Friday, September 28, 2007

More Model Sheet Action

I had to redraw my previous model sheet since my prof. wanted it on animation bond and for him to be drawn larger. I've also drawn a few action poses for him as well. I guess I should give him a name at some point. :\

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More 2d

I wish there were more 2d feature animation studios in the US. I see wonderful trailers for films like Nocturna, Giacomo's Secret, and Mr. Collieu being produced and am disappointed that I won't be able to work on them since they're all the way out in Spain. I know there's July Films in California. I'm going to see if they'll take me as an intern over the summer. Project Firefly looks good as well, but they have a notice on their site saying they aren't accepting any reels right now. Hopefully they'll be hiring by the time I graduate. Lol, there's also the chance of getting hired at one of the major studios. I just wish they did 2d as well though. I hope things go well with the Frog Princess so Disney will continue to produce 2d films.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Animation Update

Hey guys, here's an update on my animation. I have pages of things to fix so far that I haven't gotten to since the first pass isn't finished yet. Unfortunately the assignment is due tomorrow. I'm going to continue to work on it this week since our next project is just a model sheet. Lol, not finishing by tomorrow won't be a problem though seeing as how the actual assignment was just a walk in perspective. I finished that part last Monday. I'm just ashamed of having to show unfinished work in class when the shot's supposed to have been completed. :(

Shot 1

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Hey everyone,

I've finally decided on the look of the squire for my 2d character animation projects. It's just as well since our next assignment is a character model sheet, lol.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My Animation So Far

Hey guys,

Here's an update on my animation so far. I think I've been working ineffectively. Like I said I've been doing it pretty much straight ahead. I just realized that I was supposed to start drawing the character more on model after the rough blocking is finished. Instead I've just been animating completely and will have to go back and draw the character over my roughs. I don't know if I'll have time to do that since I still have to go back and make corrections once I finish this first pass.

I've learned my lesson though. I'll remember that for the next part of my project. Click on the image to watch the video.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rosco Update

Here's an update on Rosco, my character for the rigging class at SCAD. I changed his colors, added an eyebrow shape and a button nose. I'm debating whether or not I should go ahead and rig him now or wait until we get to that in class. Right now the class is still talking about modeling basics so I don't have anything to do. :\

I usually don't have problems with rigging until it's time to start skinning. Like I said earlier, I kept him broken up into sections to avoid having to skin anything. I'm afraid to show up to class with a finished rig before we even start since the teacher might say "Oh well, that just means you can make another one! ^-^". That would suck since I want to spend as much time on my animation projects as possible.

Animation So Far

Hey guys,

I was able to re-export my animation before class started. I still have a ways to go and there are plenty of things to fix. I'm not going to change anything yet though. I want to complete a whole pass of animation before going back and making changes. Here's the url, enjoy!

wip Pencil Test

Monday, September 17, 2007


Hey guys,

I've got some fantastic news! Last night I finally learned how to use a traditional x-sheet for things other than dialogue! Lol, I felt like an idiot for not understanding how they worked. I'm glad I had the urge to open my Survival Kit and reread the section on x-sheets. Now I know how 2d animators figured out how to get the secondary actions to sync up with the main actions on a frame by frame basis. I was really worried about how much time I'd spend figuring out where my character's sword would be on what pose of his walk. Using an x-sheet made that MUCH simpler. In fact, all I have to do now it just draw, rather than trying to figure out how to coordinate everything while animating at the same time.

X-sheets have really sped up my workflow. Today I animated 62 frames in four and a half hours! Thats an unheard of amount of footage for me in 2d. I've also discovered that my workflow has changed since the last time I worked in 2d. I seem to work in a more straight ahead fashion instead of strictly pose to pose. I used to do this because I was still learning the principles of animation and pose to pose helped me make things easier. Now I know how the body moves/reacts and am able to work more straight ahead, focusing on the performance as if I were the character on the paper.

I wanted to post today's pencil test but I discovered only part of the file exported. I ended up duplicating some of my frames in Flipbook and for some reason, the program didn't take updated time line into account when it exported the video. I'll try to fix it tomorrow and post the video then.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

New Layout

Hey guys. Here's the new version of my layout. I actually made a perspective grid and did everything properly this time, lol. Drawing things in correct perspective takes longer, but the results look much better. =D

I'd like to color it but I need to start the actual assignment now, lol. XD

Saturday, September 15, 2007


After thinking about my layout I've decided to redo it. The horizon line is way too high and is causing more work than necessary. I was watching Mario Furmanczyk's work for inspiration and noticed he has two shots in Broken Toys in which the character runs back into space and forward in space. The horizon line in his shots were much lower, about a third of the way up on the page. From what I've seen, that's the usual set-up for layouts anyway. I'll redraw mine tomorrow. I just have to think of a way to stage things so there's enough room for the character to jump over the log, have space to act on screen right and enough space to show him coming forward on the left before the jump.

