Friday, December 16, 2011

Intro to TVP Animation: The Frog and the Fly

As the second part of our introduction to TVP Animation, we had to, in 2½ days, make a 10 second animation with a given layout and the premise, "a frog sits peacefully on a water lily. A fly enters..." Of course, a lot of drawings (read: all the inbetweens) are missing in this, but it should still read pretty clear.

This assignment concludes my first semester at The Animation Workshop. Kudos to everyone at the school, you guys have been great so far.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Intro to TVP Animation: A Flying Bird

This week, we began using TV Paint for the first time. Our first assignment was to create a cycle of a somewhat naturalistic flying bird in the program. We had only a day to finish the assignment but once I got a hang of the program, I could work pretty quick. Given that it was the first time I used the program, plus the fact that I had never animated proper flight before (which meant I had to study both birds anatomy and the physics of flight), I'm pretty happy with my little pigeon.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Attitude Walk: The (Sneaky) Pink Panther

Here's another walk cycle of the Pink Panther. For this Walk Animation Assignment we had to show an attitude. Mine was "sneaky". We shot a reference video of ourselves acting out what attitude we had, after which a number of people commented that I had a very unusual way of sneaking, which probably shows in the following animation.
Compare this walk to the one I did one post down and You will see what I mean when I say that "for the attitude walk animation, I wanted to challenge myself more".

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Natural/Neutral Walk Cycle: The Pink Panther

As an precessor to animating attitude walks and acting, we had to create an indtroductionary natural (read: neutral/no fun) walk cycle. We were working with the Pink Panther for this assignment and I went for an older design of him which is the reason for his head being pretty big and his tail being pretty short.

I Appologize for the vague image quality. The images have been through some quality-reducing processing in order to keep the walk cycle looping. Though The Animation Workshop provides us with a lot of great tools, sometimes, it just doesn't quite suffice.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Animation Inbetweening Pt. 2 - Stitch and Fruit

The second installment of our course in animation inbetweening did not really focus all that much on inbetweening. The assigment we were given was to take our scenes of Stitch made during the Drawing for Animation course and draw the missing inbetweens. Personally, my animation was very (read: all too) rough. With no clear single lines to inbetween, I had to more or less clean up my animation before being able to inbetween it (which I believe is also the order of the work process out in the industry, truth be told). Fortunatly, this meant that I was given a chance to go over the animation itself aswell, making pretty much everything better. Here's a linetest of the result:

For a comparison to the old rough version, here's a link to that blog post.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Animation Inbetweening Pt. 1 - The Secret of Kells, Aisling Scene

This week, we've practiced animation inbetweening. We were given the Aisling scene from the movie "The Secret of Kells". The timing had been changed so we couldn't copy off the movie, and fortunatly the new timing looks so much better than the weird snappy timing that ended up in the actual movie.

This is the scene as it was handed to us, with filled-in blanks each time an inbetween drawing was to be made:

...And this is the scene complete with all the 27 inbetweens I did, including the new timing. Note: The mouths have been left out, as this was strictly an assignment in inbetweening, not lipsync:

Next week, we're going to inbetween our scenes of Stitch getting a fruit from a tree.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Design 1

This week, I had my first design class ever. Lawrence Marvit was our teacher, and it has truly been an epiphany. I went from seeing abstract art as nonsense to seeing it as the most clear way of expressing a feeling. We stacked drawing tools (first Line then Shape then Value etc...) and worked on an abstract level the whole week, even though most of the pictures we analysed were classical paintings of figures and landscapes. We spend hours upon hours of creating a picture with three black boxes and a line, drew the taste of bacon and dark chocolate, drew the sound of "Kind of Blue", and the feelings of romance and Robin Hood. Here are some of my drawings; believe it or not, to do them took between 3 hours and 20 minutes in excecution as well as days of studying:

Kind of Blue
"A smoky underground jazz club"

"Two people under bed sheets"

Robin Hood
"A bird soaring over a big wall"

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Drawing for Animation

For the past 2 weeks, we have had a course with the somewhat misleading name, Drawing For Animation. I say "misleading" because what the course was really all about was animating rather than drawing. With terms such as flow and spacing explained and reflected on in depth, the course was my first entry into advanced animation (as opposed to basic animation where principles are applied rather than really understood). The requirements for the task was to, in a 5 second clip, show Stitch getting a fruit down from a tree. This is a result of the first 5-6 animation passes; from storytelling keys to the first few inbetweens:

The scene is going to be inbetweened, cleaned up and coloured in later classes.

