Innovative Animation


Innovative Animation

feedback : lip sync should be last thing to do. Start from whole body posture, big elements to deliver personality and then focus on details to add a final touch. Don’t spend time on a rig with errors like bad eyelids.

Character Artist – Danail Kraev

Innovative Animation


Danail Kraev 

Animator at LAIKA
Animator at Burning Windmills Pictures ( Disney)
Animator at Breakthtu Films
Best known for his work on Frankenweenie (2012), Boxtrolls (2014) and Magic Piano (2011).
https://vimeo.com/86488441 Frankenweenie showreel

Insane characters, very charismatic and dark. I particularly like animation of creepy fingers and facial expressions ( especially brows – acting all the time and teeths in sinister smile) and arms gesticulating actively. I like how passionate, fooling around and cute those character animations are.







Eight stage

Innovative Animation, News

putting everything together…

I made all the scenes in After Effects in separate compositions to be able to mix compositions with each other. I removed the grain from all the compositions and created few adjustment layers to customize the look of the footage. If I would be doing this animation again I would make a bigger scenography. Bacause I had small space not all the angles and directions are matching the reality.

Seventh stage

Innovative Animation

Shooting scary moments…

I decided to shoot yellow bastard character on blackboard background with minimalistic light to make him very scary



Seventh stage

Innovative Animation

Lighting, positioning…

While doing lights I used candles to make it dramatic, absolutely different than daylight and very dark and atmospheric. I made a backlight behind main row of buildings and some additional lights for shadows.


Sixth stage

Innovative Animation


Next thing to do was to prepare the environment. I decided the city and cars to be cut out from black paper to make it clean, atmospheric and not distracting from the actual action. Those are some of the assets :




Fourth stage

Innovative Animation

Extracting footage…

Next thing that I did was using GOM player to do Screencap of the fragments that I choose. After this I deleted frames that I was not going to use and I have putted frames together in Photoshop to make them ready for printing. Those are some of the pages :








Third stage of the project

Innovative Animation

Searching for movie clips…

Next thing that I did was trying to remember movies that I watched that would have moments matching the story and mood. I downloaded many clips using Freemake Video Downloader. Next thing that I did was using Free Video Cutter and Video Edit Master to cut out the fragments of the clips that I can find useful to extract footage from them. I have downloaded clips from Batman movies, Matrix, Sin City, Gorillaz clips, Noir movies such as Touch of Evil. I decided to use clowns gang from Batman instead of police and make yellow bastard a main villain because he is really creepy.

Second stage of project

Innovative Animation

Coming up with a story…

I stayed with the idea to go into action. I decided to make a mood quite dark but somewhat humoristic. I wanted to start with main characters being in relaxed situation like in brothel, when they do not expect anything bad to happen and are enjoying themselves. I wanted to break this relaxed mood by sudden ambush of the police knocking on the doors, wanting to arrest them. Then they would start getting away and a chase through a dystopian city would start. I thought about police changing into bad guys to blend good side representing law and villains. I wanted city and characters chasing to be black and white in opposition of colorful, hedonistic and harmful main characters. I want a mood of a city to be close to “Sin City”. I decided that characters from Gorillaz would much main characters well, If I choose particular fragment of the videos. I know that using characters such well known as Gorillaz comes with the risk of just repeating something that already exists. On the other hand If I have my own story and I put them in new world I would like main characters them to be same consistently all the time for the viewer not to get  confused who is who. Osbert Parker while making “Yours Truly” have not used many characters, but created a new story for them.

First stage of project

Innovative Animation

Initial ideas…

I started with choosing the technique that I would like to take further and use in my individual project. I found the Osbert Parker technique allowing much creative freedom and being a good way to step out of comfort zone and experiment with mixing different elements. Having characters cut out from movies is a good occasion to put them in different environment and circumstances to create a new story.  Because this method includes using characters from actual movies I decided to make an intensive action animation. This was a moment to start thinking about my favorite movies and a mood that I would like my animation to be.

