Monday, April 27, 2009

AM Week 204

The first assignment for the "Body Mechanics" class is finished :)

I still did a lot of polishing for arcs, moving holds, knee spacing and spacing in general. Spacing is really one area where 2D-animation has it's advantages, because you need to focus on the spacing with every drawing you create. If done right, the movement has a very organic and natural flow to it and there are no such things as flipping or popping IK-arms and legs.

Fixing those issues in CG usually requires a lot of frame-by-frame animation for each of those elements. However I actually enjoy doing that, as it just looks so much nicer in the end, and I know it's one of the last steps before the piece is done :)

For this assignment I also did a little bit of modeling for the location, not because it was required or it'll get me better grades, but just because I was in the mood and had fun doing it. Modeling or lighting is not required for AM, we are actually encouraged to spend all of the time animating, since that is what we are there for. So for the next assignment, I'll keep that in mind...

I submitted the usual Playblast, a rendered version and a silhouette version of the character.

Week 204 Assignment - Polished Version

I also had to hand in the planning for the next assignment. From the various options I chose "Parkour", which I guess a lot of students will do. Those Parkour-guys just do some very appealing and fascinating moves, running through cities and jumping around like crazy :)

This week I'll be blocking out the shot, here you can see my planning sketches.

Week 204 Planning

Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

AM Week 203

Last week it was time to refine the animation of the jump and incorporate more details, like the feet peeling off the ground, feet planting on the ground, as well as working out general arcs and overlapping of the body.

So here is my submission for week 3. It's not finished yet and I'll polish the animation some more this week, but I think most of the motion is working alright.

As usual, feedback is always welcome!
Have a nice week everyone, and I hope you all have such great spring weather as we do here :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

AM week 202

So here we go with the first blocking of my jump animation!
Right now there are just two dark planes as a ground, which will hopefully be replaced by two modeled mountain tops, depending on how much time I'll have.

For those of you who are not into animation, the term "blocking" basically means "roughing out" the movement, so that all the key elements and positions are there, and you know exactly what's going on. So right now there are still images missing in between the poses and the character snaps from one position to the next. The next step will be to fill in more information and refine the movement further.

As a side note, I recently watched the documentary on the "Wall-E" Blu-Ray called "The Pixar Story", which is a 90 minute film about the history of the studio, created by director Leslie Iwerks. It's just awesome, I totally enjoyed it and found it to be very inspiring and motivating :)
So go check it out, I think it can also be found on the 2-disc DVD set.

Moreover, the documentary is shown in beautiful HD, and better still, all the sample scenes from other Pixar films that are featured in the movie also look like HD to me. This makes me super-excited about the upcoming high-def releases of their films!

So much for now.....

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Toy

Now for something less related to animation: I have a new toy :)

Since Spring is approaching and I don't want to be working inside all the time, I decided I need a mobile device. However I didn't want to get a big and expensive laptop, but rather something I can type on in the park, surf the web and watch movies on a train-ride.

So I decided on a little 10inch eeePC netbook from Asus, the newly released 1000HE. So far I'm really happy with it, it comes with Windows XP and after installing some of my favourite tools and upgrading to 2 Gigs of RAM it works perfectly for my needs.

It has a lot of convenient features such as deactivating w-lan and bluetooth with the click of a button, or different power saving modes. It also has a multi-touch trackpad and a matte screen. Probably the best thing about it is that the batterie lasts for up to 10 hours, I guess for typical use it's between 7 and 9 hours.

Now I could have my AM Q&A-sessions in the park :)

Ok, just thought I'd share some "nerd stuff"...

Happy Easter everbody!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Class 2 started!


Since I promised to post a little more regularly, I wanted to write a little bit about my new class and Mentor, because last week Class 2 of the Animation Mentor program started! Yeah :)
This term I'll be dealing with body mechanics, and towards the end of the semester we'll move on to full-body shots with arms and legs. For the start of the term the motto is still "Keep it simple", and we animate the ball with feet.

Last week we had our first Q&A with the new class. My Mentor for this term is Josh Book, who is currently working at Wildbrain Animation Studios in San Francisco. He also worked for studios like Nickelodeon and Electronic Arts and originally started out in game animation. So he has a variety of experience in many different areas and styles of animation, which is awesome!
For more info check out his website!

The assignment I chose for the first month of Class 2 (yeah we get to choose now!) is a jump over a gap between two mountain tops. We were supposed to shoot some video reference and then do the planning for the shot.

So here is my planning :)
If it's too small just open it in a new window...

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