Tuesday, 7 March 2017


Again the for the 10x10x17 project we were given the task of  creating 10 films in 10 days (1 film a day for 10 days). Here we go again!


ECA- Carrigan- Petronelli- Day 1 from ECA Animation on Vimeo.

On the first day of 10x10x17 I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do this one, or really all of them for that matter. I didn't really have any small narratives that I wanted to tell and being honest I couldn't really think of any. This year I decided that I was going to play it fast and loose and not overwork myself too much, since I feel like I really burnt myself out last year. Besides this however I wanted to try and start off with something sad for a change, so I choose to make a film about a dying robot in his last moments, sitting next to a fire under the stars. To reflect the mood and tone I was going for in the film, I knew that I would need to have some very slow scenes and still moments. To do this I used slow camera pans and zoom ins to achieve this effect. Since everything would be shown as single shots and there would be limited animation I spent a bit more time on the visuals so I was able to make the film overall more polished. Something which I think really works well with the theme and tone that I was going for. Overall this film I have to say is one of my favorites, I quite enjoyed making it even though it did take quite a while to create backgrounds and what not, but I feel this added to the effect I was going for.


ECA- Carrigan- Day 2 from ECA Animation on Vimeo.
For day 2, again I didn't really have a clue what I wanted to do. After thinking for a while, I thought about doing something with a duck, and it being valentines day I figured I could do something along the lines of 2 ducks falling in love, or a duck trying to find love. I have always liked the idea of filming real locations and adding small animated characters into those locations. Something that I have done before briefly and had a lot of fun with (2015 Filler film "The Department" Film for the 4th Years Degree Show), and I wanted to do something like this again thinking that I could do something simple and quick. Hiring out the video camera from Mike I set about recording small boxes I have on my desk. I placed these boxes in the middle of the desk and shot them from lots of different angles so that I had plenty of options to choose from. During this process I had the idea of having a duck be wandering round the boxes, responding to a call of which he thinks is a female duck, however this would actually turn out to be another larger duck actually sitting in the box and tricking the small duck into following the calls round the box continuously (not a very smart duck). This idea did prevail once animating started however I began to run out of time since I had other commitments on that day, so in the end I had to cut the idea short. I was not sure how to do this at first however I ended up having the idea of having the duck look like it was caught on camera in a warehouse of some sort- due to it coming out from behind a box. So I added a camera recording effect onto the screen and some static and boof day 2 was done! 


ECA- Carrigan- Moutzouris- Day 3 from ECA Animation on Vimeo.

For day 3, I knew I wanted to make an animation to music created by one of the composers that were also part of the project. I ended up coming across Moutzouris'es piece which I really liked and It gave me the idea of animating a character walking to it, in a cool manner. This character ended up coming in the form of a sketch I did back in first year of the stud muffin, a hunky man with a muffin for a head- don't ask. I came up with the idea of slowly revealing this character to the music, finally showing off his head when the music reaches its climax, also reveling the visual joke. I originally had intended to animated this character in after effects using the puppet tool, actually going as far as to creating the full character with split up limbs for animating.

Original Stud Muffin For After Effects

However I ended up running into problems with Duik an animating plug-in in after effects which allows you to give bones to characters. This took most of the day and I began to run out of time so I decided to go ahead and animate the character frame by frame in a simple walk cycle, since for me I knew I could achieve this in the time I had left. Once this was done and he was all coloured, I then began to create a background that would allow me to reveal the character piece by piece until the end of the film. I did this by simply scribbling over the whole frame on a different layer 3 times so I could get a boil and then I cut out rectangles of the parts of the character that I wanted to slowly reveal. Overall I think this animation turned out ok, its not what I had imagined in the first place and I think that it could have been executed a little bit better, but I think in the end I managed to achieve the  effect I was going for.


ECA- Carrigan- Day 4 from ECA Animation on Vimeo.

