Stefan.

Learning By Doing

The seed planted by Project: "Spring" jumpstarted a journey that took me deeper into the processes of animating in 3D, and constructing a personal way of communication with 3D with my art.  I don't have a traditional education in animation, and thus my learning process tends to begin with an idea, and as its author I work rigorously focus its message, solidify its visual aesthetic, and approach learning new things from the perspective of an artist with a goal in mind. 

This section of my site I have dedicated to talking about this journey, and some of the many things I've gained a deep understanding of by way of working, failing, and having to find new solutions.

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CONSTRUCTING CHARACTER AND CREATING MOODS

Character Building

After planning out the foundation of my story I went on to start constructing its assets. Simultaneous to making things visual however, I was constantly challenging my story, rethinking its aesthetics, and seeing in what ways it could be made more compelling.

In finding the style for my character I reached back into some of my greatest inspirations. I aimed for look that was charming and leaning towards being cartoony -I love to explore the interactions between simple, appealing characters and complex narrative. 

A Frame out of Cartoon Network's Show Steven Universe - can be watched using Amazon Prime or Cable Television amoung other means.

A Frame out of Cartoon Network's Show Steven Universe - can be watched using Amazon Prime or Cable Television amoung other means.

A Gif Created by Eran Hilleli - Work can be found at http://eranhilleli.com/

A Gif Created by Eran Hilleli - Work can be found at http://eranhilleli.com/

Inspirations

The mood I was searching for can be explained using two amazing pieces, though the web of inspiration only continues to branch out from them. One is Steven Universe, a show on Cartoon Network created by Rebecca Sugar and an amazing team of artists, and the other being the work of Independent Animator Eran Hilleli.

While Steven Universe has crafted a unique feeling and look in their work, some of its magical-realist elements are echoed in other works I hold dear - namely Natasha Allegri's Bee and PuppyCat and Pendleton Ward's Adventure Time. The poetic simplicity of its imagery and imaginative creation of their character, I believe, allow them to tell stories in ways no other medium can - and step into controversial territory other mediums have a hard time creating conversations about. 

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Building Puppets, new directions 

 

Rigging

With each new phase in working on this character I faced new challenged, found new tools, and was forced to come up with new solutions. Rigging was an especially difficult challenge, and though I came up with an adequate rig in the end, the process in itself is an art that I'm excited to learn more about throughout my animation career. One of the biggest lesson I took from this process was planning, while I have the capability of creating a really complex rig, planning allowed me to give the rig only the functionalities I would really need - and not keep me stuck here for too long.

A Frame out of Cartoon Network's Show Adventure Time: A Glitch is a Glitch episode - directed by David O'Reilly. His work can be found at http://www.davidoreilly.com/

A Frame out of Cartoon Network's Show Adventure Time: A Glitch is a Glitch episodedirected by David O'Reilly. His work can be found at http://www.davidoreilly.com/

A Frame out of David O'Reilly's game Everything. His work can be found at http://www.davidoreilly.com/.

A Frame out of David O'Reilly's game Everything. His work can be found at http://www.davidoreilly.com/.

New Directions

Conceptually, the project continued to grow throughout the character construction stage. An artist I've followed for a long time, Independent Animator David O'Reilly, released a game recently called Everything. I stumbled upon it just as I was beginning to think about and get especially excited for the possibilities of interaction in film. O'Reilly's Everything was my spark, it made me rethink the experience of this film as a possible game! 

From here I knew the project would splinter off; One piece would be a test for the aesthetics of the game and the rig I had just constructed, and the other an experimental game existing somewhere between Role-Playing and Visual Novel.

-- Though the Game side is still in conception, feel free to ask me more about it! The last section will be going into the animation of the short film.

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Animation Hurts 

 

Animation

Animation was definitely the biggest shift in my learning. Though I had experience animating traditionally, moving into 3D required rethinking my whole workflow, and really coming to master the structural way in which I create work. Leaving the technical side of things behind I was finally able to dig into things like acting and expressing the core aesthetics I wanted for this project all along. 

The work I'm showing you now is still a work-in-progress, a foundation of how I want things to look later on - unfortunately lacking the polish I really want. Please take a look below to see what this project is growing into! I hadn't been able to realize the core of my ideas for this piece. Though not as detailed as my main storyboards, hopefully these can help communicate what this will become in the coming months.

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Future

I realize that the trajectory of the piece at this stage is short of muddled, and its hard to find a through-line for its story with what's currently rendered - please feel free to ask me more about it! I'd love to have a conversation about its concrete story, and clarify its imagery . 

To end, I would like  to give a few photos for mood, to show visually the heart of what I believe in, and the aesthetic I'm currently pursuing with this piece. 

Thank you for reading!