Wednesday, 30 January 2008


The models the way I would like them to be textured:

I did some reserach about texturing, found some inetersting examples:

I need to train my Photoshop skills and UV mapping options.

This is my preferable goal.

considering different ways of modeling I have different options of texturing:

1.Before modling- if I use create polygon tool, then I need to do UV snapshot of each shape and take it to photoshop.

2.After modeling- I can first create prefaerable shape with texture on in Photoshop and then simply attach it to the plane in 3D space and then just cut it out with split polygon tool.

UV snapshots:

Texturing in Photoshop:

How to create your own brushes in Photoshop:



I decided to use some different and more creative ways of modeling this time.

To keep looks of models flat, cut-out like, I have 3 modeling options:

1. To use create polygon tool and just draw the preferable shape.

2. To create polygon planes with preferable texture on it and then just cut out the edges with split polygon tool.

3. to create a plane and then extrude edges. One option of extruding an edge to get flat curvy ribbons and strips is to use curves for modeling ( plug in is useful). Curves can be used for modeling only if we delete type history afterwords.
Modeling so far (the textures are just so, for easier viewing), I thought its going to be easier but it takes ages! Specially details and hair, which I decided to model with curves and then extrude polygon edges over them. Its hard to control tweak and twist.

I have to model 12 persons and then also the decorated walls of the national gallery ...and the heavy frame with inscription National Gallery. For wal papers I studied a bit of Arts and Crafts movement, specially those beautifully complicated William Morris's designs.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Character Design

To create preferable diversity of CHARACTERS I did some reading and researched the impressions and feedback of some of the visitors. On my visits I also secretly observing their reactions to the images, their behaviour and different personalities.

My "VISITORS OF GALLERY" need to be simplefyed characters , carrying some essential features of real ones. They shouldn't be based on any kind of stereotypes (racial, gender or religious,... diversity), but just on a personality base.
Some ideas for characters I had before. They might have been understood wrongly (racial, age and gender differences).

And my latest version of characters that Im going to model in 3D, but they will look flat:

The Scripts and Storyboards

Researching, reading and observing National Gallery, its structure, tradition, visitors,... bunch of ideas arrouse.

First of all I need to do something simple and very effective, because I dont have much time. I would like to experiment, so I decided to express 6 different ideas about National Gallery.

Connection with animation technique:
contemporary popular 3D animation technique used to appear as traditional 2D animation, like the "the future and tradition meet at NG".

I would use only red and grey scale to express favourable colours of the gallery.


-The visitors
Simple 2D characters standing in front the picture (we cant see it) surprised, admiring it. Camera cuts to next frame: picture with National Gallery logo appears.

-The logo and letters
I read that the inventor of galleries logo had quite some problems, to find proper spacings between letters. I would like to express that like a play of letter charaters. They fall from the sky and vividly queue themselves. We cant see what they are doing, just hear sounds of chatting visitors, next frame: the frame falls from the sky and catches them into the logo.

-The transport
The plan of building with public transport avenues and stations....maybe some flash nimamation of moveing silhuettes or points in space- the visitors...all going to the same place.

-The building
The changing architecture through the years inspired me to do morphes.

-The collection
I chose one picture of the whole collection- van Gogh's Sunflowers and animate them as they were alive. I figured out that this is one of most frequently viewed image of the whole collection.

- or another idea: Massy's Tunisian Queen charicature blinking to the young artist who is trying to draw her.

-The Idea " The Life, Death, Passion,Beauty. The National Gallery. every donation counts"

I found this Creative Mind Campaign's ident written on the plastic bag from their library.

Each one of these expressions could serve as separate piece of short animation.

woman with a carriage is watching Arnolfini's portrait (Jan Van Eyck). The wife on the picture touches her belly when the wiever leaves.

An old clumsy woman comes to see Holbein's Ambassadors. The skull the picture is missing. She stops to look at the picture. Suddenly something taps on her shoulder. It's Death.

A charming English Gentleman passes by Massy's Charicature of an old woman. She flirts with him. (bliknks)

Rokaby venus.

The Production Schedule and Benchmarks



My benchmarks are old masters of art, film and music.