Day 4 was a chance for me to complete a film that I had been wanting to make for a while now. Amy and myself had recorded a silly little story that we had came up with on the cuff while I had the recording equipment hired out and I always have wanted to animate to it since I thought it would be a funny thing to animate to. So for me this was a chance to finally make this film, and I figured 10x10 is a perfect way to do it. Again I had another go at animating in after effects, however this time it was different since I wouldn't be using Duik and I chose to simply use after effect's puppet tool to animated the characters with. This turned out to be quite a bit of fun since I have only done animated tests with the puppet tool before so It was nice to be animating in after effects again with something a bit more substantial. A big part of this film I had to figure out was animating the lip sync on the characters, something I have never done before. For the head master character to get around having to do the lip sync for both characters I ended up just animating his mo-stash moving up and down, something I thought actually looked quite good and worked well. However this actually took quite a while to animate since I also had to sync the movements up with the parts where he was talking. However I think this turned out quite well. The I moved onto animating Amy's character the small blue one, and for him there was no way to get around the lip sync so I had to just soldier through it. Eventually I got it done however It was getting late and I knew I wouldn't have time to do all of the characters body animations, which is a shame since I think it would have made the film a bit better. However I had to use the time I had, and I ended up just making sure all of the lip sync was right and using close ups and cutting back and forth to convey movement within the scene. In the end I quite like this animation, its more of a personal one and I am glad that I finally have done it.

Day- 05-

ECA- Carriagn- Day 5 from ECA Animation on Vimeo.

On day 5 we were given the theme of  "21st century social etiquette" with which we were given the task of conveying something we find annoying or rude about what people do in the 21st century. I had the idea of basing it on people who place there bags on the seats next to them on the bus. I find this quite rude and even more so when I'm on a packed bus and I see people doing it- so it was something I thought I would animate for this topic. On this day I didn't have a lot of time to work with since I had workshops that I do on this day and I was busy in the evening so my time was very limited. To get around this I figured I could make a film in after effects again, using simple static characters and limited animation. I ended up drawing alien looking characters since they would be simple to draw and I could convey my idea easily and clearly. I figured that I could create something that would appear like an infomercial for aliens that live among us on earth, a bit like a tutorial on how to be a human. Once all of the animation was complete and put together in adobe premier I decided that I would do a voice over to add to the effect of this being a infomercial/ tutorial on how to behave in public situations. I recorded my voice using a edoral sound recorder that I had hired out and recorded my voice as the animation was playing in front of me. This was actually quite difficult and it took a few tries and cutting certain parts together, but overall it turned out ok when it was finally finished. This isn't my favorite film due to my embarrassingly horrible English accent being played over the whole thing, however I do like the animation as a whole and I was proud I was able to animate it in the really limited amount of time I had.

Day- 06-

ECA- Carrigan- Peng- Day 6 from ECA Animation on Vimeo.

Day 7 was another day I knew I wanted to make an animation to music created by one of the composers that were also part of the project. I came across Terry Peng's really nice music and so I knew I wanted to animate to this. I also knew that on this day I would animate with Plasticine, since I had thought about animating with it over the weekend. Once I listened to Terry's music over a couple of times, I came up with the idea of animating a cup filling up with water droplets and then overflowing to the beat of the music (a droplet would fall when every beat would play). To animate this with the Plasticine I ended up using one of the rostrums, placing down black paper for the background and animating the Plasticine on top of a pain of glass, as not to get the background dirty. This process was fun but took forever, since I had to cut out the Plasticine over and over. By the time I got 3 quarters of the way through the animation it was very late and I soon had to leave to the last bus home so I ended up deciding that I would make the whole animation reverse back to the beginning quickly to the last part of the music. This ended up working quite well in the end and I was happy with the overall result.


ECA- Carrigan- Summerhill- Lui- Day 7 from ECA Animation on Vimeo.

Recovering from Day 6 I found myself being quite tired and really wanting to do something easy and quick for Day 7. Again I looked to music for my inspiration and discovered a track by Lui from Summerhill's piece that really matched my mood that day. With the intent of animating in Photoshop I decided to animate a tortoise relaxing in a field of grass and trees, watching the clouds go by. I actually really enjoyed doing this one since it was really simple and I really liked the style I came up with for it. Overall I think it really compliments the music and I am really happy with the way this turned out.


ECA- Carrigan- Garcia- Day 8 from ECA Animation on Vimeo.

For Day 8 I wanted to do something a bit action packed and decided to base the theme of this animation on a monster attacking a city and a superhero flying in to save the day. I wanted to make reference to my Spaghetti Western film I did in last years 10x10 and decided to go with a monochrome colour scheme which I think worked well in terms of the films aesthetic, since I like how it kind of references the old monster movies of the past. I animated everything in Photoshop using layers in the timeline panel which was very useful, particularly for the part where the superhero enters and fly's down to face the monster that is approaching the city. And again as with all the films I had done in 10x10 I edited it all together in Adobe Premier. For the scenes with the monster and the face off between it and the superhero, I animated those in after effects since I find it much easier to pan, zoom, and add in assets within it rather that Premier. Overall I quite enjoyed animating this one and I think it turned out quite well. I think the music that Garcia kindly made for it really makes the film and helps to add that little extra something to finish it off.


ECA- Carrigan- Summerhill- Kim- Day 9 from ECA Animation on Vimeo.

Day 9 was another lazy day for me, and another day that I wanted to add an animated character into a real background. I decided to use this frog man that I quickly designed and originally I was going to add him into different places throughout my house, creating the impression that he was stuck inside on a rainy day. For most of the morning I spent my time filming different locations within my house that I could place him in. Having him either sitting or standing not doing much- since I wanted to keep the amount of animating I would have to do to a minimum. Once I had all of my footage I took the first scene into Photoshop of him standing looking out of the window. What I realized while doing this however was that I could just use the scene of him looking out the window to sad music and that would get the point of the film across in a much simpler and easier way. I ended up going with this idea in the end and I think it overall turned out quite well and I actually really quite like this one.


ECA- Carriagn- Day 10 from ECA Animation on Vimeo.

The last day! For Day 10 we were given another theme to base our animations on and this time it was "Seeing through the eyes of another". For this what we had to do was basically create a film with the perspective of  someone else's view point. What I decided to do for this one (again because I had so little time due to my workshops that day), was to do a pigeon sneaking up on an unsuspecting chip and then have a shot of the chip being pecked by what is revealed to be the pigeon. Again I ended up using Photoshop to animate the film and it turned out to be relatively easy to animate. For the opening scene where we see the chip being sneaked up on I used after effects to create the up and down motion of someone walking towards him. This was a little bit fiddly to do but in the end I ended up working out. Overall for what it is I think this films ok. I think it could really use some music and maybe some more time could have been spent building up to the chip tuning around and looking horrified, but in hindsight I enjoyed making this one and again I think it turned out ok.

Thoughts on Project Overall: 

What did I think of 10x10x17? I think I quite enjoyed this one. I don't think overall that I had made as many good films as last years project but again my main aim for this year was not to burn myself out, and I know for a fact that I definitely achieved this. This one too was a very different experience to last in that I found myself not really knowing what I wanted to do most days, not like before where I had some kind of plan each day. And I think that in some cases this may have been to my detriment, however I think I do have created some films that I am quite proud of and I think that's quite an achievement considering that we only have a day to make them. But I guess that's what 10x10 is about, you are not going to make a perfect or even a full film everyday. Most of the time you need to compromise and go with what works or what you have time for, thinking on your feet. And I think that's why I love and sometimes hate 10X10, but overall I just really love this project. 

Friday, 2 December 2016

Life Drawing- Semester 1

Figures at top - drawn with curve of banana. Figure bottom right- drawn using straight lines. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Memory Project

For this project we were given the task of recalling a memory from our past, recording it and then creating a film from the recording. The memories we could record could be anything we remembered, however the only stipulation was that we were not supposed to think too hard about what memory we would speak about. Since the best account of a story can sometimes be one which is told the first time around- with the stammering and pauses included. To record our memories we went along to Alison House, were we had organised ourselves into to pairs to record, one to recount their memory and the other to record them. We had about 20 minutes to record our memories which was just enough time to record a couple each, before the next group came along and the group before would show them how to use the recording equipment. I ended up recounting about 3 memories, the first one being about the time an old man began to talk to me about a boil on his groin and the other two were kind of a duo in which I talk about the funny things my mum and dad have done. I remember struggling to think of any other memories once I had done a couple, being put on the spot and trying to recount something off the cuff, is much harder than it looks. 

