Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Extra Credit

I went to the Walt Disney Family History Museum on the 11th of November. It was a lot of fun. I plan on going back again soon.



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Third term paper

My first two term paper scores were 80 and 90; I will not be writing a third term paper.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Outline for the Third Term Paper.

Intro—
Since the development of film, special effects or trick photography has been utilized. As the art of the digital world has developed, special effects have become increasingly more complex and more broadly used. These effects are used in place of the actual action.  Filmography has branched into many different forms, including stop motion animation.  Stop motion animation special effects has its own unique implementation and has developed over time as is demonstrated by the effects water in Mad Monster Party and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Stop Motion Animation—
Stop motion has changed greatly since the early days  of using very simple and rudimentary techniques to achieve special effects. In more recent times, stop motion has included computer generated effects and other more sophisticated techniques to develop more realistic special effects. This has created a more stylized looked, but is still using basic household equipment.


Mad Monster Party (1967)—
Mad Monster Party is a stop motion created during the same time period as the children’s classic Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  In one scene in particular, the Creature from the Black Lagoon spits water into the Invisible Man’s face. This special effect is created by using cellophane to simulate the water spraying through the air and splattering across the Invisible Man’s face. While the animation is played at full speed, the water appears clear and chunky.  It is obvious it is water, displays well, and matches the style of the film.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)—
Nearly thirty years after the debut of Mad Monster Party, The Nightmare Before Christmas enters the theaters.  At the beginning of the film, Jack Skelington enters the scene, and sets himself on fire. In order to douse the flames, he jumps into a fountain in the middle of town. Upon rising out of the fountain, beads of water are seen cascading down his body. The cellophane once used is now substituted for hardened clear resin. The resin is molded into droplets and placed on the face and body. As the scene is played at full speed, they appear to be normal droplets of water, though a little too perfect in shape and size.


Conclusion— 
Both of these films are stop motion animations that utilize many of the same styles and effects.  Over time, however, it is obvious that the special effects in The Nightmare Before Christmas have become more refined and are much more highly developed.  As stop motion animations continue to be made, and more refinement is being seen, these stop motions are looking more clear and realistic. Computer generated effects play a key role in this.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stop-Motion Character Animation

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For my character animation I wanted to try something that I have been working on within 2D animation. I wanted to see if I could transfer my knowledge of working in 2D to working with a three-dimensional object. I used a drawing mannequin to use as my character. Having a metal pole supporting him in the air was optimal for doing a walk cycle. I went through my drawings for a mechanical walk and then began exploring and figuring out how to do that kind of a walk with my character. After some trail and error I figured out how to execute my plan and began to work. I used a digital camera to capture my images and then imported them into FlipBook to animate them.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Science Fact or Cinematic Fiction.


Movies are a fun way to escape life and everything in it. Except that is not quite true. We cannot escape everything, otherwise movies become ridiculous rather than an escape. In Newton's third law of motion it is stated "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction"("The Physics Classroom"). This law is bent and even broken in numerous films for the sake of action and intensity. Some outlandish scenes in which this law is broken includes a bullet propelling a children's merry-go-round, a kung fu move with minimal force causing maximum damage, and a runaway bus crashing into a would-be hero.

In the film Shoot 'em Up, the protagonist places a baby on a merry-go-round in a park in hopes a good person will come and take care of it. As he walks away a woman approaching the baby is shot and killed by a sniper. The protagonist then realizes they shooter is after the baby. He then shoots the bars of the merry-go-round spinning it so the sniper can't get a clean shot at the baby. For this scenario to work, the speed and force of the bullet would need to be great enough that it could transfer to the merry-go-round in order for it to spin. 
In doing research for this, I found that MythBusters did a segment on this very scene. They found that with a merry-go-round weighing around 500 lbs it would take 8.6 pounds of force to move it. Using a similar gun to the one in the movie they could not get it to move. They then kept moving up to higher and higher firepower. They discovered the higher powered shots pierced through the bars and did not transfer any of their energy. They attached steel plates to help stop the bullet and transfer the bullets energy to the merry-go-round. Even with the steel plate in place the merry-go-round would only turn at the most around 8 inches. They then re-engineered the ball-bearings on the merry-go-round to reduce the friction and found that with continuous fire of high powered ammunition they could keep the merry-go-round spinning ("MythBusters, 2011 season). In the law of action and reaction the force of the bullet from the gun shown in the movie is not strong enough in the real world to move the merry-go-round much less to spin it. The bullet being shot from the gun did not exert enough pounds of force upon impact in order to transfer the momentum to the merry-go-round.

