Friday, March 9, 2012

WEEK 10: Modeling and Animation II: Special Guest Bruce Simpson

Monday, March 12, 6:00 - 7:30 pm in the Octagon  please welcome our special guest, award-winning indie animator & director Bruce Simpson.  Bruce will be showing us his work including hand-drawn Flash animation and talking about his eclectic career in TV, films, games and commercials. 
Bruce is very open to answering questions too! :o)
Check out Bruce's website to get an idea of how prolific & creative he is:

This talk is part of the DESN1119 course. Others are welcome to come. 

For my class, the other half of your class will take place on
Wednesday, March 14, 9:30 - 11:00 in your regular classroom, 503. Please bring tablets and/or styluses (or "styli"?) Practice drawing those heavy flour sacks..

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

WEEK 9: Animation Direction 2 -- Milestone 3 Critique: Completed Puppets & Sets

Welcome back!
I'm so looking forward to seeing your completed puppets and sets.  Please document all your work digitally so I have a record for marking.  With the huge variety of media and styles we'll have a lot to talk about in terms of next steps for lighting and shooting.  I have a lot of information for you about timing for stop-motion animation to get you thinking about how to proceed.

Milestone 4: Lighting tests
*(Animatic may be shot at this stage)
Assigned: 08/03/12
Due: 19/03/12  via FTP
% of final grade: 10%

Shoot a series of production stills to test all your lighting set ups. Shoot at least one per scene.  Submit high-res, 720p images (1280 x 720). The style of lighting is appropriate for your mood and subject and is as professional-looking as possible, i.e., no unintentional colour-casts, completely black shadows, blown-out highlights, shadows of off-screen items like your head or the lighting rigs. Images should be in clear focus.  Edit the images if necessary to show your final desired output if you plan to use any special AfterEffects treatments.

Naming convention:

Exemplary: Images for all scenes very well lit and composed images with creative flair and professionalism.
Excellent: Images for most scenes well lit and composed images with some creativity and professionalism.
Acceptable: Images for some scenes fairly well lit and composed with only a few minor errors.
Not Acceptable: Images missing for most scenes or badly lit or composed with some major errors.

WEEK 9: Character Acting 2: Quadrupeds

Welcome back!

Building on your detailed study of bipedal locomotion, we're progressing to a whole new level with quadrupeds. Some of you did some pretty in-depth analysis of 4-legged walks last term for Assignment 3. You might even be able to use or build on the hand-drawn posing you already did for this assignment.  

I'll share a ton of reference material to help get you started -- info from books, lectures, animation, and live action.
Click here for a link to some helpful reference. 

We'll crack open a couple of free 3D rigs - you can try the free rig from the Digital Tutors course "Animating Quadrupeds in Maya", or try using Koko -- a cartoony dog -- or Rhett -- a realistic horse - from Creative Crash (you need to create an account to download them):

* Rhett the Clydesdale is currently down for updates! Boo...

Click here for the Rhett rig with a tail.

Assignment 4: Quadruped Walk
Assigned: 06/03/12
Due: 26/03/12
% of final grade: 20%
Animate a seamless, looping quadruped walk cycle. It should look good from any angle. Show it in a turntable or from multiple views. The walk is the essential part of this assignment. For extra credit you can transition into another gait (trot, canter, gallop). You could also try adding some variation to the walk, for example a head movement or navigating over an obstacle.

Use a pre-built quadruped rig of your choice.


Exemplary: Strong apparent weight, snappy timing and fluid motion with a strong grasp of all animation principles including secondary/overlapping action on details like the ears and tail.

Excellent: Apparent weight and almost entirely fluid motion with a good grasp of nearly all animation principles including a good attempt at secondary action.

Acceptable: Mostly apparent weight. Motion is mostly fluid with minor errors or missing animation principles. Some attempt at secondary action.

Not Acceptable: Not convincingly heavy or not fluid with quite a few glitches or missing animation principles. no apparent secondary action.

Equal weight will be given to:
Weight, Timing, Fluidity, Overlapping Actions/Secondary Motion

Please submit files by FTP.
Please hand in 2 files, your playblast and your maya file.
You can hand in videos in any standard format except .wmv.
Ex: .mov, .avi, .mp4,
Naming convention:

Include any necessary 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.

Monday, March 5, 2012

WEEK 9: Modeling and Animation II: Intro to 2D Animation Techniques

3D is an orderly world of objects that never change volume, graph editors that keep track of the motion, and automatically-generated inbetweens. It's time to leave the cozy, predictable world of 3D and embrace the friendly chaos of 2D animation.

2D animation, also called traditional or hand-drawn animation, is drawn frame-by-frame with pencil & paper or digital drawing tools. You will have to put all your knowledge of timing and spacing to good use by planning and imagining how you want the final result to look while striving to keep volumes consistent.

 "Robot Elephant" - hero of "(notes on) biology". Also my hero.  
We'll start with a simple bouncing ball exercise. Try as many different weights and styles as you can using the knowledge you gained from your 3D bouncing balls. If this is really easy for you, branch out to something more complex.

First we'll try some flip-book animation. Flip-books are one of the few things in this world that are FAST, CHEAP, and GOOD -- see how insanely fun these can be to create watching this awesome flipbook tribute film: "(notes on) biology"

We'll move on to the world-famous half-filled Flour Sack.

We'll study some tricks for drawing 3-dimensionally and test our skills by creating drawings of the flour sack in 4 distinct moods. For example:


Reminder: Please BRING YOUR TABLET PENS to all classes for the rest of the term.