Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Infection by the Flu Virus

Infection by Flu Virus

The link to the soundtrack does not work, follow me instead.

Fighting An Infection - General Public

Fighting an Infection Pitch

Fighting an Infection Biology Undergraduate 2

Fighting an Infection Pitch Post

Storyboard Download here.

Lifecycle of a Mushroom: Online Pitch (31st August 2011)

The Lifecycle of a Mushroom

Monday, 29 August 2011

Lifecycle of a Mushroom: Animatic 1

This is the first stab seeing how I can fit the scientific information into the boundaries that the music has set for me . Issues have arisen and horrendous graphics aside, it feels good to finally see how this animation might work in time based media.

All text, font and animation is placeholder. So if there are mistakes (like where it says basiodispores - urgh!!), don't worry. I'll triple, quadruple, quadriple check all my spelling and facts when the time comes. Basically this is mostly an exercise for myself to see how the animation breaks down, nothing is set in stone.

When text appears in the final animation it will be integrated into the scene. The transition to a new scene will be much more seamless, rather than the hard cuts here.

First things I notice straight away:

Intro text lingers for too long,

The karyogamy and meiosis scene goes on for much too long. This is the biggest problem with the whole animation. It will be relieved slightly when I add start adding some dynamic animationa, camera moves and editing. But wont be fixed completely. Need to work on a solution for this.

I feel like the pace is working well and the amount of information feels suitably meaty. When I start integrating the text it'll open up plenty of scope for including lots of scientific goodies. Heavy on content when all is said and done.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Flu Virus - Basic Model

Mark 1 Flu Virus: Already there are things I know I wish to change on this model but this will be fine for pre-vis work.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Heavy Industry - Cell Organelles

Having completed modeling the organelles for the cell, I thought I had better run off some renders, the textures are place holders at the moment hence the sci-tech look.

Above are various stages of the construction of the nucleus.

 The Cell as a whole. You can clearly see the nucleus in situ.
 Close up of the nucleus, below it are ribosomes, to the top left is the centriole.
 Here we see two mitochondria floating past the golgi body (top left), nucleus and centrioles.
Looking down the shaft of the cilia into the cell proper, we can see the organelles responsible for moving the cilia.

nucleus concept from SIMON HOLLAND on Vimeo.

A very short clip of the nucleus in action.

Lifecycle of a Mushroom: Soundtrack and Animation development

I’ve been chipping away at researching the scientific aspects and in conjuction with listening to soundtrack, trying to work out how the information could fit into the music.

Doing so made me acutely aware that the soundtrack was much too long for the information needed. I want to inform greatly but I don’t want to bore my audience . With the music being the way it is, it could also irritate if it outstays it welcome. I’ve cut the soundtrack down by half. Though drastic it actually makes very little difference because the half I cut is actually a repeat of the first. At just 2 minutes it feels a lot tighter than the original running time of over 4 minutes. Have a listen:

I’m a lot more comfortable understanding the scientific aspects now, than before when I picked the soundtrack. Knowing what I need to convey, I’ve been able to break down the music into 4 significant sections, just about the right amount for the information I have.

1. Intro/Fully grown mushroom
2. Karyogamy/Meiosis stage
3. Basidium/Badiospore stage
4. Mycleium stage/Mushroom Growth stage.

This will need a bit more tweaking, as right now the Karyogamy/Meiosis stage feels overly long but I’ll work on that. I’ll be uploading an animatic in time for 31st of August Pitch deadline.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Lifecycle of a Mushroom: Animation development 1

I’ve been thinking more about how the animation is going to play out in conjunction with the music. One aspect of the track I don’t like is how it goes in the main belly of the music without much opportunity for an intro. I’ve been pondering how to ease the viewer into my 1920’s Jazz-inspired world.

I like the idea of a classic American prohibition radio newsreel announcer introducing the animation. He’s talking in cryptic terms about illegal havens of wild partying and debauchery but of course, he’s actually talking about Mushrooms. Then the music and animation starts.

The music probably predates the era of public radio by a few years or so but I don’t think it matters too much. I don’t intend for the animation to be historically accurate (scientifically accurate though!), but more to evoke the feeling of an era.

