mercredi, septembre 30, 2009

Tagged!




Sefarina sent me this beautiful Award.  Of course, keeping it is tied to some conditions ;-) In fact, it's  a regular tagging-game, but well, I'm doing it gladly. Since the original Rules-text was in German I translate it. If in any case you prefer to read the original, go here.

Da Rulez:

1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
Thank you so very much, Sefarina.
2. Copy the logo and upload it to your blog.
Done.
3. Link to the person who gave it to you.
Done.
4. Reveal seven facts about you that are unkown to others yet
Okay, although I cannot guarantee that really nobody heard of those things  yet.
5. Choose seven other creative bloggers
Will try.
6. Link to these Bloggers.
Will do.
7. Tell those seven Bloggers about it in a comment.
Will do.


Okay, just in case any of you nominees don't want to get involved, there won't be the slightest hard feelings. It's just a game. If you are not into these sort of things, absolutley NO problem!


The things you (probably) didn't know about me, yet:

1. I hate Bars and Discos. Real bad.
2. Sometimes, when working in the garden, I pee in the bushes, because I'm too lazy to run home for the WC.
3. My first Pet was a Budgerigar I named "Picknagel" (picking nail)
4. Picknagel was the first creature ever I saw dead.
5. I have a serious problem with Spit. It's okay as long as it's in the mouth, but when it comes out, I wanna throw up. Ever since I was a little girl, I refused to drink from any bottle or glass another drank before. Even if it were my mom or another parent. I really hate spit. I would even be repulsed by JFK's one.
6. The animal I dislike the most is a slug.
7. My preferred country as a little child was India.

I nominate:

  1. Caroona 
  2. Mrs. Chnübli of Switzerland 
  3. Donald the Punk-Designer 
  4. PetitAlain 
  5. Flashfrog, the She-Frogg from the little Inn 
  6. Die Spinnerin 
  7. Donna Barr 
I wanted to nominate Geier too, but I was not sure if he is into this sort of games. But he surely IS a creative Blogger. Consider yourself awarded as a special Gift, without rules. 




mardi, septembre 29, 2009

I want to become a fameous film-maker!

Hell, maybe Thyla or La Bête des Vosges will make me all famous. Up to the point that I can commit every crime and if police catches me, all the celebrities in Art and Politic will be upset and ask that I'd be released.

At least, it works for Roman Polanski. The - very talented -  director who fled his responsibility 30 years ago after dragging a 13 year old Teen into Sex, was arrested by Swiss authorities recently,  because there was an international arresting order still in effect. A lot of people got upset. Especially in France. After the celebs in art and cinema, its now even the politics that join the bandwagon.
Lots of bad words are sent to Switzerland and some comments ask if it happened that China would establish an international arresting order against the Dalai Lama, Switzerland would also arrest him.

Interesting. I didn't know that Paedophilia is a form of political protest. 

I may point out that the "average man" on the street doesn't share this attitude. Even in France, most of us think that anyone should be treated alike when it comes to justice, be he a celebrity or just a poor unknown dude. Also some other Film-people think that way, Luc Besson for example.

I admit that it is a bit strange that this arresting took 30 years to be done. But  nevertheless, for me, this whole hype over Polanskis arrestation is a hypocritical shit born within a snobbish Elite to whom it's "just not this bad" to have sex with a minor. And after all "it happened so long ago, so why the fuzz".  and of course "Polanski is such a talented Cineast."

Disgusting.

lundi, septembre 28, 2009

The day after

Well, what to say. My bet was erroneous in the way that I didn't expect the dramatic loss of the SPD. Thought it would be close to a stalemate. Now CDU and FDP will reign.

Hard times for everyone who does not earn at least 3000 Euros a month will come. As Sefarina said in her last comment, people often are not really aware of WHAT they vote. They hear "tax lowering" and think "cool, I will have to pay less taxes" and don't make further resarches.

Well...
Let's just say I am happy that I don't live in Germany anymore. Not that French Government is any better but its harder to tear down the socialist heritage of the country and its welfare structures without risking massive protests by the people.
Guess I will go back to drawing.

dimanche, septembre 27, 2009

German Elections

Not to jump on the "all unemployed people are just too lazy to work" bandwagon. I sincerly don't think that way. But I also really wish I knew why it is apparently impossible to find a person who is willing to do some roof-repairing job for us. There are plenty of jobless young men in this area. The work to do isn't that difficult: Just replacing some roof-tiles. And of course, I'd pay for it. But according to the countless reactions, no one "has the time yet".

