Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Animals & Creatures - Session 104

Wow - one month into the course already!

We have the option to do pretty complicated stuff in the assignments if we want to, but I wanna try to grasp the main concepts before I take on too much. Plenty of opportunity for complexity later.

Awesome lecture this week by Tippet-animator Brian Mendenhall walking us through how he tackle a shot from start to finish and a great Q&A by Kevin, mostly about the importance of a good working environment (unplug!) and taking care of your health.

The learning curve is super steep and I find it crazy hard, but it's sooo cool to be a part of this. After all it is the very first official Animals & Creature class :)

Here's my blocking pass of the housecat assignment this week:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Animals & Creatures - Session 103

Before I started this AM masterclass, I felt like I had an idea of what animation was and that from now on it's just the matter of building on that and keep learning and improve as much as possible within all the aspects (and there's a lot of them - I know) of the art-form.

But now that I'm learning about realistic animals and creatures VFX animation, it's like a whole new branch of the art-form that I know absolutely nothing about - which is so supercool. It's kinda the same feeling I had back in 2006 when I did the main AM course - all this brand new awesome stuff to learn. It' still scary, but not as scary as back then though :)

My mentor, Kevin Koch, is fantastic. Every single e-crit for each of the students in the class is like a lecture in it self. He really takes the time to analyze our references and point out what it is important to focus on for each of us. Pure gold!

One thing I really feel sad about is the lack of time to interact more with my classmates. It was such a huge part of the AM experience for me last time and I made some fantastic friends. This time I'm working full time as I'm doing Animation Mentor and getting all the info in the lectures, doing the assignments, watching e-crits etc etc takes a lot of time, but I sincerely hope that there will be time to get to know some of my classmates as we go through the course.

Now we're starting our first multi-week assignment. I wanna try to do a house cat starting from a still position, accelerate and then come to a stop. I think it's gonna be challenging to get the right weight into a fairly light animal like a house cat and make it feel real. We'll see how it goes :)

Here's my planning for my house cat walk:

And here's the revision of last weeks assignment:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Animals & Creatures - Session 102

Second week of the Animal & Creature Masterclass and we're starting to animate quadruped walks - which is crazy hard :)

Most of the week went by studying reference and trying to figure out an effective workflow. To find an efficient way to animate a quad cycle, I animated 4 or 5 cycles (rough blocking passes) with different approaches and eventually found a way to do it that I felt comfortable with. Still hard to get a decent result though :)

Here's my assignment this week:

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Animals & Creatures - Session 101

Finally, after a couple of months of waiting, the Animation Mentor Animals & Creatures Masterclass has started. I'm superexcited about this and I'm really looking forward to dive into the world of VFX animation.

I couldn't be more happy with my mentor. Kevin Koch is an animation veteran with more than 14 years in the industry and with extensive experience in both traditional and CG animation (Spirit, Shrek 2, Madagascar among others)

For the first week, we had to draw animals, which freaks me out a little bit. I feel that I totally suck at drawing and other than simple stickmen for my thumbnails, I can't seem to get any kind of decent stuff out of a pencil. But an assignment is an assignment, so here it is.

Kevin gave some really nice tips on drawing animals though, so hopefully this will improve as I move on with the class.

We also had to upload a couple of poses with the cat rig they have given us. Here's my poses.