We had received an email from one of our course tutors, Sylvie Bringas who teaches at the Royal College of Art offering an opportunity to attend a presentation by the second year students requesting the assistance on their graduation films. She also provided a document that allowed Westminster students to sign up to films that they liked the look of. The night before the presentation I had signed up to 4 projects, as I had the skills they required (inbetweening/colouring). It was recommended that we sign up to more than one incase we didn’t get contacted back by the RCA film we wanted.
I worried that signing up to 4 projects might be risky as I may have over dedicated myself during a time where I was also additionally working on my own graduation film. After the students at RCA had presented there was a time where everyone (from Westminster and RCA) could talk and swap contact details. I approached two students, one of them was Jenny who had expressed her need for animation assistants to inbetween for her 2D hand-drawn film. As the film she is making is not digital she would require someone who could come into the RCA, which was not a problem for me so I awaited her email.
She emailed me back a week later and invited me to attend the RCA to work with her on inbetweening. When I arrived she gave me some rough key frames that she had done and explained what movements she had wanted. She gave a rough number of how many inbetweens she had wanted but this ended up changing as I worked through the scenes and we saw together that it required more to make the actions smoother. I would typically come in at 11am and leave around 6pm, usually having worked through one whole shot of hand drawn animation, occassionally it would be more shots if they were short and easy to do (such as animating the title which didn’t take too long.) She was happy with the inbetweens and rarely asked me to adjust it once she had line tested it in her own time. On my last day of inbetweening for her she had asked me to attempt a walk cycle for a woman monster character in the film. I did not finish because I found it a bit confusing doing a walk cycle hand drawn as I could not quickly see if it was working as if it had been digital (where I could just do a quick preview). I do not believe this walk cycle has made it into the final film.
After Jenny had finished all of her animation she next required her assistants to aid in painting. At this point I started to meet her other assistants from UCL as she needed to get as much painting as done quickly before her deadline. I am currently still assisting her in the painting process at the time of writing this report. The painting process would typically involve being assigned one colour or two and working through all the frames in a sequence, painting what was appropriate (a fish for example or a woman- leaving out the rest of the frame for when I had finished with one colour.) I work roughly at the same speed as inbetweening as the frames are quite small in person, and usually get a sequence done between 11am-6pm.
This experience has been very enlightening as it was the first project since first year that I worked traditionally, and it had given me the confidence to work in this way for my own graduation film. I have gotten a lot of knowledge and experience from working on this film as I attended more or less on a weekly basis to assist, and in the process I have made a good reputation for myself with contacts with the people at RCA including Jenny.