Wednesday, 31 October 2012


The current iteration of my Master's subject is 'Enriching the the narrative of an animation through manipulating secondary action'.

I hope that I can, with the three presentation dates, split the course of research into three areas within. Maybe I can begin with larger scaled gestures and work my way into more detailed actions, ending with subtle nuances of facial animation.

I definitely want to include something about character personalities. How does a confident character portray nerves? How would the same character behave when bored, or excited? And then the same with a nervous character.

One of the goals would be to be able to portray a personality of a character, and in an episodic animation, have a consistent personality, or in a feature-type animation have a personality develop. Perhaps even both.

The resulting skill would be the ability to put my mind in that of a wide range of characters and know what my quirks would be, and importantly, how to animate them.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Body language shapes who you are

Wimp is a great website. Every day there's 5 videos. They can be anything: comedy, things that make you think 'what the hell?', great ideas, and educational stuff.

Quite often there are TED talks that make their way on there.

I have to admit when I see a TED talk on there I usually close it, that's 20 mins long and I don't want to watch such a long video.

This particular one stuck me as being vaguely relevant to my future master's project, so that's why I'm sharing it here.

The woman's basically saying, standing like this:

Makes you feel like a boss, to the point it changes the hormones in your body. And that if it feels dumb, just keep doing it 'til it doesn't.

Anyway, if I can make my characters behave in this way it should have an effect on the way you perceive their personalities.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

What am I doing today?

Today I went to uni, had the first introductory tutorial with Andy and Shaun.

Tasks that I've returned with are to find 3 things I like, 3 I don't, and to pin down a sense of what I'm looking for as an outcome of this course.

I think I've got an idea for one of the things I dislike, but I'll make a proper post about these when I've got them all nailed down.

For now, I'm faffing around animating to part of this scene from Enter The Dragon:

From 1:04 to 1:27. I've chopped it down a bit where there's a long pause before 'let me think'.

In the past when I've animated I've stuck to animating shot by shot but this time I'm doing it all in one go. I'll deal with the camera later. I do have a bit of a storyboard to work from - my version is going to be more amusing to watch than Bruce Lee's.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Review of the Market Square

Thought I'd try to write the personal review of one of the locations we visited this night.
It's pretty late now, considering I'll be up around 8. I don't enjoy 7 hours of sleep.

Review of the Market Square

The market square is a very versatile area of Nottingham - a location that has multi-cultural and multi-subcultural uses. Many sorts of people can use it for an array of different things. First and foremost it is the hub of Nottingham - you could indeed describe it as being in the middle of the city. This makes it an excellent place for meeting your friends before embarking on other activities.
As a consequence of its ease of access and large open space, it often plays host to a number of different events. These include the summer beach theme, where the feel of tropical beaches are brought to the very inland Nottingham city. It includes genuine sand!
During Christmas there is a European market that even has a small German style bar with food - this brings the flavours of some of our other neighbouring countries into our city centre, as well as offering a chance to buy some handmade jewellery and other craft items that aren't available from anywhere else in Nottingham.
One could not forget the Nottingham Eye, a temporary Ferris wheel brought here in time for valentine's day. It's a nice opportunity to have a quiet moment with your loved one, as well as getting a glimpse of Nottingham's rooftop - providing you go at daytime.
Around the autumn season, Game City moves in. This gives a chance for the younger generations to check out up and coming video games or to try out games made by local indie developers. It could potentially be a lure into the games and creative industries for those who have not yet moved into their careers.
The market square also sees the likes of outdoor concerts and other media events, from Afro-Caribbean themed musical concerts, to poetry, demonstrations by the armed forces, and just general commercial events.
On a personal level I find that the market square's greatest use is as a location for riding bikes and skateboarding. As a rider, I find the square caters well for the purposes of meeting friends, and a place to initiate or conclude a ride. The multiple steps and platforms of differing levels present good locations for performing tricks, and the wide variety and reasonable space allows the creation of a fair amount of trick combinations.
Despite the market square being such a great location for such sports, it has some pretty significant downfalls. The first is that depending on when you go there, it can be pretty full of people and indeed other events such as the Ferris wheel, which leaves no room for the rider or skater.
The second is that there is never an PCSO or CPO far away to issue you with a £30 fine for enjoying such an area. It's understandable, and that understanding usually gets you out of paying the fine, but the PCSOs or CPOs will always move you on. There'll never be time to complete that trick combo you were dreaming of.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Research question ideas

Andy replied to my email with a couple of possible questions:

'How does secondary motion help describe a character's personality'

'Body language as a nonverbal method of communicating an animated characters state of mind'

At the moment I like the sound of the first one more, but I'll do a bit of reading around both of them and decide which direction to go in that way.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

First day of MA university

So far we have met the entire MA group, and been given a group task about journeys.
Could be fun, groups will be dished out tomorrow.

As for my actual project, I'm trying to narrow down a question.
Nothing's concrete yet. I wonder about something like 'how can study of body language inform and improve an animated performance'?
I could look into micro-expressions and how one could include those.