Friday, 29 April 2011

In response to Phil's comment

Phil commented on my previous post and thought that the way that act 1 worked didn't fit in with the rest of the other acts. Fortunately I agree with his comment and I have to - and I quote - "make the microscope feel like 'hardware' - shiny and imposing - like something 'cool'". With this in mind, I thought I should removed the "coming alive" of the microscope and focus on going down the lens. I thought it could be cool to show the inside components of the microscopes, for example like the two following videos:

The Lionsgate Intro

Celine Dion's I'm Alive - Skip to 25 seconds

These videos show the inside world of the mechanism, it could be very interesting to do something like this and I would link well with the rest of the cinematic feel of my piece. However I won't be doing something this extensive, but I could possibly zoom through the glass lenses showing some screws or turning components on the way down.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

The Logo with sounds

1st Draft to the 2nd Draft storyboard

1st Draft

This here was my first drawft storyboard, it shows the opening onf the animation to be a microscope that comes to attention when the audience first sees it. That microscope jumps up and faces the camera and the camera trazels down the lens to see the blood on the glass plate at the bottom. I like the idea of this scene because it shows a clear understanding of the microscopic world inside the blood. it automatically shows where the animation is heading.
The second and third scene shows the attack of the HIV inside the blood. They start with the blood stream flowing and then introducing the HIV cell. I imagined having the introduction of the HIV cell as really dramatic, so I wanted the camera to flow close and over the cell. From here on the storyline lacks a lot, which is where a re-draft comes into play.

Between the 1st and 2nd draft

Between doing the 1st draft a while ago and doing the 2nd draft rather recently, there has been a lot of development that has helped improve my storyline.

I spent awhile thinking about how I could improve my act 2: HIV attacking the cell. What I wanted was a way that the HIV looked highly dramatic, deadly and not a boring A to B situation. Through the beginning of the Easter holidays, I took a little break and watched a couple of films. One of those films happened to be Independence day, normally this is one of my favourite films but this time I was captivated by the flight scene near the beginning and the end. I loeved the attack of alien against the human race, which instantly brought me back to my animation. Effectively the HIV virus is an alien attack on the Human race, so why not have a war simulation.

Unfortunatly I couldn't find the scene I wanted on Youtube but fortunatly the scene is in this trailer, so behold the beauty that is INDEPENDENCE DAY

Now I couldn't stop at this film, I had look further into the movement of planes, after looking into my memory and researching into youtube and my DVD collection I looked at some others.

Pearl Harbour





Star Wars

If anyone can think of any others that may help me then please comment, it will help me widen the range of my research.

What I learnt from these films and action films in general, is that camera movements and shots are key to the fast, dramatic look of the scenes. Some cameras show POV shots, forward shots, following shots, behind shots, zooming in and out shots. With a combination of these, I could make an awesome look to this act 2.

Extra research to visualise act 3

I came across this video created by Dr Rufus, and so far it is the best educational video on the subject I seen. It is clear and descriptive, and has a step by step visual process of HIV infection. If anyone is still stuck on visaulising the process, then give this a look.

2nd Draft

 As you can see from the 2nd Draft is that I basically kept the first act the same but act 2 and 3 have improved dramatically. In act two alone I have imported flight movements, formation and advanced zooms. Act 3 has been improved by Dr Rufus' video descriptions to how HIV attacks. I'm really impressed with the improvements to my storyline, I feel that the way I've got from A to B and the descriptions have made my piece unique.

What the frames show

Act 1

Frame 1: Open on a sad or lifeless looking microscope
Frame 2: Realise the audience
Frame 3: Jump up
Frame 4: Face the Camera
Frame 5: Travel down the lens, Fade out
Frame 6: Zoom to Blood sample

Act 2

Frame 1: Open on the blood flowing right to left
Frame 2: Camera moves into the flow
Frame 3: Incomes the HIV cell
Frame 4: HIV comes clearer into view
Frame 5: HIV front view in formation
Frame 6: HIV locates white blood cell - Heads up display in the style found in Ironman
Frame 7: White blood cell located
Frame 8: HIV roll out
Frame 9: Movement of HIV
Frame 10: Maneuver around red blood cells - HIV cells in the background as well
Frame 11: Focus on one HIV cell
Frame 12: Last maneuver over a red blood cell
Frame 13: HIV and White blood cell face to face
Frame 14: Show size comparison
Frame 15: Close to attachment

Act 3

Frame 1: White blood cell and HIV
Frame 2: Lower the HIV cell - show names of components
Frame 3: Landed/Attached
Frame 4: Transmembrane GP41 unfolds
Frame 5: Membrane fuse
Frame 6: Nucleocapsid enters the host cell
Frame 7 Nucleocapsid opens -show names of components
Frame 8: Release the RNA strands and enzymes
Frame 9: Reverse Transcriptase
Frame 10: RNA enters Polymerase turning in RNA-DNA
Frame 11: RNA-DNA enters Ribonuclease-H active site and breaks it down
Frame 12: RNA re-enters Polymerase and the DNA double-Helix is completed
Frame 13: DNA enters the nucleus
Frame 14: Viral DNA connects to the cells DNA
Frame 15: RNA has started to be copied
Frame 16: Viral RNA is copied and leaves the Nucleus
Frame 17: mRNA enters the Ribosomes. Proteins are created
Frame 18: Proteins enter the Viral Protease and produce smaller core Proteins
Frame 19: Two Viral RNA strands and the essential enzymes come together and are surrounded by Core Proteins to create a capsid
Frame 20: Capsid leaves the cell
Frame 21: Creating a Immature HIV cell
Frame 22: HIV cell matures
Frame 23: Process has repeated an more Immature HIV cells leave the damaged White blood cell
Frame 24: Overview of the activity in the blood stream, HIV being produced all over the place.


