Animators who I have directly learnt from.
As mentioned before in an earlier post, Lydia and I spent a good while last year trying to learn animation together. Although I didn't learn anything specifically from Lydia, we supported each other and both developed our knowledge and found what we both want to do from it. I found that animation was my true passion, and all I want to do is help make pictures move, and to make that dream become a reality I made a massive choice to leave Visual Communications, to start year one again but on Digital Film, Games and Animation. Whereas Lydia realised that making images move was not what she wanted to do at all, she didn't understand the software and didn't really want to, and found that art direction and production or art department work is where her interests lye. This time together though firmed our friendship (we now refer to each other as card board queens, or just generally say 'alright my best mate') and we have agreed that we will work with each other in the future.
Baba Yaga from sacha frampton on Vimeo.
Matt Saunders AKA Rabbitportal
During my time on Vis-com, Matt came in to do a few animation work shops as well as a general talk at the beginning of the year about his practise. Before I started University, I knew I wanted to learn animation, but wasn't ever really sure in what way, and seeing Matt's show reel triggered my longing to learn animation. I had never heard of After Effects (or a lot of animation software or terms to be honest!) and finding out that this is how he created his pieces inspired me to look further into how he actually created it. This is one of the reasons why the animation Lydia and I created was done in that way.
Since these few talks, I was involved with interviewing him for 'NEST' magazine (the Leeds College of Art Students' Union magazine, which I am co-editorial officer of), which then led him to going to the launch party. At the launch he asked me to help him animate a music video (which I helped complete a few weeks ago, I'm sure I will be doing another in-depth blog about it soon) with Chris. The time I spent on set with him taught me a lot. Anyone can set up a camera and move an object in front of it and take pictures, but not many people can do it well. There is skill needed, and both Matt and Chris are both very talented at what they do and know their stuff!
Winter show reel 2012 from Matt Saunders on Vimeo.
No cheese allowed here. I am not biased at all writing this, but Chris really knows his stuff when it comes to character animation. On set with Matt for the Ellen and the Escapades video, we both ended up asking Chris for help and advice, even with simple movements such as a cape flapping in the wind (which is why I mainly did the 'special effects' if you can call them that, of water, smoke and ice). Before I properly knew Chris, I was fascinated by his Dino character, and how he brought so much life to him in his quick animation tests of the walk cycle and expressions.
Showreel 2012 from Chris Luk on Vimeo.
Although we never finished our project together, it was good fun and really helpful to bounce ideas off each other and swap knowledge and skills. We had planned to create a short animated piece for Light Night in Leeds (an annual event where venues in Leeds stays open late into the night to celebrate art and culture in the city), based on the theme light and shadow. Our idea was to have a person sign different animals, with the shadow of the said animal appearing behind them and move off screen. We did manage to slightly storyboard and develop the character and shadow characters, and I started some animation tests, but time flies and we were never able to finish it in time. We are still hoping to return to this project, maybe to show at a future event, in the next year.