These are a few sketches that i did in life drawing classes, i have other observational drawings in my sketchbook, i would scan them in but it would take about a year!! so if you'd like to see them, please let me know :)
Sorry if there are light reflections off of it, i don't have a scanner so i had to take pictures of them... and also sorry if they're a bit wonky, my friend had to hold them up for me :(
I filmed the whole of my animation today just to see if it worked- it was a rough idea and was expecting to find a few glitches or bad lip syncs that i could improve on but it seemed pretty smooth so i'm happy with that.
All i need to now, i guess is to finish inking, film and possibly colour and add in the background!
Argggghhh!! I've worked pretty much to the core today- i even have the drawing bump to prove it!
Anyway, from where i left off, I was literally doing the last leg of the entire animation.... So the original plan was that when the angel says "Yeah... Sort of...", she'd be scratching her head in a guilty manner. Next, the rest of the animation would be a close-up of the devil replying, and during the speech of the angel, he'd be looking left to right quickly as if thinking quickly of a plan... (still with me?!)
I'm sure once you see the tests you'll get what i mean...
Test 8- Attempting the end
Okay, so what i found from this, is that the angel's head scratch is pretty fab (unless her lip syncing is off)... But the devil is less so, his eyeballs literally look like theyve dropped in their sockets and are rolling around at the bottom. So numero 1, too fast, and err... that's it. You can't even tell what he's trying to do- it's that awful! I looked back to the dope sheet to see if i could slow it down and fit it into the timing, but alas, it wasn't going to make it easy.
If i was to slow it down to a normal pace, there literally would only be enough time for a look to the left and then to the right (which would make it look like he's trying to search for something, or just seen something run past -_-')... Basically, to rectify this, I had to think of an entirely different way he could convey his emotion that wouldnt involve Mr. Rolly-Eyeballs making another appearance...
SOOOO!! I went along with a simple slow lowering of the eye vision, as if thinking and a stare as in he's taking in what she's saying and listening.. hopefully this next test shows that.
Test 9- Polishing the ending
I have to say, i'm happy with the decision i made, and even with the audio, the lip syncing is pretty much spot on!... So after that previous hurdle, I was definately thankful for this little morale boost :) whooohoo!!
Plans for tomorrow:
Film the entire animation.
Find out any lip syncing glitches by adding/removing/editing frames and noting them down on the dope sheet.
Film the animation again.
If it's fine, ink up all the frames (incl. backgrounds)
Film the final animation.
Edit the animation so the backgrounds are in place.
Note any changes that had to be made in my sketchbook.
(My boyfriend wanted a quick mention for some reason... So "Hello there, Rhys!!" :) x
I've been busy getting my head down to do some animation work worthy of tests! The only problem that i found was that, although i could easily do line tests to see if the animation flowed, i wasn't able to sync the animations with the audio clip until i got home, which by then i'd have to remember what i'd have to improve on and do it the next day...
Test 2- Angel dropping her head
The title literally speaks for itself, it was just a quick test to see whether i had the angel's head dropping convincingly... which i think it is! whooohooo! Although, i'm not sure why the background is pink- i apologise for that.
Test 3- Angel's first dialogue
This was the hardest, and although it doesn't look it, it WAS the hardest part in the animation so far to do, and at first, it looks alright, but once i managed to sync the dialogue with it, it looked like the angel was speaking too slowly, so i need to sort that out, possibly take out a few frames... Also, her gesture at the end, when she raises to hug the pencil, her arms seems to be quite choppy and the motion isn't smooth enough, a few inbetweens should hopefully smooth that out... And, is it me? Or does it look like she's gradually leaning forward/slanting at the end?
Test 4- Improving the previous flaws and a bit more...
This was literally just a test to iron out the previous problems before i forgot them. I added a few more inbetweens to the arm bend which hopefully makes it look slightly more realistic, and i started animating the devil's second dialogue, and making sure the stronger point he'll be doing is also working... which i think it is :)
Test 5- Close-up Angel
[Blogger's not letting me upload this video at the moment]
The first of the close-ups is the angel when she starts to get annoyed and pushes her body forward in frustration, and as she does so, her hair flings forward. I'm aware that this test isn't very polished but it WAS only 4 frames just to make sure i was getting the movement right... and it's a good thing i checked because i wasn't!! haha... the hair was defying physics and going the wrong direction which gave it a slightly wooden look and it didn't flow at all. Time to fix it...