My Animatic has sown me how long each act will take, and I was always worried that the third act( the important one) wouldn't have enough time. Fortunatly the final act has the chance to have over 1 minute 20 second which is plenty of time to show the educational side of the Infection.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Title Screen

Via a combination of two tutorials on, I created a wave of energy that flows behind my title. This has created a professional look and its a great start to my animation. There was a lot of queeking that needed to be done, for example the wave needed to last a fraction longer and fade on a bit slower. It was fun and educational to do this tutorial, I now know a little bit extra on how to use after effects and I was totally unaware at how many effects are available. I think the final outcome of the title is awesome, however there is room for improvement and I hope to improve it with the things I learn in other videos. I want to add my 'Bringing Ideas To Life' slogan onto the title, but at the same time I don't want the duration to be too long.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

After Effects Tutorial - 1st lesson

Yesterday was my first After Effects tutorial of the unit, I went into this tutorial with some limited previous experience via last years foundation. I learnt a lot from the lesson, a lot of my focus was on what the different effects there was and where to find them. Throughout the lesson I created two videos, mainly because the first one was a muck about, but through both videos, I learnt a lot.

My First Video - Rocky and the Giraffe

My Second Video - The Fighter Jet

The techniques i've used in this video, I will then use for my animation and logo.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Digital Paintings


Bloodstream with HIV infection

Idea for the beginning

The Microscope

I was thinking of a way to make my animation unique and also give a clear idea right at the beginning that what is seen is a magnified cell infection. I've been constantly imagining the animation starting with the model of the microscope, the camera then move foward and goes down the lens of this microscope to then see the liquid on the stage plate glass on the stage, also zooming in a bit closer and then a fade out. Then there could be a Fade in deep inside the solution, which is where the rest of the animation takes place, with the animal cell being attacked by the HIV. This could be a great way to start the animation, its clear and to the point and on a learning point of view, modelling the microscope would be a task that I would like to achieve. 

Chosen Theme

I've finally chosen to do the 'Infection of HIV', the process of the infection is the one that standout the most for me. I'm already having multiple ideas for this theme, I plan to develop those ideas into a solid way forward. At the moment my main focus is obtaining the correct information, to make my animation as correct as possible. Once I have this information I plan to dissect the right amount to present to my audience. As of the moment I haven't given much thought on what audience I'm going to choose but I like the idea of going for a more younger region of age groups. The way I can make sure I keep it to this age group, is by keeping the animation mostly visual with little bullet-point facts as the animation progresses. Also the sound effects would have to be quite subtle and not loud, 'scary/jumpy', sounds. The visuals will have to stay relatively colourful; dark colours might not be sutable for the age group.  



This following blog, (, has information about the treatment possibilities for HIV, I'm aware that this subject moves away from theme one but there is an animation on this site that I found quite inspiring. It's given me a few ideas on how I can do my animation.

How does the HIV infection work?

The HIV cells take over the cells in out immune system, these cells are call CD4 cells or T4 cells. The CD4 cell's funtion is to scout the area for virus that have entered the body and when its found one, it sends out signals to the rest of the body. When a HIV cell has attached itself to the CD4 cell, the Hiv starts to take over and the functions of the CD4 cell can not work. The HIV digs into the CD4 cell and starts to control that cell. The virus makes the immune system cell make new HIV cells. These new cells are then released into the blood stream at 10,000 cells a minute. These new HIV cells look for new CD4 cells to continue the invasion.

Information recieved from


I had a little bird,

Its name was Enza.

I opened the window,

And in-flew-enza.

—Children's Rhyme, 1918

What's the difference between the Influenza virus and a common cold? This following blog gives some answers...

Research - books I'm interested in for research into cells and their activities

Molecular and Cell Biology For Dummies

AIDS in the Modern World (How it works)

"The book has a simple approache to the topic and enables students to focus on the main points of HIV disease and its impact on society." --David Kelly, George Mason University

Medical Management of HIV Infection

Rapid Reference to Influenza

Antibodies, Antigens, and Molecular Mimicry, Volume 178: Volume 178: Antibodies, Antigens and Molecular Mimicry (Methods in Enzymology)

"Incomparably useful."


- All books found on Amazon -

Maya - Piston

Maya Walk Cycle Mechanics

Side View

Front View

Biped Rigging Part 3: Arms

Monday, 11 April 2011

Unit 6 - First Thoughts

Today's briefing was highly educational, and already I'm looking forward to what I can get out of this unit. the base has been set and I wish to build on it as much as possible. As of the moment I'm not sure on what I'm going to choose for the unit but I plan to do a lot of research into the possibilities as quick as I can. This way the quicker I choose, the quicker I can progress.
What I want to get out of this unit is higher level of the skills I already have, I want to work on the skills that have let me down in the past and I also want to learn all that I can that I haven't already. I'm looking forward to the prospect of pitching my work, I like the idea of maturing our work for future presentations.

Biped rigging Part 2: Spine