Friday, December 14, 2012

Updated Showreel

With my comedy brief animation all done and dusted, I put together an updated showreel comprised of my work from my second and third years of the course. I think it's a lot stronger than my first one (shown below), as I had more to work with and the overall quality is better. That, and my first showreel was a mish-mash of Maya playblasts, stop-motion cutout animation, drawn animation and Toon Boom work, since I hadn't decided what aspect of animation I wanted to specalise in at the time. Now I know that I want to specialise in 2D digital cutout, so my showreel reflects this.

I also created my first showreel in Adobe Premiere Pro on my laptop, and I didn't know the correct settings I needed to export it properly, so overall the quality is poor.

Which brings me to another point - one of the things I was displeased with when it came to my Onomatopoeia and 9 Prepositions animations was the framerate. It got affected pretty noticeably for me, which meant that when my tutor told me that Biscuit needed more anticipation before she jumped in the air for my Onomatopoeia animation, I opened up the Toon Boom file to fix it and I realised that there was actually anticipation in there - it just got lost in the process of exporting it out in iMovie HD.

The framerate was definitely noticeable for me in my 9 Prepositions animation, with animations that looked fine individually but became choppy when they were exported, so recently I re-exported both of them to run at a much smoother rate, as you can possibly tell from the clips used in my showreel. I'll be updating the files on my Vimeo soon.

A Different Kind Of Warm-Up

I've made a fair amount of posts on this blog so far that feature some strange creatures I've drawn whilst doing warmup doodles after plugging in my tablet. Well, the other day I decided to try something different - I asked people to give me the name of a character, and I tried to draw said character from memory. Most of the names I was given were of various Robot Masters of the Megaman series, but some characters I wasn't so familiar with, which led to some amusing results.

First we have Jupiter of the Megaman series (who I used to draw a lot, so he was fairly easy to remember), Metal Sonic of the Sonic series (whose appearance I got completely wrong - apparently the only thing I could remember about him was those seriously creepy eyes), one of my friends herself, and Burstman also of the Megaman series (who I also draw a lot, so his appearance was easy to remember despite being so crowded).

Next up we have Shademan of the Megaman series (whose appearance I didn't quite capture, but I got the gist of it), a silly character belonging to one of my friends who goes by the name of Crashmandicoot, Tlun (who's actually one of my characters so I'm not sure why I was asked to draw him, but I did it anyways) and Gyroman also of the Megaman series, who I think I've only ever drawn once, so I'm kind of surprised how accurate I was with his appearance.

Next up we have Microwaveman (who's actually a silly Robot Master of my own creation, but I hadn't drawn him in a long time so I couldn't actually remember the design I had for him), Brightman of the Megaman series, Skeleton King from DOTA 2 (who I had to look up a reference for briefly and then try to draw from memory, which, as you can see, didn't turn out too great because his design is very complex and detailed) and Crashman also of the Megaman series, who was insanely easy to remember because his design is so simple and I've drawn him a lot in the past.

Next up was Snakeman once again of the Megaman series (who I haven't actually drawn in a while, but I could still remember his details and things because I used to draw him a lot), Shadowman also of the Megaman series (who I don't think I've ever really drawn before), Dynamoman also of the Megaman series (whose design I got very much wrong save for his dome, so I threw in an inside joke to make up for it) and Plantman also of the Megaman series, who I decided to draw picking his nose with his vines for some reason. Hm.

And last but not least, Springman once again of the Megaman series and Skeletor from He-Man (whose appearance I could barely remember at all, as is probably evident here).

I ended up getting a lot more suggestions than anticipated, so I was at this for a good hour or two, but it was a great way to get myself loosened up before I started working on something properly.

It seemed to work, because when I moved onto sketching, I tried out a new way of structuring the body, and it made drawing poses and things that I used to struggle with a lot easier. There are still flaws and things, of course, but I'm pretty pleased with the above sketch - especially so because legs are something I normally struggle with, and here I was able to draw them with relative ease. I was also able to draw it pretty quickly, so it came out nice and fluid, too.

Comparing it to this picture I did about two or three years ago, it's nice to see my general anatomy has improved, too.

Never underestimate the power of warm-up doodling, I guess.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Percy's Breakfast Adventure

I finally finished my comedy brief animation yesterday, but was too tired to update. Just as well I didn't, because I ended up tweaking some things today, and now it's properly finished. After a bit of feedback from friends, who'd said that having credits consisting of white text on a black background looked kind of out of place, I changed it so that it featured some pictures instead, and worked with the animation rather than seeming separate to it. I'm pretty happy with the results, and it seems to have gone over well with those who've seen it so far.

This has been fun to work on - gradually getting the hang of using Toon Boom Harmony's new deformation tool was an interesting experience, and it was nice seeing it all come together. The majority of my Toon Boom animations have been done linelessly so far, so doing something different with the art style made for an interesting change, too (although my works don't seem to be able to avoid containing some form of lineless image). The only thing that I didn't end up liking very much was the fact I had to draw up and put together so many separate rigs for nearly every scene.

