Animation Report

Animation Before Film. One of the earliest animations before film is the thaumatrope. This was a small toy that was popular around the 19th century. The toy consists of a small disk that would have two pictures on either side (like a bird and a cage) and is attached to two pieces of string. Once the string is twisted between your fingers then the two images seem to merge into one.

The phenakistoscope was another early animation device created in 1831. It is a disk with images drawn evenly around the centre, small slits are cut into the disk slightly closer to the centre. the device would usually be placed in front of the mirror and spun. You would then look through the slots which will momentarily show an image as each slot passes.

Another wall mounted version was made which allowed people to use one without having to use a mirror.

The zoetrope operates almost the same as the phenakistoscope. Its a cylindrical device with a few frames of animation printed inside. The viewer looks through the slots and spins the device to see the images moving on the other side. The zoetrope has got many advantages over the basic phenakistoscope. More than one person could view the device due to the fact that its cylindrical, it also didn’t need a mirror to be viewed.

Flipbooks are one of the most basic was to show moving images. Frames of image are drawn on pieces of paper, once finished the pages of the book are flipped quickly to show as if the images are moving.

1900 – 1929 The Silent Era. In the early 20th century theatres began showing animated movies, especially in the United States and France.

One of the first completely animated films using stop- motion to create action was Humorous phases of funny faces.

Fantasmagorie is the first animated film using hand drawn animation. It is considered by film historians to be the first animated cartoon.

 Image from Fantasmagorie

Traditional Animation

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Traditional Animation (sometimes referred to as cel-animation). This is one of the older forms of animation. The animator draws every frame to create the animation sequence. All the drawings one after the other, gives the idea of movement. This animation completely consists of hand drawn frames. This is normal recorded in 12 frames per second (fps) and occasionally is sped up to 24 fps for faster scenes. This isn’t really used anymore as this style has become obsolete.

1995. This was the year that Toy Story was released and it was the first fully computer animated feature film. From here, lots of animated feature films have made box office hits.

Current Forms Of Animation

Flash animations have become more popular in the last decade. An increasing amount of people can make them due to the access of the technology. Flash is cheap and easy to use, so are other vector based animating programs. Unlike traditional animation, people can create rigs for characters then move the body parts individually, instead of drawing the character over and over. After effects allows you to create complex rigs for animations. All these flexibilities give beginners more options when approaching animations, especially if drawing isn’t their strong suit, unlike traditional animation where drawing skills were needed.

3D animation (also known as computer animation), this is currently the most common form of animation. 3D animation is more like moving puppets than it is drawing 3d pictures. Like flash animation, most programs will allow you to have a lot of control over the character and move body parts. A big difference between 3d and 2d animation is that the characters body parts are always present, which has to be taken into consideration while animating. When animating 2d, if the character is viewed from the side, then half of his body isn’t visible and therefore technically non existent.With 3d however, parts are always present which adds more work for the animator because they have to be aware of the whole body all the time.

Motion graphics are still a form of animation, however, motion graphics are not character or story driven, motion graphics is used to create moving text or graphic elements, motion graphics is usually used for promotional purposes. The skills to make morion graphics don’t necessarily need to be the same for the other types of animation. With motion graphics, you don’t need an understanding of body movement.

Stop motion combines live action film making principles with traditional character animation. Stop motion is done by taking a photo of an object, moving it just a little bit and taking another photo, this process is repeated several times. When all the photos are played back, they make the illusion of movement. This is a similar idea to traditional but it uses real life material  instead of drawing.

Different styles of stop motion.

Claymation. A popular form is claymation. This is working with clay characters that can be manipulated for animation. These clay characters are usually built upon a wire skeleton. This helps make it easier to animate.

Puppets. Some animators will use puppets for stop motion. Like claymation, puppets can be built around a wire skeleton, this makes them easier to use. The expression on the puppets faces can be easily changed to fit the emotion they may be trying to express.

Cut out. This uses cut outs of cardboard or different flat material placed upon a paper background. The animation is shot from above. There are lots of pieces to every character, that are all switched out and swapped while shooting.

Silhouette. Similar to cut out stop motion, silhouette follows the same principle however, all the shots are dark and they are all depicted as silhouettes. This is a very old form of stop motion that is very rarely used today.

Action figures. A few people use action figures in stop motion. Robot Chicken is famous for using action figures to make fun of pop culture. Some YouTubers use Lego in stop motion videos.