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Scene from the film Shoot 'em Up (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xyQ1zmKId4)

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Semi real world physics of a merry-go-round seen in a video game (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0ODi_IL1jE)

In the film Kung Fu Panda, a move called the "Wuxi Finger Hold" is introduced as the most powerful move. It is performed by the attacker harnessing their Chi and holding an opponents finger with their index finger and thumb while the pinky is straight. To execute the move, the pinky is then flexed ("Wuxi Finger Hold"). This small action then causes a gigantic destructive reaction. In order to understand this, the closest thing I could find in real life to compare this to is Bruce Lee's one-inch punch. The one-inch punch is preformed by a closed fist approximately one inch from the chest of the target. With a concentrated Chi the fist is then struck to opponents chest. It is described as an explosive force produced from harnessing your Chi ("One-inch punch"). Both the Wuxi Finger Hold and the one-inch punch, from the outside look as if a very small action produces a major reaction. Despite initial observation, upon further investigation it can be seen that the one-inch punch actually utilizes the entire body. The person using the one-inch punch draws force all they way from their toes up through their legs, core, and arm out through the fist. The Wuxi Finger Hold on the other hand does not have such a draw of power. Instead the main proponent is the use of a Chi. Chi defined by Merriam-Webster is a "vital energy that is held to animate the body internally" or life energy ("Chi"). However, the Chi in both cases was not measured so it cannot be taken into account for a comparison. In no way can the action and transference of energy from flexing a pinky move to the index finger and thumb to create a reaction anywhere remotely similar to the one seen in Kung Fu Panda. Unless, of course, it was paired with a supplemental device, such as explosives.

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Scene from Kung Fu Panda (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31P4DgkW9Ns)

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Scene from television show Stan Lee's Superhumans, showing Shaolin monk Shi Yan Ming demonstrating a one-inch punch. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgVUMrjy2GA)

In the television show Smallville, a teenage Clark Kent (aka Superman) stops an out of control bus from crashing into a sleeping homeless person. He stops the bus by stepping in front of it and using his shoulder and body to stop the bus. The front of the bus crumples around his body as he absorbs the impact, not moving from his spot. Super energy absorption is not listed as one of Superman’s powers so that energy has to go somewhere. Either Clark would have to weigh exponentially more than the bus in order for him not to move or he would have to push down on the ground to dissipate the force of the bus. If he were to push down though the force into the ground, the asphalt would have cracked and he would have gone down partially into the ground. Trying to understand how something could stay in one spot but stop a bus I discovered something called a bollard, which acts as barrier, but looks like a pillar. They rise out of the ground to obstruct traffic from going a certain direction. Once they are raised, and even during raising, they can stop a vehicle in its tracks. They are built out of steel tubing and rise with the use of hydraulics. They work by dispelling the force of the impact to all of the ground surrounding the imbedded base ("Slimline Rising Bollard"). For Clark to stop the bus in the real world the force of the bus's impact needs to transfer somewhere, it cannot be absorbed into his person.  


Image from television show Smallville depicting Clark Kent stopping a bus with his body

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Video clip of bollards stopping moving vehicles. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCSsope5vOA)

Each of these scenarios demonstrates Hollywood's ability to manipulate the laws of physics in order to create a grand effect to catch the audiences’ attention. As demonstrated in these examples, bending the laws of physics must be done with care, and perhaps even other laws must be created to be put in their place to allow them to function. In Shoot ‘em Up, Kung Fu Panda, and Smallville, the creators rely on the audience to believe in the character’s ability to defy physics based on assumed skill beyond the obvious realms of physics.


Cites used:
"The Physics Classroom." . N.p.. Web. 21 Oct 2013. <http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/momentum/u4l2a.cfm>.
"MythBusters (2011 season)." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. N.p.. Web. 21 Oct 2013.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_(2011_season)
"Wuxi Finger Hold." Kung Fu Panda Wiki. N.p.. Web. 21 Oct 2013. <http://kungfupanda.wikia.com/wiki/Wuxi_Finger_Hold>.
"One-inch punch." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. N.p.. Web. 21 Oct 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-inch_punch>.
"Chi." Merriam-Webster Dictionary.com. Encyclopedia Britannic Company. Web. 21 Oct 2013. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chi>.
"Slimline Rising Bollard." SafetyFlex. N.p.. Web. 21 Oct 2013. <http://www.safetyflexbarriers.com/products/anti-terrorist-security/slimline-rising-bollard/>.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Outline for the Second Term Paper


Intro- 
For my second term paper I am exploring the law of action and reaction within cinema. In Newton's third law of motion it is sated "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." I intend to demonstrate how this law is utilized in such scenes as a bullet propelling a children's carousel, a kung fu move with minimal force causing maximum damage, and a runaway bus crashing into a would be hero.

