Wednesday, 30 November 2011


I really don't think my strengths lay in animation. Although I like looking at others work, I dislike the process. It's just not my thing. I need to improve for my major project though and it was a wake up call to how much practice I need to get in before that part of the project comes around. I feel that my strengths may lay in my originality of ideas - something I don't think really mattered to this work shop that much. I mean it's all well and fine to have an original idea, but if you can't execute this properly you'll probably fall flat on your face.

If I was to give someone advice on how to better approach the tasks we were given over last week, I'd definitely use Susannah's and Campbell's advice of getting up and actually acting out the actions yourself. It really helps you understand the way you move your body and where the strain and relief really is in your actions.

I really did enjoy this week, and it was a nice change as I don't usually animate (strange considering we are on an animation course...), but I still stand by my decision that it really isn't for me ha! Compositing for the win!

Over and Out.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Animation Week: Day 3 & 4 & 5


Over the past two days we've moved on from focusing on how gender contributes to walk cycles to how age affects movement. Like the walk cycles, we spent time studying the different ways in which you could portray an old person sitting down.

I took plenty of reference footage, but decided to knock out a few key pose sketches to help aid me when animating later. I didn't do this for the walk cycle and I feel it really did negatively affect my animation. There's something about actually drawing out the key poses that makes you understand the actual stages of a walk, rather than just watching someone walk. Unfortuatley I haven't drawn in a while and the key pose sketches were slightly, er.. terrible. But it did help me in thinking where I could exaggerate certain movements to emphasise strain and relief.

I started to observe that an older person would be weaker and a lot more frail and thus would need to stabilise themseleves a lot more than a flexible young child. We were told to focus more on our instinct on how to animate rather than rely on on the graph editor and maths - just use them as a tool to clean up later. I thought this was really good advice and it felt a lot better to just go for it than be really technical with my work. Susannah kept nagging us to actually get up and move around; to actually experience the actions ourselves, to better understand the process we were documenting. I thought this was also really valuable advice as we're constantly in front of a computer, and not only is it a good way again to better understand the movement, but it also broke up the tediousness of key-framing ha! It was refreshing to sit back down again and have a fresh new understanding of what I was doing each time I did this. Nice one Susannah!

Thanks again Olly for my amazing reference footage, what a babe. First 3 videos are references for and older person sitting down into a chair. The last video is a reference for a young person getting into a chair.

These past few days I found a lot more interesting and useful as we spent longer trying to perfect just one action. The task also had more freedom in the way that we could personalise and make our animations original. I learnt a lot more about the graph editor today thanks to Campbell. He showed me how to move my key frames in one go and how to change the pace of the entire animation. Here's a quick play blast, again. My old man sits down, then has a sudden heart attack and dies. I've only got this far at the moment, but I hope to finish the short animation piece with a transparent old man getting up from the chair, as if he hasn't realised anythings happened.

I really think I need to improve my drawing skills, they are definitely rusty, and as I've discovered it really does help to block everything out first, you feel so much more prepared and the process seems to move a LOT faster. Especially considering I'm aiding my animator in my group project with animation, I really need to get it up to par so that my final project looks convincing and interesting.

That's all folks (for now).

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Animation walk cycle.

Ignore the last second or so, I just couldn't get it right. Also I'm annoyed because I can't upload my reference videos for some reason pffft. I'll try again tomorrow though. Any constructive criticism or feedback is more than welcome. Enjoy ha.

Animation Week: Day 2.


Today we continued animating the 'Witch_Doctor' rig, trying to get a walk cycle consisting of 5 steps from a static standing position. I chose to animate my rig in quite a swaggering fashion, copying Jamie's walk from the footage I recorded. I call him... 'The Swaggering Milkman' :3. Surprisingly, this is the first walk cycle I've attempted, but in my defence, I really dislike animating. I find it tedious and boring. I just want to composite!

Again Susannah and Campbell were very helpful, getting me up and actually walking the walk my footage was showing. This did help me with timing, and where the arms are in conjunction with the leg movements. I haven't finished the walk cycle yet, but I'm going to work on it when I get home some more and hopefully post my first attempt later when it's complete.

I enjoyed this days worth of workshops a lot more than yesterdays as it was nice to actually have a long period of time purely working on this piece of work. But I understand you need research and reference really before you can dive into fully animating a walk cycle. I'm really looking forward however to animating the rig from a sitting down position because it seems like a more interesting challenge for me than just a walk cycle. I just need something different constantly to keep me interested! I have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to animating.

I'll keep you updated. PEACE.

Animation Week: Day 1.


Yesterday we started our intensive animation week with industry professionals Susannah Shaw, primarily a stop motion animator, and Campbell McAllister, a freelance animation director who worked on one of my favourite animations - The Illusionist!

I really enjoyed the first day, even though I was a little late (tut tut). Basically we spent our time in the first workshop participating in some 'people watching'. Observing how others walk and the slight differences in which they do this as it's what gives animation soul. We spent a lot of time recording others walks, especially focusing on how the different genders differ, which I continued to pursue during our lunch break with a few others. Just a heads up, there are some people who don't like being secretly filmed whilst walking around University! I did also pick up a few pointers from Susannah and Campbell about using my own body to help me observe movement, i.e. using a mirror to better understand both facial and body movement - "Enjoy your body, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own", to quote Baz Luhrmann's 'Sunscreen'. They also suggested looking into actor's interviews focusing on their tricks of the trade, as understanding acting is a vital part of understanding animation. They also encouraged us to get up and actually walk around, to try and focus on the pattern of movement.

In the afternoon workshop we were given a rig to animate. Using our footage we attempted to apply the help we were given by Susannah and Campbell to make a start on our walk cycle.

p.s. if you guys haven't heard this song yet, check it out, it's really inspiring.

Delicious animations by the hand of me

Today was the second day in our laborious efforts in which one attempts to create a cycle of a walk of a human of a being to dawdle/amble/sass/mince accross one's screen. Catch me later babes when I will fill you in with all the delectable deats..

Peace for now lovely readers MWAH xxxxxx.

Thanks Olly for creating my blog as I'm such a noob. You're an inspiration to me ha.