Test 6- Close-up Angel Take 2
I managed to fix it, lip sync n all! and i've gotta admit, i'm pretty damn proud of this :).. was just a simple case of applying my timing and spacing knowledge from a previous project.
Test 7- Close-up Devil
Lol! i wasn't sure with the body being so still, that it was going to be very effective but i think it's quite good, the fact that he looks so serious but all he's doing is holding/looking at his burger, works somehow... Or maybe most of his expressive is easily read off his face, or the lip sync is passable.. Either way, i'm happy with this.
So far, so good, but i've still got 4 seconds to go... Who knows?!! It might not all be so peachy :(
Today i started to do my animation, and so far i worked out the first speech sentence of the devil... since i have 2 characters to animate, i thought it would be easier to concentrate on one at a time and come back to the other later...
Test 1- First Devil Speech
I think this works quite well, his arm pointing isn't too obvious but i'm not too worried about that as it's not really the main focus... The background isnt there at the moment, and i'm aware that something flashes at the beginning on the left-hand side, that's because it was a key frame and the other character was drawn. I noticed his body shrinks and his burger starts to get a bit sloppy so i'm going to fix that.
Hello! it's been a while since i said something but i've been busy trying to finalise character designs and dope sheets and other things that sound quite cool :p
Today, i did my dope sheets (like afore mentioned) and i acted out an animatic so that i can focus my storyboard on it, and eventually do my proper animatic storyboard to follow up... this might be unneccessary detail and wasting my time but to be honest, i can see it helping so i thought why not?
So this is my acting for my animatic, the proper thing to come soon (i hope).
To get a general idea of the overall movement, I filmed Joe and I acting out the characters and what they would be doing in the animation so that i could refer to the movements and make sure i get them right. The movements are all very animated and exaggerated so they're easier to compare and draw out.
Here is one video i compiled to just show the general conversation... Obviously in the final animation, both the characters will be on screen and i still have the original footage to go back, but i thought it might be easier to show as an example/taster when put together:
Since i was already in the flow of filming and editing, i thought id seize the opportunity to film my facial expressions and saying the dialogue... Later on, this will help me with lip syncing the characters and make sure they're displaying the right expressions with different tones of voice to make it more convincing.
For the next 4 weeks, we were set to create an animation to go alongside an 11 second audio clip. As usual, i chose one of the most challenging clips (argggh... why do i do this to myself?? -_-')... anyway, as this blog server doesn't really support audio clips, i've written out the dialogue, as accurately as i could:
MAN: Have you written it?
WOMAN: I-i can... No
MAN: (interrupts) Have you written it?
WOMAN: (interrupts) An outline!
MAN: (pause) Okay, but i-it's just an outline, right?
WOMAN: Yeah!... Sort of
MAN: Sort of?!
WOMAN: Yeah, it's just not typed
MAN: Not typed?!
As soon as i started to brainstorm for ideas, I realised how hard it was to find a story that would suit the context of the dialogue...
"Homework Slaves"- 2 characters (computer and computer mouse?) forced to do hwk, acting as if they're scared of being punished. [May be hard to animate these objects]
"Homework Hut"- Trainee Openings. A superior questions a trainee on their progress on doing the hwk. [doesn't quite work with the worried dialogue]
Pencil talking to computer- the computer's just generally panicky... no plotline.
Kids- Bully picking on girl to go his hwk/forge note from parent? [doesn't quite work]
First of all, when looking at the clip from a glance, it seems that the man wants something written for him urgently... but when looking at his 3rd line: "okay, but i-it's just an outline, right?", doesn't agree with the idea, so in the end i had no choice but to actually reanalyse the situation, and realised it actually makes more sense if the man DIDN'T want something written.