Here is an interesting piece of animation with some innovative ussage of 3D techniques which look like 2D:

This was the opening animation that Make created for the Minneapolis AICP (Association of Independent Commercial Producers). It is a short film designed to honor the companies who sponsored the event.Producer, Editor:Danny RobashkinDirector, Lead Animator, Lead Character Designer, Lead Storyboard Artist, Character Modeller/Rigger:Andrew ChesworthBackground Artist, Lead Designer, Lead Compositor/Motion Graphics Artist:Babe BakerStoryboard/Concept Artist, Background Modeller, Character Animator:Aaron QuistCharacter Animator:Kevin WisdomCharacter Animator:Tyson IbeleBackground Modeller, 3D Effects Animator:Aaron DabelowMusic:Horner MusicSound Design:Brand AudioThis project debuted on September 6, 2007, and was created in its entirety in about two months. It was derived from original characters and a story I had created in 2006, and was originally conceived as my follow-up short film to "Mortimer & Bracket".

To give you an idea of the process here's the Director's Andrew Cheswoth explanation on how he came up with the design:
"The character designs in AICP were my main focus regarding the graphic element, and beyond that it only extended as far as that I knew I wanted the look to feel old, with a lot of sepia tone and texture. Babe created the style frames with my characters and the textures I’d created for them, and he went ahead and came up with a phenomenal layered background style that combined graphic simplicity with elaborate texture and richness. The characters seemed to feel right at home.
Because of the short deadline, we knew the characters had to be graphic and (fairly) quick to animate, but I knew from the get-go I didn’t want it to feel like simply “cutout” animation. I wanted as much as possible for the characters to have the life, fluidity, and bounciness of quality hand-drawn and 3D animation.
The characters are indeed vector-flat, but they are 2D NURBs surfaces created in Maya and rigged with the standard 3D tools, so they can often bend and deform in ways cutout animation never could. Some characters, like the train, required some dimensionality to work for all of the shots, and are essentially half-3D, and can stand up to about 30 degrees of rotation."
As a Character Animator on this I have to say it's one of the best projects I've been involved with. Everyone involved did a great job!
I should mention our entire production time on this was about 2 months. When I look back at it, it's insane to think about how much work a small crew did in that time frame. In the end everyone stepped up and took responsibility for their role and got this thing done.
We have a lot more stuff coming down the pipeline here at MAKE and I'll be sure to post future projects on this forum.

Character design benchmarks I mostly found in good illustrations:


I would like to achieve the simplicity of characters as Mark Baker had in his The Farm Hill and Jolly Roger

...and visual style of Neil Gaiman books:


To get more information and my own experience of the National Gallery I decided to visit it few times and just watch people,their reactions to pictures, to the space, talk with people employed there, go through library and literature.

Following brief, we have just 5 seconds time for each clip, which doesn't allowe any more complicated narrative. We can use gallery's logo, recent exhibitions, pictures from collection,.... 5 seconds!? Thats like nothing!

I decided for this brief, because it really intrigues me with its complexity. I would like to do something completely different and much more abstract as I have done till now.
I would like to experiment with different perspectives of modelling, art techniques and narrational approaches.

I have always been interested in character design and always just thought about it in simple terms: 2D charicature-funny 3D model, now I want to express more of my research into what animated chraracter really is, what is its essence. Basically anything can be understood as a character: spots on a map, colourful shapes, still life objects if we animate them, even letters if you give them proper psychology.

Now I want to go further, explore the complexity of form, trick the eye with 2D layers in 3D space. I am going to model objects in 3D space, but render them out s they look like flat cut-out objects (research of SHADERS in Maya and special RENDER set-ups). I want to do my own textures, not to use just simple photographs.


E-stings...these short very innovative logo commercals and idents for E4 Channel.

The explanation and a bit of history of National Gallery logo.

Creative Thought Facility was a graphic campaing who's aim was to use expressions inspired by pictures and use them in a creative way to express the identity of National Gallery and essence of art.

I found one of their creative works on my plactic bag, I was given in NG Library.

Life Death Passion Beauty....mmmm sounds interesting to connect with the pictures.

Im very interested in CG 3D animation which looks like old traditional 2D animation. Found some inetersting examples:

Tandem Films did a great film Flatword in 1997.

How To Cope With Death, 2002.