With my work on this piece having come to a finish, I now leave you with some final amusing screenshots.

Percy temporarily became a zombie whilst preparing his "breakfast".


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Nearly There

Forgot to post this the other day, but here's a WIP of the rest of the first scene, after Ivan tips Percy off the sofa. I've finished the scene now, but I only tweaked a couple of things and added the rest of Percy's lines, so I didn't bother uploading it to Youtube.

I spent about 2 or 3 hours on Friday getting the last of the kitchen scenes all drawn up and rigged - I needed quite a lot of props and replacements. Here's how it looked when I finished drawing everything up:

And, of course, what are my work-in-progress posts without a little rig mishap or two?

I really have no idea what happened here. I'd been editing symbols to make replacements and adjusting the pivot points, and when I went back to the top view... this sight met me.

But anyway, once I've finished this scene, I just have the last scene to go, and then I'll be done. Or mostly done, at least - I might need to tweak a few things in case I don't quite meet the length requirement, and during rushes, my tutor mentioned that Percy looked more like he was glowing than on fire in one of the time-lapse scenes, so I'll be changing that too. Hopefully it'll mean the lip-syncing I did for him in that scene will be more noticeable, as I find it kind of amusing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Progress So Far

I have rushes tomorrow, so I combined the animations I have so far with my animatic. Also got some voice clips for Ivan today, so I was able to get part of the first scene done. I ended up picking the laggiest computer in the studio today though, so progress was hindered somewhat.

The sounds and volume levels are a little bit off, but I'll fix it when I have all the scenes properly put together. I took up the remaining time with the credits part, but it's also several seconds shorter than it needs to be - I'm going to wait until I have the other scenes finished before I start tweaking things. I just have a few more scenes to do, and then I'll be finished.

And, once again, some more rig mishaps!

This is what happened to poor Percy when I converted his pieces into symbols and then moved them back into the scene. :c

Ivan also pulled a number of amusing faces during the process of animating him.

Oh dear, it kind of looks like someone's kicked him in a... very sensitive area.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Combining The Ingredients

Put together all the kitchen scenes I've got done so far to see how it's all looking (I finished about 5 or 6 of them today). Just got a few more scenes to go, and I'm hopefully getting some voice clips for Ivan tomorrow, so I should be able to get this done before the end of the week. :>

I took a few screenshots of some amusing moments too, as usual.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Woah, Dude

Finally got some voices for Percy! Decided to test some of the “woah”s out with two scenes that I’d already finished, and conveniently enough they sync up just fine. Whoo.

I did this on my laptop at home, so the quality’s a bit weird. My knowledge on proper exporting with Adobe Premiere Pro is limited. But now I can do Percy’s scenes properly. :’D Still stuck on a voice for Ivan though. I’d been planning on just using my own voice and lowering the pitch or something because I honestly had no idea who to get to voice him, but… doing that just makes it sound really really weird.

So. Still need a voice for the bugger.


Percy's Discovery

Got another of the quicker scenes done today. I still don't have any voice clips to work with just yet, so the timings on most of these will likely be edited a little when I get them. I still don't know what to do about a voice for Ivan, so I might just end up voicing him myself, since every time I try to imagine a voice for him I just hear my own voice. :B It'll be easier that way, since my lack of voice clips is making it tough to work on the animation properly.

Also, forgot to post this one yesterday, but here's the scene in which Percy prepares himself for his kitchen adventures, using my placeholder voice clips from the animatic.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cheer Up, Ivan

I started doodling, and ended up with, uh... a rather upset looking Ivan (robot version). He's sad because he really wanted that last pizza slice but Percy took it.

On a happier note, my "Onomatopoeia" animation was featured on the Toon Boom Showcase today. :> It's fun to check it every couple of days to see what other people are doing with the software. I've found some pretty interesting artists that way.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Buzz Buzz

I seem to have a habit of humanizing Megaman characters. Or at least, keeping them as robots, but designing humanoid appearances for them based around what I think their personality would be like.

This one's Hornet, who I started drawing yesterday, and he's already a favourite of mine. He's very lanky, cheerful and just overall a sweet guy. He was created as a horticulture robot, so he has a pretty extensive knowledge on flowers and things. The bandanna he wears was given to him by a child at the flower park where he used to work, and he keeps it as a fond memento, wearing it whenever he's not in his armour no matter how badly it goes with his clothes.

The numbers are just there to show what order I did the doodles in.

Edit: Went over one of the doodles and coloured it digitally. :>


Dragon mermaid? I don't know, but I liked how this little warm-up doodle looked, so I decided to expand on it a little. I didn't draw them that way in most of these doodles, but he has two fins on his back that are positioned kind of like wings.

Also, here're a couple unshaded versions where I was seeing how he'd look with different colours.

Don't have a name for him just yet, but I've found him pretty fun to draw. :>

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Yet More Rig Mishaps

I made two new rigs today, one for Ivan and one for Percy. As always, there were a few amusing moments while I was putting them together...

