As opposed to table top, studio set and drawings animation, the big scale animation takes place in the real world where the characters come to life. Many of the big commercials were made with such animation. An example in the course were Ikea, Big Yellow Storage and John Lewis ads. They were all a combination of stop motion animation, but some had computer generated images as well. Numerous conditions had to be taken into account for making those (the lighting, the animation of everyday objects and people, etc.), and they took the plunge on creating something almost impossible, but succeeded massively.
In Week 3 of Future Learn course on Animation, we closely look at the roles of timing and staging in animation.
Timing refers to the number of frames used to create an action or part of an action. This means that fewer frames make the action faster and vice versa. By looking at the Big Yellow Storage ad, we can see the waves get bigger, travel further and appear to hit the wall with more force – all thanks to good timing.
Staging helps in noticing the most important actions in the story. Audience only processes images bit by bit, so directing attention to the key action is really important. Animators do this by combining framing, lighting and composition and making sure that the backgrounds and other objects or characters don’t create any distractions or clutter. In the ad, the camera moves closer to stress the detail and the character of each wave.
Next topic on the course was Pixilation, which encouraged a lot of discussion among the participants and opposing viewpoints. “Pixilation is a stop motion technique where live actors become the frame-by-frame subject in an animation, by repeatedly posing while a shot is taken and changing pose slightly before the shot. The actor becomes a kind of live stop motion puppet. It is a technique which produces strange, distorted human movement.” Some comments were, why use pixilation, when we can shoot a film, whereas others said they appreciate the effort, but find it useless, although it gives another view on the animation. Be what may, I liked the example video called Stanley Pickle and found it quite an interesting technique of animation.
In his music videos, Dougal Wilson used editing videos for animating, and this is maybe my favourite thing so far on the course. I really like this kind of videos, because they are fun to watch and creative.
To conclude, it’s been a very informative week with plenty of practical examples. You can read about the Week 2 and Week 1 summaries by clicking on the links.