Archive for October, 2010

I always recommend people consider the use of technology when creating, because I believe that if you put a limit on the techniques you are willing to use(ie.”it looks too difficult baww!”), you put a limit on what you may be able to achieve.

This is of course not an absolute; people can create amazing MIND BLOWING works with just a pen and some paper or some junk they found out of a dumpster. However if you never reach beyond that pen and paper, there are a lot of creative options you will miss out on.

Today though, I’m going to talk about the opposite. Sometime in your career as an animator/director/worlddestroyer, there will be times where you need to drop a technique or piece from your work you had your heart set on so the over all work can be improved. EVEN IF THAT TECHNIQUE OR STYLE IS WHY YOU STARTED CREATING THAT WORK IN THE FIRST PLACE… arggghhhh!

I have run into this with an animation I’m creating at the moment. The animation is an adaptation of ‘the greek apocalypse of Baruch’ which is pretty much god being a major douche and turning people into half dog/lamb/stag MUTANTS! However it wasn’t going to be a regular animation; I was going to projection map selected elements onto foam core board extrusions I had made which is pretty much the first goal I had set out for this project. After several test runs and much deliberation I have decided to scrap the projection mapping and just trigger it live onto a regular screen because in the end I have realised it would be a much better work that way. When this happens it is very very difficult to let go of, but you MUST for the sake of your great creation.

At the beginning of your project’s life, you’ll tend to start off with a few ideas to build upon and create. Sometimes you’ll find that as other ideas build around those central ideas, the work is better off without some of those founding ideas. I’m not saying that “you should be lazy and if you have trouble with ideas or techniques drop them” because if you do that you’re WEAK and you’ll never become stronger. Just be aware that perhaps not every element throughout a projects creation should end up in the final creation… if you want your final creation to be the best it can be.


Well, I’m off to bury my face back into After Effects for another 10 hours… 😀>>>PERMIAN


This just goes to show that the olsen twins do indeed hail for the deepest pits of hell…

First off let me start by saying, ‘I Hate iPads’. I think they are a gimmick, pretty much a useless piece of technology and a massive waste of hard earned cash brought to you of course, by the gimmick masters at MAC.

There! Now that’s out of the way, we have this; an interesting new use of old techniques brought to you by ‘Dentsu London’, who are some sort of advertising agency.

Now i’m going to teach all you guys how to use this technique so you can subvert it for YOUR ‘real’ messages and stories other than creating ‘cool’ demo reels and advertisements for corporations. As my esteemed Comrade Mdot Strange says, ” FUCK “COOL” put some heart and soul into it! “COOL” shit lingers in peoples minds for as long as it takes them to say “COOL” to some other shiny vapid thing “.

And here is another interesting piece of text i’ve been reading lately, on subversion of corporate culture and tools from ‘Re-Imagining Animation’ by Paul Wells and Johnny Hardstaff.



Where once the dreams and visions of practitioners led the development of CGI technologies, now CGI technology can shape human dreams and visions, and it is important that the software does not determine an approach. Arguably, corporate agendas can lie at the very heart of even the tools we use to design, develop and deliver our work. Corporate culture provides, refines and sells tools, and it is crucial that animators and artists filter out corporate political doctrine from the visual and privilege personal work with integrity and challenge.” (p.78)

Essentially the technique utilises any portable screen, tablet pc(urgh) or laptop to light paint cross sections of a CG object. It also looks like they’ve use Cinema 4D as opposed to other CG packages to create this which interests me as it’s the software i’m most comfortable with.

Things you might need to know:

Light Painting: Light painting is where a camera is set for a long exposure time in a dark shot, often over 1-5 seconds. While the shutter is open, a light source such as an LED or in this case a PC screen is moved in the shot. This will create a luminous pattern or stroke in the photo. Doing this for several shots can create light painted ‘stop-motion’ animations.


I’ll take you through how to do this in a few steps now.

1. To learn how to create text and seperate sections of the letters in cinema 4d, check out the first half of this modynamics tutorial on creative cow.

2. The second step involves you rendering out the cross-sections of the image you wish to ‘light paint’ into a video file such as a .mov quicktime file.

3. Then just set up your camera(you need a tripod) for a shot in the darkness. Make sure your shutter speed is really long. The speed will depend on how long it will take you to move the screen in the shot. I reccomend 5-10 seconds, however you will need to experiment with the aperture to get the effect you need.

4. Take the shot and while the shutter is open move your screen through the shot. Make the screen play the cross section in full screen so it is surrounded by blackness while you do this.

5. Do this several times(12 shots will create 1sec of footage at 12fps), perhaps with different cross-sections if you wish your ‘light painting’ to move or morph.

6.Then import the image sequences into After Effects or your editing/compositing program of choice.

Now that you’ve just learnt this animation technique; pass GO, collect $200 and go subvert this technique to create something great and interesting.