Thursday, 18 December 2008

I think the problem is..

I was not very happy with the way my 3d walk went. I failed to relay my own gait. The main problem is the lenght of the stride. And the way that i carry a bit of weight. This just did not come off. The balance of the figure was too far back on the model. I am going to post the walk playbast and then you will see what i mean.

video

On the other hand i was quite happy with the 2d version. For me to get any likeness was quite a result. Ha. I got the arms a bit snappier and the stride right. I also got more of a feeling of weight, and the balance right. You could almost tell it was me; which was cool! With the confidence i am gaining from my life (and general) drawing and the use of a more affirmative line, plus addressing the volume issues, i am sure i can do better next time. The video below is the final attempt at the walk.

video

And this one is an earlier attempt.

video

Monday, 1 December 2008

The day we talked about Nemo...

It has been a long time coming; but eventually the day of our visual assignment arrived. I teamed up with Adam; a guy from Wolverhampton, (gods own city, and, probably have the best football team in Europe right now). We decided to speak about Finding nemo. We thought that this would be a great choice as it is full of stereotypes and, as we found out had a lot more to offer in the narrative.
Basically we found that the film very skillfully deals with social issues such as alcholism, schizophrenia, short-term memory loss and also berieavment.

The first scene was a very hard hitting; because it deals with the loss of a whole family and the anguish that this may cause. This i feel may be the Director (Andrew Stanton) admitting that we do not live in a perfect world and that he is at the helm of a global company who's films are viewed in war torn countries and by people who are a lot less fortunate.To portray the perpetual American dream is what a lot of Pixar and Disney's work has done in the past; but in the Nemo film the only characters that seems half normal are the stereotypical pelicans (portrayed as old male Aussies) and the dentist; and any normality and western values such as a stable family life are snached away in the first scene.

This film is set half in the ocean with Nemos dad and his journey to find his son and half in an aquarium in a dentists surgery. Here we are introduced to various characters, all of whom have different afflictions. One thing which we failed to do when we delivered our talk was to appologise to the group for ruining the film. As a couple of our group said they did not see the fish and the disability aspect of the film. I think this is a good thing because it shows that Pixar did not let this issue take over the narrative.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

video

This is my 2D walk. Its the third attempt i had at it this week as i had trouble with volume and putting too many frames in. In this walk i have probably not added enough frames but i feel the overall thing works ok. When i have to do it again i will stylize the walk more, maybe exaggerate the walk to an extent that the fundamentals are blatantly obvious. This would be a lot easier with a character who has longer legs!

What i want to try and do next is establish a line of action which suits the mood of the character and do a walk cycle around that. I have found using flash very helpful for making walk cycles and i have made several pairs of marching legs.

All in all i have found the walking cycles a lot of fun. This was a surprise as i thought i would have a lot of trouble with this. To remedy the problem i have been having with volume i have been keeping the first frame out so i can lay it across other frames and keep the continuity going.

Life drawing

As usual i have found the life drawing classes very useful. I find Cathy's method of teaching very helpful and she is always being positive about any improvement in our work. At the same time she will correct any issues we may have with scale, etc. The walks that we have been trying to capture in life drawing have been very useful; the position of the feet especially. Also the relationship between the hips and the shoulders and the way the skin acts on the sides of the model.

Well till next time; some life drawing to follow and some news on our talk about the film Finding Nemo'. Lata.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Hi everyone, just a short posting to put up a couple of walks that we have done this week. I will write more on the rest of this week a bit later.

video

Wednesday, 12 November 2008








This image in pencil for me has a certain sense of movment about it. It is not particualy detailed but has the lines of probable movement left in place on the drawing. There is a circular line going around the head which suggests a swivelling motion is possible and also a centre line which emisizes where the weight is on the model. There is minimal use of shading; which at this time; i used very sparingly.

This image; drawn from a photo of a statue in Poznan, Poland is done with oil pastels. In it i have committed a lot earlier. There are no pencil lines to gauge it first off and some of the model seems to be missing. The picture does tell you about his stance and the way he is brandishing his spear; he is looking straight at the camera; just about to bring the spear back with his right hand and throw it straight at you. Icoudl have tried to put some shadows in this drawing but in the time i allowed myself; i did not have time.


In this sketch i have tried to capture the main character in the monochrome animated movie 'Renaissance' by Christian Volckmann, 2007. The style gave me an idea about the ammount of information needed to be present on the screen to give meaning. I am going to try and use some images that have been 'threshholded' as key frames in one of my 2d animation projects and to try and work out the tweens. That is what i am going to do now, so until then, bye!
I thought i would upload some of my drawings that i have done in the last two months. Also support each one with a small evaluation of the materials i used and analyse what i learnt from the particular session. I must say; firstly, that some of these are done at home and some in the life drawing class, as the subject matter may devulge..

This drawing was done with some charcol which i found very useful for sketching the main lines of balance and power through the subject. It is a material i would go back to using again; but next time i will make sure i have some fixative!

