Monday, 1 December 2008

8th week

In animations class, we made another walkcycle. But this time it needed to present an emotion. I decided to go for a happy, strutting kind of walk.
I carefully studied the sample thumbnails Andy gave us the week before, And made frame by frame almost directly copied from the sheet. I dont like doing that, and it still didnt get very good.
After completing it and watching it, i saw seversal errors and the biggest one was the head bobbing too much, which totally changed the mood of the walk. To me he seemed to be creeping rather than strutting proudly. Though i could spot various mistakes, i definately see how i wouldnt be able to do this without all the practice weve been through. All in all happy with the result:)

The maya bit was basically the same as last week except that Georg wanted us to do the walkcycle with as many bodyparts as possible moving.
I did a totally normal walk by the end of the day, but wasnt quite happy. The guys sitting next to me had made sort of funny walks, and i thought since we werre suppossed to make everything move, "why not"? So i went back to the studio on wednesday, and listening to heavy metal on the busride inspired me to do a sort of rock n roll, airguitar playing, stomping, headbanging... type of walk:P
In the last couple of weeks we've been animating the model as a whole, but since i needed to animate each limb with its own curve, i animated them one at a time. I felt this gave me better control of what was going on. And when one thing was animated, you could forget about it and move on.
This is definatly different from regular animation, where you kind of have to keep everything moving all the time.
I'm very pleased with the result. Mainly because it makes me laugh, but also because everything is moving and everything has its own motion curve.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Week 7

In History class, we discussed the freedom of expression in early animations opposed to more recent ones.
Betty boop f.ex, lost alot of her audience because of the lack of sexual content in her recent episodes. I think it shows a good example of why the creators should be able to show what they want. And not give in to the stupid demands of censorship. Its probably very easy for me to say that, but i still think that creators should have TOTAL creative control.
Ann constantly gives us examples of "Post-modernist" work. A term that is still quite vague for most of us, though i think is starting to sink in.
She showed us several "Visual Music" animations. I did the common mistake to look for meaning and purpose of the animation, but once you view the thing as a whole, it becomes awesome and totally new as a visual media.

In Animation Principles class, we started working on Walk cycles. I've always wanted to learn it, but apparently it is way more difficult than i imagined.
We were given 9-11 frames in which to animate a character taking two steps(one with each foot).
We were even given an example of a walkcycle, but it was still hard to follow.
At first, i concentrated on the timing of the feet and the hips going up and down, and figured i would position the feet accordingly. But i forgot about the timing of the feet, and it made him look like he was either walking very fast leaning forward, or just stomping angrily along. With Andys help i located the frames causing the errors. I was even missing frames, in my own opinion.
So i re-did some of the frames and even added some. The animation turned out better, i think, but still needs more improving.
There is no doubt that walkcycles are hard, but also fundamental in character animating. This has been the most challenging of the exercises i think, and i want to do more!

In the Maya bit of the class, we were given a fully rigged mesh model of a girl. We learned the basic key frames of a walkcycle, and animated the girl just by using these 3-4 keyframes for each step.
By slightly altering the existing keyframes, and playing with the positions of the different body parts, alot of interesting "walks" can be made. I took my stomping drawn man into concideration, and copied the movements onto the girl. Which gave her a nice angry walk.

I have played around alot with 3dsoftware and this is something ive always wanted to learn. I cant wait til we get to make our own models for animating!

Thursday, 30 October 2008


History class was cool. We watched the beginning of "The Incredibles" and analyzed the use of colour and the way we sympathize depending of camera movement and editing. Really interesting.

In animation principles class, Andy gave us yet another challenge in the world of "Cubeman". We had to make an animation of two characters, and by using our knowledge of body language, making one of them dominant and the other submissive. Hard excercise, but interesting and useful for improving skills and remembering all the difficult principles of animation.
I was happy with mine, but once i started animating i realized i shouldnt have used so many props, in order to truly express body language. But i followed through and was very happy with it.

We continued in Maya making a full 3dCubeman jump from a ledge. In stepped keyframing. Very difficult to get the timing right, but once you've made all the right movements, the timing can be tweaked and changed around. Which i think is one of the main advantages of CG animation.

Week no.3

Three weeks into it, and im loving my course more and more.
In Animation principles class, we added another animation principle to the "Cubeman" Animation. Its called Overlap, and apparantly it is the motion which any character makes AFTER the main action. So i made my "Cubefellow" jump towards a ledge and then spinning his arms to balance himself back into position, as he almost tumbled head first to his death.

Then we animated a bouncing ball in Maya, using stepped keyframing. This was way more difficult than i had thought, but it was a good exercise to get used to timing and adjusting timing in Maya. The result was pretty good i thought, but i guess you could lways add more keyframes to those animations.
On Thursday we drew more naked guy. But this time he used more "animated" poses. as if in mid action. Good exercise, and depending on the pose, sometimes very difficult.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

2nd week

In History class, we were given examples of stereotypical southern black people portrayed in animation. Interesting to learn abouth the parallels between Coonskin and Songs of the south(which is a disney movie).
In Animation Principles class, we animated a bouncing ball and a "cubeman" jumping down from a ledge. These were both tricky and challenging, but the techniques of the animations were very interesting. I comleted the task much more satosfactory than i would have thought. And that gave me a craving for making more in the same style of animation.
In Georg's Maya class we animated a bouncing ball, and tweaked the specifics of the movement to near perfection. I really enjoy everything new i learn about Maya (which is a LOT).

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

First week

My first week of school started with History and Theory class. Which was fun. And surprisingly interesting. We talked about symbolism and was shown one of the earliest animations ever called Gertie the Dinosaur.
In the principles class, we drew a circle animation of a circle that transformed into whatever. I panicced and made it explode. We also learned useful basics in the Maya software.
On wednesday, Oli Brown taught us how to illustrate notes instead of writing them. his theory proved useless to me, as i cant do anything while listening, musch less remember what the things are supposed to mean.

Welcome to my Blog

I thought i'd take this opportunity to briefly describe my transition from an ice-cold Norwegian viking, to a sub-tropical Cornish Englishman.
My girlfriend and I, left our hometown Harstad early morning Wednesday sept.17th.
All the traveling was, as always, very unpleasant. But finally we reached Falmouth and headed straight for our designated b&b, where we spent the next 3 1/2 weeks(!!!) looking for appartments.
School started, but the scholarship we were promised, was still nowhere to be seen.
With the help of some overpaid accomodation agency, we finally found our new home. Though we had to sleep on the floor the first coulpe og nights, i feel that from now on things will pick up, and we can relax and spend more time at school, the pubs, the beach etc...