This was the first week working with the puppet and we were set the task of completing a lunge exercise. This was a big mental leap from bouncing balls and as you can see from the images below it is a very sophisticated puppet... It has its own manual! We were learning about the importance of blocking through which I found really helped and after many failed attempts and some good feedback I feel like I was making real progress. We have been doing some life drawing this week and you can see on the wall I have stuck up one which I particularly liked which were 10 second poses with the non-dominant hand to try to just get the essence of the pose quickly. Also in the photos are how my use of the drawing tool in Dragonframe progressed throughout the week! I found it really useful to be able to reference all the different points of the puppet on-screen so I could keep track of them all and not forget a limb or something. I quite like the finished scrawl of lines as it gives you the essence of the movement.
I've had the most amazing and ridiculous first week at Aardman. Spent most of the time perfecting various bouncing ball exercises with Loyd Price and going to screenings at Encounters in the evenings and on Friday we finally got our puppets! They are beauteous ball and socket creatures with 3D printed replaceable mouths and plasticine foreheads to get more expression from the eyebrows. The hands are silicone cast with steel wire inside which is apparently more durable and break less frequently and attached by K&S. All of the joints are tensioned with 1 of 3 various sized allen keys with access holes niftily hidden in the clothing. They have two hinged foot plates and use screw tie downs...I'm a bit in love with my puppet. We then spent a jolly afternoon with Merlin Crossingham learning about how to strengthen our key poses and create readable expression through body language. We were also fortunate enough to get a space on the floor of the studio's cinema to watch the talk given by Glen Keane about his time at Disney and his new film 'Duet' for smartphones and he was nice enough to give me his autograph :) I've just come back from going to see The Boxtrolls with my classmates, we were pretty much the only people in the cinema and all laughed heartily at the section after the credits. Back to work tomorrow!
Today was my second day at Aardamn where we've gone right back to basics and are working on bouncing ball exercises and his afternoon I had an acting workshop. I'm working from the animators survival guide which seems pretty strange as Richard Williams is working on the floor just above my set! I'm really looking forward to Glean Keane coming in on Friday to give us a talk. I also picked up my pass for Encounters festival today so I'm hoping to going to as many things as I can this week around class. Bristol seems really lively and vibrant recently and its a great place to really live and breathe animation. I'm loving every moment of it.
I'm very excited to say that I have been lucky enough to gain a place on this course beginning from the 15th Sept at Aardman's Gasferry road studios. I'm really looking forward to being taught by the amazing Loyd Price as well as guest spots from Peter Lord, David Sproxton, Nick Park and Richard Williams! Here is a link to the course overview where you can see some of the work produced by last years graduates.
Stop-motion animator and model maker. Watch my skillshare class at https://skl.sh/2Xe7ioD