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  • Writer's pictureSilvana

Progress Update

I did some experiments trying to live capture ink flow under camera to be used both for my final year film an a music video I am working on. My goal is to extend my library of different textures which I am able to apply to different projects in the future.

Mike was really helpful with this experiment, and he set up the really good camera for me so that I could capture 4k material an also have the live view in Dragonframe at the same time. I was further able to tilt the drawing board and camera to different angles to record the ink flowing down the paper.

Here I recorded simple ink drops, shot on a flat, wet watercolour paper. In Adobe Premiere I cut out the parts which had my hands in it when I manipulated the ink or added more of it. I also used Premiere to manipulate time.

This is what it looked like when I tilted the drawing board. I really love this ink flow.

I had a lot of fun experimenting with it in After Effects for the music video. The 'overlay' layer mode made it possible not to lose too much of the lovely details, as is the case when keying (although 'extracting' works quite nicely too - as can be seen on the moon in the test scene in the previous post).

This is a scene from the music video, where in the end I have included one of the ink flows I captured. I think it works quite nicely together with the character, although I noticed that the 'overlay' mode added a bit of shade to the overall composition. I further think it would be good to randomise frames of the background sequence. I added an adjustment layer on which I 'posterized time' so that everything is playing at the same frame rate, especially since the ink flow is quite a smooth motion compared to the other animated parts.


I have also been doing a bit more research and thinking more about my influences. The biggest influences (on most of my work) are definitely Miyazaki and Michael Dudok de Wit. But I have also been re-watching a few animated cartoons from my childhood and I found the designs, the animation and the sweet storytelling really inspiring. Although they are all dialogue heavy and targeted at kids there are a few elements I will definitely take into account when working on my film.

One of them is 'Pettson and Findus' a Swedish-German co-production. I love the simple and yet detailed animation in it as well as the backgrounds.

Another one is the German-Japanese co-production 'Wickie und die starken Männer' from the 80s. The animation is so simple and yet so effective. It might be a little bit of nostalgia but I do love the retro look.

This next one is not from my childhood, but an animation I spotted on Vimeo this summer. 'Genius Loci', produced by Kazak Productions in Paris and Folimage in Valence, France. 2020 and directed by Adrien Merigeau and Brecht Evens. Watching this has blown my mind and I love everything about it. The soundtrack, which is more a symphony of random noises than music adds so much charme and is something I can imagine for my film (especially the busy city scenes) as well. The visuals are amazing, I need to ask Mike how he thinks they did those stunning watercolour compositions. I further admire the unconventional storytelling which captures a feeling so well.

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