An interesting ussage of media and very artistic approach. I love the lighting here, but the story is slightly dodgy!

animated picture , Van Gogh's starry night

Radiohead music video:

example of 3D model, which looks like 2D

cut out animation

animated letters

animated idents, the most interesting animated logos and idents have MTV, BBC 2 and E4

Commissioned by EM Media to produce 11 animations to link their films together. The shorts that these animations will introduce involve the cream of new directorial talent in the UK. These animations will be shown around the world at all the major film festivals (Cannes, Sundance etc) as well as being distributed on DVD worldwide. EM Media has co-financed 12 feature films with ERDF finance. EM Media's feature investments include:Magicians, Intermedia Films 2006,Control, NorthSee 2006,This is England, Warp Films 2005,A Cock and Bull Story, Revolution Films 2005,Dead Man's Shoes, Warp Films 2004 andOnce Upon a Time in the Midlands, Slate Films, 2003.We were briefed to make it "Saul Bass" stylistically. We had just 2 weeks to make approx 4 minutes of animation, no small feat considering the "catch me if you can" title sequence took a team of 20 or so months and months. This is our first dabble at animation and hopefully this exposure will bring new work and we were happy to be working with one of the big players in british cinema.

Interesting compilation of real live action and 2D animation for MTV idents:

Manipulation by Tandem Films, 1991.

The Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh
Oil on canvas92.1 x 73 cm.
This is one of four paintings of sunflowers dating from August and September 1888. Van Gogh intended to decorate Gauguin's room with these paintings in the so-called Yellow House that he rented in Arles in the South of France. He and Gauguin worked there together between October and December 1888. Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo in August 1888, 'I am hard at it, painting with the enthusiasm of a Marseillais eating bouillabaisse, which won't surprise you when you know that what I'm at is the painting of some sunflowers. If I carry out this idea there will be a dozen panels. So the whole thing will be a symphony in blue and yellow. I am working at it every morning from sunrise on, for the flowers fade so quickly. I am now on the fourth picture of sunflowers. This fourth one is a bunch of 14 flowers ... it gives a singular effect.'The dying flowers are built up with thick brushstrokes (impasto). The impasto evokes the texture of the seed-heads. Van Gogh produced a replica of this painting in January 1889, and perhaps another one later in the year. The various versions and replicas remain much debated among Van Gogh scholars.

Animated self portraits of van Gogh, morphes:

"Ines in the Art Gallery" portrays the idea of my idea of NG clips. To do 3D models and place them in a simple 3D space. I don't think I would go for this kind of style this time.

blog references: this is my friends blog, he is a 3D artist, well experienced in 3D modeling and texturing. Maybe anybody finds any goos tips and links to tutorials and great animation websites (on right side).

Uros was also one of the main creators of Cafe and Cikorja project, one of our most beautiful 3D animations. great 3D character design and some good tips about how to create your own tools and brushes in Photoshop. how to outline drawings with Adobe Illustrator. loads of links to sites of good concept artists.

an excelent animation blog

absolutely adorable Slovenian animation blog (anmations nominated for Oscars)

Literature Research:

I did a lot of literature research and am reading about the history of the gallery now:

Im just reading this one about the whole history of the building and collection. Its quite interesting and very inspiring.

This publication is soleley about the architecture development.
Books about collection of NG:

Child books:

this one is quite interesting because it shows an imaginary interaction between child and elements on a painting.

My Sticker Art Gallery by Carole Armstrong and illustrated by Sarah Godwin This one I bought, because I found the little ilustrated figures, visiting the gallery, very interesting and I got an inspiration for creating my own visitors like paper cut-outs.


My PHOTO Reference:
It is not permitted to take photos inside gallery so I took photos of the exterior of the building, of visitors meeting in front of it, the slogans.

The building itself and Trafalgar Square in different parts of the day:

Fountain in front of the building and red slogans.

Trafalgar Square is like an island in the middle of london traffic sea. Its interesting to watch all this movement and vividnes of the scene.

Ajdin, pretending to be a coincidental I could take pics of others without their knowing!

from dating to family hahahaha...passion to life.

Loads of activitis going on there...form dating to breakdancing and skateboarding !

Trafalgar Square is more of a cultural space and meeting point for visitors than a tourist attraction.

Then I came to the Charing Cross tube station and I found these boards with commercials for the Gallery. I started to think of how important the Transport factilities are for such an institution and I thought that might be one of my short thopics for an ident.

The plan of streets around NG and close tube stations. The inspiration for animation.