update for the The summer of . . . . . .

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So I last left you with a picture of my small but perfectly blacked out studio through out the summer I have replaced the british rain for the warm lights of the studio and 2 blown bulbs later here is what I’ve got to show for it.

First there were the tests to edit from before the blackout fabric went up they can be found on my vimeo profile  on this link https://vimeo.com/user4970967 but please be pre warned of the roughness and poor lighting as they were all shot under your average household bulb with natural light also interfearing with the filming. plus as I am still saving up for dragonframe ( a very good stop motion animation software but also very expensive) so I’ve kind of been animating blind as in not being hooked up to a computor and then importing all my frames manually to a very basic video editing programe to create the finished animation tests , so yes all quite rough at the moment!

Whilst waiting for my funds to appear I have been re-jigging my puppets to make them perform better, I took apart the Llama aka the fire cracker. From my tests I learnt that some larger joints I used d=for the llama hip/leg joint’s wern’t quite working as they should so the llama is now going to have less moveable joints than the actual bone strucure of a llama because although they look like they could move ( on the real llama ) they either don’t or they don’t appear to in the Llama walk cycle – meaning I basically gave my llama to many joints which just got in the way while animating so I’m going to replace them with still joints.

see here this picture of the new structure of the llama’s legs and also a very sad looking Llama waiting for his armature !

so whilst waiting for funds and various parts to arrive, I have started to do some research and character development for a new project based on a fairy tale esk senario the main feature being a wolf displaying anthropomorphic changes. I took lots of reference both from actual wolves and already existing animated wolfs see my research board on pinterest  http://pinterest.com/abserlon/research/ after the research I started sketching trying to develop a wolf character which I am still working on – I want a few distinct features but he doesn’t need to be anything  much more specail than your average wolf – just a little bit of something to give him a bit of an edge. Below are some of my early research sketches followed some early but by no means finished character designs.

The image above, is of the early stages of character designs- its sort of along the right lines I’m going for but I think he needs to be 1) less pokemon like (something just says pokemon to me ) 2) a bit more rough and 3) a little more sinister looking. With all that in mind plus the things I learnt from my research I have started doing a sculpt as I find sculpting a really useful way of developing characters mostly because its easier to chop and change bits as you go but also I find you can get more of an idea of a character whilst building and sculpting it because you create it in a physical sense. I have currently got upto building a generic wolf body to work from as seen below.

This is a really exciting new project which is going to follow on really nicely from Back from the Brink and who knows maybe they will be able to tour the festivals together as brother and sister ( bit wishful thinking there…)

Talking of festivals

I’m very lucky and excited to be working for Bristol Animated Encounters again this year last year was so inspiring and a great experience to meet some top people , see some great films and generally get to see both sides of the scene in an animation festival. This year looks like it’s going to be great with talks and workshops from aardman , Q and A session with the producer of paranorman and not to mention seeing great new films made by a variety of different people from student/graduates to big studio productions. The festival runs all next week and looks action packed and I am planning on doing a blog entry at the end of next week of all the weird and wonderful things you experience as a volunteer at an animated film festival – so no doubt there shall be lots to tell!

Until then get your self down there to see what all the fuss is about !

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