Sunday, April 26, 2015

MFA - The End

I CAN FEEL IT IN MY BONES - First Cut, April 2015 from Thom Glick on Vimeo.

I joined the MFA program at Columbus College of Art & Design in the fall of 2013. I'll be submitting my final paper in just a few moments. This has been one wild ride.

Above is one of the many fruits of the labor. Above is the animation short that took roughly seven months to complete from idea to finished product. It began in the fall of 2013, with experimentations in sequential art based storytelling. From there, it was writing and learning to make drawings move. By September of 2014, I had an idea that became the storyboards you see in previous posts that became animatics and rough shots and eventually the short posted above.

The narrative and media all speak to the themes of experience and motivation, specifically persistence, purpose, belonging and change.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Moving to Tumblr

I'm slowly moving to Tumblr for blog purposes. Check out this week's post here:

Monday, January 12, 2015

I Can Feel It In My Bones - Backgrounds

After our twenty-five titles assignment for pro-practices, I've changed the animation's title from The Giant to I Can Feel It In My Bones.

For the past few weeks I've focused on building backgrounds. Throughout my work as an illustrator I've designed and produced hundreds of images, but very few, if any, of them have been just backgrounds or just environments, settings or landscapes. I have typically approached backgrounds as a sort of filler or ambiance, using the characters in the images to actually set up the composition or movement. So - this was challenging.

The animation consists of nine sequences. Each sequence consists of multiple shots. There are roughly thirty-six shots throughout the entire animation. To create this is a different process than live-action film or video work. With live-action, one can set up an environment and by moving or adjusting the camera create different shots (close-ups, wide shots, etc). With animation, (almost) every shot requires its own set, or background.

I've chosen to work at 1920x1080. I was and I suppose still am considering letterboxing the work to create an even more extreme horizontal. You'll notice that some of the shots appear to be a different dimension. For panning, truck-ins and walking shots, I needed to provide more background image to move around in. At any given moment, each shot will be viewed through the 1920x1080 window.

Below are the backgrounds - these might get edited, here and there, depending on time. My goal was to create nine different environments, with their own purpose or character. The woman travels continuously, so she covers a lot of ground; I wanted that to be visually noticeable. I use a limited variety of worn paper textures, shapes and a grey-tone palette to create a sense of cohesion.

The next step will be laying this out to time, in Toon Boom, and posing the animation.

Just noticed I forgot to save the texture on this one...

And a couple of animation experiments to see how this might look...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Year Two - Week Fourteen

This week's post is a review of my fellow classmate, Juno's work.

By Thom Glick

Juno Tang is an MFA candidate, currently in the her second year, at Columbus College of Art & Design, in Columbus, Ohio.

During her time at CCAD, Juno’s work has transitioned from the planning and development of a website to the planning and development of gallery-based installation work.

Throughout, her work has held its ground in its focus, taking a stance against the negative effects of cultural gender norms.

When I first became aware of Juno’s work, she was developing a complex website that would provide support to women living a non-traditional lifestyle - unwed and without a family. I remember being inspired by her need to empower women and provide a place for them to connect and be involved. The project was bright and inviting, benefiting from Juno’s strong sense for two-dimensional design.

After the first semester, her work changed drastically in tone and approach. To my knowledge, the website did not come to fruition. In its place, Juno’s work has become darker, turning more toward a desire to confront the more emotionally crippling aspects of the stigmatization that these non-traditional women endure. Juno’s current work, which has become more installation in nature, has left the digital world behind for more tangible materials in an effort to more aggressively confront her themes.

The work is bold, employing repetition and familiar iconography to establish an atmosphere of insatiable scrutiny and paranoia. But, the work is also delicate, made of plaster and left white, unpainted, to maintain a constant note of frailty. Striking out at culture itself, the work embodies both the aggressor and the victim, challenging the audience’s sense of normalcy and, perhaps, inviting them to consider the broader discourse surrounding the notion of gender norms and the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that we stigmatize those who find themselves outside those norms.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Year Two - Thirteenth Week

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been working to assemble an animatic. The purpose of the animatic is to bring time to the situation and begin to massage it into place. Below is the latest draft of the animatic. At current it's roughly nine and a half minutes long. Sorry, I forgot one adjustment while rendering, so there's about thirty empty seconds at the end.

