Saturday, 31 March 2012

Lipsyncing example Anime Music Video

Experienced at a panel during an event

Whilst at a convention the creator of Creative Black Space participated in a panel and explained the process lip syncing process. Though I had experience in Premiere, when he started explaining After Effects and the difficulties of adjusting the characters mouth when the shadows of moving bars appeared in the AMV, I thought the process interesting but had no idea how to go about lip syncing, or the process, prior to the panel.

Over the course of editing anime to incorporate a musical aspect, lipsyncing has become not just a trend, but a method of AMV rating at such sites as I believe mastering the technique in a fun setting such as amv's will allow the user more creative freedom, and feedback from the audience that the use of popular media provides. The video below is a mix of anime's that uses lip syncing as both the content and audio of the piece.

√Bestamvsofalltime ▪ Lip Bomb AMV 



Check out this tutorial from





When amv's were still creating its norms and people had yet to figure out the current methods of editing (and sharing what they've figured out), lip syncing was a simple process of using the lip movement that already existed and timing the scene, or repeating that scene providing it was just the mouth moving. This was both trickier and easier and can provide working results, if not the control After Effects can provide to the editing process. 




Sappy Self-Indulgence



Rotoscoping Anime Music Video

√Bestamvsofalltime ▪ Say WTF!! AMV

A look at rotoscoping

Kiss Animation
found by chance

This is a beautiful example of what rotoscoping can do. First, the animation sequence has a certain charm about being drawn in such a closely related to reality way, and the overall colouring add to the dreamy quality presented by the background decoration. The artist here used 43 frames in total to get the animation. By using rotoscoping the artist can seamlessly alter the image, for example the scene blow is from a TV show, Sherlock, and originally depicted a male and female kissing. By using reference material the artist was able to guess where limbs, eyes, clothing and body movement would have to go.

I thought this animation particularly effective because it incorporates many of the attractive qualities of rotoscoping: accurate depiction of the subject matter, interchangeable content, beautiful art, and frame-by-frame smoothness. I think a project similar to the undertaking of this artist would be highly beneficial to any animator. This art makes me want to try rotoscoping in a serious fashion (that is to say detailed images). Even whilst knowing the pain the effort would cause I feel the end result would be worth it.  

This art has 43 frames and was traced using Photoshop, from a television show. The artist altered the scene.
by Nicole Wilk

kiss animation by ~br0-Harry

br0-harry explains the process below

basically it was just traced from this very gif

and i used next pics to draw John

^ back ref. (but flipped horizontally obviously)

^ elbow and a collar


it was the most problem thing and i tried many images but ended up with these two. well ive been looking at one more with his eyes closed.. but it’s with the wrong angle, but you know better than nothing..
dunno what else to add.. do you still need to see the process of tracing? cuz it’s very boring and surely nothing new in it..

i thot later it wld better to got my own screenshots of that scene from Small Island with higher rez.. slow of me..

hope this helps.. It’s my first animation ffs, i know nothing bout how to do it..

kiss animation monochrome by ~br0-Harry

La Belle et la Bête

Beauty & The Beast

by Nicole Wilk

La Belle et la Bête


La Belle at la Bete follows the traditional European version of Beauty and the Beast, that is to say Belle has greedy siblings and asks her father to bring her but a rose back from his travels. The rose was plucked from the Beast's garden and he demands retribution. Belle moves into the castle, which is enamored with magic. But her father gets ill with worry and she is released by the Beast to go to him. The siblings want the riches from the castle and trick Belle into staying longer, stealing her magical items. It's only when she fears for the Beast's life that she realizes she loves him. In this version the curse of the Beast doesn't get lifted but transferred to a dying man. 

Opening scene, taken direct from the script.


Children believe what we tell them. 
They have complete faith in us. 
They believe that a rose plucked 
from a garden can bring drama to 
a family. They believe that the 
hands of a human beast will smoke 
when he kills a victim, and that 
this beast will be shamed when 
confronted by a young girl. They 
believe in a thousand other simple 
things. I ask of you a little of 
this childlike simplicity, and to 
bring us luck let me speak four 
truly magic words, childhood's 
Open Sesame: 

   "Once upon a time..." 

Technical Specifications  

The film was released in 1946, France under the director, Jean Cocteau. The film was shot with 35 mm film, in black and white, and ran for a full 2544 metres, wiht an aspect ratio of 1.37 : 1. Cocteau was a pioneer in the film industry and his experimental nature with film has led to special effects of the day that were not matched by anyone. These included his use of the double exposure in such scenes as the magic mirror, Belle's teleportation to her house and to the castle, and the Beast's transformation to man. In order to animate the castle in real life the use of limbs were commonly holding up chandeliers, and being the centerpiece to tables. Living statues also littered the movie with busts in the fireplace, and arrow-shooting statues.  

