Friday, May 29, 2009

Pixar To See List

From the Pixar Hall of Fame: 1. Up (2009) For some reason the characters in this one don't really appeal to me, but I may have to see it anyway, just to complete the list. 2. Toy Story (1995) "The first-ever computer animated film." Seen it. Tick. 3. A Bug's Life (1998) Seen it. Don't remember it much. Tick. 4. Toy Story 2 (1999) Mmm... I think I've seen it. Half a tick. 5. Monsters, Inc (2001) Seen it. Loved it. Tick. 6. Finding Nemo (2003) Seen it. Loved it. Tick. 7. The Incredibles (2004) Seen it. It re-runs on SABC a fair bit. Enjoyed it the first time. Tick. 8. Cars (2006) Seen it. Tick. 9. Ratatouille (2007) Not yet. 10. Wall-e (2008) Damn. I actually wanted to see that when it came out and never got around to it. 11. Pixar Shorts - well those don't really count. 6 and a half out of 10. Off to the DVD shop now...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kung Fu Guy

Busy doing my homework for my animation course. I based my Kung Fu guy on the 'Awakened Monk' photo I found here. They're probably going to tell me he is not simplified or 'cartoony' enough, too sketchy, so I'll probably be posting another version of him soon. (You can't see all the sketchy lines and detail too well here - the image is just too small - but you can click on it for a bigger version.) He does need some cleaning up.
We have a few characters to draw in specific poses... and this is the only one I like so far. Anyone got a good reference of a fat guy eating a sandwhich - pref three-quarter view?
09/05 Update:
Lecturer says this style is A-ok. My main concern was that in the real world of CG animation, where there are many animators working on one production, this style doen't lend itself well to easy reproduction... but I was reminded that main stream animation is not the only route to go, and that it's not a bad thing to be different (duh... funny that I needed to be told that considering my reasons for studying animation in the first place... which I seem to have lost sight of). I was directed to look up the work of Yoji Shinkawa, a Japanese concept artist with a 'sort-of similar' style. Apparently he draws with a pen/brush that has only three tiny hairs and achieves some awesome detail.
Yoji Shinkawa
Also, let's not forget, one of my favourite artists of all time, South Africa's own artistic genius, voted one of Time's 100 most influential people 2009, William Kentridge.
William Kentridge
If you don't know who he is - shame on you! Here's a link to clips of some of his animated work:

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Animation Lesson 3: The Boring Bouncing Ball

We haven't actuall got to this in class yet, but I don't have the patience to wait. I want to do walk cycles and complex characters, and animated animals, and magic creatures, funny clips, and feature films... and preferably before the age of 93. So, I found this tutorial online which explains very nicely all the good things that one learns by doing the infamous "Bouncing Ball" exercise. I gave it a quick bash.

My first attempt was too jerky for my liking, so I cheated and cut out the 2nd frame of each image - changing it from animating on two's to animating on one's, which seemed to do the trick. In hindsight, it would probably have been easier to just change the frame rate. (The correct way to make it smoother would've been to draw more in-betweens inbetween or change the spacing but by then I'd be 75-and-a-half so not this time.)

FYI: "Most animation is still produced for film and tv. Film is projected at 24 frames per second (fps). Early cartoons were all drawn with 24 drawings for every second of film, i.e. onedrawing for every frame of film. Some clever chap finally realised that the animation looked just as good if only 12 drawings were drawn per second of film. Each drawing would be shot twice, to keep the overall timing the same. Nobody noticed the difference, and a lot of carpal tunnel doctors went out of business. This discovery can be attributed entirely to prohibition. Animators of the twenties were notorious alcoholics. Not these days, glad to say. Today’s breed are wholesome family men, loyal to their wives, good fathers, upstanding members of society, clean living wackos. The practice of animating 12 fps is called animating “on twos”, and the practice of animating 24 fps is called animating “on ones”. It was still occasionally necessary to animate scenes on ones if a fast action was required, or if the camera panned over the background, i.e. move from left to right to follow a character across the screen. Such shots would look jerky if shot on twos." The Angry Animator

I also cheated by doing it in Flash, but I saved a few trees in the process so I'm sure you don't mind.


First attempt - with my planning sketch


Happier with the speed of this one.

Bouncing Ball done, tick. Now on to walk cycles....

An attempt at a charicature

An attempt at a charicature. Think I need to try someone famous next.