Saturday, December 30, 2006


Sorry about the previous post guys. I thought the next quarter of AM started on Jan 8th and I just found out that I was correct. I guess what I saw on the website's calendar was a mistake. I'm glad I have another week to work on my 2d blocking. Now I'll be able to go through the short and breakdown the motion in the shots even more.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Running Out of Time

AnimationMentor's class 6 starts this coming Sunday! I've blocked in about 90% of my short so far, yet I still feel like I'm behind. I have one and a half days left to do the rest...let the crunch time begin!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone!

A special thank you goes out to my friend Amrit, who told me a key piece of info this morning which has helped my understanding of how to use rigs with an ik spine immensely! That was an excellent spontaneous Christmas present, as it's allowed me to realize just how flexible Twitch's rig is. Thanks a ton Amrit!

I hope everyone has a very wonderful Christmas(or whatever holiday you celebrate) and New Year!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Test

Hey everyone. I'm working on blocking out my short now that class 5 is over. I've always wanted to block things in using the grease pencil script but I've never really gotten a chance to. Because of that, I've decided to do my first pass of blocking for my short in 2d using the script. So far I really like the results. It's much easier to edit the timing since all I have to do is move the drawing up or down the time slider. It's also faster since I can quickly draw in a rough pose and move to the next one. It just sucks that my 3d Twitch isn't nearly as appealing as his 2d counterpart. I'd love to do the entire short in 2d, but I still don't have the resources for that. Anyway, here's a sneak peek at one of the shorts I'm working on:

Sneak Peek

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Common Sense

Please people, can we try to use a little common sense while playing video games? None of the things on the following site should have happened...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Planning a Short Film

I've finally "finished" creating thumbnails for my short! I say "finished" because I need to shoot video reference for some parts and I'll draw thumbnails from that. I'm done for the most part though. Here's a look at what I've done, the pages aren't in any particular order. They may not even make sense, lol, I just thought I'd share my process with you guys anyway.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

More Animals!

Gorilla noses are evil...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Over Already

Class 5 is over already! I can't believe it, the time has really sped by! Hopefully things wont go so quickly during class 6, lol. I may not be able to finish animating my short if they do. Since this is the last week of class 5 it's only right for me to show you guys my final layout. Twitch's body rig was completed earlier today so I'll have to go in and make sure I'm not messing up his geometry with my poses. After that, it's on to animation! I'll need to shoot some video reference to help me with Taylor getting off of his bed and a few other areas. I've already found reference and thumbnailed some of the shots. Hopefully I'll be able to do that for the whole short in a couple of weeks. I really enjoy using the grease pencil script and would like to block in my animation with that before touching the 3d characters. It's much faster than posing them out and it allows me to adjust my timing quickly. Plus it'll be great to do some 2d work, despite the fact that it wont be seen in the final. Ok, here's my layout:

Final Layout

If someone could tell me how to properly compress sound files I would really appreciate it. The soundtrack has added an additional 11MBs to the video file...

Here's a page of sketches that I did why waiting for my video to finish exporting. I experimented with creating dragons with a large lower jaw. I really like how they turned out and will have to use that technique again. I've always had problem with drawing mean looking characters since my drawings always tend to be cute. You can see how the large jaw seems to have helped with that if you look at the characters at the bottom. My favorite ones are the dragon in the middle and the one to his upper left. The dragon at the top is one of my typical white furry dragons. They're distinguished by the slip of their snouts, their dreadlocks and their longer fur. I included him so I could compare him to the dragon in the middle. I believe I'll use the large jaw as a distinguishing feature of my traditional dragons.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Shame Shame

I just finished watching a news item on the AM site in which Bobby Beck spoke about sharing AM property (rigs, syllabus, lectures etc.) and it was very disappointing. Bobby should not have had to make that news video. Everyone at AM knows not to share the school's content so it's a shame that some people aren't respecting the school's rules. That's really not cool. If I were in charge I'd expel the student(s) who were leaking AM content immediately. Hopefully action is taking place against the person/people responsible for that. AnimationMentor is an excellent school and I can't imagine why anyone would want to hurt them in any way. I am really disappointed that any of my peers would do such a thing.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Winter Student Showcase

AM's Winter Student Showcase is coming! They've posted a news item asking for submissions. I'm so excited! I'm going to submit both of my dialogue tests, my 2d shot, and my side step. Hopefully one of those will make the cut! :D

Age Change

After talking to one of my friends who knows a lot more about little kids than I do, I've decided to change Taylor's age from seven to nine. I was told that at nine Taylor would be old enough to stick to his goal of scaring his sister while still being childish enough to be seen as the mischievous little brother. I'm glad thats the case since the change is making things easier as far as planning how he will act. I've also decided to make Taylor a little silly so he can get away with broader actions.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I'm planning Taylor's acting in preparation for thumbnailing and I've run into a problem. I want Taylor to be a happy and energetic child so he can contrast with how shy and reserved Twitch is. I've changed my acting choices for Taylor to support that, he'll be making faces with Twitch, he'll jump off of his bed in the beginning, etc. The problem is I'm having trouble coming up with how he'll do those things. I've never really liked little children and have avoided having to interact with them as much as possible. As a result, I don't have a library of childish actions to draw from. I'm looking online at video clips of children doing various things but I'm having a hard time deciding what to use. One reason I think I'm having trouble is it's difficult for me to gauge how old the kids in the videos are. I can tell the difference between a baby/toddler and an older child, but I don't remember what a seven year old looks like. That's bad since I've found a few clips that I like but I can't really tell if a specific action/gesture is too juvenile for a seven year old or not. I dont even know if seven is too old for Taylor. Maybe five's a better age? I just want him to be a little kid but old enough to be able to stay on track with helping Twitch/pursuing his goal of scaring his sister.

I wish I had access to a little boy around Taylor's age. Then I could just ask him to jump off my bed, watch his favorite movie, jump out of the closet, and make faces in a mirror, lol pretty much everything I need Taylor to do in my short. Then I'd be able to take note of how the child does those things and use them to make Taylor's performance more sincere. Sadly, that isn't really an option since I don't know any little children or know anyone with some. For now I'll have to settle with asking my guy friends how they would have done those things when they were that age. If I'm lucky, I might be able to get one of them to actually perform some of those actions.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Hey everyone. After watching this week's inspiring lecture on character design, I decided to do some animal gesture drawings. Sadly, it was about 9pm so going to the zoo wasn't an option. Instead I looked at videos from the BBC Motion Gallery and drew from them. The first page features two tamandua, some kind of arboreal ant eater and the other two pages are just different monkeys.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

It's Coming Together

Hey guys,

I haven't posted any real content in a whole, so here's look at the layout for my short. Now that I've gotten everything in 3d, this week will be spent making the changes that my mentor has been suggesting. So far he hasn't said anything about major changes. I have come up with one though. I'm going to redo the mirror shot because of the fact that having Taylor pull at Twitch's mouth has a whole lot of potential problems. That shot would be much easier in 2d. I'm also not sure if Twitch's facial setup (it's not ready yet) would even allow for that much deformation. I've decided that it would be more fun for Taylor to make faces with Twitch. I remembered that he is a seven year old boy after all. What seven year old boy wouldn't want to make weird faces, lol? Anyway, I think that will make the shot much simpler and clearer. Other than that most of the changes I'll be making mainly consist of adjusting the position of the characters in the frame. Here's what I have so far:

Full Layout

Oh, the short still has music and sound effects. I just didn't include them since they have a huge affect on the file size.