Saturday, 26 December 2009

Retroactive - Foundation stuff I

I did my foundation at Bournville Centre for the Visual Arts, which is located in Bourneville, a suburb of Birmingham, but more significantly, the model village designed by the Cadbury family to house their workers. The BCVA is situated right next to the chocolate factory, and as you can imagine, the campus smells lovely.

Anyways, I specialised in Visual Communication, more specifically, animation. I had messed around in flash before, doing kung-fu stick figures and the like, I even tried a short film with the worst character in the world - Mr Face Man, which was basically a floating yellow emoticon. If I can find them ill post them, cos I'm sure they're good for a laugh, although I shouldn't be too hard on myself - if I hadn't experimented with those, then I would never have gotten to where I am today and would probably be studying fine art instead. That was a near miss...

I have always like animation, but I never really connected with it until I came across flash animation. My previous flip-book attempts were frustrating and I never had the patience or the motivation to plan and finish them properly. When my dad brought home a copy of Macromedia Flash MX 2004, I had access to a program that allowed me to do complex animation with comparative ease. As a result, I started to experiment with the stick figures and blobs and all that stuff, but eventually I wanted to try something with a narrative. I searched the web for good examples of flash animation, and for me, the stuff at Newgrounds was entertaining, but I couldn't see anything that compared with the atmospheres and plausible worlds of David Firth's Salad Fingers and Adam Phillips' Bitey of Brackenwood. I liked the pacing of Bitey and the creepy atmosphere of Salad Fingers, and so I set about trying to emulate them.

This first example was to see if it was possible to do shadow layers.

It was a nice clip, but it took a lot of work to do this level of detail, so I kept the shadows and the sepia look and went for something a bit rougher.

The result was this next animation called solar flare. I was listening to a lot of Boards of Canada at the time, particularly this song, and so the result was intended to be a little creepy (hence the cutaways to teeth).

The next one was to try and refine the style a bit more.

I have the storyboard for whole animation as it should be, I'll be able to post that as soon as I scan it in.

The next one was just a bit of fun, a response to an animation my friend did of his character acting bad-ass with some guns, so I thought I'd do this. Again, I'm afraid that it's unfinished, but as it wasn't storyboarded I don't really see it going anywhere else at the moment.

I did however do a more detailed character design in my first year, I think he is called Krunk, but thats probably a shit name.

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