Pixelation. This is a form of stop motion that uses real people to create unreal scenes. It uses the method of taking photos and moving things around, the major difference is that the main subject in the video is usually an actual person.

Where animation can be used.

Advertisement. Lots of adverts show real life scenarios portrayed by animated scenes. Big companies will normally use lots of different animated scenes, sometimes the scenes don’t have much to do with the company. The reason for this is because it is much more interesting and it keeps the viewer watching, this in turn could help their sales. It is also much more expensive o hire actors and actresses.

Entertainment. The biggest use of animation is entertainment. Animation is used everywhere in entertainment, TV, phones and the internet. Animated entertainment is used a lot on kids programming. Animation can keep children occupied and entertained due to the bright colours and funny characters. Lots of television shows and movies are created using animation, a lot of animated films have made a lot of profits.

Educational. Animation can be used in education to help pupils understand something easier or show how something works. Animation can keep children interested by having bright colours and characters. Some children’s programmes are also educational and completely animated.

Simulations. Simulations are used in lots of places, they are used greatly in the military. Pilots will use simulations to practice flight training. Instead of buying new equipment and fuel they will just use a flight simulator.

Current trends in animation.

  • High-End 3D – Now high-end 3d isn’t just found on big budget movies. Because of the technology people have access to, high-end 3d can be found much more commonly on television.

  • Tangible – The use of tangible physical materials and human interaction. This shows animation engaging with reality.

Here’s an example – The Twinings tea advert.

  • Non-Photorealistic rendering – enables a wide variety of expressive, natural looking styles to be created digitally.

Here’s an example.

  • Augmented live action – A live action scene is filmed and then motion graphics are overlaid onto the scene.

Modern animation software. 

  • Unreal engine
  • Houdini
  • Maya 3D
  • Cinema 4D
  • Blender 3D

Animation. Animation is very important in media. You can’t watch anything without some form of animation in it, wether its a feature film or a youtube video, animation will probably be present. Since technology is much more advanced in recent years, it has become much easier for anyone to start animating.

 

 

 

 

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Motion Graphics Report

Motion Graphics. There are various different types of motion graphics. Motion graphics are graphics that will use video footage and/or animation technology to create the illusion of motion or rotation, and are usually combined with audio to be used in multimedia projects. Motion graphics are useful for making something look more interesting and exciting, lots of different companies use them to show their logos. Motion graphics can be found on a lot of different media, for example, title sequences, DVD menus, TV, Internet videos and much more.

Video Compositing Video compositing is the combination of visual elements from different sources into single images, this is done to make it look as if all the different parts are part of the same scene. This can be done in live action shooting (usually known as green/blue screen). This is used a lot in films now to get footage that you wouldn’t normally be able to get. Like the example below.

Example

Motion graphics and video compositing are often used together. For example, DVD interfaces. In the example below there is an image of the main character of the film composited in the background and animated images on the screen too.

Example

Animated captions. Animated captions are used a lot on television, especially on the news. They are used to show little bits of information and names. On some new channels in America, the current stock market reports pass by under the screen. Animated captions are usually not too complicated, this makes them easier to animate and make. They are usually found on the bottom third of the screen, they are placed on the bottom of the screen as to not distract attention away from the main element on the screen.

DVD Interfaces. DVD menus can be very different. Most have a still background with a few animated alterations to make it look more interesting, like moving words. Most DVD menus use a scene, or a few scenes from within the show or film which will be left on a loop, this is on a loop up until the viewer chooses something. Other DVD menus will use a still image of a main character of an image from the movie/tv show and wont add any animation. No matter which type of DVD menu it is, music is usually present so the background isn’t too repetitive or boring.

On the Rocky IV menu, it has a loop of different scenes from the film with the main soundtrack. Not only this, but the film name also appears across the menu.

Stings. A sting is a very short animated video, these are usually made to make company logos more interesting, and be quick way to show them off. These animated videos are typically very short, usually lasting between five and twenty seconds. These animated videos are usually made to remind the viewer what channel they are watching without having a long advertisement. Having different variations of stings will allow viewers to have a longer and more lasting impression of the company in mind.

Image result for e4 estings

E4 is a good example, they have a wide variety of stings and are quite well known for having very strange stings. They recently also had a competition for the public to send in their own stings for E4 to use on their TV channel.

Winner of the E4 sting competition.