Double Exposure

Double Exposure

People as Props (movement)

People as Props (movement)

People as Props (movement)

People as Props (movement)

People as Props (movement)


People as Props (movement)

People as Props (movement)

People as Props (movement)


Opening video, uses writing tools for credits

People as Props (movement)

Special Effect: Smoke

Special Effect: Smoke

People as Props (movement) / Special Effect: Smoke

Special Effect: Smoke

Special Effect: Smoke



Double Exposure

Double Exposure

Special Effect: Lighting

Special Effect: Lighting

Reverse Motion

Double Exposure

Double Exposure

People as Props (movement)

Reverse Motion

Reverse Motion / Special Effect Flying

Reverse Motion / Special Effect Smoke

This film made breaking ground for the animation of live-film. Characters transformed, stone came alive, characters teleported and flew, and others smoked. Although these techniques don't appear to be impressive now, they were immensely so 60 years ago. In fact, the effects aren't cheesy when viewed in the black and white context of the film. Overall, I believe this piece to be a wonderful example of creative thinking and ingenuity.


some text

Monday, 19 March 2012

Story Board & Script

The first step to creating the boards was to write the script (seen further below and attached to the final boards directly below). The script was conceptualized over time. The initial idea grew from scenes such as:

Idea: an old book opens and a paper flower lifts itself from the pages (photo slow motion), a dark swirl (CG) spirals up and the flower turns into a girl.

Book opening scene: incorporating the medium of a book to imagery in the story.

expanded idea: the book pages are opened from the paper flower pushing against the pages, as the book opens two flowers (one dark, one light) are reaching for each other - then the book opens and they are separated.  

Initial idea on the head-swinging scene:

A Quick Sketch of frames by Nicole Wilk
 1) Close-up of 2 sisters, hair blowing towards each other
 2) They start to pull apart
 3) When the camera stills one sister is on a hill, mounted on a goat, the others head is bodiless and dangling from a window
 4) The head is moving back and forth like the insides of a grandfather clock: time is of the essence
 5) We see a hoarde of orcs

 6) the camera pans through the horde of orcs, backing further away from the swinging head. 
 7) the horde and Tatterhood are about to face-off
 8) the horde move in closer to Tatterhood
 9) Tatterhood pauses and takes a moment to herself, she lowers hew wooden spoon
 10) she clenches the wooden spoon and starts to move towards the orcs

Initially the trailer was going to merge three scenes from the book into a more metaphorical demonstration of the story. The blooming flowers. The decapitated head. The hood falling back from Tatterhood and the camera panning away as she speaks a key line from the book. 

However, concentrating on just one aspect of the story felt more compelling. Though the idea of captioning events (as seen in movie trailers) with a black screen and tantalizing words such as "embark on a twisted journey with two sisters as they..." can be effective, we thought that too was telling. Our trailer is meant to be an experience, to trap the viewer in a moment that will make them hold their breath and then ask the question: what happens next? What did I experience?  What story is this? 

To research what a book trailer is, in order to move away from the familiar movie trailer, I performed an online search. Book trailers are still defining themselves and have yet to create effective stereotypes. In fact, most book trailers that were easily accessible online were at a low standard. 

For example, a site called BookTrailers listed their first trailer from a book titled "Keeping Misery Company" by Michelle Larks. The trailer incorporating an audio track from a CD that had a vocalist singing lyrics. This distracted from the constant white-cursive font on a blue background enticements like, "Can Divine Intervention Save This Marriage?". The audio abruptly cut off when the trailer finished, and the font enticements were hard to read not only because of the audio lyrics, but for the poor font and colour choices. Imagery was stock-photo's that appeared random and didn't fit the screen size, not only were they poorly selected, they did a poor job of representing, least of all enticing a reader, to purchase the book. This trailer is poorly constructed, but more than that, similar trailers could be found online leaving a poor reference, and no room for inspiration.

When I designed my storyboard I wanted to convey a trailer that created a desire to find the story. I want to entice the viewer to locate the story and consume it. I incorporated my book trailer as a teaser, hinting at one aspect of the book, as well as the story's history, in order to create a piece that is enjoyable to experience as well as reflects the story.  



I wrote the script to incorporate the visual and audio mediums, and explain what is happening in each new frame as simply as possible. 

Writing an understandable script is the first step to a successful media project (I mean this without exception). The script provides a solid understanding of the story, the audio, and the visuals. With a well-written script the thought process of the work should be understood by all parties involved, not just the writer/director. As I am part of a time, the script I write must not be understandable only to myself, but all partied involved if I want us to create towards a specific endgoal.The artist/photographer/filmer can begin character and set design, and the audio technician can locate/record/create the sounds necessary for the piece, once the script is released.  

