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