At ten minutes, I have concerns about being able to finish the animation work in the time I have left. Before the start of December, my goal is to trim this back to 4-6 minutes... or get as close as possible and just get to drawing.

The shots that I'm most concerned with, at the moment, are the long shots of the woman following after the shadow. I want these to act as chapter endings, to a degree, but also as reminders to the tedium that she endures in pursuit of her goal. In the first few drafts, those shots were a minute long. Currently, they last about thirty to forty-five seconds, each. I'm curious to edit them to ten to twenty seconds, but I'm worried about losing the tedious pace that I'm going for.

Also - please forgive my terrible attempt at voice acting. I just needed markers to help me understand how long the dialogue would take to speak and how long the shots would need to be to accommodate. In the coming weeks, I'm hoping to meet with some possible voice actors.

The Giant Animatic 01 from Thom Glick on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Year Two - Week Eleven

This week, I'm sharing another draft of storyboards. Over the past week or so, I've been working to trim back from 90+ shots to around 40 shots. My hope is to slow the piece down.

The woman, in the story, is alone, searching for something. She's been following after the giant for a long time. What may have been exciting and new, at the start, is now routine. Her days are spent walking, walking, walking.

In the next week or so, I hope to have an animatic put together, to share. That should help me to better see how the pacing is working and allow me to more easily share with the group.

I'll provide some annotation, below, with the boards to help explain the current draft.

The woman spends her days walking, following after the giant. Originally, I had thought to have the opening shot be a pan, upward, to reveal the woman, but now I'm considering opening with the shadow drifting across the screen and the woman following. Then we follow her legs as they walk. The idea, always keeping the woman at a distance, isolated, disconnected.

Then the woman sets up camp. We get to see what her days start and end with. Assembling camp.

We see the woman leafing through photographs and tossing them, unsatisfied, into the campfire.

A stranger approaches, attracted to the woman's fire. He's a bit too friendly for the woman's tastes and asks her about her travels.

The woman obliges the stranger for as long as she is able, but sends him along as soon as her patience runs out.

The next day, the woman comes across a village and takes the opportunity to stock up on supplies.

She meets a stray dog, pets him and snaps a pic.

The woman checks into the village's inn.

As placeholder, she checks into room number 12. This might switch to room number 5, based on numerology lore.

Inside, her room is small, cramped, confining. She begins a crochet project.

She is distracted by a sound outside her window. She looks to find the stray dog has followed her to the inn. As the woman smiles at seeing the dog, this is the first more intimate shot of her.

In the morning, the woman returns to her travels, following after the giant.

Soon, she realizes the stray dog is following her. She tries to reason with the dog, telling him that he cannot come with her.

Reasoning with the dog doesn't work, so she takes out some food and tosses it a distance away. The dog chases after it as the woman slips away.

That evening at camp, the woman looks at her photos and stops at the one of the dog. She tucks it away to keep, but tosses the others, as usual, into the fire. Then she works on her crochet project.

The following day, the woman walks on, eventually noticing the dog has again caught up to her. This time, she let's him join her.

That evening, at camp, the woman briefly explains her photos to the dog. She's trying to get a picture of the giant, but cannot get a clear one. She tosses the failed attempts into the fire and turns to her crochet project. Eventually, the woman and the dog sleep, curled up together under the stars.

Having finished her project, the woman wraps the crocheted scarf around the dog's neck. They begin their walking.

The dog slows and eventually stops. The woman encourages him to keep going. But he does not.

The woman turns to the giant, framing up, hoping for that one good pic. But she lowers the camera and walks back to the dog.

She kneels down and puts her arm around the dog to snap a picture of them together. The shadow, unconcerned, continues on.