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.