18 Sep 2010

Final film



My final degree film.

Nominated by VAD 2010 (Internacional Festival of video and Digital Arts) de Girona.

16 Jun 2010

techniques






At the beginning I though I couldn't manage to make my character walk convincingly from all points of view, the ¾ back walk was particularly tricky, but finally I go through. I understood why we're acting in part when we Do the animation. To create nice walk cycles you could use some basic templates from the animation books, but all is just about observation, intuition and empathy with their movements, just feel like walking when you're drawing.

In the character movements I use traditional animation 2D technique drawing frame by frame. I begin doing some rough sketches in the lightbox to test the basic movements and shapes interpolation. I recorded some footage from Bruna carrying a bowling ball. Once I internalised the walk cycles, I draw each frame in the illustrator and test the sequences pasting it into Flash. I also create some symbols for different facial expressions and hands poses, to swap them into the Flash sequence. Then I export png sequences with alpha channel to compose the walk cycles with the backgrounds in the after effects.

experimentation



I've never used after effects before this course, and I could say that most of the techniques were new for me. Since the first moment that I set out the story board, I've decided not to focus only in the character animation, to experiment a bit with the motion graphics style. In my opinion the symbolic part of the clip has been a good exercise to learn about masks, motion tools, compositions and free shape interpolations with the after effects. I wanted to divide my animation in two different styles and techniques and I think it has been one of the most successful objectives I achieved. I'm quite happy to mix two different animation styles in the same movie which work in harmony. One more graphic and plane and the other more cartoony and less abstract, but at the same time I'm aware that I could improve a bit more the transitions. I also discover some AE filters to move the watter and I've learnt how to set up cams to follow the character while he walks over the background.

credits

sketches

 


Backgrounds



I wouldn't find so many difficulties if I had designed my character directly in Flash, but for me this was one of the most important things to learn, how to take the most advantage of design software, to animate stylised characters and landscapes. As an illustrator I give the same importance to the graphics than the movement.

I've found some problems of compatibility between Flash and illustrator. Some of my designs were altered once imported and some other takes ages to paste in. In the beginning I though there was a problem with the new elliptical gradient tool of illustrator, maybe Flash was not able to read it. But finally with my mentor we realise that the troubles come from the pixel textures that I linked to the characters.

The other major problem was caused by the backgrounds. When you're working with pixel art, you're always afraid of pixelation in the close ups, that's why I create massive backgrounds in high resolution. You should optimise your images before importing to AE, and you should know exactly the zooms and motion of the cam.

Characters

Describe the development of your central character and answer the following ‘Seven Questions’ for the character:
Who am I?

The main character is a giant who carries people across the river. He's broad shouldered, with long legs and a firm step. Because of his aquatic activities, he don't use so many clothes, only a little speedo and watter resistant glasses.
He looks like and old prophet. Kindly and pleasant.

The other actor is a little mysterious child. He's supposed to be the infant Christ. He represents the world as a whole, the humanity and the cosmos. He could be just a figure created by Christopher imagination, a real God, an alien or a simple parasite grabbed in his back.

Where am I?  

This is a timeless story which takes place in a misty landscape. Mountains, river and bucolic countryside . As far as the film wind on, the landscape predominates more an more over the human figure, and it looks more aggressive and scary.

When am I?
This is a timeless story. It could be the future, but there are some ancient references, specially in the child's dress and the Symbology refered.  


What do I want?
The giant wants to help the child to cross the river.


Why do I want it?

Because this is his job and his destiny. But he's not just a victim, he's an active part of his own destruction.



How am I going to get what I want?
You can't always get what you want. The giant can't carry such a heavy weight, and finally they drowned in the bottom of the river.


What gets in the way of what I want?

A heavy weight, extreme wind, waves, flood and diseases.

11 Jun 2010

references






The story of Saint Christopher is one of the most obscure and fascinating pre-christian myths. After all, before regret, Cristopher was a warrior and a satyr who entrusted his services to the Devil. He's name doesn't appear in the bible, and meanwhile the Counter-reformation tries to purify it because of the Protestant critiques and his fantastic origin, the Saint remains being very popular as the patron of travellers. In some oriental images they represent the saint with dog face because historically he cames from a cannibal tribe. Some Spanish poets like "Lorca" referred to him in such homo-erotic descriptions.

I've made a research about christian history and the Saint Christopher's legend. I've found most of the information in the network. Referring the conceptual content, I've found a thesis which has been so helpful “Saint Christopher: iconogrpahic meanings” by María Dolores García Cuadrado, spanish title "San Cristóbal: Significado iconológico e iconográfico" which studies how the legend has been represented in the art tradition and his symbolism.

I also use some CD rooms of “optycal art textures” from the library. And I scan lots of images for the graphic content of my movie, specially about sacred Italian textiles, old christian symbolism books, and also science magazines with cosmos images.

10 Jun 2010

Inspiration



 After wandering around the National Gallery, finally I've decided to choose  the painting "Saint Christopher carrying the Infant Christ" about  1525-50, NG716, Style of the Master of the Female Half-Lengths. 

A big man carrying a tinny heavy figure across the turbulent watter is such a powerful image, not only for the graphic but because of the symbolic meanings. I get touched by this scene and the apparent simplicity of the story. I also thought that the treatment of the colors and the dreamy naive atmosphere from the landscape details, links with my own illustration style.

There are several legends about Saint Christopher. In the most famous, he was crossing a river when a child asked to be carried across. When  Christopher put the child on his shoulders he found the child was  unbelievably heavy. The child, according to the legend, was Christ  carrying the weight of the whole world. This was what made Christopher  patron saint of travelers and is invoked against storms, plagues,  etc..His iconography has remained essentially the same over  the centuries although its artistic representations have undergone  changes according to the aesthetic. I think the scene is extremelly  potential for animation. 

What I would like to Do is my own contemporary interpretation of  the legend. I would like to start with the same image from the  picture, a big man carrying a tinny heavy figure across the turbulent  watter. It won't be in a realistic style, I'm planning something more  expressionist or more Terry Gilliam's collage. After it, a zoom in  inside the brain of the child which will turn into a globo sphere and a  psicodelic sequence of images connected in a fast rythm. This should be a  good example to understand what I wanna Do, of course considering my  limitations of time and skill: Run Wrake "Juke  box". In my case industrial scenes of poluted cities, cars, money,  sex...the humanity carrying his own destruction, instead Crhistopher  carrying the human sins.

In the third scene we come back into the first image but the giant  will drowned into the river. Fishes will eat him and the child will  dissapear as a phantom. This is a visionary trip, a kind of apocalyptic version, or maybe just a premonition.