Friday, 18 March 2011

My latest piece of animation and plans for this weekend

this is my render for bran the Ravens last bit of dialogue in Storytelling of Ravens. This was a lot of fun to work with. I happened to be watching Dispicable Me and Megamind at the time, and was in a really good animation mood. I need to get more of the smoothness in there that pixar and dreamworks get into their characters. Granted they spend a lot more time and have alot more animators to work on each bit. What they would spend months developing and animating over and over again i churn out in less than a week. Partly its attention span, i want to move onto the next thing as soon as possible, and just a lot of back and forth trial and error that can get tiresome. Thats not to say i dont put alot of love and attention into my work, THAT, I DO!
Its just growing a thick skin, and not being distracted, and seeing a project through to the end i am working on.

Anyway, it is hard not to be discouraged when you think what the people you show it to may think, comparing your work to the greats. But really i just do what i am enjoying and thats all. I am comfortable at my level right now, and when i am ready to up my game, I WILL UP MY GAME, I DO NOT NEED TO BE PUSHED DOWN A ROAD OR WEINED OFF ANYTHING.

So anyway, work with the Ravens is going very well.

And we had a fantastic bit of LUCK recently. The Modeler, Daffy whom Sophie and James and Andi were talking to for advice in modeling the raven, recently revealled he is working on a feature film adaptation loosely based on Edgar Alan Poe's life, and featuring a Model Raven Rig. So Sophie managed to acquire this rig. this is fantastic news for Clym as he could use it to help his modeling, and I on the other hand can try animating a walk cycle over the Easter break using this model, as the Model seen in the Lip sync video animation i made is a very limited and ungraceful rig. So this will be great as we are still waiting for our raven model to get done. and the sooner we get it the better.

Recently , I downloaded a big folder, 2 GB worth of videos recorded off of Digital Tutors all to do with character Rigging. I got this to Sophie saying if she wanted to practice rigging over the easter break, these videos are incredibly easy to follow and a great help if you are not that interested in following a book.

I will have a watch of it over the break as well. But this weekend i will test out the raven rig, try doing a walk cycle maybe. But for now , Sophie and I put together our presentation for monday. I don't know if mike is expecting anything specific, we just are going to explain it for the benefit of the second years who maybe have no idea what the third years are up to. So i basically took out our presentation from last decembers formative and updated all the videos and images to where we are currently at with the project.

So hopefully that will go down well. Sophie sais come in for 10 O'clock monday and well ad some new videos she will work on, maybe a new edit of the animatic. i added in images of our schedule, we may or may not go into that, we want to keep it under five minutes if we can.
And finally, my last meeting with Claire Bennett went well on thursday, she gave me the idea to add a pie chart figure to help with my dissertation, fleshing out my contextualizing of how money is distributed when developing a game. So now all i need to do is get my dissertation essay finished and submitted for Friday.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Something I noticed while working on Bran's Lip Sync

Working on Bran the Raven, i noticed something i learnt in first year in life drawing class. That of drawing the line down the middle of the character so you know where the character is shifting their weight.

Goes to show I paid attention in that class as The 3D character is a bit more believable and grounded.

Block out animation for Leap of faith

this is the Animation Block out from shots 05-24 on leap of faith. I have been given the shots to animate which involve the Librarian writing in her book, closing it and climbing down the ladder, only for it to break and her fall to her death. The last shot is her being saved by the doves emerging from the ink pot. This block out took about 3-4 days, The animation was fine and went very quickly using this Alfred Rig, since the one i need to use is currently being Rigged.

I have gone through Shotgun with Depa Masih and we agree on what sounded like reasonable milestones. I am scheduled to receive the character model at the begining of april, and the environment and props. I have said I can get a first pass of the animation to her completed for around 2nd of may. This is based on roughly how long it took to animate and render in mental ray, which was about half an hour animation and 45 minutes render per shot on average. I imagine the actual shots will be significantly more as there is secondary animation, as well as some post production i am involved in. Once the animation and lighting is done, I will be creating some dust particles in after effects to add abit more atmosphere to the scenes. Luckily I have quite alot of experience with particles as I had to do a particle system for a music video animated entirely in after effects outside of college.

It is difficult to know whether the times we have agreed on in Shotgun is realistic or not. As I will deffinately be working on to get the Storytelling of Ravens film completed. So The most work I can do as early as possible the Better.

For now my work on leap of faith stops here, until term 3 when the characters are rigged. So for these last two weeks, I have my dissertation to get done and submitted before March 25th and be ready for an assessment presentation for next monday. I think beyond that, just getting walk and hop cycles for the ravens completed as we will be using these to help with the storytelling of ravens shots. Sophie Lodge tells me once we have the models she will be helping out with animation, so we have divided the lip sync between us, i can do Brans dialogue and she can do Munins.

Recently, Sophie Rerecorded Munins dialogue:

I will be working on this up until the end of term.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Looking at Disney animation to help with animating for Leap of faith

Something I find myself watching now and then is the animation for the funny old man George from Disney's Aristocats.

I was just looking at how the animator has done his boney old frail legs trying to support his weight. i will need to get this shaking in the old ladys hands for Leap of faith.

Friday, 4 March 2011

lately, what has been happening this week.

i just completed work on referencing for Bran's last bit of dialogue on Storytelling of Ravens:

i filmed myself in live action and edited the best takes together, as well as drew out the key poses. I have been discussing with Depa the animation for her group, and we agreed some shots may have to be omitted or cut to get the run time down to 2 minutes. Exactly which shots to cut i am not sure, i will work on the ones i have and we will see them together and see if any are unnecessary.

On thursday, I did get my feedback for my Dissertation draft, and it was mostly positive with a C grade. I guess thats fine, i would like a B, but writing is not at the front of my mind right now. it was nice to take 2 weeks away from it and concentrate on drawing and 3D. Mostly my feedback was shortening certain paragraphs, make sure my Harvard referencing is all there as mine was incomplete. Since i am talking about video-games, something i am pretty knowledgeable about, it can be hard for someone who have never touched a game to understand my writing. Short of changing alot of it, i think instead i could rewrite some, but put a key at the end in the appendix to help understand the gamer speak and the short hand for certain concepts and Genres. Oh well, a draft is not meant to be perfect, just a regurgitation of ideas and see which one sticks. and I guess I had more information than i could squeeze in, so it is best to see which i need the most, and the rest maybe save it for the appendix.

I will get on with that on tuesday, maybe have some progress ready for thursdays meeting.