Thursday, November 29, 2007
But for now, here's my second pass.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I've put together a clip of some of my animation tests. The first clip is to try and convey natural and fluid movement with a pendulum. The rest of the clips are a basic walk cycle. I even moved the shoulders and swayed the body to help push the action. The last clip, I added head and eye movements. The walk seemed very similar to the Robert Patrick walk from "Terminator 2".
The cycles are a little fast because I realized later that I was working on them with the frame rate set at 12 frames per second, not the standard 24 fps. So that's why it's a bit fast. I'll correct that next time.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Now all I have to do is learn the software program Maya. I have already downloaded the Personal Learning Edition and purchased a book about it from work. If I can get a basic understanding of it before classes start, everything should be fine.
I'll get it.
The other cool part of it is I already have the "textbooks." First is "The Illusion of Life" by Frank & Ollie. The second is "The Animator's Survival Kit" by Richard Williams. This is great!! I already own both books...and a whole bunch more!! So I am GOOD TO GO!!
LET'S GET IT ON!!!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Well, since my last post everythings been happening so fast. I took the test for Animation Mentor. They received it and I was accepted! Then came the student loan. I always get nervous about stuff like this. I applied and that got approved as well! So I mailed off my submission packet Wednesday and they should be receiving it today (Friday). This is so exciting. I am still in a state of anticipation. Once I get the word that I am officially in, THEN I will be jumping for joy on Cloud 9. Right now, I am on Cloud 6.5.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
I just took a quick admissions test for Animation Mentor. It was a quick eight minute exam, one shot only. They appeared to be simple IQ type questions. After looking at my scratch paper after the exam was done, I realized I definitely got one of the questions wrong. AAARRRGGHHH!!!! It was a math question and I read it too fast. My original was wrong and I soon realized the correct answer. GRRRR!!!! Oh well, hopefully I got the rest of them correct.
I was linked to an advisor, Victoria Tripp. I should be hearing from in about three weeks with the results of the exam. THREE WEEKS!! Oh, the torture! Oh, the agony! AGONY! AG-GO-NEE!!
And now I'm ok.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I would like to profile some of the work of the early pioneers of animation.
HUMOROUS PHASES OF FUNNY FACES (1906)
J. Stuart Blackton (1875 - 1941)
" Humorous Phases of Funny Faces featured an artist's hand drawing the faces of a man and a woman with chalk. The faces begin to interact: the man blows cigar smoke and tips his hat. To achieve this movement, Blackton used a combination of chalk drawings and cut-outs.
To make it appear that his drawings moved, Blackton would make changes to them between the frames, resulting in a sequence in which the artist draws a face, his hand leaves the frame and the faces roll their eyes or blow cigar smoke. The hand appears again and erases the emboldened aniamted characters."
GERTIE THE DINOSAUR (1914)
Winsor McCay (1867 - 1934)
"To produce Gertie, McCay drew 10,000 images onto rice paper and then mounted them on cardboard. Once they had been mounted, McCay was able to flip the drawings through a primitive machine to check his work. Gertie the Dinosaur was the first animated film with a star and a storyline. McCay gave his dinosaur star a personality and emotions, by painstakingly animating tiny details, such as tears dripping and dirt particles falling."
I found out recently off of YouTube that the animator's name is Simon Tofield and the short is actually called "Can Man Do." He works for a London UK Animation Studio called Tandem Films. I always like to give credit where credit is due.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I wasn't sure if I wanted to take my camera or sketchbook with me. I knew I wanted to take something to capture the moment, so I opted for the sketchbook. My NEW sketchbook. Here are a few of my sketches.
And here's the first page!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
(After a while, the video lags behind but it's the audio that is important.)
It's interesting to look back and see these men talk about something in its infancy, that we now know has blossomed into something major. You hear John's passion for the medium and the animation industry. He was trained as a traditional animator and he brings that to this new medium.
Charlie Rose asked Steve Jobs if he(Rose) was an animator and had a great story to tell, why should he come to Pixar? John fielded that question and gave him three reasons why.
1) Pixar is a place that can give creative satisfaction. They try to give the artist something that they can be proud of for the rest of their careers.
2) They try to give the artist, even if it's on the littlest piece, the sense of creative ownership. They let them figure out how to do it.