Well, the Employment question didn't seem to play the biggest role in the German Electorial campain which finished yesterday and will have its first result today afternoon. The main promise of a lot of the parties was just "more money". There was an almost all-around agreement that taxes should be lowered, just for who, that's where the opinions divided. And of course, nobody really has an idea from where the money for such gifts shall come from.

We'll see. My bet is: sort of a stalemate between the two big parties, SPD (social democrats)  and CDU (christian union, which means conservative)  and a solid growth for the little parties such as FDP (liberal) and the Green party. The result of the "Left Party" is what is the most interesting, in my eyes. This party emerged from the former SED (the communist single party of the German democratic republic) and is thoroughly hated for that.
They say that there are still a lot of the former SED-Leaders in that party. Hell, probably, yes. As much as there were ancient Nazi-party leaders in the CDU of the fifties and sixties, a fact that nobody seemed to be bothered by, neither now nor then.
Most growth is predicted to he FDP (liberals). To my American readers: Don't mistake the term "liberal"  with what might be understood in your country under it. It's absolutley not the same. The German FDP is liberal in the way that they have modern concepts for the society most of the time (such as gay-rights and so on). But their main focus is on Economic, which should be, as "free as possible" in their eyes, meaning close to no protection for employees and maximal free hand for corporations and people with high income. Their premise is, that it is not necessary for the state to take care of the poor, because when you feed the rich enough, they will leave some leftovers from their feasts to the poor, out of the Goodness of their heart. Another description of the FDP-agenda that I recently heard on the rdaio is: "They want to feed the race-horses a max of oaths and grain, then they will run good and the sparrows will found some grain to pick out of the horse-muck." That says it pretty good and points out the nature of that agenda: Big shit.

Pretty much just THAT ideology that led us into the financial crisis, by the way. To me, It's a big mystery why people do all go for the FDP right now. 
However. I didn't vote. I was too lazy to contact the German Embassy to get what ever I need to cast my Vote as Exiled German. And then, none of the parties or candidates really convinced me. I know that staying away from the urnes isn't a solution. I 'm always preaching to go voting. This time, I just didn't practice what I preach.


samedi, septembre 26, 2009

Spread Design of the Week

Saturday - time for the Spread-Design of the week:


 Heraldisches Einhorn


Unicorn

 This Unicorn is very elegant and with fine details. I have the design also on my website: www.diana-kennedy.eu. Click on the image in order to create your Tee with this Unicorn.

Today, we had our Fire wood delivered! It is an impressing pile that dresses up in front of the window. The man who is supposed to saw it in little bits will come within the next days - well, I hope. Still, I will have to do the splitting-by-axe work. But when all is done, Winter can come!


 





vendredi, septembre 25, 2009

I'm Eisenhower's Niece.

Yes, that's true.
At least, according to that really weird dream I had last night. I was in a state of conscience in which it was perfectly normal that I was  - and has always been - a niece of Dwight D. Eisenhower. I was visiting him and we were sitting around a table with other family members. Then I suddenly thought that I could make a photo and blog it. I took out my camera and made a couple of Photos. Ike didn't seem to be bothered by that.
Then I woke up and was relieved that it was only a dream. What a silly one! On the other hand, it would have been cool to blog this: "I'm Eisenhower's niece". So well - I'm doing it anyway. Hehe.

mercredi, septembre 23, 2009

The creation of an animated scene Part 06

We arrive at part 6 of our little journey trough the making of Scene 19.
JFK and the beast have jumped over the tree, normally,  and according to the initial rough, there would be the fourth part of the animation cycle to be done now: JFK climbing on the hill, kicking down the beast that follows him. Well, normally...
Here we come to a phenomenon which probably don't occur in professional cartoon-film studios, but is very well known in my little one-woman cinema-empire:

Look at the frame showing the end of the tree-jump sequence:




JFK is almost behind the hill . He did go too far.  No way to make him run uphill in a plausible manner from this position. Meh! So here we are again, at an unpredicted stage of the work, a stage that needs improvisation. I both love and hate these situations.
Here is how I solved the problem:
 
 

JFK makes a sudden, sharp turn to the left, too fast for the dumb beast that continues to run forward, behind the hill.

 

Nevertheless, the beast reacts shortly after, reappears from behind the hill and makes a big leap toward the left, too. JFK dives down flat, the beast overflies him and crashes into a bush.



