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Supervisor Meetings

Supervisor Meeting – March 7

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This week’s supervisor meeting was mainly discussing my plans for the next few weeks and going over how my presentation went in the previous week.

I sent over my dissertation structure/plan earlier in the week and was told I should expect more detailed feedback later in the week. I did get some quick feedback such as how I could go about combining a discussions section with my “making of” section and that I should considering merging the “making of” section with my methodology since they are both outlining the same thing.

Last week I was able to get in contact with the supplier of my armature kit and was told I was sent the wrong type of glue in the kit I ordered. The good news is they replaced my armature free of charge so now I am able to begin animating again. I was asked on-the-spot what its name was and I came up with “Kenny the armature”.

I explained how my set design wasn’t yet complete but we discussed that animating a quick test show would be beneficial. This week I will test my production pipeline by animating a test shot and hopefully gain a better understanding of the composition, staging and lighting of my setup. I will also try out some post production filters such as colour correction or balancing contrast which will help me to fine tune my lighting so that if I do choose to use filters I will be able to do so with greater ease.

We also discussed things I’ll need to look at further down the line such as the graduate show and final presentation. For the graduate show things like business cards, a poster and a website are needed. I figured these would be easier to tackle once I’m mid-production and have a better understanding of what my animation will look visually. Lynn suggested a movie poster would be good to make and I’ll consider how I want to make that soon.

I also managed to acquire additional clay from Ian Donald who had allowed our Global Game Jam team to use clay the university had earlier in the year. The clay was sitting unused in a locker so if I have a use for it, I will now have access to it. I will probably use these additional materials to add more details to my set, and if needed to my character.

Supervisor Meeting

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My original appointed supervisor, Lynn Parker, returned from absence this week so I had an opportunity to rehears explaining the current state of my project, ahead of this week’s progress presentation. I explained the changes to my project since the project proposal whereby I had focused on materials and movement in particular from the wider range of stylistic affordances I had planned to look at.

I showed my work from late last semester and the beginning of this semester and focused mainly on the recent development of my storyboards and a practical test from last week. Using the feedback from this, I will shape my presentation to cover things I’ve missed or need to expand on.

Storyboards

I showed the current iteration of my story idea which was well received. Like previous feedback, because I hadn’t storyboarded the ending, my explanation of the ending wasn’t enough to communicate my ideas. I will ensure I have storyboarded an ending even if it isn’t set in stone as the final ending idea.

I am apparently approaching the project well in regards to tying my practical work to my written work. My storyboard is doing well to highlight techniques and themes I have been researching.

Practical Work

Feedback on the pixilation/clay animation was interesting in that my attempt to animate one thing at 15fps and another at 30fps was unusual and not often approached. Interestingly, there was an uncanny feel to the real life hand which was running at the higher frames-per-second. This was the opposite of my intention when initially creating the animation where I thought having the hand appear smoother would make it appear more “real”. However due to the nature of pixilation animation and my attempt at it, I had made the character feel more natural than the real hand. This was something I hadn’t considered until now, and while this doesn’t detract from the created work, it does shed some light on how I might approach future pixilation. The lower frames-per-second gives of the animated charm I like and so pixilation animation at this same fps will probably feel more natural in this fps.

Presentation

I showed my presentation draft which consisted of showing previous work, current work, the storyboard for my final animation, and where I was going next with the production of the final animation.

The structure of the presentation was overall good. I will want to introduce my concept better by showing some examples of other work that is similar to mine before going into the story.

I am perhaps showing too much of my storyboards and would be better to pick some key shots to better communicate what my story is and the themes I am focusing on. Although I wasn’t particularly too keen to make a new animatic for the revised story idea, I recognise that I will need to as part of the creative process which will allow me to understand the pacing. Since my last animatic helped me to communicate my idea and identify faults, I will now definitely be looking to make a storyboard for this new idea.

Lynn also showed some animations which had similar themes to the animation I was creating. She showed early animations that often featured the animator alongside the animation. These early animations started as camera trickery and were used more for performance purposes rather than focus on characterisation.

This is some of the animations Lynn showed me, I’m going to continue researching this area so that I can expand my knowledge and potentially include some of these as examples in my dissertation.

Supervisor Meeting – Feedback to Story Changes

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I met with Simone today for the final time. Today’s meeting was short but helpful. I mostly spent the time explaining and showing my new story idea. Although I felt I was a little bit behind due to the animatic and dissertation, because I had a stronger story idea I felt more confident moving on from here.

Feedback was good: the new idea was simpler but stronger than the previous. The story is more concise due to leaving out things like television scenes and looking out windows. The character moves more from the start which is much more interesting to watch. This story was also much easier to tie into the dissertation as I was directly focusing on materials and movement and using these as the things to drive the story.

I also discussed my plans for the upcoming weeks. Since there is a progress presentation in two weeks, I have set myself the goals of completing the storyboard and expanding upon potential ending ideas. I will also dedicate more time to the dissertation and outline the structure more clearly so that it can be understood by others.

For the presentation I will show the storyboard for this idea and it would be nice if there were an animatic to go along with it. I want to ensure my story does come across strong and using the feedback from that presentation will help me further shape the story to its final draft. By that point I may already have started animating on that final animation. Starting from now I hope to expand on testing the range of actions and expressions the armature character is capable of so I know what to expect when beginning the final animating.

Supervisor Meeting

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Today’s supervisor meeting was with Simone O’Callaghan, This week I reflected on the lecture regarding questionnaires and interviews. I considered whether they were entirely necessary for my project or not. My idea to use interviews (which would show people my work and they’d be asked questions regarding the techniques being used) was mostly to validate the comments I was making in regards to the style of stop motion animation. I didn’t need questionnaires for this but I was in the mindset following the ethics form submission that they’d be beneficial.

I spoke with Simone and we agreed that they were not entirely necessary and I would be better off focusing on animating. Since my project is based on an idea that stop motion has unique traits to it, other people’s opinions may not be beneficial to my final outcome. I wanted to keep my vision of creating an animation that used stop motion to enhance its style.

I discussed a story idea I had been working on this week, about exposed armature puppets where they were alive and self aware of their form. Celebrities and the upper class would have the money to “make themselves whole” by adding materials to their form. The animation would keep things simple and focus on one character looking out to the world.

Simone asked what would be the visual style I was aiming for and how I would create the sets. I explained that I would experiment beforehand with creating sets from cardboard and other materials and seeing how it turned out.

We decided the best way to continue this would be to focus on creating a storyboard and an animatic. This will be the goal for the next individual supervisor meeting.

I will also work on getting a rough structure for my dissertation in place, and will consider a “Making” section which would consist of a lot of concept art, and behind the scenes photographs documenting the process of creating my final animation.