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48 Hour Animation Jam

March 16, 2015 Leave a comment

This past weekend was spent at the 48 Hour Animation Jam in Glasgow, #theAniJam with a team of my students. Organised by animation company Smudge Digital, the event was held at the Citizen M hotel in Renfrew Street.

On Friday we drew a theme from a hat and ended up with ‘cheese’. We were also given a ‘clock’ as an object we needed to include in the film. We also saw the other 11 teams and heard which themes they’d drawn, which included ‘rock’, ‘air’ and ‘trip’.

Back in our room we took advantage of the wall-sized whiteboard to produce a mindmap and brainstorm ideas. We finally settled on the idea of ‘Say Cheese’ – the phrase associated with taking photographs. After throwing this idea around for a while we decided on creating a story about a family who try to take family portrait photographs, but fail each time. Set over the space of several years, the story shows the family growing up and ageing in each photograph, and each time something occurs that prevents the photograph from working. Our final film can be seen on Youtube. Please press the Thumbs Up icon to ‘like’ our film, Say Cheese!

cheesepic

By the Saturday and Sunday there was quite a sense of cameraderie in the hotel as each team worked on their animations. Teams happily wandered around, seeing what others were working on, chatting and sharing a beer or coffee.

By Sunday afternoon the pace was fierce, especially for the 3D animators who had found the deadline a serious challenge.

The 7pm deadline came round very quickly, but my team had most of the work complete well in advance, with some extra time at the end to create an animated credits scene. At 9pm we gathered at the Centre for Contemporary Arts to view all of the films, which were being shown at the awards ceremony of the Glasgow Short Film Festival. The screening had its share of laughs – sometime at the antics of the on-screen characters and sometimes at the poor quality animations. There was also some tears – sometimes from laughter, but also from those that had failed to complete their animations in time.

So now we look forward to the results of the judging on Monday 23rd of March.

The technical stuff:

The animation was created using mostly Adobe Photoshop, Flash and Premiere Pro. Most of the graphics were produced in Photoshop, with a few being created in Flash and Illustrator. The animation was assembled in Flash and exported as swf files. These files were then converted into mp4 format using Swivel. Sounds and music were created in Garage Band. Finally, the film was assembled and edited in Adobe Premiere Pro, where the sound and visuals were combined.

The team at work

The team at work

progress

Film screening at CCA

Film screening at CCA