Also, as part of the Drawing For Animation class, we had to each morning do Animation Croquis. We were drawing Stitch for the course, which meant that each morning we would put on a scene from Disney's Lilo and Stitch, stop frame through it 5 frames at a time, whilst spending 15-60 seconds on drawing Stitch off the screen. As the days went by, we shifted focus from drawing the poses and proportions of the character to NOT drawing at all, meaning only ANIMATING the movement and the flow, as shown in the last part of this clip, where the character becomes nothing but flow lines:

Our teacher during this course was a former student at the very same Character Animation education at The Animation Workhop which I'm currently attending, the wunderkind Frederik Villumsen assisted by Henrik Sønniksen.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Animation Basics 4: The Flour Sack ...and a Thank You

Animating the infamous flour sack is standard procedure when learning animation; it combines most of the basic principles in animation at their most basic states. Besides from being a great excersise it weight and acting, a thing I really learned a lot about whilst doing this assignment was timing. I can now say that I truly understand what is meant with animation being like music. Animation needs the same kind of variation in timing as music needs variation between brief and lasting, high and low notes - this is the way to keep an audience hooked when viewing longer clips. But timing is also crucial when you want to not only express an action but create life. For instance, for how long should a character look at an object before it reacts to it? It should not only look at the object for long enough that the audience understands that it is looking, it should look long enough that the audience believes that the character is seeing, thinking and processing what it's seeing. This is key in creating life; making each action you force upon a character seem like it comes from the character itself. These are just some of the many things I discovered and realized during the 5 days of doing this seemingly simple clip of animation.

The flour sack concludes a 4 week course in basic animation with Mike Polvani (Hades from Disney's Hercules, The Iron Giant, The Little Mermaid) and his wife Cathlin (The Prince fo Egypt, The Powerpuff Girls). They have both offered great support; not only are they great artists, they're great people. Thank you.

Me and Mike Polvani in a badly staged photo - it's just too hard not to smile around these people :-)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Animation Basics 3: Hitting A Table

In one day we had to animate a character (in my case, Trix) who was hitting a table with a hammer. The sequence had to loop but before it did so, it had to last exactly 50 frames. I focused mainly on the timing of the movement rather than the timing of the clip in my first attempt to solve the task:

Then I realized that my animation lasted only 18 frames so it was back to the drawing board - litteraly. Having little time to finish off the assignment, I chose to use limited animation to add another little touch to the movement, along with some more inbetweens (the added inbetweens aren't clean up but I think the result of this - making the character blink - is a nice way of showing exactly where I put in more drawings):

This week, I will finally get to animate the infamous Disney flour sack!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Animation Basics 2: Ball With Attitude and Tail

This Monday, class started out with each student pulling a piece of paper out of a bag. On the paper was written an emotion; "sad", "happy", "angry"; I pulled "angry". Now, the assignment was to use the following 3 days on creating an animation of a ball with a tail, expressing the aforementioned emotion. But the assignment had very specific requirements: the clip had to be exactly 7 seconds (175 frames) long, where exactly the first 5 seconds were to be made up of movement and the last 2 seconds should show a held position (in my case, a pitch black screen - just to fool everybody).

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Animation Basics 1: Heavy And Light Ball

Animation finally started, and as almost everybody in the class are new to the craft, we started off with the basics. This was an exercise in showing the difference between a light (ping-pong) and a heavy (bowling) ball. Both animations were required to be seen from the side, but I mixed it up for the heavy ball - just to show off ;-)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gerald McBoing-Boing

Drawing somebody else's character design a million times is often a necessity in animation. This is tedious work but the key to get through it is to be creative with it and to try to have fun while drawing a design you may think is stupid. I've been drawing Gerald McBoing-Boing all day. Here's a few sketches.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Money Does Grow On Trees"

This is the final ("final" so far, as always) product of my first film collaboration, made at The Animation Workshop, so It's not my movie all alone (well, the scenes in the post below are); it's a result of combined work effort and ideas between Mathias Hald Nørgaard, Karina Venneberg and Elisabeth Hau.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Few Shots from "Money Does Grow On Trees"

Last week, I began studying Character Animation at The Animation Workshop. Truth be told, the specifically animation minded teachings have not begun just yet, but I am learning about a lot of the basics in movie making and production as well as getting to know and work with some of my fellow students/collegues.
Our very first project was an exersise in combining people's different abilities and strenghts. We were divided into groups of 4-5 people from both the Character Animation- and the Computer Graphic Artists' Line. Since no one knew each other nor anything substantial about movie production, a curious mindset and communication was of the utmost importance, because together we had to create a short film with a total lenght of maximum 30 seconds, inspired by a podcast. Our short film is called "Money Does Grow On Trees" and these are a couple of scenes which I did:

We were required to incorporate at least one real-life image into our productions. I like the way we came up with a way of solving that task which actually adds comedic effect to the production: