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.