Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A Year of Animation: Replay Entertainment Exchange

My little brother owns a used media store: CDs, DVDs, video games, stuff like that. Over the years, he's moved his store multiple times due to fire, flood, better parking, cheaper rent, etc., and he's finally found a location where Replay Entertainment Exchange will probably stay for years to come (I hope).

After his fourth move, I animated a couple commercials for him as a favor. Unfortunately, after each subsequent move, he would come to me and ask me to redo the end title credit with the new website and store address. Eh, it is what it is. He's family after all. And access to his store has helped me expand my DVD collection.

So, the animation for this month was to redo the end title for his commercials. Not much, I realize, but it needed to be done and I've been travelling so much this Fall, it hasn't left much time for anything else.

Here's the new end titles, it follows the progression of original titles, second edit, and the most recent edit:



And here's one of the commercials that uses it:


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Animated Thoughts: Father Knows Best

Well, I wanted to buy a book for my Women Animators research (and collection), but apparently the Lord had other ideas.

The only copy of Eric Walter White's Walking Shadows (an essay on Lotte Reiniger published in 1931) that I have been able to locate in the Great Lakes region resides in Toronto at the University of Toronto's E.J. Pratt Library. After having the librarians pull it out of the special collections and reading it during my trip to the Ottawa International Animation Festival, I immediately went online and purchased the copy on Amazon that a bookseller in California had listed for sale.

$303.49 is a little pricey for a 31 page essay with four photographs, however... the book was printed in 1931, the info contained about Lotte's process was very good, and honestly, when am I ever going to get the chance to own this book again?

Unfortunately, after arriving home from Canada a week later, I received a notice that the bookseller had refunded my $303.49 since they could not find their copy.

Sucks to be me. Or so I had thought.

Having read Walking Shadows, there was enough unique and interesting material in there that I still wanted to make it a part of my collection. So, for the following week, I poked around the internet when time permitted in the vain hope that there was a copy of this obscure 87-year old text for sale.

Then, about to give up the search, my stubbornness paid off! I switched my search from US based resellers of domestic and overseas books to directly searching UK booksellers' websites, and there one was. It's an old library copy so there's a little bit of wear, and they frustratingly put a sticker on the book's cover which caused a little marring when I removed it, but it's still in astonishingly good condition.

Best of all, including the 5 to 8 day priority shipping from the UK, the final cost was $41.96 USD (which also includes the international transaction fee on my credit card).

Far, far better for my women animators research budget than the $303.49 I had been willing to pay!

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Sunday, September 30, 2018

A Year of Animation: Oh Canada!!

So I've got this idea for a silhouette animation, but I'm having trouble getting it off the ground. Well, sometimes you need to just dive right in and do some experimentation to get the project moving forward -- priming the pump as it were.


In this case, since I was going to be in Toronto for a couple days before attending the Ottawa International Animation Festival, I rented out the "Lotte Reiniger Studio" at the Toronto Animated Image Society for the day in order to play around and get a feel for this animation -- and draw a little inspiration from Lotte's tricktable.

That day, I went through six tests, animating the same scene over and over until I reached this one:



A lot of what I was looking for was getting a feel for how long the scene should be, what frame rate I should film the scene at, whether this should be filmed on ones, twos or threes, and how fast or slow the fish should move. After doing these tests, and taking lots of photo and video references at the Toronto Zoo and Ripley's Aquarium, while I'm not ready to animate just yet, I'm definitely ready to finalize my storyboards and move to the animatic phase of my production.

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