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. :>

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    Getting The Ball Rolling

    Got some progress done for the first scene. Unfortunately I'm a little bit limited as to what I can do for the first scene for now, as I need their voices so I can get timings right and do the lip-syncing and whatnot. I did have someone in mind to voice Percy, but I they haven't been around in the studio for a while now and I don't have any way to contact them, so I might have to find someone else instead. Still not really sure about a voice for Ivan, as I don't really have a specific idea in my head of how he sounds.

    Overall I'm not really happy with the results of this - there were a bunch of things I probably could have done to avoid needing to animate the bowl separately, but it took a lot of starting over until I got it to move with his head in a way that I was satisfied with. Getting his movements right isn't really a priority though, as Ivan will likely distract from them when I add him in anyway.

    Monday, November 12, 2012

    Testing The Waters

    This is a rough test animation I did today whilst experimenting with the deformation tool in Toon Boom Harmony. I normally do my rigs in a lineless style, but I wanted to try outlines for a change, and figured the deformation tool would be a good way to help stop the outline from breaking and causing gaps on things like the arms.

    It's a little bit confusing and tricky, but I think I've got a basic grasp on how it works now.

    On an unrelated note, pink hair kind of suits Percy for some strange reason.

    Background Test

    A quick, rough test animation to see how my backgrounds look when they’re all together. While I’m happy with the results, I hadn’t considered the problem of everything shifting a little when the background changes, as these were all done as separate files and then put together and exported as one in iMovie. I’ll have to try to think of a way to solve that.

    Hell's Kitchen

    The finished kitchen backgrounds, all in various states of damage thanks to Percy's antics.

    Some of the backgrounds, such as the one with the fire and sparking outlets, have a few replacement pieces so that they can move. Though the clock has hands in most of these previews, I'll be removing them before I put them into Toon Boom, so that I can draw them on instead and help add to the time-lapse effect.

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

    Background Progress

    My uni was holding an open day today, meaning the studio was open, so I decided to go in and started working on my background and going over it linelessly using the pen tool in Photoshop.

    I haven't quite finished it yet, but this is what I have so far. I'll probably need to do the background for the first scene before I can complete it properly - I need to know what colour I want for the walls and carpet, since the doorway in the kitchen background leads into the living room from the first scene.

    I'm not really sure about the colours at the moment, since I made this on a Mac and forgot that the colours would look different when I was back on my laptop. I might have to tweak them a little.

    Friday, November 09, 2012

    Not-so Megaman

    I was struck by the urge to doodle and ended up drawing a few Robot Masters from Megaman 2 for the NES, looking... not terribly menacing. Hm.

    Updated Animatic

    Just finished the second version of my animatic, which has a lot more going on than my first one did. I had to cut one or two little things out in order to fit the time constraint, but I managed to get it to a minute exactly and I'm happy with the results. As with my first animatic, the voices are just placeholders until I get some proper ones. I recorded them in my room with my phone and I was trying not to talk too loudly, so the voice-acting isn't great, but hopefully they convey the right sort of emotion anyway.

    For comparison, this was my first animatic (and the voice-acting is even worse because again, I was trying not to talk too loudly so my housemates didn't think I was talking to myself :P). There aren't really very many gags in it, so I think the new version is going to be a lot more fun to animate.

    Warm-up Doodlings

    Usually when I plug my tablet in (particularly if I haven't used it for a while), I do a few warm-up doodles before I do any proper drawing. More often than not these just consist of scribbles and circles that soon get erased, but sometimes...

    ...things like this happen. Hmm.

    Tuesday, November 06, 2012

    Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone

    Considering I took Graphics at GCSE, I should really have a better grasp on one point perspective than I do. But backgrounds aren't really something I draw very often, so I'm very, very out of practice.

    ...As you can probably tell from this horrendous first attempt. My goal was to create a kitchen background for my Comedy Brief animation, as I've made quite a few changes to what's going to happen after getting some feedback from my tutors. They essentially said that I should really be trying to get as much as I can feasibly and reasonably manage into my 1 minute time limit (argh rhyming), and made a few suggestions as to what could be changed.

    My updated version will focus more on Percy, with Ivan feeling a little bitter that he has to go to work while his brother just lazes about in his underwear, and on his way out makes a quip about him not even being able to make a bowl of cereal. Percy takes the challenge and, once his brother has left, heads straight into the kitchen to get started.

    After a montage/time-lapse scene of sorts in which Percy messes with blenders, opens every cupboard and door in the kitchen, scratches his butt with a spatula, somehow sets himself on fire temporarily and all sorts of other things, he finally manages it.

    When Ivan comes home from work, he finds his brother in the exact same position as he'd been in before he'd left, only with an upturned, half-eaten bowl of cereal on his head instead of a bowl of Cheetos, and a spatula lying next to the sofa. ...And smoke billowing out of the kitchen.

    While I was initially hesitant to move the focus away from the two brothers interacting with each other, I think this new idea will be a lot more fun to work on, and there'll be a lot more opportunities for gags and slapstick and whatnot.

    I really wanted to get the background to look right, so after one other failed attempt and some help from my friend, I ended up with this, which is much better than my first one. While my first background has far too much floorspace and makes the room look like it's a funny shape, this one (while currently lacking in basic things like a cooker and a microwave) actually looks like an apartment kitchen.

    The background is going to be done linelessly, but here's a colour test to finish this post off.

    FLIP Animation Festival

    This past weekend, I went to FLIP in Wolverhampton to do some volunteer work. I wasn't able to stick around for too long (my shift was 8 am - 11:30 am and I'd booked my train back for 1 pm), but it was still a great experience.

    I was helping out with the Aardman workshop, where Jim Parkyn was showing people how to make a clay model of Gromit. A few of the other volunteers and I worked on some of our own as well, to help get the interest of the public and help out the people who were taking part.

    So basically, I was making a Gromit model from scratch for 2 hours. :P

    I also got to have a talk with Jim and other people who are studying/working in animation, and overall it was a pretty fun day.

    These are some pictures I took of the progress of my Gromit model. I had a bit of a mishap in that he looked fine from the front, but when you looked at him from a higher angle, he suddenly started looking rather anxious.

    As seen in this line-up of some of the finished Gromits. It didn't help that mine was right after Jim's considerably more professional looking one, but ah well.

    To finish this post off, here's the quick, unfinished demonstration Gromit that Jim made while he was running through the procedure with us. :>