Thursday, 25 November 2010

Disney Pixar's Up

Up is a story of a young boy Carl Fredricksen who idolised an explorer called Charles Muntz who was accused of fabricating the skeleton of a giant bird he had discovered in Paradise Falls, South America. Muntz vows to return there to capture one alive. One day, Carl befriends an energetic tomboy named Ellie (Elizabeth Docter), who is also a Muntz fan. Detailing her ambitions in her personal scrapbook, she tells Carl her desire to move to paradise Falls. He then makes Carl promise to take her there one day. They fall in love and get married and we soon jump to years later as old couple living in same house with their dream still unfulfilled. Carl’s wife Ellie died early on in the film and Carl is left alone still lives in the house, now surrounded by urban development, but he refuses to sell it. He then ends up in a tussle with a construction worker over his broken mailbox, and is forced by a court order to move into a retirement home. However, Carl comes up with a scheme to keep his promise to Ellie: he turns his house into a makeshift airship, using thousands of helium balloons to lift it off its foundations. A young Wilderness Explorer named Russell becomes an accidental passenger, having pestered Carl earlier in an attempt to earn his final merit badge, "Assisting the Elderly."
After surviving a thunderstorm, the house lands near a large ravine facing Paradise Falls. Carl and Russell harness themselves to the still-buoyant house and begin to walk it around the ravine, hoping to reach the falls before the balloons deflate. They later befriend a tall, colorful flightless bird (whom Russell names "Kevin") trying to reach her chicks, and then a dog named Dug , who wears a special collar that allows him to speak. They are then ambushed by a pack of similar dogs led by Alpha (also Bob Peterson), and taken to Dug's master, who turns out to be an elderly Charles Muntz. Muntz invites Carl and Russell aboard his dirigible, where he explains that he has spent the years since his disgrace searching Paradise Falls for the giant bird. When Russell innocently reveals his friendship with Kevin, Muntz becomes disturbingly hostile, prompting the pair, Kevin, and Dug to flee, chased by Muntz's army of dogs; Kevin is injured during the escape. Muntz eventually catches up with them and starts a fire beneath Carl's house, forcing Carl to choose between saving it or Kevin. Later on Carl reunites Kevin with her chicks, then flies the dirigible back to the city. When Russell's father misses his son's Senior Explorer promotion ceremony, Carl takes over and proudly presents Russell with his final badge: the grape soda cap badge that Ellie gave to Carl when they first met. The two then enjoy some ice cream together, sitting on the curb outside the shop as Russell and his father used to do, with the dirigible parked nearby. Meanwhile, Carl's house is shown to have landed on the cliff beside Paradise Falls.
What I love about this film is how adult themed it is. It’s not just a kids film but for adult audience too. The story telling is visually breathtaking when you get to paradise falls. The scene I love was couple of minutes after the start of the film when showing the marriage and the aging or Carl and Ellie’s life. There was no dialogue but just the sound. This was put together beautifully and it really brings you in emotionally to their life and feels part of them. This reminded me of the early golden age era where Disney would use jus the animation and sound.
The fantasy of a flying house was born out of director Pete Docter's thoughts about escaping from life when it becomes too irritating, which he explained stemmed from his difficulty with social situations growing up. Docter selected an old man for the main character after drawing a picture of a grumpy old man with smiling balloons.The two men thought an old man was a good idea for a protagonist because they felt their experiences and the way they affect their view of the world was a rich source of humor. Docter was not concerned with an elderly protagonist, stating children would relate to Carl in the way they relate to their grandparents. Docter noted the film reflects his friendships with Disney veterans Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston and Joe Grant (who all died before the film's release and thus the film was dedicated to them). Grant gave the script his approval as well as some advice before his death in 2005

