Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Create Every Day - Pascal Campion

Sarah M in 2nd year is attempting to post on her student blog as much as possible. Sketches, observations, comments, ruff animation tests. I'd like to think her blog posts, and any other animator attempting to improve by getting their work up, would be peppered with comments and constructive critiques from our animation course community.

I was watching this clip (below) and thought, "Gee, it would be great if all my students watched and listened to this inspirational artist."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Eyes ~ Derriman - "Pop!" ~ Annecy

Look at the eyes. Look at the eye-eees! Up there by Bernard Derriman^ , down there by spaghetti mixed with western*. "It's all in the eyes" (a link to an educational animation lecture... no, it is not one of mine... so go there and check it out!)

If eye darts could kill, that clip would be regarded as one of the biggest on-screen massacres in film making history!

Oh, and an animated music clip that brings together some themes bubbling through the animation studios recently.

Field trip to Annecy 2011 anyone?

*If the First Year Stop Mo' Crew are feeling left out, here is a special Spaghetti Western for you.

^(Thanks Michelle for your email trail to this clip)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Blake Rig - How to drive the hands

Animator's Question:

I am unable to animate Blake's hands intuitively using the mouse and instead am forced to use the attribute editor to get his fingers to move. It won't let me select his digits with the mouse.

Is it something to do with a mode he is put it? I think the modes are called "FK - IK" however I can't find a way to switch them or any reference to them in "How to Cheat in Maya".

Do you know how to change these modes and if it will achieve the desired effect?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Artur De Pins - Cinema patrons

The first year animators have been set the task of designing a 2D character for animation. The client brief asks for a "cinema patron". The animators are not limited to designing a human character.

Below is an image by Artur De Pins (One of Terry's favourite artists), which, in one image, shows quite a few different interactions between characters in a cinema.

A further challenge for the first years will be to animate their character. Interaction with surrounding characters will be strongly encouraged as it will require team work and communication between animators. As we always remind students, "Animation is a collaborative process."

Have you been to the cinema lately? Were there particular people/ characters in the cinema that caught your attention?

Artur De Pins

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dragonboy The Movie

This 2010 masters thesis project/ short film is produced in association with the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. The film web site:

Of particular interest to second years would be to research the individual animators' web sites and how they present themselves to the industry. You can easily tell, as can potential employers, that these animators are strongly presenting themselves. Two of them use professional looking blogs (as we discussed in class this week).

Film found over on Avner Engel's online workbook. He is an Australian animator currently studying at AnimationMentor.

It is our first week back at animation school and the second years have been looking more closely at some eye animation. Check out the blinks and eye darts in this film. Note how they enhance the character interaction and the energy and emotion in the film.

Remember when watching any animation: "Once for entertainment, once for thinking, once for critiquing*, then start studying the detail." (*transfer thoughts to written words)

Animating to Music

Appealing character design. Appealing movement in cycles (because music is cyclic). Then hit those beats with some groovy poses. That is animating to music.

Undisputed best animation ever

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

22 minutes worth watching

I found this clip (and Vimeo channel) via an animation forum post at the 11 Second Club. It has information about getting into the animation industry.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Small Bird Flying Cycle - Don Bluth

I like this clip because Don talks about the animation principle of "Slow-In and Slow-Out", or as we may say in the studio, "Ease-In and Ease Out". He is talking about the spacing of the animation of the wings.

How about trying this 4 drawing cycle (on twos) and test it out with a line test or three?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Xray Vision - Annika Bergström

This is an interview with Annika Bergström, the Swedish animator who also wrote and performed the song*. Annika animated in Flash but had a mixed media approach that blended quite nicely (I thought) to create this narrative/music video.

Second years are working on their major project narratives and will have a music video assignment to work on in Jane's classes as well. I hope this clip may provide some inspiration.

Check out all the quiet moments that rely on 'camera movement' and 'idle' animation or FX cycles.

"It's just a little story describing one of life's lonely moments. There's a girl walking through an empty town, I think she's sort of isolated in her world. To her the real world just shines through in fast glimpses sometimes. There's not really a correct interpretation of it, it's a simple story."

* The second years are lucky they have music and audio students to work with.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Stop mOtion/ Time LApse Music Video

One of the first things students animate is 'the flight of a bumble bee'. The flight of the bumble bee is also a piece of orchestral music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1899).

I have noted with curiosity some 2nd years attempting musical composition on the eukalali. Music is a close relative to animation, with beats, timing, spacing, narrative and arcs.

It might be blurring the borders a bit here but I found this time lapse / stop mo' music clip quite interesting to watch as it also gives an insight into the film/music maker's process.

Listen carefully for the performer's motivation in the final part of the clip.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

11 Second Club meets Gobelins Graduate - Liane-Cho Han

The featured clip (above) won the 11 Second Club competition in September 2009. The animator's name caught my eye and I realised that it was Liane-Cho, one of the animators who was a tutor in the workshop time I had at the Gobelins summer school in 2009. He had just finished working on the 2D feature film The Illusionist. Will posted about that film on his student blog.

It was great to read a bit more about Liane-Cho in the interview by Eric Scheur.

His work is critiqued by Animation Mentor Dana Broadway.

The work below is from his blog. Warning: Strong language use.

After Michelle's comment (Thanks Michelle!), I have also embedded Liane-Cho's student showreel from Gobelins - pretty much all pencil tests (some 3D).