3) The most important reason is "at Pixar, we have a lot of fun" and it shows in their work. I've seen the featurettes on the DVDs more times than I've seen the actual movies, and I KNOW this to be true. They have FUN making these films.
An interesting fact that I love to share is that Pixar, as they mention in the interview, was originally a part of George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). Lucas wanted to sell it and Jobs picked it up. I'm hoping to find out more information about this in the new book coming out soon.
Another thing I love about the guys at Pixar, and I've heard this in many other podcast interviews, is that Pixar is all about the story. The story, not the visuals, is the most important part. If the story is not right, the film will never work. Lasseter remarks on this in that if the story does not work in the early storyboard phase, then that scene will not get put into production. Brad Bird remarked about this in an interview with the Spline Doctors. When asked what was the most important part of an animated film, he said, "Story, story, story, story, and storytelling. Being able to tell a story well. And story. Story. Story TELLING. And story" The computer was never meant to replace the artist. The computer is just a different type of "pencil" used to tell a story. The computer doesn't work without somebody telling it what to do.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
To Infinity and Beyond! The Story of Pixar Animation Studios
Disney • PIXAR's Ratatouille
Yeah, I'm going to be broke!
I CAN'T WAIT!!!
Monday, October 15, 2007
The following dialogue is from "The Fisher King" and spoken by Jeff Bridges:
"I thought.... that if I could help him in some way, get him this, uh, this girl that he loves... that maybe, you know..... *sniff* ....things would ch... change for me."
I saw a little bit of this line in the trailer. Not much to take anything from it. Here's some sketches of what I see when I hear this piece.
I see him in a bathrobe, holding a cup of coffee in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other, trying to explain his situation to someone off camera. It's coming from Jeff Bridges and I guess I see/hear him as "the Dude" from "The Big Lebowski."
Friday, October 12, 2007
I always have the same problem when I buy a new sketchbook. I never know what to do with the first page. Once I wrote a little blurb about what I hope to accomplish is that sketchbook. Other times I will leave it blank and start on the second page. But if I rip out the first page, then the second page will become the second page.
Now I am trying to figure out what to put on the second page.
No, no. I'm good.
I finally found out the name of the song used in the WALL•E trailer. I loved it the first time I saw the trailer. I went to Wikipedia and searched Wall-e. At the end of the article it gave the name of the song. It's "Central Services/The Office" by Michael Kamen from the "Brazil" soundtrack. I have never seen the movie but it is in my Netflix queue. Had I been a true movie buff, I probably have recognized the song right away. I know I also heard the song in another trailer, but I cannot remember which one.
For more information, you can visit the official WALL•E site.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I like the upper body part of these characters, I just couldn't figure out where to position the feet.
Monday, October 8, 2007
1) DESIGN A VEHICLE: It could be a car, truck, motorcycle, anything. It could be contemporary or futuristic or other-worldly. It can have wheels, treads, or hover. But it cannot fly. It could be used in military warfare with weapons attatched. It could be used by the public, at the home, or public transportation.
2) DESIGN A ROBOT: It could be friendly, evil, huge, smal, helpful, sinister. It could have leads, or treads, hover or fly. It could have one eye, many eyes, or no eyes. No arms, two arms, six arms. It could be part of the work force or for the home. It could be in humanoid form or not.
3) DESIGN A FLYING VEHICLE: This one can fly. It could be saucer shaped or not, hover or just fly. It could be small (one person) or huge (transport) or midsized (4-6 passengers). Could be used in the city for public transportation, an industrial machine, or military. It could have wings or not.
4) DESIGN A CREATURE, MONSTER, OR ALIEN: It could be friendly, evil, large, small, two arms, no arms, six arms, one eye, two eyes, six eyes, or fly. It could be able to defend itself in some sort.
So there's my homework assignments. I would like to try and do one once a week. I would be nice to see how many designs I can come up with and take a look at them at the end.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I just finished viewing the piece without the dialogue. The way I made this was I made several key drawings. These were the extremes, the poses I wanted him ("Jeff") to hit. And then I inbetweened them, mathematically. I spaced the inbetweens evenly between the two extremes. I did this so much that this is why it doesn't flow. He starts at one extreme then moves on to the next one, and then the next one, and then the next one, and then stops. It is really noticeable especially when he moves his arm from an outward motion to an inward motion. He hits that key pose and moves back in. There are no arcs in his movements. You can connect the key frames with a straight line. (I think I could do well animating robots!)
