I was excited to have the second animation workshop! I had some technicial problems on 7th March and had to postpone it to 13th instead. I was gutted because I was looking forward to it. I suppose it’s good to know for the future.
This is the format I had the workshop this time. Compared to the last one where I had presentation and lesson plan handouts. It was a bit more casual. I also changed the time to lunchtime instead of the evenings. These new table and chairs in the street area are great!
I had to deal with a lot of computer equipment, loaning the mac from the animation department (thanks Steve Roberts!) and other bits and pops from the loan store. I had to relearn how to use the Dragonframe program since it’s been a long time since I used it. For some of you who doesn’t know. Dragonframe is one of the best programs to use when it comes to capturing movement in stop motion. Films such as Paramorman and Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie used this very program to make their films and I can understand why. It’s really user friendly and gets lovely results.
I wanted a bit of music in the background of the workshop so I bought along some speakers. Also if anyone wanted to add sound to their piece.
I’m going to show you the progress of how I made the sheep model on the poster. I was experimenting if it’s was possible to create a wire armature model within an hour. It took 3 hours instead. In other words, no. Too ambitious! Make the animation sessions more simple. Regardless of taking longer than I thought. This is how I made it:
Step 01: Draw the concept of the model
This is a concept drawing that I drew for the British Animation Awards competition a few years back. Why sheep? Well, that was their mascot. Also, I needed to create a character model quick.
Step 02: Create the wireframe skeleton of your model
Notice that I always look at the screen to see if the proportion of the model is correct. Don’t follow my example! Ideally, it’s best to follow a model sheet (in animation, this helps to standardize the appearance, poses, and gestures of an animated character), but since I had no time, I took a chance. The reason I’ve made a wireframe for my model is because it helps to strengthen the structure. Also it makes it more durable.
One good tip, I recommend if you create the whole wireframe out of one long wire. This helps to maintain a strong interior skeleton when it comes to the later stages.
Step 03: Adding joint support
I call this part like adding extra bones to the structure. Just like our own limbs. Some parts don’t move at all. Unless your doing some sort of Disney rubber hose style of movement. This specially helps if you want a more natural flow to your model. I used wooden skewer covered in masking tape to hold it in place. You can also use lollypop sticks as well.
Step 04: Adding the plasticine
Once your happy with the interior of your model. It’s time to add the plasticine over it. Just like skin! To give it that flexibility. This is usually the last stage of the progress, but since I want to push the model a bit farther. I’m adding something extra to it.
The colour of the plasticine doesn’t suit the colour of the concept drawing. Thw way I solved this was to paint over it. This is the first time I’ve ever done such a thing. Wonder how it’ll turn out. I recommend to buy the suitable colour instead. Makes life easier.
Step 05: Adding other materials on the model
I added cotton balls to the sheep to make the illusion that it’s cute and fluffy. I also put the hooves and eyes using other colour plasticine. For small decorations. I painted them using black acrylic paint.
It does feel like a long time since my last animation workshop. They should be more regular now. I just made the poster for my second session. Hope you have noticing them around Central Saint Martins. I’ll be focusing on plasticine because a lot of my research are pointing at it’s therapeutic potential in relieving tension. If you think about stress balls, it does make sense.
Since spring is just around the corner. I thought I’ll add a touch of country life to the poster. Mind you, the sheep in the image is actually a fully functioning armature model. I should be showing it as an example for the sessions.
Ah yes! Jen Ball, the CSM College Coordinator got into contact with me and wanted to add the workshops to the Collaborative Futures week. Thanks so much!
I’ve created my first session back in 5th December 2013. Thanks for everyone who came along. I didn’t know what to expect from it. Around 14 participants took part. The workshop had a Christmas theme because I wanted the sessions to be fun and relaxing, since it was the last week of winter term.
I choose the flip book technique because I was interested in the hand written and drawing aspect of directly putting your thoughts directly on paper. The idea was based on my tutor’s (Andrea Lioy), The Writing Workshop. Can writing slow down one’s pace, through a self reflective process? If one sheet of paper can have this effect, what about a series of sequential sheets juxtaposed together to create an illusion of movement on sticky notes? Can drawing in combination with writing do the same thing? I was intrigued.
Originally the whole workshop was structured for one hour. This is based on the idea of my early animated experiments of seeing if it was possible to make something within a short time-frame. It’s possible but you need to have clear guidance in what your doing.
I created lesson plans handouts with set times of my research presentation, demonstration and documenting. This is didn’t go to plan. I had to improvise according to the attention and amount of time each person in the open space CSM street area.
I think the presentations were too detailed in the psychological side of my research. I did get a few eyebrows raising. I believe there seemed to be a contradiction between the chilled out atmosphere and the heavy claims I was expressing. I’ll learn from next time to tone it down.
Thirteen students did the questionnaire. I was running the workshop for three hours in total. Everyone liked the element that you get to keep their flipbook creations at the end.
Not everyone made a flip-book. One particular person got really frustrated after drawing one or two pages. I looked over in what he was doing. I’ve noticed he was drawing the London skyline. Realizing it was quite detailed to do in the amount of time of the session. I suggested if he wanted to create a make a simpler flip-book. He replied he didn’t want to continue. I told him not to worry since it was his first try. Thanked him to coming along and gave him his flip-book.
I realized from this experience, that it’s not to everyone’s taste because he does take a certain amount of concentration. Some people do over-think when they’re drawing. I can relate to this since I do the same thing as well.
More workshops to come! This time, without the santa outfit.
I want to thank the following people for their encouragement and support. Couldn’t have done it without you! *bows*
‘Lizzie Oxby’, ‘Esteban Gitton’ (moving Image tutors at CSM), Fred Deakin (my project advisor), ‘Andrea Lioy’, ‘Rossen Daskalov’ (former visual arts tutor in the mental health, community charity: CoolTan Arts), Mairead Gillespie (MA communication design), Yukai Du (MA character animation) and Mohan Ibrahimović Ganesh (MA character animation)
I’m excited to announce the animation workshop is being supported by the Postgraduate Student Communities fund.
Based on my MA research question in MA Communication Design. I want to study the possibilities of how to improve one’s well-being though creative practice. This will further my understanding of how the person’s imagination and artistic abilities, could provide a fun and interactive way to relieve stress.
These workshops are all based on my background as an animator (did my Animation degree in London College of Communication) and also working in the mental health sector.
Keep an eye on the Central Saint Martins street area space and say hi! Animation sessions would be about.
How to encourage awareness of well-being though the collaborative process of moving image?