Monday, 29 October 2007

More Mapping

Check out mapping tests 1 to 4 at the bottom of this page. They're ace. I really want to try this out. A couple of my neighbours are into graffiti and I'm thinking about asking them if I can animate some of their designs, and planning some sort of projection onto buildings involving this technique. Just an idea, like.

AV Challenge

Ok, this is pissing me off now. I've been struggling with technology ever since I started this little project, and it isn't getting any better. First of all, the loops wouldn't play back properly in Module8 (VJ software) and would get stuck on the last frame for about half a second before looping again. It took me a while to figure out that M8 doesn't like uncompressed sound, so when I had re-rendered all the clips with compressed sound and started some mixes, it turns out M8 doesn't like rendering the sound output either - i.e. it doesn't bloody do it! And neither does AV Drum!! Which is an audio visual program, for bumsake!!!

So screw it, I don't have time to piss about with it anymore - the presentation is on Thursday. I've asked if anyone has done a mix yet on VJForums, and I'll give them a few hours to respond before I have to start looking for something else to analyse. I'm thinking some sort of live VJ mix that could be seen as a collaboration with the DJ or musician. Or I could just analyse this AV Challenge collaboration as a complete failure...hmm.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Amazing Maurice

David has made contact with various potential collaborators, cos he knows everybody, and given them a deadline for a preliminary sketch of one of the scenes. We will then judge which is best, and offer them a drawing contract worth one hundred pounds (of Davids money - not mine, oh no) - X-Factor style! We're also putting up some beautifully designed posters around the college.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

VJ-ing - potential first gig!

Met up with Andy who I got in touch with on VJForums, and who happens to work at the college. We talked about geeky, techie things (Quartz Composer, VDMX - stuff I'm gonna check out). Things that he seemed to know alot more about than me. I smiled and nodded the majority of the time. He was very keen to get me straight in there and do my first gig as soon as possible, and said he'd have a look to see what nights are available at the SU Bar. Not just me on my own though, that would be silly. I've got a feeling I'll run out of the content that I've spent the best part of a year creating in about twenty minutes.

I'm also going to tag along to some of the gigs him and Dan are doing soon, so I can see what goes on while they set up and stuff.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Amazing Maurice

Had a meeting with David and the director, David Lambert, today to clarify a few things. And clarify, it did. We now know the number of scenes we need, what has to be in them and how much animation we need to produce. The stills that David L. had drawn for the backgrounds were a bit, errr, "basic" we thought, so we put it to him that we'd like to bring in a fourth collaborator to come up with some cool, Kirby-esque illustrations for the static scenes. He seemed fairly open to the idea, but maybe a bit cautious - don't think he wants us to go too crazy with it, which is fair enough. He also mentioned that the idea was to treat the backgrounds as if they were the pages of a fairytale style book, which led to the idea of having the cover projected as the audience arrives and settles down, and then as the lights dim, the book opens onto the first scene and also closes before lights up.

Current background example -

We also have a sound track to work to, which is handy. Sounded a bit cheesey on the brief listen we had, but we definately don't have time to re-do that (only five weeks!).

Monday, 22 October 2007


Crustea linked to some more of his experiments with mapping today on VJForums, here's a couple...

Light sculpture installation type thing and
a test (I presume) for the above

...and they're sparking off lots of ideas in my head, as we speak. I perhaps don't want to go down the very precise route that he seems to be taking, but I have been planning some sort of abstract, polygonal, bluescreen experiments that might benefit from some sort of projection onto the surfaces. In fact, maybe I won't need bluescreen after all - the idea was to do some animations in After Effects and then film live action versions where it all breaks down, people get in the way, the camera gets nudged etc. and then blend them SEEMLESSLY together. But if I plan it right, bluescreen shouldn't actually be necessary...

I need to figure out how they do this mapping stuff, and I've got a horrible feeling it's dead complicated and codey - vvvv was mentioned I think. I'm sure there's a simpler way round it though.

Sunday, 21 October 2007


Went to have a look at Suzie's bluescreen space the other day, in a huge old shoe factory. 'Tis good but it might be a bit too big for my needs. I'm not sure I need to use bluescreen at all actually.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Amazing Maurice

Meetings meetings meetings. For the main part of this collaborative practices unit we need to collaborate on a project with someone. So me and David have decided to work together on a youth theatre production of The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett. We went up to the theatre yesterday for a quick look around, ate some pies, and realised that the director wasn't actually going to be in, so we're meeting him sometime next week to find out exactly what needs to be done. We do know that he wants a short animated sequence to be projected (a rat being decapitated) and a series of still backgrounds for the rest of the play.

So far so good, although we are possibly getting a bit too ambitious already, with visions of Josh Kirby style backgrounds...

It would be good if we could find another collaborator to help us out though, as we both agree we'd like to push it as far as we can. We also both agree that we're rubbish at drawing and would need someone else in order achieve this.

I think a cut-out animation style would be nice, a bit like this which I think is dead good...

Wolf Boy from offplanetfilms on Vimeo.

Monday, 15 October 2007

AV Challenge

Right, I've decided over the weekend that instead of just passively observing this project, I'm gonna take part in it too! So I booked out a loverly HDDV Camera from college, filmed my clips, and uploaded them to, now I'm just waiting for everyone elses clips (got a few to play with already though). Results coming soon!

Edit - All the clips have been compiled here

Thursday, 11 October 2007

AV Challenge

So, I have to give a short presentation on an analysis of an existing collaborative project as part of the collaborative practices module. Initially I was thinking I'd probably end up looking at some sort of professionally produced studio piece, like a music video or nice piece of animation, but I could see that becoming a bit dull fairly quickly. Then I remembered this thread I'd seen at VJ Forums a while ago, and saw an opportunity to actually witness the collaborative process as it happened, and to analyse the resulting films as they are uploaded.

Just to summarise the process - each person makes eight audio-visual clips around the theme of water, uploads them to under a Creative Commons licence, where everyone else can download them and then mix them together using their preffered live video mixing software. The end result should be a series of AV "mash-ups". Here's one from the previous challenge. Actually it's the ony one from the previous challenge, which is slightly worrying, but there does seem to be more interest in this current one.

I think it will be quite interesting to see how this pans out, as it's a bit of a strange way of collaborating, what with the participants being quite remote and distanced from one another. I have a feeling that the best results will probably depend largely on careful, selective use of the clips.

Luckily the deadlines for the AV Challenge happen to fit in perfectly with my own deadline for the presentation (assuming everyone does stuff on time - this could be a problem!).

Links -
VJ Forums thread
Youtube example

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

The MA Begins...

Hello! I 've just started an MA in animation and sound design, and thought I'd post various thoughts, movies, ideas, sketches and what-have-you on here in order to record whatever kind of crazy progress I make. Internet access is currently fairly limited, but should be sorted soon so I'll post some of the stuff I've been working on before I started the course when it is.

Monday, 8 October 2007

'Herr Bar' by Clark

One of the things I showed at my interview for the MA. It's a very rough edit that I put together a couple of nights before the interview and haven't touched since...

'Herr Bar' by Clark from Retchy on Vimeo.