The main thing that i learnt from this session was the importance of perspective and scale. The size of the head, hands and feet are so important in a drawing like the where no emphasis is being put on any particular part. As you can see i missed the legs out completely; this is bad planning on my part, and so the learning curve goes on.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

After today the relationships between the different classes that we have been attending became more entrenched. The way we were asked to critique the work emphasized on the animation related qualities that the work posessed. Some of the simplest drawings that were reviewed showed they translated movement and emotion more convincingly than some of the more 'artistic' peices.
As for my own work; next time i think i would have displayed a more movement rich peice of art, one that showed tention and movement and emphasized where the weight is in the pose. This can also be said for the 2D and 3D amimation. The poses that the model held for us can be translated in the simplest inanimate objects such as tea pots and other cutlery; as the animators at Disney have proved. So we can also use these objects to translate movement, emotion and weight.

video

This video has had a bit of work done to it in regards to the volume of the big character; but at the same time i neglected to keep the small character the same size. On the upside; it is only when he is being 'told off' that he shrinks. This is just down to bad practice; even though you could argue that it fortifies the narrative.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

What we done in the 2d animation class today really opened my eyes. The translation of body language through animated figures is quite a potent tool! There are several things i have to address when i have another crack at the exercise. For a start i forgot one of the most basic rules of animation and made my figures volume change. I think this is because i was motoring along at hell of a pace to try and keep the movement and idea fresh in my mind; and that basic principle was lost. Also there is not enough anticipation and the gestures are not bold enough. Then there is the area of the screen that the animation is taking place. Its at the bottom. And that's it. so i have several things i have to address; and hopefully next time i can put them right.
video

Friday, 24 October 2008

In the respect of my circle animation i have a few points that i wish to address. If i were to do one in the future i would probably not be as daunted as i was last time. The reason i say this is i have done a lot more drawing since then (even though it is only 2 weeks ago), and i feel my drawing has improved in that period. Don't get me wrong i am still no Leonardo; but i feel i am getting to grips with form and shading and feel a lot more confident putting ideas on paper. The evidence i have for this is in my skech book; which you are welcome to look at.
I am now thinking that the life drawing classes will be over all too soon. the relationship between movement and the live model has become more apparent as we dealt with sporting poses and weight transfer. I wonder if this can work as effectively for a fully clothed person who is not posing for you? The movement is probably more easy to remember in the minds eye than the actual detail of the subject; and this ;i would think a lot faster to get down on paper.

As for the history part of the course; it has left me wondering how much of today's entrenched values of class, race and stereotypes have there roots in animation.

We are all coded to laugh at the cat when he has his teeth smashed in. But when does this coding stop as the format of the animation gets nearer realism. With the advent of more sophisticated software and more believable characters, this is a question i have to ask. If a near perfect representation of a cat was made i am sure it would make traumatic viewing; but add the moving melodies swanny whistles and usual sound effects then the effect may be a whole lot different.

Because coding is present in one scene, does it mean that the values of the whole peice are effected? Does the title music at the start of a moving melodies cartoon prepare your senses for the probable ultra-violence and shield you from your normal values?

Can the same be said for a less obvious things such as genre?

Maybe british gangster movies?

Or maybe a certain director?

Pre-installed values carried by genre are a very useful tool in this way; they take a lot of the mystery out of the film industry and also cushion the blow of any shock content. This is probably a lot more effective than the BBFC method of cetification and a lot less like the sledge hammer approach.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Hello again. This is my circle animation. I know its not that origonal; but hey it woks and i was just glad to get it out of the way. Oh yes; i had better upload it on moodle, silly-billy.

video

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

For a start; let me appologise for the lack of visual content on my blog. I know its crap for an animation blog but i have no memory stick at the moment and short of sending it all back to my email address i am knackered. But look forward to some visual content soon.
Today we delt with stretch and squash. Apparently two bedfellows that we are going to run into time after time in animation. As a member of the itchy team we were introduced to the concept firstly in Maya. We learnt how to plot it on a graph; change the tangents; alter the attack velocity and beziere curves. This exercise was very interesting and the results much the same as using a gravity field and non passive rigid bodies from the dynamics menu; but the control was much simpler.
We also studied anticipation; this is the action befor the action; the draw back before the punch, etc. I likened this to the touching hands exercise in tai-chi when you know where your opponent is going before you actually go in that direction. We also got an animation pencil (its blue) and a clip thing today. Here's to next tuesday. Yip-yip.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Thank god for that; had trouble logging in this morning, but now all is well. We had our first life drawing class today which i feel went quite well. It is one aspect of the course that i felt a bit daunted about as i am not much of an artist. The emphasis was put on picking out the movement and lines of power that was going through the subject; and i found myself remembering some tai-chi classes that i went to several years ago; the feeling of being 'grounded' and the energy running up my body. This put me at rest somewhat. Looking forward to the coming weeks and getting stuck into some 3-d modelling work. I must admit the simplest task that we have had so far (the 12 cards) i have found the hardest as i hit a creative blank. I can only relate this to a writer when he looks at a blank peice of paper and literaly seizes up. Get a grip. Until next time.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Hello and welcome to my blog. This is only a short entry as i have to go and get the train to Falmouth; where i will be attending the forth day of the second week of a Digital Animation Degree course. There is more i want to tell you about, but for now its hello and goodbye.

What do you want to see and hear more about?