JFK gets up, the beast tries to catch him again, biting into the air. Now JFK is in the right position to run on that hill!!
This whole new sequence surely added some extra-action into the fleeing scene. Therefore, I am grateful that I was forced to do it. As much as a proper planning is important, there should always be a little bit of spontaneous creativity involved, too.

Next time we will finish the whole scene.


lundi, septembre 21, 2009

Mabon

Mabon - or Alban Elved - a major pagan holiday is today. It is the observance of the autumnal equinox, when daylight and night have the exact same length. After that, nights will be longer than days, until winter's solstice.

Mabon is observed on 21. and sometimes on 23. September. I  prefer 21. September for the actual holiday, because it fits the other observances; 21. December, 21. March, 21. June...


Went on a long Forest hike this morning. On the roadside a found a mushroom in heart-form. I decided that it would make a great Mabon greeting-photo.

To all my readers and friends: A blessed Alban Elved!

dimanche, septembre 20, 2009

Thieves are thieves

I don't know if they are many other words that do correctly describe the action of taking away something that isn't yours. For me it's theft. Apparently, the definition can vary depending on who actually do it.

This afternoon, my mom went in our garden in order to do a few steps outside. She was pretty amazed and yes - shocked - when she saw the whole bunch of Kids from these neighbours (the ones who had their houses in front of our garden), surrounding our apple-tree, beating it with sticks to take the apples down. Their Bicycles laid within in the middle of our flowers.
When she talked to her, the Kids didn't seem to feel guilty in a slightest way, they said that their dad allowed them to do so. She told them that this yard isn't their dads propriety and neither so is the tree. She came home to fetch me, so we could go talk to "dad".

"Dad" said that after all, they were children and therefore, it isn't theft.  Ah.
"The cops will not come because of some apples" he said. I tried to make clear that it was not a matter of apples but a matter of principles. Our Garden is our's. And as far as it concerns the fact that they are kids, well, this is actually the age to tell them that stealing isn't ok. Dad then went very angry: "You are not happy when our dogs bark, you are not happy when our Kids take your apples - you should go live elsewhere!" he yelled. Well, of course am I not happy to endure their stupid mutt's constant barking and I am of course not happy to have my garden  shamelessly looted, so what a fucking sick argument is that?!!

I am seriously considering to look up for another patch of land to buy, where I can build a garden in peace.
It's always the same thing: On can simply endure all the shit such lowlife-Neighbours make the whole day long, or one can defend herself and go for police, court, lawyers and all that mess. The latter meaning an endless struggle with people who will never reconsider their behaviour.

So I think I will save me the money in hope to find another garden to buy, located in a better neighbourhood.
It's sad. After all, we were there before.

samedi, septembre 19, 2009

Spread Design of the Week

Boy - time pass over so fast. Saturday again - the day for the Spread-Design of the week:


 Edler Hirsch




Proud stag

I made a LOT of Deer and Stag Designs, but this one is one of my very favourites. Click on it to design a Tee with  it.

vendredi, septembre 18, 2009

Evil Cat



If you want to know how a real bad cat looks, well, the above photo shows one.

Soon after he came in our home, almost a year ago, Pico was very interested in my JFK doll. First, he was very kind to him, touching Jacks head softly with his paws, as if he wanted to caress his hair. He often slept with his tiny kitten-head in the lap of the doll. It was so cute. Later, Pico lost his initial respect and began to tear off  JFK's Socks and ran away with them. This was annoying, because it's difficult to find so little socks again, once they have been displaced.

Yesterday, I caught Pico trying to bite JFK's hand. I took the doll away and hoped that the cat would forget about his attempt. Unfortunately, he didn't.
This morning, I discovered the right hand of JFK chewed at a point that one Finger was missing and the other badly damaged.

This was kind of a shock for me. I have that doll since a few years now and it became a very intimate medium between JFK and me.  I really don't know why Pico did this. Was he jealous? Or did he just want to play with Jack? After all, Pico often bites my hand too, when I play with him. So who knows...

Of course, I did not punish Pico in any way. It was my fault, I shouldn't have left the doll alone with the cat. After all, I knew, how much Pico was focussed on it.
The question raised, whether or not I should buy me a new doll. The hand is really ugly.  On the other side, this doll is so much filled with the magic of our time together. The spirit behind it may use a new doll as its recipient as well, but *sigh* I dunno.
I think I just keep the old one and take care to avoid any further Cat damage.




