Monday, October 30, 2006

Session 405

First week of blocking on the multi-character shot. This is fun!! I went thru the videoreference and analyzed the heck out of it and then blocked out all the main actions and the key poses on both characters.

Ever since late in class 1, almost a year ago, I've heard about this fantastic Victor Navone-lecture, a complete walkthru of a shot from start to finish. This week we got to see the first part of it :) as our lecture. And it IS awesome!!

This week we also had a live Cars-Q&A with Victor Navone, Anthony Wong, Carlos Baena and a couple of other Pixar-guys. They answered all the questions we had about the making of Cars and went thru a lot of the stuff that they had to deal with during the production. Seans Q&A's is also awesome! He worked on Over the Hedge and for the last couple of Q&A's he has gone thru several shots he did and talked about how he approached the shots. Great great stuff and super inspirational!

Here's my 1st blocking-pass of "It's over":

And here's this weeks facial poses:

Monday, October 23, 2006

Session 404

It's been a busy week. Luckily my last shot was approved by Sean with only tiny adjustments, but for our next assignment we had to find an audioclip with two characters, plan it, shoot videoreference, thumbnail and do the basic layout and editing.

The previous shot (Zeus) was picked mainly because of the physical action, so this time I'm going to try something more subtle and emotional. I still feel that I need practice on body mechanics, so I think this audioclip is a good clip for both physical animation and emotional acting. The scene is about 400+ frames, 6 shots with two characters and we got 7 weeks left to do it! It's gonna be tough, but a fun challenge :)

Keith Lango has a great new tutorial up at his site about eases and favoring. Also, check out his breakdown-tutorial. Great stuff!

Here's my layout for "It's Over!":

And here's my planning:

Monday, October 16, 2006

Session 403

It's always very exciting when a new package arrive in my mailbox. This time it was Justin Barrett's "Animate a Face" and Cristin McKee's "Animate!". Great great stuff. It's totally worth checking out!

The lectures keeps getting better and better. Mark Oftedal hosted the lecture this week about how design applies to animation. Not character design, but how to use design elements to lead the eye and stage the shot. The Q&A's with Sean is also fantastic. There's sooo much golden info in them. Seans mentor at Dreamworks/PDI was the one and only James Baxter so we're learning from one of the very best sources on the planet :)

This is the final week with the Zeus-shot. I've been working on it since Session 305 or 306. That's almost 2 1/2 months! I'm sooo tired of the shot and it looks really bad to me right now. Hopefully it will look better when I get some distance in a couple of weeks :). Next week we're starting our 2-character shot. That's gonna be fun!

Also, somebody at school put up an awesome link about storytelling. It takes about an hour to watch, but its worth it. :)

Here's the final of the Zeus-shot:

Here's my facial poses this week:

Monday, October 09, 2006

Session 402

It's been an interesting week. The lecture was really cool. It was about editing and as a former editor I found it particular interesting to learn the Hollywood-structured way of thinking about storytelling thru editing. Very cool stuff. It was hosted by Patrick Kriwanek from Berkeley Digital Film Institute. Awesome!

When it comes to my assignment, its been ups and downs. Going from blocking to refining on the facial animation has been tough. With a gazillion controls that has to work together to make it believable, its easy to get a bit lost. Since this is the first time I ever touched a facial rig, I felt that I didn't had a clue of what I was doing at times. But towards the end of the week, it came together in an okay way I guess. Still one week left to polish it. Practice makes perfect. :)

We also had to make a couple of facial poses this week. It was pretty fun trying to find a cool expression and then exaggerate/simplify it on the Bishop rig.

Here's some very interesting links I came across. The first one is a shot breakdown from Everyone's Hero by from Justin Barrett and the other one is a new tutorial that's up at Victor Navone's blog about facial takes. Awesome stuff!

Here's my facial refinement-pass of the Zeus-shot:

Here's my facial poses:

Monday, October 02, 2006

Session 401

Class 4! Wow! Now we got a full character rig, complete with facial controls. Thats a lot of controls :)

My new class is pretty much my old one. I know most of them from previous classes and the new guys seems really cool. Its going to be another super quarter. We had a great q&a this week where everybody where introduced and we met our new mentor.

My mentor is Sean Sexton from Dreamworks Feature Animation. Supernice guy! Here's his bio:

Sean Sexton is currently an animator at Dreamworks Feature Animation. Sean graduated from the traditional animation program at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in Dover, N.J. then started his career as a Character Layout Artist/Animator on Matt Groening's Futurama. After four years on Futurama he left to work on Dreamworks' "Sinbad Legend of the Seven Seas". He then made the switch to computer animation for "Sharktale", Aardman's "Flushed Away", "Over the Hedge", and is now currently working on Jerry Seinfeld's "Bee Movie". Sean's favorite movie is "Jaws" and feels that it is still not safe to go back in the water.

This quarter is going to be awesome. For our assignment, we had to thumbnail and block in the facial animation on the shot we did last term.

Here's my assignment:

And here's the thumbnails: