Sunday, June 04, 2006

well anyway all is wrapped up now. The animation took a few days to tweak in the editiing processs. The last week was essentially about putting together the fianl bits and pieces of the project such as sounds and music.

I had trouble arranging recording time with a bassist who had devised some music that in essence fitted the animation quite nicely.

In the end I only had one night with him and that was barely enough. However I had to cut the bits that didn't feel like it worked too well.

At this very moment however, I have mannaged to get him back in for a whole days session. Which is proving to be more productive. Hopefully I will have sound that works much better with the animation before it has to go on the showreel

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

explsion test

Okay this week has been a bit of rut. There a scene in my animation that requires a comedy nuclear explsion. I didn't want to do it with 3d because I just did not feel confident that I could pull off the style Of comic explsion I wanted with 3d, it felt it would look too real or at the worst too 3d.

I then resorted to doing a key frame sequence which I was hoping to redraw using photoshop. However after scanning them in, and attempting to do some line drawing with photoshop, the affected I wanted was taking too long.

I did off course have a plan Z; if my own attempts at getting animating the explosion were to fail, I would resort to using some stock footage of a nuc explosion which which essentially gave the same effect. It might be cheating but at this stage I'm desperate!

Anyway the click the image above to see the gif sequence I put together. It's not going be used but it's worth look.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Restless fingers

As my computer is now in render mode, my fingers need something to do, so I guess I'll update this blog.

Since my last post a few more scenes have been completed with Blink, I'm holding back on what I've done, so no more previews untill everthing is finished.

I've been checking my previews (Unrendered shots), by editing them after each shot. Working in a linear way like this allows me to make sure that one scene follows throught to the next quite effectively.

I'm working on a few scenes that don't involve any character animating, and are mainly a compositing process, so after effects and photoshop have kept me quite busy.

But theses scenes are quite important to the final piece so I'm getting them out of the way so all I'll have left to do are the final shots for both blink and the judge and the aim is to make sure this is all done by the end of this week.

Over the weekend I hope to be rendering and editing, then the following week will be a case of getting some music. I've managed to rope a friend of mine into writing some music, he's working with the playblasts at the moment but I hope to put together a more final edit of the film over the weekend so that the animation is basically ready for music and sound.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Ball Juggling 2

Incidently, I've re-storyboarded the final sequence, Blink now comes on to the stage and tries to impress the judge with an array of ball juggling skills. When he kicks the ball too high, it fails to come back down. The judge then signalls for blink to leave, The depressed Blink turns and dejectedley looks to leave. Cut to space and the ball has travelled out of the earth's atmosphere, slingshots around the moon and falls back to earth. As it falls back it transforms into a flaming metorite; cut back to blink who is still standing dejectedly. Bang! The meteor collides with Blink. As the dust settles, Blink is gone the ground is scorched and only a his shoes remain. Cut to a judge who finally applauds!

Ball Juggling

Here's another scene that is complete, this is a busy weeks, so more should be here by the end of the week.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Been very ill this week. Sod's law, haven't been ill for ages, then this week, I had a whole array of scenes to animate of which I have done nil. I'm now considering rethinking some of the other scenes to shorten my animating time!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Blink's looking sexy!

I've been animating this weekend, and here's the result.

sorry to say it's only a preview at the mo, so here's a pic to give you the feel:

It's one scene so far and has taken virtually the whole weekend and was only supposed to take a day. But it is one of the more complex scenes and hopefully the others are less complex.

Should be craming more animating in this week but I have to get some sfx work finished before the end of the week.

Friday, April 28, 2006

week 9 almost over!

4 weeeks left to go...doom and gloom!

no not really!

Been animating this week. I have about 25 shots to get done, and so far I have done about 8. Having done a plan chart (dope sheet) in the early stages of storyboarding it's coming in quite handy now. I'm working mostly on the judge's scenes this week, which are mostly done!

