Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WEEK 2: Animation Direction 2 -- Guest speaker: Stop motion puppet maker, Kathy Shultz

The puppet making department of Cuppa Coffee Animation
First we'll continue where we left off with the history of stop motion.

At 1 pm we'll welcome a helpful guest:
Kathy Shultz, stop motion puppet maker.
She'll be presenting some puppet-making ideas and examples of professional puppet builds.

I hope you bring lots of questions and your drawings with you so she can give you some tips on how to proceed with your creations...

Click here for a fantastic document Kathy put together for us about creating stop-mo puppets. It's full of resources, ideas, how-to's and more.. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

WEEK 2: Character Acting 2 -- Blended Game Cycles: Walks & Runs

Walking, continued..
We'll dig in to some more of the details from Richard William's lengthy chapter on walks.

Assignment 1: Walk Cycle
Assigned: 18/01/12
Due: 29/01/12
% of final grade: 20%

Use the pre-built humanoid skeleton or your own rig.

Animate a treadmill walk that clearly shows the personality and attitude of the character.
The timing (both frames per step and timing of secondary actions such as arm swings and head drag) should support the attitude and personality. The character should have a believable weight. Steps should be symmetrical (apparently if not mathematically) and the motion should be fluid and smooth without obvious pops or bumps. Body parts should be offset from one another a bit so every part of the action doesn't occur on the same frame.

Exemplary:  Clear personality and attitude, strong apparent weight, fluid motion with a strong grasp of all animation principles.
Excellent:  Apparent personality, weight and almost entirely fluid motion with a good grasp of nearly all animation principles.
Acceptable: Some personality and weight. Motion is mostly fluid with minor errors or missing animation principles.
Not Acceptable: Generic walk not convincingly heavy or not fluid with quite a few glitches or missing animation principles.

Equal weight will be given to:

  • Attitude/Personality
  • Weight
  • Pacing/Timing
  • Overlapping Actions / Secondary Motion

Please submit files by FTP. Instructions will be sent via email.

Please hand in 2 files named as follows:

Include any referenced files. Please watch your naming conventions. No caps, extra characters or spaces.
Feel free to number the files up to 999 as you like. It will help differentiate the files should you need to resubmit.

WEEK 2: Modeling and Animation II -- Bouncing Balls, continued

Gravity. Always a downer. 
We'll delve into the 12 Principles in more detail.

We'll start polishing those bouncing balls and by the end of class you should be able to know without a doubt what different types of action will result from different types of curves in your Graph Editor.  Digital Tutors has some excellent video explanations of the Graph Editor -- a powerful tool that you should be very comfortable using by the end of this assignment.

We'll have some time to watch 'The Pixar Story' in class today. There will be a *quiz* worth 10 bonus marks! These may come in handy later...

Click here for the Pixar Story Quiz (note: it's only available once I open it during class)

Assignment 1: Bouncing Balls
Assigned: 18/01/12
Due: 29/01/12
% of Final Grade: 20%

Animate at least 2 contrasted bouncing balls showing as many of the principles of animation as you can.
All balls should be in the same file. You may add primitives such as cubes, planes, and use them to create simple obstacles such as stairs, a wall, a room, or a sloping plane. Be sure the balls have very obviously different weights.  Animate the balls bouncing until they come to a stop.
Find a flattering camera angle from which you can see your animation clearly. Tracking camera moves to keep the balls in the scene are permitted but keep them very simple.
Rolling, squashing, and stretching are optional.
No marks are given for rendering. Please do not light these or apply any special textures. You may make the objects different colours if you wish.

The final output should be 2 files: an .avi and an .ma file. Please include your referenced rigs in the file if necessary.

Files should be named as follows:

The file number (000) should be whatever version of the file you hand in. You can hand in any version up to 999. This could come in handy if you need to resubmit. You can simply send me the new file with the new version number.

Careful with your file naming.
No caps. No extra spaces. No extra descriptors.

Exemplary:  Advanced grasp of animation principles evident. Balls have unmistakable and contrasted weights.
Excellent:  Strong grasp of most of the animation principles with few mistakes. Balls have clear and contrasted weights.
Acceptable: Reasonably executed animation utilizing most of the animation principles with some mistakes. Balls bounce clearly and believeably with some contrast.
Not Acceptable:  Lack of evident understanding of the animation principles with several mistakes. Balls not clearly contrasted.

Assignments will be handed in via FTP. Instructions will be sent via email.