Storyboard Thumbnails:

Once I had my recordings I began to listen to them over and over, trying to visualize in my head how I would go about animating them. I knew from the get go I wanted to animate this film in stopmotion, so when visualizing the scenes in my head I also had to take this into consideration. To get the ball rolling I began to write down everything I was saying in the recordings as I listened to them. I would then place the script into a small storyboard thumbnail format so that I could work out what would be happening on screen as I was talking. This process did take a while, however It really helped me visualize how the film would pan out and gave me an rough Idea of weather or not the visuals would work in relation to the memory being told. 

First Memory- "The old man with the boil problem":

This storyboard (above) was the first memory I ended up recording. It was quite a funny yet traumatic  experience (at least for me) and I though this might have been a good memory to make a film out of. With this one though, I began to fall into the trap of simply recounting what happened in the visuals, and I found it quite difficult to break away from this. I'm not entirely sure why this was, perhaps it was maybe because I felt trapped within the setting of the memory or perhaps I was just approaching it to literally because it was the first one. In the end however I didn't end up going for this one I felt like my other recording had a better flow to it and I liked the story behind that one more.  

Second Memory- "The weird things that they do": 

This was my second memory and it recalled the time when my mum decided to put a basket ball net in the bin because it had a hole in it (its meant to by the way) and the time my dad was screaming up the stairs while he was fixing blinds on the landing, shouting "i'm blind, i'm blind", holding them over his eyes. I really liked this recording and preferred it to the last. I think it was perhaps because it wasn't about me but the weird things my parents do and I could see this being funnier than the previous recording so I knew I wanted to do this one. Again  the way I approached this was the same as the last and likewise it really helped me to work out what I was going to do visually within the film. 

Character Design:

Once I knew what recording I was going to continue with I began to think about how the characters would look and how I would want to portray them. I originally wanted not to have to draw myself and my parents and began to sketch out simplistic blocky shaped characters and such. I wanted to play around with the idea of shapes and how using different ones can differentiate characters from one another. However as I began to think of more ways to do this, I found myself strangely hitting a creative block. I really wanted to create different looking characters, ones that didn't necessarily look like my mum, dad and myself however I think that because I knew I was going to be animating this in stopmotion. I kind of hindered myself a little, playing it safe by just desiding to try and make models of the way they actually looked in a stylized way. This is not a bad thing however, its just something that I wasnt sure I was happy with. 



In the last couple of pages you can see that I began to think about how I would make the heads of the characters, still thinking about simplistic shapes as I was designing the more normal characters.

Possible Final Character Designs:

Once I had the characters designs I thought I was going to use, I went ahead and began to create character sheets for them. This would allow me to get a feel for the characters and help me design the stopmotion versions when it came time to make them into models.


For my dad, I knew he was going to be the tallest character since he actually is in my family. He also has big arms and hes pretty strong so I wanted to convey this in his design, with his Popeye-esk barrel arms. While having some squared off edges, he still has a lot of round shapes in his form, to make him appear more friendly and "dad like" if there even is such a thing. 


For my mum, I gave her a lot of round shapes too as a way of securing that friendly character aesthetic, making her appear very "mum like". 


For myself, I wanted to make my character reflect the fact that I look like my dad, so my character reflects many of the same quality's his character does. I'm just a little smaller.  

For each of the characters I made sure to try out a range of different face poses and body gestures relating to my recordings narrative so that I can reference these when I go to create my models. I also drew out the characters from each side with this same purpose in mind. Again it was good to do this because I found that it was something else I could look at and refer back too when making the frames of my models making it come in handy. 

