Thursday, 24 March 2011

Flogging Molly's Float and Tales from Outer Suburbia

There were Contemporary Animation Presentations this morning, one of the presentations was 'Flogging Molly's Float' by Karni and Saul. The film is a balanced mix of CG, live action and stop frame in which a stick man, makes a laborious journey from urban, industrial jungle where he was created through increasingly scenic surroundings towards the sea. He collects along the way random objects he finds on the ground and drags them with him on his journey. I really like this film, the directing, lighting, environments and character were all superb.

After watching the film again I remembered a book I have 'Tales from Outer Suburbia' by Australian Illustrator Shaun Tan. There is a short story in this book that I find very similar to 'Flogging Molly's Float'.
'Eric' is about a curious little stick figure who collects things he finds on the ground. The character design is also similar. There is a moment in 'Flogging Molly's Float' when the character is looking at a leaf, the silohette between the two characters is mirrored here:

Another of the short stories in 'Tales from Outer Suburbia' - 'Stick Figures' - has a similar look and design also:

I really recommend Shaun Tan's 'Tales from Outer Suburbia' It's beautifully illustrated and imaginative.
Also, Shaun Tan's film 'The Lost Thing' recently won an Oscar for Best Short Animated Film.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo...

On the 2nd March we finally got to go on our trip to Edinburgh zoo, after it was cancelled due to snow a few months ago. The weather stayed nice enough for us this time round to sketch in. The chimps were definately the most entertaining of the day! And we obviously had to watch the classic penguin parade! Here are a few photos of sketches from that day:

Here's a pic of Sarah Rettie and Claire Roe in their exhibit at the zoo :p

Flash project - a website for Marlo

For two weeks we all had a new project which was to create an interactive Flash website for our character Marlo. It had to have a main page for our group with 4 links to our own seperate pages, and each page had to have a short animation on it with a few interactive buttons. We had one intense day of training on how to use the Flash program and then we were let loose! It was a slightly daunting task but i'm really happy with the result and learned how to use a new computer program :)
We attempted to put a Flash file onto blogger but it just did not work, so i will put some screenshots up instead! Here is the main page I created for our group:

The letters in 'Marlo' i animated to float up and down randomly to add a bit of magic to the page. Each of the playing cards i made into buttons, each one links off to each of our pages.

Sarah created a dressing up game, Claire made a rhythm game, Charlie worked on a page about Marlo's past, so i helped in giving her some information of the history of Marlo from my original notes.
My page was Marlo's interactive desk, here is a screenshot of it:

I painted most of it in Flash, painting only the poster and wallpaper in photoshop. I think painting in Flash gives a nice painterly look to it. The playing card in the top left is a back button to the main page. If you hover the mouse cursor over the magic wand it becomes animated and shoots out sparks and swirls:

Hovering over the old poster, the figure of Marlo comes alive and introduces Merit the Ferret out of his top hat:

If you click on the glove lying on the desk, it becomes animated and walks off the screen!

The last interactive element of this page (at the moment) is the red book leaning against the pile of other books. By clicking it, you are taken to a new page that looks like parchment with a small fact about Marlo's book collecting, and a short animation of Marlo bending over to pick up a big pile of heavy books and then stagger off screen:

And there is also a 'back' button in the bottom right of this page which takes you back to his desk.

Ands that is two weeks of my work!
Just a reminder - this is the link to our group's work for Marlo the Magician:

izzy wizzy - its been busy!

It appears that i haven't blogged in quite a while, so i am going to post a few blogs in a row to catch up with what i've been up to! So first... introducing the final Marlo the Magician character design by Claire:
And here is our script:

MARLO the Magician walks in, tired, slumping on his coat with a CUP OF TEA in one hand as he gets ready backstage for a show.
He takes out his MAGIC WAND. While sipping his tea, he zaps his slippers into shoes.
Using his magic wand, he vanishes his tea cup.
Marlo then vanishes magic wand between hands, slides up sleeves and turns to face desk.
Picks up first GLOVE, puts in on and wiggles fingers. Meanwhile, the other glove comes alive and starts walking away.
Marlo goes to pick up second glove, notices its not there, looks around for it confused. He spots it about to jump off the table and catches it just in time, glove continues to walk while he holds it in mid air.
Marlo shakes glove annoyingly and puts it on his hand.
He then picks up his TOP HAT, brushes off dust, holds it over his head, breathes in, pauses...
As soon as the hat is on his head, he straightens his back, smiles, becomes the performer 'Marlo the Magician'!
The Magician bows, fans out some cards from thin-air, makes one card jump to the other hand, shows the card.
Carried away in the moment and caught up in practising his magic tricks, he takes off top hat, shows the inside, goes to introduce...
Marlo is in the same pose as the old poster in the background, which depicts a young Marlo the Magician introducing his magical assistant MERIT THE FERRET.
His happy face droops, upset and emotional. Marlo sighs, reaches his hand out to the poster of Merit, looking nostalgic and sad.
A black hole zooms into the magician and his long lost companion.