Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Technical difficulties

It's been some time since I last posted, but even longer since finishing Sundae Afternoon however, there's something I meant to get stuck in to which has been bugging me. I'm sure any animators can appreciate the madness of an After Effects or Premiere edit near a deadline. The necessity to finish a brief might take your eagle eye off a small technical hitch that will come back later and bite you on your arse.

Eagle-Eyed Viewer

Well, I found mine. Not to bore you all, but I exported my footage in separate layers, with an Alpha Channel as a PNG sequence. The point of this spiel is that one of my layers (the boy) was one frame out of sync, so he overlaps on every cut. Very noticeable on a projector, which is rather concerning so I've managed to source the rogue file and make a new edit which I should be able to export over the next few days. Hopefully the gaffe is only noticeable to me because I've seen the film so often, but who knows.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

This and That

Hello all,
Just a brief update on the past few weeks. 

On September the 22nd, The National Gallery hosted private view for us students, from the CSM Character Animation course. It was to be the last time that the Gallery collaborated with Central Saint Martins in the particular way, so it was quite nice to be a part of it, and to see everyone's work up on a large screen, and to meet up again with people who've been a daily part of my life for 9 months, or so.

The films are due to be posted on the National Gallery website at some point in the near future, so watch this space.

In other news, I have just received an email this morning from Sparkle Animation, informing me that the work on The Tortoise is complete. I'm very excited to see the end results, but in the meantime, here's a trailer to whet the appetite.

Till next time :)

Monday, 12 September 2011

The opportune moment

It's fair to say it's been an odd week. I've been a bit under the weather and didn't leave the house much, to get over the cold.
Somehow, two opportunities came out of thin air. 1st was an internship at Not To Scale. I was recommended by a friend from CSM.
They're working on an After Effects/Photoshop based project... right up my street. I sent over my reel, got a call back. They liked my stuff. Pretty much all done, but they suddenly realised they had no work space, and my lack of a laptop scuppered the deal.
*desktop still FTW
Secondly, I asked Van Susans if I could use one if their tracks on my reel, to which they obliged and went on to suggest I consider doing some music videoy stuff for them too, possibly on one of my fave songs atm *check my account if you don't believe me* Hoping to meet up with them this week and discuss.

So laying in bed drinking honey and lemon and being financially wreckless on Football Manager, as Man Citeh, cos it's fun, had brought about relative rewards. Nothing decided yet but it's cool to know my work is seemingly worth looking at.

Watch out for when I'm back to normal! :P
Till next time, take care.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Oh, hi

"It's been a long time
I shouldn't have left you,
Without a dope beat to step to"
As the lyrics suggest, I've not been here in a while, but plan to put that right. My last post was about an 8 day internship at Sparkle. This turned into 5 weeks worth of experience.
'The Tortoise' (Ó Cagado) should be having the final touches added as we speak, but all the animation is all done. I hope you all get to see it at some point, as it was an enjoyable story to work on.
Which leads me to my second bit of news. I have updated my showreel with the footage from 'The Tortoise', and it's looking rather spiffy if I do say so myself, so check it out and/or hire me...

Errrm, Moving on, the plan from here is steady employment, so I'll see how that impacts my creative flow. Till next time, you lucky people.
:) Karl

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Forgetful Intern

Time to update this thing, as promised. I've had 6 days of interning, so far, at Sparkle. I'm working on a 7-minute short film, called 'The Tortoise'. It's an adaptation of a well-known Portuguese story, about a man who finds a tortoise in the forest one day.

The character is fun to work with, which is important in my opinion, especially when inbetweening. We're working with Flash CS5, which hasn't been fiddly at all, for me.

Today has been my best day so far, I've been doing the character's shadow, having inbetweened the keys, and breakdowns.

The hardest thing for me was getting familiar with staring at a computer again. Sounds silly, but especially when its not your own work, you need the discipline to sit, stare and draw for long periods of time.

I'll write a concluding piece on Friday, on my train journey to Southampton. Til then, mi gaan.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Monday, 18 July 2011

My First Internship

First post in a little while to say that I'm starting an internship at Sparkle Animation... in about half an hour lol.

I got a heads up from Paul Nicholson that there may be some work available, then sent my showreel etc to Pedro Lino, at Sparkle and said there's a 2-week opportunity.

I'm pretty knackered but very excited, and I'll update my progress over the coming days.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.2

Monday, 6 June 2011

Let's be 'avin you

24 followers on this blog but 13 on the other one. Some of you guys are slippin' :P

Have a gander at my blog for my final project.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

The other side...

