February 25, 2014 § Leave a comment
Here is my final type I have designed over the past few week during Mondays workshops. Inspired by Kate Suttons ‘trees’, I think you can really see the resemblance. I enjoyed drawing these up as I am keen in illustration. Drawing several mock-ups helped me to achieve the precise design I wanted. Although the letters aren’t in unison, they all have the same organic theme. I tried to incorporate a solid areas to each which would be the wood of the tree’s. I varied the design to allow me to add each part of the reference image into my work. I think this works well as some are more detailed than others and together in a sentence makes the words more interesting. The text would look too fussy if I added the same amount of detail to them all as I had with some letters such as ‘A’ and ‘L’. This workshop has allowed me to experiment with various font styles and test my fine illustration skills. I am really pleased as this is the first typeface I have designed and I’m looking forward to digitally creating this in Adobe Illustrator.
February 24, 2014 § Leave a comment
In this tutorial I learnt how to create various type styles in Adobe Illustrator. This will help me when I come to create my chosen typeface digitally, although my design is illustrated and detailed so I may be using other techniques such as live trace or the pen tool.
To begin with, I created guides by simply following the rules along the side to measure the distance apart and position, then creating lines. I transformed these into guides by using the shortcut ‘cmd + 5′. I can alter the colour and other aspects of these through the guides window found in the menu bar. Another method of creating line guides that go all the way across the page is to simply drag down or across from the rulers. I have labelled the lines to show which guide is which.
The first font I created we simply just using lines. To create the arch on the ‘f’ I drew a circle, then used the scissor tool (shortcut ‘s’) to cut it. I then deleted the area i didn’t want and moved the arch into position. This was very easy and is useful for creating simple line fonts. The second font was a little trickier. I created a sphere and made the point size 20. I followed the guides but as the line was so thick, it didn’t fit within them. To get round this I simply changed the stroke to follow the inside of the path, as shrinking the circle down would change the point size. Next, I create a square and rotated it 45 degrees. I then used the path divider in path finder and the direct selection tool to delete an area. It gave the letter an abstract look. The final typeface was created using the pen tool. Before editing the paths, the point of the A extended past the cap line and the bottom slanted line did not sit straight on the bass line. To get around this, I simply created an anchor point on the cap line and then used to direct selection tool to move the original point down flat against the line where I had created the new anchor. I used the same tool to correct the bottom on the bass line.
I have never created a font digitally before and found this tutorial interesting. I found using the scissor tool and anchor points a little difficult as I tend to avoid these in my work. I may redo this tutorial to gain practise with this method as it will come in useful in later projects, especially the magazine project coming up.
February 24, 2014 § Leave a comment
Timing, Spacing and Easing are closely linked concepts. They can easily be explained in the form of animated bouncing balls, although this image explains it through diagram. Basically, timing is the time taken between each bounce, and spacing is the movement made between the bounce. Easing is the most commonly used form of spacing, it is the way of the movement calculated using both timing and spacing. Many softwares for animation usually come with a built in function that will allow both easing in and out. The image above explains the different types of easing that can be used in animation through keyframes.
February 24, 2014 § Leave a comment
The 12 principles are a set of guidelines created by the animators at disney to refine the idea of adding realism to animated motion. They are practical devices for giving animation rhythm, weight and visual presence or appeal.
Paraphrased from the “Illusion Of Life” by Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston
- Squash and stretch
- Straight Ahead Action and Pose to Pose
- Follow Through and Overlapping Action
- Slow In and Slow Out
- Secondary Action
- Solid Drawing
1. SQUASH AND STRETCH
This action gives the illusion of weight and volume to a character as it moves. Also squash and stretch is useful in animating dialogue and doing facial expressions. How extreme the use of squash and stretch is, depends on whatis required in animating the scene. Usually it’s broader in a short style of picture and subtler in a feature. It is used in all forms of character animation from a bouncing ball to the body weight of a person walking. This is the most important element you will be required to master and will be used often.