Shoot 'em Up
In Shoot 'em Up they have a gun fight which takes place on a children's playground. During the gun fight a baby is placed on a carousel to be out of the way of the fight. When a bad guy tries to approach and take the baby the protagonist shoots the bars of the carousel spinning it so that the bad guy cannot get to the child. Within the laws of action and reaction the speed of the bullet is nowhere near the power it would need to spin such a big structure especially at such a fast pace.

Kung Fu Panda 
In the film a move called the "Wuxi Finger Hold" is brought up as the most powerful move. It is performed by the attacker holding an opponents finger using the index finger and thumb while the pinky is straight. To execute the move you flex your pinky. This small action then causes a gigantic destructive reaction. In the law of action and reaction, this isn't plausible.

Smallville
In the television show Smallville a teenage Clark Kent stops an out of control bus from crashing into a sleeping homeless person. He stops the bus by stepping in front of it and using his shoulder and body as a shield. The front of the bus crumples around his body as he absorbs the impact, not moving from his spot. The law of action and reaction would denote that the force of the bus could not just be absorbed into his body.

Closing-
Each of these scenarios demonstrates Hollywood's ability to manipulate the laws of physics in order to create a grande effect to catch the audiences attention. As demonstrated in these examples, bending the laws of physics must be done with care, and perhaps even other laws must be created to be put in their place to allow them to function.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Stop Motion Animation of Falling.


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                                 video

In preparation for doing this stop motion animation I studied a few ball drops before starting. I then outlined the path of action I wanted the ball to take, making dots along the path to denote the timing and spacing of each frame. To make the ball I borrowed some play-dough from my daughter and made several spheres, roughly the same size, and cut them in half. I then applied a "stretch" to one and a "squash" to another and left the other its normal spherical shape. I then shot the scene using all three spherical shapes. After doing the initial drop I wanted to do another one with a little more character.




Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Laws of Physics in an Animation Universe - Term Paper

When viewing a movie there is a certain amount of suspended disbelief the movie can pump out before critics start to bemoan. Physics is an element in a movie that filmmakers often tweak to get their story told the way they want it to happen. When physics is pushed too far the mind takes in the action on the screen and automatically thinks -- well that could never happen-- However, if the movie only fidgets with the physics and spaces out the scenes with the law breaking physics in them, the mind will accept the action as being plausible. The Fantastic Mr. Fox is a stop motion animated movie based on the book of the same name written by Roald Dahl. Wes Anderson directs the movie. In the movie, Mr. Fox is a reformed chicken thief who is going on one last poultry heist, tangling with the three most dangerous farmers around. The film strays from the world of physics by using gravity defying movement, sizes that are continuously morphing, and objects that move on improper arcs. 
Early on in the film we are introduced to the Fox's, who are anthropomorphized and walk around on their hide legs. While in this "human" state they are able to perform some super human tasks. They are able to jump and do somersaults with an incredible hang time in the air, and appear light as a feather while doing it. While in the air, the Fox’s manage flip after flip that would not be physically possible for even the most limber of animal. 
A similar style is displayed in the scene when the Fox's are moving into their new tree-home. The squirrels, who make up the moving company, defy gravity. They start by walking upright towards the tree and then continue walking straight up the tree in a supine position on only their hind legs. This is also done again later in the film when the Fox's are digging to get away from farmers. They begin digging in a normal "human" fashion, then the camera cuts and they continue to dig downward. As they continue digging their hole, they walk down the side of the hole in the same horizontal style as the squirrels walked up the tree-home. Gravity is defied many times in the film, but the sequences are spaced out far enough that each time it is used, it is still appealing and entertaining.
What seems like a quiet running gag through out the movie is the continuous morphing of the sizes of characters and objects in comparison to the Fox's. This is first noticeable when the Fox's move into their new tree-home. The tree looks like any other normal tree, however it houses three foxes in spacious living quarters. When the tree is viewed from the inside then shown from the outside it boggles the mind on how they could wrap that small of a tree around such a large interior. Buildings are not the only objects morphing in size, but the characters do too. This is most notable when the characters are compared to the Fox's size. A badger, beaver, rabbit and rat are the same size as the Fox's. In real life they would be a wide variety of sizes. The Fox's are the main characters, which is why the other characters have the same proportions as them. However, the Fox's change size in relationship to the human characters in the film.  
In one scene you see almost an accurate representation of the size difference between a fox and a human. As the films progress, you see the Fox's shrink and grow in size to the humans. Mr. Fox gets his tail shot off by one of the farmers while in a smaller size comparison, in the next scene you see the farmer wearing the tail as a tie but the tail has grown in size to fit the human characters large stature. With all of these morphing sizes, one size that stays in correct ratio to the other characters is that of the mouse tailor who stays his small unchanging size.
Continuing on the path of law breaking physics there are two noticeable variations to what would be considered a typical parabola arc. The first is demonstrated when Mr. Fox pops a cork from a bottle of alcoholic cider. The cork is sent from a diagonal plane and then returns to land in Mr. Fox's hand. The cork acts much like a boomerang in its arc path. The second case of an improper arc happens when the animals are trapped in the sewer, ignite pinecones, and then proceed to throw them up out of the manhole at a very high arc. When the camera cuts to where the inflamed pinecones land, the arches are lower and the pinecones seem to be self-propelled as they hit each of their targets. 
In contrast to these examples, when the Fox's or other characters are doing their gravity defying jumping and other aerobatics throughout the film, they maintain a consistent parabolic arc. It makes sense that some aspects of the laws of physics are held onto while others are being broken. While breaking some laws, the other laws must be kept or else the suspended disbelief that was established would be destroyed completely.
When developing a story, especially an animation, it can be easy to forget a thing like physics. However, when it is forgotten the audience notices. The use of these physics defying scenes is done with entertainment as the driving point. A movie with proper physics in place and staring animals may not be interesting and entertaining. A movie strictly following physics couldn't tell the story that Dahl had written. The scenes where the laws of physics were being "bent" helped to pull the audience into the film and forget reality. The audience is sucked into the universe with those furry characters, and maybe in their universe they aren't breaking any laws of physics but adhering to their own laws. This is the whole purpose of entertainment, for the audience to forget time and reality, if for only a moment.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Laws of Physics in an Animation Universe - Term Paper Outline


