The Illusion of Life: A Q&A with Cento Lodigiani

first_imgTraditional animation principles meets modern motion design software in ‘The Illusion of Life’ created by Cento Lodigiani.Modern tools have made animation and motion graphic design much easier than ever before. Instead of having to draw each frame by hand, animators and designers can use computers to easily create amazing animations in no-time.However, it can be really easy to jump straight into animation without having a good background to help you understand why certain things look good and other things do not. Over the years many artists have perfected the art of animation and along the way they’ve created a few principles that can help give life to your animated characters. These artists come from a variety of different animation studios but perhaps the most famous and innovative animation comes from Disney Animation Studios.For decades Disney has been well known for their storytelling, art, and lifelike animation. Even a kid can tell the difference between an animated Disney film and a film created by another company, but why is that?In their insightful book, The Illusion of Life,  Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston share their secrets as to how they perfected the ‘Disney’ look while working as animators at the Disney Animation Studios during the golden era of animation. The book has become required reading for those looking to get into character animation and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in taking their designs to the next level.The book is loaded with tips and tricks to give the illusion of life to your characters, but one of the most helpful sections of the books comes in the form of 12 principles that can easily be applied to animations. The 12 principles are:Squash and StretchAnticipationStagingStraight Ahead Action and Pose to PoseFollow Through and Overlapping ActionSlow In and Slow OutArcsSecondary AnimationTimingExaggerationSolid DrawingAppealAll of these principles when combined create the charming ‘Disney’ style of animation that is so appealing to animators. These principles of animation are incredibly useful and important, but unfortunately until recently there weren’t any good online resources illustrating the principles in action. That was until New York based animator Cento Lodigiani decided to illustrate all 12 principles using a simple cube. The result is a short video that beautifully illustrates each principle.If you haven’t seen the video here it is. Notice how easy it is to give life to such a simple shape using these principles.Cento’s video was amazingly created entirely in After Effects, which absolutely blew my mind the first time I read that. With more questions regarding the animation, I reached out to Cento and he was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding ‘The Illusion of Life’ video.Q&A with Cento LodigianiHow did you come up with the idea?It actually happened randomly, one day I was cleaning my room and I found the book. I started flipping through the book and found the 12 principles and thought they would be great to illustrate in a video. I was confident that there would be a video like that on the internet, but when I searched I couldn’t find anything at all. Which honestly surprised me.I chose to do the cube character instead of a traditional character because I wanted the focus to be on the animation instead of the character. I thought it would be a fun challenge to give a personality to a simple shape.Do you feel like learning the principles is crucial to learning to be a better animator?I know the principles because I’ve always been into traditional animation. Since I was a kid I always was inspired by Disney animation principles. Even in the beginning when I didn’t know the 12 principles but I found myself using the 12 principles a lot. So when I ended up reading the Illusion of Life it really put into words what I had already been doing.Currently it’s not like I sit down to animate and think about the 12 principles, but I do end up applying them to what I do.I think it’s really good to stick to tradition in animation. Today you can have multiple designers with different styles and different education backgrounds and that’s good. New animation schools like those in Japan have begun simplifying real life and showing real-life through abstract elements instead of the 12 principles.You said you did created this project with a combination of both cell drawn animation and After Effects. Could you walk us through the production process?The little cube is a cube made with 6 3D layers. For most of the animation I was able to use that little element by stretching it. But there were parts that I had to draw frame by frame.I changed the basic parameters of the cube like scale and rotation, but I honestly used deformation effects like bend to create the cube’s animation. I used a mixture of a lot of things because when you are trying to finalize a scene it has to be perfect.The challenge with this project is if people are going to be using my video to reference the 12 principles than the animation had to be absolutely perfect. Since moving a keyframe a few frames forwards or backwards can change the entire scene I spent a lot of time perfecting the movements.So when the cube arcs? That is an example of hand-drawn animation?Exactly, because I couldn’t get the cube to deform that way, so I had to go frame by frame.How long did it take you to create this video?I was messing with it for about 3 months but I definitely wasn’t working on it full time. In the last few weeks I would say I almost was working on it full-time but I was working on a lot of different projects at the time.Did you know the narrator?No, but it turned out awesome. I found him in one of those online services that have a bunch of different voices. I just happened to find him and it was absolutely perfect.How difficult was it to perfect the movement?It was a big challenge. Again, if you are trying to make a piece about animation principles perfection of the movement is almost the whole point. There were other challenges like, finding the right action to explain each principle. I spent a lot of time perfecting each move, it was all a matter of frames, so it was really difficult. But, I saw that the animation was something I could be proud of so I wanted to put the time in to make it good. I was liking what I was doing so it was worth it.Where did you learn how to do motion graphics?I didn’t study animation in school, I actually studied design in Milan, Italy. So I would say I am a good example of learning by doing instead of studying. I was at a design university and I was doing other things, but while I was there I was able to talk to other people in animation. I approached it kinda by myself and I had this professor who invited me to one of his classes. Then I started working as an intern for his company. Then I just started studying a lot of stuff like books and animated movies and that was pretty much all my education.Where do you go for creative inspiration?Inspiration is all around me. I draw inspiration from everyday life. The city that I live in (New York), is a big source of inspiration. Good music is very inspiring and good films. Masters of animation including Saul Bass the father of motion graphics and Richard Williams who was the lead animator for Roger Rabbit give me inspiration. I spend a lot of time on the almighty internet. It’s a great source of inspiration.A still from A Few Moments of Mess by Cento Lodogiani Do you have any specific websites you go to?I have plenty. I follow a lot of tumblr’s and blogs of every kind. I can’t just name one blog because that would be unfair to the others. Tumblr is great because there are so many different artists that blow you away every day. You can look randomly for design artists everyday and it’s an endless source of inspiration.What was the most helpful tip you can give aspiring animators and motion graphic artists?Apply yourself and keep doing your own projects for fun. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the short-term goal of making money. It’s more rewarding to do your own personal projects and create a good body of work that is more for yourself than for a client. But of course work to pay your bills…If you are interested in purchasing the book the 12 principles were based on you can pick it up ‘The Illusion of Life’ by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston from Amazon for around $40. You can see more of Cento Lodigiani’s work on his webiste CentoLodigiani.com.Have any other questions for Cento? Do you reference the 12 principles in your animations? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Dream11 Prediction: Playing 11, Captain and Vice-Captain Prediction for England vs Sri Lanka

