Friday, 4 June 2010

shot 17 ver 1.7update_ lady claps, macho storms off

Made some minor fixes, Machos expression changes,lady's reaction i cut down a bit so there's only 2 emotions on show.

Its time to wrap this clip up, there's not a lot more improvements I can get out of it.

shot 17 ver 1.7_ lady claps, macho storms off

redid the clap, sorted out her clipping hands and feet, fixed Machos walk. tried making her emote more.

Shot 17 ver 1.5_ lady claps, macho storms off

I ditched the Machos angry reaction and tried showing it more in his walk. tried to make him exit without it looking too abrupt, while at the same time not going over the 2 second limit. I gave Lady a different clap, one that registered more as a clap and not a spastic hand jive. I tilted Lady forwards a little and had her rock slightly, to give the impression she's enjoying the heroes tricks. as close as i get her to the screen, the nose is less noticeably sticking up.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

shot 17 update Macho storms off angry playblast

This shot i lengthened out a little so the Macho could exit shot without it looking rushed, I gave the lady a different clap, not sure how it compares to the last.

the arms i have moved the keyframes so they don't occur exactly on top of each other.

the finger animation is in there too.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

shot 17 ver 1.2 Macho storms off angry playblast

Updates i made to shot 17, exaggerated machos reaction a little, made him walk out of shot abit more.
I had a go at making ladys expression change, probably needs a bit more work, need to animate the fingers.

moved her legs apart a little for consistency between shots

Shot 17 ver 1.0 Macho storms off angry playblast

Doing a block out, is abit unfinished, just need the go ahead incase anything fundamental needs fixing..

shot 17 ver 1.1

Monday, 31 May 2010

shot 30 playblast ver 1.6

pebble lands on the pot plant being lifted by Macho Gnome.

SHOT 10 Playblasts_Lady Gnome meets Macho Gnome ver 1.7

have moved the jump a bit forwards and shuffled afew things forwards aswell, I will include some of the more recent version when i upload it on A-drive.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

shot 10 ver 1.6 Lady Gnome meets macho

new version of shot 10,

I made sure both models are set to the right size, and i moved the keyframes for his legs and torso so he meets the ground quicker, i also made his left foot and arm adjust quicker so he gets into his pose without too much time between, like one smooth motion.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Shot 10 ver 1.5,

got shot ten with the camera moving slightly to the right, so we got both characters sharing the shot :)

SHot 10 ver 1.4 Lady Gnome meets macho

Hi Sarah, heres a new playblast, i tried making the hair brush a bit more subtle. i changed the macho animation, still need to do the fingers and clean it all up a little, ill get onto finishing it for tonight.

SHOT 30 Ver 1.6 playblast:

Saturday, 22 May 2010

My Finished DVD..

here is the title page for my dvd menu, this i did in after effects, it is pretty similar to a flash animation.
Since i made a lot of short fighting clips, i wanted it to have a bit of a martial arts movie or more a fighting game sort of feel.

where the ying yang splits off and bar appears in the middle, i wanted the buttons to slowly become visible out of that, but i could not figure out how to animate the buttons in time, so i had to leave it at that.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Shot 10 ver 1.3 Lady Gnome meets macho

Shot 10, i added in the macho, this is an earlier rig, didn't have the stretchiness.

I was just having a go at doing this one, thought he would at first balance the boulder on one hand and plonk it in the ground and would lean on that while making his pose.

haven't done any face animation yet. just gonna refine the body for now.

Shot 10 ver 1.2 Lady Gnome meets macho

new update of the Lady animation,

took all your input onboard Sarah, have added some leaves. there is a bit where the macho arrives, and his boulder disturbs the leaves path, sorta like him disturbing its fall as he arrives in shot. I tried fixing her arm animation, but is a little tricky, if this still doesn't look right ill scrap those movements and try it again.

Like I say i imported the macho rig, but i can see it, i'm not sure how to turn his polygons on.all i've got is the eyes and his handles.

Did you want more leaves Btw or are the 5 or six in there enough?

SHOT 10 Playblasts_Lady Gnome meets Macho Gnome ver 1.1

Shot 10 ver 1.1

I redid the arm animation and toned down the hair movement, i also added in some finger movement.

im dont think i can get it looking any slower unless i go over the time in the animatic.