The doll in the Apple tree of the garden, at this year's Beltane.



jeudi, septembre 17, 2009

Ugliest website ever.

There is ONE hot topic in France these days. Everybody talks about it. Mainly on the internet, but also offline. No, its not the Financial Crisis, not the increasing unemployment and not even the Swine-Flu pandemic. These things are as out as three day old coffee.

It's the website of Séglène Royal, more precisely: How ugly this site is. Believing this article, French Internet community on twitter and every thinkable blog has no other subject to discuss than how freaking ugly  this site is.

Now Ségolène Royal is a prominent politician,  she was the rival candidate against our actual president. Therefore, a  repulsive Hompage of hers  is quite a scandal. Have your own opinion, here's the site on question: http://desirsdavenir.com/

Okay, for a site which -  according the newspapers - was billed 40'000 Euros by its designer,  it's rather...ugly. And it's down every three hours, probably because someone desperately tries to improve it. Right now, I could not access any of the sub-menus.

I'm all for politicians to have decent websites. So I definitely would recommend to work on this again. Also in order to avoid French Revolution 2.0 because of this shitty, endless hype.

Anyway, good to know  that this nation apparently doesn't have any other problems than an ugly politician-website.

The creation of an animated scene Part 06

The first animation was the Run of JFK and the beast. This was done with a looping animation.
The endless loop was compiled into an avi-Movie ready for import  into the Anime-Studio File containing the entire Scene. Within this scene, the AVI-Movie can be resized, rotated and moved just like any other object, such as a still image or a Vector.

I scaled down JFK in order to place him far behind in the scenery, deep in the woods. Then I had to slowly increase his size as he comes nearer to the viewer. This is done by a keyframe on the timeline in order to determine a point at which the object shall have a certain size. This operaton takes a lot of try-and-try again, because either JFK grew big too quickly or too slowly. The whole movement must match as best as possible the speed of the running loop, in order to make everything look natural. A total perfection is probably out of reach, but I try to obtain the best possible result.
Not only will JFK increase in size as he approaches, he will of course also move trough the landscape. This is done in the same way, since the timeline has a track for size and one for move.

I did the same with the beast. The Beast tough, appears a bit later: We first see JFK running and then, after a while, the beast emerging from the same origin and following his way. I had to give poor Jack a bit of advance. The beast is faster than him, it would not be plausible that he can escape the monster this long otherwise.

Finally, the whole movement - running, size-increasing, movement within the forest was in harmony and JFK  as well as the beast run from the bottom of the landscape up to the dead tree. Arrived there, it is now time for the second animation in the whole cycle: Jumping over the tree.

The Jumping animation is of course not a loop, but an animation with ongoing evolution. And there is an additional problem: Both figures will change the Z-Depth when jumping the tree, meaning that  they were behind the tree-object before jumping it and on front of the latter, after. Unfortunately, Anime-Studio does not allow to rearrange the Z-Position of the layers during the Film-Play. The solution was to create two independent AVI-Movies out of the jumping-frames: As soon as JFK is up in the air above the tree, the AVI-Movie is replaced by another, which shows the down-jump. This new, second movie, is placed as a layer above the tree-layer, while Movie 1 was behind it. This method requires a lot of concentration, because when the movie plays, the Jump shall be smooth, never revealing the truth:  that it is made of two "pieces".

The above screenshot shows the first drawing of the second jump-Avi. The pink area on the timeline beyond indicates that this layer was not visible until a specific frame.On the same frame, the preceding Avi was made invisible, enabling a smooth swap of these two Objects, in order to create the illusion of a perfect jump over the tree.

mercredi, septembre 16, 2009

Good drawing day

Today  I spent a lot time drawing. Weather outside was too bad to do much outside work. It did me good being able to go ahead with all my projects. completed a lot of new frames for the actual Film-Scene. A quiet afternoon with JFK under my pencil and a slice of fresh apple-pie on the table - just what I need to have a fine day.


I also finished the October picture for the 2010 JFK calendar. Only month left now, is November. I hope I can achieve it in the next two weeks. After this, the calendar can be compiled. Another project done! Whew!

lundi, septembre 14, 2009

Happiness is...Big Bucks!

Today is my birthday so I decided to make myself a real comfy day, with just a good hike in the morning, instead of sweating in the garden. On the road trough the fields and woods of the high-plateau, I saw a Roe-deer buck picking out some plants and herbs at the road-side. I assumed that he'll flee as son as I would come any closer, but he didn't seem to get aware of my presence. Once I approached him on less than 30 Meters, I decided to take out my camera, video modus on. Then, of course, he saw me:





Nevertheless, that's quite a Snapshot! I take it as a good sign for my birthday to have met one of my totem-animals this close and even captured it on video! maybe a promising sign for my film-projects.

