Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Space Puppy Character Designs - Pass 1

I have been drawing the characters for my Layout and Timing class a lot for the past month or so, making way for the first turnarounds that we recently completed. These were my first character turnarounds, so I can wee some wonky features that I am ready to go back in fix in the upcoming pass. In class, we were instructed on how to "check" your turnarounds and animate them spinning - a really cool exercise I want to definitely continue to do in the future.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Experimental Animation Project 2: "Rager Rick"

The second project for Experimental Animation called for cut-out animation. The hands-on process really tested timing and spacing sensibility. That being said, this clip is a fast-paced explosion of animals cut out from many issues of Ranger Rick Magazine from the early 90's. My friend and classmate Jeff Ockerse ( worked together cutting out all the animals, drawing on some of them, and moving them around beneath the camera. We generally went back-and-fourth between camera and animator every time an idea was completed. Jeff drew all the extraneous drawings. Our biggest influence during the project was Terry Gilliam's animations for the Monty Python films (

If we were to re-vist this project, we would try and add more drawn elements as well as some extension on the time/frames spent on specific images. For example, there's a part where the vulture quickly grows a new head (of a seagull), only to have it explode instantly. On the upside, I felt like the music I found fit together with the imagery and movement surprisingly well. A sound-effect pass might be worth a shot, too.

The best part of the project was that we could keep running with new ideas - experimenting - until we ran out of animals, time, and SD card memory. The worst part was probably the mess of torn up magazines. Everywhere (we should have made a stop-motion of us cleaning it all up).

The textural glows come from the fact that we painted over every frame on Photoshop with a specific gray color. We did this to get rid of some of the messiest frames that came about when we accidentally pulled our backgrounds around too much. I added extra frames in After Effects to have smoother transitions between the beginning, the end, where the vultures come in - etc. Another thing we noticed was that the first set of animals that we shot had more of a blue tint - something we could have easily fixed in Photoshop or After Effects - but we decided to keep it to add variety (as well as save us on the time crunch). If it were to be revisited, that would probably be our first thing to try and change. I'm also really wanting to bump up the colors and vibrancy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Space Puppy Storyboard

Big update on my storyboard for Layout and Timing. I managed to condense down 70 thumbnails into 30 scenes. I let go of lots of ideas I felt like I could have fun running with, but it feels good to knock down the story into a manageable scene amount for the class. Next is to throw this into Storyboard Pro.
Got some great feedback today. Lots of updates planned for Monday.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Emotional Acting Process #2

Second big pass/final pass for now - before the clean-up, I want to do another pass with more of a bouncy stomach and a smoother/more believable "landing" after he throws the boom box.

The next project involves facial expressions - I am going to do the final showdown of the pig and the cow. Angry, competitive close-ups followed by confusion and disappointment. Deer-in-the-headlights.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Motion Graphics/Animation III slam

After a busy week, I finally have time to slap an update on the blog! First is my first project in Motion Graphics (a piece I will be finishing up before the end of the year), the second are in-class sketching exercises from Animation III, and lastly is a work-in-progress of my antagonist Pig for the 30 second short project. The goal is to show emotional acting: The pig is acting, "challenging".

Monday, February 4, 2013

Space Puppy Rough Thumbnail'd Storyboard

First pulled together thumbnails. I had lots of ideas floating around here and there; it feels good to be able and have them visually more clear for me. After I completed these, I wrote a script in Final Draft - I changed a few things, definitely. The next step is to turn these thumbnails into more readable, complete thoughts.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Animation III In-Class Sketches and Project Keyframes

Our first project - which will go toward our final/30 second short - is to animate an emotion-based action. I chose a scene featuring a pissed pig who challenges the protagonist cow, throwing down the boom-box before their throw-down battle.

Below are drawings from in-class last week, where we watched a Charlie Chaplain short and proposed random feelings/objects for our character to interact with. The drawings in red were done by others during a quick critique.