Thursday, July 31, 2008

Update, What the hell ...

As you can tell this is about 1/3, 1/2 way through first pass splining. I'm trying to get things pretty finalized when I'm smoothing out. Take 30-60 frames at a time from blocking, and starting at the root, work my way out. Extra love for the head.

From this, parts are not WAY too off when splining out, but I'd sure like to get them closer first time. I need to understand better what I'm going to get from my blocking, in terms a smooth, and how that set up effects smoothing out. Keeping the tension in the long pull is going to be a bitch I know it. And the end expressions are corny as all hell. What ever. Gotta try doing something other then humor and adolescent angst/rage some time.

And keeping on schedule as far as splining out. Clocking in at 35-40 hrs for the first 110 frames smoothing out. They need a face/polish pass, but aiming for 60-100 frames, final animation, per 60 hours, not doing too bad.

I reached the point where I was starting to loose objectivity, and not sure my changes were making it better. The mouth can be simplified, but I need to research that, as I'm fresh out of ideas. Also, I suspect the face needs another polish pass, and the resting hand, needs some love, but, I'm pretty much at the end of my current abilities with this one, and need an expert eye for any more improvements. Help please.

Audio fixed. Stupid youtube couldn't process it correctly.

the Rusty, the Improving and the Ugly

Recent figure drawing. Been a few months, and I'm rusty.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Dialogue update. Making progress on all fronts. Also keeping decently in line with the schedule (100 frames per 60 hours worked). Splinning is so far ahead of schedule, on both tests. That is sweet!

Been learning a lot, and feel like my eye is getting much sharper. How ever, that also means I am not satisfied with anything for more then a few seconds, and the masters, seem to be getting farther away, not closer.

Oh, and PLAN!!!!! I've made this mistake with blocking, and see it profusely on 11 second club, in where, they have 4 "poses" for a 10 second piece of dialogue. I quote "poses," because moving the torso, does not count as a pose. You need STORY TELLING images. This needs to be a whole body pose, facial included, that COMMUNICATES an emotion, or idea, clearly, to the audience. The pose needs to be dynamic, interesting, weighty, balanced, all the principles of what makes a good image.

Then, once those few are figured out, start thinking about how they relate to each other, how one might move between them, then, just start in betweening them. Once you break it down enough, to where the story is told, with a little texture of timing and spacing, THEN, and ONLY then, is your shot "blocked." If what we are calling "blocking," does not communicate ANY ideas, its not blocking, and there is no way in hell we are going to have "happy accidents," and just stumble upon genius when we start splining things out. You'll have to think about it, and KNOW it, eventually, before you can animate it. Good animation, is proof that some one KNOWS something about life.

But there in lies the biggest hurdle. You need something to say, that more then one other human, will give to hoots about. Yes, if your poses are all balanced, and beautiful, and communicate clearly, the thoughts and feelings of the character, your off to a great start. But then the line that separates the artist, from the technical master, is drawn. The artist says something meaningful. The work becomes more powerful, each time it is experienced. The technical master how ever, looses its luster half way through the first viewing/listen, ect. You can't teach some one WHAT to say. Only the words, for HOW to say it. Here is hoping I can say something meaningful eventually.

A special thanks to Lou, for some great tips on refining this. Just few frame difference on the face stuff on the hit, and some larger "off model" suggestions that are really helping out. I need to sleep on it, take another look, tweak, send out for crits, polish, and call it done for now. CLOSE!

Hand Tweak

Friday, July 11, 2008

"Final," chimp test.

Finished this guy up a few months back, and was feeling too good about myself before I got another awesome critique and notes from Mr. Andrew Coats. A little over whelming, and made me completely doubt myself, so I went back to my cave and commenced trying to make sense of it all. (these are the best times, as long as you don't give up, because you really have to figure out how to get up, and walk, when you think you were already)

Mostly bringing the ideas I have in there, together seamlessly. Like the first move on wait. Get a realy "w" mouth shape in there, and bring things together so its not, here is the pose, then an eyebrow move, then some mouth, now down with the head to the left, ect.

One day... Untill then, keep on trying things out.

Blocking updates

Here is some, hopefully, entertaining context before the dialogue bit.

The new blocking is about 150 frames, and took 10-12 hours. Which, if the quota is 100 frames a week, one would need to get it blocked in on monday, so, I'm getting closer. Plus, I have no direction, and making everything up as I go along, which I don't really know if its harder or not. Went through about 4-6 ideas/variations on the theme before I got it down to this. Which re-inforces what I've learned before. From initial inspiration its at least 5 idea revisions to clearify what I'm trying to communicate, before I start seeing what I want to see.

TripSlap update below. Spread out the hits, definitely liking that better, not happy with the last two poses though. Still off timing and spacing wise mocing into the second to last pose, and the last move, still seems, kitsche, or cliche, or, just bad acting to me. Not Olie yet.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Face reference

Check out this guys mouth when he speaks.