History of Animation

The Disney Era (1928-1941)
The years 1928-41 are often referred to as the “Golden Age of Animation”; during that time, the medium underwent a growth and transformation unparalleled in the history of visual arts. Only twelve years separate the premiers of “Steamboat Willie” (November 18, 1928) and “Fantasia” (November 13, 1940), but the aesthetic gap between these films is staggering. It was as if painting had gone from the flat, conventionalized style of Byzantine icons to rich three-dimentionality of Rembrandt portrait in a few decades.
This transformation was largely achieved through the dedication, talent and vision of Walt Disney and the artists he employed. Virtually every tool and technique in the animator’s repertoire was discovered, invented or perfected at the Disney studio during the era.
His distribution contract with Pat Powers enabled Disney to begin the Mickey Mouse series in 1928-29, with an animation staff that included Ub Iweks, Wilfred jackson, Les Clark and Johnny Cannon. “Gallopin’ Gaucho” and “Plane Crazy” were released with soundracks, followed by the “Barn Dance”, “Opray House” and “When the Cat’s Away”, all to very favorable audience response. Mickey was already beginning to rival Felix the Cat in popularity.
Instead of remaining content with Mickey’s success, Disney struck out in an entirely new direction with a series of music oriented fantasies he called Silly Symphonies. Organist/composer Carl Stalling initiated the idea when he suggested setting a graveyard romp to Edward Grieg’s “March of the Dwarfs” Disney agreed, and the result was “The Skeleton dance”
Traditional animation
The first animated film was created by Charles-Émile Reynaud, inventor of the praxinoscope, an animation system using loops of 12 pictures. On October 28, 1892 at Musée Grévin in Paris, France he exhibited animations consisting of loops of about 500 frames, using his Théâtre Optique system - similar in principle to a modern film projector.
The first animated work on standard picture film was Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906) by J. Stuart Blackton. It features what appears to be a cartoonist drawing faces on a chalkboard, and the faces apparently coming to life; whereas it was actually black line art drawn on white paper and then printed as a film-negative to look like white chalk.
Fantasmagorie, by the French director Émile Cohl (also called Émile Courtet), is also noteworthy. It was screened for the first time on August 17, 1908 at Théâtre du Gymnase in Paris. Émile Courtet later went to Fort Lee, New Jersey near New York City in 1912, where he worked for French studio Éclair and spread its technique in the US.
Influenced by Cohl, Russian scientist Ladislas Starevitch started to create animated films using dead insects with wire limbs. In 1911 he created "The Cameraman's Revenge", a complex tale of treason, suicide and violence between several different insects. It is a pioneer work of puppet animation, and the oldest known example of an animated film of such dramatic complexity, with characters filled with motivation, desire and feelings.
In 1914, American cartoonist Winsor McCay released Gertie the Dinosaur, an early example of character animation.
Stop motion
Stop motion is used for many animation productions using physical objects rather than images of people, as with traditional animation. An object will be photographed, moved slightly, and then photographed again. When the pictures are played back in normal speed the object will appear to move by itself.
The first example of object manipulation and stop-motion animation was the 1899 short film by Albert E. Smith and J. Stuart Blackton called The Humpty Dumpty Circus. A European stop motion pioneer was Wladyslaw Starewicz (1892–1965), who animated The Beautiful Lukanida (1910), The Battle of the Stag Beetles (1910), The Ant and the Grasshopper (1911).
This process is used for many productions, for example, the most common types of puppets are clay puppets, as used in The California Raisins and Wallace and Gromit, and figures made of various rubbers, cloths and plastic resins, such as The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach. Sometimes even objects are used, such as with the films of Jan Švankmajer.
Stop motion animation was also commonly used for special effects work in many live-action films, such as the 1933 version of King Kong and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.
CGI animation
Computer-generated imagery (CGI) revolutionized animation. The first film done completely in CGI was Toy Story, produced by Pixar. The process of CGI animation is still very tedious and similar in that sense to traditional animation, and it still adheres to many of the same principles.
A principal difference of CGI Animation compared to traditional animation is that drawing is replaced by 3D modeling, almost like virtual version of stop-motion, though a form of animation that combines the two worlds can be considered to be computer aided animation but on 2D computer drawing (which can be considered close to traditional drawing and sometimes based on it).
Refferences :       
The History of Animation –Enchanted Drawings- Charles Solomon.
Google and Wikipedia

Top Cat

Top Cat (Early 1960s) 
The central character, Top Cat called T.C. by close friends is the leader of a gang of New York City alley cats. He is charming, funny and likes to use the local policeman’s phone despite being warned not to. There are six of them including Top Cat. The others are Fancy-Fancy (He is brown cat, laid-back, sweet-talking and is regularly seen chatting up the ladies before leaving them when hearing the 'dustbin lid call), Spook (rarely speaks when he does a torrent of "like"'s are used, olive green coloured), Choo Choo ( pink coloured, second tallest in the gang and shy when it comes to girls), Benny the Ball (He is short, innocent, chubby, naive, and cute, a blue-coloured cat. Benny may appear to be simple-minded, but he manages to ask the most logical questions during the gang's master plans. He is slow, not stupid), The Brain ( the name is a sarcasm as he is the opposite of the brain, he is notorious for being unable to keep a secret, he also seems to be in charge of the group's money (which they rarely have). Despite his apparent stupidity, he can sometimes say something brilliant, which Top Cat instantly rephrases to make it sound like he said it). . A frequent plot-line revolved around the local policeman, Officer Charles "Charlie" Dibble, and his ineffective attempts to evict the gang from the alley. The only reason that he wanted to be rid of them was that Top Cat and his gang were constantly attempting to earn quick money usually through an illegal scam. After watching couple of episodes I noticed mainly repetitions in the episodes and the animation design is similar to The Flintstones, I love the voice work of Top Cat, Brains and Choo Choo. As for Benny he is sometimes funny but I find him to be annoying at times. Top Cat and his gang were inspired by characters from the popular situation comedy You’ll Never Get Rich (later called The Phil Silvers Show). Maurice Gosfield, who played Private Duane Doberman on The Phil Silvers Show, also provided the voice for Benny the Ball in Top Cat (Benny's rotund appearance was based on Gosfield too). Even Arnold Stang's voicing of Top Cat strongly resembled Phil Silvers' voice.

