Friday, September 21, 2007

Production progression

Well it’ been a hard slog but after all the blood, sweat and tears, animation is finished on “Peace Mala” and looks great! It premiere this Monday at the Peace Mala International Awards for Youth 2007 taking place at The Welsh Centre for International Affairs, Temple of Peace in Cardiff, which I can’t wait to attend.

So many people contributed to making this animated piece. On Sunday, the Sunday school at Wesley Chapel, Harrogate gave the production a big push forward with stunning colour rendering.
Also deserving special mention are Graphic Art and Design graduates, Sophie Truelove and Debbie Harman. Debbie was my animation apprentice on Goole Silent Movie and Sophie is a talented artist from Debbie’s course at Leeds met. Both contributed hugely to the traditional colour rendering. Sophie also animated a beautiful shot of Sufi whirling dervishes.
Sophie majored in film and Debbie in film and photography. They are both taking as much work experience as they can get to enhance their careers and I wish them every success. I recommend them unconditionally!

I thought it might be interesting to show some of the production stages in the opening shot, which proved to be the most challenging technically to produce.

The storyboard Imagine DPM provided underwent significant changes as we crafted the sequence. However the first shot remains largely unchanged, with the dove flying down to Earth from space, creating a rainbow as it swoops over the planet.

Using the storyboard as a guide, I produced a CGI shot in Softimage XSI, of the Earth and Sun.

Once the camera move was approved, we copied the computer sequence onto registered animation paper, which Debbie traced by hand to obtain a good hand drawn quality to the artwork. At the same time I animated the dove using the animation plates as reference. You can see the line test in the last post. It took a whole week for a team of young people in Hull to colour the 121 drawings of Earth needed for the scene in pencil crayons. I rendered the dove onto a separate layer. To composite the two images we also needed to produce hand drawn animation matts, to separate the dove and Earth. You can see the results of all of this work below.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Check out this rough edit for an amazing project I’m currently working on with Imagine dpm, to promote the work of the charity Peace Mala. I’m directing the animation sequence with features the charities mascot of a dove flying over symbols of religious faith around the world. Finally, the dove drops the Peace Mala bracelet it is carrying onto the hand of a child. Peace Mala contributes to education for global citizenship through promoting understanding, respect, tolerance and peace between communities, cultures and faiths. Each coloured bead on the Peace Mala represents a spiritual path or faith and carries the universal peace message known by many people as the Golden Rule. This rule encourages us to treat others as we wish to be treated. By focusing on the Golden Rule, people of all faiths can cooperate with one another without having to participate or believe in each other's particular belief system.

It’s an incredibly powerful and captivating message and I had the pleasure to meet the charities founder, Pam Evans, and talk over her vision for the sequence. To draw attention to the charities work with young people, all the backgrounds, animation and final rendering, except the dove and childs hand, have been drawn and animated by children and young people. I animated the dove which I hope will give it an ethereal quality.

All the animation is compete in this rough edit. You will see some computer fly over’s which will be transformed into hand rendered drawings. This edit is the first time we’ve brought in the music and you will hear a gap in the sound. Of course the biggest element missing is the colour, all lovingly added with coloured pencils.

The animation will be premiered at the Peace Mala youth awards at the United Nations building in Cardiff later this month. Stay tuned for updates!