Monday, July 20, 2009


So, I've been watching Rune Bennekie's Blog and had a short conversation with him about his work. For fun, he does these crazy good straight ahead tests. His latest post is one he did some 14 years ago that rocks. Straight ahead animation is something really difficult for me as I have trouble keeping things on model throughout, but what makes his work more impressive is that he said he didn't do any thumbnailing or multiple passes or even use an x-sheet. In my small attempt at getting into that freestyle groove, I nabbed a little skit that is at the end of a MC Frontalot song called Charity Case and went sort of straight ahead. I'd often get a bit too excited and jump ahead a bit to throw in a pose, but it was very organic and free flowing. It didn't take very long (and the drawing shows), but I think I ended up with some fun, spontaneous acting choices.

In an effort to learn from my 2d efforts, I am currently working on working this out in 3d. There are some things I'm planning on changing, but I'm just enjoying finally animating a nurotic, jumpy character.

[7-22-09]From some feedback I got on that cg test, I have decided to start over and actually think about things first. I got a bit ahead of myself, but am definitely still pulling ideas from that first pencil test, I'm just reorganizing that right brained mess into something that is more put together and solid.

[7-24-09]Okay, so here's where I'm at. I shot some reference footage and using the timecode text effect in After Effects I'm able to pull out better reference from it. I've restarted in both Maya and Flash. I did some quick "pencil" tests in Flash after looking at the reference, then I took that into Maya with my reference footage to pose it out and plus what I had.

At this point I needed to put in more poses so that I can stay in control of the poses and timing and not just hit spline. The problem is, working in 3d has, at least for me, is less spontaneous than working in 2d because you're so caught up in just trying to bend and key the puppet in place. I've decided to go back into Flash for a more refined pass a the animation (in number of drawings, not quality). Tomorrow I plan to take this with me back into Maya and work out a lot more of the action and plus it even more.

[7-26-09]So, I've started working it out more in 3d. Some good things are starting to happen here and there, but I'm still struggling with trying to have just 5 main poses. Whenever I look at it, it seems like I have closer to 7, but a few are really close/similar. I'm definitely planning on taking out the bob forward as he says popsicle though.

[7-27-09]I think I'm gonna keep with this whole adding to one long blog post so everything is contained. It's also neat to see the progression of the shot all in one location. I put in some more work today and feel like I'm getting pretty far. It's time to start putting in some lip sync and facial animation.


[7-29-09]I've finally hit spline(actually, plateau tangent) and worked it out as far as I can, for now.

[7-30-09]So, I got a render out of this thing. MC Frontalot has been cool enough to try to get me the original audio file without the music in the background but, because of the way things are gonna work out I'm not going to be able to post that version for a week or two. Until then, here it is (pre critiques-I've already noticed some wonkiness with the shoulder at the beginning and how the hips just stop dead around frame 61 and have fixed that but won't have a chance to re render it before I go home for the day)

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