Reflective Words on Creative Elements

Studying animation at Ulster University has been the best decision that I have made thus far, in relation to education. I can confidently say that during my first semester I have learned more than during my times at any other facultie/course. Creative Elements combines specific assets which strengthen my passion for art and animation more. How we are assessed is the key reason I am learning so much. Recording research in a blog forces me to think differently, and as a result there is always a continous flow of inspiration.

The sketchbook work is a great discipline I have found difficult to achieve in the past, but as everyone in the class progresses and improves through its use, it has driven me to keep drawing and to forget the mistakes. The main aspect which I love about the course is that you are never limited creatively. The focus is more on getting the work done whilst allowing the creative juices to run freely. I feel Maya is a great way to learn to draw as well as model, as you are thinking of how things look from each angel. Modelling in 3D definitely makes the shape stick in your mind more predominantly than if you were drawing from life.

Life drawing classes have definitely helped my drawings improve  – I’m really grateful that we ae able to take this class.  I am excited to see what the second semester will bring. In the past I have found it difficult working in groups and although it can be at times, it does heighten the creativity as ideas and inspiration are constantly on the high. I have learned that if other members don’t consider  your ideas, you can always work on them as a personal project on your own. Having said this I have found that when working within a team with other passionates, the groupwork thrives and productivity is on a roll.

Animatic Progress/Work

Today my group decided to change the idea of the animatic as the original idea was going to be too much work. I felt we needed some story telling instead of scenes. So far I am finding the group dynamics quite difficult within this team as there seems to be clashing of  ideas, although worked out I feel there is a lack of enthuasiasm. As the idea has been changed quite late, a lack of time to work on the animatic will hopefully not be too prevelant in the final piece.




Animatic Research

I feel a successful animatic should have fluid movement between scenes, as in one scene leads nicely to the next; whilst making sense. The viewer needs to understand what is going on or else there is no point. I think 30 seconds or even less is enough time to provoke a reaction/emotion from the viewer, this is something I would be aiming for in an animatic.

A tutorial video I have found below, was helpful.

The band Gorillaz have some good animatics that have been produced for their music videos. These animatics are perfectly timed and present clear ideas/storylines. This is something I feel can be achieved even within the space of 30 secs. The video won’t allow for embedding so here is a link. 🙂

Hellman’s have an advert out which kind of combines 2D and 3D animatic approaches. This is the best video I could find online .

Animatic Ideas

The concept of the world : invading race, poach these beautiful/strange sea creatures for their mechanical parts/luminescent skins/pearls/jewels etc… This race have built underwater bases for themselves which are contained within a dome. A lot of creative ideas can come from this.

For our animatic I had an idea of timing it to the sound of a heartbeat. In terms of timing I thought it might be nice to play about with the amount of frames shown per second. At the beginning it could be time to 1 frame a second and once the action kicks off it would then speed up along with the heartbeat and relax again near the end.

Heartbeat soundtrack below.

I found this game trailer video which went along to the ticking of a clock, similar to what i had been thinking of.

After some discussion with Lydia we came up with a solid concept for the 30secs, she also liked the idea of having it play to a heartbeat but also wanted some music. I have started to roughly sketch the beginning out in Adobe Flash, keeping in mind how many seconds can be used for the initial build up- the action- the end.

Pro Storyboarding Research

After some research into professional story-boarding, I have realised just how much time and detail is put into this kind of work. Each scene being thoughtfully worked out, while each panel having great composition and movement. I have included some of Hayao Miyazaki’s storyboarding. By storyboarding each of his movies himself; he made sure that every  scene was how he had envisioned it.

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Pixar’s Brave storyboard example below.


I came across a great blog by Ben Caldwell who has shared storyboarding ideas that were given to him by Dreamworks Storyboard artist, Rob Too.

The images below have been taken from his blog, find the link here. Ben also has links to other pages which have great storyboarding content/advise. I will include them here for anyone looking for extra advice too. 🙂 Caldwell has said to take a proper look through their blogs as they contain invaluable tips.

Toby Shelton

Rad Sechrist

Notes below were made by  Dreamwork’S Rob Koo

rob1 rob2rob3rob4rob5


Still swimming with the fish!

Yesterday after presentation, the groups were mixed up a bit again, and low and behold it is now my 5/sixth week in fishy town. 🙂 It’s not a bad thing, but would have been nice to try another idea. The new members are now myself, Lydia, Viola and Clare. I will be the original remaining group member. Clare has returned to fish world as she had been here at week 2. Clare had originally introduced this world wide when I had first moved here.

So now we have been given the task to produce a 30 second animatic, which can be in colour. Im hoping we can come up with something original with fluid movements within the new group.

I have started to look into some underwater creatures on youtube so I can understand their movements. Found a good one on the octopus to start off.