For quite a few years I have planned on making this animated advent calendar to countdown to Christmas. But for the past few years I have had too much on to be able to do it justice. However this year I finally decided to take on this challenge, and boy was it one! Last week I went through the Stop Motion elements of the Making, this week is Pixilation.
‘Ribbons + Christmas Pudding’
Door Two: was captured back at Christmas in 2016 as I knew I planned to make this Animated Advent Calendar one day and would want these very much only on Christmas Day elements such as the setting alight of the Christmas Pudding to be part of it. I therefore set the ISO high and the Shutter Speed kept open a little longer to take in as much light as possible on my Nikon D3100. I then took a burst of photographs by holding down the capture button and it caught these great almost ghostly images of the Pudding being set alight. If I were to do the process again I would have set the camera on a tripod and cleaned up the framing to give it a much more professional looking image. But I tried to clean up the frames themselves in the edit afterwards on Adobe Premiere Pro, cropping the image and sharpening it. [Music: Beth by VYEN from YouTube Audio Library]
‘Eggnog + Champagne’
Door Six, originally was thought up in the idea stage as this Eggnog and Champagne concept, however I ended up scrapping eggnog as I don’t know much about it and wanted to express something even more associated with celebrations: champagne toasts! is another film I captured previously, the same year as the pudding piece, this time capturing individual images as I had my figures move their positions slowly to re-produce the action of clinking the glasses together in a toast. I captured several versions and then during the editing process tried to create the best looking short for this animation from the images captured with my Nikon. [Music: Borderless by Aakash Gandhi from YouTube Audio Library]
Door Thirteen was a rather experimental piece, using film, images and time lapses captured over Fireworks Night with my Panasonic TZ100 of the local fireworks display. I love trying to capture images and films of fireworks as you never know what you are going to get and just how good the images are going to turn out, in this case it was a rather large group of effective images that I managed to get which I am glad for.
I then wanted to get together as many of the different ‘best of’ bits of those to create the final animation. And so I used Premiere Pro layers to splice together the films and time lapses [these were created using the amazing feature just for this on my camera which allows you to set how often it photographs and how many frames to take, all turning it into a video there and then on the camera if you so choose] I then added some photographs over the top, having them burst on the screen like they are exploding. Overall I think this animation is exciting and makes you think about the memorable displays you may have seen in your own life which I really like. [Music: Wonder by VYEN from YouTube Audio Library]
‘Baubles + Holly’
Door Sixteen: I wanted to create something really interesting and full or charm and so thought this film, inspired by the baubles and holly original concept idea was going to effectively show this. As you can see however I decided to cut the Holly part out of the final animation but I took the baubles idea one step further and decided to show parts of the house being magically decorated themselves with the use of pixilation. I had three separate parts that I wanted to show getting decorated in our dining room and I knew I wanted to use these beautiful little collection of baubles we have to decorate in bright vibrant colours. If I were to do this part again however I would try and tape or stick down elements in the shot that I didn’t want to move to create a much more precise animation that I had planned. [Music: Lonesome Star by Unicorn Heads from YouTube Audio Library]
‘Cards + Post’
Door Twenty, this is the final Pixilation film in this series, created once again using the wonderful time lapse feature on my Panasonic camera I slowly acted out the parts I wanted captured, having the camera take a photo every 10 seconds when writing out the card part. It creates this more magical feeling to it that you would want with an animation about Christmas than I believe it would with a simple film shot of the same images. It also creates a much more tidy image as each one is precise, especially with the parts when walking up the road to put the card in the post box, this would be difficult to do smoothly when filming handheld without the more professional rigs. [Music: O Come All Ye Faithful Instrumental by Jingle Punks from YouTube Audio Library]
There you have it then, the second section of ‘Making Of’ elements for my Animated Advent Calendar. Pixilation has been a really useful technique to use throughout this project as it is much quicker in ways to produce than many others as you are using objects that already exist in the world to capture the animation, cutting out a whole previous step of pre-production designing and crafting parts for it. Come back next week to learn all about the Hand Drawn Elements of Animated Advent Calendar!