Thursday, 30 May 2013

Track 06 Render v003

Some further progress on Track 06, this time working on the final part. Even though there is plenty to refine and work out, I've got a good understanding of the break down of this sequence. This acts as a block out of the entire section. I will return to this after blocking out Track 02, but for now this is definitely starting to come together.

Track 8 v003

I've been left frustrated by long render times on the opening section, so that part is currently motion blur-less. Meaning it's looking a little bit strobey which the blur resolves. However, the rest of the piece is pretty much there with the main bulk of the animation. I'm still debating whether to get the middle two scenes onto 3D layers, but my instinct says to leave as is. If only because it's nice to keep certain parts flat while others have more potential to pop out.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Track 8 progress

I wanted to get something uploaded tonight, hence this piece currently being in a slight state of unfinished-ness as some of the animation isn't complete and it doesn't join onto the previous segment (saves render time!) However, I thought I'd give an indication of how this section of Track 8 is progressing.


Track 06 Render v002

Here are some further additions to Track 06. This is the middle section of the track and changes pace somewhat. Again, the driving force behind this piece is a more blurred, blended sequence. I'd like it to be more suggestive and colourful rather than definitive strokes of animation. Tomorrow I'll block out the final part of this sequence and then begin to look at refinements.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Track 8 v001

First 30 seconds or so of Track 8. Still some visual changes I want to make as it's looking a bit flat.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Track 06 Render v001

I've been working on the rough base for Track 6 and this is what I have so far. This section instantly reminded me of the abstract sequences in Punch Drunk Love but also this strange Taxi Driver undercurrent. The animation below represents the base of the piece, upon which, more detail will be added. But overall, this section feels as though it should be more free in its approach. Something less definite and certain in it's movements.

I'll be posting more details on this section soon.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Track 04 Render v003

Adjustments have been made and a reworking of the final sequence. This is starting to approach a much more pleasing state and although I'll be tweaking animation and final image, the overall structure is much more resolved. My methodology was to use elements from a number of paintings, those that felt inherently reactionary to the music, and then fuse them together to make something seamless in it's overall effect.

I will be making further adjustments to this piece, but I will start working on another sequence for now. It's great to see things coming together and I'll be posting new updates in the next couple of days.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Track 9 v004

Moving on to the last section of Track 9. I picked Jordan's piece because as the music ends there's a definite winding down. With that in mind, Jordan's painting has a pixellation effect occuring which I've used to generate the idea of the geometric shapes dissolving as we come to the end. Again, it's not meant to sync up perfectly to music, rather it's supposed to give an overall impression.

For the time being I'm also going to move on to Track 8 and get the ball rolling with that animation, rather than hang around on Track 9 too long. Any changes can be made a little later on with fresh eyes.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Track 9 v003 (no motion blur)

With the middle two sections pretty much there, I've moved on to the trickier opening section. Trickier in so much that there's much more individual stuff to sort out . It's Jake's painting, but it kind of isn't as I've had to go in and recreate a lot of the elements from scratch so that I can animate more easily. Pretty satisfied with it but I may go in and change a few things later on after I've taken a break from it. The music has definitely got the hustle and bustle of moving traffic in a busy city, so I've tried to play up to that idea wherever possible. Unlike the other sections I've kept it totally flat as 3D layers aren't going to enhance it in any meaningful way. Motion blur later is going to smooth out some of the zippier animation going on. The aim will be to get this track 95% there in the next couple days, so I can move onto the 3:30 Track 9 which is going to take a lot longer to make.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Track 04 Render v002

I've been concentrating on refining the opening sequence and it's now starting to move in a much better direction. The camera move is helping a lot and I'm starting to add details to emphasise the smaller beats. The second half of this sequence is still very much in progress and isn't shown in this render, but I'll be finishing it this weekend and hopefully opening the whole sequence up to more discussion. The colour stepping on the background will be fixed, and although there is motion blur I would like to emphasise some depth of field and more texture.

Edit - Also, I've started uploading to YouTube so that you can view sequences in HD.

Track 9 version v002 with Motion Blur

Re-rendered with motion blur. Render times have increased but the animation looks a lot smoother and easier on the eye now.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Track 04 Render v001

I've tried to look at track 4 from scratch and formed a basis for the sequence using a few different pieces of work. This sequence is made from elements of speed paintings by Phil Gomm, Anita Gill and myself. Plus some work from Ryan Leitao and Sam Niemczyk which is yet to be added.

Track_04_Render_001 from Jordan Buckner on Vimeo.

The big struggle at the moment is making interesting visuals when the music is so sparse in areas. There is a ominous drum beat at the bass of the piece which gives this strange war chant feel. That is a theme that I'll be pushing more but put simply, I'd like it to be an abstract representation of the advancement of troops etc. The entire final section is still under construction as it's just not working at the moment, although I do like the dispersion of effects by the fading of rain drops.

Comments and crits will be helpful :)

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Track 9 version v002

For the time being I've worked on the middle two sequences which use Simon and Phil's paintings respectively. Reiterating what I said yesterday my aim is to keep this sequence as graphical as possible. Tomorrow I'll tackle the slightly more complex opening sequence. The aim is to get Track 9 finished by the end of this week.

Testing Stages

Last week we all met to go through the work so far and start to form a plan of attack. Tom has been creating some pretty desirable content which instantly demonstrates some of the attraction in the project. So, below are some of the videos / images from the early stage of the project. As outlined in other post, it seemed natural to gather the work that connected with the music best. Below, are a series of images demonstrating just this.

Act Sequence 2

Act Sequence 4

Act Sequence 5

Act Sequence 6

Act Sequence 10

As we went through these selections, it instantly became apparent that there were certain colours, forms and gestures which fitted together well. There were repeated themes and notions which we could tap into and begin to form a base from. From this very early selection, I had formed a series of very rough tests. These were more experiemental, free form explorations. Some of them rather useless, but others are now moving towards more complete ideas.

Act Track 02 Test Stage

Act Track 02 Animatic 01c from Jordan Buckner on Vimeo.

This one is currently very simple and lacking, but it feels like a piece with a very good base to work from. The initial idea was inspired by Hitchcock / Saul Bass title cards. I'll be pushing this one further in that direction soon.

Act Track 04 Test Stage

Act Track 4 Animatic from Jordan Buckner on Vimeo.

Track 04 is again a slow melodic beat with an underlying drum. This version is far too simplistic, but it starts to form a colour pallete for the section.

Act Track 10 Test Stage

Act Track 10 Animatic 01 from Jordan Buckner on Vimeo.

Another early animatic style piece, with some introduction of possible animation. It is all a bit flat and smooth, but the idea of matching a thematic gesture to the beat is very important.

Test Comp

Comp 1 from Jordan Buckner on Vimeo.

Inspired by the colourful work created for sequence 10, I then started creating smaller experiments with form, depth and simple animation. Despite this being very limited, it became apparent that the sense of depth and parallax could really help capture the audience. There were a number of these experiments which at the moment I haven't uploaded purely because they don't show a huge amount of new ideas.

Now that discussions have taken place and ideas are starting to emerge out of the freeform workflow, new ideas will begin to be posted. I'll be uploaded a selection of work in the next few days, but for now, ACT is very much in the exciting production stage.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Track 9 version v001

I'll do my best to upload at pretty every stage. For Track 9 I'm going to start by transitioning from Lydia's Track 8 painting, because I can use the pinky purple colour palette to move reasonably well into Jake's as he's used a pinkish background. The music is so jazzy that it just seems right to keep it as graphical and geometric as possible without using too much extra CG.  I'm finding the best way to start is to just pop layers in one by one and see if anything sticks out as being particularly punchy for that moment in the music. As much as I'd like to, I can't stick too rigidly to the timing of the music because it's going to be performed slightly differently on the night. It's very free form as I'm searching for a one size fits all approach. At the moment it's all simple stuff and a bit of a mess admittedly. However, it's starting to make a lot of sense in my own mind about how things can be animated properly. The last painting was hastily put scrambled together to get something uploaded today, so ignore that one for the time being.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Working Order

This graph is probably incredibly confusing to anyone other than the ACT team members however I shall do my best to explain it's purpose. In truth, this may end up being the least exciting post in the history of this project but it's all good stuff. We'll try to keep things as outward facing as possible throughout, even if you might end up falling to sleep at the end of it!

After a meeting on Tuesday it was decided to just push forward and start creating the final content. We've both done a few tests using various methods and progress can only really be made if we just knuckle down and start producing this thing. As I've blogged before, we are working in alternate sequences. In order to establish a non-convoluted workflow, we decided that we need to know before-hand the beginning and end of our respective sequences so that the transitions between tracks can flow smoothly. Otherwise we could have some abrupt shifts in colour and mood. To knock off a massive chunk of the animation we will start with the two blocks of three (7,8,9 for me. 4,5,6 for Jordan). Though it sounds odd perhaps, I will be starting at the end with Track 9 so that Jordan knows how Track 10 begins. Jordan will start on Track 4, so that I know how Track 3 will end. Which just leaves me to work on Track 1 to establish how Track 2 will start. 

Next post will be visually impressive and rich, I promise!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Third Test - VERY ROUGH!

Another quick test, this time using Max's Challenge 7. I'm not totally happy with this as it stands, which of course is still very early. It's working to some extent, but I feel like the animation could be 1000 times more dynamic considering the qualities of the original painting. It might be a case of having to separate the ray-like shapes so that I can control them more independently  Right now all the shapes are just on two layers which limits my options for animatiing.  Also - the particles still look way too much like snow!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Second Test - VERY ROUGH!

Testing a few things with Andriana's Challenge 1 Speed Painting.  Finding a balance between 3D and 2D is going to be key. Sorry for the low quality, it's to save render and upload time!