Saturday, March 26, 2011

So my sister got me to do some paintings of our dogs a little while ago (in exchange for a Princess and the Frog movie poster from Disney Movie Rewards....) and I'm finally getting around to posting pictures of them.  We have 3 dogs, all chihuahua's named Abby, Sophie and Amigo and they are all ridiculous.  My sister is a huge Ron Burns fan, so she asked me if I could do them in a similar style while still incorporating my own.  I tried my best!

I first did little thumbnail paintings to try and figure out what kinds of colors I would use and where the general placement of the dogs would be.

This first thumbnail painting turned out looking more like an angry Ewok type creature than a chihuahua.  It also let me see that just painting the dogs head with no body is kind of looks like Sophie had a run in with a guillotine or the Cheshire cat.

The next thumbnail I did was of Abby, our long haired chihuahua.  I like how the eyes and the colors turned out.

The last thumbnail that I did was of Amigo.  He has an abnormally large head.

After the thumbnails I had a better idea of how I wanted the paintings to look, so I did the actual paintings on slightly larger canvases.

And here are some actual pictures of my dogs for comparison.



All 3 dogs

And then I found a ridiculous sultry picture of Amigo...

The End.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

50th post! And Class 1 Progress Reel

So I just realized that my last post was the 50th one on this blog!  Happy 50 posts, blog!  For the occasion I got you a progress reel...More specifically my progress reel from Class 1:Basic Foundations at Animation Mentor!  The class was awesome!  My Mentor Scott Lemmer was super wonderful and always pushed me to do better while still being incredibly supportive at the same time.  My classmates were also super supportive and I thank them for all of their helpful feedback and comments!  I start Class 2 on Monday, and I'm super excited for it!  I'm really  looking forward to the break week that we get in between Class 2 and 3.  Animation is hard work!  Anyways, here's my Class 1 progress reel!

Animation Mentor Class 1-week 10 and 11

So after the Vanilla walk we got a chance to put a little bit of character into Ballie with a personality walk.  We were allowed to choose from pretty much any type of personality walk, happy, sad, old, young, etc.  I chose to to a sneaky walk.  This is my planning for my contact poses/breakdowns and extreme up and down positions.  

This walk turned out to be a little tricky because there is so much back and forth to it.  I had a lot of help from Richard Williams Animators Survival Kit though!

And this is how my initial blocking pass turned out.

We also had to do a Stu pose conveying exhaustion.

Here's how my final pose turned out.

I got some good feedback from my mentor as well as some awesome words of encouragement from Dreamworks animator and former AM student Ron Pucherelli!

In week 11 we had to take our blocking and throw it into spline, as well as putting into a 3/4 
view.  It was the first time we were asked to actually animate our assignments in a 3D view
 instead of just a side view which was a little scary...
Once I put my blocking into spline a lot of craziness happened as well and I spent a lot of time fixing and tweaking it.  I even pulled my first AM all-nighter and stayed up until 6am working on it.  Even with all of that time spent on it I still forgot to look at it in a front view to make sure that the weight was shifting properly from leg to leg with each step...I guess I'll have to do that in my revisions.  Anyway, this is how it turned out.

Because I was up so late working on it and because my brain goes a little crazy with no sleep I decided to make a background for Ballie to sneak past.  And because I fail at modeling I drew a picture of it.  And with that I give you 'Sleepy Bears'

I managed to get the BG into Maya, but I forgot how to playblast the file with textures and such, so I had to leave it without the bears.  This is what it would have looked like though.

Our final Stu pose of the term had to convey balance.  Here are my early sketches.

I decided to go with one inspired by the Karate Kid.

And once again my tired brain decided to give my assignments a background...

And that was my last assignment of Class 1! I had a great term a learned a ton!  Even having taken traditional animation classes before it was really good to refresh the basics/foundations of animation and I'm super excited to start Class 2!  Psychology of Body Mechanics here I come!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Alligator Vomit

So for my graphic novel class we had to do a 'slice of life' comic where we took something from our own lives be it happy/funny/sad/etc. and somehow make it into a comic strip.  I decided to use a somewhat traumatizing moment from 2nd grade where I was playing an alligator in the school play (I think it was about African animals?) and I threw up right in the middle of it.  My teacher and mother grabbed me out of the chorus and took me into the next room and got me cleaned up and I never saw that glorious alligator costume again.  Well at least it makes for a fun story.

Here's the inked version.  I had fun designing the animal costumes!

And because I am an over achiever I colored it too!