I agree the little bobbing on the plant is a bit of a wasted action so i dropped that.

i did have a little bit of feet movement in there, but i don't think much more movement is needed.

Ill have a go at the leaves now, get a few of them falling.

Shot 30 playblast ver 1.3

the pots front is now facing the screen. made movement of the pot a bit more subtle, i had a go at redoing the pebble animation,
I will put it back the way it was, a bit tricky to move the key frames and still have it look the same.

as you'll see in this example, its very hard to move the key frames and not mess it up.

shot 10 ver 1.4

better to just do the pebble animation over, cos it wont be the same.Anyway, i don't want to give this shot more attention than this, cos its not the one that needs most work.

ok this will have to be the last version for now, cant afford to spend much more time on it.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

SHOT 10 Playblasts_Lady Gnome meets Macho Gnome

Shot 10 Ver 1.0_

the Lady Gnome meeting the Macho Gnome.

Was just getting used to using the rig, i need to add leaves in as well as the second character, will do these tomorrow as well as refine the animation on the Lady Gnome.

Monday, 17 May 2010


Shot 30 Ver. 1.0

this one it lands on the edge of the pot

Shot 30 Ver 1.1

this one is more like the animatic where it lands more or less centre of the pot.

A Shot for the Gnome Project

I recently got in contact with Sarah Verall, she would like me to do a quick piece of animation for her film.

basically just a shot she has where, a muscular Gnome is trying to win the affections of a lady Gnome by lifting a giant plant pot. and a smaller Gnome chucks a pebble ontop that is like the straw that broke the camels back.

So this pebel flying through the air is what i ned to animate.

there also is a shot to work on where the Lady Gnome is first introduced , and the muscular Gnome slides into shot, ready to woo her.

This is more a comedy shot that I will need to see the animatic for.

Sarah will be sending me the assets, so the props, characters, and environment as well as the animatic. they want to recieve my assets on A-drive. i think its an online storage base where you can send up to 8gigs, but i think I need to sign up fr that.
But i don't know so i will be waiting for a message later tonight.

this i said i can take me a day or two to finish a shot. The Pirate groups shots i finished each one over 2-3 days, depending, some were more complicated and took longer.

The Gnome models by comparison don't need to do any lip sync and are pretty simple. Well see,
I didn't want to take on more work when I have contextuals to finish.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Work for my DVD..

I have been doing some work on my DVD lately, it will have to be put on hold as this weekend i am writting my contextual studies essay, dissertation, and my pitch for E&E which is due for monday.

But for now what I have done sofar.

My original intention was to do a title sequence for my dvd whith a 3D character doing a dance on a loop while you select what you want to see first.
While i still want to animate a 3d character doing a dance, I don't think i have the time to get it looking good. And sofar i have a plethora of short martial arts fighting clips I have montaged together, so i was thinking, since i want to be a games character animator to start with, Why not make the title look like a fighting game title or character select screen, something with a "Game" vibe about it.

I have been looking at a few examples of this:

this was star wars Jedi Power Battles on the Playstation. was basically an arcade style beat em up where you select your Jedi from the council chamber screen and go off to do battle with the droids and plat-forming. What I find interesting, as its a movie tie in, albeit a loose one, you are in the council chamber, with all these Jedi who appeared in the movie. I like this idea, I would probably have on the title my characters sitting in chairs, with a T.V. window floating above their heads, which will be the buttons to take you to my videos. Although I know i can model a chair, i don't have any creator own models, most of my animation I have used free rigs.

this is the title screen to Soul Calibur 3 on PS2. Solid weapon based fighter. one thing the series is known for is its announcer telling the player its a story transending History, a tale of soul and swords, eternally retold. It does this in just about every gmae, like each one is a retelling of a page of history. And the mode select screen in this is literally a book and a page turning. This is interesting for its consistency with the game. I pointed this out mostly because these are often consistent with the theme and story of the fighting game itself, so its reflected in some way. I wouldn't do the book opening thing, because I did it before for last terms project, which was an environment with a fairy tail story book opening, so id rather avoid doing it again.

Quick example of Music from Super Street fighter 4, its energetic, its lively, just like how an intense game of SF gets the blood pumping. So it preps the mind for an intense experience. I will keep this in mind. i may have to go with copy written material, I would prefer to have a decent piece of royalty free music made for me, But Beggars cant be choosers.

I can go on and on about fighting games and Martial arts DVDs, but they all pretty much share the same school of thought. GEt the viewer all pumped up for an exciting piece of action. while I don't have an entire fight scene to speak of, I do have small clips i will montage together, as well as drawings of fight poses I can intersperse into the title

These are some work in progress images i have done for my title, I thought to go wit ha little martial arts style logo, that flies in, with a dragon animated to come into shot, and the ying yang opens out and you can choose from my clips which to play, all the while i can have some of my 2d pose drawings flying past in the background. i thought this could be an interesting challenge.

Well see how it goes, if it does not look very good by the end, I may just go with a still image background and just get it looking as good as i can before deadline submission.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


My shots for the third years are completed and I sent the maya files to them.
I have put myself on hold for the Pirates of the produce Aisle group , incase they need some extra help rendering or texture or lighting.
Right now i am just animating more CLips for my Showreel, mostly using free rigs, but if I can get the models the third years sent me to render I may try animating some extra clips using those.

I will get to work on my Dvd this week and at the weekend i will have (if all goes well) finished reading my magazine about gaming history, so i will crack on with writing up he dissertation for third year. I think that if i spent a whole day on it, i would get the majority of it done, so weekend will be good.

i have the contextual essay to write too, so i will get on with that next week, well its written but that draft is out of date, will start again, rewrite it, because the focus of my essay has changed , needs to be redone.

Also today, I met with some sound design students, who are interested in putting folly sound effects into some fight scene animation I did, which will be a huge help. I didn't plan to use any sound effects, , just put a non copy written soundtrack ontop of my showreel. Not that it matters too much as only a few people will see it, but in the long run i will probably put it up online.

So anyway, just working on the 3d and getting on with the writing will be my main focus up till end of second year.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


this image is of the captains mouth, i can only use it by going to shader and turning on the x-ray joint. i didn't find this out till today, i hadn't started lip sync so its fine, but yeah there wasn't a control for the mouth, apparently it wouldn't parent without messing up.



this one i am working on, the lip sync will get done tonight, and now i know how to move the mouth that wont be a problem, i am pretty happy with how the body animates, might do a bit more work on the movement, but other than that just the face needs to be finished.

Monday, 3 May 2010


this is a really cool little Electrical sound i picked up from the PlayStation 1 game Unholy War, is a nice little sound that i may like my DVD to have whenever you move the cursor to highlight another option.

i have a working copy of DVD studio pro, i have a free week with minimal time in college coming up, when i have finished the majority of my shots for the third years, i will focus my attention on getting some dance animations done for my dvd menu.

I have some pieces of my work gathered together in a temporary showreel fashion, but i think it will need some editing as there are more 2D than 3D and a little too much of it at that. theres alot ofdecent drawings and some photoshop in there but not enough 3D stills

Kick Up Animation using Max

this is an animation I decided to do while I am working on the captain jumping in mid air animation.

the captain bullet time jumping throught the air looks ok at first but as hes spinning in the air it gets tricky.

I felt i should do an animation test to help me animate the body twisting and landing correctly on the spot, this little animation i finished in the evening and photoshopped a nice back ground the morning after. the light on Max was done in maya, took abit of trial and error to get right, but looks ok.

Actually this animation is important because i got into the swing of using the graph editor to smooth out my animation, i didn't completely understand it, but it brought back the simplicity of the ball with tail lessons. but applying it to a humanoid figure is a real challenge, especially if the character is pirouetting through the air. so I don't expect to have that down straight away, but maybe after more trial and error.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

BREAK DOWN- HOW I DID SHOT 50, Cap'n Breadbeards Bullet Time jump

This will be a little step by step guide to how i construct a shot.

It's not going to be perfect, as no two shots are alike, but this will be a pretty accurate way for me to work each time.

