Thursday, 2 December 2010

Reports, Evaluations and Congratulations!!

Here are my Report & Evaluations for the 11 Second Club and Experimental Projects. I would just like to say that I am really impressed with our classes experimental and 11 second club animations. We totally kicked bootie this year. Congratulations everyone! You Rock!

Experimental Report and Evaluation:

Alberto MOntana Experimental Report Evaluation

11 Second Club Report and Evaluation:

11 Second

Experimental Project

Yesterday I went into the studio to film the 35mm film on the projector and I would like to say a big thank you to Andy Wyatt who helped me in a big way during the filming process. The quality of the film could have been a bit better, but me and Andy tried our best to make it come out as good as possible under the circumstances. This included holding up a black sheet over the screen to shield reflections off of the projector.

Despite that I went home anxious and nervous to see the out come and I have to Say I'm very proud of my baby. This is because I haven't done anything in post production side that I would normally do, such as colour correct it or make sure that the music would fit the animation. It seems the dope sheets I had created seemed to work like a charm. There are a few bits in the animation where the song doesn't go, like towards the end, however the whole point of this project to me was to get me away from the computer and fixing things digitally and to try something out the old fashioned way. I will defiantly try this technique again as I only had 1 day to animate to get it in for the deadline.

Here is the video, remember the quality is not the best, and it is compressed but hopefully it that won't ruin the piece.

If your wondering what I used on the film, I tryed, acrylic, oil pastal, felt pens and etching for the black and white bits.

Experimental Project from Anima Films on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Finished 11 second Club

Here is the streamed mpeg4 of the 11 second club animation. The lip sync is a little off when played in a quicktime player but works fine in VLC which I fin rather strange, but either way I'm sure you get the idea.

*Drum Roll*

November2010 11 seocnd club (2) from Anima Films on Vimeo.

I am having trouble uploading things to moodle with my Internet at the house I am renting, so I hope it chooses to work for the deadline.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Experimental Update

I mentioned in the previous post that I would give the 11 second club a brake for the day and work only on the experimental project. Things are getting there slowly. I had decided to make a plan/frame by frame semi storyboard of what I will be doing with the experimental project. This is because when I came to animating onto the film I was totally stuck for ideas. I have combined the dope sheet with this pictorial plan so hopefully I have made my life in the long run easier. The only problem is actually getting round to filming it on the projector, I have not had a "camera induction" and therefor I am not allowed to borrow film equipment from the media centre. If any of the tutors who will be in on the Monday coming and could help me out with this problem please email me. I will also try and get in contact with you in the same way. I would like to say in advance that the help will be much appreciated.

Any how here is a pdf version of the visual plan for my experimental I realise the notes may not make any sense to anyone else but myself but hopefully you can get an idea of what I may be aiming for:

Experimental Frame Image Plan

I know this seems a little to late, but I just wanted to post these two videos by the animator Len Lye who I have been inspired by in the planning of this project.

Big thank you to Ann Owen (one of my lectures) who mentioned him and his exhibition which is in Birmingham. I had no idea who he was until then and am grateful for the introduction to this inspirational artist.

Friday, 26 November 2010

update on 11 second club

I am getting there slowly following the procedure i mentioned in the previous post; inking after making sure the volume of the character is correct (which in some parts is a long and arduous task). It has in retrospect taught me how important keeping the figure in proportion during the line art process is. If it isn't it does cause all sorts of problems you would have never thought existed within the physics of the character.

inkwip2 from Anima Films on Vimeo.

I have started the planning prcess for the Experimental Project which I will work on first thing tommorow morning *fingers crossed*

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Random Oldies

Since I may be removing my facebook account I have decided to move some of the images of my work I had on there to here just for the time being before I create a deviant art account.

so in no particular order:

This is all older stuff, but I will update the blog from time to time with newer stuff. I do work digitally more often than not, but I will scan in some sketchbook work along the way as well

Another WIP-Ink and Volume and Experimental Update

,lI have started with the final inking process, working with one character at a time I am keeping an eye out for volume issues as the characters in the previous line tests loose allot of their natural shape in places and change size.

wip3 from Anima Films on Vimeo.