As a gift, I received my self designed Sigg-Bottle from Café-press. It sure is a huge difference to actually see such an item in real, instead on just  the screen. I drink 3 litres of water a day and the old, clumsy PET-Mineral-waterbottle that I refilled twice a day was anything but practical. Now I can hydrate myself with some style.

dimanche, septembre 13, 2009

The creation of an animated scene Part 05

If you are new to this little introduction to the "animation-workflow, the Kennedy way", read:

Part 01
Part 02
Part 03
Part 04

We are still at the first part of the whole footage, JFK fleeing from the beast trough the forest. The beast is finished and I did the frames for JFK's run-loop in the same way. Now its time to perform the actual animation.
All the drawings are coloured, but still not assembled. Therefore it is time to cut out each one and assemble them as layers on a new file. Here is now the moment to build the movement by superposing each layer in a way to obtain a movement:
 
The picture above shows drawing of frame 1, with frame 2 ready to be adjusted over the first. You will notice that frame#2  has Jack's head missing. Well, I will reuse the one of frame#1. I am not lazier than the next person, but it doesn't make much sense to redraw the head all the time when the actor do not change any facial expression or so. This would only make the whole animation more "fuzzy".
Therefore I copy and paste the head from frame#1 to all the others in that loop. 
The whole loop with all frames visible:

 
Now all frames will be hidden with the exception of frame#1. This will be saved as "01.png". After this, frame#1 is hidden and frame# visible, which will be saved as "02.png" and so on, until we have a complete sequence of  PNG files.
As I mentioned in my former posts, all objects acting against the background have to be transaprent PNG files. Therefore I load the whole sequence into Asobe Photoshop in order to make the background of each frame transparent. I also take the opportunity to change Jack's hair on each frame a little bit. As I said, reusing the head is a good idea since he will not change facial expression, but his hair of course, will flutter.

 
 
They finally are ready to be loaded into Anime Studio, where the movement can be seen.
Anime Studio wants you to create your characters within the program, using the drawing tools and the "bone" feature, a tool that enables you to animate your character with sort of a "skeletton". In the timeline, you can set the keyframes of your movements, by manipulating the bones and Anime-studio will fill the frames in-between. That sounds great and like a huge time- and worksaving. Well, probably, - once you are used to work this way
Honestly, it would take me years to draw in Anime-Studio in a way to obtain the same result as I do when working with real paper. And some things, like moving a head in 3D-way is extremly difficult, if not nearly impossible, as Anime-Studio itself does admit. 
This, and the fact that I don't want to be tied to the computer all day long,  is why I personally prefer to do it my way. 
I have to import each file of the Sequence into Anime-studio and make it visible on the timeline for only one frame, succeeded by the next, frame by frame, hiding the former. A work of high concentration.
I did it with JFK and once all frames where in place, I played the animation.  It was disappointing. The speed was right, but Jack seemed only to walk fast, rather than run. He did not "jump" enough. Fortunately, in Anime-studio I can rearrange the transparent figures, in order to place the drawings where he is supposed to be lift off from the ground, a bit higher.
Now it looked better!
Time to compile the whole animation as an AVI-Movie! After this, I opened the file where I arranged the background elements and imported that Movie into the scene. Now I could watch JFK running trough the wood. Did the same with the beast.

 
 

Next step is to control the movement within the scene.

samedi, septembre 12, 2009

Spread Design of the Week

Saturday again, it's time for the Spread-Design of the Week:


 Strich Esel



Strich Esel

It's really silly, but those stick-animals seem to be trendy. I sold a lot of them in the past weeks.
It began with stick-horses and now ended up with stick-donkeys. Okay, if  THAT'S what you folks want... After all, they're easy and quick to draw.



vendredi, septembre 11, 2009

The creation of an animated scene Part 04

I'm back from my monthly trip to Basel and found the time to do some Film work. So here we go for part 4 of the little insight in the workig process.

Now that the whole background is done, it's time to create the characters. They will have different animation-stages so we'll treat each cycle independently. First one is JFK running out from the forest's background, followed by the beast. This animation will be a loop:  Instead of a constantly evolving movement, we will have to create a set of frames that can be repeated endlessly, until we stop it. After all, the actors don't do much else in that stage of the footage than just running and this is a repeating process. Since they are still "far away" from the viewer, there's not much sense in creating a more complex acting.

