Saturday, March 30, 2013

Silly Soldiers

Something I drew for my brother, of our Soldiers being... well, themselves. :B

Basically, in-game, there are a bunch of voice commands you can use which make the class you're playing as say certain things. My brother uses the "jeers" one a lot, which means his Soldier is often either insulting everyone or just generally being angry, while I use the "positive" one a lot, which means mine is usually snickering a lot and saying "yeah" at nothing in particular like the crazy hobo he is. Fun times.

Also, here's a silly warm-up doodle I did of Snakeman, who I haven't drawn in quite some time.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

He's A Large Ham

It's been a while since I last drew something non-work related for myself that wasn't just a silly doodle, so I drew the customisation I have on my Scout in TF2. A new melee weapon was released the other day that's basically a ham shank, and I've drawn my Scout wielding it so many times that he's come to be known as the Ham Scout.

Oh, and speaking of doodles, here are a few little warm-up ones from the past week or so that I haven't posted yet.

Ham Scout again, looking decidedly more noodly than in the picture above.

Some sort of lizard thing with another lizard thing sprouting out of its head. It looks quite perplexed.

Some sort of shark wearing a pair of silly dungarees, which it doesn't seem to be too happy about.

This one I did with my mouse out of boredom one day, using only circles of varying opacities. It turned out a little bit creepier than intended.

And last but not least, further proof that I draw some of the least threatening monsters ever.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What's That?

Got a few little scenes done today of Zombie's reactions to spotting the village off in the distance. Hopefully I'll have the village entrance drawn up soon so I can put them between these scenes.

Zombie's first reaction to spotting the village off in the distance. I'm probably going to tweak the facial expressions at some point, since at the moment he kind of looks more confused than curious.

Zombie looking back to make sure Biscuit isn't looking. His expression after looking back at the village a third time will be more mischievous and eager looking.

Also, some expressions in between keyframes that I found amusing enough to take screenshots of. :P

Monday, March 18, 2013

Some Minor Adjustments

I ended up doing a little test to see how it'd look with the background from the first scene, but I found that it made the snow look really flat in comparison to the other background.

So, I made a few little tweaks to the snow that comes up when he lands, and swapped the backgrounds round again. 

Even Monster Kids Love Snow

Scene 5 is pretty much done now. I’m not sure I’m happy with the background, though - the one I used in the test seemed to work better, but I’m not sure I can get away with reusing the background from the opening shot. I'll have to get some feedback from my tutors on that.

In any case, future tweaks aside, Zombie’s movements and things for this scene are complete. I added in some snow in Toon Boom for his impacts, although that might need tweaking a bit as well, since it blends in with the background a little too much.

This is the background I drew up for this scene. The backgrounds aren't really the main focus any more, so I didn't spend more than a few minutes on this. I'm thinking I might have to use it for something else instead (most likely during the opening when it's slowly zooming in on Biscuit carrying Zombie), since at the moment it doesn't really match the current scene, to me.

Friday, March 15, 2013

There's Snow Day Like A Snow Day

It was suggested that I add a snowy effect to the first scene to help set the mood a bit more. It's something I'd been thinking about, and my initial plan was to save it until I'd done the animation, but I figured there was no harm in doing a bit of experimentation in Adobe After Effects. Adding a snow effect was really simple, and I like how it looks. I'll probably be using it for most of the outside scenes, although it'll likely be thinner and a bit less noticeable in the village scenes.

Did the same with the scene in which Zombie plays in the snow, and worked on the animation a bit more, too. It’s still not complete yet (there are a lot more movements I have yet to do, as well as secondaries and follow throughs and whatnot), which is why his mouth vanishes partway through. The background’s also still a placeholder for now, but other than that, I like how this is shaping up so far.

I had a bit of a mishap with background placement at one point while working on the scene, which made Zombie go behind the mountains and made him look huge.

And then I sort of ran with it and made this very silly animation. Giant Zombie attack!

To finish things off, here's an amusing screenshot I took before I'd moved Zombie's eyes to the correct positions when he turns his head.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Going Ape

I took a bit of a break from working on TAC today to get a few drawings done for an animation I'm doing for Carse & Waterman. The client is National Geographic, and I've been asked to do a short animation involving an ape walking on-screen and gradually transforming into a human, before looking up and having the title of the show land on him.

I've never really drawn an ape before, so I found a reference picture of the classic "evolution of man" line-up and did a few quick sketches from that. 

I'd been given a particular style that I needed to work in, so these were a few quick doodles I did to sort of get the hang of it. 

And this was a little test to see how the different stages of the transformation might look. I'm not sure as of yet how I'll do the animation, but I'm thinking a mixture of cut-out for the walking and then drawn for the transformations. To save time, I'll likely do all the drawing straight into Toon Boom as opposed to doing them in Paint Tool SAI as I usually do.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Some WIPs

Here’s another test for the opening scene - this time I’ve changed the camera movements and added a bit of the soundtrack to see how it goes with the opening. The title is a placeholder, and there’s likely going to be a cross-fade transition into the next scene, so Biscuit’s very basic movements shouldn’t be too noticeable. 

I’m also thinking of adding something flying across the top of the screen in the distance, since it seems a bit empty at the moment.

And here’s a WIP for scene 5, in which Zombie is playing in the snow before noticing the village in the distance (although I haven’t gotten up to that point yet). The background’s just a placeholder for now, and I put a bit of a blue overlay over it to unify the colours a little more. I’ll likely be doing this for all the scenes.

Continuing my tradition of posting amusing rig mishaps and silly faces in between keyframes, have these, too. Zombie and Biscuit are now giants, apparently.

Walking In A Winter Wonderland

Got the background done for the opening scene. The backgrounds after this probably won't be as elaborate since the focus will be more on the characters, but this is going to be a landscape shot to give an idea of how vast and empty the setting is at the beginning. Considering scenery and landscape isn't something I usually do, I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.

This was a little test animation I did with it. This was mostly done to see how the different pieces would look when moving together - the camera movements in the actual thing will be different and most likely slower. I'm planning on having the name of the animation on-screen for a few seconds, before having it fade out and then having the camera zoom in to where Zombie and Biscuit are, who'll be just coming over a hill in the middle part of the background.

In order to add the trees, I drew a few pine trees with several series of strokes, and then made each one into a brush.

Here's what I have for the second background. I had to make the trees coloured instead of black so that the outlines of the characters wouldn’t blend into them, but I’m not sure I like how it looks just yet, so if needs be I might have to change the colours a little.

Aaaand here's a test I did for the second background, although it won’t really need to be animated, since I ended up changing my mind about what I wanted to use it for. My initial idea was to use it for both the closeup of Biscuit being worn out and the scene before Zombie runs off to play, but I think I’m just going to use it for the closeup instead - which means most of the trees will be hidden behind the characters, so there might not be a need to tweak the colours.

The third background for after Biscuit drops Zombie will likely be more snow-y and less tree-y, partly so there's less work to do for the background (since Zombie and Biscuit are the main focus anyway).

Friday, March 08, 2013

Here At The Flower Temple

Today I decided to take a break from making rigs for my final film, and got to work on some backgrounds for the animation three of my friends and I are doing for our external brief, instead. We're doing an animated music video for a song called "The Flower Temple" by Aaron Gwynaire, and we decided that we wanted it to have a home-made feel, since it suited the tone of the song. Not long afterwards, we bought a bunch of things like felt and buttons, scanned them in, and created flowers and whatnot with them.

To start off with, I gathered a few pictures of Amazon rainforests for reference and to get an idea of what the location of the temple might look like.

Then I made a little thumbnail of how the background could possibly look, using the temple that Adam Poole had made as a placeholder. (It was originally the final design for the temple, but at the last minute Aaron decided it wasn't what he envisioned in the song, so we're currently waiting on him to get back to us about how he wanted it.)

Here's a little screenshot I took while it was in the early stages. I only took a screenshot of a portion of the image, since the rest of it was pretty empty.

Another progress screenshot...

...Aaaaand here's the finished thing. To say I don't do backgrounds very often, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. In the animation itself, the camera is going to zoom in past the flowers and leaves and things, which will part as it does so, and there'll be a wall of flowers blocking the view of the temple until they disperse.

