This morning, before our client meeting, I decided to test out my animation.
When I arrived, I was lucky to meet Tom who is the guy to speak to when it comes to using the software down in the AV suite. He helped me to set up the recording pieces and gave me a lesson on using the stop-motion software. He introduced me to a new programme that I not used before, called ‘DragonFrame’ – it is very similar to iStopMotion but a more professional version – it’s very easy to use and I much prefer it to iStopMotion after today.
Once left to it, I tested out one scene from my storyboard and animated it. I chose to use the first scene of video 1, where my hand enters the screen and hand-writes the title, “Wellbeing during chemotherapy.”
It took me several attempts to get it right, but I managed it in the end. I tested it out in pencil to begin with, which didn’t work due to the lighting which reflected off the pencil once on the paper, making it hard to read. One of the most difficult things I found was getting the size and positioning of the handwritten text right on the paper, because it was hard to tell when looking at the live capture preview on the Mac screen. In the end, I got around this obstacle by very, very faintly pencilling in corner frames onto the paper, so that I could see which part was on screen – this solved my problem and I was able to get the text correct. Next time, I may have to, again, very faintly mark in some straight lines which I can write on because, it was difficult to write in a perfectly straight line from the angle I was at. My attempt using pen was much more successful. I was really happy with the outcome of this very short 10-second clip, but it made me realise just how long the process would be – with a bit more practice and maybe working on the scenes little bit at a time like this, I should be able to piece them all together afterwards to create the full animation.
Before meeting our client, we spoke to Wendy, who suggested that we didn’t actually have to create the animation. Instead, we could just fully design it and focus on the character design and scenes – similarly to the way in which we worked on the S4C project: we designed the storyboard and then they got together with a team of professionals in order to bring it to life. Personally, I feel that I have been holding back on my animation design because I have been creating it to the standards of what I, myself, can make – which wouldn’t be as much as a real animator. I consider myself a designer, not an animator. This is the exact reason that Wendy had suggested perhaps not making the full animations. She even suggested that we could get in touch with lecturers and students on the animation course in the university, and perhaps they could help us when it comes to the actual making of the animation. Wendy suggested having an honest conversation with our client to admit that, creating it myself, I would not be able to achieve the quality and standard as someone on the animation course would, and although I am happy to design it for them, and would put my all into making it for them if they still want me to, it would be more ‘basic’ than an animator’s effort. After admitting all of this, I still believe that I’d really enjoy making the animation if they were still happy with this as I think it’s a great opportunity for me and I love the fact that it allows me to work outside of my comfort zone and enables me to push the boundaries and develop a new skill.