Meghana Bisineer week comments

Innovative Animation

This week we have seen works by Meghana Bisineer

She is mixing a variety of media including video, animation, installation, photography and print. I like the fact that she has very strong fine arts skills which makes her works artistic and distinctive from digital works that surrounds us mostly nowadays. Her works are not particularly narrative, they are rather metaphoric dialog with the surroundings and landscape with very strong mood and emotional atmosphere to them.

here is her showreel : https://vimeo.com/38974589

and some of her works :


We started with deciding If we would like to use a phonebook or make a timelapse. We choose a timelapse because we wanted to make advantage of having a projector. The idea for the animation was a timelapse of Wolverhampton city landscape. Firstly we looked for a short clip about Wolverhampton and downloaded it. We choose an interesting moment showing main square that we would like to animate and found out how to move frame by frame in VLC player. Than we placed a large brown paper sheet on the wall and projected a movie on all of the paper. To draw on a hight we were all standing on a desk. For rotoscoping the video we used black and white charcoal. We did not want to exacly copy the video, we wanted to make it more in a Fine Arts organic style like Meghana Bisineer. We drew the first frame and then made one photo with video projected and one without. For next frames we were moving video forward and taking advantage of the fact that it was shaky redrawing chosen elements and animating some movements of people and cars. On the end we made all the lines accumulate and everything turn into abstract piece. In postproduction we mixed the photos with projection with photos without it to make interesting transitions and turn in into timelapse. I am happy with the final result and I think its a very interesting technique and I like the fine arts element in it.

my part 

I had the idea for rotoscoping using projector and brown paper, chose and downloaded the clip and take an active part in drawing the frames.

Osbert Parker week comments

Innovative Animation

This week we talked about Osbert Parker http://www.osbertparker.com/ 

here is his showreel : https://vimeo.com/53235053

aai_0230img_6388_448_1 Osbert Parker Yours Truly

He has been experimenting much with animating short noir films. One of his works was nominated for BAFTA and Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

I particularly admire his creative freedom, how he steps out of the comfort zone creating his own techniques and  noir retro semi professional look of his works. It seems like he really enjoys what he is doing and does not try to compromise and be commercial, but inspite of it he was employed by big companies including Coca-Cola, MTV and NPowerdo  to do commercial work for them.




Firstly we agreed what character from movie and which fragment would we like to integrate into our animation. Then we downloaded it and captured few frames per second using vimeo. Then we choose the exact fragment we want to use and prepared the frames for printing in Photoshop. After printing we cut them out, putted numbers on back and folded to be easily standing. Next step was choosing environment. We looked around and try to imagine what from our surrounding would create a surrealisting engaging mood to animation. Our first choice was the manekin. For animating we moved to the corridor where we placed all of our assets. We made camera still with bluetag and placed our cutout in front of it to make it foreground. I think we archieved interesting mood and with a help of soundtrack we made a feel of urban atmosphere. I really enjoyed making this animation and I would definitely use this technique again. The mistake that we made was focus of the camera and next time I have to use a better camera and make sure focus is correct.

my part 

I downloaded the reference video, captured the frames and putted them together in Photoshop. Then I printed them. I also found some objects for background and animated them and putted everything together in AE.

Yuriy Norshteyn week comments

Innovative Animation

On a third week we talked about Russian animator Yuriy Norshteyn best known for his animated shorts Hedgehog in the Fog


and Tale of Tales (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFSc7aaj2JMwhich)


which was voted to be the best animated movie of all times. To my opinion the most impressive thing about his works is how he creates believable foggy environments very rich in details. I like his technique of painting on acetate on multiple layers and carefully moving them. I also enjoy watching the characters he creates which are very complex with their own personalities and motivations.

