Monday, 27 October 2014

After Effects practice

My first contact with Adobe After Effects, and it went smoother than it did with Illustrator. I did not get deep into it to actually try out some special effects but i believe i used its basics well enough. 

I first did a series of tests to get used with the software and learn of its capabilities - it really works like a combination between Photoshop & Premiere.
And lastly i did a video for One World about their new Do-It web app.

I chose stick figures to keep the concept more simplistic. I used the bubbles with stats to represent preferences, and how they don't match with the other 4 characters. The way Do-It web app works, is it uses the user's preferences and shows them volunteering opportunities that might appeal to the them. In the first scene i wanted to show the main character's mismatching interests with others. In the next scene he uses his phone to find opportunities he likes within the UK - the last scene representing the closest people matching his interests. Keeping it vague, i would say that this concept suits pretty much any socializing network.

This was my first test using a mask.

Here i experimented with the mask some more and added a paintbrush effect to it, giving the image behind it the illusion of a painting, and the mask of a magnifying glass.

I don't know if it's very noticeable in this video but, i added a blur vignette to it. It's not completely blend at first, the transition between the blur and the non blurred part of the image is too sudden, but it feathers until you can't notice the oval shape anymore.

In this video i added a dark colour vignette and tested a camera lens blur.

This is more of a picture test than a video one. I Took two images, one of a panel, and one of a landscape. I pinned the landscape image in a perspective that it would look as if it's on the sign on the background image. Unfortunately the low resolution of the background image ruins the immersion.

In this video i played with the fish eye effect, changing its form over time.

Camera shake test.

In this video i used an image of a jaguar in front of a green screen. I removed the green behind the jaguar image and added it over the landscape image. This could've been done in Photoshop As well but was interesting to see how it could be done in After Effects. 

In this video i tested a particle effect, giving the impression of snowing. 

To notice it, you will have to look at the edge of the video or straight in the middle, at the end of the corridor. In this video i tested a depth of field effect, the end of the corridor and the front of it goes blurry, leaving a clear focus on the corridor intersection. 

In this video test i played with a particle effect making it look like rain.

In this video I've been testing out a pixel effect. 

In this video i've been testing a photo filter, giving the basic image a different hue.

Not a great test, but it was enough for me to get the idea of how the pin tool works. I pinned certain parts of the stick figure, giving it articulations and then i animated it by pulling the figure by its articulations(pins).

Monday, 20 October 2014

Flash practice & Google Doodle

I hope i am not the only one experiencing this but, when i get deep into a discipline, and manage to achieve something significant, i tend to forget about my first stages of how i got where i am and how i've taken them. This is how i felt during this project - i managed to do a an animated short in Flash, but coming back to the basics i could barely handle them. Probably because i never gone through some 'basics' in the first place, i just jumped right in.

Here is the fruit of my first 3rd year project, looking at it with shame as it was done in less time than it was intended. A Google Doodle, targeted for & for 30th of November.
30th of November is celebrated as Saint Andrew's Day in Romania & Moldova and is also known as Vampire's Night. It is not as entertaining as Halloween, since people just put garlic at their windows and add garlic in their dinner but it's a tradition non the less and my Google Doodle is based on it.

The vampire's weird shape forming is suppose to show him as taking human form from his bat form. The 2nd weird deforming is suppose to show him taking a cartoony stretchy pace towards the foreground. This part was done frame by frame and i felt the need to explain it as it didn't look clear enough.

Looking at the hands putting the garlic on the window, i can say that Flash did not respect the stage area. They were brought too close to the center of the screen that you can see them cut off. This was not intended and really makes me question Flash's ability to export its media. When i was working on Moth , the already exported media seemed to jump a frame or misplace a tween or a symbol. Seems like this sort of thing happened here. Probably because my version of Flash is older. A bad artist always blames his tools but with Flash, rechecking your work to see what you've done wrong turns into rechecking your work to see what the program's done wrong.

Here is a small functionless button.

 Custom spray - creating your own bitmap, and use it as a pattern with the spray tool to make a night sky for example.

3D tool - This was relatively simple than i expected, after all it's not a 3d focused software so i couldn't do much. This was handled by drawing a door on one layer and then turn it into a 3d object. Result is of...a simple piece of paper. I did not find how to make it thicker. On different layer, the one under the door i animated a small figure peeking, to emphasize the idea of 3d.

Here i did a small flash test of a clock. The arms wouldn't move automatically around as i would expect so i had to key them manually - you can notice that their speed isn't constant.

Using a motion blur plug in, i tried to apply it to the clock's arms. But since their speed wasn't constant, the result if they are trying to shake themselves out of this existence.

Here i used motion guide. I drew a simple line and then the glove. The line was the motion guide, and the glove started going on it from point A to point B. The glove did not spin by itself, i had to do that manually, but following the trace was all automatic.

Here i tested a simple glow, i just turned the text into a symbol and then used a glow plug in on it.

Here i tested a glow using a mask two layers of the same text, one of them was turned into a mask. A static animated image was put between the text layers and then the actual glow was added.

An image of a scene with a mime was drawn on a layer, and on a different one, a circle that was turned into a mask. I added a gradient effect to the circle and then animated it to go from left to right.

Pretty much all the motions in this test weren't done by me manually. They were default motion presets in flash that i simply applied them to the objects in the footage.

The tv is a symbol within a symbol. The screen is its own symbol with its animated spiral, while the TV itself is animated by moving from left to right. A glow was added to the screen. The cat is placed on a layer in front of the TV and to it were added two drop shadows. one of them was turned white to give the impression that it's a reflection of the light.

And finally here i used a dark colour oval and inverted its selection to create a vignette. I reduced it's transparency, and then i added an animated static image.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Comic - Boop

So this happened in my class once, Bethan tried to poke James' cheek but accidentally ended up poking his eye.
The strip is also inspired by this meme.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Comic - Hat Fad

One of our great animators, James always shown up to the course in his fancy hat. He has quite a collection of them for what I've heard and he never showed up one day without wearing one, almost as if it's part of him. More comics on James will be posted soon.