5. "7 Deadly Sins"- Angel and Devil are speaking about a list of the 7 deadly sins pinned on the wall. Devil displays some attributes of the 7 deadly sins, he's talking to the angel who's just written them (pencil in hand to show she's written it), when she explains that they havent been typed, this is to imply that they will be official and the devil will suffer.
After choosing my final idea, I thought i'd start the character designs before breaking down the dialogue and acting.
Examples of some sketchbook work so far:
I found character designing quite difficult as it's not something I'm familiar with doing, i've learnt that in the future, i should break down the character's body into shapes so they're easier to imagine when drawing them from different angles.
I apologise for the really truely crap photos, i'm not rich enough to own a scanner :(.. sad times
I haven't been very good with blogging up what i thought, learnt and noted from all the previous lectures so I thought i'd do it quickly now before i go off to work on my sketchbook :P
Lecture 1 (15/10/09): From Pencil to Pixels
I have actually read a book with this exact title, it reminded me of this, basically showing animations through the ages, how it started, what used to be entertaining, the development of equipment, opportunity for new styles of drawing, how CGI started to make a name for itself and so on.
This video was similar. It showed us the beginning with silent animation such as Felix the Cat, and slowly when animation started to introduce sound and music, such as Steamboat Willie and some of the newer (back then) Mickey Mouse series. Showing us the progression and development through the animation world, the maker of Disney's Toy Story talked about how to animate anything inanimate- first, let the audience know which part would characterise as the head, such as the moving head of the Pixar lamp, he spoke of how when he first began, 3-D CGI was then not developed enough to be made a market for, until one of his shorts (about a baby and a wind up symbal toy) showed it could be the next big thing.
"Don't make it realistic, make it believable"
"Nothing in Animation comes for free"
"Animators are actors with pencils"
"Animators are children who have never grown up"
Lecture 2 (22/10/09): George Melies
Unfortunately i didn't make many notes, this wasn't because i wasn't paying attention, but the film was very lengthy and i tried to absorb as much as possible. This is what i could remember:
-Melies was an early french magician and film maker working with optical illusions
-Melies burnt his films, to which he later regretted and worked in his wife's sweet shop for the next 3 years until a sudden viewing of his work someone had found was being shown in a theatre.
-He found it difficult to locate the theatre and when he did, he burst through the white screen the film was shown on and improvised a speech.
-A friend introduced a camera to him that he may be able to use for animations but would not give him permission to use as it was for hospitals.
-After some trouble, he managed to track down a maker for such cameras from a man in England, and from there on, started to create his films.
-The camera was very loud when the reel was turned and he jokingly called it "the coffee grinder"
-He would paint all his background for his filming and film it outside where the light was then stronger. However, weather changes and clouds would alter the lighting.
-Melies then built his own studio which was in exact proportions with the theatre he would perform magic in. It had all the pulleys so that actors and props could be given the illusion to be flying or falling.
-A shed was built at the back so the camera would be able to stand and the stage would have more space.
-If he was filming an under-water feature, he would film through a fish tank.
-His butlers and helpers would act as the extras.
-He had a method when he would film a first section, and then reel back and re-film once the actor had moved to give the illusion someone had transformed, disappeared or a part of their body had moved.
-Obviously this was hard to do, to locate the exact point in the film where it would need to be refilmed, so he used his method of "Splicing" when he would cut the film and rejoin them to make the illusion more accurate.
-Everytime there is a white line across the top of the screen, this is when splicing has been done.
Lecture 3 (29-10-09): Sound Design for Wall-e
I found this lecture very interesting. It taught me how both sound and animation both work together to make characters seem even more real. Such a good example is shown in Disney's Wall-e, when practically the first 30-40 mins of the film has no dialogue, and the sounds created (by Ben Burtt, also sound designer for Star Wars) were entirely responsible for creating the mood and explain what was happening.
What was interesting to me was that most of the sounds created were from electronic control devices/instruments or man-made objects as apparently, real-life sounds were not nearly as realistic enough as ones created in the studio. Early Disney did a similar technique, where the instruments would be in the studio, all man made, such as running peas in a barrel against some nails to give the illusion of sound of rain. However, their sounds were more musical.
Physics and science underpin what sounds to use, but if it conflicts with the emotions. Then the emotions win over.