First, I created a few sketches to determine the key frames of the running movement:
 
Usually, even a looping run takes much more key-frames, but this shall be a very speedy run, with fewer frames. They are really fast!
Nevertheless, these are only the keyframes: Additional frames will fill the movement between them. Key frames make sure that the artist knows where he goes with his drawing efforts and prevent unwanted evolving in a wrong movement or size. 
You will notice that the movement of the beast is really silly. That's wanted. If it were for a "normal" animal, I'd do some research on its natural movement sequence, but here, we have a "cartoony", idiotic critter which just runs like an idiot.
The keyframes are set up, its now time to draw the figures. I do it by first sketching them with a light blue pencil and then trace the lines with a black pen. The job is done on white, light (60gr) paper so that the black lines of the former drawing shines trough. When real accuracy is required, such as on faces, I use the more expensive tracing paper.
When the keyframes and the in-between frames are finished, its time to scan them in:

The raw scan isn't of course suitable for immediate processing. There are blue lines visible as well as a lot of "dirt" from the paper's structure. Some further steps are therefore needed: First, I convert the Picture in 1-bit black and white. This cleans away all the non real-black mess out. Immediately. Then I convert it back to RGB and - voilà! a clean line art!
Now, the colouring process can begin. Since black outlines are too gross, I convert the outlines of each figure in another colour. For the beast, which is black itself, I use a dark brown.
Working with Corels "replace color" feature:

Corel is my first choice when it comes to the colouring of the figures. Its several, versatile mask tools and advanced "additive-mask" feature allows bulk-colouring. I never discovered anything similar in Photoshop, which doesn't mean that it's not there. Maybe I was just too dumb to discover it. Anyway. I am plain happy with Corel for this part of the work.

Bulk masking the Beast's Body in order to colour all with just one click!





Next step is putting together the frames for the animation. To be continued...

dimanche, septembre 06, 2009

The creation of an animated scene Part 03

Part 3 of our little insight-tour in creating a scene of la bête des Vosges.
I have finished all the background elements so far. The rear background is a whole painting done with inks. Nothing more to do than scanning it and adding a little shading here and there in Corel Photopaint,
The middle part - like all the other upcoming elements by the way - is a bit more tricky. It has to be transparent in order to let the rear part shine trough. Now as much as I like Corel Photopaint, it has its very limits when it comes to create PNG files with clean transparency. So I prefer to work out all PNG elements in Adobe Photoshop.
First, I cut away the white space with the magic eraser. Then I add a blue layer beyond my pic, to make white leftover pixels appear, now I clean the borders with the normal eraser-tool. This can be time consuming, depending on what kind of pixel-mess the scan yielded. This, in the other hand, is mostly determined by the drawing paper. Lots of grain = big pixel mess. Smooth surface=  less cleaning work.
Now that all elements are cleaned, they are ready to be assembled in Anime Studio. Anime Studio has the big advantage that it allows me to rearrange any element at any time, if, for example, it happens that a bush would do better a little more on the left side. All while I can watch the movie at any stage. This isn't possible when creating a sequence of finished files in Photoshop or Photopaint.
I arranged the elements in 3D space, as you can see in this view:
In addition to the impression of depth, I can move the camera and the objects will pass by in a somehow realistic way. I.e: Branches in the foreground will move more quickly than the background. This is what will happen in this scene, too. After Jack's and the Beast's jump over the dead tree, the camera will follow both by moving to the right and the watcher will see the parts of the picture that were hidden until then. Gives a nice impression of really being “into the decor”.
Next time, we will start the actual character animation.

samedi, septembre 05, 2009

Weekly T-Shirt Designs

Saturday again. Like last week, I will display the "Spreadshirt Design of the week". Even three of them, to be exact. All three being very different and designed for different kind of  likes. All are Flock-print designs, which is a very high-quality printing process.


 Springender Hirsch



Jumping Deer


 cat Love



Cat Love


 Sau am Galgen



Hanged

Just click on the designs, if you want to create a Shirt with them.

vendredi, septembre 04, 2009

TV Sucks!

My labour's day usually end at 20:00, when the main news are displayed on TV. After the news, there's some series to watch, one at 12:15 and the second at 21:15.
This series being mostly  CSI New York, Miami, Las Vegas  - or where the fuck else they locate the newest clone. Mostly an episode I saw at least three times before. When its not CSI, its Law and order or Missing. Series all trough the week!
I used to like these series. But now, there are way too much repetitions and way too much clones.