Often i will have drawn out on paper what the motion will be, i often have some music in the background, usually rock as it keeps the blood pumping, especially for an action sequence. But musically i keep it appropriate, you wouldn't want Nickleback or disturbed playing when your doing an emotionally tender scene, so in this case i have the soundtrack from pirates of the Caribbean playing to keep my head in the mind set of adventure and action yet humorous and fun.

I have read in the richard williams book never listen to music as you animate as its impossible to remember all the little things, you need to be sharp, and i respect that point of view and indorse it to a degree. When I was working at blunt film for the summer, i was animating a scene in 2D for the Ad we were doing at the time, and I had Scarface playing in the top right corner. Brent, my boss grilled me for playing video while working in a professional environment. True i was definitely at fault and it was a pretty daft blunder, but i felt i needed someone to sort of remind me to always keep sharp, not to fall victim to complacency, always assume it will be more difficult than it is, and you will be ready for anything. So I'm glad Brent had a go at me that day, and he did it in the gentlest but firmest way an amateur could want. So I learned to not lean too much on music to generate the energy to keep animating, the will has to be self perpetuated, because you want to reach the end, and for it to be the best it can be. It all comes with self control, self discipline.

Anyway, onto the here and now:

Here I will show you a break down of shot 50, as its one of those challenges i am learning as i go, and here is how i go about doingthe shot.

First step, i draw out what i think the scene will look like , in this case i have the animatic of the shot, so the pace is already there.

although this is only a block out of how the captain ends up there, it does show how he is supposed to land and how he took off, so i did a little sketch of this in motion, how it may end up looking:

here i drew the captain fy through the air ninja style to make the most of the slow motion effect, i may make the captain look a little less agile in the finished shot, but this helps me get an idea of the drama and the sense of movement.

Here i did blockouts in maya 2010.
these are the steps, there is a camera move, so i get the camera where it needs to be in the scene,
animate that moviing along, looking up at the moment the captain reaches the peak of his jumping ark.

then i add the ship and match the pace of the camera movement and make sure it stays in shot.

next i will add in the Guards motor trolly, get that at the right place in shot and keep the pace going with the ship.

next i will animate the wheels bouncing, once they are bobbing along nicely, i stretch the key frames out on the timeline, as this is obviously slow motion.:

this is the clip with the car sitting part bobbing up n down now too, doesn't quite look like slow mo though, hmm..

added the guard animation in

added in some of his reactions to the captain jumping in the air, is kinda tricky to get the look of slow motion, just have to stretch out the key frames to get that sort of look

this is a pretty rough looking attempt at animating Max in place of the Captain. i have been told by Tom Wright from third year that the models leg's aren't ready, so i decided to block out using max. i started with the pelves and the torso, i need to keep work on the legs as they goof a bit. this shot is probably my most difficult out of all of the shots i have. will be best to spend the most amount of time on this one.

Here I use the B breadbeard model and start putting him in the correct possitions as he arks over head, this is tricky and requires lots of tweeking before I can start adding on the details.

same bit of animation for a different angle, just showing the ark he is making, need to straighten it out so it looks natural.

some updates, adding in some of the limb movement

more recent update, still work to do on it.

Here is the final animation, Looks alot better, there's room for imporvement, but i don't have anymore time I can spend on it.

Pirates of the Produce Aisle_ Shot 50_AlexBax Second year work from alexander Bax on Vimeo.

I DID HAVE A GO AT RENDERING, I rendered out afew frames, but only a little white shape appeared where Walker's head was, and it rentered out as several layers, I didn't know enough about the third years render settings to render it out in good quality so for now the previews will have to do, I will get hold of a copy of Pirates of the Produce Aisle once its all completed.

Friday, 30 April 2010

latest update

Lewis would like my shots done by friday the 7th, I think this is possible cos joshua on the third years did the guard reaching shot which is shot 14, i will still have a go at this myself, but a bit later on, as this shot wont really be needed for me to do, i have lip sync with the captain still yet to do, and i need Tom from third year to send it, so i will get the captain and do the shots with the guard for the time being.

i have a bank holiday monday so i think i will spend the time setting up all my scenes, getting them ready, acordin to the length of time of the animatics.

Sunday, 25 April 2010


a little block out i did before starting my guard animation

my blocking out in 3D quick work in progress still.

Saturday, 24 April 2010


Was a good day, alot of great speakers, gave some feedback on what I thought was great and what didn't work so well.

one thing I did the night before turning up on friday, I printed out a lot of examples of my work and laminated it so i had something to show the guest speakers incase they wanted to see some examples. Unfortunately i didn't seize any opportunities to talk one on one with them, but i was glad I did it anyway. I printed about 10 different things, but some of the speakers for the freelance broadcasting and the design one said "If you only had 3 pieces of excellent work, just show 3 pieces of work. Sid tompkins at Ogililvy did tell a story of a person he interviewed a week earlier who rought her whole portfolio to show him, with little to no preparation, her work was ok, but nothing special, he was set to turn her down, then she produced two pieces of work that were excellent, Sid was like she should have just shown him those pieces as the rest looked like someone elses work.

I did finally find out what "T shaped design was" finally after about 5 speakers hammered home the meaning, being focused on one thing , and having a massive breadth of work, finally, get it! :)

I thought the Pecha Kucha thing was great, really great idea. Rapid fire talking, speakers u don't wanna hear don't outstay their welcome (not that anyone was particularly bad) , one cool speaker i thought was Otku Can, he just talked about the things he wished he'd have done at my age, a few that stood out were take risks, get your hands dirty, don't be precious with your ideas, be prepared to reinvent yourself. these were pretty cool, last one was about not letting habit set in, have to stay fluid to stay relevant, cant keep milking old work. anyway, i found it very useful,

especially when it comes to what work to put in my DVD, i think i shouldn't be worried about including everything if i don't think its up to par with my lofty standards :)

Besides, Tanya, an ex Ravensbourne student working in paris for Ogililvy was saying its better to include the work you want to continue doing at the place you want to work. So in my case i have a lot of 2d work and am in the process of developing 3D , and that is what i would like to carry on doing, So i think for my showreel, including only a bit of really good 2d and maybe a little photoshop i did recently would be great. Padding is Surplus to requirement.

To be honest it was a great help , but industry day was more for the first years who weren't aware of these things, i am very much aware of making sure you make yourself indispensable to your employers and making sure to keep yourself punctual and a good person to work with as well as having kick ass cutting edge work, but its nice to be reminded and to have someone spell it out in plain english.

So in the end it was well worth doing!! :) It's helped give me a different perspective on my current work. :)

also i am going to do a search for Otku can, just going to check out his work as hes a brand strategist or futurologist, and also Nick Tahieri, another ex Ravensbourne student who set up Nieku as his website, i like his 2D style of work, he did a nice bit of self promotion in the collge for his recently founded website. That was nice to see sooo many confident speakers delivering a great presentation. Is great since I will be in a similar possition soon delivering my pitch for E&E.

i guess one of the things I'd wished I'd piped up about on the day was how long it took them to become confident at public speaking. I know I have abit more confidence than most at public SPeaking, but i still have trouble getting over the initial fear hurdle, and also if you aren't presenting to a group on a regular basis you fall back into the pit of inadequacy. i would have liked to see what kind of numbers they throw out, how many times till it was natural and they could project from a personal place of confidence. Ah well ill ask next time something similar happens.

Thursday, 22 April 2010


First thing, I couldn't do a weekly schedule, as the third years were really late getting the models rigged and ready for me to use, they are still working on them now. They really should have been ready for me to use, but here we are and i decided to divide my time daily.

I think 2 days is enough time on each shot to get the block out done and to refine it to readiness. I will be uploading the clips I finish on here as well as on the Third year students Pirates Blog, there are a few things that may happen towards the final weeks during rendering and refining the animation, Team whack'd and Gnome i will offer my assistance if they are struggling on their deliverables. I think most of the shots I have to work on are pretty basic. I hope this is not too optimistic but i may have a lot of the shots done ahead of schedule. I like to give myself a realistic amount of time to do the work, and I think i can have it all done with at least a week left for rendering and last minute refinements.

i will be following the animatic the third years have provided, so i will have a very good guide for my shots. Like i say, these will be uploaded on the blog as I go, giving the third years time to look at it and give me some feedback, incase what I animated is not the direction they want. I have taken the time to speak with Lewis Taylor at least once a week, I am sure we are both pretty clear what he wants for the clip as I have asked about certain things that may become a problem down the line when animating.
So i doubt there will be many secondary passes or refinements that need to happen.

This weekend i will start on the guard rig animation, I will get hold of the Captain rig possibly this friday or monday if I'm being realistic.


I had the idea to do a little looped dance animation using a maya rig model, have it keep dancing till the viewer presses a button to advance.

then u may get a little transition, but that may take a while to do.

I may just go with a few animated short bits i can use.

I will take a small bit of the dancing and make a looped piece of animation, depending on time constraints, it may end up being very short so i can get it all done in time.

I think the way I will edit it, i will pick a piece of music, most likely a minute long, any longer is too much i think. And will just animate for that length of time, i will probably loop an animation just to be more economical.

this is another REALLY WONDERFUL Idea for a DVD Menu i LIKED, THIS IS PROFESSIONAL AND I AM NOT SURE THIS IS ACHIEVABLE IN THE TIME, but yeah if i had an unlimited amount of time i would endeavor for something like this.

I think just delivering on a nice peice of animation, smooth transitioning, i should just be happy with whatever I put out and just strive to do it better the next time, Doning it for this unit will get me excited to try again for the year after. will have been fun, and i will try to squeeze more stylish content into the disc space, ring out as much potential out of the thing as I can.

this is a quick montage i put together of possible videos i would like to use as animation reference for my little dance.

I have been following Monty Oum's work

For a few years now, this guy was an animator at midway, and he's responsible for the Dead Fantasy short series. which is a series of martial arts fights done in 3D using the character models from the Dead or Alive and the Final Fantasy Cannon.
His work is reaaallly inspirational to me, and a testament to what one person can do when they really want to. He has of late been putting out a few short clips of his female characters dancing to popular canto-pop songs while the world waits for Dead fantasy VII. He was saying compared to the fighting animation, making the characters dance is much easier because he doesn't have to think about it.

This kinda gave me the idea to do something similar for my Dvd menu.


Shot 14, guard gives up trying to reach for the treasure box, then he has a bright idea

shot 15_ guard uses claw to get the box down

Shot 31 "Listen Lad.." Captain starts talking

Shot 50_ Captain slow mo jumps through the air

Shot 56_ sword is flung into the air..

Shot 57_ sword cuts the rope on the ship

Shot 58 the rope falls away

Shot 61_ the ship lands on the captain and the guard.

these are the shots from the animatic I will be working on. I will do a break down of each shot, figure out how much time it will take versus how much time i have, taking into account other factors.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


here are some examples of Rotoscoped animation i have been occupying my free time with over the Easter break.

I have been using a Robot rig I downloaded with the permission to use from the original creator niklas-wennersten.

I contacted Him on creative Crash to get his permission to use his rig for my animation, making sure i let him know its for my work and completely non profit.

I am in the process of contacting the creator of the Andy rig, but they haven't answered yet.

This i AM DOING MOSTLY BECAUSE OF THE LECTURE I HAD last week about Copy right infringement. It's something i will have to take seriously sooner or later, making sure i credit my own work as well as work I have Borrowed. I found it very helpful indeed.

AS FOR DVD ideas, this is menus I would like to do, I had an idea suddenly occur to me when I remembered the GAMEPLAY from an old Button Promt arcade game called DRAGONS LAIR.

basically your a Knight who has to rescue a princess from a Dragon, it features animation by Don Bluth who prior to this did alot of work with Disney animation on films such as the Rescuers, Robin Hood and Pete's Dragon.

This game is considered the first interactive movie, or cutscene as they are now known, featuring in games Like Resident Evil 4 and uncharted, which means you watch the animation, and when a button would appear you have to press it in time to avoid death. This was an incredibly Difficult game, it basically tested the gamer's memory as you had to memorize the timing and combination of buttons to press, if you failed to act in time you see the lead character killed and you re-spawn a bit further back. As I say the timings were incredibly hard to get down, and gamer's would only learn by trial and error.

I THought this might be interesting to do for a dvd menu, maybe set up a 3d fight scene where the viewer has to actively participate to make sure the fight plays out correctly. This may make the DVD more engaging.

However it does have its down sides depending on who's playing, they may not understand what to do and get frustrated.

