Thursday, July 30, 2009


After receiving some comments on the colors, I've decided to re-render my squirrely shot. Here's the new version:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The first part of my squirrely scene is finished and ready for my reel! =D

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Hey everyone,

Here's my polishing pass for the squirrely shot. Please let me know if this can be improved in any way. Tomorrow I'm going to work on modeling the tree branches, lighting and rendering. I will also be addressing any changes that might need to be made as well.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Today's Update

The tail still needs work, but its getting there...

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Hey guys,

Here's today's update on my squirrely shot. I'm still tweaking the arms, they've been giving me trouble for the past two days but now they're almost there. Once they're done, I'll work on the tail some more. I did a quick smoothing pass on the tail in the GE before closing Maya, but I didn't like it enough to include it in the post. Anyway, once the tail's been worked on I'll move on to polishing. =D

Oh, I didn't include the first section since I didn't work on it today. As usual, all comments/crits are highly appreciated!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Hey guys,

I figured out how to save my squirrely scene. I've kept the animation from the messed up file prior to him hopping out from behind the tree and then I started refining everything after frame 80 from a previous blocking file. Here's a look at how far I got yesterday. I've done a smoothing pass on the hips, spine, and head from f80-150. Everything's been smoothed from f01-80. Today I plan on smoothing his limbs, ears and tail. Once everything's had an initial plateau pass, I'll go through and start pushing the spacing, weight, arcs, etc.

Please let me know if anything stands out and/or can be improved, pushed, or toned down!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Set Back

Hey guys,

I would have had a nice refining pass on my squirrel shot but I've run into a set back. I went to swap the ik arms for fk when the joints for part of that arm suddenly disappeared. Now Squirrely's arm bends at awkward angles and deforms strangely in ik and fk. I've emailed Josh about it with the hopes that he'll be able to fix it. If not, I'll have to redo everything that I did today. =(

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Preparing for Siggraph

Hey guys,

Sorry for the lapse in updates. I spent yesterday preparing my reel and paperwork for Pixar. I just found out that Disney will be looking for people at Siggraph and am now gathering my things for them as well. Once everything's ready, I'll resume working on the squirrel shot as it needs to be finished in time for the convention. Here's a look at my summer 09 reel so far. I'm going to add Cat Flap to the end of the reel as well. I've noticed that some of my classmates at AnimationMentor have done that. The dvd version will also have the option of watching the film by itself.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Solid Blocking Pass

Hey guys,

Here's a look what I have so far. If you have any comments or critiques please let me know. I'm not happy with the tail twitch at the end. If I cant get it to work tomorrow morning I'll just remove it. I need this to be as good as possible since it'll be on my reel for Dreamworks and Pixar.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fleshing Things Out...

Here's today's update. I'm not very happy with the steps after he jumps out from behind the tree. There's something odd about his weight. Right now, there's a large spacing gap between the stretch contact and the down position. I'm hoping that posing out the inbetween will make his weight feel better. I'm also not too sure about the contact pose for the screen left foot. I've been having some trouble with getting him to swing his giant feet forward without them going through the ground. I've been using Crash and Eddie from Ice Age as reference since they have long feet with short legs as well. The motion blur had been getting in the way though, lol.

My goal is to pretty much have the blocking finished by the end of tomorrow. I'll post it in the AM forum for feedback before moving on to the refining stage. If anyone has any comments on this so far, please let me know!

Friday, July 17, 2009


I think I'm going to do things a bit differently with this squirrel shot. Dreamworks is accepting reels for Siggraph attendees and they ask to have everything in by the 27th. I'd like to use this squirrel test on my reel, but I know I wont have it finished in time since it's almost 30 seconds long. After much deliberation, I've decided to at least block everything out like the 2d version and then pick a section to finish off for my reel. My two choices are the beginning hundred or so frames and the part where the squirrel jumps across the gap and catches himself. I'd like to try to finish those two sections off as much as possible so I'll have some new content on my reel. It really sucks that I had to spend so much time doing freelance projects. I could have had a completely finished shot for my reel if I hadn't done them, but the bills had to be paid somehow.

Here's a look at what I've done so far...

There need to be some timing adjustments when he comes out and walks forward. I'm going to address those later though, as I'd like to keep everything in sync with the 2d version until I've gotten all of the poses in there.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Glimpse of 3d

I started working in 3d for a few hours before going to bed. Here's what I have so far. A few changes are in the process of being made here. The main thing is having him come from behind the tree convincingly. I'll also have him take a few steps forward to get to his ending position and to slow down his momentum from jumping out. I'd like the final version to incorporate my drawing as the background so it would look like he exists in that "world". I'd like to paint the background and then light him accordingly. I'm not sure how I'll do that though. I'm really unsure of how I'll get my 2d background and his 3d body to overlap properly where the two interact. If worse come to worse, I'll more than likely just end up modeling the trees in 3d and simply rendering it out normally.

New Blocking

Hey everyone,

I've decided to do a new test with Josh Burton's adorable squirrel rig. Here's a look at my very rough 2d blocking. It's filled with volume issues and a lack of breakdowns, but it gets the point across lol. Towards the end, he's much bigger than he's supposed to be which is messing up his line of sight with the acorn. Usually I'd fix this, but since its going to be a 3d test I wont have to worry about volume issues and such. Lol, I've also realized that when left to my own devices, I always come up with these short film length tests. =P

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back in Business

Hey guys,

I've finally finished all of my freelance work and am now free to animate. I'd like to return to my previous scene with the drunk character stumbling around. I cant find the sketchbook containing my notes on the scene though. I tried working without them but I don't like what I did and now I feel lost. I no longer have a clear idea of where the scene was going before, without access to my notes. I'd really like to finish the scene but I feel like I'm spinning my wheels with it...