group work

We started with deciding what kind of environment we would like to animate and If we want to animate just nature or any character. Our first idea was pond with fisherman on a boat, but we thought that animating fishing rod and character could be too much technically challenging for our first try. We decided to focus on achieving atmospheric landscape. For this purpose we chose foggy mountains. We wanted to focus on creating the believable fog and illusion of depth. To archive it we made a CD’s stand for multiple layers of glass. Than on some acetate pieces we painted clouds with acrylic paint. We also painted mountains, layers of grass and trees. On bigger sheets of acetate we painted a see-through fog. We putted all the assets on layers placing fog between and in front of them to create illusion of depth and we use colored paper for the background. Then we animated layers simultaneously. We haven’t completely revealed the mountains and I think that we should reveal more of than but not completely to leave some mystery in atmosphere. For the soundtrack we used some sounds of nature. I think that fog we created was quite successful and that environment have some nice atmosphere to it. If I would be using this technique again I would try to animate also some characters and to make it more narrative.

my part 

I created fog layers, 1 layer of trees, 1 layer of grass, clouds and helped with animating.

Lotte Reiniger week comments

Innovative Animation

On a second week we talked about  German animator Lotte Reiniger.bfi-00n-zip tumblr_lyfk75NMvZ1r031rmo1_1280

She was also film director and a pioneer of silhouette animation.She made over 40 films over her career, all using her invention. Her most well known films are The Adventures of Prince Ahmed(1926) and The Magic Flute with a music by Mozart. Its impressive how she could use this technique to make to create full-length movies.lotte-reiniger-5

group work

We started our preparations by reading through the script and trying to find the most interesting fragment of the plot and deciding what technique we want to use. First day we designed the characters  : 2 versions of wolf and Peter, decided how many joints should they have and then cut them out from black paper. We connected joints with small bits of blue tag with respect to order of joints. We created also some additional animals and peasants and some accessories.  On the second day we met to create the environment. We cut out grass, trees and drew backgrounds on the tracing paper.  Then we placed the background for the first scene on back light and on top of it grass and environment elements. To make it still we covered it with glass and then we putted the things we wanted to animate. Then we placed the camera and started animating the scenes. We repeated the process for all the scenes. The technique turned out to be very comfortable to use. Creation of assets is time consuming but they can be reused and are easy to animate. If I would be using this technique again I would create a  stand from CD’s to use more layers and use a tracing paper on more layers to give it more illusion of depth. For the soundtrack we did some voice acting and used fragments of original Wolf and Peter soundtrack to make it more engaging.

my part 

I created peasants, sheep’s, some grass, animated peasants scene and helped with animating all other scenes. I also putted everything together in AE and added a soundtrack.

Blu week comments

Innovative Animation

The artist we talked about on first lesson was Italian artist Blu

He was creating his animations on the large scale of the murals reinterpreting them and integrating with his own imagination. He also tried to make it into a comment on a place and dialogue with a local society. He had to face weather conditions and other problems connected with working on a monumental scale outside which probably made a process very challenging.  I like the atmosphere of his work, the psychodelic look of transformations and how he uses the space. It looks like he was coming with ideas how to move his characters as he goes and see new obstacles and shapes of surfaces that his characters will have to go through. I admire also his hand drawing skills that I seen in his sketchbook http://blublu.org/sito/walls/2014/002.html

group work

Aim of first animation was to integrate in into environment and make it important aspect of the animation. We performed initial tests with the use of B1 white paper sheet and black and white paint. Idea for the animation was walking and transforming hand. While doing first test we made many mistakes. The paint was not drying which made future frames more and more gray. We were absolutely covering previous frames, so there was no consistency with the following ones, because we had no reference to follow. Also instead of moving object fast we got stuck at one square.

While doing actual animation we changed the medium to color chalks on black board(make a photo of black board) to avoid problems we had with paint. We initially wanted to animate in a city space on walls but it could be difficult to get permission. The technique gave us interesting results and I would like to use it again but next time we should use a better camera and work in the urban environment and try to integrate it more with my animation.

my part 

I came with the idea of animating hands on blackboard with chalk and done some animation, I putted things together in After Effects and made a soundtrack.