A Student at TAW

Hello there, people. I am a Character Animation student at The Animation Workshop.

After finishing school I went to The Drawing Academy to gain knowledge of/and skills in classical drawing techniques. I then applied for the The Animation Workshop for the second time and struck gold! This blog sums up what I've done and is doing now, both in school and for personal fun...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Conductor - Ruff Animation

Rock on, Ludwig!

Seriously, I love Beethoven. So when that turned out to be one of three orchestral sound-options I just HAD to pick this one...

Our second assignment in acting; a conductor showing clear key-poses. It was also our first attempt at sync'ing to audio.
Model is Danny the cat from "Cats Don't Dance".

This is probably the most cartoony style I've tried so far. I'm very happy with the accents, but the first couple of arcs after the initial beat are a little rugged. They were almost fully inbetweened, but I had to take them out again because of bad spacing, which killed the animation.
This has gone through big changes - mostly because I made some very chaotic and unreadable 1st pass keys; however, after cutting about half of the unneccessary gestures I had large enough gaps between them to work on the subtle physics... (recoils, cushioning and staggering)

smeared frames = wacky animation = fun

Monday, November 22, 2010

Acting/Interaction assignment 1

First assignment from teacher Fabian Erlinghauser (whose work I know from Secret of Kells, just off the top of my head. he animated the scene we had to inbetween earlier, btw).

We had to animate two characters hugging (story is that they haven't seen each other in a long time). It was very important that there was a size difference and that both characters' faces could be seen, so we had to take that into account with our staging. Time frame was rather loose, anything from 75 to 125 frames...
The characters were Hogarth from the Iron Giant and either the Sultan (a taller version because we had to upgrade him to Santa-size, haha) from Aladdin or Kala from Tarzan. I chose Kala because her model was more challenging and I'd been walking the easy street with the last character assignment.

First some thumbnails...

 At least I can draw gorillas now...

The 3 story-telling keys were the most important (as they always are, really) and needed the most on-model focus; all the other keys were just meant to be rough, loose sketches.

Some of my early action looked like this:

But here's what I finally came up with and settled for:

The release and last looking at each other frame was added at the very last minute of the process. I felt that the scene didn't breathe at the end without it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Kid and Cookiejar (comparison)

Here's the final inbetweened version of myself as a kid plus a cookiejar.

Here's a comparison between my first 2nd pass keys and the final keys,inbetweens and timing tweaks for this week. Pardon the amateurish Picture-in-Picture effect, but I'm teaching myself Adobe After Effects these days...

I'm very happy I changed the 2nd pass keys, they were not very well thought out.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

hands practice + lecture thumbnails

As I mentioned in an earlier post I'm working on a 5 sec scene with myself as a kid. I've had a lot of trouble with a balancing part, which was due to some bad and unnatural key-poses. Today during lecture I finally got my act together and re-did the middle part of the scene here. So these are alternative keys that I traced onto separate frames and linetested into the scene - and eurika, now the scene is much more fluid! I've realized that I like this thumbnailing aspect of the trade. Frames 4-5 definately need a breakdown.

Got inspired by a blog-post by Toby Shelton. I love hands, they're a great secondary acting device... So I tried out some angles.

Thumbnails from Disney's "The Rescuers". We're currently very focused on how Milt Kahl animates. This sort of doing croquis from frame-surfing is very fun and personally I get a great overview of how the keys play out. I'm definately going to make a habit of this whenever I get in-over-my-head or confused with a scene just like in the 'kid-scene' mentioned above.

Oh, and here's my "unrelated sketch of the day"...