27 November 2011

Week 9 - Introduction to Walk Cycles (Part II)

What a week! I had way less time to work on the assignments - I didn't do any work until Wednesday, as I was in Barcelona spending some quality time before I left to Portugal once again. There were 3 birthday dinners, one of them which happened twice - my brother's, who turned 18! (Now he can go to jail, just like I already can, but we won't hopefully. Saturday night was also pretty big, as the two football clubs from my home city, Lisbon, clashed against each other! My team lost, but at least our supporters gave hell to their stadium... it was literally burning! And also I got a new addiction, which I will control in the coming weeks, but I'll leave that part for the weekly bonus section.
Now, about the assignments. This weeks we were supposed to finish last week's work - fill those empty frames, spline those stepped keys, unblock the blocking! It was harder than I first thought, but that happening doesn't surprises me anymore. Only someone who knows how to animate or to create 3D stuff in general really understands how hard it all is. It looks so easy from the cinema bench! Here's my final result - Can't wait to hear my mentor's eCritique, I know it can improve in a lot of ways but I'll need some guidance with that! Here it is:

And once again, and for the last time in the full AM course (!) we had to pose STU. This week's feeling was "Concern". I choose to illustrate it with fair-play between 2 rival football players, as it was Derby week. It looked more or less like this:

And that's that. In this week's bonus I'd like to share an awesome videogame. It's called Skyrim, it comes from a line of games that I didn't really heard of before (Elder Scrolls), but I've been playing it this week for a while, it's quite cool! You are free to do what you want in the game, go wherever you want, the world is Huge! The soundtrack is amazing, it's the most interesting game I've seen, the studio did a great job, I would love to work with them! Here's a video about it:

And yes, this is the new addiction I was telling you about :)

18 November 2011

Week 8 - Introduction to Walk Cycles

Hi ladies and gentle-animators. Seems like this week I've done everything too fast! It's only Friday and I'm happy with what I have. I'll upload my assignments, but if I change something I'll upload the new version.
This week we started a 2 week long assignment, called the Vanilla Walk. "In what differs a Vanilla Walk from, say, a Chocolate one?" some of you might wisely ask. A Vanilla walk is the most simple walk possible, without any personality. The type of walk a normal person, in a normal day, is walking from one place to another, for no reason, would do. In this week we're supposed to Block the Animation, making the key poses of the walk, which in a 24 frame two step cycle would mean 6 frames actually animated. We have to make a 4 step walk cycle, which means 48 frames long! next week we'll smooth it out, and working on the timing of everything. Here's mine:

And the planning:

Also poses are back. The theme: Physical Strength. I took this one a bit far, as I used it to serve my sweet revenge against Tailor, the really hard character to animate! instead of 1 pose, I did 3 poses, who work together as a single on, or at least that's what it is suppose to!

And some sketches I did on a train - the trembling made it really hard!

And for this week's bonus, I leave you with some trailers that are rocking the animation world! Ice Age 4 (will Scrat ever get boring), Brave (next Pixar film, based in the clans of Scotland!) and Immortals, a movie that I found out today but it looks very promising!

And here's tha making of some animation and 3D effects of Immortals - Pretty impressive!

And for last, I'd like to let you know that I'm meeting more AMers, based in barcelona, Spain! Dan Raigorodsky, who is starting in Winter, and Carles Salvany, who is already on the Acting classes, both from Barcelona. I've met Dan and I'll see Carles on Monday, before i return to Portugal. Also, good to know that Kiko Romano is being awesome at his 3D degree in 9zeros, in barcelona as well ;)

14 November 2011

Week 7 - Meet Tailor!

Hey again! So I'm a tad tight on time to do this one, I'll rush it a bit. This week's assignment was to animate Tailor, one of the least animated characters in the Animation Mentor course, yet one of the most famous and without any doubts, the most popular! He's a ball with a furry tail attached, fact that somehow makes him a squirrel. It's like Scratch from Ice Age, but without legs, arms, spine, eyes, mouth, nose, and so many more stuff that a ball doesn't have!
It was fun yet hard to animate it. That's a good thing, I learned so many things from it! I did 957 versions, and I think I've changed every single key twice. By the end, I decided to delete a big part of my animation so I could animate it frame by frame, control by control, and I think the result was pretty satisfying. It was just like last week, where we had to animate the pendulum, but now the "pendulum" was not only affected by the physical movement of Tailor's body (the ball), but also by his personality, his feelings. That resulted in a contrast between Happy and Frightened, regarding tail movement, and that was a nice final touch. Enough of blabla, here's the video. Again, Motion-Blur first, and the normal assignment version afterwards. Oh oh, and by the way, first time I didn't use the maximum frame limit. It was 120 frames maximum, I used only 96! I hope Chad let's me use the ones I saved for next week's assignment!

Sadly, I can't think of any cool animation related weekly bonus today. I'll just share this video, shared by my mom on Facebook. In these times of crisis, it's inspiring to see a video of this nature, I hope it touches you! English audio, Portuguese subtitles:

08 November 2011

Week 6 - The Pendulum

Damn! The first phrase is always the hardest, then it just kinda flows! So I'll just start with a simple: Hey! Lost some minutes there deliberating a cool entry start, this one got lousy tho! Sorry for that, let's move on.
This week we had to work on overlapping action, successive breaking of joints, follow-through, drag, all of that good jazz! It looks easy and simple on paper, but when we get down to animating it, all that magical world of easiness, rainbows and fancy unicorns disappears! In my opinion this way, by far, the hardest assignment so far! And I made it a bit harder by adding a bouncing ball (just couldn't get enough of animating that). Here's the final result:

And my initial Planning:

And just so I can give you a reason to check this weekly other than to meanly laugh of my assignments, here's my weekly bonus of the week!
It was just another fresh Autumn end of the day, waiting for a Q&A that never was to start I was. Suddenly, a ray of bright white light comes from my window, as everything in my room starts to levitate and shake. The angels start to sing, and a lonely tear comes to my eye... Bobby Beck is talking to me individually on the AM chat box, by his own initiative! I run and I jump and I scream and I cheer and I cry of happiness! For those who don't know - shame on them - Bobby is one of the 3 co-founders of Animation Mentor, a legendary animator from another planet who everyone admires! He worked on all the big names, he's to me what Kelly Slater is to my surfer brother!
He was super nice, he was after some student's point of view of the school, and wanted to check if everything was going well with me, both in and out of the animation world! I congratulated him for his recently born first child, and we chatted a little bit before he had to leave to do something awesome, probably saving puppies from a fire or defeating a two-headed Godzilla. Or whatever awesome people do nowadays. Here's a pic of the chat!