Sunday, February 24, 2013


Did a little rough test animation for when Zombie jumps up onto Tlun’s head. This was done to get an idea of how he’d move and what sort of replacement pieces I’d need for the jumping rig - in the actual animation itself, it’s likely there’ll be more usage of keyframes to help space it out a bit more. He’ll also be landing behind Tlun and running off, not disappearing off the screen as he jumps.

The Stuff Of Nightmares

The only thing I have to say about these doodles is they're conclusive evidence that I draw some of the least threatening monsters ever.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bubbly Personality

One of my American friends and I started talking about how some of our favourite characters from the Megaman series are pretty unpopular, and how sad it was that barely anybody drew them. So, we both decided to try to alleviate that fact at least a little bit and ended up agreeing to draw Burstman. :P

This was my picture, which I honestly made up as I went along, but it was fun to experiment with using really thick lines and having more of a variation in line thickness than I usually do. I couldn't decide whether I liked him coloured or not, so I ended up keeping both pictures. 

Burst is adorable, I'm really not sure why more people don't like him. Probably because Megaman 7 isn't a terribly popular instalment in the series. Shame, since it's pretty fun.

He's Got No-body To Go With

This was a very rough test animation I did to get an idea of how to show Zombie's head turning to the side. This version won't be in the final rig - I made the head pretty quickly just to see what sorts of problems would arise when trying to get him to turn his head.

At the moment, the eyes are a little too complicated with them being made up of four pieces, and some problems arose with moving the horns about, so I might have to make use of replacements to try to help solve those. Otherwise, while I'm not happy with the bark animations, I think the head turning is good enough. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Yep, Three's Still A Crowd

Got my fourth (and hopefully final) animatic done today. I was also in the sound studio providing some voices for my friend's animation, so I decided to take the opportunity to use the remaining time the studio was booked for to record a few more sounds, mostly for Zombie. I'm still probably going to have to use sound effects from the internet for most of the barks and things, but it's nice to have a few sounds of my own, too. For now though, the music and a bunch of the sounds are just placeholders.

Anyway, I completely redid the middle section and added in a few new things. Some of the same gags from before are still present - like Zombie jumping onto Tlun's head - but hopefully the scenes in between those make the whole thing a little more seamless. I made use of some suggestions I got during rushes, such as having the tail have a life of its own when it's detached from Zombie, and having Tlun and Zombie seem to make up a little at the end, and I think it's pretty close to being finalised now, if not already.

There are a few things I'll want to change a little bit in the actual animation itself - mostly things like a few camera angles and whatnot, and after Tlun seems to jump on Zombie, I'm probably going to make it so it turns out he'd just grabbed shedded skin (since Zombie is essentially a lizard puppy). That was an idea I got when I'd already imported everything into Storyboard Pro and adjusted it accordingly, so I won't be calling the animatic completely finalised, since I know I'll be tweaking things and coming up with new little ideas while I'm working on the final thing.

Monday, February 18, 2013


A very short little thing I did that could probably be construed as the animation equivalent of doodling, I guess. I haven’t used Toon Boom in a while, so I pulled up Biscuit’s old rig from my onomatopoeia animation and did a little test thing with it, to get back into the swing of things. 

I’ll be making a new rig to use for my actual final animation instead of reusing this one - the legs being split up into three pieces makes it very awkward to reposition them, so I think making use of replacements when I make her new rig will make the animating process a lot easier.

I didn’t really have a specific thing in mind when I animated this, but with the addition of a sound effect, it is now Biscuit barking and then being surprised when a squeak comes out instead.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Since I’ll be showing the characters in my animation from a wider variety of angles than I usually do, I made a clay model of Zombie, to help out when it comes to making the rigs and replacements. This way I'll be able to get a good idea of how he'll look from various angles.

I'll most likely be making another one at some point for Biscuit, although she'll probably be a little trickier to make than Zombie was. I might have a go at Tlun at some point, but chances are he'll be more difficult.

As a bonus image, here's my Burstman figure going for a little ride.

Friday, February 15, 2013

That New Animatic Smell

After some problems with Storyboard Pro making images too large and then making them disappear when the file was next opened, and then exporting things a lot quicker than they seemed when played in the program, I finally got my updated animatic finished. It's a lot better than my initial one - here, the characters have more motive (so Biscuit doesn’t seem to just come completely out of nowhere), and I attempted to vary the pace a little more.

However, while I’m happy with the first and last sections, I feel it still kind of falls flat in the middle. When Tlun first arrives now, it's frantic for a moment, almost tense - and then that tenseness just vanishes and it gets a bit slow up until he tries to attack Zombie at the end. I’m probably going to completely redo the middle section - from the part where Zombie scrabbles up the side of the hut to Tlun stepping in what is presumably Zombie’s poo - so that it works better with the other sections, and helps to build up to the ending more.

There’s a few seconds of nothing at the start because of problems with iMovie, but the animatic itself should be fine. The sound effects and things are still placeholders, and I still need to find a suitable soundtrack, so that it's less empty.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

My day didn't consist of much other than speaking with my tutor about my DPR and then working on my updated animatic again, but no reason to not get into the spirit of things! 

These are some pictures I drew for some of my non-UK dwelling friends, since they're very fond of Ivan and Percy, to put it lightly. :P They're in their usual robotic forms here - I only really drew them as humans for my comedy brief animation, since the premise wouldn't have worked if they were robots. 

