Monday, October 29, 2012

Meet Percy and Ivan

Now that I've finished all of the Three Week Projects, I can start focusing on the main brief. We were given a choice between going with a "Myths & Legends" theme or a comedy theme, and I decided to go with comedy. I saw it as the perfect excuse to create an animation featuring some characters of mine, who are already fairly fleshed out and developed and have a lot of potential for amusing antics together.

Meet Percy and Ivan, who began life as humanoid robots based very, very loosely on Searchman, an already existing two-headed robot. They're going to be humans in my animation, though, to make the basic plot work.

The basic premise is that Percy (the hairy dude rocking the mullet) and Ivan (the short haired guy) are brothers who don't quite see eye-to-eye on most things, and unfortunately have to share a flat together. After only ever seeing his brother eat Cheetos (and wondering how he was still alive), Ivan decides to take matters into his own hands and teach him how to feed himself properly. He decides to start with something simple, something that not even Percy could mess up - cereal. Unfortunately, Percy has other plans.

Ivan is an intelligent, 26 year old man who means well, but can have a bit of a short temper and a low tolerance with certain things. He can come across as a bit uptight and snobby, but he does have a sweet side – it’s just he usually feels the need to be in-charge and responsible, and it tends to stress him out a bit.

He’s always wanted to be some sort of high-ranking military officer, but gave up on those dreams to take care of his younger brother instead after their mother died, trying to make him into a better member of society so that he doesn’t struggle so much in life.

Ivan is 6’2”, and while he isn’t as outwardly muscular as his brother is, Ivan actually has a lot more strength to him than his appearance would suggest.

Percy is a not-so-intelligent 24 year old man, who can act loud, rambunctious and overly cocky at times, but he really just wants attention and is like a large, hairy child in that respect. He can actually be pretty sensible and affectionate when he drops the false bravado.

That doesn’t mean he makes things easy for his brother, of course. With a crude and immature demeanour and sense of humour, he and his brother don’t quite get along at the best of times, but it’s clear that they do care about one another. They just don’t quite have the same outlook on things.

Despite being the younger sibling, Percy is also 6’2”, and is (somehow, despite his diet) much more muscular when it comes to his physique. It’s all for show, though – get him into an actual fight and he’s a complete pushover.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle, Version 2

A few days ago we had tutorial sessions with our tutors, where we showed our work so far and were told what things we could improve on. Most of my stuff didn't need too much in the way of editing - my 9 Prepositions animation just needed some of the sound adjusting slightly, and the order of the clips changed a little so that it's more obvious straight away that they're all done in varying styles, while my Onomatopoeia animation just needed a bit more anticipation before Biscuit jumps after being startled by the bubble.

For the ident, my friend and I were told that it wasn't very obvious that the circles were in water, and he suggested having some more of the ripples while there are tadpoles on screen and to also make some of them sort of pulsate, just to get a bit more of a watery effect. Unfortunately though, he wasn't sure how to get the desired colour effect on Toon Boom either.

With the help of Adobe After Effects, we made it a lot more obvious that there was water involved, and while we still weren't able to achieve the effect we wanted originally, we were able to add a bit more contrast between the colours.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle

Now for something much more recent - this was an animation my friend and I finished up today. The brief was to work in groups of 2 to make an ident for our faculty, using one of three given soundtracks.

My friend and I decided to make use of the dots in the logo by making them into tadpole-like things and having them all gradually come onto the screen in one big mass.

My original idea was that as the tadpoles passed each other, they'd be a little transparent so new colours and things would be made, like in the logo. After a bit of experimentation in Photoshop I found that setting the layers to "multiply" gave the desired effect, similar to this image we were given relating to the logo.

The overall sort of look we were aiming for when there are lots of tadpoles on-screen was something like this:

But unfortunately, we weren't sure how to actually get that effect in ToonBoom, as the layer properties generally don't carry through from Photoshop. We ended up messing with transparency and colour modules to get a similar sort of look, but without all the contrast. Still, I think if we'd manage to go through with the original idea, then much of the screen would probably have been black, so what we finished with works.

All Completed!

Here's the finished animation for my course's onomatopoeia project. After a week of having to write that word almost constantly, I can now actually spell it.

Overall this took about 4 days to complete - one day for making the rig and the background and whatnot, two days for the animations and then one day for editing and adding all the sound effects. It was a fun piece to make, and I learned a few little things in the process, such as how to use the network modules in ToonBoom.

A lot of the reactions I received upon showing this to my friends could basically be summed up as "I want one". Despite being some sort of strange dog/beaver/monster/platypus thing, Biscuit's cuteness shines through.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rig Mishaps

This was the test animation I did for Biscuit's rig, but while I was in the process of creating said rig, I accidentally did something that provided some amusing results.

I wanted her to be able to open her mouth, so she has one hidden beneath the top of her head that would be shown when said part was titled upwards. However, at one point I accidentally temporarily deleted the layer with the top part of her head, and...

This happened. I'm not sure whether to find it hilarious or terrifying.

