Bradford Animation Festival 2012

I still haven’t left my ‘BAF bubble’ as one friend did call it, yet just because of how much I took away from the festival and the people I got to meet. I did do some detailed break downs of the event earlier on and they can be found within my ‘Personal Professional Practice – Research’ module category. But I just wanted to mention the work influences which I had got from the festival, not just from the actual talks and things going on, but through the talks I was able to have with various animators and peers a like. Although there was so much and again I do mention this within the other blog posts, I never did note anything about the lovely conversation I got to have with Joanna Quinn who has most likely improved my work and view towards animating the most with the help and advice she’s so kindly been able to give me so far.

As a ‘snippet’ of the chat we got to have here are some of the most key points I was able to learn from the talk we had which I have written out from the recording. The main reason for this recording was questions to do with my dissertation but after answering those it became just a normal chat once again. Although some feedback may be short, we did have a longer talk but I just wanted to get at the main points and the questions are developed so they make sense without the rest of the conversation.

Q – Do you think it’s a good thing to lay out the educating of animation so it’s theory and than practical or come naturally?
Well when I teach, I suppose I do teach those principles but not like teaching somebody their times table, it’s that animation looks lovely, but you need more exaggeration at that point or you need some more stretch and squash there, so it’s through practical teaching rather than y’know times table…

Q – What is the most important point to you making the character believable?
Observation, doing what we did in the life drawing class. Acting it out and then trying to identify what makes it original and what makes a certain movement an original observation of that movement and not something that is obvious. And not something that you’ve seen before a hundred times. So people want to see new stuff, an original take on something. So it’s acting everything out first, then copying reality then exaggerating it, but not the other way around. Not just using your imagination from the beginning and then just exaggerating but starting with the truth, then exaggerating, and then you can find originality, which is what we’re all striving for!

Q – The process
I do it similar to the way Will was saying today storyboard, animatic, blocking it out and then once the timing feels right, just fill in the gaps and then line test it all and then tweek it and make sure it’s right, and then go over it and make sure the drawings are lovely. So the animation is quite separate from me drawing. I mean it’s all drawn but I’m not being critical about the drawings particularly y’know you got your animation brain on, it’s all about movement and space and then you get the drawing and you go ‘hmm’ that’s a nice drawing. Once you’ve got all that done you’ve got the colouring is really the last thing. The way I like to work, it’s all drawn on paper and then we use frosted cell on the top for the colour, so you don’t colour directly onto the paper and then that is coloured. So we scan just the black and white drawing first and then the black and white drawing and the colour together. And then we layer it because then we have the outline so you can make dark or light, and then you have the colour so you can tweek the two separately and then it’s all put together in After Effects. So that’s how it works. I try really not to re-trace and just work into the animation drawings.

I wasn’t able to actually take on and use all the advice she had given me especially about the actual look into the way she works due to the sort of character I had to animate but I think I’ll defiantly be able to develop more into these as I got to do more animating. I did however change the way I animated a lot from talking to Joanna and a few other animators since my first tests and tried to keep in mind volume and staging and anticipation but that was a lot more difficult with sound. The difficulty with sound was probably more challenging than I had originally expected, but I did really enjoy having that narrative and something to work with and to.

Thank you again to Joanna Quinn and many others for taking the time to speak to me.


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