Wednesday, 17 March 2010

They Call Me Trinity

This topic is our first big stopmotion animation. We have been given a choice of scripts to pick from we then have to go off and turn the script into a stopmotion animation. My group has chosen “they call me trinity” A script about a bounty hunter called Trinity.
As a group we have decided our genre should be ‘space cowboy’. We have set our story on a strange desert planet inhabited by men, huge lizard humanoids and robots; Trinity is a big burley cowboy working as a bounty hunter keeping the criminals at bay.
For this animation we have to make the set, characters, props and background. To do this we are splitting the work between the group to make sure we get everything finished in time for animating. Each member of the group is making an armature and we will split the rest of the work between ourselves based on what each of our strengths are, as I have experience with textiles and offered to take charge of the sewing.

Working Progress

We wanted to make our set as detailed as possible to make sure the animation was convincing. This meant making clothes for the armatures, skirting boards for the walls, spiders webs for the windows, a cactus, extractor fan the liquor bottles for behind the bar, a head plaque and many other tiny details.


The first few scenes of our animation were based in a desert and this meant animating on sand, we found that we had to keep levelling out the sand as we were leaving hand impressions in it which were showing up on the pictures. One of our armatures was a robot horse which couldn’t stand on its own due to how heavy it was, we therefor had to rig it so it would stand, This was the main issue we had with all the armatures, the fact that they were made out of plasticine their bodies are too heavy for their legs to support them. Another problem we had when animating in the bar was that there were gaps at the corners of the set letting in light so we had to patch them up before we could continue.

TCMT testing scene 17 from Richard Whillock on Vimeo.

TCMT testing scene 22 from Richard Whillock on Vimeo.

Final Animation

They Call Me Trinity from Richard Whillock on Vimeo.

These are the DVD cover art

Armatuers and model heads

Model Heads and armatures

The task was to make three model heads with different expressions and take photos of them with the different lighting. This was designed to give us some experience using different lighting as well as practice making armatures.
I found this a good experience working with the different lighting how it can affect the mood and feel of an image.

Once we had finished the heads we moved onto making an armature. This was a bit more difficult as I had to make a skeleton first using a wire frame I then padded it out with masking tape before covering it in plastercine. By doing this I was able to see how easy the materials I used are to model with and what you can and can’t do with them for future reference.


Once I made my armature I found it very stiff and not very maluable and when it was moved and positioned the plastercine would rip at the joints and the wire would brake through. I need to try out different materials as well as thinner wire.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Experimental Animation

The idea of this topic is to try out different animating techniques. We have decided to use two different mediums, for the first half of our animation we will be animating it as stopmotion and the second half will be pixilation.
We have decided to do this to differentiate between reality and what our character is imagining, an added twist is to have reality represented with stopmotion and his imagination represented with pixilation.


The basic jest of the story is that our character has no money and is trying to figure out a way of getting some. The group split into two and we each took a different medium, I worked on the pixilation half, this was depicting our character thinking of different ways of obtaining money. He comes up with a couple ideas and thinks them through, first he thinks about robbing a bank but then considers the consequences and decides this isn’t such a good idea, he then comes up with the idea of growing a money tree and sees himself rolling in money once the tree has grown.

Working progress

I really enjoyed working in pixilation I found it to be very enjoyable and fairly quick to capture compared with other animation techniques; I did find it was harder to keep the image consistent though due to the fact that I didn’t realise I had moved between shots, when you watch the animation our expressions change and I’m looking in different directions in the pictures.

Final Animation

money. from Richard Whillock on Vimeo.


I like the aesthetic quality of the animation and the combination of both techniques. The only issue I have with the animation is that the plot is a bit fractured and isn’t very clear, From an audience’s point of view the story needs some explaining before it becomes clear what’s going on. As we came up with the idea we didn’t realise this until we had played the video to an audience and got their feedback. In the future I will run my ideas past someone who doesn’t know the plot and see if they can make sense of what’s going on befor I start animating to avoid this problem.

Stop Moation Walk Cycle

Stop Motions Walk Cycle

This is the first stop motion animation I ever made, and I am looking forward to animating!

The aim of this animation is to in groups demonstrate a simple walk cycle using a stickfas model.
The preparation of this animation was making the model to animate, setting up the lighting and camera and finding a way to attach the model to the set. Using Richard Williams’ the animators survival kit page 108 as a reference for our walk cycle we got to work animating, instead of taking a picture then moving the model then taking another picture etc etc, we had a walk cycle set out with the models we had between us, although we could only make half a walk cycle at a time we used the models not being photographed at the time to make the next pose.

Final Animation

Having fun with animation

As the Walk cycle didn’t take long to animate I started to mess around with the model making it brake dance then another member of the group thought to take pictures which we then turned into another animation which turned out to be a beneficial learning curve for us all.
During the dance I wanted the character to launce himself of his back onto his feet but as we got to this point in the animation we realised there was no way to suspend the model in the air without the supporting hand or rig being in the picture and therefore in the final animation, so as a group we had a quick brain storm and decided to try and suspend the model in the air with a hair we plucked from one of the group. This worked a treat, as the hair was thin enough not to be visible in the picture. The only problem we had with this method was keeping the suspended model still to get a clear picture.

This shows that messing around and having fun with stop motion animation is nothing but good, the sillier and more extravagant you try to make your animation the more problems you will come up against some may be more obvious than you might think but by finding these problems when its your own time is much better than when you have a deadline.

Brakedancing animation

Once we got started messing around with the models it was hard to stop. This next animation was made by a group of us wasting time until we could go home! We decided to create an epic battle between our hero and a gang of zombies. We each had our own model which we were in charge of animating which meant it didn’t take long to make, this was purely for fun but I like the final outcome.