This weekend I'm hopefully going to get a few backgrounds for my final film done, too. I tend to avoid drawing backgrounds, so I'm hoping to get better at doing them.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Three's Nearly A Crowd pt.3

I had to leave the studio before I could properly finish this, but I exported what I had anyway so that I could show it during rushes, which is why it seems unfinished/some parts don’t move and also why he’s so small and misaligned. 

I’m not happy with his arms - they make him look too much like a puppet at the moment, and they’re very awkward to manipulate. I'm probably going to redo his arms and make them one piece with replacements like I did with Zombie’s legs instead, to make him a little smoother and give less parts to have to animate. It'll probably be better in the end, since I can have different angles of his arms as well, and I can draw them as I want them rather than having to arrange pieces.

Three's Nearly A Crowd pt.2

For something more recent, I'm currently working on Tlun's rig. He's the character who'll need the second most amount of parts, so once I've finished him, Biscuit's will hopefully be a little easier to do.

Here's a progress picture and the finished pieces for the rig. There are still a few things I need to make, such as different eye shapes, but I can do those in a separate file and add them in a little later. Like Zombie, he doesn't have any mouths drawn up, since I'll be drawing them on in Toon Boom so that I can get a better range of shapes.

He has a complete head underneath his headgear, and there are replacements on some of them so that they can be shown lifting up more easily. Right now I'm getting the individual layers into their own groups, and in the next few hours I can hopefully get him rigged up and tested out.

Some Doodlings

Time for a few little drawings I've done when not working on rigs.

This was something I did for a little art challenge that was going around Tumblr, where you're linked to a random generator site and it gives you a random Pokemon. You then have to draw that Pokemon three times, but in a way that each looks like a different, unique characte while still being identifiable. I got Snubbull, and these were the designs I ended up with. It's a neat little exaggeration/character design exercise, so I'll probably be doing this again at some point.

There's a funny little story behind these ones. The first drawing was initially a little monster I'd doodled, and I'd given it a silly face, as I'm wont to do. But then I decided that it wasn't actually a face - rather, a pattern on its stomach that just looks like a face. My friend then doodled the little jumpy rock-like creatures, and we decided that the monster preyed on the little rocks, but was too slow and cumbersome to actually catch them. So, it lures them over instead, since they're curious little things, and then tries to get them when it thinks it's close enough.

I'd also done a silly scribbly little doodle of my dragon/mermaid creature, and another of my friends said I should give it Percy's face just for the fun of it. I took that one step further and drew a mermaid Percy, because... well, why not?

I then doodled Splashwoman next to him, because she's supposed to be the only mermaid Robot Master. :>

And last but not least, some silly warm-up doodles I did of Zombie in different styles. He's a chubby little thing, so I decided to see how he'd look if he was more spindly and lizard-like.

Three's Nearly A Crowd pt.1

I've been a bit behind with updates, so I think it's time to rectify that.

Now that my animatic's finally finalised, I'm getting to work on the character's rigs. Since Zombie moves about the most, I decided to start on his first, since he'd likely need the most pieces despite having the simplest design. These were the initial sketch pieces I started off with...

And this is what I finished off with. I was really unhappy with the initial lineless test, as it was far too simple for my liking. A lot of the character's details kind of got lost, so I decided to go with lines again and make use of the deformation tool like I did with Percy's Breakfast Adventure, although less so since I'll be making use of replacements and things this time.

I don't remember how many pieces there are in total, but there are well over a hundred. This is a general use rig - I'll probably be making separate, less elaborate ones for poses that only show up in a single scene and whatnot.

Here are some screenshots from when I was putting his rig together. His eyes were bugging me as they didn't really work with his head, but I decided to leave them as they were for the time being and get to work on a test animation.


This was the first test animation I did with Zombie's new rig. I didn't have much time until the studio closed when I started this, so that's why it's so quick. I also had some issues with pivot points messing with the replacement parts in one of his legs, but I was able to get that sorted.

When I got some feedback on the rig, the general consensus was that the eyes didn't really work with him - they made him look a little soulless, which shouldn't be what I'm going for considering he's the puppy of the story. 

I was able to make a longer test animation afterwards, and edited his eyes a little, but I'm still not happy with them. The softness of the shine doesn't really work with the line style, so I think I'm going to redo the eyes completely and make them more rounded, as opposed to oval-shaped.

And really, what's a rigging process without a few amusing mishaps?