Friday, January 29, 2010

Life Drawing 29/01/10

Reinhard wasn't in today unfortunately, but life drawing went ahead anyway... the model ran the class. This week's theme was faces, and although they may not look like it but these are all drawings of the same model. In the second picture he looks really old but that's only really because I didn't want to mess up the drawing by colouring his hair in black, so I left it white.

I wasn't happy at all with the final picture but I've put it up here anyway. The model put a cigarette in his mouth and from where I was sitting it became really weirdly foreshortened. I should've got up and moved to a better position but I couldn't be bothered, so I tired it and failed.

All the poses were 20 minutes long (the 3rd and 4th pictures were a 20 minute sitting but I got 2 drawings done in that time so they could maybe technically count as 10 minute poses) and all were drawn using willow charcoal.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Life Drawing 22/01/10

This week's life drawings were sketches of a variety of standing and sitting poses. The first seven are all 5-minutes and the final two are both 25 minutes. They are all drawn using willow charcoal.

The lesson that I learned from Reinhard this week was to remember to put the models in a surrounding. The seventh picture down, for example, would've looked better if I'd shown what he was sitting on, rather than just leaving him suspended in mid-air. Just a few lines to show the cushion/chair would've helped wonders. You can see I made more of a point of getting the chair in with the last two poses. Lesson learned.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jem and the Holograms

So Christmas holiday brief was to research and prepare a 5-minute discussion on someone you considered to be a memorable character from the world of animation and why. The idea is to make you think about what makes a character memorable; what makes them stick in your head, what was their appeal, what makes them the way they are, who created them and why did they create them like they did, that kinda thing.

Our lecturer Sharron wants us all to research three characters in case someone else chooses the same person you do, but we’ve all collectively decided against it ‘cause we’re lazy and work-shy and made sure no one copied anyone else so we don’t have to do extra work.

My memorable character is the wonderful and truly outrageous Jem from the 80’s cartoon Jem and the Holograms. I used to watch it on VHS all the way back when I was a young’un and she’s always stuck in my memory till this day. Looking back the animation is incredibly dodgy and the episodes were very bitty and rumbled together (the Japanese animators reused animations left, right and centre), but the whole idea behind her; the secret identity, the band, the cool (at the time) clothes and the songs they used to sing… man I fell hook, line and sinker. She was, and still is, awesome; I swear I still remember the songs to this day. She was like the original Hannah Montana, which, as you know, is every 5-year-old girl’s dream.

This is my favourite song from the show. It’s called Deception and it’s about her dual-personalities and the love triangle that develops between Jem, Jerrica (her name when she’s not Jem) and her boyfriend Rio. Basically Jerrica never tells Rio that she is Jem, and Rio finds himself attracted to her alter-ego. But while Jerrica spends much of the series scared that Rio will reject her once he discovers she has lied to him, she seems remarkably unconcerned that Rio is cheating on her with herself. Awesome entertainment.

I read recently that they’ve released all 3 series on DVD. So going on my wish list of things to get when I get a real job and can afford it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Floursack Final Animation 2

I know it's terribly late, and semester 1 hand-ins were almost 3 weeks ago but I figured now is as good a time as any to unveil my final floursack animation! And yes, I know I've already done my floursack but this is Floursack 2: Flour Harder, my new and improved final floursack animation which got handed in at the end of term submissions.

Basically, after finishing the first floursack I did, the class had a group crit session and I had a sit down with Sharon, our lecturer, to see if it could be improved. To be honest I was never really entirely happy with the first animation. The whole idea was to show off what we knew about the animation principles and bring a character to life with emotions and problems to overcome. My first try felt so bland and I felt like it was entirely lacking in everything I had initially set out to do. The emotions weren't big enough, there was little anticipation and even less of the principles. When I showed the final piece to everyone, there was a general consensus that more could be done.

So, more I did do. With 2 weeks until submissions I sat down, went right back to my storyboards and started my floursack from scratch. I then took all my notes from Sharon and the group crit and fixed everything that was missing or lacking from the first try; add more anticipation, bigger exaggerations, squash & stretch, improve the staging, have him wobble his belly, have him jump not walk, etc, etc. Little by little Mr. Floursack was becoming what I wanted him to be the first time round. By the end of the day I had my animatic timed out and my dopesheets ready for animating.

Floursack Animatic

From there it took me a good couple of days (9am-9pm days) to keyframe, mainly due to the poster rip which took up a day in itself. On top of this a lot of my time got spent waiting for a free line testing machine (with 2 weeks till submissions EVERYONE was after the line testers), and I couldn't carry on without it 'cause I needed to see how things were looking. Once the keyframing and charting were all done the inbetweens almost drew themselves. I actually think I might have had more keyframes than inbetweens which is maybe wrong... I dunno. I know that the inbetweens didn't take as long as I thought they would.

At the end of the week though, I got it finished. I remember wanting to hug everyone in the classroom. God there's no better feeling than finally getting your work done and up on a screen. I'm sure I might have danced a little just out of sheer joy! I would guess I put about 60 hours in that week for 17 secs of animation. I got it home and put some sound in it (the squeeky voice idea was stolen from my classmate Kat Hall who'd done the same on hers to great effect).

And here it is:


It's a little dark unfortunately, and you might notice that the Mighty White Flour character has changed into Flour Power! This was because I had been getting so much grief about his name potentially being racist (would you believe!). I'm so happy with how it turned out. The long days of graft are so utterly worth it when you get a finished piece that you are proud of. Next semester we are beginning character development and I'm beginning to get really excited about the ideas and animations that are going to follow. I will save that for another day though, this page is for Mr. Floursack!


Inspiration: Parkour Motion Reel

A link from Lee Unkrich's twitter feed:

It's a wonderful short piece of flipbook style animation of a man doing parkour around a city. The concept for the animation is so simple, but I imagine actually sitting down with a pile of paper and trying to work out the "route", I guess you would call it, of hiding and exposing must have been incredibly difficult. It reminds me so much of the Daft Punk hands, but instead of just song lyrics we follow a whole story. The finished piece is just mind blowing.

Watch it now, you will not regret it!