Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My Little World

Justin Barret posted a link on the AM forum to the trailer for an upcoming movie the other day. I looked at it and was amazed! The trailer brought tears to my eyes, everything about it is beautiful. The best part is it's done in 2d! The animation is excellent. The characters are very appealing, their hands are simply adorable. The story seems to be filled with imagination. I seriously can not wait for this film to come out. It's filled me with inspiration and has seriously made my love of 2d animation grow. Plus, it (and the Disney movies that I've been watching recently) really makes me consider doing my short in 2d.

My Little World

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Week 5

I've finished the first half of my story reel. So far it's 1 minute and 3 seconds long. I'm really awful at keeping stories short. Good thing my mentor told us not to worry about the length for now.

Story Reel (h264)

Story Reel (sorenson)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Story Reel Update

I drew some more panels during last nights Q&A and during the special Cars Q&A. My reel is now 38 seconds long, LOL. I talked to my mentor about that though. He said he doesn't want us to worry about length for now. He wants to see what we want our short to be and then he'll think of how we can shorten it. That's good, since I am awful at keeping stories short and this way he'll be able to get a solid idea of what I'm trying to go for.

I didn't get many panels done yesterday. I spent the morning and early afternoon at the dentists and spent a few hours skinning my character. Here's what I have so far:

Up-dated reel

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Story Reel WIP

I've started working on my official storyboards today. I was able to get about 17 panels done before getting tired. I guess that's good, especially since they're much better than last weeks. I just finished timing it out and have discovered something very disappointing. The whole thing is 22 seconds and this isn't even half of my short. I'm going to have to cut everything between Twitch's scare attempt and Taylor waking up. That really sucks, since I seriously liked Twitch's thought process and how he decides to turn on the light to wake Taylor up. I think that's a much better choice than poking Taylor in the face. I've also decided that Twitch sucks at scaring because he's shy. So turning on the light was a non-confrontational way of waking the boy up. I'll just have to some more ways to show Twitch's nature as the short progresses.

Story Reel w.i.p

Monday, October 23, 2006


I got my e-critique on my final story pitch last night. My mentor said he thinks my short will be charming and cute! That's excellent since that's exactly what I wanted. He said it's going to be closer to the 60 second target length than the 30 second one. I figured as such when I started storyboarding the other day, LOL. That's fine with me though. Thankfully my schedule has worked out so that I'll be in class 6 in the winter quarter. That means I'll have a nice break between class 5 and 6 for Christmas. Rather than playing and having fun, I will be blocking out my short in advance. That way I can show up to class 6 with a fully blocked out short. That should give me an advantage time wise and should help me finish it on time.

Anyway, after viewing our lecture on storyboards I became inspired to draw. Last night I told myself my official storyboards wouldn't be lazy and ugly like the ones in my previous post. I decided to develop how Taylor (the boy) would look in my storyboards and this is what I came up with:

It's quite obvious that I hardly ever draw people and as a result clothing. In fact, clothes are one of the main reasons why I don't draw people. I suck at drawing it and coming up with designs for it. LOL, I am in no way a fashion person and it's obvious when you look at Taylor's outfit.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Rough Storyboards

Hey guys. My mentor suggested that we start doing some rough storyboards to go along with our pitch for this week. So far, my story's 25 shots long, though most of them are quite short. They said not to worry about the length yet but I really hope we'll be able to condense my story into a 60 second piece. Here are my storyboards so far:

They may not make a lot of sense right now since I made them to support my pitch. Sadly, my video pitch is 50mb and is too large to post here. I think we start the official storyboards this week, so they'll start making much better sense soon.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Rig

I spent the first half of today rigging my monster character. I built his skeleton and then set it up using a Macaronikazoo script. It was extremely useful and saved me ton of time and head aches. I had to setup the ears, toes, tail, jaw, and tongue myself. It was too bad, and was much better than having to do all of it, LOL. I'm going to start working on his blendshapes later tonight. I have to watch this week's AnimationMentor lecture first though. Here's a picture of what I have so far:

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My Lil Monster Pt 4

Things have gone much better today as far as production on my monster goes. I made his teeth individually and was able to place them to my liking. I took a huge step after that with texturing. I have never textured a character before in my life. I didn't know how to unwrap uv's or anything of that nature. Thanks to my new book, I was able to do all of that and I now have a fully textured character. He has texture seams on the underside of his arms and tail but it's ok. I figured people wont see those parts of him enough to really notice. Like I said, I've never textured before so I think I did a good job for my first try. Here's a picture of him so far:

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Maybe Not

Okay, I just got a critique from my mentor on my final two story ideas. He really likes the monster story as opposed to the show dog idea. As usual my monster story is now pretty much nothing like my original idea. I figured it's for the best though. My mentor's a story guy so he knows what's possible in the time frame that I have to work with. Looks like I'll be working on the monster again tomorrow. The sucky thing is I'm being held up by a seemingly simple thing: teeth. I'm trying to model a set of teeth for my monster and it doesn't seem to be working. I know how I want them to look since I can draw them but I cant seem to get them right in 3d. Tomorrow I'm just going to make individual teeth and just place them in the character's mouth, rather than trying to make the teeth and gums out of one piece. Hopefully that won't take too long. I really need to start rigging him. Thankfully I have a book on modeling and rigging that finally uses a non-human cartoon character as an example. He has antennae, a tail, and everything so that's a huge plus. We'll see how far I get by the end of the week.

