lørdag den 5. december 2009

Running Indian: Skin Color Test

I just finished the coloring of his skin and the tones I had picked out and animated. I like how the forms animate in color, but I am not convinced this is how I should do it. I think the lightest skin tone on the legs and belly confuses more than they do any good, so I am doing a pass where I take them down to the mid-tone brown.
All in all a good test and a nice preview to how it will look when the coloring is done.

fredag den 4. december 2009

Running Indian: Animation

About a month ago I finished the first pass on this animation. The first pass took about half a days work. I finally had some time today to continue my work on it.
Today I've straightened out some arc issues and I feel it's ready for me to move along.

I did a fast color pass on the legs and feet to experience if the kick forward will flash or disappear in the entire shape. It is through color and value that I would like to make this clear as much as in silhouette.

Here's the linetest

Here's the color test

I was positively surprised with the colortest and I believe it will be possible to find the right color for underneath his feet to have them stand out, yet not flash. I set the colortest up against another background than white to ease the eye as it will be when a real background is made in the same value as the blue I chose.

fredag den 23. oktober 2009

Running Indian: Thumbnails

Some time ago I did a drawing of an indian man. I, along with my mother, thought that this was a very successful drawing and I really wanted to take the character further and use him for some animation. The drawing can be seen further down the page.
At first the idea was to do a close up scene with him using the drawing as a keyframe to get started. However, the God of Doodles had another plan! While doing a playblast of a scene for Cartoon Saloon I started to sketch him in a full-out run. The sketch had a good raw energy to it (first one was the one down in the right corner) and I kept on going almost keying out the poses for the run.
I did the sheet in about half an hour, threw down a few notes, scanned them in and started working them over in TV-Paint adjusting them for animation.
I love the feeling of being on a roll putting every line down in just the right manner. (Not every line maybe...look to the lower left corner) Feeling the flow of what the drawings would be like in motion.
when I sketched these out I tried to have in mind all the time how to take it further than a simple generic run. How to add an interest to every sketch, while still having it compliment the previous ones. When every sketch is strong enough on its own to show what's going on, then the foundation for an appealing animation is laid out.
Going into the first pass on the animation the drawings will have to be adjusted to unfold an overall pleasing flow playing out the motion intended. This can be a very hard compromise, I think. Maintaining the uniqueness and strength of the sketch while toning it down to be a part of the continuity is a delicate process. In the end it should only make the scene better, so the compromise should be to strengthen the animation without taking too much away from the single frames.
Next post I'll show how I am trying to get through this process safely with strong drawings together making a strong animation.
As always I am very interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter, so please don't hesitate to leave a comment, thanks.

fredag den 16. oktober 2009

Another scene in the bag!

Above clip is copyright property of Cartoon Saloon

(Text incoming)

mandag den 5. oktober 2009

Seanduine silhouette animation

Here are the two first scenes I have animated for the short film, Seanduine, accompanying an old Gaelic folk song. The song is about a young woman marrying an old man for his gold. My classmate, Louise, animated the old man chasing the donkey in the bottom scene.

(The clips above and below are copyright property of Cartoon Saloon)

tirsdag den 29. september 2009

New found love for drawing and Photoshop

I did a quick sketch of an indian yesterday and had a strong urge to color it, so I did! I am currently planning the animation I want to do with this shot and I am looking very much forward to see these colors in motion.
I have never really done much in color, but I am starting to get a glimpse of the incredible possibilities this aspect of the media holds in store. What I find particularly interesting and what I will try and explore with this scene, is first off how the shadow layers on the basecolor can be used to define and enhance both depth and form and second how textures, here the markings on his face and body, can add another dimension of detail and believability of form.

Below the finished picture is a breakdown of my process. It goes from the rough sketch and step by step, simplified a little, to the end result.


fredag den 11. september 2009

Drawing for animation

For the past three years I have tried to in cooperate drawing successfully into my workflow when approaching a scene. It is not up until recently that I have started to feel in control of both the animation and the drawing aspect of the scene and make them go hand in hand as I believe they should for a scene to breathe organically.
Either the drawings turn stiff in the attempt to maintain the character model, the animation gets compromised, because it is adjusted to fit the drawings or it simply takes too long to draw the frames to keep a healthy continuity going for the animation. These have been the problems I have run into during my self-study and now feel I am starting to shake off. What have helped me in this process is what I would like to share in this post.