I'm going to be doing a lot more of my blogging in the coming weeks on my other page which is currently called Blank Canvas, as I havent given the film a working title yet

Go and check it out. First follower gets a prize!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Lip Sync: Famous Last Words Project

This is a similar project to the "Chatter" piece I just posted, in terms of it being a lip-sync but, on a personal level, it was much more of a mind-f***! Where as the dialogue for the last piece was personal, this one was a set piece. We drew lines from a large manilla envelope, the kind *allegedly* that Harry Redknapp might *allegedly* find appealing.

My line was, " No, I don't think we need to go to the hospital". Shortly after drawing the lines from said envelope, we went to record. For me, this meant I hadn't really given much thought to the character and ended up being stuck with a recording that is more said than acted and thought out.

I then fell into the trap of devising poses in my head and then forcing my acting in my body language to conform to them. THIS WAS A MISTAKE! I drew the keys, then breakdowns and inbetweens but at some points drew the head, body and arms separately to try and get an idea of the movement. This turned out to be another mistake as it didn't drastically improve my animation, and cut large chunks out of my time.

Here are the key frames, all still seemed well and good at this stage, but the unravelling had already begun

Week 15_Lip Sync (set)_Famous Last Words_Flesh Wound_Key Frames_1 from Karl Lawson on Vimeo.

After showing these to our tutor, Steve Roberts, he suggested to me that the silhouettes of the character weren't strong enough. This again came down to my lack of planning.
In my infinite wisdom, I'd decided to draw the character front on, rather than 3/4 view to make the lip shapes easier to draw. Given how lip lazy people tend to be and how we were told to make almost think of the lips as an afterthought this was another HUGE mistake. This led me to make unnatural, almost symmetrical poses for my character to get the silhouette right...

Week 15_Lip Sync (set)_Famous Last Words_Flesh Wound_Key Frames 2 from Karl Lawson on Vimeo.

So then the animating came, given we had a week to complete this in, I was way behind schedule. No mouth shapes had been drawn and the work still was not complete.

Week 15_Lip Sync (set)_Famous Last Words_Flesh Wound_Unworkable from Karl Lawson on Vimeo.

After showing the work to Steve he said to simplify the movement because the character is doing too much. He also advised me to get the character moving in space a bit more.

With that in mind I set out to do a bit more background work in terms of a character, though I didn't have time to re-record the soundtrack. It got me thinking, and my mind drifted to news stories, and then it hit me.

Now that I had a character and setting for the voice, I quickly storyboarded and thought of a character design.

I then recorded myself acting out the shot, but tried to ignore the storyboard a bit, so that I wasn't trapped by preconceived ideas of spacing. I decided to work in Flash, so that I could use the instance method of working again, but I didn't stick to my character design. I found it easier to reference the video, as I was so concerned about the movement looking more believable.

So here's the end result (but I'm planning on adding colour and sorting out the background of the piece too)...

Week 15_Lip Sync (set)_Famous Last Words_Target Practice from Karl Lawson on Vimeo.

Lip Sync: Chatter Project

Our course director, Birgitta Hosea assigned us a brief to record a piece of everyday, throw-away bits of conversation, sort of like all the nonsensical things people say during a conversation where both parties are speaking but not listening. We then had to lip sync a humanoid character, on a plain background, speaking then blinking, as it will eventually be part of an exhibition where the videos from all the students will be played on a loop.

So basically I thought of a sentence, used the vocal stylings of Miss Hannah Lau-Walker, and then put the thing together on an X-Sheet to figure out what the main sounds were and how the mouth shapes would be used.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

I started creating a character in Flash after a quick sketch, and acted out the sentence myself to get an idea for the key positions. I used the instances method for the mouth shapes rather than swapping symbols, as I heard it was a bit more efficient was of doing things, and I was very short on time. The whole thing was done over a weekend ... and that's pretty much my process.


Week 17_Lip Sync (personal)_Chatter_Flame Retardant from Karl Lawson on Vimeo.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Task Project

Going to start with the main event, the "Task Project". The idea was to create an animated piece, lasting 30 seconds, with a character who has a difficult task to perform.

This is some of my process from start to finish. This is still some way off the finished article, but I'm planning to revisit, and possibly restart it in July.

Week 19_Task Project from Karl Lawson on Vimeo.


Just posted videos from last week's assessment onto Vimeo ( Just need to upload the developmental ones and do some sketchbook scans and then I'll post/upload onto here. Forgive any spelling errors, but walking and typing simultaneously is confusing.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

I'm back!

Sorry about the long absence, things were quite hectic. Got a bit of work to upload, hopefully all by Friday, and I'll also be running a separate blog for my end of year film so detail will follow soon.