Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Stop Motion Workshop

I animated the middle puppet in this video, the whole process took about an hour. I hadn't done any stop-motion animation previous to this workshop - I found it very interesting though and I really want to try more of it. Happily, I'm involved with a third year project that will be animated in stop-motion so I will get to do so next term.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Maya: animating walks

The top clip shows a basic walk cycle and the bottom video is a walk based on Mickey Mouse's.
I really enjoyed animating these two clips - it was a challenging process especially to start with! I used a pre-rigged model. Our teacher for Maya showed us how to study real-life walks and how to use these observations to create interesting walks in Maya - I'd like to try and find a few more real-life examples to recreate in Maya soon.

Storyboard brief 2: DEEP

This is my second storyboard assignment. For this project I was given a script for a scene and also plans of the room in which the scene occurs. I tried to pay particular attention to making sure continuity existed in my storyboard and I also tried out a couple of new camera shots that I have learnt from cinematography lessons. This storyboard is not as 'polished' as my previous one as there were more shots to include and I was also concentrating more on making sure the important scene details were being communicated clearly and without distraction from aesthetic flourishes. This time I used Photoshop to create the storyboard as opposed to Flash (which I had used previously) thanks to a friend on the same course generously taking the time to teach me how to use Photoshop - using this software had many advantages and greatly speeds up the process of creating art.


Flash: Animated short assignment

This is the latest Flash assignment I have completed - we we're given an obscure sound clip and told to animate something to accompany it. I'm not particularly thrilled with how this animation turned out but I learnt a lot making it. I employed the techniques of cut-out, frame-by-frame and lip-sync in the piece.
I found the toughest part of this project was actually working out what to animate as the sound clip was so weird and dis-jointed - my vision went through several reincarnations. I decided I wanted the animation to be creepy and unsettling, and also I wanted to try a different style than before. I was definitely pushed for time to complete this animation but in future I think I will spend longer on the pre-production as I think this will make the production process easier and smoother.
Below I have included some of the design work I did whilst brainstorming ideas for this project.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Maya: Bouncing Ball

This is one of my first animations using Autodesk Maya. As with Flash, we began by animating a bouncing ball. The ball I used for this exercise was pre-rigged so that squash and stretch could be applied to it - so even though I am doing 3D animation, the principles of the 2D animation I have done previously still apply.

It's not perfect but I improved a lot using the software by doing this exercise, especially considering I had not previously used it before. Following on from this exercise, we we're set a brief where the ball takes on a character, i.e. it is scared or excited.

This is what I animated for the second brief - there are a couple of obvious points to improve - create a more natural-looking finish; also to add the ball turning to look at the viewer as it hesitates on the edge; and maybe some more distortion as it looks over the edge.

I'm finding that animating using Maya is personally very interesting as previous to starting the course I had a strong interest in 3D modelling using 3D packages such as Solidworks and Truespace - I went to a high school with a great Technology department and teachers. As a result, I was able to experiment creating various 3D CAD models and also with 3D printing. I'm really excited to make the most of this opportunity to continue this interest on the Animation course and to see what I can achieve in Maya.

I've added some examples of the 3D modelling experiments I did before starting the Animation course at Falmouth below:

I produced this client information sheet to accompany a disaster relief shelter I designed for my A Level Product Design coursework. I used Solidworks to create the model of the shelter and zip, and Vue in the top render.

Alarm clock modeled in Solidworks

AS Level Product Design project

For AS Product Design I designed and made a nightlight - first be designing in Solidworks, and then using a 3D printer to print a real-life version of the computer model I had created. The above image shows the Solidworks model I created for the project. My design included a switch located in one of the side towers - when the tower roof was turned the light would turn on or off - this involved using a reed switch and magnet. Below is an exploded view rendered in Solidworks showing the different parts of the light:

3D printed components

Finished night light -
Right: illuminated

Friday, 1 November 2013

Flash exercise: Cubey Emotions

This is the next of our Flash briefs for the course - to animate a simple cube character displaying emotion. In the first video they must react to a sound (unheard to the audience), and in the second a small cubey must annoy a dominant larger cubey.
I found these briefs more challenging than before as I haven't much experience animating frame-by-frame in Flash. There is a lot to improved in these clips - largely the timing and easing-in and out of movement. I was particularly conscious of employing the animation principles we have discussed thus far on the course - timing, weight, anticipation and overlapping.

One of the main challenges of this was to give character to a box and circle - the character has no facial features or legs, so all of the emotion has to be portrayed using the body movement. I'm pretty pleased with how I did these - there is still room for improvement which I hope to do before I put together my showreel for the first term. To do this, I'll be working more with the previously-mentioned animation principles. Altogether, I'm very happy with my progress on Flash - I'm beginning to feel much more confident animating, which will be useful for our next brief (due next week) which is to animate a short clip of at least 15 seconds to accompany a pre-selected sound clip. 

This will involve a lot more freedom and I'm keen to push my skills and see if I can achieve some really interesting animation - mixing the different animation techniques I've been introduced to thus on this course - and also to include some more artistic elements. 

Cubey reacting to a sound

Big and small cubey interacting