I finished my graduation film 'Moonbird' over a year ago now. I've not shared it in public before because of festival submissions. The film was selected in a few festivals and won the RTS West of England Student Award in Animation and Ideastap Graduates Award 2nd prize in Animation. About a month ago it was featured in a tv series showcasing work from local Bristol (UK) filmmakers, on a local Bristol tv channel. That episode is finally uploaded online now so I thought it was time to finally share it with the world outside festivals, studios and private messages. There's an interview with me first, if you don't find that interesting the film starts halfway ;)
Any feedback positive or negative or constructive criticism more than welcome! Working on stories for new projects at the moment and setting up my own, attic workshop. funny enough ;)
I've combined live action (Me :P ) stop motion, miniature set (different much smaller scale than the bird armature), and compositing and effects in After Effects.
I thought you were in an actual attic for a while, the same one you are setting up for your studio now perhaps. Then later I got a feeling it was a miniature set at least some of the time, but the compositing of both you and the bird was perfect.
At the end, I didn't understand about the rolled-up paper the bird brought back. You looked at it, but the audience didn't get to see it. I had to watch it again to see that one of the plans had blown out the window at the start. It was there, but I didn't know that it was important at the time.
The animation was really wonderful. I was impressed by how alive and responsive the bird was, there was real interaction between the two of you in a couple of shots! It also folded its wings up as smoothly and completely as a real bird, something my raven puppet doesn't do nearly as well.
Thank you so much for sharing that!
Thank you very much Nick!
I've heard that a few times about the set, glad to hear the compositing worked well! The set is actually a pretty small scale.
Thanks for pointing out about the rolled-up paper. It's something I added quite late (I had already shot most animation) when still editing some story elements. I wasn't happy with the ending at that point still and someone suggested that because the bird was getting feathers from its maker, he could also bring something back to do something back for his creator. So I added the beginning shot where the paper flies away in the wind and the shots where the bird brings it back. It's more a little touch to the story, but I can see that it gets maybe not enough emphasis in the beginning and/or maybe too much attention in the end. But I like the suggestion of adding a shot where you see the drawing. It sounds obvious now you say it, but I suppose it was too obvious for me as the story writer what it was at the time. Story writing is definitely the hardest thing to get right! Struggling with new story ideas now so all story feedback is good to take to next projects.
I built a rig for the bird, and because I knew he would be flying/jumping/etc a lot I didn't build his legs necessarily strong enough to support his weight. He was always attached to a rig (which could go sideways and up and down). That was a nightmare for rig removal (especially also because the bird wasn't a rigid shape, lots of rig bits unavoidable in between metal parts of the bird's wings.) but it was lovely for animating: especially when the bird was walking, he was attached both with tie downs and the rig at the top. That gave a great control during animating. The armature was a great learning process, these wings are the 3rd version ;) and I've learned a lot about bird anatomy. ;)
This is super cool. Congratuations on all the attention! Left a more in depth comment on the video itself.
Great work. loved seeing the bird armature in action. It's sometimes a shame when the armature gets coved by puppet skin cause they look so cool. Its great when animation can be about animation…i liked the foot falling off…we all know that happens with puppets.
How long did you spend animating and are you planning to make more stop motion films?
Thanks! Actually the first time I animated the bird his foot did come off :P and I had to repair it.
The actual animating took 5 weeks. The whole film together longer of course. 6-7 months. And building the bird another 4 months... but it was my first time figuring out ball and socket armature making.
I am planning to make more stop motion films definitely. On my website there are two other short films I made in collaboration with others: http://stopmoroos.wix.com/roos-mattaar#!page3/cee5
(if the link doesn't work directly, it's on the animation page 'Fowl Play' and Verglas'.)
I am working on new stories at the moment and making an attic into a workshop (no not this one, this one is a tiny miniature set, but I am renting a real attic now and using it as a workshop). I have many half stories at the moment, but they keep all growing too big and ambitious for now... I need to get the plot of at least one of them right before I can get on with it....
Very nice animation. You really got the anatomy and movement down nicely. I would say that there was a bit of a disconnect when the foot fell off. I understand it as an animator, but there wasn't quite a big enough motivation for something that dramatic. Nice film Roos and thanks for sharing!
And thanks for the feedback, very much appreciated. That's the first time someone has pointed that out, interesting point. Yes the idea is in a way that he isn't finished yet and that's why he ends up falling apart. But I agree it doesn't come across entirely and isn't all completely logical. But a clearer specific reason/motivation for breaking down would probably have worked better, hmm... thanks!