This week I have been trying to promote a new feature on the site called Request a Doodle. This feature required people to post their ideas on the Noddegamra forum and for me to draw my interpretation of it this weekend.
The idea itself could be anything, encouraging members to really stretch their imagination in an attempt to be creative and offer me a challenge. One member in particular managed to go a bit beyond what I could accomplish in a single weekend, but his idea has inspired a future project.
With many great ideas it was tricky to pick just one. The request I finally settled on was:
“Oliver Twist fighting off Jabba The Hutt with a breadstick and a jar of Nutella.”
This weekend I will by trying something new; to doodle something from your imagination!
It’s a bit of fun experimentation for me really. Some people who claim they cannot draw often come up with ideas and sketches that have a lot of potential. One friend I have who thinks he cannot draw has a really great cartoon style that I really like. I remember him drawing a couple of things in MS Paint which I thought were full of character, but he just couldn’t see it.
So, now is his chance (and yours) to work with your imaginations and come up with an idea of something you’d like to see. It can be funny, dark, surreal, cartoony, anything you like! Do your best to describe your thoughts and I will do my best to draw (and possibly photoshop) it. All you need to do is submit your ideas here, and I will try and create something this weekend.
Progress has been a little slow on this blog lately. Although I did not intend to post articles/updates on a daily basis I was hoping to be a bit more regular than this.
One of the main reasons is a strong focus on the forum. Recently I got a bit of an unexpected e-mail stating new licensing terms which meant I would need to pay somewhere around the sum of £200 to continue using the software, and then pay for each update. This caused me to search for alternative free or low-cost software, with phpBB being my final choice.
Those who have been members for quite some time have been through a couple of these “forum transfers” and the last one wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped. The software transfer and database conversion did not quite go as planned and unfortunately we lost quite a few posts. The move also required new passwords to be set, and a few other aspects did not go very smoothly either.
This time however, I managed to setup the new forum and convert the database very cleanly. I’m still spending some of my free time in the evenings setting up the new template, but so far everything seems to have gone quite well. All the posts are still intact, and the user experience is pretty much unnoticeably different. The only problem is that all this time and energy has gone into something technical, meaning I’ve had little time to draw and animate.
With an operation coming up soon (the 18th of November) it is unlikely I will be finishing any new animations, although I will do my best to upload some new doodles, ideas and tutorials as soon as possible.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of Wallace and Gromit’s “Grand Day Out”, one of the main inspirations that got me into stop-motion animation. I remember back when “The Wrong Trousers” came out and I received a plasticine kit at Christmas which included a guide on how to make the characters. I spent numerous hours recreating Wallace, Gromit, and the evil little Penguin.
I have been a huge fan of Wallace and Gromit over the years and hope Aardman continue to make many more adventures for them.
I finally got around to seeing the film Coraline! Whilst I wanted to see it at the cinema, I somehow missed the opportunity. I managed to get a copy on DVD with both the 2D and 3D versions included (along with 4 pairs of 3D glasses), but I have only sat down to watch it in “2D” so far.
Coraline is a visually stunning stop-motion film. I could not believe how fluid and beautifully animated the characters were. The visuals were quite similar to the style of The Nightmare Before Christmas, but thankfully it isn’t another stop-motion musical! (Phew! I hate those). Whilst the look is quite similar, it does feel a lot less exaggerated and a little more refined. Coraline definitely has it’s own look.
The story is about a young girl (Coraline) who doesn’t get enough attention from her parents. As they had just recently moved into a new home (an old house), she stumbles across a hidden door which leads to an alternate universe. Everything is suddenly “better”. Her parents give her undivided attention and come across a lot more loving and caring than her “real” Mum and Dad. The only weird thing is that everyone there seems to have buttons for eyes. Obviously, something isn’t quite right and we are treated to a very dark, yet incredibly imaginative story.
I highly recommend you check out this film, not only if you are a stop-motion loving nut like me. Coraline is a great film which is beautifully animated and definitely worth anyone’s time. Go see it, and let me know what you think
Whilst not actually animating myself, I like to spend my time looking at stop-motion videos created by others. It helps inspire new ideas and styles for creating my own.
Whilst visiting a few blogs earlier this week I stumbled across this video named Balance. It is just over 7 minutes long, but is definitely worth your time. It features a concept which is brilliantly executed in quite a dark and surreal way. I love the fact that there is no dialogue and that each person displays a range of emotions and characteristics.
I really hope I can make something this good myself one day.
Let me know what you think
EDIT:The video keeps getting removed and re-uploaded due to copyright issues. You will now need to search for it yourself. Sorry for the inconvenience.
This evening I spent some time drawing again. My chosen “subject” was Scarecrow from the Batman universe. I’ve always been a huge fan of Batman (particularly the Joker), but have never really attempted to draw this villain before.
I started off sketching him on paper and then scanning it in. I must admit it was a bit of a rushed job, with no pencilling and proper shading. I will try to spend a bit more time on my next drawing working more on proportions, shading, and doing more than just a head.
Once scanned in, I made a few layers for the colours and overlaid the black outline on top to allow me to work more freely. I also tried adding a little bit of texture to the image.
I was actually very indecisive about how I coloured and textured Scarecrow, so please check out the other variations (and larger image) after the break and let me know which one you prefer.