The Bird & the Whale: Project Update!



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Another fledgling left the nest on the Bird & the Whale, with Caitlyn Rooke finishing her final scene!
Caitlyn was such a joy to work with, and her experience as an oil painter was invaluable in how it informed the project!

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Be sure to check out her own work here: caitlynrooke.com

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Here is Caitlyn working on her infamous Storm Sequence!

You can view our timelapse of the Storm Sequence below:

An tEarrach Thiar Prints!

We have added a selection of prints from Eimhin’s forthcoming film An tEarrach Thiar, available as high quality A4-sized prints for €25 and archival quality A3-sized prints for €80!
If you’d like to take home some of the scenery of 1930s Inis Mór, swing by our shop here: http://shop.paperpanther.ie/product/an-tearrach-thiar-prints/atet_01 atet_04 atet_05 atet_08

Dialogue Timelapse

Here are two timelapses we set up for some dialogue scenes from An Gadhar Dubh.
In the second video you can see the jaw substitutions on the bottom of frame, alongside the dialogue X-sheet.


We used a similar method for all characters with dialogue, many of which needed multiple angles; so for Peadar, the main character, we have 25 mouth shapes (9 key mouth shapes with softer variations for nuanced performance) and 25 heads in a full rotation. Thankfully the heads viewed from the back don’t require jaw substitutions (we’re not that mad), but we ended up with about 440 different jaws for just that one character.

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Characters setup for a scene showing the parts required for a rotation

 

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The jaw substitutions for our lead character Peadar

 

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Jaw substitutions for two secondary characters

 

There are more posts on the processes and techniques we’ve developed for An Gadhar Dubh here: LINK

An Iascaire

Here is a little bit more from Eimhin’s upcoming project An tEarrach Thiar, featuring a fisherman character who appears towards the end of the film.

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This  fisherman featured in the 1932 documentary Aran of the Saints, courtesy of the IFI Film Archive, was the basis of the below design:

 

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Rough character study of the fisherman
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Final colour model

 

A little bit of research for this scene’s location:

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Kilmurvey Beach, Inis Mór

 

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Here’s the layout sketch with annotations. This layout sketch went through a few iterations before getting the right level of ‘shape’ in the strata of limestone rocks on the beach.
Below is an earlier, more generic looking beach:tobar_bg_25

And here is the completed background by Robin Hoshino and Eimhin

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Happy Birthday Newton!


A little character exploration, animated blind using a NIkon DLSR in 2010, made with: cardboard, foil, acetate with glue to create the telescope lens, and a sandwich bag tie for the quill.
Isaac Newton was born when the calendar system changed from the Julian to the Gregorian, which means: he’s got 2 birthdays.

Happy Post-Christmas!

Here’s our festive little card for this year!

The characters were based off some sketches from last year:

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I redesigned them a little, cutting the raccoon for the sake of simplicity, and laid them out. Below you can see the animation and colour process for the Fake Chrismasman:

Ubiquitous GiF loops

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Cúl an Tí: Cill Aodáin & An tEarrach Thiar Screening!

We recently had a little screening for our in-house crew and some members of A4 Sounds of Cill Aodáin & An tEarrach Thiar!
Below’s a little peek at the projects:

Cill Aodáin directed by Pádraig Fagan

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Raftery an mbard taisteal
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A beanna mbard ghoid an seó!

An tEarrach Thiar directed by Eimhin McNamara

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Fear ag glanadh cré
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Gach bóithre mar thoradh go dtí an fharraige

These projects were co-produced with the Cartoon Saloon & Sónta Films, and will be making their way to TG4 in the New Year!

Next week we’ll be releasing prints from these shorts for sale in our shop, so keep your eyes peeled and save up your shekels!

 

Centra – Live Every Day TV spot


Earlier on this year we were invited by Russell Curran Productions to produce an animated segment for this Centra spot. You can see our work at about the 20 second mark!

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The animation was designed and created by Carol with lighting and technical supervision by Eimhin.

 

In this piece on our studio space at A4 Sounds, Carol can be seen working on an initial proof of concept too from about 3:20:

Many thanks to the Russell Curran team for bringing us in on the project:

Director – Stevie Russell
Art Director – Paudge Donaghy
Copywriter – Ted Barry
Agency Producer – Rosaleen Cullen

Introduction to Experimental Animation is back!

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Due to popular demand our Intro to Experimental Animation course has returned!

The course runs 7-9.30pm every Tuesday from November 1st, and provides a solid foundation in various forms of stopmotion and other experimental techniques!

You can book your place over at the A4 Sounds shop page here: LINK

An tEarrach Thiar – BG Process

We were very generously asked to contribute to an anthology of Irish language songs, produced in collaboration with Sónta Films, the Cartoon Saloon and Kíla.

Here’s a little taste of Eimhin’s contribution: An tEarrach Thiar
Based on a poem by Máirtín Ó Direáin, with an original arrangement by Kíla and lush vocals provided by Lisa Hannigan, the film takes place in that golden hour, as the sun sets on a spring day on the island of Inis Mór.

You can view a previous post, featuring photos taken on a research trip to Inis Mór here: LINK

Here’s how I went about putting together one of the early shots:

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Initial storyboards, roughly laying out the pertinent elements and actions involved in the scene

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Layout drawing, locking down the details, and adding in the foreground element to help with framing

 

Timelapse of the background being painted

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Final painting. The addition of some cliffs in the BG, helped to delineate the brightly lit ‘steps’ from the sky

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And here it is comped in with the characters (character animation by Katie Sherlock)

Within each scene the BG painting was separated into different layers, with some clone-stamping to cover any overlap. This allows some repositioning, and addition of cloud movement in the sky, or wave movement on the water. In addition to these digital edits, some other BGs required more lighting in comp, but as this one is one of the introductory shots it wasn’t as extreme in terms of photoshop work to reign in or emphasise the painted elements.

Here are some photos of our brilliant animation crew at work:

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Our singer, Lisa Hannigan, with crew members Katie & Ciara

Thanks for reading, I look forward to sharing more of this project with you in the coming months!

- E.

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The sun setting over the Aran Islands, as viewed from Fanore, Co. Clare.