ANIMATION | I've got a colourflow in mind

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Yesterday I finished my rotoscope based on the video for Tool's 'Stinkfist' (the clip is taken from 3:07 to 3:28). I had to rush the drawing of the frames and limit the time spent on working out the timings as I was pressed for time, but despite it being slightly scrappy I actually don't mind it for a first attempt/experiment. Of course to give myself a harder time, I chose a slightly awkward video (dark, lots of fades and flashing images). Clever.

Maybe when the Final Major Project is over and I have some time to myself I'll play around with it a bit more, or re-do it altogether. However I was the only one in my class to finish, and I'm pleased I learnt a new skill. I'm thinking of doing some stop-motion animation for my FMP, which is about language and symbols. I'm not sure how to work it in yet but I'd like to have something playing at the final show.

Animators should definitely get a pay rise for the amount of time they spend on animations: a 21-second clip of video with 128 frames and a couple hours of work translated to a measly thirteen seconds of animation...

Meanwhile, I found some slightly more refined rotoscopes on youtube: the effect can actually be a really clean, crisp animation rather than my sketchy rubbish one. These guys are pretty talented and I envy the patience required to produce something like this (although I suppose there's the possibility of aid from a clever computer if you've got the know-how). First up, a short but very detailed roto from levitationtheory - this was also a first project (hands-down beats my offering) that took sixty-five hours to draw. Some of the commenters suggested a movie but as one rightly pointed out, a film an hour and a half long at 24 frames per second would mean 129,600 frames, which at three hours of drawing per day (with two minutes per drawing allowed) would mean four entire years of work. If you've got the time and the patience though...

The second roto is a very sweet video made by bentarthur - made from footage from an unscripted hike in the woods with his six year old brother (this kind of thing often makes for amusing conversations; I work in a nursery and the children have come up with some gems). His brother is possibly one of the sweetest six-year-olds on film, discussing his former life as a tree and the trials that came with it. The animation is beautifully drawn. You can see more of Ben Arthur's work on his website and his portfolio (the latter has some stunning realist drawings).

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