The Bird & the Whale @ AnimAl Frameworks Event!

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M.C. Steve Woods introducing the event
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(L-R): Darragh O’Connell, Kristina Yee, Rory Byrne, Seamus Malone, Aoife Doyle, Louise Bagnall, Carol Freeman

 

 

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Thanks to everyone that came out to the AnimAl: Animation Alliance screening tonight!
Amazing to see such a range of mediums and subject matter coming out in the one year! Congrats to Rory Byrne (And Maps And Plans), Seamus Malone (Windmill Lane), Aoife Doyle (Pink Kong Studios). Louise Bagnall (Cartoon Saloon) and our very own Carol Freeman!
Here are some snaps from the QnA session with the filmmakers. chaired by Kristina Yee, independent animator and writer, and Darragh O’Connell of Brown Bag Films!
Special thanks to Birch Hamilton & Steve Woods for putting the night together!

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The Bird & the Whale UK Premiere @ MAF2017

Carol’s oil paint on glass film The Bird & the Whale is having its UK premiere during this week’s Manchester Animation Festival !
 
Many thanks to Steve & crew for selecting Carol’s labour of love!
Unfortunately we won’t be in attendance ourselves, but it’s a very special feeling knowing that after all the years of teaching our film to walk and talk it’s finally out in the world and making friends!
 
Screening tomorrow at 1900 in Cinema 2:
 

The Bird & the Whale: Final Paintings

img_0149 img_0153b img_0286bA selection of photos from when these final scenes were in progress!

Featuring the work of Katie Sherlock, Carol Freeman, & Caitlyn Rooke!

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Wild Horses Poster

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Delighted to announce that Rory A. Stewart’s new film WIld Horses, will be premiering at Cannes this year. PP’s Eimhin provided the illustrations for the poster.

Be sure to check out the rest of Rory’s work here: http://rorystewartfilms.co.uk

Here’s some process from the illustration:

 

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An initial charcoal study while becoming familiar with the actor

 

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A timelapse of the pastel portrait

 

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Completed portrait of the lead

 

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Horses, sketched in a cave painting-ish style
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These guys were pretty rough and ready, in order to feel loose and not over worked I would just spend about 20 seconds on each, with varying levels of success

 

 

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After selecting the horses that worked best I popped them in with the head study, giving a good degree of flexibility for Rory to lay things out for text

 


An tEarrach Thiar Update

We just spent the day sorting and archiving all the traditional work from An tEarrach Thiar, Eimhin’s contribution to the upcoming Cúl an Tí project, helmed by Ross Murray & Nicole Storck at the Cartoon Saloon!

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We currently have A4 & A3 scene illustrations from the film available to purchase from our online shop: LINK

An tEarrach Thiar was originally written by Máirtín Ó Direáin, with musical interpretation by Lisa Hannigan, Kíla & Fionnuala Ní Chosáin.
We look forward to announcing the screening times!

 

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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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!

 

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.