Posts from the ‘stop-motion’ category

Cartoons, Animation & Stop-motion

Spring is in the air and EWC has rolled in to the new year at a gentle tempo but with some fantastically fun projects.

Sesame Street NL

Starting of I’ve been rounding off the Animation for Sesame Street NL. Finishing the edit for television last week. This short and sweet animation is about a little slug who gets cold and needs a new coat.

I can’t tell you too much, (Contract rules) but here’s a little GIF to give you a taste of whats to come  and the scene layouts 😉

Eric-coldEen Jas voor een slak - scenes

Cartoons & Chiropractors

And then there were Cartoons. My pals the Chiropractors asked again for a bit of fun in their annual magazine and this time it focused on ‘Self diagnosis’.  The caption says ” I already diagnosed myself on the internet. So i’m only here for a second opinion!’

s-Cartoon-Self Diagnosis

Stop-Motion

Also this Spring I was launched in to a mad project with Cloud Berry film for an in-house explainer animation for Cygnific (Sales and Services for KLM & Air France).

The project was to be a mash-up Stop-motion/Whiteboard animation explaining the in’s and outs of an internal project, to be presented to all of those who work at Cygnific (+600 peeps).

The idea was that it would be fun and inspiring to watch while explaining their future goals within the company.  Easy Peasy… Although the deadline was 2 weeks from the start date ! Whaaa! bit short for a stop-motion explainer video!

But we managed to push out the deadline, wrote the script in 2 days (Breaking down a pile of information as tall as myself into a script less than one A4) Knock out a storyboard by the end of the week, and have props collected and made by mid week the following week, ready for production on the Wednesday!

That makes, 2 Weeks Pre-production & filming. Not Bad!

Now I’m busy with the Whiteboard animation and next week we go into Post-production, with the final edit and sound design etc. Phew!

It’s tight, but it gives you energy and pushes boundaries, making you think smart and produce creative, fun solutions. Watch this space for the final result.

But for now, here below are some photos of the production and my whiteboard tryout.

Making-Cygnific-02 Making-Cygnific-01

Last minute stop-motion

For a planner and a self confessed perfectionist I was  like a deer caught in headlights when asked to take part in the making of an advert, for YAM gluten free bread.

I was phoned by Producer Cariola van Beek on the friday with the the question of ‘Can you do stop-motion, draw  and are you free monday?’  With an answer of ‘Yes’ I was wisked away to a set and team of 5, including myself, to make a delightful stop-motion animation.

Our team consisted of Cariola van Beek producer extraordinaire, Martin Swinkels and assistant Simon, Film & photography and Saskia Rovers our stylist.

And what a brilliant day and team it was to work with. My role was to do part of the stop-motion and make the illustrated graphics. The result is a lovely little film about how Cassava and Oats can make beautiful bread together… pun intended!

The film was made using props of all sorts, Dragon stop-motion, a nice camera and some soft box lights, screen flow and photoshop and edited together in after effects and premier. And it took the total of 2 full days to make.

So take a look below at the finished film and a little making of film I put together for those wanting a sneaky peak behind the scenes (please excuse the low-res film… my camera is old :S )

YAM Bread advert:

The making of:

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’

Bringing Dave to Life

Bringing Dave to Life

 

Happy New Years! The celebrations are behind us and I’m back behind the computer to put a bit of life in to my Visual Culture animation. And now it’s Dave’s turn.

If you remember Dave is my main character who will be questioned about a life without visual culture.

I pondered over the animation technique I would use for him and it became a toss up between cross animation/puppetry and frame for frame. In the end I opted for frame for frame. This decision was made not only because of the time consuming process of trial and error (I had never tried this technique before) but also because of the added effect frame for frame animation would add to the mash up of techniques I was already using.

I believed that a puppet would of looked almost too at home in the after effect landscape I had created. The frame for frame cartoon of Dave would add a little more recognisable imagery from visual culture and make an interesting combie between photographic and illustration.

So frame for frame is what it has become. For those of you who don’t know this term, Frame for Frame is a name given to an animation technique where each frame of the film is individually drawn. An extremely time consuming process and not one I recommend to those with a concentration span of a fish. I am struggling. To put it in to perspective, 25 frames are needed for every second… I am now wondering why I didn’t go for puppetry!

I am using an animation software called TVPaint. This software allows you to work in the traditional methods of animating but without paper. It’s great for saving time on mistakes and spilt ink. The only thing I don’t like is getting computer head/square eyes and not getting my hands dirty.

Below is a clip of the footage of Dave so far. In this video you will see the process of going from sketch to full colour animation. It is not yet finished but when it is Dave will be reacting to a voice which is asking him a question.

The Ice lolly and iPhone are photos so keep with the theme of mixed media which I was going for.

Dave puppet - Naked! The arms, legs and facial features would be animated in after effects.

Dave puppet – Naked!
The arms, legs and facial features would be animated in after effects.

Networking tips!

Networking

Notes taken from a lecture by Leon van Rooi

While making a change in my career it has to be said that I started to ponder over the reasons of why success has been so elusive.  I wouldn’t say it has eluded me but it is a fact that the illustration industry is straining under the pressures of recession and technological changes. Hence the reason I have chosen to update my knowledge and get these pictures of mine moving.

