GMH - Animating

Lets talk about animating! God did the animating for this take a long time! I could not believe it! I kept putting off doing it because when I was doing it, it took ages and I felt like I was getting no where.

The really unusual thing about taking all year to animate this was the countless times I wanted to go back and change something because I had decided I wanted to push that scene a bit further, push the acting a bit further or had learnt something in the later part of the year that would have really helped me when I was animating earlier. Honestly that happened so freaking often that I couldn't even tell you. I'm going to pick out a few scenes to talk about that were difficult at the time, some I've learnt about and so on.

These below two scenes I am going to talk about because I learnt things when animating them. Or there animation was just significant enough to discuss. 

This scene here I did part way along the process after I completed 10x10x16. I ended up animating the lightbulb moving just by key framing the drawing of the lightbulb in premier because it was far easier than hand drawing it all out. I really wanted this animation to be smooth and that allowed me to do that. This was definitely one of those points where I learnt something because there were so many points in my film I would have loved to have done this from the get go. I would really have loved to animate the entire thing in after effects to be honest but I didn't have that figured out at the beginning of the year. And I had really wished I'd done it after Francesca told me about the plug in they were using for their collab this semester. But hey what're you going to do. 

I've also noticed his hand got cut off in this scene and that's a little annoying... I'm sure you don't notice it when you watch it.

This next scene I want to talk about much earlier on in the process. I hand sketched this out when I animated it. I did this in Flash so it was rough but I could see the results really very fast. I can't imagine having done this any other way because I revised and changed this scene so many times to get the head movement right. I was really fortunate the day I animated this that I had megan in the department using the other end of desk to work because her department was a no go area for a while. Every so often I would just get her to turn her head in a disapproving manor and that real helped me perfect this movement. Now It's probably my favourite scene in the film.

These next two examples are examples of times when taking so long to make a film caused me difficulties and inconsistencies that I really notice now the film is completed. 

So all of the above images are connected to the same point I am about to make. I spent such a long time at the beginning of the year deciding on shapes and semiotics for this film (check sketchbook) to make sure nothing was confusing or misleading but I'm annoyed at myself that I didn't take that as far as to continually make sure the ?'s were consistent in the final film. I wanted to make them as bold as the rest of the mathematical elements like the ticks and the hearts which is why I thought yellow because it feels like the colour you only choose when you can't make your mind up or are trying to stay on neutral ground. Then when I put it in the whitish bubbles I noticed it wasn't too clear so I outlined it in black but now it just feels messy and inconsistent with the other yellow question marks, which all work fine. Then occasionally when they aren't part of a mathematical equation I just leave them black. That was deliberate because I didn't want them to be associated with the maths but I don't know if its even worth it or if that's just as confusing as having them yellow would have been. 

I'm not sure what to do for the best without asking a whole bunch of people seemingly nit picky and random questions about it. Which I don't really have the time nor the enthusiasm to do anymore. So I guess it'll just have to bug me a little. 

The other inconsistency that I notice is the way I've chosen to represent the bar itself in this film. When I saw this film play out in my mind way back at the conceptual stage of the process I saw only hints of the bar space they were in. It wasn't really relevant past a typical access point to these types of situations. We've already seen the dance floor and now we just needed to see the bar. And in the final film I represent it in a few different ways. I wish ultimately that I had just stuck to the first representation of it I show you. I love having it represented by a darker section of the screen. I think it's clear, I think it's stylised and I think it functions. There's really nothing else you need it to do. But That was the last incarnation of the bar I came to work on. I wonder if it really only works because of the angle it's at makes it look like we're seeing it from the top down. Which we are meant to be I just wonder if I could have made it work for the other scenes. 

In the two examples down from that I use a simple line to represent the bar because the camera is at eye hight with the bar. In one of those scenes I also add some bar stools because the character is sitting down, an element I emit from my favourite version of the bar. It's fine but every time I see that scene swing onto screen in the final animation I wish I had thought about it differently. I would at very least change the opacity of the chairs to 56% which is the opacity of the bar top in the later scene and the ground of the opening scene.

Finally the last scene where the bar is present you can see I didn't include it at all! The characters arms are bending as if they are leaning against it but I didn't put it in there at all. 

Given more time I'd like to have figured out a way to bring the later three incarnations closer to the one I liked. Ideally I would have had this figured out before I started the animating but to begin with I was up against a deadline and sometimes you can only see an issue in hindsight. 

So that's all my pros and cons of the animation process for GMH. I unfortunately can't show the animation on my blog because although the animation is finished I still didn't hear from GMH or Waverly care on which branding element they wanted from the final film and I obviously can't release it without that information. It will be in my dropbox for assessment though. But for everyone who is not one of my course leaders. You're going to have to wait. Sorry!


