Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I see it now!

I see why it doesn't flow.

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!!!

IT'S ALIVE!!...well, not yet

After viewing my submission several times, I see where I've made some nice advancements and also where I need some work. The dialogue came along nicely. However, my acting still needs some work. I still need to work on the arm movements and making sure they are not so "robotic." This is what I get from only learning from books and not being able to practice it that often. The characters moved, yes. Did they seem alive? Not really. They didn't seem to flow. They didn't "pop" off the screen.
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

Moving right along!!

My submission made it into the competition! I've already received some good comments and suggestions. I'm just glad I got the piece done and that it's "ok." Now that I have this under my belt, I can use it and move on to something better. Like I said in the forum, I would like to have done so much more. Next time. Now that I know I have an "easier" way of putting these things together. I can now work on my timing and acting. I just need to order some more paper. I'M ALL OUT!!


I completed my animation piece and entered it in the AnimWatch challenge!! I just submitted it not too long ago, so we'll see what happens. It is the first time I tried animating dialogue. It worked out great!! Well, not perfect, but now I have a frame of reference. I now know how to do it and how to improve it. My "acting" needs to improve as well. That's where the fun part comes in. Luckily I have all those books on animation to teach me timing and spacing. So here's to new beginnings!

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


The Animwatch website ( www.animwatch.com ) has issued their animation challenge for September and I am going to go for it. The way it works is they present a piece of dialogue and we have to animate it. the piece I'm doing is only 16 seconds long. That's not too bad. Consider this: On video, there are 30 frames per second. Animation on video is shot on threes, compared to film which is 24 frames per second and done on twos. So this means there are at least 10 drawings per second on video. At 16 seconds that's about 160 drawings. I can do that. The tough part is syncing up the dialogue. I've never done dialogue. Well, I did it once but it was only five words and I just eyeballed it. It worked. So I downloaded the dialogue and analyzed it second by second. I wrote it down on a simple exposure sheet. Theoretically it should work. I've got the layout done. I've got the characters. I've sketched out a mouth movement to each sound on the x-sheet. I have an idea for the acting. I video taped myself acting it out. I even videoed my mouth saying the words to see if I get the write poses.

Here is the dialogue I am working on:

VOICE ONE:Charlie is Pure Management Material.

VOICE TWO:Well, I'm sure he is, but don't you think that the job of Creative Director should go to someone with some creative experience? I mean, he was a road foreman for God's sake!

VOICE ONE:I know you want that promotion, but... hell, I can't even remember your name!


It has a business tone to it so I immediately got images in my head of "The Office." Here are a couple of my sketches. These are the characters and this is the layout.

The deadline it September 24. Of course I decide to take the new challenge a day or two before my vacation ended last week. So here I am, as usual, rushing and hoping to get it done in time. I need to get the animation done by Monday or Wednesday at the latest. Then I can start shooting it to video and editing the whole thing.
I'm really excited about the whole thing. This is the sort of thing I need to get me going. Combine this with the feedback I've been receiving from mytoons.com, I am really enjoying this all!

Thursday, September 6, 2007


I recently set up a profile on a new website called MyToons.com. I've seen it advertised in Animation Magazine and finally decided to check it out. It appears to be similiar to myspace but for animatiors. So I am in the process of posting a few more of my animation tests. I have already posted a lo-res version of "Merlin Shmerlin" and a few of the "Between the Sheets" comics. I'm planning on posting a better version of "Merlin Shmerlin" soon.

You can view my profile by clicking here.