Monday, 14 May 2012

Shot 11 - The Canvas Painting

In this next shot which I just finished animating, Alex is painting a picture of a parrot and the room fills up with colours and patterns.  For this shot, I also went through the camera movement with Valentino and we came up with a long shot which pans around Alex and eventually zooms into a mid shot of Alex, which in turn zooms in to an extreme close-up of Alex's eye.

This particular shot, I was very anxious about animating as I knew that I had to get it perfect, because her movement needed to be free and natural when she was painting. When painting, she needed to have very free, loose and organic movement.  In order to work out what kind of brush strokes she could do and also to work out the speed, angle and movement of the camera.

As you will see in this video, I directed Valentino to mimic a wide range of brush strokes from very precise, small brush strokes to big and free brush strokes.  I then used the movement that Valentino makes in this piece to inform the movement and the range of brush strokes that Alex makes when doing her canvas painting.

For the planning of this animation, there was not very much that I could do as far as working out each pose, but I decided to be somewhat spontaneous with the animating of her painting.  I decided to use several of the brush movements that Valentino illustrates in this reference video; but I largely chose to be free and improvisational with the movement that Alex displays, much like an abstract expressionist painter would be with their work.

Once I got the right arm movement in, I needed to animated the fully body movement around this right arm movement.  At first, I made it very exaggerated and included a huge amount of hip sway, but this made it look ridiculous and as though she was dancing, so I toned it down a bit more and here is the final result.

I managed to finish this piece of animation in the space of a few nights.  I actually thought it would take much longer and that I would struggle with it, but I decided to approach this as creatively as possible, so I improvised much of the animation work up to the point that she looks up to the camera.  I think this  approach definitely helped to express a freedom of movement in the character, while she is painting.

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