This movement prepares the audience for a major action the character is about to perform, such as, starting to run, jump or change expression. A dancer does not just leap off the floor. A backwards motion occurs before the forward action is executed. The backward motion is the anticipation. A comic effect can be done by not using anticipation after a series of gags that used anticipation. Almost all real action has major or minor anticipation such as a pitcher’s wind-up or a golfers’ back swing. Feature animation is often less broad than short animation unless a scene requires it to develop a characters personality.
A pose or action should clearly communicate to the audience the attitude, mood, reaction or idea of the character as it relates to the story and continuity of the story line. The effective use of long, medium, or close up shots, as well as camera angles also helps in telling the story. There is a limited amount of time in a film, so each sequence, scene and frame of film must relate to the overall story. Do not confuse the audience with too many actions at once. Use one action clearly stated to get the idea across, unless you are animating a scene that is to depict clutter and confusion. Staging directs the audience’s attention to the story or idea being told. Care must be taken in background design so it isn’t obscuring the animation or competing with it due to excess detail behind the animation. Background and animation should work together as a pictorial unit in a scene.
4. STRAIGHT AHEAD AND POSE TO POSE ANIMATION
Straight ahead animation starts at the first drawing and works drawing to drawing to the end of a scene. You can lose size, volume, and proportions with this method, but it does have spontaneity and freshness. Fast, wild action scenes are done this way. Pose to Pose is more planned out and charted with key drawings done at intervals throughout the scene. Size, volumes, and proportions are controlled better this way, as is the action. The lead animator will turn charting and keys over to his assistant. An assistant can be better used with this method so that the animator doesn’t have to draw every drawing in a scene. An animator can do more scenes this way and concentrate on the planning of the animation. Many scenes use a bit of both methods of animation.
5. FOLLOW THROUGH AND OVERLAPPING ACTION
When the main body of the character stops all other parts continue to catch up to the main mass of the character, such as arms, long hair, clothing, coat tails or a dress, floppy ears or a long tail (these follow the path of action). Nothing stops all at once. This is follow through. Overlapping action is when the character changes direction while his clothes or hair continues forward. The character is going in a new direction, to be followed, a number of frames later, by his clothes in the new direction. “DRAG,” in animation, for example, would be when Goofy starts to run, but his head, ears, upper body, and clothes do not keep up with his legs. In features, this type of action is done more subtly. Example: When Snow White starts to dance, her dress does not begin to move with her immediately but catches up a few frames later. Long hair and animal tail will also be handled in the same manner. Timing becomes critical to the effectiveness of drag and the overlapping action.
6. SLOW-OUT AND SLOW-IN
As action starts, we have more drawings near the starting pose, one or two in the middle, and more drawings near the next pose. Fewer drawings make the action faster and more drawings make the action slower. Slow- ins and slowouts appeal or the surprise element. This will give more snap to the scene.
All actions, with few exceptions (such as the animation of a mechanical device), follow an arc or slightly circular path.This is especially true of the human figure and the action of animals. Arcs give animation a more natural action and better flow. Think of natural movements in the terms of a pendulum swinging. All arm movement, head turns and even eye movements are executed on an arcs.
8. SECONDARY ACTION
This action adds to and enriches the main action and adds more dimension to the character animation, supplementing and/or re-enforcing the main action. Example: A character is angrily walking toward another character. The walk is forceful, aggressive, and forward leaning. The leg action is just short of a stomping walk. The secondary action is a few strong gestures of the arms working with the walk. Also, the possibility of dialogue being delivered at the same time with tilts and turns of the head to accentuate the walk and dialogue, but not so much as to distract from the walk action. All of these actions should work together in support of one another. Think of the walk as the primary action and arm swings, head bounce and all other actions of the body as secondary or supporting action.
Expertise in timing comes best with experience and personal experimentation, using the trial and error method in refining technique. The basics are: more drawings between poses slow and smooth the action. Fewer drawings make the action faster and crisper. A variety of slow and fast timing within a scene adds texture and interest to the movement. Most animation is done on twos (one drawing photographed on two frames of film) or on ones (one drawing photographed on each frame of film). Twos are used most of the time, and ones are used during camera moves such as trucks, pans and occasionally for subtle and quick dialogue animation. Also, there is timing in the acting of a character to establish mood, emotion, and reaction to another character or to a situation. Studying movement of actors and performers on stage and in films is useful when animating human or animal characters. This frame by frame examination of film footage will aid you in understanding timing for animation. This is a great way to learn from the others.