first_imgSri Lanka will take on hosts England in a must-win clash at Headingley in the ICC World Cup 2019. Both the teams have had a contrasting journey in this edition of the tournament.Sri Lanka have managed to garner only four points from their first five games and this means Dimuth Karunaratne’s side have to win all of the remaining games to make it to the semis of World Cup 2019.Sri Lanka registered their only win against Afghanistan in a rain-affected game in Cardiff. Two of their matches were washed out and were completely outclassed by New Zealand and Australia.On the other hand, England are sitting pretty at No.2 in the points table with only one loss in their five games.England registered a crushing win against Afghanistan after overcoming West Indies’ challenge quite comfortably, proving their ball-striking ability beyond doubt. Their only loss yet came while chasing against Pakistan and Sri Lanka will like to exploit that area.Dream XI Fantasy Tips: England vs Sri LankaBatsmenEngland have several in-form batsmen. Eoin Morgan, the English skipper, was terrific against Afghanistan as he amassed 148 runs with a record 17 sixes. Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow have also been in sublime form in the World Cup. On the other hand, Kushal Perera and Dimuth Karunaratne can be picked as teh batsman as both have amassed a couple of half-centuries for Sri Lanka.BowlersThe English pacers quicks Mark Wood and Jofra Archer will surely be the first names on the team sheets of many. They have been lethal with the new ball and should continue to do so against the Sri Lankans as well while Adil Rashid is more than a handy option to have in the side. Sri Lanka’s star bowler Lasith Malinga hasn’t been in the best forms off late but should be backed to provide a few breakthroughs against the mighty English.advertisementAll-roundersEngland boasts of having many quality all-rounders in their side. Chris Woakes should be your first pick, as he has picked up wickets and scored a solid half-century against West Indies. Thisara Perera, with his big-hitting skills, can be another all-rounder in your XI today.WicketkeeperJos Buttler and Kusal Perera both are must-haves in the side given their enormous ability and form at the top of the order.Dream XI Team for England vs Sri LankaJoe Root (Captain), Kushal Perera (vice-captain), Jonny Bairstow, Kusal Mendis, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Chris Woakes, Thisara Perera, Moeen Ali, Mark Wood, Jofra Archer and Lasith Malinga.SquadsEngland: James Vince, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (Captain), Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Liam Plunkett, Tom Curran, Liam DawsonSri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne(captain), Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Milinda Siriwardana, Thisara Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep, Avishka Fernando, Jeffrey Vandersay, Suranga Lakmal, Jeevan MendisAlso Read | Pitches for white ball cricket in England are flattest in world: Jasprit BumrahAlso Read | World Cup 2019: India players to wear orange jerseys against England on June 30Also See:last_img read more

$4.4 Billion Set Aside for PATH Beneficiaries

first_imgA sum of $4.4 billion has been earmarked in the 2013/2014 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives, for the Integrated Social Protection and Labour Programme.The project’s main objective is to support the Government of Jamaica’s efforts to improve human capital and labour market outcomes of the poor by enhancing the effectiveness of key social protection programmes.Anticipated targets for this fiscal year include: the payment of Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) grants to approximately 400,000 beneficiaries, effective August 2013, reflecting a 15 per cent increase in payments; payment of post-secondary grants to 2,500 PATH students; introduction of a bus fare assistance programme for PATH students; development of a school feeding policy; and implementation of an on-the-job training pilot project.Physical targets initially envisaged under the programme include conducting baseline studies to support the development of a national employment policy strategy; implementation of a pilot for a parenting education workshop for PATH beneficiary households with children age two to six years old; and upgrading the PATH management information system.The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, with support funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). It is slated to run from December 2012 to November 2016.By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporterlast_img read more