literally.

Overall just by experimenting and giving it a go I really learn a lot about what I wanted to achieve from animating, and where I need to push myself to get it looking natural and fluid. traditionally you are meant to do storyboarding and dope sheets before starting anything but for now I think I just want to concentrate on finding imagery and a way of animating that I can really enjoy and submerge myself in.

Comments from Thursdays Interim review:

  • I discovered I needed to explore the content of my imagery more to give my images developed content and depth.
  • instead of using acrylic because it dries too quickly, use oil paint, or printmaking inks watered down.
  • The use of printing inks could lead to doing things like stamping or drawing into the ink.
  • Using different materials I could also try moving image round, opposed to just adding more to the painting
  • incorporate use of typography, underline key words in and highlight them in the animation, all to emphasise meaning.

Now I’ve found a way of working I just need to work on executing ti well, and incorporate new ideas I have till I feel as though I have something that works and accentuates what he is saying in the audio file. It’s important for me to take on all my new ideas as well, as I could get stuck on trying to perfect the same thing again and again, when I feel at the moment I need to be experimenting a lot with images that don’t feel too static or ‘jumpy’, like the ones I have at the moment.


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