Monday, 30 May 2011

Free falling animation so far

Over yesterday and today, I began the falling sequence for the Marmot and Mongol characters, and I used the group's animatic as reference from 0:46 to 0:51.  The Maya scene that I was given contained the cliff scene, the two character rigs, the chicken leg model and the camera that would be used to render the shot.  This camera also had the camera movements.

Before beginning the animation, I made several amendments; first of all, I moved the characters into the starting position of the camera, so I could see how the animation would look in the shot.  The camera was already animated, but I had made the decision that I was going to animate all the poses first and then apply the falling later.  In order to create all these poses and see how it looked through the camera, I created a duplicate camera, but then I deleted all the movement from this new camera.  This meant that I could animate each key pose, but the camera would remain in position.

Another thing I did was create a curve that I named the Gravity curve and I then parented both the character rigs to this curve.  This curve would be used to actually animate the falling, as well as the moments when the two characters rotate in the air.  I could have done this manually, but this would be quite laborious.

Here is how the animation looks so far.

Towards the end of this bit of animation, the Mongol tries grabbing the chicken leg (which has yet to be animated falling), before the Marmot climbs on top of him and fetches it.   In this piece of animation, I made many alterations to the timing between when his legs swing around, and when his head turns to notice the falling piece of chicken.  It still needs a bit more work and I think the pose where he first notices the chicken needs to be held for longer.

I also need to put more effort into the weight of the Marmot trying to hold onto the Mongol's hand, as well as his facial expressions.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Back on board

I was chatting to David last night and he told me that they definitely need my help in getting their film complete so I am glad to say that I am now back working for the third years on the Snatched project.  I have also been give a shot to animate, which consists of the Marmot and Mongol fighting over the food while falling down a cliff.  I haven't animated a falling shot before but it should be fun to do.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Sound and Music for the Showreel

When putting together my showreel, one of the things that I am going to have to consider is the use of music; particularly copyrighted music.  Although I play guitar and I am technically skilled at this, I am not so good at creating new pieces of music, which sound professional.  I am intending to use a sample from the long version of the song "She Sells Sanctuary" by The Cult.  This rights to this song are owned by Warner Music Group, therefore I had to consider the issues around using copyrighted material if I want to produce a piece ready for broadcasting.

I have been looking on the web site of the Intellectual Property Office, to find out if there are any loopholes in Intellectual Property law that permit the fair usage of copyrighted material for non-commerical use.

I have come across this page on the site which states the terms of the permitted use of copyrighted and also states exceptions to the use of copyrighted material without the of permission of the owner, particularly for the benefit of students, non-commerical researchers, critics and reporters.  In fact, something which is heavily stressed in the following articles of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 is the fair use of copyrighted material in non-commercial research work, as long as it does not have any financial impact on the copyright owner and has a sufficient acknowledgement to the owner.

Observe the following articles from Chapter III of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, concerning the acts permitted in relation to Copyrighted work:

2925 Research and private study
(1) Fair dealing with a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work for the purposes of research for a non-commercial purpose does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement.

(1C) Fair dealing with a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work for the purposes of private study does not infringe any copyright in the work.

These articles state clearly that I would not be infringing copyrights, as I am a student producing the showreel for the purpose of my studies (as well as to promote my work to potential employers) and I have no intention of making money out of this showreel, meaning that there will be no financial impact on Warner Music Group.  I will, however, need to amend my showreel, so that it features an acknowledgement of the piece of music, along with the artist and copyright owners at the end.

The Intellectual Property Office also includes a page, which states that an infringement of copyright law is dependant on whether I have used a substantial part of the music.  The song that I have chosen to use is 6 minutes and 58 seconds long, and I am only using about 1 minute and 10 seconds, which is not even a quarter of the whole song.

The showreel also contains dialogue from the films Star Trek: Generations and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, as I animated character rigs against these pieces of dialogue for different projects.  These extracts would also be fine for me to use, for the same reasons stated above.

I have learnt that these articles in Copyright law, regarding the use of copyrighted work for the purpose of study, have made some of the previous units, that we have worked on, possible.  For example, in the first year, we had three units that concerned copyright law, because they involved animating against extracts from music, literature and dialogue from films respectively.  The reason we were legally able to do these projects are because they were done for the purpose of study and research and not for profit; we also only used small portions from the source material in our work.

The project so far...

I am in an interesting position at the moment, the third years that I produced animation for have found that they are full up with animators and therefore do not need my assistance at present.  I have figured that this is not down to a lack of ability or a lack of professionalism on my part, as David has thanked me for my professional approach to the project.  David has also mentioned that they may still need me towards the end of the project, even if they have no work for me at the moment.

After speaking with Jared, I have decided that the best thing to do so far is to continue with the running sequence that I have been working on, as I will need this for the assessment.  When I am putting together my movie which shows what I did for the Industry Exercise project, I will mention that this sequence did not make the final cut.