Monday, August 29, 2011

Animation Mentor Class 3 Weeks 5-7

Well really it's weeks 4-7 because we submitted our video reference and planning sketches in week 4, but anyways...  Shot 2 of 3!  Continuing on with my Anim jam I wanted my adventurer Stewie to get over some sort of obstacle and then have a lovely surprise waiting for him in the form of a freaking huge boulder.  I found/shot some video reference of a guy doing an awesome leap/dive and roll and then of me jumping down and booking it down a sloped surface.  Through shooting/viewing this reference I learned a lot about body mechanics and also that I am really out of shape... And here it is!

While searching for video reference I found some awesome videos of people participating in the Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling Festival.  Those people are crazy.  Crazy awesome.

And then I did some planning sketches.

My boulder ended up looking more like a comet or an asteroid in the planning sketches...

For the next weeks assignment we had to do our first blocking pass of our shot.

I didn't get a change to put the boulder in this pass, but that is what he's supposed to be running away from at the end of the shot.

In my critique for my first blocking pass my mentor Rich gave me some awesome advice about having flow in your shot and contrasting quick moments with slow moments.  He also suggested that I add a stagger to help keep him moving with the build up of momentum instead of stopping him after he gets up from the roll.  He also thought that it would look better if Stewie just ran into the jump down the ledge instead of stopping and jumping down because it wasn't really all that far up.  It was also kind of hard to see what was going on because Stewie's fabulous leather pants kept blending in with the background so I changed the color.  It now looks like he's in some sort of awesome ice cave!  Also, there's a boulder!

And so my second blocking pass!

For our final week working on this shot I got to take it to Spline Town!  My favorite place!  On opposite day...  I fixed up a few things and tried to get it flowing a bit better then changed my stepped keys into splined ones.  It was a bit of a mess.  Especially in the roll after the dive and the getting up from the roll while turning.  I hadn't paid enough attention while blocking to which way I was rotating my character and so his body kept getting crazily distorted.  It took a while, but I managed to fix up the majority of the rotation problems and got it to look a lot less crappy.

My timing turned out to be a lot slower than I thought it was going to be and there are still a few things that need some fixing.  Overall though I was pretty happy with how it turned out especially because I had tried to pack so much into it.  I'm not so great with the whole 'keep it simple rule'.  :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hazard Wolf and Terror Tiger

So a couple of my friends from work were moving to Edmonton for schooling and I decided to make them a going away present.  One of those friends (the lovely Shannon) kept asking me to do an original sketch for her, so I granted her wish!  I can't really remember how it started, but all of the supervisors at the Dairy Queen that I work at got crazy awesome nicknames.  Nicknames that sound like something out of an 80's/90's Saturday morning cartoon.  They all consist of an animal and a 'dangerous sounding word'.  Shannon got the awesome nickname HAZARD WOLF, and Paige got to be TERROR TIGER.   I thought that it would be fun to try and illustrate those awesome nicknames and this is how they turned out.

I also added in some of the incredibly annoying children who come and cause destruction and chaos during the school year.  We love them so.

I still plan on doing the rest of the supervisor squad (for lack of a better name) when I actually have some spare time.  I would also like to do a big group shot and color it.  

I also did a quick one of my awesome nickname....DANGER HAWK.

Danger Hawk out.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Landscape in Soft Pastel

I took a USCAD pastel class about a month ago where we went into the great outdoors and 'painted' landscapes.  It was pretty much the fist time that I had ever used pastels or done landscapes not from a photograph.  Pastels are a lot more difficult to work with than I originally thought that they would be.  I had a little more success when I tried using them on a piece of sandpaper (the first picture) rather than on colored paper (the rest of the pictures).

There was apparently a dragon in my landscape...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Animation Mentor Class 3! Weeks 1-4

So it is now week 6 of class 3 and I'm a little behind in posting about it...But I'm going to try and make up for that by dumping all of my stuff from the first 4 weeks on here!

So first of all I have a new mentor!  His name is Rich Fournier, and he also works at Bluesky!  He knows both of my past two mentors which I find pretty amusing.  Rich is also an Animation Mentor Alumni which is pretty cool!  He has been an awesome mentor so far and I've already learned a ton from him.  I do kind of miss Pete's excessive swearing though. :)

For this class we had the option of doing an 'Anim Jam' where the 3 shots that we work on over the course of the class have a running story or common theme, or the 'Anim Exercise' option where we could just do different unrelated things for each shot.  I chose to do the 'Anim Jam' option and was originally going to do a Xena warrior princess theme, but I didn't really want to animate more than one character and it would have been pretty necessary for the ridiculous fight scenes that I had planned...  I decided to go with an Adventurer/Indiana Jones type theme instead.  I came up with basic ideas for my three shots and 'dressed' my character.

Week 1

For my first shot I was going to have the character incing along a wall, and accidentally step on a booby trapped tile on the floor.  Then spears would begin flying at him and he would dodge them.  I was going to have him trip on a spear, fall back and then quickly crabwalk back and have a spear land inches from his face.

I shot some video reference in my backyard.  I did a lot of falling down.

Then I did some quick thumbnails from my video reference.

Week 2
In my critique from week 1, Rich suggested that I go with more of the generic adventurer type character because Indiana Jones was really overdone.  I re-dressed the character, found him a new hat and gave him some leather pants.  I then did my 1st blocking pass.  I decided to get rid the the fall and crabwalk because there was enough going on in the shot.

Week 3
There was a little too much going on in my first blocking pass so Rich suggested that I get rid of some of the spears and focus on the 3 main storytelling poses.  I think that this helped a lot!

I got a lot of work done in the beginning of the week so I was able to get a bit more feedback from Rich at the end of our tuesday night Q&A.

My first 'blocking plus' pass.

And then the 2nd pass that I handed in for week 3 after getting more notes from Rich.  I also started taking it into spline mode.

Week 4

Week 4 was a lot of polishing up the shot.  I played with the timing a bit, added some eye blinks and other stuff that I can't remember because it was 2 week ago... This is the final version of the shot that I handed in.

There's still a lot of room for improvement, and I'll still probably work on polishing it up a bit more for the end of the class.  It was my very first time working with IK hands which proved to be fairly tricky.  I like how it turned out overall though!