An update on the experimental project:

Yesterday I bleached most of the 35 mm film I am going to use. I will be working in black and white for some of the film as I couldn't bleach all of it but since it is an experimental project I am going to just go with flow and see how things turn out.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Lip Sync Line Test

For some reason I can not upload any more files onto moodle, this isn't due to size issues but because it just doesn't give me an option to upload anything. However this is an updated line test focusing on mouth and lip sync, there are still a few tweaks but I will get to that during the process of finishing the in between poses, hopefully this will help smooth out the final animation.

line test lip sync from Anima Films on Vimeo.

I have a tutorial with Derek tomorrow as he was kind enough to send me an email about bleaching the film I will be using for the experimental project. Thanks to him I may be able to use colour after all.

11 second club update Line test 2

Here is an update on the animation process focusing on the eye expressions for the characters. It is still rough but I am currently working on the mouths and then I will focus on the smoothness with the inbetweens.

line test 2 from Anima Films on Vimeo.

Monday, 22 November 2010


The following is a recap on everything that has been going on in and out of my right brain through the last few weeks. It seems I am just not "getting" this whole blog thing. The truth is I am finding it very difficult to stay focused on producing posts as often as I should and for that I apologise. As after speaking to people in the studio I have noticed that I am receiving the benefits of their updates but not the other way around. So here is a chronological post explaining the process from pre-production of the 11 second club and where things have gone with the experimental project.

Dope Sheets.

This was a process I had done digitally in photoshop. I managed to finish the Experimental Dope sheet before the 11 second club (which was also finished in the same week which started the 8th of November)

Experiment A Dope Sheets Alberto Montana

11 Second Club Dope Sheets Alberto Montana

At this point I had finalised the idea I wanted to work with for the experimental project and the medium which I had chose; 35 mm film. At this point I could not work on the experimental physically as there was no film to use, instead this led me to work on my 11 second club animation.

Character Designs

I began listening to clip over and over acting it out and thinking of characters that would suit the voices. I had a vague image of a short fat guy yelling at a skinny man. Once I had listened to the clip I began sketching in my sketch book. I then moved into working digitally. Recently I have found myself more comfortable with my tablet than my sketchbook.

Once the characters were being worked on I started working on expressions simultaneously, while listening to the clip over and over focusing on each individual words and how the characters body language could be expressed in conjunction with it. The picture of how the characters were turning out started to become more vivid in my mind and eventually through this process the characters of a "Sensei" and a "Student" were finalised.

11 Second Club Expressions and Planning Alberto Montana

With no material to work with for the Experimental project, I moved straight onto the storyboards and animatic. In the last seminar before the teachers went to Bradford with the 1st years Derek had talked about the previous animation process I had been using for the assignment prior to this, which was using footage for reference. Derek had advised me to challenge myself by animating the 11second club using as less reference footage as possible. For this reason I have decided not to film myself for the 11 second club project. This is because I felt that if I filmed myself I would have jumped into old habits of relying on it for pose's which could have left the characters movements dull and unexaggerated. I focused allot of attention this aspect of the animation as I thought it was the most important thing. Using my expression thumbnails as reference I created the storyboard and then moved onto the timing for the animatic.

11 Second Club Storyboards Alberto Montana

11 second club animatic from Anima Films on Vimeo.

I would just like to point out that the timing is a bit off on this version of the animatic however i will hand in an uncompressed version to be marked which will show that the timing is actually correct.

This animatic was shown to Derek in the last lecture and he expressed the importance of a third character and an object or situation to help the audience understand what exactly the sensei is talking about. Unfortunately I had spent all my time thinking of the poses rather than the concept. After the lecture I began to panic alittle as I could not think of something to add into the scene. I did come up with the idea of the Sensei's Sake (Japeniese alcholic drink) was stolen from the student however nothing else popped up, weapons scrolls just didn't fit.

However with less than a week to go with the hand in date, I have come to the conclusion that I am not going to change the idea I have. Also Derek understood I was too far in to throw it all away, but suggested that the Sensei's expression towards the end looks to much like hes talking to someone off screen. For this reason I have changed the last 3 poses of the sensei to having his back turned, looking upwards. Hopefully this will give more of an impression of the character speaking to himself.

11 second club line test from Anima Films on Vimeo.