Here’s an example of the style I’d be going for:

Obscure reference, but this is only example I can think of right now where it’s used in a film. From the intro of Russ Meyer’s Faster, Pussycat! Kill Kill!

I think the animation should be in black and white, to evoke the era and the feeling of a classic animation. The Silly Symphony animation ‘The Skeleton Dance’ for example:

Where animation was in sync with the music:

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Lifecycle of a Mushroom: Soundtrack 2

I'm throwing this one out there as well. I like both but this is one is a touch different from the previous. It feels a touch quirkier. It's called 'Make That Trombone Laugh'. Clearly Harry Raderman had a thing for euphemism's.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Lifecycle of a Mushroom: The Soundtrack

After some searching I think I've found my soundtrack. It's public domain and royalty free so no worries there. Have a listen:

It's a 1922 Jazz song performed by Harry Raderman's Jazz orchestra. Some interesting stuff from wikipedia, not about this song but about the era in the general:

"Prohibition in the United States (from 1920 to 1933) banned the sale of alcoholic drinks, resulting in illicit speakeasies becoming lively venues of the "Jazz Age", an era when popular music included current dance songs, novelty songs, and show tunes. Jazz started to get a reputation as being immoral and many members of the older generations saw it as threatening the old values in culture and promoting the new decadent values of the Roaring 20s. Professor Henry Van Dyke of Princeton University wrote “ is not music at all. It’s merely an irritation of the nerves of hearing, a sensual teasing of the strings of physical passion.”"

The track definitely evokes the kind of wild parties of the speakeasy. It's has a sexual, naked legs flying everywhere, sensual, flash your knickers, fuelled by alcohol, rambunctious dancing rhythm. Not surprising considering the actual track is called 'Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me' What could that possibly mean? I love the energy of it. Lets not forget I am dealing with what can be basically described as the sex life of a Mushroom.

I think a visual style and evoking the feeling of this era could be pretty fun. Thoughts?

CUSTOMTONE by Fracture & Neptune feat. Martin Fieber

CUSTOMTONE by Fracture & Neptune feat. Martin Fieber from Astrophonica on Vimeo.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Lifecycle of a Mushroom: Music Research 1

As mentioned in a previous comment, I have a mid 20th Century American visual influence and one of the great influences on visual artists at the time was Jazz. I get the feeling that music of Miles Davis and his ilk is perhaps too raw. So I've gone further back to the early pioneers of Jazz and big band music.

I have concerns over the type of music I can use in terms of copyright and so on. What is the situation in regards to this?

Louis Armstrong - West End Blues 1928

Louis Armstrong - Basin St Blues 1928

Louis Armstrong - Savoy Blues 1927

Jelly Roll Morton - Pretty Lil 1929

Jelly Roll Morton - Dr Jazz 1926

Bix Beiderbecke - Royal Garden Blues 1927

Bix Beiderbecke - At the Jazz Band Ball 1927

Friday, 5 August 2011

Lifecycle of a Mushroom: Visual Research 5

As per Phils suggestion I've gone back and had a slight think about the visual direction of my piece. I'm currently in a mindset where I'm just subtracting real world textures and replacing them with arbitrary texures of my own. It works, but needs resolving to a greater extent. The idea of a non-cg aethetic needs to embraced further and to effect the entire style and language of the animation. Phil recommended Charley Harper - famous for his highly stylized depictions of birds and wildlife.

I'll follow up with Mary Blair who produced the concept art for many Disney films.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Flu Virus - Storyboard Act1

Storyboard Act1

Lifecycle of a Mushroom: Cell Division Test 2

Another attempt using a different method which I have potentially more control over. Much better overall effect if you ask me. There is a small error where you can see the Fillet geometry appearing out of nowhere but this should be easily rectified. I'll add more weight to cells by applying some extra deforming animation as they separate from each other.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Lifecycle of a Mushroom: Cell Division Test

Ok, I've been hammering away at google search looking for ways to do this effectively without it looking cheap. This one isnt too bad, but I feel like there's a better way to do it which would make the cells seem a bit more substantial and give them a bit of personality.

This was created using Blobby particle effects. A Radial and Turbulence field was added to get the two particles to separate from each other.