Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tag team

Okay, you guys all know enough to get into trouble, so team up and put on a show! The squads:

Monica n' Jason
Rob n' Eilish n' Josh
Jesse n' Austin n' Mike
Chris n' Melody n' Adam

Here's the deal:
  • Each movie should include 2 characters and an audio track.
  • Movies should not be longer than 30 seconds. Yes, they can be shorter!
  • You can use whatever rigs float your boat.
Here's the timeline:
  • Storyboards and animatic due Thursday, May 2 by end of class. The animatic must include a scratch audio track. You can use Maya stills to construct your animatic if you'd like.
  • Final cuts due Thursday, May 9. We'll have in-progress critiques along the way.
Here're my handy hints:
  • Look at other movies, including, but not limited to animation. Pay particular attention to the editing and composition.
  • Work on getting a solid story that reads well in the early stages. A good test: if it's supposed to be funny, we should be laughing at the storyboards. if it's supposed to be sad, we should be super bummed when we watch the animatic. Etc.
  • Have a clear beginning, middle, and end with clear, motivated, significant action. The more you work the story, the better your animation will be.
Also, dig some of these films from the CalArts students!
The frighteningly talented Tatsuyuki Tanaka's and Studio 4C's animated short, Toujin Kit
(thanks, Eilish!)
SOU alum Casey Pyke's demo reel is rad. He and fellow alum Trisha Zimmerman did ALLEY DOG.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Project 2: Ballz! The Movie! Lt. Dan! It's on!

Project 2: Make 2 short animations that demonstrate
1. Squash and stretch.
2. Hold keys.
3. Anticipation.
4. Clear staging of action and narrative.
5. Realistic weight.
6. Smooth, natural motion arcs.

Be sure to check out Steve Hammond's Ball Story (above). It's a nice example of all of these things in action using the very same ball rig. Before you start animating, you must do a storyboard breakdown of the animation which includes all of the key poses and rough timings.

Here are the demo videos demonstrating storyboarding, holds, and animating a simple jump with the ball rig.

If you want to get nuts with Lt. Dan. Here he is.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Project 1: Bounce Loops... plus the work of Jen Harlow and David O'Reilly!

Hey good people. We're back to the olde-fashioned blogue format. It's 2005 all over again!

Beware the Bear Owl...

But seriously, folks, thanks so much to Jennifer Harlow for her spectacular behind-the-scenes look at the life of a feature film animator. Keep track of Jen's current world at:

and re-live Jen's Cal Arts years at:
Needless to say, there are tons of great resources, insights, and the like to be found therein. Also, make sure to check out The Croods and continually elbow your friend sitting next to you while pointing to the screen and saying, "I know who did that!"

On Tuesday, we looked at The External World by David O'Reilly. Check out his work early and often. His blog has still more fantastic things to see and ponder as animator types. He's making some great work, just wrote/directed his first episode of Adventure Time and... yes, put all of his rigs from The External World up for free on his blog. Git 'em while they're hot. As always, if you use them, include this fact in the credits of what you do!

Okay, here's PROJECT ONE: Create two loops of a bouncing ball.
  • Create Loop One using a basic Maya primitive sphere.
  • Create Loop Two using the Ball Rig.
  • To learn: Timeline, Graph Editor, Timing, Spacing/Easing, Squash and Stretch, loop/cycles.
  • Oh yes... change your Menu set to Animation via the pull-down menu in the top left corner of the Maya interface:

Here are the infamous Miles Maya intro videos that show you how to do the do. Work through these before Tuesday, and we'll pack our rags and go from there...

Loop One videos:
Loop Two videos:

And finally! Don't forget to get set up with yer free Maya download on your home computer. Since we are still using 2012 in the lab, you might want to install 2012 on yours as well. And better yet, don't forget to send me an email about being a volunteer lab aid, because you know you want to do it. And it will be awesome. Cheerio...