About Millie

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I animate, therefore I am a teacher. I teach, therefore I illustrate. I illustrate, therefore I draw on my environment. In drawing on my environment, I am animated!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

ASIFA International Animation Day 2013 (asifa.net)

Open to ALL MUIC and Thai Animation students, alumini, professionals and friends!
Screening of Thai made feature film Kantana's "Echo Planet" with Q + A with director Kompin Kemgumnird on October 28th 5.30pm with refreshments in the Mini Theatre, Learning Resources Centre, Salaya Campus.
Come along talk to Kompin, dress up, be proud of ANIMATION in Thailand!

Seminar with John Andrews

At Mahidol University International College in the Fine Applied Arts Department I teach on the Animation Program. The curriculum is designed to develop students in the history, analysis and fundamentals in animation; pre-production design and concept work through Storyboarding and Layout Design to 2D Animations traditional hand drawn, digital, Photoshop + Aftereffects and 3D Animation using Maya. Our emphasis is on story telling and narrative  leading to  the final senior project where they can utilize all that they have learned into a short animation production.

This term one of the courses I am teaching is Character Design 1. This is a second year course and their first time to apply the design and animation principles into a character. The aim is to develop a design for a character into a fixed design 'bible'. Then to do some test animation to model, and to make a maquette in clay to explore the transition of design from 2 to 3D.

Alongside teaching the course I will be designing and developing characters that were inspired during a workshop with John Andrews, producer of 'Beavis and Butthead' amongst other claims to fame at the Thai US Creative Partnership Seminar and Workshop in Bangkok in August.
The Seminar was very informative and the follow up workshop at the co-host Sripathum University.

John gave great insights into the character design process in relation to student theiss work with additional ideas related to the commercial television series. Here is a summary:
Some key points and advise that John gave about pitching projects:
  • Length of film:  Keep it short BUT long enough to tell a good story; keep it to the essentials; 2-4 mins
  • Ask yourself "Why is it too long?"
  • Practice good editing
  • ASK "Who is the audience" and "How much time do you think their time is worth"
  • Time management: COMPROMISE your GOALS in order to COMPLETE!!
  • How much money do you spend to make it: and DONT GO INTO DEBT to friends/loans that you cannot afford to return
  • Make appropriate to AMBITION (what do you want from this?)
 Comedic Gags: the basis of most gags is based around:
  • character vs character
  • character vs obstacle
  • How does the character achieve their goal(s)?
  • What obstacles do they encounter - a gradual progression of increased dramatic (im)possibilities
  • Twists and unexpected events     
  • What are the stakes? - Universal themes: Love, Fear, Hunger, Shelter, Lust, Vanity etc
Ideas for TV Series you need to also ask:
  • is it a reoccuring cast of charcaters
  • is it a repeating scenario
  • is there one main character?
  • buddy story (one usually dominates)
  • team characters
  • is it the same cast in different scenarios
  •  is it changing cast in same scenario
  • is it changing cast in different scenarios
  • Is it serialised or is each episode free standing
  • Is it comedy, daram, dramedy, action, serious action, comedy action, horror  etc
What are the rules of the show?
  • animals can talk to humans
  • animals cannot talk to humans
  • kids cannot talk to adults
  • kids can talk to adults
  • no one talks
Visual style:
  • human style; animal style; or human and animal; alien
  • are designs realistic proportions?
  • stylised proportions
  • disproportional
  • changeable (eg Ren and Stimpy)
  • what is the style of the actions: exaggerated; stretch and  squash; subtle; understated;  etc
What is the tone of the series? 
What does it SOUND like? The voices? The ambience?
Know your story and know your background/ back story
Prepare possible compromise - sometimes you cannot sell the fuller pitch whole idea/story/series
eg 1/2 hour series of full cast has to become a 2 minute set piece within a larger program. So even if whole story isn't shown the details inform the story when  it is shortened. So KNOW the detail don't always TELL. The details inform the action, reaction and settings.

Target Audience (Understand TV networks):
  • pre-school 1-4 years - warm loving gentle humour - simple stories learning about life; friendship;helping;overcoming shyness; manners; community; how to ...;not always language dependent
  • 2-8 years Early learning
  • 6-11years Primary school
  • 11-13 early high school/middle school
  • 12-16 teen
  • aspirational teen
  • teen late night
  • prime time family
  • prime time adult
  • adult edgy
  • adult late night
 Outlets for selling TV series (US) Each channel has their own ID, these identities are commercial driven and develop and evolve over time as different series are commissioned.
  • Cartoon Network - crazy comedy, outrageous characters, cartoon worlds, fantasy worlds, wild comedy
  • DISNEY targeting more boys: action adventure, crazy silliness, noisy fun, mysteries,
  • DISNET XD targetting more girls: princesses, tinkerbell, gossip
  • Nickelodeon - kids POV: warm relationships who believe in themselves; goofy charcaters; villans block goals BUT do NOT destroy
  • CBS programmes are linked to fit teaching curriculum
  • SPROUT - very young kids and mums, teaching simple lessons: danger, ojects, orientation, how to..., what is..., identification, 
  • THE HUB - linked to Hasbro Toys - so series all have linked merchandising
 * Adult cartoons eg Simpsons, Family Guy, King of the Hill, South Park
These use Human stereotypes and tell about the Universal themes/ universal conditions/ universla politics. the characters reveal human foibles and failings. the story angles reflect and develop with ideology and universal themes prevalent in the society.

 Then as  as part of the workshop day we were invited to do an exercise to come up with some designs ourselves:
Here are some of my students, Gib, her friend, Ben and Dodo explaining their characters to John.

 Here two students (I think from Sripathum University) are explaining their characters with the help of Bird (alumini from FAA) helping with translating.
My designs were based on my dogs Dikdika dn Lil Mo whom I had left that morning in their customary security positions like this...

 As you can see, Lil' Mo is sporting a 'cone of shame' at this time... however he believes it to be a 'cone of power'!
Here are my initial designs:
What's on the other side of the fence? Buddy story involving Mother and Son, Dukdik and Lil'Mo. They try to solve the mysteries of what's on the other side of the fence. But both suffer anxiety, extreme excitement, super bounce, but Dukdik has only 3 legs, and Lil' Mo keeps getting into scrapes and has to wear the 'Cone of shame" which he believes is in fact his super hero Cone.
most of their mysteries start with a bump, squeek, scratch, snort, sniff, cough, laugh, crunch, splosh opr burp from THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE!

 This is the start of their story.