Sunday, January 27, 2008

Storyboarding in Russian

This image is from a storyboard assignment I did from a recent class - of all the images I drew that day, I'd say this was my favourite. His emotions are very simply drawn, and when I can manage that, I'm content. I'd like to say something today about the 180 degree rule - that is, basic screen direction during any given scene. Typically, if you follow the 180 degree rule strictly, you keep the placement of a character consistent (if a character is on the right hand side of the screen facing left, you wouldn't change his or her facing and placement throughout the scene). However, I find myself disliking a strict adherence to the rule. I think if you establish character placement enough through long shots and cut away from (or very close into) a scene, then the 180 degree rule is really unnecessary. It was basically established to not confuse the audience, and I can appreciate that, but whenever I shoot something I roughly start with the rule, then begin to work away from it accordingly to the emotions, ideas, and compositions at play.

Go here for more info about the rule, and see what you think.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Lizard is Coming!

It's that time of year again! No, not the Superbowl, silly - it's Falling Lizard, an unknown animation tradition that takes place every year at UCLA (during Superbowl weekend) where the object is to create an entire animated piece in the course of a sole weekend. There's a theme, and the following film's theme of the year 2006 was Pirates Versus Ninjas. The animation is barely evident, but the writing is pure Lopes. I secretly love this kinda stuff...o.k., maybe blatantly love this kinda stuff, whatever.

Warning: the following has a heavy dollop of sexual humor - not for the kiddies.


For those who are interested: this was created entirely in Photoshop and After Effects, using Final Cut Pro to mix. Long live Adobe!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Narrating Space

It is easy to tell a story.

Let me refine that - we are, by nature, storytellers. When we see something, we want to construct meaning. It's what we do as human beings. So it is easy to see an image and start telling ourselves a story about it.

It is hard to tell a good story. I struggle with this all the time. Even once I understand that I am a good writer, a competent artist, I struggle when I come to a new idea. I am always at the beginning again.

This image is from a zine I helped lump together with friends a couple of years ago. This is the raw scan - before shading and clean up - and I think, in a way, I like it quite a lot more out of its context than within it. Can you guess what story the little girl was in? You'd probably be surprised at its ending...

All this is coming up in my thoughts because I'm making a new film this quarter (if I get into school - oh bureaucracy!). I was trying to actively NOT make a story, and found the resulting ideas lacking. Is it harder to NOT create a story at a certain point in our lives than it is to tell one? Interesting stuff.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I'm Baaaaack

After taking an (inordinately long) hiatus from blogland, my film, and my responsibilities, I've returned with a novel I'm in the middle of rewriting, a film I'm in the middle of animating, and my purpose restored (which I can't entirely share - it's my secret purpose, after all :D).

I'm experimenting with the new video uploady-ness of Blogger, and in that spirit, am uploading my short film, Syringe Spider Interlude - which is a huge experiment in After Effects that I crafted and animated during last Spring Quarter at UCLA. The spider is a series of drawings I drew by hand, colored in Photoshop, and then turned into a symbol in Flash. The actor is Brett Cawley.