Specialisation Project-After Effects

New project, exploring the knowledge obtained by tutorials in after effects to create appropriate titles and effects for the showreel. This new project was bring after the low result of the animation process, although, I know that with more practice and time that could be done completely. I did not have enough time to complete this project but I manage to complete it in time, thanks to the hard work and help of the tutorials.

So, what were my skills before it? I would say that I did have the knowledge enough to do a simple showreel. While doing this project one of the objectives was to learn and apply all the knowledge onto it, I know it wouldn’t be possible do due to the short time and all the advance area that I had learned. All that what’s necessary to know to improve and do correctly this project was on those tutorials.

Reviewing again the main parts of those tutorials as well as analisanding those that were need, was the main processed used in this project. Most of the time, to save some it’s necessary to duplicate what it is already on the project, on the composition that we are working on. This tutorials were main focus on the different effects that can be apply for different occasions that can be manipulate more than once for one layer or more on the main composition.

To do a composition on after effects normally there should be an idea of what’s the objective to do, the whole image of it. Then made sure to have all the need files, such as images, pre render videos, audio or including pre-composition that it could include some effects. It’s going to depend on what’s the last image, to say so, that it want to be create as the result to know how all the files are going to be reorganised, adjust and modificated for it. Then, it mostly be question of know what’s the wish effect that what to be apply to it. To finally know how to import it correctly to render and compressed the file to have the last video (or the wish one) format of it.

Do you know that the best technique that I did discover by using this tutorials was actually experimenting with the properties that each of the effects has? I mean, each effect has their own properties, their own options and by those the amount or the how this effect would affect the layer that is working on. Some include can have a proper order that would change their timing of those or appearance randomisation depending of what was said. Just by adding some wiggle or time to certain command on the effect it could also change the result on the main last animation. (need to be talk through more)

This are some of the result that I obtain after making those tutorials:

I going to list the techniques I learned three of those:

Animated polygon Tutorial:

  • Radio waves and masks
  • Scale wipe
  • Duplicate layers and change properties (radio waves)

Spin Tutorial:

  • Audio Spectrum and masks
  • wiggle effect
  • Duplicate layers and change properties (audio spectrum)

Grid Tutorial:

  • Advance lightning  but change the type (bouncey)
  • Turbulent displace
  • Duplicate layers and change properties (Advance lightning)

And here is a small thing that I applying the knowledge obtained for all of those:

LAriasRhor Logo
I should point out that I did want it to be in the corner of the main source that in this case was the showreel.

I mostly just focus on the small flashing that the words and doing and how are interval in a way that the small logo create base on a square, doesn’t disappear at the same time as the word. It also contain a wiggle on the flashing to keep it happen on the whole composition and not for just two seconds long as it is original create as part of a pre composition. While working on after effect it’s necessary to understand that the result would contain more than one composition, and that’s what’s it would be call or know as pre composition. A pre composition can be also create to simplificare the main project, by selecting various layers that together can create one, and have in consideration that if one pre composition is edited that would be affect the main one automatically.


Now to do that new project with lightning effects, I try to do it by recycling the previous tutorial, but of course that didn’t totally work. I did use one and another bit from the previous file but effect edited the properties of it. I also change the main length from like just 2 seconds to 10 seconds as well as the main background. The new background use give it more space to play around with the lightning effect. Also I manage to combine both parts of the tutorial that gave me two different result into just one. I didn’t just edit what I previously did, I did add more effects or well more variations of those as well combine everything that I did learn to obtain that result.

As before, I’m going to mention the basic effects that I used to do that new lightning after effects project:

  • Advance lightning
  • Advance lightning  but change the type (omni)
  • Turbulent displace
  • Duplicate layers and change properties (Advance lightning)

That just look like the Grid tutorial I mention before, but the different here is that to the advance lightning effect, it also has variations on the glow, the decay, the forking and more to made it look like a real lightning. All of that and so more that had be explore and texting in the way. Most of the time while doing this cases of projects to have more effective results is necessary some experimentation while doing it.


Post Mortem- World builders project

The world builders project had reached an end. It have been 7 and half weeks of hard work to have it done.


That’s the end result, presented on week 8. Now its the time to do some reflection about the progress during the project and about the project in general in the next parts.