Started Blink's animation today, Blink's shots are are slightly more complex but only because they are longer. I've changed my animating style for the last week. instead of working with stepped keys where I start by putting in the key frames first and to make sure my timing is correct, I've been going with a bit more of a pose to pose method. This has been okay, because my plan chart already charts where the key frames should go. most of the animating takes place in the process of of giving character to the inbetweens or the passing positions!

Also I've chaged Blink's colours a little as well I wasn't happy with how he was looking before, he seemed a bit flat. I think he is looking a little better now.

In addition I have a musician writing some music for the animation He's currently working with the playblasts, because nothing is rendered yet. But it's quite handy because it gives somthing to work towards the more I get done the more he has to work with the quicker this animation will come together...
...anyway now I go!

blink new colours

Thursday, April 20, 2006

It'll have to do!

Anyway I'm reasonably pleased with my work so far.

Blink is now fully setup and the judge too. There are are a few niggly things that will still bother me but the main thing is that I'm very satisfied with the setups for both characters. And I have started animating eventhough my schedule did require me to have finished all the shots by now. but I was a bit over ambitious with that scedule and not to mention that I (and JD and Richard) almost started to do some animation work that would have been paid. However after a few days of deliberating and a few meetings we pulled out because the work was just too demanding considering we only have another 5 weeks left It was a good opportunity that just came at the wrong time.

Anyway I'm giving myself two weeks to get the animating done. That should then mean I have at least 3 weeks to render edit and produce sound.

I do still have to write my essay but that's partially writing itself because I find that in order to stop working at night, it's quite productive to do my resaerch at bed puts me to sleep!

Only kidding. No really, I find that taking a few notes on the research at night is a good escape from the computer.

As a quick insight I'm looking at the contrast of realsim vs Abstration in animation.

Exploring how and why animators may stray away from realism and produce more iconic imagery, so examples of this may include Tom and Jerry, where exageration is more important to the animator. In contrast we have films like Watership Down. where the idea of reproducing a realism is more important to the story. Anyway I hope to elaborate a bit more once I have done a bit more reading up...

And that's a wrap! (for now)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Judge Set

Lighting this scene has been a huge pain in the butt!

Maya Sucks! I'ev spent all day doing this and now looking at it on another monitor I've just realised that the background is a bit too dark.

Oh well...

Monday, April 10, 2006

blink animation test


Well as promised I am now ready for a more indepth update.

Since the beginning of the semester, or more precisely since the hand in of the proposal, I have developsed a narrative for blink which has a bit more life. This has involved a lot of work

I've had two characters to rig.

Blink proved to be a real problem because I couldn't work out how I was gong to animate his mouth. The reason being that I wanted the mouth to be a simple shape that deforemd across the surface and not a mouth that uses morph targets as we see on most 3d characters. I then discovered Maya 7 with which I discovered that you can paint straight onto any objects surface.
It then became apparent that if I painted a mouth I could use the paint brush attributes to tweak the shape of the mouth. So using an example setup of a character that comes with Maya 7, I managed to create a pretty felxible mouth control for blink. If I can get my website working I should be able to put a link to some animation tests I 've done with Blink, untill then you'll have to make do with the static images that are here.

In additon to Blink I have also been juggling my time modelliing a more standard 3d character which has been a complete arse to setup!

However only today have a finished rigging him, it's taken almost 3 weeks, from modelling to rigging but I finally have a set up that is pretty flexible and should allow for all the animation I need. Although I do still need to go and setup some facial expressions for him, but that'll be a days work and have that sceduled for later this week

In addition to all the technical stuff, I also took some time out to constracut a plan chart which is simmilar to a dope sheet. When I do eventually sit down to start animating, the plan chart will be prestty useuful in that it charts the length of all my shots (in frames), including the length of any cuts between shots. Having done the plan chart already, I alreaddy have a clear breakdown of all the key elements of each shot such as the basic aim of each shot or what key poses I need to express with each shot.

Anyhow that's enuff rambling, I now need to go and build some sets!


Friday, March 31, 2006

Have been very busy recently experimenting with various methods of Blinks character setup. Here are a few pics demonstrating what he's looking like.

Alongside this there are also some pics of a character that blink is going to be interacting with.