I'm sure you've probably heard me rattle on and on about this society before but I am a member of the Edinburgh University Goth and Rock Society. We're first and for most a music appreciation society. And because of that we hold a lot of gigs during term time, which provides a lot of opportunities for promotional posters and fliers. For as long as I can remember my friend Kirsty from illustration had made them but she kind of stopped going to the society but I still went pretty frequently and everyone knew me and things. That's why I was asked to do them close to the end of this academic year. 

The first one I was asked to do because kirsty had stopped doing them and they needed a gig poster pretty fast. They are my friends so when they asked about it I said yes and they were really easy to work with. Mostly, Nico had a lot of nit picky, tiny things he wanted me to change but instead of saying them all at once I was asked for one revision at a time which was fairly irritating because on this particular day I was trying to get to work but eventually it was all correct and he was happy with it. Even if he did opt for cheep printing and they printed like crap and I was sad about it.

This was the first version I sent them. I had originally planned for the symbols to sit along the strip underneath the big main design but they were too small like that so I made them bigger so you could at least see them. I guess in my mind that was a huge improvement but to the outside viewer the logos were still indecipherable and Nico asked for them bigger. 

That initial shift around caused absolute chaos for me! For ages I didn't think everything was going to fit and that I was going to have to tell him that was it. But eventually somehow I managed to get everything on like this and nothing was too small or creating too many plank spaces or anything. So I sent it back to Nico. Who then at that point chose to mention that it should also say where the gig was going to be so you know people could turn up... Thanks Nico

This was the next revision. This time complete with location of the gig. He also had me make the spider bigger because it was harder to see the symbol but to be honest I was going to do that anyway because it just wasn't looking right before this point. Then I really thought he would be happy. Couldn't possibly think what he would complain about. But you know non creatives he found something. He said to me the arrow is obstructing the headless kross logo. -.- like really? it's not that annoying... but also not too big a deal to change so I changed it.


That was the first poster they had ever asked me to make. I am now officially the designer for this society. As well as the president for this upcoming academic year. Yey! So lots of responsibilities there. But my presidency officially started around two weeks ago so I am now official in these positions and working as such. We've already scheduled our first gig for the year on the 18th of May so president me handed designer me a designing task to do. It's quite efficient really. So this poster was for a Sweedish band called "sanctrum". Job one when making a poster is to get a hold of PNG transparent copies of the logos. This is not something my secretary, treasurer or fanzine editor understand. So job one is really edit out the background of cropped images of screenshots of logos. Thanks guys. But once I've got that I can begin designing. I learnt from last time around that it's easier to start with the logos and then fill the design into the spaces rather than the other way around. It definitely works because I had no complaints about this poster. They didn't want to change anything about it. And they said I could work in colour. I had to ask because I'm not in charge of our budget, Ross is.



Our exhibition happened! I'm sorry I didn't update on it before because it might have been nice to have a record of my own excitement but I was far too busy to find any time to write about it in any places that weren't 100% necessary. I was to busy talking to people who on the space, making Facebook pages, chasing up people for films, talking to local business' about putting up fliers for us.

Weirdly the hardest part of all this was trying to mobilise the students. Most of them didn't want involved until the fun parts, like the actual day set up. Some of them were really good though. And some of them not only did nothing but they didn't even come to the exhibition.

Anyway I just thought I'd put all the promotional work I had a hand in creating in here. We did a lot of really good stuff all together but I'm just going to post the parts I helped with.

This is the poster I made for stuff that moves. I am pleased with it. I love the colours and I love the concept. I really like it and I'm going to keep some of my copies. I just worked straight with the basic elements in the title. Stuff that moves. The movement I embodied in the swirling pink that is helping the rabbit/panda creature levitate. Then to embody the film part I included a box back telly. I used to have a massive one in my family living room when I was a kid and so I have really fond memories of them. The panda/rabbit creature, I don't even know. When I saw this concept in my head I saw him too and I loved him. If I couldn't see him as vividly as this I would likely have given up on the idea because for a period of time none of this was working. 

Ok so this was our physical marketing but physical marketing can't move and that left us with a massive blind spot in our marketing in that stuff that moves is a fairly ambiguous title so how are we going to tell them it's animation? Or even so much as capitalise on the movement part. So to do it we also had a digital promotional campaign. We made a gif and a trailer.

Earlier in the semester as well, we were fundraising and being artists we thought we should try and sell some art. So we had as many people as possible create prints to be sold along side cakes. For some reason we did this in the art school, which made no sense to me because artists don't need more art but hey that's what happened. I didn't sell anything. I was not happy. Anyway this was the illustration I had printed.