Plus i may not have the time to develop all the different outcomes as well as program where i want the viewer to actually go to see my work.
SO I will probably end up going with something a bit more user friendly and easy to navigate.


Here is an image of my guard animation before starting the block out. i find this very helpful, as its very quick to draw very basic and get the feet right. With the little stick man figure i think about what every limb is doing if he is walking in the shot. when it comes to lip sync animation, i tend to use my camera to record myself and have it playing somewhere in the back ground for reference.

Sometimes (if there is body movement involved) I will do some quick sketches for how to do animation for key expressions, what the body is doing, But i try not to spend too much time on this part, mostly because i like to be rough and raw, when i start meddling with the idea it starts to loose the point. Besides the 3D animation doesn't always look exactly how i had sketched it out, as i will usually come up with more ideas as I work or improve on some of the initial ideas.

I will do a storyboard if it is a complex shot with alot of elements happening in the scene I will need to be aware of:

like in this example ( which is unrelated to my pirate project as there is already a 3d animatic) but just as an example of a detailed storyboard :

Often if a piece of animation is too complex example : the character could be summersaulting in the air or doing a ninja roll it will be difficult to remember what pose they need to end up in. So i will draw out every frame before starting. This way of blueprinting helps me block it out and make refinements where needs be.

test driving the guard Rig

just to show the guard rig in motion

me showing a problem with the trolly, not good, needs a fix.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

A piece of work thats inspired me:

this was a huge help, something i will deffinately think about doing when i do lip sync for the third years animation.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

has been a While since my last Blog entry

But now i have some thing to work on,

I met up with Lewis and Tom from third year, we discussed what shots i would be working on.

I have around 8 shots to be working on, which are:

Shot 14. Idea Guard , the guard is reaching and gives up, and is suddenly struck with an idea.
Shot 15. Claw Grab , the Guard decides the quickest way to reach the box is his little ultra hand or metal litter picking claw.
following shots are him struck by lightning,

I am considering the shots that take place around it so i can maintain continuity as best i can.

Shot 31. “Listen Lad” , this is the captain offering the guard a chance to hand over the treasure for his life, this is a line of lip sync and character animation i will do once the captain model is complete and rigged. i will take time to get this looking good and consistent.

Shot 50. "Slow-mo captain jumps in the air", this shot i was Asking lewis about as it may present a few technical problems. Such as if the captain is animated at regular speed and then slowed down, the animation will look jerky. So i could animate it and render out as more frames so as to give the illusion of slow mo. or just simply animate it normally and stretch out all the key frames. This one is a little complex as i have never done "Bullet time" before in 3D, and it can quite easily look silly if not done with care.

Shot 56. Sword Fling ,This is after the class with the guard and captain, where they are doing the classic hero faces villain look. There is a shot after where the captains sword is flung into the air and crashes into the pirate ship. This shouldnt be too bad, Although, Tom (third year) is doing the hero villain close up shot 54, Hayley (second year) is doing shot 55 where the guard shouts Never, and i have the shot after, so i will probably leave this shot till i see theirs finished, so i can match the continuity. If i run low on time i will just do it how it looks in the animatic.
Shot 57. Rope Cut This shot and 58 are quick insert shots of the ship when it starts rolling towards the 2 characters, these can be done pretty quickly. so these may not need too much attention.

and finally shot 61 "the boa landing", this is the ship when its been in mid air, flying it is a POV of the ship land on both characters, this will be a reaction shot of the two going Uh Oh! to the ship nearly on them, this shout be fine. has abit of camera movement, But i have done the exact same kind of shot in my term when i did compositing, so it will be fine.

Here is some work i did with the patches rig while i waited to get some work done:

Shot 58. Rope Drop

Monday, 5 April 2010

Just been reading the third years blogs,

Some images of some light tests i tried out, one with spot light and the other with volume, but i don't see much difference, may need to look at my lighting tutorial again.

seems they are working pretty flat out,

the pIRATES TEAM seem to have the models rigged, they have some jiggle physicals and stuff now i think they need to paint weights. I am hoping they will be done by tuesday if not by friday at the latest, I need to get cracking on their projects! :O

Team whack'd seem to be busy texturing. I did tell Arah from project Gnome recently i have commitments to the Pirates team, she was sayign they are still keen to have me do some animating for them, i was saying i would help if they run behind schedule but wont be able to be a regular.

