Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A Chessy Love Story

As promised in a previous post, below is my final submission for the inanimate object assessment. In the end, I chose to develop the pawn idea, which I think turned out pretty good. We had roughly three weeks from start to finish in which to model, rig, light, texture and animate the piece. In the past I have never really enjoyed rigging or lighting, and always did a half-assed job but I have started to put in the extra effort and I feel I have learnt a great deal from the assessment. The rig I created is fairly simple and I found it quite easy to animate, particularly with the help of Eric Goldberg's "Character Animation Crash Course" (which focuses on 2D but still applies)

Overall, I am fairly pleased with the final outcome of the project although, typically for an artist, I still notice little things that can be improved which I will bear in mind for my next assessment.

Our next assessment has been handed out already, this time we are expected to do much of the same but using a bipedal character (basically a character with two feet.) The deadline for this submission is March 14 2013 and at this stage I have absolutely no idea what I want to do. Some of my initial ideas have included a Ninja (great opportunity for showing lots of stealth animation) or an alien.

Animex, The International Festival of Animation

So, as mentioned in a previous post, me and another few animators headed to Animex at Teeside University in Middlesbrough for a series of interesting and very informative talks. The particularly enjoyable presentations were those by Ed Hooks and David Au, a pretty down to earth guy who we caught up with later in the student union. He offered some pretty useful tips and advice for effectively getting into the industry and gelling with fellow animators.

We were also gifted with free Disney notepads upon entering the lecture theatre, which was a nice little addition:

Dork face on (and slightly hungover)

The "Life of Pi" talks were particularly interesting as Stuart Sumida and Hans Rijpkema (both of whom we'd listened to before) were close friends and co-ordinated their back-to-back talks very effectively. The festival unfortunately fell a couple of days before our inanimate object assessment was due and therefore we had to work on it in the hotel (all work and only a little play)

                           Stuart Sumida, professor at California State University, San Bernadino

   The work behind the effects was positively astounding

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Max Howard & Practising Walk Cycles

Well, as mentioned in a previous post, Max Howard, a former Disney producer, gave a very interesting lecture in the Mackintosh Lecture Theater at GSA. He made some very interesting points about overcoming issues with production time, namely making creative changes to speed up and meet expectations. He also covered some topics that we have been looking at in our Film-making class, including the basic structure which every movie should adhere to. He also shared how he himself managed to get into the industry back in the "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" days. 

Max in all his glory.

Below is a quick walk cycle that I threw together as part of a non-assessed assignment for university. It scares me to think that this is one of the only walk cycles I have actually done, so will definitely continue to make them for practice.

For this animation I used "The Mechanics of Motion" by Chris Webster which can be purchased here.

We have also been handed out the brief for our next assessment, which is due in less than 3 weeks!! Talk about cutting it close. For this assessment, we have been asked to create a piece of character animation (including modelling, rigging and lighting) using a simple inanimate object. I've decided that I would like to create some sort of "love story" between two opposite pawns on a chessboard. Hopefully, this is the idea that I will use and develop for the deadline on February 25th 2013.

I will post the final piece of work onto the blog when I'm finished.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Gump & Gil: Ep.1 - Mebay or Mebay Not

It's been a few weeks since I've posted anything here, there hasn't really been much to say, I had hoped to have the first scene of "Dog Daze" completed during the break between semesters, but needless to say this plan hasn't become a reality.

However, I decided instead to get together with fellow Masters student Jon Campbell to produce a quick animation. The entire episode took us roughly two days to plan and animate (12pm - 11pm each day) so animating took us roughly 22 hours with another couple devoted to the gathering of sound effects and post-production.

We enjoyed collaborating very much and intend to work on other episodes starring Gump and Gil, hoping to create one every few weeks when our coursework allows it. My plan for the next few weeks will be to continue working hard on coursework (comic book, film-making, life-drawing and PGDip Animation classes) and posting any work or updates here when I have them.

In other news, I will be travelling to Middlesbrough on February 20 - 22 (2013!) to attend the annual Animex animation and computer game festival at Teeside University. This will be my third consecutive year at Animex and I couldn't be more excited about hearing from speakers like Ed Hooks, Will Becher, Rob Dressel and David Au. More information can be found on Animex here.

As if this wasn't exciting enough, our Masters class will be taught by Mark Andrews, director of Pixars "Brave" between 8 - 19 April and Max Howard, former Disney, Dreamworks and Warner Brothers producer will be hosting a talk in GSA this coming Tuesday.