It sucks that I have to redraw everything, but I'm really glad I caught that before I started animating. Plus, I think the new layout will be even better. =D

Layout with Rough Characters

Here's my layout with some very rough (and unfortunately hard to see) character poses thrown over it. The point of this is to try to figure out where the character will be in space and how his size will change through perspective. I'm not sure I'm doing this properly, so I'm checking out the Disney films I brought with me for inspiration and guidance. I hope I'll get the end product that I see in my head.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Forest Layout

Hey guys,

Here's the layout for the first shot in my 2d character animation "short". Sadly, my scanner is smaller than the animation bond so the image has been cut off on all sides. The scanner also destroyed my atmospheric perspective. =(

Never fear though, the capture stations should pick it up nicely. I'll be sure to post a pencil test as soon as I have one. I've taken my video reference and will be creating more thumbnails based off of that in the morning. When that's done, I'll pick my favorite poses from the ref thumbs and the imaginary thumbs and combine them into the final performance. I plan on having my blocking finished by this time tomorrow. We'll see how everything goes.


I just received a fantastic phone call from AM about Disney!!!!!!!!!!! Calls from California are always awesome. The only way it could be better is if it was from Disney either accepting me into their internship program or offering me a job. =D Hopefully that will happen in a few weeks from now. Man, if I get into their program I'd explode with glee! That would be one of the best phone calls of my life! XD We'll see what happens. I just need to get my reel approved and then it'll be sent to Disney as quickly as possible. Lol, according to my Awaken the Giant Within book if you honestly believe it you can get whatever you want. I'm going to be believing myself into Disney everyday now!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rosco the Bear

I "finished" my model of my character for class today. We were supposed to have the torso, arms, and legs done by Tuesday. I finished 90% of this during class so I guess I'll have little to no homework for rigging class next week. That's awesome since it'll allow me to focus 100% on my animation projects. =D

Anyway, as much as I would like a nice fully skinned character I know my rigging limits and how long I take to do things. It would take me much longer to skin this character and would reduce the time I have to spend on my animation as the result. Instead I'm using a body like Stewie and Norman where the torso and limbs are all made up of separate pieces.

Here's a picture of what I have so far. When we get to texturing, he'll have a lighter face mask, paw prints on the bottom of his feet and hands, and possibly stitches similar to those on a teddy bear. I haven't decided whether I'll use the stitches idea since I know it would look much better on a fully skinned character. He used to have nice plump arms, but I had to thin them out so he could lower them without half of the upper arm going into his body. =(

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Hey everyone. I just thought I'd post some of my first assignments for this term at SCAD. Here's a model sheet for a character I'll be building in 3d Character Setup class. I wanted to keep everything as simple as possible. Hopefully this character will be easy to skin since I always have problems with that part of the process. This isn't my main focus class (and I have no interest in rigging at all) so I want to make sure I can do the work as quickly as possible, allowing me to spend most of my time working on my animation projects.

Speaking of which, here are some thumbnails and exploratory sketches for my upcoming animation project. We have to do a walk in perspective, a model sheet, a turn and react exercise, a shot with a cut, and a final acting assignment for the class. I've decided to turn all of this into a very short story that incorporates all of the projects. It's about a brutish squire and a baby dragon. You'll have to wait to see what happens. =P

Unfortunately, the last three pages are cut off on all sides because my sketchbook is larger than my scanner.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Adding Appeal to My Short/Why It's Taking So Long To Finish

Lol, I don't know if I'll ever finish my short film! After I finish a shot I sit and brainstorm about the remaining shots I have left. During the session usually a pretty clear idea for a shot jumps out at me. I then imagine and scene and play through it in my mind. Asking questions like "how would a little boy act/react? How would a monster act/react? Whats the overall mood of the shot?" etc. Trouble comes along during this phase because the answers more often than not require more animation than I originally planned for. In fact, when I watch my animatic I see how lifeless my shots were. There wasn't any inspiration in there or any special sparks.

Anyway, the other night I got some inspiration for how to end shot 9 (watching a movie) which lead to how to set-up shot 11 (making faces in the bathroom mirror). Right now Taylor responds to Twitch's fear of the horror movie like -_O. He sighs and thinks "Wow, that's pretty sad...". The other night I asked myself is this really something a small child would do? The answer I received was no so I asked myself "How would someone Taylor's age respond?". I know he's a happy, out going, fun loving, and somewhat mischievous kid to contrast with Twitch's shyness, fear, and introvert personality. I decided Taylor would treat the whole training session like a game. He's helping Twitch while genuinely enjoying himself at the same time.

My current end for shot 9 doesn't convey this at all. I think my new idea does and is a much better choice even though it requires more animation (the shot is already a little over 300 frames long XD). Now Taylor will initially respond with -_O "eh?" but once he sees Twitch is genuinely afraid he'll become more sympathetic. Taylor will try to think of a different alternative, and instantly becomes excited when he arrives on the mirror idea. He grabs hold of Twitch and whisks him away to the bathroom. I have a very specific way that I want Taylor to carry Twitch too. I've seen little children pick up their puppy or cat this way and think it'll add a nice bit of charm to the shot.