Flip Festival Review

The Flip festival Animation I attended was my first festival about animation I attended. I had a lot in mind about what it is and even what it might look like, I was quite disappointed in a lot of ways but there is always something you can take with you at any events. Firstly I must say, I was quite shocked of the scale of the festival. It wasn’t much of a festival I had imagined. The festival took place in a theatre screen where everything happened one at a time.
The first day I the morning we watched some UK shorts animations for about two hours. Some animations I seen blew my mind and some was a let-down, it felt like they needed something to fill the time for the screening. One specific animation caught my eye was a stop motion animation called Astronomer’s Sun which was breath-taking and visually remarkable. It was made by couple of people who one of them happened to be at the festival for his portfolio review. It had a Tim Burton look of The Corpse’s bride in style of lighting, character model and the set. It was pretty much set up at the climax of a movie which was straight in action. It was pretty short but there was some character development and you could put the missing pieces as to what it is about.
The animation looked professionally well done, but what made me remember this were the score and the lighting effects. I loved the orchestra sound which helped a lot with the animation story telling. The lighting was really good which my favourite thing in a film is probably. It was a story of a man and his robot bear that he trying to find out what happened to his father since he was last seen working on his invention that looks like a time travel machine. He tried to get some answers by re-doing what his father which leaded him to disappear as-well.
We had a short break after the shorts screening. After that there was a portfolio review of couple of animators. I learnt quite a lot from this, what to put and what not to have. Most of the animators had the same problem with their show reel which was putting a lot of things in there that confused the audience as to what they are interested in and what is there focuses. The tips I came out with were: putting your best work first to avoid the viewer from forwarding to last and miss your best work, have your contact info at the start and end make sure it is easily readable, have something humorous to show some character and personality.
Next day morning was another screening but was for International shorts which were pretty interesting. They were professionally animated and edited. Similarly to the previous day I had one animation which I was interested in. This one was called L’uzine (The Factory). This was also a stop motion animation with a mixture of real life film. I am not into stop motion because it looked cheap even the big feature film have the same feel, but that is just me. Anyways, this animation was about a little girl’s imagination. The story was set in a factory which had these aliens queuing to go in to get their job. One by one who go in and come out the next door which was the exit already go their job. At first we don’t know what happens inside or how they get that job, but one would come out as a mechanic and another as a superhero and fly away and so on. Then we see this different looking alien who jumps in the line and sneaks in to see what is going on inside and we see the inside of the factory. We get to this big wheel with a lot of jobs written on it and every alien comes and spins the wheel and you become what it lands on. So this guy sneaks inside this room where he sees the manager who is also an alien, we see that he rigged the wheel so it wouldn’t land on his job and no one would take his place or share his job. This reminded me of Bee Movie by DreamWorks where you had bees when they turn certain age they go to the honey factory and they get to choose what they want to be. Also had some Toy Story elements in about the toys coming to life only this was through the little girl’s imagination.
Overall I seen some good stuff at the festival leant a lot but there were some issues about Andy Gent not attending the festival and the scale of it. I expected something huge outdoors with big tents and panels in every one of them where you go to anyone you’re interested in. It was an experience and I will remember it.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Friday, 19 November 2010


I am going to use a little exaggeration, not specifically like the above picture but the motion of angry and frustration. I want to capture the angry emotion with the hands and body. I will try leave the facial details off and focus on the body movement.

These are some realism expressions I wanted to have on my character, found some photos from internet ( google) for reference

some animated Exaggeration of characters. I want to include some exaggeration but not extreme like the above images

Changes to Design

I made some changes to my Design how I am going to animate it. I think I should keep it simple and stay away from the backgrounds and too much details. So I wanted to animate someone angry at his laptop not working and he or she taps the laptop so hard it explodes. This will be exaggerated.

Simpsons - Lie Detector Explosion

I saw this episode a while back on tele and I wanted to use that sort of explosion on my animation. It sounds similar to the big explosion at the end of the sound clip.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Research and Sketch Design

This is the design i came up with of the control room where the scene will take place. I drew the rocket through the glass to show how highly dangerous environment it is.

                                       This is a a photo of control room where I imagined the sound would be which I            found on google.

12 second Animation research and Sketches

The Idea was to have a kid playing around at the control room of a very big company like Nasa and then press wrong button and Explosion! I used the boy from Up (Russel) as a reference for my character design for the boy.

These are some reference I looked up. I wanted to do about some1 or somthing goes wrong at a highly dangerous environment and remind me of homer simpson's work place

12 second animation

This is my choice of the sounds I chose. I want to do about a working environment where somthing goes wrong and blows up.