Title and credits sequence. Title sequences can be very important, because it is the beginning of a program or film the title sequence is usually more exciting to draw the viewers into the start of the film/tv show, it will also have a main music theme. The end credits sequence are usually very slow and wont have any animation for the most part, it will mostly be just words. This is very different to the title sequence which can be overlaid on top of the programme or other graphics.

The first example is the main actors/actresses names over scenes from the show.

Example 1

The second example is the introductory credits over different graphics.

Example 2

Kinetic Typography is the more technical name for moving text. This motion graphic technique is supposed to evoke a certain idea and/or emotion into the viewer. Kinetic typography mixes motion and text using animation. This motion graphic can be used in a lot of places, including introduction sequences and advertisements. Kinetic typography is widely used for music lyric videos.

Kinetic Typography – Swedish House Mafia – Don’t you worry child.

Possible technological issues. All of these different types of motion graphics, no matter how impressive, all have technological issues. Motion graphics are used widely across lots of different media outlets and different companies. There are a few technical constraints of which limit the motion graphics shown. Video format can be quite an issue, especially for those who are inexperienced in making motion graphics. If you were to choose the wrong type of video format or a video format that a certain type of computer couldn’t read then you wouldn’t be able to play or use your motion graphics. If you were showing your motion graphic to a company and it wouldn’t play then that would be a problem. Another technological issue is technology. People all own different types of televisions, some older televisions may not be able to show very accurate colours or images on stings, which can make your viewers think that your company isn’t very professional which can damage the integrity of your brand.

 

 

Research techniques essay

Quantitative research is about asking people for their opinions in a structured way so that it will allow you to produce statistics and facts to help guid you on your current project. To make sure you get reliable statistic results it is better to survey larger numbers of people, this will make sure that your findings are more accurate. You have to make sure to ask the right questions to try and get the answers you want. It is important that there is options for everyone to choose.

Quantitative research would be used if people wanted something to change, this would be how you know how strongly they feel about this change happening and will help you determine weather or not you will be making that change. For example, if it was game related it could be a minor issue with the game that is annoying people, a survey would tell you how strongly they wanted this bug fixed.

Qualitative research is more about finding out not just what people think about a product, but why they think that. Its about talking to people about their opinions so you can understand more about their motivations and feelings towards something. The best way to find out these things is with face to face interviews and group discussions. This kind of research is best used for when you are coming up with new product ideas. Peoples reactions are used so that you can fine tune anything that they might have a problem with. Having various interviews beforehand allows you to tackle problems in advance.

Qualitative research would be used if you wanted to know why people are feeling as they do and what you could possibly do to change that. Or it could tell you how people might feel in the future before a product is released.

I think that both qualitative and quantitative research would be helpful devising and placing my trailer. They would be helpful beforehand because that would tell me if people though the game i have chosen is a good idea or not. It would also be helpful afterwards because i could then get peoples opinion on weather or not their excited fir this game.

Primary research. This is completely new research that you have gone and gotten personally, there are many different ways you could go about doing this. You could conduct a few surveys or you could do a few interviews with people, as long as its you getting the data about a current project. This means primary research can be both qualitative and quantitative.

Secondary research is looking for research that has already been collected by someone else before you. The research you look for should be about the project you are currently working on, but your not the one to collect the research originally. You could look in places like libraries in magazines, or look at interview footage. This makes secondary research qualitative and quantitative.

I could use primary research to get some surveys about the game trailer I will make and if people would watch it. I would also see what old games people enjoyed the most to see which would be a god choice to make a trailer for.

I would use secondary research to see if people have already spoken about wanting the game trailer I’m going to release. I could look at current game magazines to see what game genres people like at the moment.

Audience research is an accurate way of finding more out about your audience, this can help you make more decisions on the current project your working on. It can find out how large your audience is and what their preferences are. The most common method of audience research is surveys, groups of people are selected, and are a asked a few questions with a selection of answers. The answers are then tallied and counted to determine the most common choice.

Market research is researching the market in which your product will compete. Its looking at similar products and competitors, for example, market research for a game would be looking at games in the same genre or games with a similar gameplay. Doing this, you can find out what parts of other games people like and put it into your own. It will also help you to know what to avoid when making a new product, this is because, knowing what people didn’t like about other products can help you.

Production research is always needed when developing a new product, it focuses on the production of the product, basically how its made. It’s looking at the products buyers and seeing what they want to see, this way producers can produce the product right and make it look good when a trailer or an advertisement is shown on television. This is very important, without production research, your product might not be shown off properly, this would lead to your product being a complete failure.