I decided to work on the animation of the 11 second club as quick as possible so I worked rough at first getting the poses in and now I am currently adding facial expressions and the inbetweens to make it smoother.

At this point I was talking to Derek and asking him whether or not i would be able to use film as a medium (as I was running short of time because I needed to practice the medium as I had never used it before)I am very grateful to Derek Hayes, the other teachers for picking up the projector and film all the way from Bristol and the students who pulled through and helped bring the equipment into the studio in time for me to use this week. I have managed to have a quick play with it however at this point I can only work on black scratching into the film. I may bleach parts for colour, but I can not paint onto the black as I found out through trial and error as the light from the projector can not pass through the black even if I had painted on top of the black. This will change my overall idea of the experimental project. Instead of having a small narrative my sole aim will be to work to get the timing on the music right.

I hope that has clarified things for the people who are interested. I have also been doing 3d work as well as some personal projects, including some drawing that I will post up (hopefully) at another date.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Personal Projects.

I have been trying figure out how cut out works so last week I decided to mess around with images in photoshop and then transferring them into Adobe After Effects. This is just a quick test of a slightly humerus space cat. I quite enjoyed animating in this way and would like to take these elements and in my own time develop them in Cel Action or Animate pro and use it as for practice exercises to get used to the programs.

space_cat from Anima Films on Vimeo.

Here are some various versions of illustrations I did for a friend. The image itself is taken from a drawing I did of the TV Presenter Jeremy Kyle.

I am currently working on my dopesheet for the experimental project and will scan in some sketchbook work as well as reveal the process of how the "modeling a coke bottle" maya tutorial George recomended to us a while back has turned out in my next update. We are getting Internet in our flat hopefully next week so the updates should be a little more random instead all on the same day.

Emotion...its a game of two halfs

For this weeks emotional response assignment I decided i would animate a character watching a football game. I wanted to incorporate the emotion excitement with a brief moment of disappointment followed by happiness. This if used in an animation would add to the anticipation of the game being played off screen.

I decided to use video reference for this animation for rough key poses (by capturing certain poses into pictures) and then re designed a character over the roughs and filling in the in betweens I needed.

Football Fan from Anima Films on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Experimenting with Footage

Some of the footage I have shot I have manipulated it further to attain specific effects in after effects. Since I am relatively new to the after effects program I decided to take this as an opportunity to practice and get the hang of the program.

This is water shaken in a bottle. If I can not use film for my experimental animation I will attempt to try a pixilation with water and lights. Here are the type of effects and mood I would like to achieve if I develop these ideas further into a pixilation animation.

water_texture from Anima Films on Vimeo.

water_lights from Anima Films on Vimeo.

Here is another lines effect I may use if i work on Film. I mirrored the shirt footage i filmed and added blending effects to make it abit more abstract.

Abstract_Lines from Anima Films on Vimeo.

This is more personal as I have seen this effect floating around on the internet and always wanted to do one myself. It turns out that the effect is simple to achieve in after effects, using the CC Flow Motion effect.

Untitled from Anima Films on Vimeo.

Experimental Animation

At the moment I am experimenting with Line and Wave Forms for my experimental animation ideas. Over the weekend I used a camera to film things that I could find that would give me interesting reference footage such as, water, curtain, radiators, walls, carpets. Anything that had strong lines. I am planning to take this reference footage and use it for drawing onto 16/30 mm film. As I only have a small canvas to play with on 16/30mm I thought it would be best to keep things simple so using lines and wave forms seems appropriate. If I can not work on film, I will attempt to work with water and lights using pixilation animation.

This was done filming the drapes in my room. As thread them together it creates a psychadelic wave optical illusion. I am planing on brining some of the drape fabric in and experiment with it under a light box if I have time.

drapes2 from Anima Films on Vimeo.

This was a lined shirt I had hung up in the wardrobe. The filming is a bit dark but as I said earlier it is only going to be used for reference.

shirt from Anima Films on Vimeo.

This is a close of a quilt. Again focusing more on the movement of how the camera picks up the lines to use as reference.

abstract_lines_test from Anima Films on Vimeo.

This is a close up of a radiator.

rad_test from Anima Films on Vimeo.

