Monday, July 21, 2008

Doug Sweetland

Doug Sweetland
podcast at spline doctors.

Before he learned pose to pose, would block out in T-pose straight ahead, on the root only, capturing some of the musicality of the line that way, then make all the rest of the body catch up afterwards. "Bouncing ball along to the music of the vocal delivery" using the root.

if you have a concept of a char you want to get across, or for the char to embody, it needs to be planned out ahead of time. can't straight ahead it.

Mark Oftedahl Toy Story shot of Buzz and Woody on the bed "you can't fly." It's not about physicalizing the music of the line, it's about physicalizing how those characters are emotionally traveling through that shot.

block in as simple as possible so changes are as less painful as possible. If it doesn't matter how many steps to get the char to the door, then don't worry about the legs. Upper arms and elbows but not wrists.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

standing out

Recently watched the Carlos Baena webinar on Demo reel do's and don'ts. Most of it was the same 'ol same 'ol, but one thing he was talking about echoed something the spline doctors mentioned. And that's just that reviewers are tired of seeing the same thing over and over. School excercises with the same characters are just driving them crazy. Carlos even mentioned that on acting tests it's the same acting choices every time, medium close up with the character gesticulating closely with his hands. Anyway, it comes down to, make your character unique. If you're going to use a common rig individuate it somehow, a prop or a wig or something, and especially a unique personality. And try really really hard to find a unique thing to act on your demo reel. It's something I noticed while I was in AM, for the gear change excercise there were tons and tons of chef's tasting something and getting sick, and sad Stewie's looking for their Tailor's.

I was reading through my notes from AnimationMentor and ran across something from Chris DeRochie. First he gave a guote from Ed Parker "The man who knows how will always be the student. The man who knows why will continue to be the master." Chris was talking about the way to have unique acting choices is to have unique individual's. He said How a man picks a flower will always look stagey because you are self conscious of the audience. But if you know who the guy is and thereforewhy he's picking the flower, you'll act it out more authentically and it'll help you avoid cliche. If you think you are animating "a typical businessman" then you are animating a stereoptype and will end up with a typical stereoptypical scene. So if you know who the character is as an individual, their gender profession mood personality traits (bonus if some of those conflict) relevant past history (maybe that Jason Ryan WOFAIM) then you will have an understanding of what it means for this particular individual to be picking this flower and how their personality and passed will influence how the pick it.
Personality (born with) + Experience = behaviour.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

zbrush magic

Ran across this tutorial from Sorin Lupu is the artist. It's amazing how low poly a base mesh you can get away with using the new sculpting technology like Zbrush. What really blows me away are the nostril wings.
Ah, I see, he imports the zbrush and traces it with "topogun" (by Cristi Prefac) (also says could use Zbrush Topology or Maya live) making a medium res base mesh. Still a more intuitive workflow to sculpt then to wrangle poly's.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

stanchfield on essence of a pose

Finally finished reading that pdf someone put together of the Walt Stanchfield notes (wonder when his widow's going to publish the book of them) He goes on a lot not getting distracted by the extra details and trying to draw out or push the drawing into a defining statement, draw out the essence of the pose.

"The essence thing appears in all the arts, not just sketching. In literature it is when the writing goes beyond just words-beyond just reporting. In music it is when it goes beyond just notes and lyrics- when there exists an essence that touches the heart. There are only 26 letters in our alphabet-only a couple of hundred words we use in daily communication, but it is the artful way those are juxtaposed that sets them apart as memorable and meaningful. In drawing you have 360 degrees in which to vary your lines and the chioce and variance determines whether or not your drawing will be worthy of the effort you've spent on it. "

Thursday, July 3, 2008

animating from the inside out

Watchin the Bobby and Aja animationmentor webinar

Someone asks about how to not be cliche and Bobby talks about "animating from the inside out" he says basically that he goes really into character. He knows who the character is, what their backstory is, basically knows everything about who the character is and how they respond to the world. Then he just goes into his mind and becomes the character and allows their personality to emerge and dictate the performance. So not thinking "what would it be cool for my character to do", but "what would I do if I had this background in this situation."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Ran across a solid workflow vid tut from Ryan Hobbiebrunken

Threw a spotlight on the fact that while I may theoretically have all the knowledge I need to how to animate and workflow and everything, theory and practice are very different things and I can't walk the walk that I can talk. So I'm going to try and do more super quick animation excercises, short like his 30 frames, and get over the akwardness I have in hopes of getting my skill level up to where I can work on the subtle stuff. Because currently I have the same problem I had while I was in AM, that basically I can't build a strong foundation to work upon, so there's really no point in putting on the crown molding if the walls not straight yet. Frustrating, but only way to the other side is through it.

11secondclub May critique

Kevin Koch my previous mentor 11secondClub May Critique

another explanation on that confusing line from Richard Williams:
when you look at some of the classic animation by some of the best animators, often when you really look closely the lipsynch isn't very good. And nobody really notices or cares, because they hit the main accents well, and more importantly they progress the action well, there's something interesting going on, they're hitting the accents with the head or the body or the hand and the character is going somewhere, doing something. Nobody watches the muppets and says "wait a minute, Kermit didn't hit a good R shape" It's just flap flap flap, you believe it because the character is doing something, is going somewhere with the scene, the action is progressing in the scene.

what is your character doing? physically with their bodies, and mentally what are they thinking plotting worrying about?

virtually all large vocal accents are on vowels.

old school animation masters would do a lot of walk and talks, and before they would start animating they would mark out where their big vocal accent lands, and time their walk so that the vocal accent would come right after the down of the walk so from the follow thru on the jaw they could justify an even Larger open mouth