Creating the Animatic: 

Once I had somewhat figured out my characters, I began to go ahead and create a proper animatic. Using my thumbnails as a starting point I began to draw it up in Photoshop, using its timeline and layer system which is really handy since you can now insert audio into it and it will play while you animate. This allowed me to get timings more accurate and will help when it comes to filming. During this process I ended up changing a lot of things to fit the audio, such as camera angles and what the characters would be doing at certain points within some scenes. This was just due to the fact that I was able to listen to the audio and get a better sense of how things would play out in the film. The version you see above is an incomplete version with only half of it being done at this point, since I didn't have a lot of time left and I wanted to make a start on making the models which is what really eats up your time when making a stopmotion film. I stopped creating the animatic right in the middle of the two stories, just before I go on to talk about my dad and his blind pun. I did this so I would be able to go back to it at a later point and add that bit on if I had the time, making it more convenient for the limited amount of time I have to make it in. After talking with the tutors there are a few changes I wish to make to the animatic to get it perfect, but again at this point I was more concerned with getting the model making started.   

Creating The Models:

Firstly, It has been a while since I have done any stopmotion and equally I have not really had much experience making a proper model before, so there was a lot of trial and error involved in making the armatures, during this part of the project.

I began to plan out how I would build the armatures. I first drew out a scaled drawing of my models on sheets of A4, the process being handy as it gave me a template I could follow to get the size and proportions of my models right. Referencing theses templates I figured I could just begin with a full wire frame for the skeleton of my models. Adding the body around it, however I liked the idea of being able to replace parts if need be and so I ended up deciding to make individual limbs that could plug into bulkier parts of the models, allowing them to be easily replaced if they got broken. 

Building the Bulky Body Parts: 

To start of with, to form the bulkier parts of the the bodies, like the head, torso and the hips and to keep them all light, I decided to make them all out of Balsa wood. Balsa wood is light and easily manipulated meaning that it would be easy to make the shapes I wanted to produce and so I figured this would be a good choice to go for.

The first step was to cut multiple squares of equal size out of the Balsa wood from the longer cut pieces. Then I would put some wood clue in between the cut squares and then sandwich them together in the vise (as seen above) to make sure that they would all stick together securely giving me a larger shape to work with to for the bulky body parts. 

Once the glue had set and the Balsa pieces were stuck together, I began to trim off the edges at angles to give me a sloping roundish shape. This shape being smaller at the top and larger at the bottom for myself and my dads puppet torso's. I then went ahead and sanded down the square edges until I got the shape right (as seen above). This process was repeated for the other parts on the models as well, the only difference was my mums armature torso which ended up being more square in shape and instead of being one whole piece, ended up needing to be made in two separate pieces and then stuck together again with the wood glue (as seen below).

Finally I had all of the bulky parts of the models sorted and what was great was that they were all still super light. The next step now is for them to be drilled with holes so I cal put the K&S brass square tubing into them so the would wont split.

Drilling Holes for the Armature Wire Limbs:

Using the table drill, I was able to make some nice clean holes for the K&S square brass tubing to slide into. This would allow me to glue in the armature wire into the holes and then if need be pull them out without damaging or splitting the wood. 

Twisting the Wire:

I then went ahead and began to twist the armature wire round 4- 3 times so it would be a bit thicker and more secure when using to pose or hold the models weight. Areas like the neck didn't need as meany turns due to only being used to support the head. 


The ends of the wire being hooked at the end, ended up not being able to fit into the square brass tubing so I ended up having to snip the ends off, which made them a little weaker and I was worried that they would un- twine because of this. However I figured that the solution to this would be to cover the ends of the wire in super sculpy and bake them. Essentially allowing the wire to be held strongly together in its hard super sculpy exterior- and this ended up working!

Making Hands: 

I then began to think about my models hands, I figured this would be the difficult part however I ended up just drilling small holes into the side and top and then sticking evenly sized X2 twisted wire into them and boom we got some hands!

Securing the wire to the balsa wood and adding hands: 

To secure the wire to the not only the inside of the K&S square brass tubing but to everywhere else, I firstly tried using Uhu Glue but after hours of waiting for it to set this still wouldn't work. Calum and Peter ended up suggesting that a hot glue gun would do the trick, and sure enough it did. It dries untill its in a solid state which held the wire securely in place. Not like the Uhu glue which remained a liquid for some reason. Ugh why didn't I think of that sooner! 

Adding Feet: 

I ended up using Milliput for the feet, since I knew I wanted the feet to be a bit more secure I ended up using this as it can be sculpted and left until it dries rock solid. This I figured was perfect for what I wanted to do and I left it over night to dry. 