Exaggeration is not extreme distortion of a drawing or extremely broad, violent action all the time. It1s like a caricature of facial features, expressions, poses, attitudes and actions. Action traced from live action film can be accurate, but stiff and mechanical. In feature animation, a character must move more broadly to look natural. The same is true of facial expressions, but the action should not be as broad as in a short cartoon style. Exaggeration in a walk or an eye movement or even a head turn will give your film more appeal. Use good taste and common sense to keep from becoming too theatrical and excessively animated.
11. SOLID DRAWING
The basic principles of drawing form, weight, volume solidity and the illusion of three dimension apply to animation as it does to academic drawing. The way you draw cartoons, you draw in the classical sense, using pencil sketches and drawings for reproduction of life. You transform these into color and movement giving the characters the illusion of three-and four-dimensional life. Three dimensional is movement in space. The fourth dimension is movement in time.
A live performer has charisma. An animated character has appeal. Appealing animation does not mean just being cute and cuddly. All characters have to have appeal whether they are heroic, villainous, comic or cute. Appeal, as you will use it, includes an easy to read design, clear drawing, and personality development that will capture and involve the audience1s interest. Early cartoons were basically a series of gags strung together on a main theme. Over the years, the artists have learned that to produce a feature there was a need for story continuity, character development and a higher quality of artwork throughout the entire production. Like all forms of story telling, the feature has to appeal to the mind as well as to the eye.
February 18, 2014 § Leave a comment
As I had a little spare time during the workshop session waiting to discuss my work with Alison, I decided to work on another typeface. Here is the type I created in reference to Herbert Bayors art. It was my second favourite design I had created so I thought I’d take it further by trying out more letters in the alphabet on graph paper. If I manage to have enough time to develop both type faces I shall. I feel this is a strong font and has a completely different style to the illustrated trees, which in my portfolio it would show the range of styles I can create. This has a more serious ‘design’ base to the font, where as the tree’s are more playful.
I also looked up other ways of creating type such as using objects, liquids and photography. I enjoy sewing when I get the time to make or rework clothing. I decided to use my sewing machine in my work and attempted creating type with it. It didn’t turn out as well as expected. It would probably have worked better if I had sewn onto fabric and took my time with it, possibly tracing the letters out first to give me guidance.
February 18, 2014 § Leave a comment
Today we had a visitor from Running in the Halls, Alison, who helped us discuss and develop our typefaces. I showed her my chosen type inspired by Kate Sutton’s illustrated tree’s. The feedback was really good. We discussed how because I’d chosen to do an illustrated style, a lot of the rules for designing type didn’t apply for me. For example, the vary in style and detail is what made my font interesting rather than them all having the same amount of detail and been in unison. If all the letters had a lot of detail like the A then it could be difficult to read once put in a sentence. Alison seemed very pleased with the alphabet I had created, the only suggestions she had were to possibly make the centre of ‘a’ run in a smooth like with the centre of the other letters, and to edit the O and Q. The O and Q are made up of patterns or just leaves, where as every other letter has a solid wooden form within them. I will draw up more drafts of these letters until I feel they fit in with the other letters. I initially didn’t add a solid wooden area to them as they are round and don’t have a ‘supporting pillar’, but I feel I could somehow interpret these in after some practise. Another idea Alison suggested was having a look at created each letter in unison, for example, using the rose flowers and leaves as the form for each letter, just to see how it may look.
Above are my developed designs for O and Q. My favourite designs I feel work the best are the last ones on the page. I feel these are the most clear and work with the theme. they consist of both solid and leaves and can be matched up to the original image I used as inspiration and other letters in my alphabet. I did like the first O on the page I experimented on; the wreath, however it didn’t involve a solid wood aspect and it would be the only letter not to include any, so I decided against it. If I have time, I may follow Alison’s advice of seeing how the type would look in unison, but I have a lot of work to catch up with on my other projects. My next stage for this typeface would be to draw the final designs up on grid paper using a black fine liner, ready to transfer into Illustrator next week.