5 September 2013

Animated Eden

I’d like to tell you lovely lot that this Sunday the 8th of September is Animated Eden, Cumbria's First International Short Animation Film Festival. This is a one day pilot animation festival to help raise money for next year’s much bigger festival and screenings; it will be awesome if we could get as many of you, the Animation gang to come along. 
I'm also very happy to say that my film The Piper will be getting screened as part of the festival. So to all you guys who have seen my making of posts and not seen the final film this will be a perfect chance for you to see The Piper on the big screen. 
After the screening I will be taking part in a Q&A on stage where I will be talking about the making of process for the film and taking questions from the audience. You will also have the chance to meet The Piper cast as I will have the puppets on stage with me and they will be on display throughout the day. 
If you are a stop motion animator or fan you will be delighted to hear that the incredibly talented Mr Barry Purves will be given what is bound to be a very inspiring talk all about is experience working in animation and why he still animates with puppets. Barry will also be screening a selection of his own short films. I first met Barry in 2010, in them three years I have gotten to know him very well and now regard him as a good friend. I highly recommend that you come to this talk; you will leave with a big creative buzz. 
I should also mention that the festival shop / stand will be selling The Piper crew T-shirts size medium only for £8 and badges for 50p. So if you liked The Piper and would like to support my work please come and buy one. 
So come on down or up, the festival is free, so what more could you want!! However they do ask for a donation to help run this first and future events. 
For information check out 
it will be grate to meet you all so if you see me walking around come and say hello, I look forward to seeing you there!

1 September 2013

Making of The Piper part 3

With the puppets and set completed it was time to get animating on the film. Due to story points I had to shoot a dream sequence and one of the last shots for the film first, it had to be done this way as I needed the park set to be fully clean. Once all the shots were completed I had to take a week out of animating and messy the park up, add a fence and trees. In planning my animation time sheet I had to shoot the story in chunks all facing the same camera angels. This was important to get right as the sun is setting toughout film and I was painting the background by hand as I went on.

The first two weeks of animating were with all that kids paying on the equipment in the park. These were all shot of two's at 25 fps as i wanted the kids animation to have a more classic children's tv show vibe. However the Piper himself was animated on ones this was to give him more fluid movements and allow him to play his pipe in sync, it also helps to sell the fact that The Piper is not from this world and gives him a very different feel. Here is a slide show that shows the animation process and the order I shot the film in.  
Editing on The Piper was the first time i really used After effects to its full advantage, as i haven't had much experience with After Effects i asked my may friend Frank Mansfield for some advice. There were 6 main shots where I used After Effects for: rig removal, light tracking, colour correction and green screen removal.

 I edited the film as I went along, animating in the day and adding in the new shots on the night. The dead line on completing this Film was the tightest it has been for me. on the day before hand in I finished animating the final shot with the Piper and all 7 kids at 5pm and was up editing in the final shots, making the final touches, fully syncing up the music and adding in the sounds fx till 7am of the day of Hand in. I uploaded the film on to Vimeo, did the last part of the right up and handed in all my work. 

I had The Piper online viewable to the public for 2 days after it was completed, and in that time that feedback has been amazing! I sent the link to a large number of animation friends and here are some of their brilliant comments.

I'd like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to everyone who has watched The Piper and commented on it as means a lot! To the ones who have no seen The Piper yet it will be back online once the festival runs are over.