(I will be uploading the water I filmed as well as some footage I have minipulated once I have uploaded them to vimeo.)

Walk Cycle Assignment

I aimed to achieve a confident walk with the walk cycles I worked on over the week. Both of the animations are done using the same method, one with reference images one without. The first one I did was a stick figure which was animated pose to pose on 2s and then adding 2 extra inbetween key frames between each key pose. I am currently working on a 3d walk as well so I don't fall behind on my maya animating skills more than I already have but I will be uploading that later in the week.

walkcycle_one from Anima Films on Vimeo.

The second was exactly the same process only I added detail of a figure from photo refrence.

walk cycle 2 from Anima Films on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Weight Animation Exercise

I animated this frame by frame using pose to pose method in flash. I had previously filmed myself and incorporated different poses from all the videos I had for reference. I then animated the in betweens after the key poses were mapped out and then moved frames around to slow r speed things up if I wasn't happy with the timing. If I was able to revisit this, I would take a closer look at the style as I deliberately drew the body through the box for the aesthetic value of the animation, however after looking at it over and over again, I feel it doesn't work and confuses the idea of the box being a physical object. That said I chose to animate with more of a realistic feeling with minimal squash and stretch and exaggeration and focusing more on the anticipation of the characters approach to picking up the object to give the viewer the impression of something heavy laying before the viewer.

Weight_assignment from Anima Films on Vimeo.


I'm currently in the process of uploading all the animation tests I did last year and over the summer to vimeo. This post will be edited with some previous files that I missed out on last year.

Virgin Ident 1:

Virgin Ident from Anima Films on Vimeo.

Monday, 3 May 2010

The 'What?' Project Idea and an update on the work from this term.

First of all I would like to apologise for the lack of updates on this blog. I miss out on a post and then one thing leads to another. More work needs to be updated and then I'm left wondering how to update the blog sufficiently and fit it all in to an update which is a situation that is just horrendous. I will make more of an effort to keep this blog as active as I can. Especially now that this new group project provides the opportunity to keep track of what my duties were along the course of the whole production of the animation...Now onto the extremely huge update:

The What Project:

The group I am working with consist of Sian Ross, Nigel Kitts, Alan Matthewman, Chloe Ingram Gooden, Darrien Gibson and myself. It a big group and although it will help during the production of the animation we all came to see it does have its problems in the creation of ideas. This is because the people in my group are all creative individuals and the isolation of a single idea became harder than we thought. After much debate we had all agreed on "The Old Man Fight" idea.

I came up with a few quick concept sketches using a tablet before we were allocated specific roles to help give the group some images in order to visualise the idea.

The images were going to get used for the pitch the coming Thursday however we decided to change aspects of the idea by introducing an old woman as one of the main characters. At this point Chloe was assigned the role for character designer along with Sian to help, so these concepts were scrapped. But I think they are still important in giving a hint to where our minds were at the time of idea generation.

As I stated earlier we had assigned roles for this animation which were voted by the group at this point. My roles are as follows:

Editor and Final Cut

We spoke to Derek Hayes at this point to help clarify bits of the script and animation that needed more attention. The pitch came the following day and I rehearsed and acted out the idea as much as possible as we decided the idea was more important than the style and concept sketches of the animation in the process of pitching the idea. I would like to think that the pitch was successful as the class seemed to laugh at the gags in the animation which proved to me that the "whats?" used and its meanings in the context of the animation were understood clearly.

As I was given the role of the Director I took the initiative to write the script which I had turned into a pdf and have given to all of the group to have a look at and use for reference in their allocated jobs. Unfortunately blogger does not let me upload files like pdf, so I have converted the images into jpg. I am sorry if the writing is hard to read. If you would like a full pdf of the script than please email me.

The script is not set in stone, it was just created again as a tool to help everyone in the group visualise the idea as much as possible. Chloe showed me some of the designs she created and I chose three of them for her to finalise for the final animation. Sian worked on the character designs for the Dog and I am still waiting for the coloured versions of Chloe's characters to make a decision on which colour the dog should be. We have asked Nigel and Alan to come up with some quick 3d Backgrounds for the animatic so we can have an idea of timing and so on, while I will see Darrien tomorrow for his concept sketches. Tomorrow we will discuss as a group whether we will go down a fully digital path using Flash animation, or traditional hand drawn for the 2d aspects of the animation.

