Sports Project: Lighting within CG software

It was my intentions to use harsh shadows and lighting to make the subjects stand out. I wanted to capture the feeling of the sports balls being in the spotlight for the first scenes. In order to create this effect I needed to look at different lighting setups. I found many lighting setup diagrams which were specific to photography, I found these very helpful. I found that a curved backdrop can be very effective and allow for a smoother background.

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Examples of lighting setup within my own work

Below is the lighting setup which i used within my animation. I used a diffused light angled at 45 degrees, to evenly light the subject, along with 3 spotlights lighting each ball to make them appear in a harsh down lighting.


This is a wider angle of all the models and scenery with the curved backdrop placed behind.



Sports Project: Storyboard and main concept

The brief for this project specifically stated that the main animation had to be between 5-10 seconds long. This short time frame meant that I had to use quick cuts to capture as much information as I could. In regards to sport ans physical activity I decided that the animation had to include lots of movement and action. I planed to use lots of camera movement and action music to have a greater impact on the target audience.

Although this animation could be seen as too short to have a narrative, i think that some sort of narrative must be shown to give the animation meaning and structure. For this I began to think about the relationship between the CardiffMet sport channel and its viewers. I created a rough storyboard based on the ideas that i had for each scene. The scenes below show different sporting equipment one after another in studio lighting, they  then all come together and stop around the main subject which would be a television. The main idea of this was to characterise these basketball, rugby ball and tennis ball and have them represent how viewers from different sporting backgrounds come together and tune into the channel.


Sports Project: Responding to feedback

After sending off some basic rendered images of the animation I received some feedback from the school of sport.

I sent a selection of basic images along with some text explaining the animation. Here are the images below.

 Scene 1 Scene 2 Scene 3Scene 4

The feedback from this stated that the idea was very good however they wanted to see more of what the animation entails. I found that the narrative within this was unclear and didn’t have a relative meaning. I knew that I had to find an angle to approach this in a way that could tell a short story in a short amount of time(5-10 seconds). I then came up with the idea of creating a quick narrative of all these sporting equipment being kind of characters, which then gather around a television to watch the show. This simple narrative would communicate to the viewer that they are going to be tuning into CardiffMet sport TV, as well as watching something to do with sport.

From this feedback I can now begin to think about how I could maybe characterise these CG models of sporting equipment in a way that shows their relation to the CG television in the centre.

Animated Documentary Reflective Writing

For the summative assessment the brief was to plan and create a short film in the form of an Animated Documentary. To begin this project I first gathered information, collected photographs and video recordings. This provided me with a good starting point to explore a place that has some form of importance to me, in this case I chose Cyfarthfa Park in my home town of Merthyr Tydfil. Through the course of this project I also came across articles and papers that explore the animated documentary genre itself.

At first I found this brief quite challenging because it stated that the film had to be a documentary. Documentary implies that I had to document something or show some kind of reality or truth about something. I knew what I wanted to say about my chosen place but it was difficult to find what angle in which I wanted to my film to be told through. My initial idea was to create a documentary through my memories of being at school in the castle but after speaking to my mother about the castle when gathering information I found that her stories and experiences of the castle were much more interesting. Although this proved quite challenging I found that through research and making a start I was able to find the perfect angle in which I wanted to create my documentary. From this, I am able to say that in the future I will start producing work relevant to my project and then from these new ideas will arise.

For me, the most meaningful aspect of this was learning that animation can be used as a tool in documentary film making to have greater impact on the viewer. This meant that within my own film I could break away from the usual documentary style and incorporate animation in an interesting way. I learnt this through reading papers such as ‘Against Animated Documentary’ from Annabelle Honess Roe. I was then able to take what I had learnt from this paper and integrate this into my film.