Sometimes, I look if there is a good movie instead. The kind you could see in past. There isn't.

The movies they display on the rare channels that don't show CSI or Law and Order are usually some "comical" crap. Gods thank, the sitcom-wave is over, but the movie-lenght family-humor trash isn't any better. On sunday, they occasionally display some action movie. All the same rubbish as usuall. Meaningless violence that is so boring you could sleep while standing on your feet.

*Sigh* I try hard to make this post not sound like a horrible "TV  was so much better when I was young" Thing, but it actually is. Problem is, it is the way I DO feel. Maybe I just should stop wachting TV at all. Doing some reading instead. Problem is, after a hard day, I am just too exhaust.

Fortunately, I did not yet sink this far down that you would see me watch those awful reality shows. I saw maybe one or two in my life and got the rest out of the "teasers" they feature in the commercial-block. Apparently, there are really people out there who like to see some fat losers insulting themselves over the garden-fence until a "wonder" attorney, paid by the TV Channel, tries to sort out their mess. Or you can watch a "Super nanny" in her attempt to tame some little monsters from a chain-smoking yobbo-family, living between stinky garbage and empty bottles. You can also accompany a Bailiff  tearing out some poor devil hidden in his apartment to take away the very rest he owns and cut off the apartment's power, because he's drown in unpaid bills. You can also see some idiots trade their wives and then watch how the wives bitch about everything in their " new home".
And so on. List is endless.
Not to forget these "casting shows" where spectators take delight in the sadistic way some "experts" (mostly elderly ex-stars who have their best days beyond them) critizing young star-wannabees in the must hurtful and cruel way they can.
My only hope is that some day, more people will get that quantum of overdose that makes them shut off  TV.  We had had that overdose in the middle eighties, when all the "cultural" and "meaningful" shit became just too overwhelming and people longed for normal entertainment, without having to decipher some black and white scenes, randomly glued together without any plot.
Today, its the reverse situation, we drown in so-called entertainment, and I am almost at the point where I would gladly trade an entire CSI-Season for one episode of Berlin Alexanderplatz by R. W Fassbinder. I mean, just for a change!

jeudi, septembre 03, 2009

The creation of an animated scene Part 02

Part 2 of the little step-by-step insight into the workflow of an animated movie scene.

In part 01 we sketched up the whole footage. Now, the drawing job begins. But before, I had to decide wether I will work by creating finished frames - a sequence of bitmap image files ready to import into an animating programm (Flash) which will output an AVI-Movie or if I'll create the scene in Anime Studio, a programm that makes the said AVI-movie by compiling several different elements. These elemnts can be bitmaps, vectors end even other movie-Clips. A clean, high-resolution AVI will be needed in any case for further processing.

Since there will be a lot of different happenings in Scene 19, with lots of details involved, details that will have to be animated, I chose the latter: Creating multiple objects and build the whole scene in Anime Studio.

Start of the drawing process is with the the background. This is important, because I'll have to know trough what kind of space exactly the actors will have to run. To create a depth-field in the movie, I split the whole background into different elements:
 
This is the element on the front: The hill, where JFK will climb up and where he'll kicks down the beast. This element will have to be the most detailed and worked out.



 This is the middle element: Its center is the dead treev over which JFK and the beast will jump.


This is the rear background, from where both protagonists will emerge. The rear background will be merely blurry and not overly detailed. This - in addition the Anime Studois depth-feature will create the illusion of Depth. As you can see, I started the painting work with this element, while the others are still at pencil-stage. First, I sketched the trees with a light brown pencil, then I overpainted he whole space with grey-brown inks. Afterwards, I will work out the elements a bit more in detail. You'll se the final result in the next Part.

mercredi, septembre 02, 2009

The creation of an animated scene Part 01

Today, I finished scene 18 of la bête des Vosges. I take the beginning of the work on scene 19 as an opportunity to share the whole worklflow with my readers.  You may (hopefully) find it interesting, entertaining or even helpful.
First, I have to say that there are dozens of ways to make animated movies and mine is just one among the others. I myself change between the methods, depending on what exactly I have to do. So this little excursion can't be but an insight in a working situation that may never be repeated exactly like this.

Scene 19 will  follow scene 18, which is this one:




For some reason, youtube did cut off the very last take when the beast jumps toward the viewer. So you'll have to imagine this one.