But how can I get more work, find work, keep clients and keep the ball rolling? And especially in my newly chosen career.

I’m not oblivious to the word networking, I phone potential clients and email them, plus keep a news letter, dabble with social media and my website is up to date. But there must be something more I can do because, till now it hasn’t gotten me where I want to be.

One thing that I do know is that your network is vital, it is the life line to your success. The majority of work comes via via and not just out of the blue, (unless you are well known and have an established reputation within the industry; although this comes from hard work and a good network).

Networking: a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.

Networking is an active word. It is something you have to work hard at.  All the time. A bit like eating healthily. To some it comes naturally, to others, not quite. For those of us for whom it is a little more difficult, there are some guide lines that we can follow.

Bellow are some points I took from a lecture given by Leon van Rooi (Networking guru) which if we try and follow should keep our creative heads above water.

Social media

It’s all very well having a Facebook page and telling the world what you ate for lunch, but you can do a lot better.

  • Keep a blog and tell the world about your work and what you are working on. Then link it to all of your other social media accounts (WordPress is great for this).
  • Keep a news letter and send it to everyone you know and link it to all of your social media accounts (mail-chimp makes it professional and gives people the opportunity to unsubscribe)
  • Look for others like you online. Be interested in others, make polite comments and suggestions and become online friends.
  • Make contact, ask questions and share information. If you are a fan there is always a way to get in contact with that person. Try it, they don’t tend to mind and actually like the attention.

 Agents

If you can get an agent some of your problems will be solved. It wont mean that you will never have to network again, but you will have someone to look after you when it comes to your paper work and money issues, with clients that they arrange.

If you want an agent make sure that you are unique, there is something recogniisable in your work and sell yourself…. Network! and let them know that they need you.

Workspace and Network Events

If you are a freelancer, get outside and find a workspace to share with others, or in a building where you can a least meet others. This will allow you to interact and tell others what you are up to and what your hopes and dreams are. You may even find someone who is like minded and help you make your dreams come true.

There are some places where several companies share the same space and when needed they can join forces and take on a larger project together.

If you are a bit of a loner though, don’t fret. Just make sure that there are times when you get outside and make contact with like minded peeps.  This can be at networking events, but make sure it is one which has the potential clients you are looking for.

Showcasing your work

Never make your art for money – go for exposure! David Wilson, Animator/Director/Film maker.

The creative industry is a tricky one for those of us who wish to make a career out of our passions. Reason being is that we want to make beautiful things that satisfie our personal needs. And if we do not reach this satisfaction, frustrations takes over and no one is happy with the final result.

It is also true in that money needs to be made to pay the bills. So is there is a way to achieve both creative satisfaction and a few pennies to pay the bills?

It is possible. Although you need patience and to be willing to invest a lots of time and your own money.

If you want work which exploits your own personal interests, styles and techniques you must create a portfolio which screams out that you are the best in this area of creative expertise; and then use it as bait. And this bait should be used to lure in those clients who are willing to pay you for what you love and are so good at.

And when I say use it as bait, I mean go to that fishing hole and hold it in front of those clients you wish to work for!

DVEIN is a spanish company who did just that with a short video clip:

DVEIN  took it to Adobe and basically told them they wanted to make something for them. And they got the job.

DVEIN had no budget but talent and a network to make the clip possible. All of those who participated in the clip also got to reap the rewards of eventually working with Adobe.

Your portfolio is your business card to those jobs you wish to have. If you don’t have the portfolio, make it. And then pluck up your courage and tell who ever it is that they need you!

Competition

We often see our colleges as negative competition. We shouldn’t. There are very few creatives who make the same sort of things as each other anyway and there clientele want them for what they do, the same as your’s want you for what you do.

Instead they are your network. And this network can help you get you to places that you couldn’t get to alone. They may know people you could work with in collaboration and/or they may know of someone you are looking for.

Talk to each other, tell each other your dreams, passions and goals and who knows who could help you.

Be nice

It may seem trivial but being nice is something which everyone can appreciate. If your client likes you they will want to keep working with you.

Be nice, be friendly, work hard and you will get what you deserve! David Wilsons father.

Keep moving

Talk to people you meet and tell them what you do and what your goals are. Do this everywhere you go, not just networking events. Be interested in others and ask questions, listen and remember what they say.

Remembering small detail could get you that job, even if it is about a cat that had to go to the vet.

And keep moving! go to places and talk to people and eventually you will get the ball.

Summary

The tips are simple, keep moving, keep talking. It is something you have to do all the time, make it part of your life style and learn to enjoy it.

Highlighted points:

  • Don’t work, just follow your passions; You wont get rich straight away but you will find satisfaction and happiness.
  • Talk to each other, tell each other your dreams, passions and goals, and who knows who could help you.
  • Get in contact with people, be it online or in real life. Meet up and talk.
  • Talk to everyone about yourself, passions, dreams and goals.
  • Use your network and get to know the people around you.
  • Go to studios.
  • Follow your passions.
  • Ask questions
  • And keep moving.

 And finally:

If you have questions and want to get the information from other professionals or those that you are interested in, just tell them you are writing a book. it always works! Even Opera does it. Leon van Rooi

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