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.

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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 (www.vimeo.com/karllawson) 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.
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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.