Project management reflection

To do the project was necessary to have good methods of communication, we did had our slack channel as well as any other team. We also have a drive share folder on our google drives. I remember the communication was solid at the beginning of it, when we were working together as a team.

Once it was decided, approved by our facilitators what scene each individual is working on, the communication lowered. We did consulted for feedback to the others members of the team as well as the facilitators every week, but mostly it was delivered just by them rather than the team.

The project felt a bit more like an individual project rather than a group one. The only part that seems to still group choice is the style that we had agreed. We did share some basic knowledge of how to do the chosen style but anything further went in our own.

I believe that because one it was clear we were working individually, the communication dropped to only when it’s necessary. As a team we should try a bit harder to actual communicate what were our advance and how we were dealing with it, to see the progress as a group rather than individually.

I suggest that to have better communication it could work that rather than communicate between two individuals do it to the group like asking questions. If you invite more individuals to communicate you could have more variations of solutions.

Creative work and processes reflection

Let’s start analysing the process choose to do the project. First, was documentation phrase to say so, when as a team by meetings agreement decided on what kind of final product we wanted to produce.

I remember when the project was explained and give the different options for it, I immediately knew that I was going to work in 3D, because that’s what I consider one of my stronger skills. Although the class being so big, the groups technically already determine, I ended working in a effects group; or that was the idea.

To do the project, we did some research, concepts arts, animatic, previs and implemented everything in order to obtain the last result in each scene. Like I said before, one the team had agreed and once the shot were approved, based on the concept arts, it was more individual work that later on will be put together as one solid piece.

For my part of it, I learned about Falloff Maps, that allows us to have different colour effect on a select asset or assets depending on the light on the scene. Using that process, it made it easy to texture without really unwrapping it, and that helps us to actually save a lot of time.

Apart of that technique, I learn a similar way to use a map texture to say so, for the river and give it a realist colour and effect. I did learned how to use a ripple to apply to a plane or box that later on will be the river in this case. Using the ripple and giving it an animation sequence, it gives the realism movement needed to the water effect.

I could just conclude that this project did have the main three steps on an animation project in general, the pre-production, production and post production. We did have on the pre-production all the documentation needed, agreements and more; on the production each of us individually work the best, the get the scene as much as possible similar to the animatic, created the assets, animation and effects needed; to finally on the post production, we did collect all the individual shots and put it all together adding some sounds effects and effects on the title and credits.

For my shot I applied feedback and edited it many times before I had the last result, that was even presented after week 8, and after the exhibition and I believe that if I try to bring it even further, I could keep working on it.


rule of thirds Old version_W8

I ended editing my shot at least three times, after week 7, that was actually when it was due the project, but we always keep improving. This version is the one I presented on week 8 with the rule of third added on the top.

Although, I didn’t think about it when I was editing it, now that it has it I believe that it actually helps a lot to see where  and how could be composed even better. I know that the focus point on a composition using the rule of third is actually where the lines cross. I didn’t know much about compositing and I know that’s of one of the reasons that I was still need to improve it.

rule of thirds Old version_SR

This one is the edition I did for my showreel.

I applied feedback that was gave to me, but I knew that it was going to need even more work. I made it shorter and try to give depth by changing the light and I actually try to keep the river frame it by trees. I remember I did try to image the rule and try to have most part of the river in the centre of the composition to have  a better result.

rule of thirds_Last Version
And this one is the last version so far. (Although, I believe this is going to be the last one).

For this version, I was suggested to have a stopping camera and low the angle a little bit more. I believe that when the camera stop for a bit it actually helps to maintain the focus point on the river as it should have from the begging. Considering that the main point on this shot was to reveal the river, the one that is only visual after a way in the story.

If I was going to take it even more further, I think that now that the rule of third is actually on the top I could maybe lower the camera a bit more to have the river align with the line of it; also made sure that the framing with trees on those seconds when the camera stop is very clear.

For future projects, to get better results, I believe that one of the techniques that I should use it could be the rule of third. Another technique that I know it can be use is framing. Framing consist in using elements that are on the shot to create a frame that will hold the main focus point on it, the object. For example, shot through a doorway, pulled back curtains, branches, fences, tunnels, or arches to highlight your subject.