The script is the explanation to all parties involved, having a poor script leads to miscommunication, and having no script leads to constant reshaping of the idea and concept. At the same time that I worked on TATTERHOOD, another group doing a video project relied on a group member who did not produce a script, this reflected poorly in their work. Repeated use of specialized video transitions with the camera, flow-less camera angles, and on-scene creation of how the plot will pan out is not an effective use of time. The group was left to shoot, re-shoot, and redesign their idea as the story came together in editing. And then they had to shoot, and re-shoot again. To prevent this, solidify the idea with the script. Having a solid script will expedite all other processes of the work. Even if the work changes and grows while you work on it, the idea is growing from a solid design concept.   

Prior to releasing this version of the script it was seen by a number of eyes in search for improvement. The original script did not incorporate the teasing hands of the trolls to hint to the sisters' kidnapping that was about to occur. The script will likely change once more once the visuals and audio  

A head ghosts over a black screen, swinging like the ticking of a clock, leaving disjointed shadows of itself in the motion, long hair twists in the air.
grandfather clock’s pendulum swinging
The feet of Tatterhood (left) and her sister (right). A slow pan up. Their cloaks are billowing in the wind, Tatterhood’s cloak is blue and tattered, her sisters’ cloak is purple and pristine.
Screen fades. A gnarled hand (belonging to trolls, clearly not human) comes into the frame.
Cut to new frame.
The girls have their hands up as if touching the other is like touching a mirror. The pan stops at their chins. You can see that Tatterhood has dirty red hair in tangles, her sister combed blonde locks in contained elastics.
Screen fades. A gnarled hand (belonging to trolls, clearly not human) comes into the frame from a different angle. Only one hand visible.
Cut to new frame.
Zoom in to their touching palms. Tatterhood’s palm is scratched and dirty. Her nails are short. Her sisters’ are clean with well-kept nails.
Screen fades. A gnarled hand (belonging to trolls, clearly not human) comes into the frame from a different angle. Only one hand visible.
Cut to new frame.

Close-up of the sisters’ face, her eyes are wide. Gnarled hands (belonging to trolls, clearly not human) come into the frame, covering her eyes and clutching around her head.
The images turn to silhouettes and the trolls lift the sisters’ head from her neck.
The screen goes black.

The head from the first frame repeats with the slow motion.
grandfather clock’s pendulum swinging

The background fades into focus, the sisters’ head is swinging within a tower.
grandfather clock’s pendulum swinging
Zoom out, troll’s are crawling on the tower.

Tatterhood is mounted on a goat, her hand clenching around a large wooden spoon. Screen fades.
The head swings from one side of the frame to the other.
grandfather clock’s pendulum swinging
Cut. Closer in.  Tatterhood is mounted on a goat, her hand has risen, she is holding the large spoon as if it were a mace.
The head swings from one side of the frame to the other.
grandfather clock’s pendulum swinging

Cut.  Close in on Tatterhood’s face; her mouth.
                                                I can change it…
The screen fades to black.
grandfather clock’s pendulum swinging
                                                …if I choose.

Text of the book title artistically and slowly reveals itself.

 Version by Ethel Johnston Phelps, Pamela Baldwin-Ford
grandfather clock’s pendulum swinging

The head swings (from the first scene), and is caught by Tatterhood’s dirty hand which cusps the sisters’ cheek. 
grandfather clock’s pendulum swinging

As the head and hand connect the sisters’ eyes open and bore straight into the viewer.
Cut to black.

By Nicole Wilk, Ying Shan, & Roshanth Nadesapillai 


The art was drawn, photographed, and assembled in the span of seven hours. Originally the art was drawn in order to represent the idea of the script, and was not incorporating the art style of the trailer video. The group decided the art was a good fit as seen on the boards, an opinion enhanced by a peer review session during an animation class. As such, the art was fixed up to show a more enhanced version of what will be done in the final project.

first board
second board


The ORIGINAL ART (storyboards)

The art that was used for the storyboards (full version). As photographed in the roughest form. The use of light is reflected in the art boards (the green of the hands, the blue by the spoon). Light was controlled by natural and artificial use and placement.


When the storyboard was written new references were sought (see previous post) to speed along the drawing process. The following images were used to assist the conceptualization with the boards.

Hair by ~Super-Chi

The hair from the head swinging scene

.:Red Riding Hood:. by ~rupuceree

The sister's skirt

The Goat by `Misantropia

Tatterhood's mount

Little Red Riding Hood -COLOR- by ~JerryCai

Tatterhood's cape

The Raven's Tower by *jerry8448

The troll's tower

On horseback by *toworm

Tatterhood on her mount

Knotted Tree by ~stock-666-nymph

the tree's by the sisters (unseen in the storyboard)

the trolls. Source unknown.