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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
There are more posts on the processes and techniques we’ve developed for An Gadhar Dubh here: LINK
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.
This fisherman featured in the 1932 documentary Aran of the Saints, courtesy of the IFI Film Archive, was the basis of the below design:
A little bit of research for this scene’s location:
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:
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:
Initial storyboards, roughly laying out the pertinent elements and actions involved in the scene
Layout drawing, locking down the details, and adding in the foreground element to help with framing
Timelapse of the background being painted
Final painting. The addition of some cliffs in the BG, helped to delineate the brightly lit ‘steps’ from the sky
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:
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!
The sun setting over the Aran Islands, as viewed from Fanore, Co. Clare.