Animal Firm:

I am working with Sian Ross on this project as we had similar thoughts on the way in which the Animal Firm concepts should be brought to life. We have come up with a billion character ideas and after speaking to Derek Hayes we decided to draw out the characters that we feel are important. We have split the character designs between us. I have worked on 3 of the 8 characters that I have been assigned this week:

The Bear: Russian Mafia Boss (Female, but no one really knows)

This character designed focused on the animalistic side. Sort of like a butch female "man eater".

This character design is similar, but i added a fur coat and changed the eyes. I have to speak to Sian and see what she thinks. Perhaps merging the two or changing aspects of either of them. Either way we have to decide on the final ideas of the characters together.

The Private Eye-Eagle:

I decided to give him a more British look, almost like a Sherlock Holmes attitude in this design however me and Sian agree that it doesn't really fit within the style of the story and its characters.

The character is a detective, so I thought i would give him the classic film noir, "fat, retired and out of the business" design. This is the one that Sian and I like the most, which means i will take him further into colour.

The femme Fatal: Cat

Me and Sian wanted to go for a sort of 1940s traditional Femme Fatal character who can't be trusted (even though she's actually really nice).

Overall I think me and Sian are both enjoying the process of the project, be sure to check out her blog for her side of the project.

Sketchbook Project:

I think everyone is giving Kathrine a hard time over a good project. All I can say is I appreciate the loose structure of the brief that she has given us. Here are a few chose works of week1 of the brief which I chose:

"Object of the Day"

Week 2: "Negative Space"

I again apologise for the horrendously long update. I will be sure to keep up to date this term. Thank you for your patience.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Flash Character Designs

I first began by trying to gather a style for the flash animation by first listening to the people as and jotting down ideas as I went along. I focused mainly on the eyes and the mouth as I knew they would be the symbols i will be focusing on animating the most. I went through some quick thumbnails in my sketchbook of all the kind of concepts i wanted to cover for the animation. Once I had all my ideas gathered I decided to concentrate on three ideas and see which one worked the most by taking the characters further. These included the idea of talking shoes, a boy and a girl sitting in a park and talking mushrooms. I decided to take the aspect of mushrooms further because this is a lip syncing project and since I am very unfamiliar and new to flash, I opted to choose a character that doesn't have any limbs to animate. This way I could focus on the narrative animated aspects of the eyes and the lips. I chose the mushrooms over the shoes, as the mouth of the shoes would just flap up and down and wouln't really be apropriate for this exercise. I went back to the sketchbook and came up with the following designs:
This character was a male, and the placement on the mouth was tried at the top before it was placed on the stem.

I felt that the eyes were the most prominent feature, so I focused on adapting each pupil differently in each character design, some were big others were small, again gathering inspiration from the voices of the people.

After I had an array of designs I took one into illustrator first because I am a bit more familiar with the software. I decided to work in black and white at first because I wasn't sure what colours to use for the mushrooms themselves.

I am still not sure about the colours I have chosen for this character however since it will be in flash I have the option of changing them quickly if I feel the need to. The mouth is not included in this exported flash image as there are multiple symbols (as there are for the eyes as well, such as eyes with eyelids to show sarcasm, anger, etc) as it is a component that is changeable as it Will be animated.

The process is the same for the other drawn mushroomed characters, (for the two girls) but for some strange reason Blogger is not working properly and is not letting me post more images as it has frozen, but I will add them and edit this post as soon as I am able to.

flash animation character designs

I first began by trying to gather a style for the flash animation by first listening to the people as and jotting down ideas as I went along. I went through some quick thumbnails in my sketchbook of what kind of concepts i wanted to cover for the animation. Once I had all my ideas gathered I decided to concentrate on three ideas and see which one worked the most by taking the characters further. These included the idea of talking shoes, a boy and a girl sitting in a park and talking mushrooms. I decided to take the aspect of mushrooms further because this is a lip syncing project and since I am very unfamiliar and new to flash, I opted to choose a character that does'nt have any limbs to animate. This way I could focus on the narrative animated aspects of the eyes and the lips. I went back to the sketchbook and came up with the following designs.