Joe Sparrow / Illustrator - Animator - Designer / 07758224292 / joe@joe-sparrow.com

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Current Projects

I'm using the term "Projects" pretty loosely, these are just little things i'm trying to motivate myself to get done at the moment.

Animation
This is the first thing I spent the summer doing. I used to use my mum's old wacom tablet a lot when I was a kid, mostly on a program called PainterClassic, it was this really odd paint-esque program that tried its best to simulate tons of different painterly effects, in hindsight it was pretty shit but at the time it was fun and provided a great output for the vast artistic imagination i had at the time. Once I got out of it, though, I didn't touch the tablet again until something like a couple of months ago.

I have a friend who's something like a semi-prominent flash animator on newgrounds, and over the last year or so I've seen a lot of the stuff he's done with it. I mean, the style isn't my sort of thing but just the stuff that he could do with the program (and often the things that he could potentially achieve with it) were really inspiring. I looked at it and I felt "if I tried hard, I could do better than this", which is just about the only sentiment that I can have that inspires me to do anything these days.

Flash was another program I got into young (I can't remember when) but when we did a little bit of animation at secondary school I remember knowing how to use it and everyone else was learning from scratch. Again, I abandoned it once I got bored. I didn't go near the program at all this year until they had a flash workshop at uni, which I went to expecting to find flash boring and hard to use in a nice-looking manner, as I remembered it. However, he introduced it to us through the methods of frame-by-frame animation (as opposed to getting flash to make its own tweens, which I'd been doing before). The process is really satisfying but really time consuming to make something that lasts awhile, so I just did some crappy drawing of an octopus or something and made its legs waggle. I didn't have a memory stick on me at the time so I lost the animation, but when the holidays came around I resolved to make a few others.

This one was the first:

EVERYTHING HATES YOU

I'm not sure if I can upload animated .gifs here but I guess I should try to convert it and try. It's not really an "animation" but more of an animated image, I just drew the background of the face and then made all the eyes blink by animating them on their own timelines. They all start at different times in the timeline and they all take different amounts of time to fully complete, so with all the individual loops they end up pleasingly out of sync (making it look more organic, and maybe even a little unsettling at a glance). It's really basic in terms of skill and effort etc but it's a sort of interesting idea to me that using something like that out of sync could give the impression of something that it's maybe the semblance of something chaotic or even organic. Anyway, I'm getting wrapped up in my own bullshit.

The second animation I did was an actual animation. It's just frame-by-frame stuff, its main exercise was to try and show off things like impact, stretch and squash and other physics-related visual trickery. It's just a little sequence of blocks falling on each other but I worked on it for a while and it looks pretty good. It's not finished yet, though, so I'll just put some memorable screenshots of it up.





Obviously I'll link it when I've finished it, but when it's moving it looks kind of cool.
I'll post later with some more non-animative (but still flash-based; as you can probably tell, it's sort of what I'm into at the moment) work, but that's all for now, I guess.

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