Originally I had a tenth shot that would cut out to show Twitch hiding under the couch cushions in the family room scene. Back in class 6 I decided it was unnecessary and cut it out. The other night I imagined an alternative. I haven't decided if I'll use it yet though. I imagined the new shot 10 as a long shot of the hallway at night. You'd see Taylor's silhouette against the moonlight streaming through a window carrying Twitch across the hall to the bathroom. It's just a hook up shot so I don't really think it's necessary.

Next up is the new and improved shot 11. I'm ecstatic about this idea since previously I dreaded having to work on this shot because I lacked a clear idea for it, let alone something to make it stand out. Plus my new idea gave me a whole new bathroom layout. Before, I was struggling getting the shot to read as the audience looking at their reflection. I redid the entire bathroom and I think it's reading much better now. Anyway, we start with Taylor at the counter. He heaves Twitch up and sits him down on top. Originally I imagined Taylor standing behind the counter and going through his making faces routine. During the new layout phase, I discovered Taylor's too short for that, as the counter comes up to just below his shoulders.

Rather than changing the size of the set I thought about it for a moment. Little kids are short and it wouldn't be accurate for him to have the counter at his waist level like I originally imagined it. I tried putting Taylor on the counter to see how it would look and immediately liked the results. I also revised that a real little boy would probably climb onto the counter (knowing full well that he shouldn't). So now I have Taylor putting Twitch on the counter, climbing up himself, instructing Twitch to look in the mirror, and then launching into his face making frenzy. I've also come up with a few ways for twitch to react to Taylor's faces and actions. After his routine, Taylor will stop and tell Twitch it's his turn. Twitch, unsure of himself, will try to mimic Taylor, much to the boys amusement. Taylor starts laughing so hard he falls off the counter. Twitch watches Taylor crawl out of the room (still shaking w/ laughter) and then follows him off-screen.

While this idea is much much more appealing than my original shot 11 idea (if you can even call it that) it requires a lot more animation. I have no problem with that since I think the idea is fun and charming. It's bad news as far as finishing my short any time soon goes. It seems like every time I have a full idea for a shot it requires more animation than I originally planned for. Normally I'd just say no, I need to stick with the plan so I can finish it on time, but this is MY short film. I'll probably never have an opportunity for this again since I'll be working on other people's visions once I get a job. Plus I no longer have an academic deadline for completion, only my rough estimates of "get some new shots for my reel by Siggraph and the following spring". Rather than clipping/cutting performances simply for the sake of finishing faster I think I'll use my new ideas even though they're longer. I think the results will be/are (ex. the new shot 5 vs the original) much better and more sincere. What's the rush anyway? Once it's finished I'll be able to be even more proud of it since I'll know every shot was created lovingly and to the full extent of my abilities. =D

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


During my time at Siggraph I noticed a few people walking around wearing viking hats. I was wondering where they came from and now I know. Appearantly they were participants in an animation event called FJORG!. I had never heard of FJORG! until today and am sorely disappointed that I hadn't known about it. I watched a documentary from the event and it looked incredibly fun. I would like to return to Siggraph next year and now FJORG! is on the top of my list of things to do. Now all I have to do is find two team mates. I don't know if any of my friends from SCAD are going to Siggraph 08, but I know some of my AM buddies are convention regulars. Getting a team together shouldn't be too hard. I really look forward to going next year now! =D

Monday, September 03, 2007

Almost Time for 2d =D

I'm actually looking forward to returning to SCAD this time. Why? Because I'm taking 2d character animation. I haven't done any good old traditional animation in a while and am really looking forward to returning to it. Sure I can work in 2d at home using the computer, but there's nothing like the feel of a pencil on paper. I can't wait until I get the funds to buy my own animation disc. Unfortunately that will have to wait until I get a job and have gotten a sizable amount of money saved up. Anyway, I cant wait to get started. I feel like I've learned a lot by working in 3d and am eager to apply everything I've learned to 2d.

The only thing I don't look forward to is having volume issues. >_< I feel like I'm more prepared for them though. Before I was transfered to the alumni site, I was able to speak to a couple of animators from Disney's 2d days. They told me about their workflow and how they address volume issues. They also let me know when they start drawing the on model character instead of the rough version. Watching all of those Glen Keane videos has helped immensely and has provided a ton of inspiration for returning to 2d as well.

I hope to be able to produce at least one 2d shot to use on my demo reel. I'd love to be a part of Disney's new 2d division and work on their short films! I know having one 2d shot won't be enough but hopefully it and my 3d animation will be enough to get my foot in the door. Once I'm there I imagine I can hang around towards the end of the day and visit the 2d section or however they have it set up. =D


Hey guys. I stopped working on my short/demo reel for a week to work on a commission from my stepmother. She wanted me to paint a picture of my father's akita before I left for SCAD. I enjoyed painting Midnight's fur but after coloring for a week, I'm ready to return to animation. I think I'm getting better at painting fur though. ^-^