Ah well, i guess i am getting desperate to get on with some animating for their projects, cos at the moment i am kinda stuck animating material i can put in my showreel.

i may well upload some of it at some point, but for now its just stuff to keep my hands occupied till they have somethign for me to work with, I did recently do a lighting test for the Pirates team,

Right now i guess if the third years are all taking their time getting started, i may have to do some more research for my other projects while i wait, i am currently writting out a top ten list of things i will have to consider when moving ahead in the industry.

Have been taking down notes for my 8000 word dissertation and looking at other articles similar to my subject, have signed up with some gaming journalistic sites like for industry insight, and where the industry is going, things like that to keep my time occupied.

rIGHT NOW I AM READING SOME BOOKS that might be useful,
one is the Ultimate guide to game writting, it has these little exercises i may find useful when i am playing a game next, its saying list all the things ass you play that are great and not so great, all the little niggling complaints write them down. it even has ways for you to construct the game narative yourself and see how you would do things differently.

I think this will be incredibly useful, I tend to play some games for about an hour between my animating, so thats a very useful thing to consider :)

Friday, 2 April 2010

some help with animating.

some videos i was shown that have made

and a test done by game designers

this is real inspiration, as it will be a big help when i come to anmating the characters in the third year project, i will probably take some video reference to aid my facial animation.

one thing i need to get to grips with is the graph editor, i will look through my animation book for what i can do.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

looks like third years have some rigs i can work with

mostly, this week I have been animating material for my showreel, its all personal stuff, mostly rotoscoped animation. I need to do a lot more "freehand" animation without much reference footage. thats where the pirates project will be coming in.

i knocked this out pretty quickly, so its not going to be as hard as i am letting my mind think it is.

I will need to have some rigged characters to work with soon or i will not have much time! :O

I will be in college today for lectures, I need to make sure the pirates team of third years have some fully UV'd and Rigged characters for me to work with over the weekend. I wont be in friday since its a holiday. :O

I dont want to delay animation any longer, i need to give myself enough time!

Anyway, i will try not to stress, I will get on with the animating as soon as its ready.

Monday, 29 March 2010

second week, just getting started.

so far i have some things i have been busy doing for the third years.
I have been gathering up some soundtracks for when i am animating the shots for Pirates of the Produce Isle (POPI), i am doing a quick test for team whack'd as well, but i will be telling them when it is complete that i will be giving my full attention to finishing
POPI's animation.

heres a play blast of my work in progress for Team Whack'd

this week i will only need to be in college for tuesday, not counting incase i have to come in to meet up with the third years. So that gives me time to do my enterprise & Entrepreneur homework, which i would like to get done soon, give it a decent amount of time to consider. But i think the animation will take the majority of my time.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

1st post, gonna wor with a team of third years

Today, the third years pitched their movies in the afternoon to us.
they had their concepts and animatics mostly sorted out. i think pirates of the produce isle might need the most amount of help in terms of animation as they have about 0 shots to complete. Gnome had around 36 shots, so thats not as much work, but the pirate one also has lip sync, which can run on a bit long too. the hit-man comedy by team whack'd seems the most manageable in the time, its just i'm not sure if it is going to work. it is meant to be all serious then turn comedic. it could work, just it could come off not as it was intended, not without appropriate work done in the right areas, things like sound and mood. anyway. i given them all my details and hope they send their assets on the public forum by the end of the week. not sure if it would be optimistic to think they'll have environments and characters ready to animate by the end of the week, maybe in an ideal work i could get to work right away. In the mean time i have been doing some personal animation, which i showed some of the groups as examples of my work. some lip sync which i am keep to have another go at and some action with the characters.
at least if all the pacing and dialogue and concept are all in the bag and set in stone, i guess it means less work for me, all i have to do is deliver it to the standard that they want. i AM PRETTY CONFIDENT these milestones are achievable, but it depends how much work they give me.
i think enough to keep me busy for 9 weeks is great so i will wait and see. just have my contextual studies essay to refine and hand in a draft.