Maybe I could also look on some more references on framing or how to apply the rule of third correctly, for the better shot in the future.


Reflection on roles and transferable skills

As part of the team, and part of my responsibilities was also to keep insisting on it and/or just communicate my part more frequently even when it wasn’t any real communicating (responses) frequently. Asking is also another factor that is was a bit weak, but not as weak as general communication. Sometimes, asking was the only way to know is what we were doing was the correct process and so and that’s was what seems to actual worked, specially with replies from our facilitators.

I like to believe that even it was seem it as a individual project while doing all the shots, it really shows how a team can work separately and at the same time together having a unique result, mostly because of the define concepts at the beginning and good stable communication at the start when all the main decisions were made.

Specialisation Project-Timing

While talking about weighting, timing was mentioned, but what’s timing? first is one of the 12 principals of animation. Also it could be the weight of an object, as it was mentioned on the weighting entry, the different timing used in the same object would give different illusion of the weight of that object.

Timing as it is the speed of the action, refers as how long the action will take, would affect the personality and nature of the animation. It’s going to be affect by the number of frames between the two main poses on the animation. In simple, more frames it would made it slower, and less would result in a fast action.

That’s one on the main reason to also be the weight on an object, as how it was explained on my last entry. It could also work as scaling properties, as for example a tiny character would move faster than a large one therefor, a tiny one would have less frames. And lately, it could also use as to determining emotion; its different to show relaxing from nervous.

To apply a good timing, in the end would be hardly recommend to have a real time reference; because timing would help us to create something believable and realistic movements based off the real-world. A good real life reference would always help specially to have the correct timing on a animation piece.

Timing correctly something in an animation, would work correctly for any of the previous ways mentioned (such as weight, scaling and emotions) and will have positive results. As animators use the correct timing in the emotions for example would also give the though behind those actions.

In conclusion a correct timing would help to have a better understanding in things as weight (or the illusion of it), scaling (different velocities in the actions could varied in the size of the character) and emotions (it’s no the same show a relaxing movement rather than a nervous one). Timing is most common to be related to a real life action, so having good references always helps to give the believable and realistic need it.



Specialisation Project-Weight

The specialisation project, varied from 2D to 3D options, including VFX. In my case, I working on a 3D character animation and as part of the tasks that we have to do to complete this project is have to some research. This entry will focus on weighting, and all related to moving weight. In my project the character that I had choice, will be lifting a heavy bag, for that reason I’m going to research for it and find all about for the project.

Now, to talk about weighting is necessary to understand about timing and spacing. That’s because weight nor force doesn’t really exist in animation, everything is part of the illusion of animation.

For an animator, weight is a visual presentation of opposing forces. When a character jumps up, it is actually driving down against the ground. The faster it can drive down the higher it will jump. The character can enhance the power of the jump by thrusting shoulders and arms in the direction of the jump. Study a high jumper or long jumper.
-Weight in Animation, Posted by Wayne http://www.anamie.com/weight-in-animation/

Animating a believable sense of weight and power is probably one of the most challenging tasks an animator will have. It takes a keen understanding of Timing and Spacing (one of 12 Animation Principles) to animate anything that should appear to be affected by a gravitational pull.
-Emphasizing Animation Timing to Convey Weight and Force, By Pluralsight on August 8, 2014, https://www.pluralsight.com/blog/film-games/emphasizing-animation-timing-to-convey-weight-and-force

I just quote two bits of different websites that certainly are saying the same with different approaches; there is also the constant mention of timing, that’s because the timing is what would give the impression of weight in the animated object.

Part of the research that I have done, also shows an example of how to animated weight correctly. As mentioned before, that would include has the correct timing in the movement of such asset.

For example, if someone animated the same object two times but give it different timing in each; the illusion of how heavy that object will varied. To be more specific, just let’s say that such object is a ball, if the animation has a fast timing the audience will conclude that it’s light, but if that has a slow timing, then the audience will conclude that it’s heavy.

That’s how weighting in animation works, or better say how the illusion of weight is created on an animation. So therefore having a great understanding of timing is the best way to make weighting works on the animation.