I had a bit of spare time on my hands yesterday evening and today and i thought i'd make a short, by just editing my actual project. I coloured it in photoshop, in light pastel shades to keep the cupcake looking innocent, so that the humour still stays. I then edited it in Final Cut Pro, added a title, some humorous quotes before modifying some of the frames so the cupcake danced along with the music.
I don't know if it's just the fact that i made it and i've watched a million cupcakes pelvic-thrusting or whether it's just plain silly, but i hope it still makes people laugh... even though you'd probably just be wasting 3 minutes of your life that you'll never get back.
Simple Short- (Warning! Shield your children's ears)
Today i managed to redraw the last few frames from yesterday and made the movement of the eyes smoother. I did four frames to stop hsi eyes when looking down and looking up so that the audience can grasp the emotion that he's just realised what's happened. I also started drawing the next section of the cupcake covering the space on his head.
Test 10- Testing the Ending
I think i managed to convey the embarrassed shuffle off the screen quite well... I doubled the frames during the the tilt to the left and when both feet are on the ground normally... this was to emphasise the side step, so that he wouldnt look like he was galloping across the screen.
The Finished Animation
I'm quite happy with what i produced in 4 days... an 18 second animation which is fairly smooth... now with my remaining time, i plan to refine my sketchbook before my assessment, and possibly colour and put music behind my animation :)
...And with colour...
I'm aware that the animation with colour is faster, infact a whole 2 seconds shorter. This was because, when i imported it into photoshop, i had to redo the timing for some reason. I tried desperately to get it as close as possible to the original... This is the most forgiving one i produced out of any of the times. The colours i chose were of a soft palette, just to keep the childish nature of the cupcake
I did like a million tests today just to get this little guy to thrust just right.
Test 5- Perfecting and Starting the 2nd Thrust
i perfected the turn, as on my last test from yesterday, the turn was slightly off- there was a glitch so i added in an inbetween and smoothed that out. I also started the 2nd thrust, it was just the key frames as i was slightly unsure of whether i should add in an inbetween if i wanted the movement quicker... But no, i learnt from this test that pretty much, whatever the speed of the thrust, you do need an inbetween to stop it from jumping.
Test 6- 2nd Thrust Complete
The title pretty much sums this test up. Gareth recommended some music just to go behind this one test, and it was so effective that i laughed until i cried. I might go back to this at the end if there is any time to just make a short. (Riverside- Sidney Sampson)- it was hard to reject this song for the final thing because it worked strangely well, it does have some swearing in it and i remember one of the criteria was for the animation to be non-offensive. Does that count?
Test 7- 3rd Thrust Complete
Since I'd already done the 2nd thrust, i kind of knew what to do from then on so i didn't think i really needed to do a test half-way for the 3rd... And luckily, i was right, it turned out fine (everything in 3rd thrust 12fps) and it makes me laugh EVERYTIME! look at that cupcake go!
Test 8- Having a Stab at the Ending
I started filming from the end to make the most of my time... i already knew the rest worked. Obviously this ending isn't the final one, it was just to get an idea of what i'm going to do tomorrow. Just a template. I think the fall of the cherry is fine... however, when the cupcake looks up, the drawings look a bit sloppy and it's quite choppy in the eye-movement. That's when i realised how exhausted i was and to call it a day. Tomorrow i will be redrawing the last 3 frames in that test and carrying on with the end of it... with a bit of hard work, i could be finished that day too!
So for this week, we have to have completed a 20 second max. animation on absolutely anything (non-offensive of course).. i found this brief quite difficult because it's so open.
I decided to think of something i would:
find quite entertaining (therefore humorous),
something quite original,
hopefully clever (although it didnt quite turn out to be :p),
something simple enough to complete in the short time,
yet still be effective,
something surreal (i like to use my imagination)
Enter, "Frosty, the Pelvic-Thrusting Cupcake".
At first, the idea seemed pretty stupid. But the more i thought about it, that could be part of the genius behind it. Yes, it doesn't make sense (people would find that funny), and there's no real story (so everyone can enjoy it!), but it's fairly original, dancing food has all been done before but you wouldn't BELIEVE! i tried so hard to research for any animations already created specifically on dancing cupcakes and there were none! So hence, my stupid idea = highly original. GENIUS.