Crafting Props/ Background: 

At this point I began to start making some props that I would need for my film. During the process of creating the animatic and thumbnails I knew I wanted to keep the background very limited and bare bones if I was going to doing stopmotion. As you can see in the animatic the background is infinite white and has very little in it besides a few things to reference location and things that the character interact with and so above you can see me making cardboard boxes and the frame of what will act as the garage door. These were fairly easy and simple to make, however I think I will go back and make other boxes at some point. Those were just for quickness sake, since I was running out of time fast and wanted to start filming soon. 

Adding "Bones":

With the left over Milliput I had, Neil the departments technician ended up suggesting that I should add bones to the arms and legs of the puppets to give myself somewhere to grip when animating and to act as a visual indicator for where the wire should bend. 

Adding Tin to the Feet:

So I could use the magnets, I ended up cutting up some tine cans so that I could add them to the soles of my puppets feet so that they would magnetize through the floor of the stage and be more stable to animate with. 

Set Design:

Again when it came to setting up the set, it was fairly easy to replicate an infinite white space. However when I say it was 'fairly' easy, I mean it wasn't all bad but there was a large amount of fiddling with the lighting I had to do so that the lights did not hit the back wall and even then it still happened. But overall it ended up doing the job and I could finally start doing some tests with the armatures.

Armature Tests:

When it finally came to doing some tests with the armatures, I wanted to do them in this unfinished state to see whether or not they would be ok to animate with, and not fall apart. Another reason I wanted to do it straight away, was to see if I liked the style of the characters as they were now with their blank blocky features. Its like I have came full circle with their designs, as originally I had wanted the characters to look like this in my first initial drawings. I actually quite liked this aesthetic, however I will need to see if it will work with the narrative and framework of the film. The moment of truth had finally come!

Dad Armature Test_001 from Tyler Carrigan on Vimeo.

Mum Armature Test 001 from Tyler Carrigan on Vimeo.

Tyler Armature Test 001 from Tyler Carrigan on Vimeo.

The Problems With Magnets...

I really hate magnets. While it was nice to do stopmotion again after so long, and I feel that the tests were successful and I am pretty happy with them, I really found the magnetic feet to be a pain. When animating my 'dad' armature in particular, while the magnets were strong they were not strong enough to keep it up or the others up when simply bending over or doing walk cycles. This was really frustrating as it meant that I had to spend ages re-positioning them. Making the long process of animating in stopmotion even longer. I think the next steps for me will be to replace the feet and add bolts into them so I can use tie down instead. I feel like for me that is the superior way to do it, since there is no chance that your armature will move from its position if its bolted to the floor.  Before I can do this however I wanted to go ahead and try animating a scene in my film with these armatures, letting me see what It might look like with them as the are in the film.

Current Version Of the Film:

"The Weird Things That They Do" Memory Film- Current Version from Tyler Carrigan on Vimeo.

Overall I do like the armatures as they are in this unfinished version of the film however I feel like they need eyes or just something to make them stand out a bit more. Previously I have talked with Jared about fully painting them one block colour, like white or something, but I think that's something I will need to test out. We also discussed facial features in post which is also an option and again something I will test out. Before I animated this version of the film (the first scene), I went ahead and bought larger card and doubled up on the magnetic bases, using two this time. This gave me a large enough set to get a better result out of the infinite white setting I'm trying to create however I think it may need to be even bigger, since there are still shadows that hit the background, this may however be a case of playing around further with the lights.

Thoughts on the project: 

I feel that this project has been a good one overall. I have quite enjoyed the process and its been really awesome being able to sink my teeth back into stopmotion again after so long- even if its sometimes frustrating (*coughs* Magnets). However I really would have liked more time on this project, but due to our busy schedule this year its been tough. It is however something I will be continuing on with after the hand in. I want to now finish this for my mum and dad, so I can dedicate this to them and maybe give them it as a Christmas present maybe... here's hoping, but overall just give them something I have made that  hopefully makes them laugh. In conclusion, I feel like this has been a really good opportunity to learn about the trial and errors of model making and has certainly taught me another valuable lesson about time management, particularity when it comes to stopmotion.