The very first step is to sketch the upcoming scene. What will we see? What will the main animations be? Which role will the background play? Will there be any interaction between background-elements and the actors?

I try to visualise the footage in my mind and then make a short rough:
 
I admit, this is very rough. I usually do it even less detailed than that, because I am the only one meant to read it.  Okay, let's exlain what all these lines and strikes mean. We will see the forest with lots of trees and stones on the ground, also with the thick stem of a dead tree i the middle. In the foreground we will have a hill, what is more exactly the edge of the hole, JFK actually is in.
Jack will flee trough this forest, persecuted by the beast. His run will have 4 main stages:
1. Running from the background, out of the woods, toward the viewer.
2. jumping above the stem on the ground.
3. Climbing the "hill"
4. kicking back the beast with his boot when the latter comes too near and is at the point to bite him.
The beasdt will have to go trough these 4 stages, too of course.
Now that the whole footage has been sketched, we can pass into the actual working process. It will described in Part 02.

mardi, septembre 01, 2009

Owning the air!

Imagine you could make money with something that is just there, like the air, the sun or the water. Better than that: You could even make others pay for using it too, because you own the copyright!

Totally absurd? No. In Germany this is  almost the case. The German patent-laws make it possible.

Artists and Designers who work with Spreadshirt Germany have to deal with the issue on a daily basis. If you upload a design on Spreadshirt USA, they check it for technical eligibility and then, you can put it on the marketplace, if you wish. It's there in a second.
On Spreadshirt Germany, when you want to put your work on the marketplace it is additionally checked for its legal eligibility. And there is much chance that it will be rejected.  It was always annoying when rearing horses of mine were rejected with the argument that I "stole it from the Ferrari Horse". Well. not only that I certainly do not need to graphically steal any horses, but mine of course did not have any likeness to the Ferrari Jade if it happened that they were on their hind legs, too.

I could even understand the strict policy of Spreadshirt, but the fact that you can always find REAL traced Ferrari Horses on the marketplace makes it difficult. And no, they certainly did not have the permission of Ferrari.
Anyway, as I said, theoretically, I DO understand the strict policy, since it is protecting the designers in the first place:
Not too long ago, a designer had the idea to put water-colour on his dog's paws and let it walk on paper. He scanned the paper in and vectorised the paw-print, then put it on Spreadshirt. He later got a mail from the attorney of the company Jack Wolfskin. Jack Wolfskin not only wanted the designer to put his work offline, but they also asked 5000 Euros for copyright infringement! The designer of course argued that it was HIS Dogs paw and that paws in general should be of public domain. Well, his own attorney advised him to just pay the 5000 Euros, because he would not have a chance at court. A lot of Spread-Artist actually used some paw prints in their work and ALL got a letter from Jack Wolfskin and ALL had to pay.

Nice way for the company to make a few thousand bucks by destroying some independent artists financial existence with a couple of letters.

Now, you can not only protect graphical designs, you can also protect WORDS. This is why, on Spreadshirt you can not longer put words like "sex", dance" or "Halloween" on your design / shirts, because someone got the patent for these words. It is even better: You can also get punished, if you used these words BEFORE they actually were protected.

For me, Copyright is a good thing when it comes to protect something you actually really created yourself. In my opinion, it is absolutley revolting, that everybody who just happens to have enough money can get  rights on words or shapes of public culture. Words like "Halloween" or "Sex" belong to us ALL. Everybody should have the right to use these words on T-Shirts or elsewhere and, yes, also make money with these shirts.

For shapes, the whole issue may be more tricky, because there actually could be the risk of confusion, i.e someone could make a paw-print shirt and make people think it's from Jack Wolfskin.
But even there, I would say: A Paw-print isn't the special invention of Jack Wolfskin. If they want to have unique rights, they should create and use unique designs. In any case, they shouldn't be allowed to cash thousands of Euros just because others created and used paw-print designs of their own.

Gods keep me from ever buying JW Clothing!

Yesterday, I made this design:
 
It was rejected - right, because of the word "dance". How could I've been so naive to think that this word wasn't already the propriety of a greedy money-bag? Me bad.  Okay, cleaned out the word and will upload the figures alone. Just as for now on, I will upload only images, no more words. Always in the hope that at least my drawings do not have a slight resemblance to some obscure but protected Logo. Sometimes, I really wish I could just work with Spread USA or France. But these are very little markets. Spread Germany is where you make the bucks.