Tuesday, 9 December 2008

...+ a doodle

2D stuff

I am one of the few people who achieved better results in 2D animation as oppose to 3D (I reckon anyway). Having spent all this time drawing frames for walk cycles and running endless tests I feel it has finally paid off... AND its been a great pleasure to plan things out, tackle them, and finally finish them off. Yet looking back at my own work there's way more mistakes then meets the eye at first. Some of which i didn't have time to correct anyway- we have submission deadlines. You probably could argue that a week is a long time but i'm a busy person)

Maya stuff

This is way trickier. I've submitted a few things i wouldnt even want my grandma to see let along the teachers. Maybe the fact that it's online submission and not face-to-face helps since i would not dare to look in my teachers' eyes having produced something as bad. (and it really is bad- yet another reason not to uplode maya files on this blog). But you know what the most disturbing thing is? - I can use maya, I am a PC-friendly person, I know where every command is, etc. etc. AND I take note of everything teachers say. Yet I manage to spend my weekends at home, working on my laptop and cursing it as i go because my brains have rotted from that amount of time spent on maya. This is bad. I even remember producing a (really bad) walking cycle where frames got so close together it wrecked the walk. What did I do? -Looked in every area of the figure trying to delete the troublesome frames. What should I have done? - Look at the Graph Editor and see if any graphs have peculiar angle hence need straigtening. Its SO FREAKING EASY....(sorry...) So from this moment on I will be using Maya in the studio ONLY, since laptop practice leads us nowhere.

Drawing stuff

This part of our course for me goes as smooth as a cashmere scarf. I enjoy every drawing I make (or nearly every) and the teacher seems not to be concerned about me. Woodlane extra classes helped a great deal too. (A contribution to 'portfolio'). Eh. Ok)

(sorry guys!!! )

Theoretical stuff

Hm. Well upset about the presentation, nothing more to add. Ann was very fair with her mark but I feel like a tense spring with unfulfilled potential. I never actually had a clue about the depth we had to go in with our presentation since it's only 10 min...But no point thinking of it now.

Friday, 21 November 2008

an eye that walked...

And now to the basics of the basics of animation- the walk cycle.

...but what can i say... 6th test run. Legs are working OK, arm too, not so sure abount the bounce...
has eyelashes.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


No point going through all the films, but there are definitely a few that need comments.

Starting with the one i truly LOVE,

Ruka/The Hand - 1965 (Jiri Trnka)

It's not the fancy look that really counts when it comes to outstanding animations, it's the 'soul', the idea, the meaning behind.  There is nothing glossy about 'The Hand' (especially looking at it from the latest technological advances that came 40 years later perspective) but this character makes me really feel for him. Really. Even his face where suffer is delicately mixed with a sincere smile under a funny nose. It touches something very deep in me. The way he cares about his little flower - is it suppose to represent his talent as an artist? Or his dreams? Ether way something very valuable.  
Astonishing how a very cute looking puppet animation can be so very heavily emotional.
'The Hand' is dramatic and true. A masterpiece. I take my hat off to Jiri Trnka. 

The Iron Giant- 1999 (Brad Bird)

A great family film for parents to enjoy along with the children. Beautiful, colourful, lovely done, very well thought of heart worming movie. It's a pleasure to watch it again and again. Funny, superbly acted and yet dramatic. The ending almost made me cry :)  Should be in every animator's home collection, folks!

Peter & the Wolf- 2006, Suzie Templeton 

Now this is interesting! Russian story done by an English director! May I just say, the models look fantastic. A few times in the film you see extremely well-made detailed close-up (like when they show Peter's grandad sleeping).
Overall an engaging story saturated with action. Good attempt to reproduce Russian 'atmosphere'. Not only the layouts but the animation itself reminds me of the early Soviet-time films. 

Friday, 31 October 2008

this time it's two jumpin' blobs!

It's official that on Friday morning our group has run out of animation paper. Hence my grand idea for this piece had to be shortened. A lot.

