Monday, 27 December 2010

Merry Christmas Bloggers!

Hello all, hope you're having a wonderful time over the holidays with friends and family!

Here in the UK, we're having some pretty cold temperatures, we have frozen frost on top of frost on top of snow and ice! But apart from permanently wearing slippers and woolly jumpers, Christmas has been good! I've had a great time with my family and enjoyed the usual seasonal television. The Doctor Who Christmas special was pretty good--Michael Gambon as the "scrooge" character was perfect and the story was very emotive... But even better was the upcoming Doctor Who teasers! There's going to be a Wild West episode and Matt Smith adopts a stetson! YES PLEASE! <3

I've got a lot on my plate the next two weeks--what with the pile of DVDs and games to get through! Not to mention my animation work and essay, mind! I'm looking forward to seeing Fantasia, Beauty and the Beast and Inception on Blu-Ray and I've already started my game of Epic Mickey, which is appropriately epic. I have heard some problems with controlling the camera however, and after some gamplay, I can see what they mean! It's quite sluggish and has a tendency to get stuck but it's otherwise very cool! Can't wait to play more!

I've also been having a jam on Rock Band 3 (unfortunately without the new keyboard attachment!) it's introduced some great new challenges and character customisation. It's odd not to have the tour campaign mode though. Also Bohemian Rhapsody and Power of Love for the win! <3

As a treat, I drew my sisters and my boyfriend some gift art for their Christmas cards... Alex got a speedpaint of the Elric Brothers from Full Metal Alchemist, Elly got herself and a "cow bunny" (her new obsession!) inspired from a photo on DeviantArt and Emi got a "Downtonified" version of herself, based off of Cora from Downton Abbey. Enjoy the artwork!

Speaking of Downton Abbey, Emi got me to watch the entire first season on DVD and I absolutely loved it. It's very intense and entertaining and yet so subtle... the slightest gesture or remark has such an impact on their world and it's wonderful seeing the character interaction. The last episode was so gripping--I didn't want it to end! I highly recommend it to any fans of Drama, early 1900's period pieces, and ITV television!

Anyway, for the next two weeks, I'll be working solidly to get an essay done, create a remixed soundtrack based on famous icons and old black and white films (it's going to be my first piece of music ever, so I have no idea how it will turn out!) for my soundscape animation and I'll be finishing my Hyacinth Bucket lip sync animation as well as two more animation exercises for Uni... and hopefully will be able to do plenty of movie watching and Epic Mickey and Assassin's Creed Brotherhood! :)

That's all from me, I'll sign off now with a very Merry Christmas to you all! :3
Love Gem xxx

Monday, 13 December 2010

Another Term Gone

Well it's been a while bloggers, November was pretty silent for me, mostly because I had a very intense project deadline at the end of the month as well as my Uni coursework. Can't reveal anything of it yet, but I'll post it up when I can! It was a real relief to have finished it on time though, I can tell you! I was up until 3am working on it on the last day and awake again 6 hours later to finish it!

So that's my excuse for the lack of posts, after that I had to have a major de-stress and play lots of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood and the secret case on the first Phoenix Wright game (which I've now finished :D) and watch lots of movies to unwind!

Anyway, apart from that, Uni work has been going well. I am a bit behind due to the previously mentioned mystery project, with lots to do for 2D character animation, Soundscape and of course the glorious essay to write that is due at the end of January.

Here's a couple of things I've finished/working on now...

Whatchamacallit: a short audio/visual statement I made with Zara and Rob. It's not perfect, and was a bit long/complicated for the brief. I had some problems animating my section (the middle part) so resorted to doing some random animation in Flash... we learned a lot through this and I aim to do things a bit differently next time!

Danielle Rescues a Mouse [Rough] : my rough animation for a younger Danielle rescuing a mouse from the clutches of a younger Fred. It was originally going to be the final line, but after scanning, I realised there were a lot of messy issues that would need redrawing. The brief was to animate a character opening something that refuses to do so.

My next animation I'm drawing in pen, and it's a dialogue scene between Hyacinth and Richard Bucket from Keeping Up Appearances, but I've re-modelled them to look more like a visual representation of their personalities and more like my own characters. I chose this because I really wanted to animate some older characters, especially after seeing 90-year-old Sophie's delightful performance from Howl's Moving Castle again. :)

Here's the original scene, I'm just taking Hyacinth's dialogue from "Richard, did you see this?" to "Why should I wait?"

Here are my model sheets.

I've also recently given a 10 minute presentation on the effects of the "uncanny valley": a term used for when human-like androids cross the boundary of familiarity into a creepy and repulsive domain, except I was applying it instead to human CGI (see: Tom Hanks from The Polar Express).

I doubt you're interested in my Power Point or my notes, but it went well and the only thing I was really called up on was the relevance of "uncanny" to an image, when live action is technically a series of images anyway and at what point is something not "human" anymore? It was pretty terrifying though, everyone looked nervous talking about their subjects (usually the results of addiction/violence, or lack of, from video games) and it was very nerve-wracking! Glad to get it out of the way though and I was pleased to have taught something to the others too!

Anywhoodle, last weekend half of the household (3 of 6) housemates left here and it's suddenly feeling really sad and empty (although incredibly clean!) and so, so, so, so quiet! :( My first term of my second year at Uni has passed so quickly and it's going to be so sad to say goodbye to it all! :( But I'm rather looking forward to going home now and seeing the family! And I have all of my Christmas shopping sorted so I have 4 weeks to chill and catch up with work! :D

That's all from me for now, I'm off to play more Assassin's Creed Bortherhood before bed! :D
Love Gem