It was still just as weird when her rig was fully completed.

Introducing Biscuit

The project for my course I'm working on currently is the "onomatopoeia" brief, where we're given a series of groups of words, and we have to choose one and make a 30 second animation incorporating those words with the use of text and whatnot.

Mine is going to feature Biscuit, a strange little monster/beaver/dog/platypus thing who, like Tlun, originated from a quick silly doodle. She hasn't changed in appearance quite as drastically as Tlun did, but here are some older drawings of her, going from oldest to newest (sadly I don't have the original doodle scanned):

9 Prepositions

Aaaaand now we're getting onto much more recent projects. A few weeks ago my group was set a task to create 9 animations showing our understanding of the 9 prepositions, as a sort of return to principles and to get us straight back into animating. This is what I finished with.

Tiny Planet

Almost forgot to post this! This was the animation I made towards the end of my second year, for the "Tiny Planet" brief.

Basically, we had to make an animation set on a planet based on some sort of aspect of us. I decided to base mine on my indecisiveness, and the fact that I tend to hop between ideas a lot. What I ended up with was essentially a "pizza planet", made up of several different "slices" (as my tutor and I referred to them as) that a hapless little fellow was going to have to go through to get to some (unfortunately sentient) pizza, seeing as though the direct path there was being blocked by none other than Tlun.

There are a few things I wish I'd done differently (I think I should have swapped the order of the slices around a little and had the sea monster do more than just pop up and grin), but overall it's one of my favourite finished animations.

It also won me third place out of about 50 entries in my uni's Animation Bites Festival!

Also, here's a little test animation I did with Tlun's rig.

Robots Out The Wazoo

Character line-up time! And yet more evidence of my gradual improvement with varied facial/body shapes, although as you can probably tell, I still need to work on drawing legs. (Also the bearded guy is the worst drawn of the lot, pretend he isn't there.)

These are basically my own takes on more humanoid versions of various Megaman characters (my interpretations of them anyway, as the characters have next to no official in-game information) - or at least, that's what they were originally. I've gotten so attached to them that I want to remove what little remains of their Megaman-y aspects and make them into my own characters - something I've already done with two of them, as I'm going to be using them for an animation for my course. To be honest, they barely resemble what they were initially based on these days.


I didn't really get my brother anything for his birthday last year (normally I make him a card and fill it with stupid inside jokes of ours), so to make it up to him I drew this for him this year. It's Blitzcrank from League of Legends, and as I've stated before, I find top-heavy characters pretty fun to draw. This guy was no exception. I did start to get a bit lazy with the shading towards the end though.

They Grow Up So Fast

This is my most recent picture of Tlun, and as you can see, (issues with the anatomy of his arms aside), he's gotten pretty big now. He's just been getting bigger and bigger every time I draw him, but I think I've settled on a consistent size now.

I also added some pads on his hands, since he lives in a pretty snow-y area.

Catching Up

It's been a while since my last post on this blog. Quiiiiite a while. Posting all the things I've done over the course of the past year would take up a lot of time and space, but there are a few things that I want to post, so... here goes, I guess.

First off, since my last post was a picture of Tlun, I figured I ought to post a picture I did of him not long after that one. While in the older image he looked cheeky and mischievous, it didn't take long for him to get... not so cheeky and mischievous. He's a lot more reserved and intimidating in appearance now, as this picture shows. I do most of my digital painting in a program called Paint Tool SAI now, and I think this was the last image that I drew and painted in Photoshop. I did a fair bit of experimenting during this, including fur textures and making it look as though he's in a snowstorm.

The only problem with the latter effect was that it hid a lot of detail, so I saved a second version without the snow.

Next up we have a little something I drew as part of an art trade with one of my friends over in America. We had a little "winter" theme going on, which was the perfect opportunity for me to experiment with something I love- contrasting oranges with blues in cold scenes. Winter is my favourite season because of the atmosphere it creates, and trying to capture that atmosphere was pretty fun. Even though it's almost a year old now, I'm still pretty pleased with it.

Yet more Megaman, and a picture that I'm also still pleased with. Drawing so many characters in one picture took a while, but I had fun shading them all and getting them to all sort of subtly interact with each other and/or react to what was going on.

Another Megaman picture, and an experiment with painting a background based on the level in the game that the character's from. I'm not happy with the results because I think there's too much going on, but the experimentation was interesting.

A picture I drew for another of my American friends, of her alien character, Luna. He's basically a giant space slug, so making him all shiny was pretty fun.

A picture I drew for yet another of my American friends, which I had a lot of fun doing. Something I've always struggled with has been variation in face/head shapes, and I think this was the start of me overcoming that weakness.

And now we've gotten to the more recent stuff, and I think this picture is probably one of the best examples I have that shows that I've stopped drawing everyone with the same overly-stylized face/body shapes and have started having variety in my drawings. This was a picture I drew for - you guessed it - another of my American friends, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Aaaaand that's most of the catching up over and done with. I still have a bunch of recent pictures that I want to post, but I'm going to give them their own posts, because... well, they're recent. :P