Ok. There are about 95 frames in total. (67 or so without actual repetition), but i had to redraw many_many_many frames before i was happy with the animation.

Em... Animation? Ok. It's fine. Still a little voice in my head tells me i can do better. On the other hand I feel absolutely knackered... And still a lot of other work needs to be done (like the '3D Jumping Man') before Monday. so i might as well leave it as is.

Mistekes? Let's see... The little character is moving quite fast in general (although he's suppose to be 'young, energetic and playful') Other that that i remember Andy being not so happy with the first squash (big character), but it suits me.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Inspired by Michael Winterbottom's 'Butterfly Kiss'

Just a couple of words about lifedrawing....

Drawing classes give me a great deal of pleasure as well as more understanding about human body.
When I was growing up we didnt have an opportunity to draw people from life properly. Off course being a natural 'imagination' artist i didn't feel that much need to do anything like that. Well... i'm beginning to feel how wrong I was thinking that way. Just because it feels like a whole new way... a fresh gulp of winter air during a sunny day. People tend to take things for granted a lot these days, but trust me - an opportunity to do it is good luck. I feel anyway...

And just to say about the teacher, Katharine is a lot of fun! I think we somehow click together :)

P.S. Very much tempted to post some of my sketches. But not this time (comming soon)

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

JUNPIN' MEN -squash, stretch, anticipate and overlap

These two are the exercises we had to do in Andy's 2d animation class:


There are a couple of slight problems with the camera. Sometimes it doesn't let you save a file at a certain frame rate, therefore the timing occasionally turns out not the way you expected. Also there's a smudge on the camera (way unfortunate! my no 1 happened to be right on it) And the lighting sometimes goes weird as seen on animation no 2. (maybe its due to my misuse of the camera :))
But all these minor problems dont worry me as much as the ending squash in vid no. 2. The character doesnt return to its original position because the last frame somehow got cut off.
Over then that I feel that video 1 turned out very nice. Video 2 (I confess) was a bit rushed and needs more anticipation before the main jump.

Friday, 17 October 2008

postcards go snaky

And here is one of our little projects. Animate something (anything you can think of) from a circle. I'm probably the only person in the class who took the outline of the circle as a base for animation rather then the middle. Heh.

It would be ideal if we weren't limited to 12 frames. (as I would have continued with the idea of the snake biting itself and eventually disappearing into thin air)
Also none of us could really use a lightbox since postcards are thick. Oh well. Nevermind

My first *HAPPY* entry

Dont know why I get so excited so easily about everything we do on our course... But hey! Isn't that great?

Lets talk about what we've been up to so far)

2d Animation.

Haven't done a single animatic using lightbox since this summer so it's very nice to be 'back on the track'. And altough we started from the basics (like 'the bouncing ball') it didnt make things any less enjoyable. In fact I believe the purpose of making us do simple things is to show us that even a very simple animation can have this "energy", the feeling of "reality" to it. It can work .

Apparently not every course starts off with the basics. My friend who studies animation in London just told me how their group already did quite a complex animation of a person blowing up a balloon. What's that about? To me this is a dodgy approach...

Maya [3d Animation]

As a true fan of 3 generations of Playstation games I absolutely love_love_love 3D realities. From stuff like 'Spyro' and 'Gex' (I'm a girl after all:)) to more realistic 'Resident Evil' and 'Tomb Rider', weren't the people who made it work clever?
Gosh! Now we actually get a chance to make a 3D reality ourselves! Yoo-pee!

Saying that, I first started learning maya last year on my Access digi-animation course. But the teacher who was incapable of explaining things properly almost ruined it for me.
Thank goodness in Falmouth things are different. So far our group had two lectures with George (who looks like an absolute geeky genius to me) and already he clarified an awful lot of things from the last year. Hooray)

History and Theory

Whoever said that lectures are boring was a dork :) Our lectures are engaging. So far we talked about concepts, their representations and discussed how cinematograph (and different genres) developed around the world. I never actually knew that montage technique was first used by Kuleshov during Stalin's dictatorship (in Russia). Shame on me)

a little pal from Photoshop