I believe that through the course of this project I have significantly improved my skills when using industry standard computer programmes to animate my work. The brief specifically stated that a range of animation techniques were to be used, this pushed me to use new techniques that are not usually my strongest. When producing work I feel that my knowledge of animation and video editing software has greatly improved, specifically Adobe After Effects. I learnt sophisticated techniques such as motion tracking which turned out to be very effecting in my film. As a next, I need to keep making work using these programmes to become more confident as well as developing my skills.


Things that didn’t go to plan

When experimenting with different materials I started to use cement and concrete. My intention was to make a series of concrete blocks which vary in size. I planned to use these blocks in my final piece, however I found that casting concrete blocks wouldn’t work because they would be too heavy for the work.

I then started using blocks of polystyrene which I covered with cement to make the blocks appear as if they were cast in concrete or made of cement.

After doing this the outcome didn’t turn out as I had expected, the blocks started to crack and fall apart. I came t the conclusion that either the cement was mixed incorrectly or that it was layed on to thin.

I thin repeated the process with thicker layers of cement. This also failed because large chunks would break off and the blocks became out with rounded edged.

I tried mixing the cement differently and found that it worked better if the cement had more water mixed with it. I also found that to prevent the blocks from cracking, the cement had to be applied in an even layer. I used smaller pieces of polystyrene to see which would turn out the best. These pieces were made with wetter cement which resulted in a smooth finish.

When making artwork things commonly don’t go to plan. I believe this is part of the learning process and although the work might not come out as I expect it to, I may like the outcome that was achieved accidentally.

Indoor Suns and my Final Piece

During the start of the year I took part in the Indoor Suns material project. This project was all about using technology to create artwork. The main aim for the project was to explore different ways of using technology within artwork to create one big installation at the end of the project.

I began by making a programmable LED light circuit which included: wire cutting, soldering and programming.

The next step was to film two natural and two man made light sources using my smartphone camera. This footage then was taking into the editing suite where I experimented with different effects to make make one short video.

Finally, as a group we created a small installation in the dark space which each of our edited videos would be projected onto.

The most enjoyable part of this for me was the video editing because I liked playing around with the different effects to convey different emotions in the video. Therefore I decided to take this further and use this technique within my work.

My Second final piece for the subject module is a short video piece which depicts soft orb of light placed in untouched landscapes. I have used video effects such as the mirror effect to distort the footage. This distortion conveys a dreamlike environment which relates to my project of dreams.


When filming the footage I used a DSLR to achieve the best quality. I used a variety of shots to create a sense of movement and drifting through the environment similar to how you would in a dream.

I edited the footage using premiere pro where the video effects, transitions and colour grades were added. Here is some screenshots of the editing timeline and some of the effects I used.

The timeline of the footage with the effects before rendering
The distorted mirror effect i used throughout the video



Concretopia and My Final Piece

During the start of the year I took part in the Concretopia material project which was very interesting. The main aim of this project was to look at the built environment around us.

During the project I was introduced to the term ‘Brutalist architecture’-which was a style of architecture that included ruggedly designed brickwork and exposed concrete. Here is some of the brutalist architecture I looked at.

William Mitchell-Leon House
William Mitchell-Wall Mural
Victor Pasmore-Apollo Pavillion 1969
Spomenik (Podgaric, Croatia) , 2006

I began by taking unique photographs of architecture around the city which would later be made into screen prints and small sculptures. while paying close attention to angles, depth, levels and marks. When taking these photographs the focus was to think about the term ‘Phsychogeography’-which is the study of what is going on in sight, and how it affects you.

In regards to my final piece, rather than using the screen printing process as a skill to make the piece I decided to evolve the idea behind the project to influence my work. I thought the idea of Phsychogeography would be interesting to look at based on how  we create environments within dreams.

My final piece is a sculpture of a dreamlike environment which was inspired by the brutalist architecture approach. I have included exposed concrete blocks which are places amongst the landscape-this I thought would depict a dreamlike environment where the landscape is surreal and unusual. I wanted to explore how this surreal landscape would be created within a dream based on memories of architecture from reality.