Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Experimental Animation - Final.

The experimental animation project was an interesting one to approach, because it was largely open for us to interpret however we liked as individuals. There was a lot of discussion at first about possibly attempting a stop-motion film with proper models and backgrounds, because the technique interested everyone in the group. But after making the testing animation with Alphonse, it was quickly decided that it would take a very long time, and would be very difficult to make non-narrative and yet effective. It would also be quite hard to match it to the music effectively.
Therefore we also discussed and toyed with the possibility of a stop-motion of another kind, flat images formed by photographing a substance moving around on a surface, frame by frame, photographed and put together to the music later in the editing stages.
When we played with the rice, it made me realise that it would be the easier, and probably better outcomed choice to make. Which left us with a few decisions to make, what to draw with, and what music to put it to.

The Drones and Refrains of Death was the piece of music that I personally felt had more effect on my creativity than any of the others, and shortly after hearing the piece, an idea started to form in my mind.
Being an ex-film student, and a very long term lover of the horror genre, I just happenned to have rather a large supply of fake blood lying around... and the unsettling nature of the music seemed to demand an unsettling medium in which to draw to it. The two things just seemed more coincidence than it was appropriate to ignore, and the suggestion was quickly adopted by the goup.

'Filming' commenced shortly afterwards, with large glass chopping board, a LOT of newspaper to protect the floor, a Camera and Tripod, and quite a lot of strange objects which we planned to use to poke the blood around.

This stage largely went well, with the group working quickly, taking it in turns from animator, to camera operator, to suggestion maker. It took several days, and one problem we met in that time was that a batch of the fake blood kept drying out overnight despite numerous attempts to prevent it from doing so. Which left us with an entertaining period in the mornings, sitting 'warming up' the blood with sprayed water and paintrushes, trying to get it animateable again.

Another problem we found, was that the lines we made in the blood didn't appear that clearly on the images. I found a solution to that problem, unforutnately drawing in it with one's hands held the risk that it was very messy, and the fingertips tended to get dyed reddy orange quite quickly.

Finally though, with over 420 images, we decided it was enough to enter the editing process.

This task, assigned to myself, was a slow process of sorting the various folders of the different patters and images, and then putting them together in appropriate software. The hardest part of the process was persuading the images to match the music speed, but in the end that just took some persistence.

I'll put more detail about the editing into the full production report on the hard hand-in.

In the meantime, here is the low quality Mpeg of the movie, because Blogger will only upload the quicktimes if it is allowed to keep my computer hostage all night for upload. Which I won't allow it to do XP

video

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