Will give a more indepth update of what I've actually been doing but I'm very tired right now, and I really need to get to.......


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Couple more story boards

These are both individual shorts.

they are also just rough thumbnails so nothing is fully fleshed out yet but I'm working on that!

In the first one Blink is upstaged by a ball, he kicks it away and thinks it's gone for good. It bounces back and enrages Blink. As he sets up to kick it away again, a bigger ball stomps and hustles the apologetic Blink out of shot. "THUMP!" The big ball and small ball bounce back and happily bounce away. Blink stumbles back with a black eyes and abirds swirling around his head!

The second one still requires more work but is simple, Blink finds a tunnel wanders in... a few moments go by... then all of a we hear a loud horn followed by Blink running manically out of the tunnel with a train ricketing behind.

Blink Expressions

Hello all

I did this page of sketches to give myself an idea of how Blink is going to look and feel.

Preliminary Storyboard

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

toon shader test

What's going on?

Suffering from uni fatigue...

Okay so I took my ideas in to Carol and Jane last week-Bang I came out feeling pissed off! not completley their fault but either way I think communications got a bit messed up, they didn't seem to grasp the fact that I was still trying to refine my ideas. And considering that I'd received an e-mail that week from Jane telling us that we didn't have to do any presentations last thursday, I hadn't really finalised my ideas hence they came across as a bit flakey thus confusing eveyone into thinking I didn't know what I was doing! Which left me very angry and grizzly for the whole weekend.

Anyway I've also been struggling to see things objectively at the moment! Maybe the pressure of the final semester or not having a big enough break between semesters...who knows?

Anywhoot Having shown Jane some of my characters last week (which she actually liked) I've decided t go oober simple. Using all my 3d powers, I'm in the process of creating a character that feels as much like a cartoon as I can make possible within the next 10 or so weeks!

What I am intending on is to produce a number of simple shorts with Blink the character in the previous post!

The aim is to go very iconc with the style and hopefully produce an animation that I might be satisfied with.

There's still a long way to go, I still want to produce a few animation tests to see how well my ideas might work. Test are necessary especially because the animation I am going to attempt will be somwhere inbetween stopframe and 3d. I want to use a style of animation known as replacement animation, where the mouth jumps through expressions unlike in traditional 3d where morph targets are used.

One thing I really need to test is how this replacement style could work with the rest of the character being a more traditional 3d character.

Anyhow I must go and experiment with sleep, struggling with that a lot too!(maybe I'll ust watch Back to the future 2)

New pics new character new style!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

No title, just rambling!

Okay this week work done so far,

Done some sketches of my characters, did them on graph paper, the characters are really simple.

I also did some colour sketches of the backdrop, which I am intending on doing in 2d.

Tomorrow I want to get my storyboard refined, going to go through it with a fine tooth comb to work out how long certain scens are going to be and also to clearly define exactly what takes place.

The opening scenes are not problematic, it's the final scenes where one of the characters actually has to grow larger than the other, in order to eat him. I need to work out if I can actually do this and if not, what are my other options.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Back to the Drawing board!

Okay finally thinking straight again.

I have a short thumbnailed storyboard now for my next double project (nothing to do with brains I'm afraid). I've broken it down into key scene and approximately worked out how long each scene will be, although I still need to finish that.

Whence that is complete other things I need to do beforeI start production include:

1-Finalising my characters. I need to do a front and side view of all the characters
2-Analyse the storyboard and list any problem areas, and write a detailed solution.

Some of the problems will be technical eg the creature in my scene has to grow and transform into a viscious grizzly gremlin. I need a clear visual idea of how this will happen and need to work out howI can animate this!

Some of the problems might be more concerned with the storyboard so I need to redo some sequeces to fit with others.

3-I also need to do some colour studies of the scenes.

4-Storyboard also need to be finalised! that has to be done this week.

5-animatic to work out the timing.

Once all these are done there should be no problems when it comes to production because I should have variety of visual references for the characters, the scenes but most importantly a clear idea of the timing for each scene.

All this should hopefully be done by the end of this week.