Archive for ‘January, 2014’

Online Premier!

Finally I can show off my animated short and Dave gets to be in the lime light.

After last weeks screening at the House of Visual Culture during the Cultuurnacht festival,Breda and my rambling on about how I made this little film, I can finally show it to you.

So no further ado. Here it is my animated short:

Screen shots - Visual Culture Animation

Screen shots – Visual Culture Animation

This is a very poor photo of last weeks screening… It was dark! But it’s proof that there was a screening.

Online profiling and social media

To use social media or not to use social media? That is the question.

Or at least this is a question I have asked myself.

As someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy the whole social media shebang but lives as a freelancer and a child of the technological age, I feel I have little choice in the matter.

I know that as a freelancer it is a very handy tool for networking and a great way to spread the word about what I do but I can’t stand trailing through blogs and posts and reading about what people have eaten for lunch.

But in order to survive as a freelancer I need to get onboard and make a little effort. It is a fact that in this day and age it is a part of life and the new way to network. Plus it can work for you. I must take part in this social media craze and put my indifferences behind me.

But can I enjoy it! And more importantly, can I make it work for me?

Of course I can. It will just take a little more effort on my part and I will need to understand what and why I am doing it.

So how should I go about doing this?

Well for those of you that find yourself in the same shoes as I, hear are a few tips I got from Social media expert Gerdien den Boer.

Dear Gerdien took some time to explain the do’s and don’ts and actually sold particular aspects of social media to me. Well done Gerdien!

So here is a quick lowdown on what I learnt:

To use Social Media!

Getting started

  • Choose your weapon! What forms of social media will you be using? Choose wisely so that they work for you and the network you are looking for. YOU DO NOT NEED TO USE THEM ALL!
  • I use Facebook, twitter, linkedin, pintress and I have a wordpress based website with blog. You couldn’t force me to use more! Although Google+ has sparked some interest.
  • If you’re like me and will be using social media for work then make it part of your working week. Allocate time in your work week to network and share on social media. There are different ways to do this, some people use it every day, others collect info and do it once a week. But either it should become a normal task with in your work week.
  • Make sure that you have an up to date, strong bio on the profiles of each of your social networks. Who are you? What do you do? It is important that they are short and sweet, explaining who you are, what you do, your goals and who you want to reach and it should be full of tags which help you to be found.
  • Have a translation of your profile. If you are not a native of the country you live in or wish to work with clients abroad a translation is a must… This will be something I have to do!
  • When finding your network start with those closest to you and start with your friends and family. This is always a good place to start, because they will intern share their network with you and so on. A bit like a ripple in a pond.

Finding your network

  • Next spread the word to the people you know; old class mates, teachers, colleges…
  • Then spread the word to people you don’t know so well; the local baker, the best friend of your second cousin once removed…
  • And then start to network with those that you really don’t know; people who could be interesting to your career, or those that you would like to work with or could learn from.

Set goals

  • Don’t make using social media your goal. Don’t use it just because you feel you ought to. Thats just silly and you will end up wasting your time. So no tweeting about what you had for lunch… unless you’re in a lunch group and that’s what you chat about :s
  • Have a good reason to use social media. For instance use it to: expose your work, work in progress, let others know what it is you do, getting attention for your work, getting work assignments, advertising events, cultivating a network, reaching people you will never meet on the street such as potential clients, colleagues or partners. The list goes on for reasons to use social media, but make sure you know why you wish to use it and set your self goals and make a plan.
  • Make sure you know who is looking at your profiles. Pick and choose and make contact.
  • Present yourself to them in a way which sells you.
  • Understand what you are saying in your posts and be positive. If you wish to talk about your failures, explain how you also solved the problem.
  • YOU ARE IN CONTROL!

Strategy

  • Make a plan and set yourself goals;
  • Ask yourself what is your current situation? Now:- Work / projects
  • What is your most desirable situation? Where you want to go and what you would like to achieve
  • What are your goals?
  • Who is your target group? e.g. Organisations, people, companies, festivals, publishers etc.
  • Action! – Compose a message and make contact with your new network. Publish work / articles / promote yourself in your posts

Time path

Make a time path and set yourself a deadline. 

  • This may seem odd but if you have goals then it will always work better if you set yourself a time in which to work in.
  • Know how much time you have each week and how much you want to spend on social media.
  • Make it part of your work week.
  • And finally, as with everything do it in a way in which you will enjoy.

Social media. Now all I have to do is keep active and make it work for me.

 

Thank you for following

Say hi to Dave,

s-Dave Selfie

 

Dave and I just wanted to thank you all for following the process of my Making Of the animation for the House of Visual culture; and allowing me to bombard you with spam and walls of text.

I will release the video as soon as I get the go ahead, but here is a little recap of how the film was made (a compact version of the footage I made during the making):

A little recap of the ‘Making of’

It’s Finished!

It’s FiNishEd!!!! Wooo hoooooo!

My animation for the House of visual culture is finished! After approximately 151 hours of actually sketching, drawing and making and many, many more hours of experimenting, thinking and designing; the damn thing is finished! Happy, happy Joy!

And, you can’t see it!

Nope, I’m afraid you will have to wait until I have shown my client this coming Thursday. It’s only polite that they see it before you.

But I can show you some screen shots.

Screen shots - Visual Culture Animation

Screen shots – Visual Culture Animation

So did this project go according to plan?

Yes! But with a few tweaks hear and there which were due to limited time. Because of this I was unable to animate more of the objects in the landscape. I wanted to use different techniques and softwares such as, stop motion and Anime pro to make objects move and have Pac Man scoot across the screen. But when watching the film back I think that it would of only distracted away from the story being told. Everything happens for a reason, so i’m not upset.

It looks pretty much exactly as I imagined it and how the storyboard said it should become, so there were no unexpected changes.

I was able to get my hands dirty again by making my own props. The artist in me was allowed to play again and while making such a computer time intensive product, this was a gift I gave to myself. Something I will also take with me on to my next projects. If you have to work you may as well enjoy it.

I was particularly pleased with being able to work in the green screen studio and get some real time footage into the animation. Plus I learnt a ton of stuff in doing so. A BIG thank you to Fabian de Boer for helping me both in the studio and figuring out how to key out the background.

Although I wanted to work with a sound designer I couldn’t find one who was willing to work over the Christmas period, in a short space of time for a limited budget. But I think I solved that problem with the help of freesound.org… and Micky mouse. Lets hope I don’t upset Mr Disney. (When you see the film you’ll know what I mean).

I did have a moment where I realised that some things just aren’t as easy as you think. My plan was to make an English as well as a Dutch version of the animation. I found three beautiful voices one English, belonging to Mike Shelton, which you will hear in the film and two Dutch belonging to Peter de Vries and Rogier Roeters, which you will never hear. And the reason you will never hear them is because, to edit the text in to the film would mean me having to re-edit a huge amount of the animation and it’s timing. This is why:

English text:

Excuse me! Excuse me! Yes you. Have you ever considered a world without visual culture?

Dutch text:

Pardon! Pardon! Ja, jij daar! Heb je er ooit over nagedacht hoe het zou zijn, om te leven in een wereld zonder beeldende cultuur?

The Dutch text is quite a bit longer.

Being British I started with the English version and animated Dave to react to it and in turn the background. I recorded the voices all Before Christmas and when it came to making the Dutch version I realised it wasn’t just a question of replacing the English voice with the Dutch one. Oops!

So my solution is Subtitles. Next time I will have to think just a little bit further about the editing process.

I enjoyed this project immensely. I was able to learn how to make a mixed media animation, how to use Adobe After Effects, TV Paint and green screen footage, plus combine them with making props, story telling and characters. Not bad for eight weeks.

The only thing I don’t think I can get used to is the square eyes. Eye drops have become my new friend.

As soon as I get the go ahead I will post the film for you.

Dave’s alive!

Dave’s alive!

I have some serious computer head and my square eyes have handed in their resignation! But the show must go on and I can happily announce that it’s coming along nicely… as long as I don’t think about the looming dead line next Thursday (16th January), I should be fine.

So what do I have for you today?

Well, if you check the film below you will find that Dave in his full coloured glory has come to life! In this clip you will find him reacting to a voice which asks his the question to consider a life without visual culture.  At the moment he is not in an environment, so I’m guessing that it wont make much sense. But for that, you will have to be patient and wait.

The voice which you are listening to is that of Mike Shelton. A good friend of mine who quite happily offed to share his beautiful voice with you. We recorded on Christmas day of all days but had a giggle in the process, in which we did no less than 30 takes!

I then edited the voice in a sound editing software called Garage band. Not the most advanced but good enough for this simple task. I then re-edited it in Adobe Premier with Dave acting along to it, tweaking Dave and the voice as I went.

I am planning on making a Dutch version and have recorded two more beautiful voices. But time is of the essence and I may have to put the Dutch version on hold until the rest of the film is finished. Fingers crossed that I will have enough time to make both versions before the deadline.

For those of you who are curious about what the finished film will look like I have made you a screen shot. Here you will see Dave at home in his new environment.

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 09.30.37

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 09.30.28

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