Although, at first it sounds like not alot, i guess i lied, it does have a story. The little cupcake is happy, he enjoys a good thrust. He thrusts all day long. He gets very energetic in his thrusting to the point his poor little cherry falls off, he feels naked and shuffles off in embarrassment.
What limited me to creating anything that was probably more sensible, was the time limit we were given. It's easier to make people laugh in 20 seconds than any other emotion. That's what i think anyway.
Some Prior Research
Excuse any laughing, it's really hard to do this without feeling like a complete fool. If i have fun doing the research- it's a good chance i'll enjoy the project.
Test 1- Key frames
This first test only consists of 2 frames repeated. I just wanted to make sure i had the positioning right. The arms look a bit peculiar... maybe some inbetweens will sort that out?
Test 2- Key frames + Inbetweens
I'm quite happy with the movement, it's definately getting there, but the arms still seem to shuffle around a bit, i might need to go back and alter the frames to exaggerate the movements slightly more. It's also a tad slow, i'm thinking i could afford to lose some inbetweens to make it faster. Kelvin also told me i could have animated the cherry stalk to sway back and forth as secondary animation. Goddamn his good idea, why did i have to ink first?!!! :( will have to remember for next time.
Test 3- Completing the Thrust
I think the speed of the thrust is definately more believable- it's a snappier movement so the timing had to be made quicker. I also made the outward thrusts 3 frames and the inbetweens 1, altered the frames to remove the his left arm (our right) to emphasise the thrust that little bit more. Time to carry on...
Test 4- Thrust and Turn
I'm very happy with how smooth this turned out to be. I definately found this very difficult in the first day, it was the perspective (always the perspective) of a surreal inanimate object and trying to create how it would move if it was alive and what angle would be realistic when it thrusts. The turn overall is pretty good, i'm just going to add in an inbetween between his final thrust on the left and turning to the middle as it jumps a little there.
i was a tad naughty and forgot to blog the stuff i did yesterday so im going to have to do it in one huge blog- so hold tight.
I wanted my anticipation project to be slightly different to most people's bog standard jump in several amusing scenerios... so i thought i'd draw a kid swinging back and forth on a swing (who happened to look a bit special) until he's flung into the air, makes a very happy leap into the air before landing.
I knew this project was going to be a challenge to finish as quickly as i usually do, and just a challenge in general but i was up for it. It was the momentum of the swing that threw me at first, to make it look realistic swinging about, how it gets slower at the peaks before needing less frames when it swings low....
Key frames. They have been responsible for saving my mental condition many times. Thank you key frames.
Test 1- Testing the Swing
Okay, so at this point, it hadn't even crossed my mind to be aware of the spacing and timing, despite being adamant that id learnt this concept thoroughly last week!.. whoops. So in this first test, the swing goes back and forth- not realistically, but it does swing. I realised what had to be done, more inbetweens, slow down the swing at the peaks and speed up on the lower swings.
Test 2- The Swing
I'll be brutally honest, this was incredibly difficult to shoot- partly because i was reusing frames, there was no real order i could put the frames in, but i tried my godammned hardest. It's all a bit sketch in this test, figuring when to double the frames and single others... but i think it worked out fairly well (for a test anyway).. i guess if i wanted to know precisely which frames i wanted to use, i'd have given them all a number and written an order of frames down... but im not nearly as patient as that. But despite this, i was quite happy at this point so i moved on...
Test 3- The Jump
I'm not going to lie, i thought this wasn't going to work out as well as it did. But with a few double frames being removed, and actually getting rid of some of my inbetweens to speed up action, it worked out pretty damn well!... go me!
The Final Thing
This is it!.. if i was being very critical about my work, i'd say the starting kick off swing is a little weird but you can still get the jist, but again, it was a hard perspective to grasp so i reckon it could have been alot worse. I like how the kid pauses at his little jump :)... i only wish i could colour it, but since i dont have photoshop at home at the moment, it's proving difficult.