I fixed the audience panel because it was kind of crappy...  I've had a lot of comments on how nice the vomit looks.  The only downside to choosing this as my slice of life is that my nickname in class is now 'Alligator Vomit'...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Animation Mentor Class 1-week 8 and 9

Our assignment over these two weeks was to create a basic or 'vanilla' walk for the Ballie character.  The first week was just blocking the walk out and the second week we worked on polishing it up and finishing it.

Here's my plan for the blocking of the walk, with just the keys/contact positions, breakdowns/passing positions and the up and down extremes.

And here's my blocking pass in stepped mode.

We also had to pose Stu in a way that showed physical strength, so I did a lot of research on sports, martial arts and just general exercising.  

I tried posing Stu in some of the martial arts poses, but his extremely large head made a lot of them look strange.  I eventually settled on one of the shot-put poses.

I also learned how to render the Stu poses so that they look prettier and have little drop shadows! 

In week 9 we had to take our blocked vanilla walks out of stepped mode and put them in spline mode, adding inbetweens and such.  After a lot of tweaking mine looked like this.

I think that I might have worked on it for too long because watching the walk cycle seemed to put me in a sort of trance, and when it started walking in time to the music that I was listening to I found it way more amusing than I probably should have....

We also had to do a Stu pose portraying Concern for this week.  This was another pose that was hard to avoid cliches with.

I chose #8, and I kind of really like how this one turned out.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sketch Blog-Retro

"This is Bob Barker reminding you to help control the pet population..."

The theme for last week's sketch blog challenge was 'retro' and I can't think of many things more retro than the Price is Right.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Animation Mentor Class 1-week 7

I really enjoyed this weeks assignment because we actually got to give our character some, well, character!  We were given the choice to work with either the 'One Leg' rig or the 'Tailor' rig.  Our assignment was to either make the one leg character do a single jump or to make the tailor character do at least 3 jumps and we had to display all of the principles that we had learned so far.And as fun as a jumping ball with one leg sounds, I opted for the Tailor rig.  Tailor is really just a ball with a tail, but we were told to think of him as kind of a squirrel type character.  I tried to make it's bounces across the screen seem somewhat squirrel-like, and I tried to give it a bit of personality as well.

Unfortunately my modeling skills still leave a LOT to be desired and my 'acorn' turned out looking more like a really round spinning top...

I like how it turned out, but I'm still going to go back and revise it a bit when I get some time.

Animation Mentor Class 1-week 6

Overlapping Action was the focus of week 6.  Our assignment for the week was to animate a pendulum with 4 joints coming out of a stationary position and moving from one point to another.  We had to display a bunch of different aspects of overlapping action such as drag, follow through, successive breaking of joints and lead and follow.  Here's my assignment plan.  It was taken over by tiny red cowboys....

And this was my first pass of the assignment.

And I actually had time to do the revision for this week!

I'm not sure what the color changing box in the middle is or where it came from, but I'm pretty sure that it's a time portal.

Animation Mentor Class 1-week 5

I was pretty excited for this weeks assignment because we got to tackle one of my favorite principles of animation, Squash and Stretch!  Now while they may just sound like two of Casper the friendly ghost's uncles, Squash and Stretch can really bring a lot of life and energy to a character and keep them from being really stiff and lifeless.  We got to put this principle to the test with...The Obstacle Course.

AM gave us 3 different courses to work with, or we could create our own or alter them to suit our needs.  I chose course #3.  Here's my plan for the assignment.

I wanted to keep my assignment fairly simple this week so that I wouldn't get overwhelmed with AM, work and my Graphic Novel class as well.

It definitely still needs some tweaking, but this is what it looked like when I handed it in.

We also had a Stu pose assignment for this week, and the emotion that we had to portray was Devastation.
It was kind of hard to come up with non-cliche poses for this week, but I did the best that I could!  Here are my thumbnails.

I ended up picking #12 for my final pose and this is how it turned out.

Animation Mentor Class 1-week 4

Our lecture for this week was about timing and spacing and how both can affect the feeling of weight that something has.  For our assignment we had to take a heavy ball and a light ball and portray the differences in weight through the use of timing and spacing.  We first had to plan out our assignment.

I chose to do a bowling ball and a ping pong ball.

We were also encouraged to go out and find video reference for our animation and our substitute mentor this week Paul Allen sent us a bunch of really great video files. This is one that I used quite heavily as reference for mine.

My ping pong ball unfortunately turned out looking more like a super bouncy ball, but oh well.

I haven't had a chance to go back and revise it yet, but I may get rid of the crazy back-spin on the ping pong ball because I'm not sure of how well it's reading.