Animation Project: Blender Still Life

As I’d had some trouble with assigning materials properly in Blender I decided to make a still life scene in order to understand how the work in this program better. As it is currently spring I decided to make a scene based around the Japanese past time of flower viewing, where people have picnics under the cherry blossom trees.



I started off by modelling a sake set and adding a cube underneath to represent a table. I mixed some shaders together (glossy and diffuse) in order to create a shiny ceramic material.


Next I added lighting to the scene and a room so the scene was not set in space. I like the effect of having world lighting coming through a window in an interior scene and then having a yellower light from the inside of the room as I think it makes the scene look very realistic, and I will definately keep this in mind for the future.


Next in a new scene I started to model a cherry blossom tree branch. The flowers were quite hard to do as they are very intricate and require several small parts. Extra texture was added to the petal to make them more realistic by adding displacement to them. The material was also quite complicated to complete, as the petals needed to be semi transparent and translucent in order to appear realistic.


I added some of the flowers and some petals to the mid ground of the scene in order to spread the pink colour throughout the frame and to make the central composition more interesting.


Next was to model the branch. Here I should have used python scripting to do this as manually placing them was starting to overload my cpu and blender was starting to become very laggy, meaning some flowers were placed just off the branch or overlapping another flower. In  the future I am going to invest in a better computer set up with a dedicated graphics card and high processing power in order for this not to happen.

scene9 scene10

Next was to add the branch to the foreground of the scene and to position the camera correctly. Here my laptop became incredibly difficult to use due to the high number of polygons and placement or the branch became very challenging.


Here is the final render. I am very pleased with the result although the placement of the of the objects could use a little tweaking. I will try working on this file on a computer with a better set up in order to do this. I would also like to add some liquid flowing from the upended sake cup and increase the samples of the image to make it higher quality but for a first start I would say this is pretty good. I have learnt a lot about materials and modelling in blender through doing this and so this should help me further my other work in this project.



Animation Project: Keyboard Website with Sound

As we had the first version of the website working Luke Monet and I continued developing the idea in order to add sound to the interactive keyboard. Luke had the idea of adding sound to the website, which would be a notes to each of the letters with a pitch that corresponds to the notes in the Alphabet Song ( a song that is commonly used when teaching children the alpahbet.) At first I was apprehensive about the idea as the order of the notes would generally be quite mixed up, users of the site are not likely to press the keyboard keys in an alphabetic sequence, and thus the song would not be recognised, but I was willing to experiment to see how this worked.


As a function had been written already for the keyboard function, adding sound was relatively simple to do. After Luke had recorded the notes for each letter, I added the corresponding audio file to each of the different letter divs and preloaded them so they would load when the page is loaded and not when the div becomes visible.


Next I put all the audio ids into an array.


Now it was just the simple task of adding a play function to the existing code (using the j integer used previously to referance the id’s position in the array), before the Timeout.

Here is a link to the updated website:

Overall I think the audio adds more value to the website and makes the experience far more interesting to the viewer than without sound. My apprehensions about the song not being clear were unfounded as during testing we found it easy to pick up that the notes of the letters are linked to the song. This probably worked so well because the song is so well known and ingrained into our culture and has such a limited range in tone that it is instantly recognisible.

To continue this project we decided to look at some other sites for research. One that particularly caught our eye was Patatap a collaboration between Jono Brandel and the band Lullatone. Here’s a link to the site:

Like our site, this site uses keyboard inputs to play sound and animate visuals on screen. One of the things I thought was very effective about this site is the way that different effects stack on top of one another, so the effects and melodies mix together. I can tell that this would be quite challenging to recreate code-wise but I will look into learning how this was achieved as it is a new area of web design. which I believe has a lot of potential.

Brandel, J., 2014. Patatap [online], Avalable from : [Accessed 26.3.2014]

3 Sided Cube Android Development Course: Week 3

This week we added more features to the list we created last week in order to make a scrollable and selectable newsfeed timeline.


In the Main Activity we addded some listeners that display the position of the item and the duration of the click when an item in the array of stories is clicked.


The story activity has been set up to contain information such as the title and summary.


We also had a go at modifying the story view to get different effects on parts of the story. The header here is in blue and the summary is in red.

Animation Project: Scribble Videos Testing

Following on from my “Bete Noir” project I decided instead to draw out me drawing a scribble, however this again did not work out very well. Next time I do a project like this I should definitely work with someone else to help set up the cameras whilst I do the action or vice versa as the camera work was extremely difficult filming it one handed with my phone. Again the use of more equipment, such as tripods, would make this easier too.

Another thing I filmed was a video in preparation for the camera tracking experimentation I want to carry out. Hopefully I will be able to model a 3d “scribble ball” and make it look like I was cupping it in my hand. Learning how to track movement on the camera is essential to make this work as otherwise the illusion of the ball sitting on my hand will not work.

This video could also be used for animating on top of. Ideally I would like to animate my scribble foxn character over this and running up my arm. Hopefully it will work well as a short test but I may have to extract the frames as images and slow them all down in the final film as at the moment it is too short for any real animation to be done.

3 Sided Cube: Android Development Course- Week 2

This week we learned how to make a list view to display a scrollable list of items and create layouts. We also learned about keyboard shortcuts to quicken our workflow methods. CTRL + SPACE gives suggestions on the variable you are typing and documentation for that selection. ALT + ENTER is a quick fix shortcut that can do things like importing missing classes. CTRL + ENTER opens the Generate menu which allows you to override methods or generate getters and setters. CTRL + P shows what parameters a method takes.

Layouts use xml to arrange views on screen, it is very similar to html. App development uses dp (density pixels) for measurement as it scales between different devices.

To display a list we used an array adapter and then added some parameters to this in order to be able to get information from and manipulate the list items later.

Animation Project: Scribble Animation Storyboard and Tests

To help come up with some ideas and to test out my animation techniques I devised some storyboards which helped me plan what more to do.



These are very quick and rough, but they have a basic narrative. I scribble on a piece of paper then the scribble then becomes “alive”. It runs across the desk and up my hand, then I flick it away. I like this idea because it fits my theme for a “bête noire” and the concept is quite short and simple. It also means I have a reason to play around with overlaying 3D motion capture onto film. I don’t think the basics of it should be hard to do, modelling a scribble should be quite easy, but making sure the camera is mapped properly might be quite hard.

scribble test

Here’s some tests of different scribble designs I did. Although it seems quite pointless, you can really get a different sense of emotion from the different strokes and volumes of the scribbles.

scribble gif

I decided to test out animating the scribble using stop motion and drawing it on different  layers of paper then hiding them. I think it has worked really well, and the scribble really looks like it is alive. Although one thing I would change is I would use a tripod next time. As I took these pictures on my phone the camera is quite shaky and this does hinder the illusion quite a bit.

hand gif

Another thing I tried out is drawing whilst taking  pictures in order to speed up the process and have shots of my hand. However I soon realised that taking pictures one handed is not a smart idea and I failed to get much out of this test.

fox walk fox run fox run fox walk 4

As the scribble test was quite sucessful, I tried out some walk and run cycles using the scribble fox design. Hopefully this should work really well using these techniques I have just tested and I could use Flash or Photoshop to digitally over the drawn fox onto my hand.

The next thing to try is getting some videos of my hand and me drawing as I think this would be easier to do than if I were to do it using stop motion.  I would also like to try creating a 3D scribble and animating it on my hand. I would love to also animate a 3d scribble fox but I realise that I probably won’t have time to do that within the scope of this project.