Percy, what on earth have you been smoking?

Hiding Ivan's head layer made him look like a worm.

And... this beautiful face was a result of the camera going weird. My friend and I were practically crying with how much we were laughing when it happened. :'D

Slowly Getting There

Fixed up Ivan's walk cycle a little more and adjusted the camera a little so it's not one long static scene. This is about as much as I can do on the first scene for now - I'll need a voice for Ivan before I can add anything else to it.

I'm still not really sure what sort of voice Ivan would have, to be honest. With Percy it's obvious, but I've never really had much of a specific idea in mind of how his brother would talk. Some of my friends have suggested he talk with some sort of posh sounding voice, but he's not really the posh type, so. I dunno. :B I'll have to make a decision soon though, because I won't be able to finish the scene until I do.

I was also able to get one of the shorter scenes done, in which Percy discovers a blender and acts as though he's realised the meaning of life. I did a bit of test lip-syncing with my placeholder voice clip, but I'll replace it when I get an actual clip.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Yet More WIPs

An updated WIP of the first scene. I completely redid Ivan's movements and got rid of the placeholder lip-syncing, and I'm much happier with it than I was with the previous version (although it still needs a bit of tweaking). I also had him come in earlier, to help cut down on the length of the scene when I add more to it.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Commissions Are Now Up!

Added a page to my blog regarding commission information. I'll draw pretty much anything within reason, so if you're interested, give it a look. :>


Here's a doodle of my kangaroo character, Ruse, as well. One of these days I'll draw him properly instead of acting completely and utterky out of character.

Warm-up Doodlings 2

A couple more recent warm-up doodles I did that I liked enough to keep.

I think this one was supposed to be some sort of cat...?

I'm not even going to bother pretending I know what this one is, but I kind of like how it looks. I might change/remove the fluffy bit at the end of its tail and redraw it at some point.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fun With Rigs

Things got a bit silly as I was working on Ivan's rig, as you can see from these pictures.

This was a rather creepy screenshot I got when I was setting the pivot point on his eye.

This was during the process of putting the replacement heads together. Floating eyes and weird necks, oh my.

And I have no excuse for this one, really. GIANT IVAN ATTACK!

Testing Testing 1 2 3

‘Nother WIP using the placeholder voice to practice a bit of lip-syncing. I’m not really happy with Ivan’s walk cycle (he moves too quickly so it’s hard to actually see his mouth and facial movements, and the cycle itself is veeeery sloppy - he has no knees, for pete's sake), but I’m going to redo it when I get a proper voice clip for him. For now it’s just practice, since I haven’t done lip-syncing or walk cycles in a while.

Also, I just realised that there’s a much longer gap at the start than there is in my animatic - this video is about 7 seconds long, and in the animatic, Ivan had already tipped him out of the sofa in that time, so I'll probably have to cut it a bit.

Edit: Couple of notes to myself about fixing the walk cycle, so I don't forget them:

  • Leg needs to bend a little as he’s lifting it up
  • Might need to add another deformer to his foot, that needs to bend too
  • Don’t make the leg lifting too elaborate, he’s striding, not running
  • Move the peg with each step, don’t set a keyframe at one end and one at the other, it makes the walk look too slippery
  • Watch the part near the end where his legs are temporarily visible before he goes off-screen, don’t wanna make it too obvious that his lower legs and feet aren’t actually moving while they’re obscured by the sofa
  • arms move along with the leg opposite to them - when the right leg goes forwards, the left arm goes forwards too etc.
  • Thursday, November 15, 2012

    Don't Lose Your Head, Ivan

    Working on Ivan's rig for the first scene. He seems very disgruntled by the fact that one of his arms and leg seem to be floating away from him and there are several disembodied heads before him.

    Present From Across The Atlantic

    Today I woke up to find a little package had arrived for me, all the way from America and from one of my close friends over there. I honestly hadn't been expecting it to arrive so soon considering the distance it'd had to travel, but it was a really nice surprise.

    One of the gifts inside was a little model of Burstman, one of my favourite Robot Masters from Megaman 7 for the SNES. Here he's stood in front of a (sadly) broken Gromit from my time at FLIP, who seems to be unable to cope with my room's often-changing temperatures (I just can't seem to stop his head from falling off).

    The gifts that made me smile like an idiot even more, though, were these little drawings she'd included, featuring some of my characters and hers:

    Appropriate for the little model I'd received, the first drawing was of a humanised (but still robotic) version of Burstman that I'd designed. (One of my drawings of him can be found here.)

    Next we have a few of my guys (namely the kid with the fire shirt along with Percy and Ivan, who are starring in the comedy animation I'm doing for my course) along with some of hers.

    And last but not least, a drawing of Percy and one of her characters, Maurice, who I drew in this picture. He's one of my favourite characters of hers, and Percy's one of her favourite characters of mine, so. :P

    The drawings are now up on my wall above my desk, and were a really nice thing to wake up to. :>