What I first off had to realize was that the animation and overall feel of the scene and character has to be priority number one. Everything else should be in the scene to support this. To be able to support an overall feel of a scene I have to know what that feeling is and break it down as simple as possible.
For example the scene I did called 'the old couple' had one keyword to the entire scene; joy. Every drawing in this animation should depict this feeling. This approach brought something into my animation that I had not been able to bring earlier. I can best describe it as my intention and emotion for the scene getting integrated in the 'masses' (the characters) I animate. The reason I say masses is because without the transfer of emotion and intend they are exactly that, masses. They only become characters in my eyes when they appear to have a will of their own. I think I brought some will to the characters in this scene by not trying to control it entirely, but letting it play out with the the clear emotion of joy in mind while creating it. Too much control over a scene will in my experience hinder the characters in it becoming actual characters. Let them surprise you and take the scene to another level, where you bring them life and they in return turn to life as unique creations rather than an empty shell, a thought of what they should be.
I used a different approach on how to implement the drawing aspect for this scene which I think worked really well for me. I told myself repeatedly that no drawing was tied down before the part of the animation it supports is working as I intended it. Even a storytelling drawing is only two frames in your scene! I benefited a lot from this way of thinking about it.

Distortion is necessary to make a scene work. It took a lot of personal struggle to begin to grasp this and how to implement it naturally into my work. I find that it has to be controlled through drawing. I tended to get scared of 'ruining' the design of a given character in my animation and it turned out as a string of illustrations lacking believability and move too mechanically. A thing that helped me start to push this issue aside was to think of where to implement changes of shape into my scenes. To see a breakdown or extreme as a chance to bring in a unique shape for the mass animated works well for me. Do not think of the breakdown or extreme as a the middle shape between the keys you might be animating to. These are great opportunities to push your characters model around and be imaginative about it. I try to have fun instead of feeling restrained basically, which is harder than it sounds. With this approach I find that a lot of the drawings in the animation get to be unique while they still serve their role as frames in a scene. I find that animation and drawing go well together this way since the drawings now bring interest to the animation and compliment the it better. There will be more interesting movement through the change of shape and less straight-forward in-betweening which in the end will bring a more interesting look to your scenes.

It is important not to let a single drawing stall you and ruin the continuity in your work. I find that if I am having trouble with drawing a frame in my animation it is because I am unsure what is happening in the animation. I then either re-evaluate what I planned for the animation, get really rough with it and try to hit something that animates with the surrounding frames or simply leave it to come back to. For me it is really important not to get stuck since I forget my priorities and get lost in the drawing aspect of the scene, which will in the end ruin the scene.

Drawing in animation for me is about adding finesse and characteristics to the scene and I want to add it from the beginning. This is hard, but I am truly pleased that I do not settle for anything less.

Here's a link to the scene I mention with the old couple : http://frederik-villumsen.blogspot.com/2009/03/one-week-of-1st-pass-animation.html
and a link to the thumbnailed golden poses for the scene: http://frederikvillumsen.blogspot.com/2009/04/animation-sketches.html

Not all scenes are about great emotions and life and death though, and I think it is important to be able to take these grand thoughts down to a level where they can function in smaller and less grand scenes.
I recently did a short cycle scene for Cartoon Saloon, where I think the drawing is a good example on how I like it to be for animation. The character is riding on the back of a wild goat. There is not a clear emotional state of the character or at least it is not in focus, but every drawing is drawn with the action in mind and as first priority giving me a clear idea of where to push each drawing instead if letting it be its own.

(All pictures and animations in this post is copyright property of Cartoon Saloon)

Mike Nguyen has written a post I found very interesting. It is about distortion in animation and here is the link:
- http://rainplace.net/?p=270

Thank you for reading, I hope it has been of interest! You are very welcome to share your thoughts on the matter or simply comment on the post. I am always interested in input and hearing from like-minded people with a passion for animation.

onsdag den 9. september 2009

Animation for the chorus

I was fortunate enough to get the chance to do the animation for the chorus of the Puc music video. I got a single key drawing to build upon and a take on the timing of the scene, but I had fairly free hands to make it work and that in a funny fashion.