Change of Plans

Hey guys. It seems like I wont be doing my monster short. My peers like my "show dog" idea much better than the monster one. They say it's much funnier and they're right. Though, I wasn't trying to make the monster one funny. Anyway, our AM short guidelines mention that funny shorts are much more likely to be passed around at studios and online so that's always a good thing. In a way I'm kind of glad. I'm behind on the monster character/rig since I don't know what I'm doing. Plus I have an animation exercise that I've been wanting to do for weeks now but couldn't because of that character. It'll to my benefit to do the exercise rather than continuing to waste my time on things I'm not even trying to get a job doing.

As far as my short goes, I have to work on how I'll sell the idea that the characters are at a dog show without showing a bunch of contestants. I'll also get started on some rough storyboard panels to help me with this week's pitch.

In other news, I just finished watching Over the Hedge and it has quickly become one of my favorite Dreamworks movies. The animation is fantastic as usual and the characters are very appealing. I really love talking animal movies and hope to work on a bunch of them in the future. In fact, watching Over the Hedge has made me want to work at Dreamworks even more!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Lack of Posts

Hey everyone, sorry about my lack of posts. I've been busy working on that character for my short as well as pitching my ideas for class. Tomorrow I have to get some teeth removed and expect to spend the rest of the week in pain. Because of that, I doubt I'll be able to get much done, let alone make blog entries. It irks me to no end when I can't be productive so I'll see what I can do. I doubt bleeding all over my computer will help though, LOL.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Little Mermaid

I just finished watching all of the backstage Disney features on the new Little Mermaid DVD...It was OUTSTANDING. I have SO much respect for all of the guys at Disney, not just the animators. I felt compelled to watch the entire thing with my head bowed reverently. LOL, since my mother was here I just did all of that in my mind. Seriously though, everyone at Disney did an amazing job on the Little Mermaid and all of the rest of the Golden Age films. It really pains me to see Disney struggling nowadays when they did so well back then. I mean, Disney was the reason I got into animation in the first place. It was and still is my dream to work there. A few months ago I imagined myself being accepted into Disney and Pixar and having to choose which one I should go to. Even though that was a make believe situation, it was still an extremely tough decision to have to make. Sure Pixar's making films with better stories and such, but Disney is the reason why I'm even trying to get into this field. I'd honestly like to work at both studios during my life, and hopefully I wont have to choose between one or the other.

Anyway, they talked about how The Little Mermaid brought life back to Disney and started the Golden Age. I think today's Disney is back in a "ditch" like they were when they did the Black Cauldron. Hopefully a new story will come along soon and revitalize the studio like the Little Mermaid did back in the 80's.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

My Lil Monster pt 3

I've redesigned my monster's eyes so that I'll be able to animate them better. I've also created some ref. of mouth shapes that I'd like my character to be able to make. As usual, the 2d character is MUCH more appealing than my model. I can't really expect more than that since I've been drawing for as long as I can remember and have been modeling since a few days ago.

I spent yesterday modeling the monster's face. I'm not going to post a picture of it because its VERY ugly and looks nothing like my character. I just looked at the model with the dot eyes and found it much more appealing than the face I created yesterday. I'm going to start over and do a new face today. I learned a lot about facial modeling yesterday and will apply what I've learned to my work today. Hopefully I'll end up with a face that looks like the ones above.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My Lil Monster pt2

So far so good. I've finished his hands, hopefully they'll work when it's time to rig and skin them. I'm really worried about how the thumb will do during that stage. Bishop's thumb can do some cool things, though there's no way I'll be able to get my character like that, LOL. I'll try it and see what I come up with. Anyway, I've added "bracelets" to his limbs where they will need to bend and then I combined all of the body parts into one mesh. Next up...The face. LOL, it's quite sad how afraid I am on doing the monster's face. There's so much that can go wrong, especially since I have even less of an idea of what I'm doing. I'm using Jason Osipa's Stop Staring book as a guide and it's pretty helpful so far. I've already run into trouble with my character's eyes. I love his "dot eyes" but I can't really do eye darts and such with them. It looks like I might have to build eye sockets, eye balls, and eyelids...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

My Lil Monster

Hey guys. I'm in the process of creating a character for my AnimationMentor short. It's a cute little monster who will need to learn how to scare people. Things are going well so far...Then again I hardly know anything about character modeling. LOL, for all I know this model could end up being impossible to animate. His arms/shoulders are giving me a bit of trouble. I'm trying to get the back of the arm to melt into his back without actually creating shoulder blades, LOL. I want to keep him cartoony like my drawings. Hopefully I wont have to try to make shoulder blades, as I have no clue how to do that and will more than likely make a mess. Other than that, I like how he looks so far...

I really like the top drawing of the character with his antennae. I'm not sure if I should keep them though, they seem a little unnecessary. Originally he didn't have ears and just had the antennae, but he looked too much like a bumblebee. What do you guys think, should I add the antennae or not?