Thursday, 26 January 2012

A lot of animation...

It has been a while since I last posted. I've been working flat out on my master class animations, and as much as I am enjoying doing it, it's a lot of work. I need to get it done asap as well because I have innovations and the major to be working on. Also soon we'll be given the yet unknown AAT2 animation project. Hectic times and late nights ahead I feel.

Anyhow, I posted my blocking passes for the master class animations a while ago, unfortunately those videos are no longer on line, however I do have one of the animations nearly finished. Here was the first pass of splined animation I did - The Sneaky Man.

I was pretty happy with this and would have been happy to hand it in. However it was of course still worth getting feedback. So I asked some people and sent it off to Kevan at Dreamworks for some notes and critique. He was very helpful and gave me some good notes (as well as a telling off for not including frame numbers, haha). His main points were that the beats in the animation felt a bit separate from each other. I tend to agree with this, looking back I think it was my response to my animations being too 'floaty' in the past. So I made a concious decision to add pauses to the animation. Secondly he suggested that I look into making the piece more energetic, particularly after he does his tip toe run, as the animation slowed down after that and I risked losing the audience's interest. Finally he suggested I remove some of the fence so people can see more of the animation. Which I did.

So, after that feedback, this is my re-worked version (with frame numbers):

Hope you enjoy!


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Dreamworks?! YES... Dreamworks!

Since I last blogged a lot has happened. Uni has actually properly started, and its hectic. Lots of animation for me to do this term, it's a bit daunting really.

Other than that we had the week of animation lectures from Kevan Shorey and his wife Robyn who work at Dreamworks in San Francisco. The whole week was a great series of lectures and talks about Kevan's process and approach to animation, it was an invaluable insight into how another animator works and I certainly came away from it having learnt a lot and will be applying a lot of what he taught us to my own process. On top of that Robyn talked a lot to us working in the US and the studio's pipeline and departments as whole, after hearing everything I was sure that Dreamworks is where I want to work one day. Overall it was an amazing week and it was shame we couldn't kidnap Kevan and keep him as a full time lecturer, haha.

As for my projects, everything is plodding along nicely, I'm currently finishing up doing the layout for our major project. Once that's done I'll be focusing my attention on the Masterclass project and it's impending 3rd of February deadline. I had a good meeting with Mike Wyatt who set us our Masterclass brief. He says I seem to have a good sense of animation, I just need to push my poses more, which I agree with, it's come up a few times so I need to work on that. My innovations has been slow to get going, but after a meeting with my tutor this morning I've got a clearer idea of what my plan is and I'm really looking forward to that one.

Kevan mentioned when he was talking to us that animating a horse was hard, he was right, you can see my attempt here in my latest showreel edit. Hope you like it, let me know what you think.


Friday, 6 January 2012

Busy, busy, busy...

Hello again. I've got a lot to show you in this post. Here we have the environments for our major project. But this time we can see all of it as we fly through the Tudor streets. The (not so) stealthy cube in the posher street (1st video) is where the Doctor's surgery will be, however that is still to be modelled by Nesta.



Moving on. Next up we have the final and re-worked rig tests/walk cycles for both of our main characters. The sick man I've only done recently. But the Doctor I went back and started again after taking on feedback from one of our screenings. People generally said he looked a bit stiff and had no character. So I gave him his cane and tried to give him some more swagger. I decided he needed to look more posh and dignified, so I slowed his walk down from 16 frames a step 20. Which I think helps, it makes him look more deliberate and less in a hurry. I also added more shoulder movement because it helps loosen characters up and make them look less robotic. I don't think its quite there yet, however the Doctor only has to walk once in our animation, so for now I think I should concentrate more on the acting side of things.



I am very much looking forward to having some Dreamworks animators, Kevan and Robyn Shorey, coming to talk to us next week. It will be nice to learn from animators from one of the best studios in the world.

For now though the Christmas holidays have come to an end and I'm back to uni tomorrow. It seems like it's been non stop work for the whole of the 'holidays', however I'm sure it will be worth it in the end.