Below is shown the drawings I did for the animation and the timing I ended up with. The cycle is repeated across the screen and it has two different jumps, similar in down and push-off, but different in its hang-time to contact.
(All pictures and animations in this post is copyright property of Cartoon Saloon)

I would also like to share the workflow I used for this scene. It was great fun cleaning the scene up by animating with pure shape instead of the usual linework. So, here's a little overview of how the drawings progressed.

Especially the pass from rough animation to filled color shape was fun. It offered an opportunity to push the shape language of the animation and really work on a flow that animated well as well as compliment the graphical edged style of the design.

Here's how it all looks when played out.

The animation has been approved and is moving into compositing soon, nice!

tirsdag den 8. september 2009

First Animation at Cartoon Saloon

I just did my first animation scene at my internship at Cartoon Saloon and luckily I have permission to share it on my blog! The scene was for a short music video called Puc, but unfortunately it got cut in the last review of the animatic. I'll be moving on to my next scene later today. It is great to get to do some animation and I am looking forward to help the guys out as much as I can while I am here.

The scene below is copyright property of Cartoon Saloon

fredag den 4. september 2009

Character Concept development

I was asked to help design the characters for Paw Ravns graduation film. Paw is a student at The National Danish Film School studying to become a director for animation. I worked on and partially did the character designs for Paws mid-way film 'Nima' and I hope we can achieve something similar in quality this time.
I think it could be interesting to show every step of the way from the first rough ideas to the final designs that have to be done for the end of October. So here are the first sketches I have done for the character work. I did them all in the breaks I had yesterday while waiting to get some work approved for Cartoon Saloon.


tirsdag den 1. september 2009

Arrived at the Saloon!

Denmark is now Ireland, Viborg now Kilkenny, The Animation Workshop and Hydralab now Cartoon Saloon and Maya is TV-Paint, other than that everything is basically the same for me.

It has been a great and very pleasant start here at the Saloon and people have welcomed me and Louise from my class warmly.

Hopefully I will get to show some of the work I will be doing while I am here, but for now it will be written updates.

While I am working for Cartoon Saloon I will also be designing the characters for one of the National Danish Film School graduation projects! I hope that I will be able to show some of this work as well on this blog as the character designs progress.

Stay tuned and animate well!

tirsdag den 30. juni 2009

Summer 'break' is up!

I've been fairly busy the last few months and haven't taken the time to write on my blog. Now's a good time though.
All my work on the various bachelor projects is done and third year on The Animation Workshop has come to an end. Instead of a quiet summer holiday in the sun I am going to spend my time working on a very exciting short film project!
You can check out some shots from the miniature sets here : www.blog.machinefilm.com
Two months of high quality CG animation should do me some good, I think. A few days after I finish on the production of Machine, the short film, I am going to Kilkenny, Ireland, to do my internship at Cartoon Saloon. I am very excited about both the opportunities I have been given during the rest of this year and I am sure I will have some interesting stories to tell on this blog from my experiences.
Also check out www.cartoonsaloon.ie

Stay tuned for more posts!

tirsdag den 7. april 2009

Stop Motion Planning, workflow and experience

Beside the fact that I'm not thumbnailing or sketching for a scene, stop motion has a very familiar work flow. I get the scene handed from the director, I look at the animatic, look at the notes the director has given me, I write my own notes and questions, I have a talk with the director and hopefully I get my questions answered and NOW I'm ready to stand on my own for a while and create the foundation for a strong scene.
I take a deep breath, I clear my mind, without forgetting everything the director told me! I imagine the scene as I see it finished. I run it in my mind over and over and take note of all things happening that I like. Big storytelling beats as well as small gestures that I like for the characters. Usually the animatic, and thereby the director, will have a fairly set timing on all scenes. On 'Forest' this is very much the case and the creative freedom does not lie in overall timing and story beats. It lies in all the character animation between and around the beats. The poses might already have been settled on as well so this isn't where I can experiment either. I find that especially the transitions and the timing of these as well as secondary actions are the areas in which I can make the scene into something more than what is to be seen from the 'blueprint' of it.
When I have a strong idea of how I would like the scene to be, I arrange for another exchange of words with the director. In this meeting it is very important to me that nothing is left unaswered. If some of my ideas for the acting or speed of the actions don't fit the directors plan, we need to come up with something he likes together, which usually works for us, or I have to rething parts of the scene. I already once tried starting animating a scene, while still having unanswered questions in my mind and it really doesn't work for me. It distracts me in the sense that the scene feels open to input and new ideas and this makes my mind wander off. When I animate, I want to focus on getting my planned motions down best as possible.
So I get all my questions sorted with the director, before I start animating. If I am still a bit unclear about what the director wants with a scene after our first couple of talks about it, I blog it out roughly and we take it from there.
The timing of transitions and of the scene in general is what is most unique about stop motion, I think. In Maya I can slide my keys around as I please and in hand-drawn scenes I can change the frame number and add, replace or take out frames in the process. In stop motion I don't have this possibility. This forces me to fully understand the velocity and motions involved in the scene, before even starting to animate the puppets. Thumbnails, small sketches or notes are all ways to remind me of my thoughts about the scene. I've done a few scenes now and I tend to mostly do notes as planning with the occasional sketch or two. (see planning sheet above for as an example)
Every frame is unique and importan in the sense that I wont have the opportunity to go back and adjust it. This demands all animation senses to be on high alert for every frame, which is what I am learning the most from these days. It is also exhausting and at times it is very tempting to capture a frame even though it isn't spot on and I only kind of know how my arc for the right ear is going to be like! This is where professionalism, stubborness and self-discipline plays in and I find that it can be a real challenge to work on a scene for two to four hours without loosing concentration. Luckily our time schedule allows breaks when we need them. They are very needed to get a high quality result, I think. And this is what we want!

Stop motion animation stands to as an amazing challenge that will leave its marks on the way I animate. It's hands on and trial and error with immediate failure or success! And during it all you find some great friends in the puppets.

Banquet Scene

Here's a linetest of the latest scene I've done for the fabulous film 'Forest'! It's so great to finally get to animate the main character of the film and implement all the small traits Tobias's given him.

I'd like to write a bit about the approach I take on a scene like this. So in the post above you can read about my work flow and planning in a stop motion scene. Now I haven't been doing this for a very long time, but I am finding it very insightful to try and would like to share the thoughts I have on it. So if you dare, check out my next post! And if you already read it while reading this, because you don't check my blog often enough, well go read it again and leave a question, comment or a hearty hello!

fredag den 3. april 2009

Straight-Ahead Break

I took a 30mins break from the scene I am currently doing for the bachelor film 'The Lumberjack' and did this small facial piece.
I am going to put a big fat 'WHAT!' in it.
I have a lot of small things, especially facial animation, that I would like to test and this seems like a really fun way to do it. Not too much planning, just going on my gut feel. Here is the clip.

torsdag den 2. april 2009

Wolf Animation

This scene is the second one I've done with the big wolf for the bachelor film 'Forest'. In this scene we cut to the wolf in mid air jumping over a fence. As it lands it starts a low sneak towards screen left. I have animated the actions only on the 'y' axis and in composite the animation will be dragged along the 'x' axis. We chose to do it this way to save space in the greenscreen room.


lørdag den 28. marts 2009

Animation tests on Forest

Finally I got the go to start touching the puppets for the Bachelor project 'Forest'. I have spend the last two days trying out stop motion animation for the first time and I am loving it!
Already now I can feel that a lot of practical knowledge about animation can be gained through this very hands-on method of animating. There aren't room for shaky hands or clumpsy feet or friends and ctrl-z is non-existing!
Here are two small test scenes I did with the main character of the story, enjoy! I know I did!

lørdag den 14. marts 2009

One week of 1st pass animation

This is how the scene looks at the moment. There are still a few things I want to get more into, but in general it communicates the mood and feeling I set out to depict.
It has been very interesting to try out this new approach and I think that I have taken a really big step in the right direction.
I will ellaborate more on the work methods I used and the thoughts and choices made.
Please feel free to leave a comment with ideas, critique, praise or questions. Hope you enjoy it.

tirsdag den 3. marts 2009

Sketching / thumbnailing

I've spend around a day sketching the characters now, getting into drawing them, coming up with the actions of the scene, the diferent beats and trying to build up poses that would give me the opportunity to reach my goals for the assignment.
As I wrote in the previous post, Mike Nguyen and Alex Williams are both at the school at the moment and I have meetings with them both tomorow about my thumbnails and plan for the scene. Should be very interesting to hear what they have to say to my doodles.
The sketching phase isnt over yet at all, but I thought I share with you the first raw drawings I've done that fits the acting and action I want to animate.
Please feel free to comment with suggestions, questions, critique or praise as always.

New scene: Old Couple

The hairdresser scene has been put away for now, the scene for Tod Polson has been finished and send with him to Thailand and I am not ready to take on a new assignment finally!

For a long time I have wanted to animate the two characters I am going to spend my next weeks alongside. I have both Alex Williams, who is now our Animation Supervisor, and Mike Nguyen, who is teaching the first years, to overlook the early stages of my scene. Can't be much better than that really.

I spend about two and half hours talking to Mike the other day and he had a lot of great things to share. I will write a post about my conversation with him soon.

The focus of this assignment for me is to create a more believable and emotional performance as well as have the characters interact in such a way that the viewer clearly feels that these characters are filled with life. I will try a more straight-ahead'ish method to reach this goal. Mike is stopping by my workspace tomorow to talk about thumbnails to animation. Cant wait to hear him out on this.

For now, thumbnailing and imagining funny situations is the focus. Here is a drawing of the characters who will star in the scene

fredag den 27. februar 2009

Escape of the Gingerbread Man

I just had the great honor of animating a small scene for our pre-production supervisor, Tod Polsons. It is for his upcoming short film 'Escape of the Gingerbreadman'.
The animation is done and I will post it when Tod feels that the time is right to start showing clips from the film.
The scene is still to undergo a few changes color-wise and a few things will happen in composite as well. I wanted to show the same still-frame from the scene in and without color. I am still amazed how powerful an effect the colors are to animated characters. The shape, form and volume are so clearly defined all of a sudden. Of course it is there in the line work as well, but when it gets mass it really changes.

Here's a link to 'Escape of the Gingerbreadman' : http://www.rungingerrun.blogspot.com/

Thanks Tod for letting me help out.

onsdag den 11. februar 2009

Hairdresser scene at its end

This is where I will leave this scene. I'll try and get it critiqued from some of the teachers I've had during the past years and hopefully get some good feedback.
The scene served its purpose very well and I feel a level of animation that is to my satisfaction..for now!
Next up is some illustration work for a classmates bachelor film. I will also be doing a scene for Tod Polsons short film *Escape of the gingerbread man* sometime soon. So some exciting assignments ahead.
Please feel free to leave a comment with critique or praise here on the blog. Until next post...

A Walk a day: Longlegged Man

So, second walk complete. I didnt want to copy/paste anymore so he only makes it half-way to the other side.
The character walk and design comes from a sketch I did this weekend. (See sketch-page in post further down the blog)

tirsdag den 10. februar 2009

A Walk a day: Hatman

My hairdresser dialogue scene is almost done. It's been an entensive assignment and I felt that I this week needed something to diverte my attention. The Hairdresser scene will work as a step between the technical aspects of animation and a more performance minded way for me to approach a scene. Therefor I want to do a walk every day this week. This will leave me with nearly no time to plan or get caught up in too technical matters. It's straight-ahead and about extracting a character in a simple and clear manner. I did this one yeasterday and I have almost finished the one for today. It's work very well for me at the moment to have something more loose to take on when I need a break from the heavy dialogue scene. Hope you enjoy the walk.

mandag den 9. februar 2009

Train-trip Sketching

I was trapped in a train for two times three and a half hour this weekend. I decided to let some of the impressions made on the way get to me. All these sketches represent the people I met and observed. Yes indeed, it was a peculiar journey!

tirsdag den 27. januar 2009

Headshake Overview

I did this overview of the headshake from the scene. Match it up with the planning sheet I posted if you are interested in the process of going from timechart to actual drawing. I am quite pleased with the flow of the mouth shapes in this part of the scene so that was just another reason to post this overview. Enjoy.

mandag den 26. januar 2009

Here is the scene as it looks right now. Most of what is needed from now on is filling in drawings without killing the pace of it all. It'll hopefully be done at the end of tomorrow.

torsdag den 22. januar 2009

Adding the lip-sync

Adding the lip-sync from Frederik Villumsen on Vimeo.

It is time to start getting the mouthshapes on the keydrawings witht the accents. It is far from easy and it will take a few passes for me to get it right I think. I wanted to do a small part of it almost fully to get myself on the right track before starting to 'ruin' all my keys with unusable mouths. So I started from the beginning. Lot os things to keep in mind with this! Mood, wide-to-narrow, open closed! I think the art in this is to be able to make it believable with the least effort possbile, while supporting the mood and thoughts of the character. Here is what I have for now for the first bit.

Headshake Planning

From fr91 to fr111 I want a headshake. *I just like to think she, she...* is the dialogue for this bit and I think that a headshake would support his subtext very well. (see post about subtext further down on the page)
I will animate it from profile to 3/4 and it will be on 4s. A headshake on 4s means that he will shake his head 3 times in 1second, 25fr. I find it helpful to think this way when planning a headshake.
As you can see from the time charts I did, I am going to ease out from every key. Next week I will do a test to see the diference in doing the same headshake, but with ease ins instead. For this assignment I find that this is the best choice since it will help the lip-sync better along.
Check out the key drawings and timing of this in the video a few posts below to see how it works.

onsdag den 21. januar 2009

Eye Pass

The eyes will be an important part of the scene so I wanted to give them the time a day they deserve. After I got my acting beats down, while acting it out myself, I started to think about the flow of the eyes. Where should there be blinks? Where should they be open and closed? All this planning is saving me the pain of erasing faces, eyes and nicely drawn but wrong mouthshapes from my keys. It is pretty simple and doesn't take a lot of time or effort to do. I am very pleased with the results I am getting with this aproach and can only recommend you try it.

Acting Pass

This is my pass on the acting and action. I wrote down the dialogue first and then started to act out the scene with the soundclip rolling in the background. I was looking at my very first pass on this, the brainstorm sheet, to make sure I follow up on the original ideas I had. I am trying to keep this planning simple and precise and note only the really important things. Fx are the eyes an important part of this scene, but I felt it would take a lot of extra energy to think about that at the same time. I will go through the eyes in the post above.
On the sheet shown here, I have all I need to key out the scene with help from my thumbnails. Fx I can see that my acting had me put down the vase as he says 'you'. I then look at my x-sheet and simply number it so the keydrawing is ready to be part of the string of drawings. I find that this way of doing it gives me the peace I need to get all the things in the scene I want, and that on the right time as well. In previous scenes I have done, I've always found myself changing a lot of the timing around throughout the process and it is far from optimal. Breaking things up in passes feels right for me and it seems to work as well. I can only recommend that you aproach your scenes as simple as you need it as you can. It can remove a lot of stress.

First pass on the animation

So, I've got all these key drawings that reflect the flow of the motion I want, but I am yet to see if my timing is worth anything. All my key drawings have been numbered with the frame number according to how I acted it out as well as matched to the dialogue. I haven't done any video reference of myself this time, so everything is on gut-feel. Though video reference can be really awesome I am not too comfortable using it. I can act out my scenes, but a lot comes from my imagination and I feel I put a lid on myself when having a video clip with myself doing the scene. One of the main points of this assignment was to get better at the planning stages. Thumbnailing, acting out the scene, listening to the track a gazilion times, all the things that supposebly give you the peace of mind to focus on the actual animation of the scene, when you hit that stage. And I've got to say it's been worth it. I've been through the process a lot of times the past two years, but it has never come together for me like it has in this assignment. In the posts above, I will go through my process in detail, both for you, the reader, and for myself. But check out the timing of the scene.

tirsdag den 20. januar 2009


These are most of the keys I've done so far. I like to put them up like this if I feel like I am loosing the overview. In this case I felt that the volume of the hairdresser was falling a bit off and I that's really not something I want to get myself into at this stage,..or any other stage for that matter! It is really crucial for me that my first keys are consistent and strongly constructed so that I can start to relax more and get a good flow with drawings I feel confident about.
I want to key out more drawings than I usually do for this scene so that I can keep my poses alive and work in them instead of coming back to almost identical drawings, which I easily do if I don't plan well, I find. So for this scene I've planne well and I am doing a good deal of keydrawings around my golden poses..this cannot go wrong!

mandag den 19. januar 2009

Pose Arc

Pose arcs are something I like to do for myself. It gives me a small break to reflect over the poses I am to begin working with. It doesn't require any creative thinking, so instead, I can begin letting my imagination take off and note some ideas while I am making this sheet.

Beat 4

Beat 4 is where we get to see the real hairdresser. He is sad and vulnerable and especially his eyes should show this. He stops his hairdressing business, which will support the sadness in him. For the first time in the scene his subtext matchess his actual dialogue.
The last bit here will call for subtlety and I am looking forward to see if I can pull it off. I want the audience to really feel for the guy in this last part and I think it will be a big challenge.

Beat 3

Third beat should maintain his stiffness and that he is thinking about something not so pleasent. The diference between beat2 and beat3 is that in this beat, he isn't 'offended' anymore. He knows how the situation was and he finds comfort in the fact that he knows better. Actionwise he gets back to business and starts to coam the hair of the customer.
For this beat I have planned a headshake for him to shake the stiffness off. I will post the specifics on this later on. Also the coaming has been planned fairly accurate and I'll post about that as well.

Beat 2

For the second beat I want his mood to stiffen and he should loose some of the warm feeling from the beginning of the scene. If you take a look at the subtext you will see why. His action, which is putting down the vase, will support this nicely if timed right, so that's a thing to keep in mind when getting into further planning. When I am to work more with this pose, I am going to try and support his now 'colder' mood more than in this sketch. For axample by having negative space between him and the customer, which will have his silhouet seems like he doesnt want to touch the customer, not a warm feeling to it.
I put in the sketch from beat 1 to have the continuation in mind and maintain my idea of how it should animate. If I can't fairly clearly imagine the arcs between the poses I've thumbed, then I know I need to try and do another one inbetween or change one of the them.

Beat 1

This is the first pose in the scene. Or the thumbnail for it that is. I have divided my scene into 4 beats and I have given each beat a golden pose to work around. This is the sketch fitting the example I gave in my post below. It pictures the hairdresser pouring water in the hair of the customer. I wanted to put emphasis his nostalgic mood as he is thinking of his late wife. Having him gaze into the falling water gives me that effect.
On each beat page I've done, I have wrote his dialogue line, his subtext, which is his thoughts that describes his feelings and not the words he is actually saying, and last the action. I have tried to keep this as simple as I could not to have the scene feel complicated before all the real complicated things should be added! So this was beat1.

torsdag den 15. januar 2009

I always enjoy to see how other people aproach their work, but it is usually not easy to come by the first rough idea sheets. Maybe because they look messy and got ugly drawings on them or perhaps they get lost in the big piles of paper! i don't know. Nonetheless I would like to share my aproach to the dialogue assignment I am doing.

I did this last night and I use it as sort of a brainstorm phase, where I close in on what I want. First I simply write the words of the dialogue. I divide them into phrases to have room for notes as well as to keep an overview. I kept on listening to the dialogue, while I started to act out the scene as I imagine it in my head. Just through acting it out a few times in what would seem the same way, I pick up on some small subtle gestures or maybe poses that make sense to me.
For example : In my scene, the main character, the hairdresser, is talking to his customer about his late wife. I want him to act as a hairdresser throughout the scene, while his mood and thoughts drift away in another direction. So his secondary actions wont put emphasis on what he is saying, but on what he is thinking. "She was very protective..." is his first phrase. In this phrase, the beginning of the scene, I want him to nostalgicly think back on his wife. So I had my idea for the mood of the character. Now I need to figure out how I can put emphasis on this through his secondary actions. I once made a drawing of this guy pouring water in the hair of his customer and I tried in my acting to put this in, but it either got in too early or too late the first five or ten times I acted it out. Then I tried to start pouring the water in the customers hair before the dialogue starts. I really liked what this did for the scene. It sets just the mood I want and he is now starring into the water as it is falling from the vase as he is saying the phrase.

Long example! This is how I am building up the acting of my scene. I love doing dialogue scenes, because I have something very solid to work from, before even starting to draw. I continued to work through the phrases like this and I kept adding small notes about mood, actions and whatnot.
I will go through the other phrases as well as I did in the example above, but it will be in my next post accompanied by the sketches I did for the phrase.

Assignment 3 : Dialogue

Soundsclip : http://www.vimeo.com/2838431

Walk is done and I am moving on to my next assignment.
Follow the link above and listen to the piece of dialogue I have chosen to animate my hairdresser to. It is from the movie 'A Mighty Wind' and it suits the way I want to use the assignment very well.

I will focus on the following : Eye animation, working in a pose, pushing the emotional aspect and thorough planning pose and timing wise. This should give me plenty to get into.

The rest of the day I am going to thumbnail alot more. Last night I did my first pass on the dialogue. I wrote it down after I had listened to the track for about 45mins. While I was listening to it, I sketched ideas as well as acted it out in diferent ways to get a sense of which motions felt right for the character as well as the dialogue. I'll post the work sheet above.

tirsdag den 13. januar 2009


Here's the timing I ended up with for the walk cycle. Thought some of you people who are visiting might find it interesting.


lørdag den 10. januar 2009

I decided only to touch the hands and animate them as mere shapes, so that I could spend more time animating than drawing. If there will be a clean-up phase for this one, then that's where the hands will get their pretty look.

I want to show my aproach to getting the last important things onto this walk. He has a dificult face design so I made the choice to break it up into passes. As you will see in the clip above.

I started layering in the ears, then the back of his head, meaning the hair, I then placed the jaw on the skull, placed his eyes, then face and finally the ponytail. All this, to maintain the overview of what I was doing and especially to make sure that the tightness of my construction didn't fell apart. The final pass was putting on the pretty stuff on his clothes. There are still a few things missing, such as his butterflly and some flimsy cloth on his chest. It will add some to the walk, but for now I feel I need to move on.

I am fairly satisfied with where this ends and I am thinking about doing a clean-up pass on it and maybe even colouring it for an all finished look. It takes time though and next week is dialogue!, but who knows, maybe there'll pop some time up a week-end ahead.

Link to Hi-res version : http://www.vimeo.com/2812789

fredag den 9. januar 2009

So! Got the sleeves on him now. It ended up being a mix of inbetweening, straight ahead and gut feel to make it work.

I started to touch the hands and getting the amount of drag in them that i want. I only spend about 10mins putting down a few lines, mainly for the backside if the hand to have a reference point when I have to actually draw the hands.

Arms Pass

First pass on the arms and I think it turned out well. I had a little trouble with the arc and also the spacing of his left arm and wrist and had to uneven the left arm cycle in comparison to the right. Meaning that the up poses are not identital (reversed angle though) anymore. The reason why I chose to do this, is that I needed the room to actually ease his hand and arm in to the extreme pose.

Next step will be to put the design of the arms on top of this skeleton and get into the overlapping of the sleeves and successive breaking of his joints. This will hopefully be done today so that I will have tomorrow to put on his face, give him a butterfly, a scissor in his belt, add some flimsy chest cloth and finally do the cloth covering his hip and upper thies!! Busy day tomorrow it would seem.

torsdag den 8. januar 2009

The assignment I am currently doing is a walkcycle. The timing is as I want it now and not too many things need a bit of tweeking before I can move along and do the arms and head.A fix on a small spacing issue with his right leg towards the passing pose, a clarification of the arc of his right foot as it pushes off and some care to the left heel on the up pose, this combined should make me happy! The walk should be done end of this week.

Long days ahead with this one!

Here is a link to a version in a higher resolution : http://www.vimeo.com/2759414