So THAT should be my next project: Ninjas vs. Pirates vs. ROBOTS!!!
I have ideas for another piece inspired from another piece of dialogue from the latest AnimWatch podcast. I had visions in my head as soon as I heard it. I think that'll be my next project.
It's like he said in the podcast, many people want to make a film, but they just don't know what to make the film about. They're walking in circles. So now that I was able to make this last short with very little difficulty, it will give me the confidence I need to continue making them. I can now concentrate on making the characters come alive. I want their movements to be fluid. I want them to become alive.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
The dialogue deals with an office setting, so I chose to base my characters on the guys from "The Office." They are charicatures of Michael Scott and Dwight. I even threw in a "look at the camera" bit in the beginning for Jeff (Dwight). The piece is traditional, hand-drawn, 2D animation. The backgroud is backlit with the action layered over. I shot it with my digital camera and uploaded the pics to Premiere Elements. I used Adobe Audition to breakdown the dialogue. When put together, they synced up great!! This opens so many possibilities for me now. I just need to buy more animation paper.
This piece is 168 drawings plus one background drawing. When I was done, I had THREE sheets of paper left. Talk about cutting it close.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
You can view my profile by clicking here.
Friday, June 15, 2007
I was doing pretty good in the beginning. I was walking and sketching. I was sitting and sketcing. I was snapping pictures. I even had a couple of kids come up to me because they were interested in what I was drawing. Their dad told me one of them loved to draw and wants to be an artist. I told him he needs to get a sketchbook, a nice set of pens, and never stop drawing. (If only I could take my own advice.)
It was hot. There was no wind. And the zoo is not actually known for smelling like a bed of roses. Just a warning, but when you see tall trees with birds way up on top, and all the plants and folage down below are not green but white, GET OUT OF THERE AS QUICK AS POSSIBLE!!!
I'll be posting some of my sketches and pics soon.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Luckily, I am on vacation in about a week. I've been looking forward to this for a while. Plus, it's my birthday. yeah. Not really looking forward to THAT part. What can you do, right?
I would like to tell you my "plans" for this vacation but when I do, they never work out. Something ALWAYS screws them up. So you won't have any idea what I'm going to be doing and neither do I.
LOOK OUT WORLD, I'M DOING SOMETHING!!
Thursday, May 31, 2007
I need to order more animation paper. I was thinking, when I receive the paper that I could trim off the excess that doesn't fit in the scanner. 1) I'll need a larger paper cutter. 2) That could take a while because I'd want the sides to be equidistance from the peg holes, and not lopsided. Well, I guess it could work that way but I like things to be even.
I need to start sketching. I need to start drawing. I can see drawings in my head and I can see them moving. In a recent interview on The Animation Podcast with Glen Keane, he said that Eric Larson told him "you have to see the animation in your mind before you animate it." Well, I can see it I just can't get the image from my mind, thru my arm, to the pencil, on the paper. I can see my cartoon come alive in my head. I can see the action. I can see the action. I can see it. I just haven't had the time to get it to the paper. THAT is the most frustrating for me. Other stuff comes up. Life comes up. Working full time then trying to work on my passion full time. It is difficult. But if I love it enough, I can make it happen. I do love it. I do love seeing my drawings come to life. That is the greatest feeling in the world.
What I need to do is do some more tests with this scanning process. Yesterday, I scanned in some of the cells of "Merlin Shmerlin." What I realized was that I had a lot of empty space. If I'm going to be using this scanning process, I have to realize that I can use the ENTIRE sheet of paper. That should be really fun.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Long story short, here's what I did. I did a couple of quick sketches, scanned them in, imported to iPhoto, and then imported them to iMovie. I tried this once before and it took me forever. I shot stills of my drawings on my digital video camera, imported the video, then took out exactly three frames from every five seconds of video. It took me forever! It was really discouraging but I was able to achieve the results I was looking for. BUT NOW I did it a much easier way. I scanned them in. Imported them to iPhoto. imported them to iMovie. Within iMovie, when I am going to use a photo, I can determine how long I want the photo to be on screen. I can have it there for several seconds or, as I just realized, I CAN ONLY USE IT FOR THREE FRAMES!!!! Do you get what I'm trying to tell you?!?! All this time I have been doing it the hard way! This is going to make my "so-called animated" life so much easier. I can't believe it took me this long to figure it out.