Spinning Planets AE

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For this tutorial we had to make spinning planets in After Effects. We also had to use a camera to zoom in. We downloaded the textures from Moodle and imported them. To make the planets 3d I applied the effect “CC Sphere” which made the texture into a 3D sphere.

To make the spheres rotate i enabled a keyframe at the beginning of the timeline with no rotation then created another keyframe later on where I selected a full 360 degree rotation.

Animating a chain

Here we had to create a swinging chain using kinematics. To do this we created separate chains. We moves their centre of rotation to the top of the chain where it would link to the previous chain. In the bottom tab where we could see each of the shapes, to link the chains together you would drag the swirly icon from the bottom chain to the one above it.


Stop Motion Evaluation

For the second half of our assignment we had to create a 5 second long stop motion based on a given letter. I was given the letter Q which I assigned to the word “Querent” which means “one who seeks” and closely links to divination as a term used.

I chose this word as it relates to something I am interested in and I had the resources readily available. As my word is linked to divination I used tarot cards and crystals. The cards would move across the screen and form the letter while the crystals move aesthetically around it.

My stop motion technique was object animation. This involved setting up a camera and taking photos as objects were moved in frame. For stability and a top down view, I used a tripod; with this I could easily press the button with minimal movement to the camera. My background was completely white so the attention would not be distracted from the objects. At 25 fps I would have needed 125 pictures taken. However, with roughly 70 frames, I could achieve 5 seconds of animation by doubling up frames.

I am happy with the overall design as it is simple to understand and there is not too much to take in which. The cards and crystals are colourful, making the animation visually interesting.

The planning process took a week of ideas generation and research. When I was ready to record it took roughly half an hour to set up the camera and take all the photos. Editing took several hours with some difficulties being run into.

As my sequence had been sped up, I could not apply the warp stabiliser effect. To solve this I researched my problem and found that the sequence had to be nested to apply multiple effects. After solving this problem I found that the warp stabiliser effect did not work with my sequence as there was a zoom added which I could not remove; research did not aid me as I was unable to find an answer. Another problem I had was during the filming process where I had accidentally moved several objects which I could not put back in their original position. Eventually I decided to re-take the photos starting from the point where the moved objects enter the scene.

I received feedback from my peers. Mainly, the response was very positive with comments on the aesthetics and idea of the animation. However, there was some criticism. For example, it was recommended that the cards move more smoothly as it seems a bit jittery. Also, it was said that I should add some music to make it more interesting.

I created music as part of the soundtrack in garageband. As my theme is based around the word “Querent” I wanted to make the music sound quite mystical. I used instruments such as flute, piano and strings.

Overall, I feel that my stop motion compares to that of a professional as I think there is a good use of motion and editing of speed and aesthetics such as contrast. However, my technical skills did not match to that of a professional production; during animating I must have moved the camera when taking photos as the animation is quite shaky.

2D Animation Evaluation

For this assignment I created a 2D animation based on hope.

For ideas generation my inspiration was a mixture of what the specification told me and my own interests. The animation had to be based on hope which meant I could incorporate this into my chosen genre of medieval fantasy. To create a plot I referenced Todorov’s equilibrium theory to create a short story. I also brainstormed different ideas about hope which fit with my theme. For example, hope could be within someones feeling or alternatively they could represent the village’s hope for saviour.

To make my animation I drew my frames digitally on an art software then imported them into Adobe Animate. The pros of this are that I could make the animation more stylistic and control each but a con was that a lot of it is choppy and the process was quite time consuming. The software was suitable as I am familiar with Paint Tool Sai and so would be able to use it effectively. Animate is a software specific to animation meaning I could easily learn the basics to create my animation.

For efficiency, I used a simple art style with cel shading. My backgrounds took several hours to create but as they would stay as static images it was acceptable to spend this much time on them. My characters and backgrounds would be on separate layers for ease of editing and the process of animation involved changing layers on frames such as an arm’s placement.

My animation applies the use of secondary motion, staging and pose to pose. Secondary motion is used when the protagonist is walking and her hair moves in relation to her movement. Using frame animation involves drawing each pose separately. I could have used timing more effectively as the animation seems very slow and choppy, this would have involved drawing more frames and placing them closer together.

Overall, the creating process including brainstorming took 5 weeks. This gave me plenty of time to spend a week or so planning, another two week preparing assets and the rest making the animation itself.

To receive feedback for this animation, I made a Typeform questionnaire which I asked my peers to fill out. When asked to rate the animation overall, 10/12 rated 4-5/5 with one rating of 1 and 3. Most who filled out the questionnaire said they understood the message of the animation; they also said the soundtrack was well suited. However, 3 people said that they were not sure how hope was linked to my animation. Some criticisms included the soundtrack being too loud in some places and not being suited to the medieval genre.

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Overall, I am unsure whether my animation compares to that of a professional. I feel that my use of motion of the objects and the editing ,such as changes in speed and contrast, was done well. However, my technical skills did not match up to that of a professionals. During picture taking I would often move the camera slightly making the overall animation quite shaky.

Resources used:

marcusgar. (2016) Drawer. [online] Available at: https://www.freesound.org/people/marcusgar/sounds/360949/ [Accessed 14/04/17]

juskiddink. (2010) Dry Thud. [online] Available at: https://www.freesound.org/people/juskiddink/sounds/108617/ %5BAccessed 14/04/17]