I was originally going to colour and shade them in my usual way, but then I ended up experimenting with a more camouflage-y style of colouring, and I like the results - I think it works with the sketchy lines. I'll probably use it again at some point. 

There was originally text on the images, but it didn't really make sense unless you were familiar with the characters, so for the sake of putting it here, I removed it.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Three Continues To Be A Crowd

And now back onto my uni work. After a bit of feedback on my initial animatic during rushes, and then subsequently on my second one (which I have yet to post) I got a few new ideas to help flesh out the story a little. Basically, I needed to focus more on the character’s motivations - why does Tlun not seem to want Zombie around? Why does Biscuit come to rescue him? Why do Zombie and Biscuit follow him into his hut? Things like that.

One of the solutions was to add some sort of scene at the beginning, showing Zombie and Biscuit traversing the snowy wilderness. This was a good opportunity to clarify that Biscuit acts as Zombie’s mother, which I'll be showing by having her licking and nuzzling him like a mother dog, and also carrying him in her mouth by the scruff of his neck.

As for why Tlun wants them out, the entrance to the village will be shown more prominently, with a few crude signs saying to stay out, etc. Most of the scenes I already had will most likely still be incorporated, but there’ll be a few new ones added too. I’m also going to clarify that it’s starting to get dark out when Tlun gives up and goes back to his hut, with a scene that shows Zombie and Biscuit looking out at the cold, dark wilderness, hearing a few howls and cries of predators in the distance, before they decide to follow Tlun.

Basically, there’s more of a motive now - Biscuit is trying to retrieve her pup, while Tlun is trying to get them both out. 

Another thing I need to do is keep the pacing of the story in mind, as my second animatic (which I won't be posting until I've made the necessary modifications) kind of kept the same pace throughout, and as a result, dragged on in places. In order to solve this, I'm going to up the pace of some of the more frantic scenes (such as Tlun chasing Zombie and later trying to get him off his head), and also make the scene in which Biscuit comes to Zombie's rescue more elaborate, maybe having her actually attack him instead of just standing her ground and barking at him.

Anyway, onto drawings - these are a few pictures of Zombie and Biscuit with their heads at different angles. I'm likely going to make little clay models of their heads in order to get a better idea of how they'd look, since my animation will call for a much bigger range of angles than I usually do.

A quick sketch of Tlun. Drawing him so many times for my storyboard/animatic has helped me to solidify his proportions - he’s pretty top heavy and usually walks around on all fours, but he can stand up as well if he wants to be extra intimidating. Kind of like a gorilla in that regard.

A bit of a rough size comparison between Tlun and Zombie (who'd probably be a bit smaller than he is here). The “fuzystatic” brush in SAI is fun to mess around with. I might see if it can get incorporated into the actual finished backgrounds.

Another size comparison, this time between Zombie and Biscuit.  I shrank Zombie and made him a little pudgier to sort of emphasise that he’s a puppy, and try to make it more obvious that Biscuit acts as his mother, since it apparently wasn't clear in my animatic. I'm probably going to alter the design of his head a little too, since I think having his eyes more in the middle of his face, rather than the sides of his head like a lizard, will make it easier to animate his expressions. I also might change his mouth shape so he can be more expressive with that, too.

Zombie's appearance in my storyboards/animatic is quite a bit different to how it usually is, and was mostly done that way for the sake of faster drawings - but I've found myself liking that design over his regular one for this animation. It seems like it'd be easier/more simple to work with, so here I was trying out a more simplified look for him. 

I’m actually not sure whether to give him pupils or keep his eyes all black as they are in the animatic, since I kind of liked how they looked, even though it was only done as a way of finishing the drawings quicker. I don't want him to look too Tim Burton-esque, though - as he is, he's sort of bearing a bit of a resemblance to the movie Frankenweenie to me, despite being a character I've had for 8 years now. The stitches have always been a part of his design, but I might do away with them for the sake of simplification. Any suggestions?

The Magic of Doodling

Drawings outside of my uni work have admittedly been a bit sparse as of late - I've been suffering with a bit of a nasty art block. Thankfully, I seem to be over it now. Nothing like a load of silly doodlings to get me back on track.

This was a result of me messing around with different brush settings in SAI, and also testing out the stabiliser tool, which lets you draw more slowly but whilst still retaining smooth, non-wobbly lines. Considering that I work in very quick strokes though, it's not really for me. 

Doodle of one of my old Neopets. I have no idea what he's looking at.

A Burstman of sorts. I say "of sorts" because this is my idea of how my rendition of him would look if he had a more humanoid head.

Onto some Team Fortress 2 doodlings, here we have a Soldier, doing...

...I'm not sure what he's doing. But from the looks of things, he's considering lodging that pickaxe into someone's skull.

Scout's accent isn't really like that, but for the sake of stupid doodles, it is here. He also apparently has very bushy eyebrows. And goofy teeth. (Which honestly he seems to have normally, only not that prominently.)

This was me messing about with a little painting of sorts done on one layer. The Pyro's mask is still tricky to draw.

And last but certainly not least as far as non-uni drawings are concerned, a doodle of Demoman trampling Scout's crops. Who isn't really a farmer, but this was just a silly inside joke between my brother and I, born as a result of Minecraft shenanigans.