Fantastic Mr. Fox - stop motion animation

Thesis:
Fantastic Mr. Fox strays from the world of physics by using gravity defying movement, morphing sizes and improper arcs.

Defying gravity
  • The squirrels moving the Fox's into their tree-home defy gravity by walking on their hind legs in a supine position up the side of the tree as if there is no gravity pulling at them. In the same manner when the Fox's are digging to get away from the farmers trying to kill them; they dig in the same supine manner seeming to walk down the side of the tunnel as they dig.
  • The Fox's and other quadrupeds walk around on their hind legs like humans. The Fox's will jump great heights from a standstill and do flips and cartwheels appearing weightless.

Morphing sizes
  • The tree-home the Fox's live in is bigger on the inside than what is physically possible from the outside of the tree.
  • The size of the Fox's and other animals will change in size ratio to suit their environment. In one scene Mr. Fox and Rat fight with the rat being the same size as the fox. In another scene Mr. Fox is the size of an apple cider jug then his tail is blown off and worn by a human as a normal sized necktie.
  • One character that stays the correct size ratio to the other animals is the field mouse tailor. While the other animals with no credence to what their actual size comparison is are all an equal size to each other. 

Improper arcs
  • When Mr. Fox pops the cork out of a champagne bottle (which is at a 60 degree angle) the cork has an arc that acts like a boomerang defying it's natural arc so that Mr. Fox can catch it with out moving.
  • They also throw ignited pinecones out of the bottom of a sewer which appear to travel at a 60 degree angle. The scene then cuts to the pinecones entering at an angle of 30-40 degrees, and seem as if they are being self-propelled landing at specific destinations at different distances.
  • In contrast to these improper arc paths, whenever the characters are jumping or moving they follow a true arc.
Conclusion:
The use of these physics defying scenes is done with entertainment as the driving point. A movie with proper physics in place staring animals would be pretty dull. The scenes where the laws physics are being "bent" help to pull the audience into the film and forget reality.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mini-Portfolio

Hello,
My name is Timothy Thelin. I have been at San Jose Sate for 2 years. Ever since I can remember I have loved to draw and tell stories through my artwork. I have taken figure drawing classes, an intro to animation class and several illustration classes. After I leave San Jose State I hope to pursue a career as a story artist. My science background is primarily on the medical side of things. I did sports medicine and was an EMT. I have taken a botany class as well.

This is a digital painting I did for ANI 113B 

This is an illustration I did for the word "Home".

This is an acrylic painting I did for ANI 113A


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This is an animation I did for ANI 28

The First Post

This is my blog for Physics of Animation.