Saturday, November 27, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Anatomy games

Anatomy is essential for drawing, and very useful for animation. Came across an awesome game to help you learn and test your knowledge of it.

Whack a Bone
Poke A Muscle

* found by Madeline Carol Matz at Drawn Today

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Olivier Ladeuix - pixar face sync

Olivier has a great post on his blog framing through a quick pixar shot.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jon's stopmo tricks

Dude named Jon has some pretty sweet looking stopmotion puppets going. And he's posted a few walkthru's of how he makes these appealing characters on his blog. Definitely someone I'm watching.


nac mac feegle anatomical foam latex build up


face foam latex build up

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Art - what's the point

art should make us feel more clearly and more intelligently it should give us coherent sensations that otherwise we would not have had. if art can't tell us about the world we live in then I don't believe there's a point in having it - Robert Hughes

just listened to this documentary by art critic Robert Hughes about how art got hijacked by wealthy people so that arts value was no longer based on aesthetics and social connection and now was based on how much it will sell for. Interesting. So the same way that "modern" art is now a specific thing, "art" will become a specific thing and what art actually is will go off and get on with being made just under a different name.

*find by WIP podcast

Monday, November 8, 2010

All Paintings.Org

Cool site I found from DrawnToday. AllPaintings has a ton of paintings all organized by ism, so not easy to track down a certain artist, but great if you want to absorb a period style.


on a recent animation piece I did I spent a lot of time working out all the footfalls and hip shifts for them and in the end... meh. I've been thinking about it, and watching people, humans biomechanics is so smooth that the hips just flow so easily, I was trying to exaggerate but just made it too big. I think I'm going to follow Shawn Kelly who has mentioned a few times how he sometimes just hides the legs and animates from there. Makes sense. The legs aren't very important, put your big time making the important acting stuff strong, then just get the legs to work well enough not to have to worry about. (Like that Firat quadroped thing I posted, works with 2 legs too)

(1st kill the sound :P then skip to 3:05)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Games = Social/Consumer Psychology

are games fun? or is addiction being confused for fun? stuff I was reading today talked about this.

Jonathon Blow developer of Braid talking about the ethics of making games. how farmville is super evil because the developers are using every psych trick they can to milk their users dry and make their users worry about the game while they're not playing (so not just wasting their time, but polluting the non game time as well)
(his 4 parts of good game design practice
1: narrative, a story will pull people along and keep them interested (it's funner to go find a gas can to get the tank to drive to the next level then to look for the arbitrary red key card for the red door)
2: eye candy/ ear candy
3: attainable goals: overall goal might be to defeat the evil guy, but players always have small attainable simple goals (collect this gem) so they know what they need to do to advance)
4: feel of constant improvement: used to be the score, now it's being a better level or getting better armor then for a while you dominate enemies, then enemies get tougher and you have to level up again

Carnegie Mellon University Professor, Jesse Schell on game design ideas flowing into our lives in other context (like the prius telling you how you're doing gas mileage wise)

article by Leigh Alexander about the same thing, using gamer type incentives to trick yourself into doing something (like jogging).

a wired article about by Clive Thompson similar, talking about using game design to cut down useless emails in a corporation

Jane McGonigal is trying to make alternative reality games to help people figure out how to save the world

and another about how to use the psychology that keeps people sucked into games to motivate useful behaviour in real life (like helping people learn)

When I studied social psychology I learned that if you take something intrinsically motivated (you do it because you want to) then make it extrinsically motivated (someone pays you to do it) then you lose the joy in it.

Budhism talks about the human condition being inherently unhappy, the problem is you always want something more or better and as long as you are always clinging to this idea of the next best thing you are going to be hurting from lack of satisfaction. Which when you think about it is exactly what all that grinding in video games is.

I work in games, and I hardly play any. When you're in, you're grinding away and not noticing it, "just one more item, just one more kill" but afterwards when you can think clearheadedly so often I look back and realize it was honestly a somewhat tedious experience, and wind up feeling like I have wasted an hour of my life I'll never get back.

The question seems to me to be wether games can be made in a way that improves us, instead of just simple entertainment... to fill twenty minutes, half an hour, while we're waiting to die (as Alan Moore says). Chess has been claimed to make you mentally sharp, like brain exercise, fine narrative (literature, film) is supposed to expand your mental and emotional landscapes, when will someone create a game that can combine these things? Games also have the potential to bring us together, a powerful factor that currently is only used to bring everyone down to the level of anonymous 14 year old assholes. The potential to use the compulsive ideas games used to help yourself accomplish things you want seems like a useful thing, as long as we are choosing to do it, and are aware that it can become a crutch to make it harder to do the things without the game aspects.

deconstructing Kevin Webb

Re-Bitten by the animation bug lately, trying to absorb new ideas. Gonna be watching some Ratatouille & Horton later, but started with Kevin Webb.

He's starting with a real appealing character, so makes it easier. But this simple facial rig test is appealing and fun to watch, and analyzing it, I think it's because he's doing the Richard Williams thing: key pose Breakdown key pose. Often the breakdown has a blink, but not every time, and it can be as subtle as just a slightly different angle so the head arcs instead of traveling in a straight line. I thought he was overlapping so the mouth gets to it's pose a little after the head (which would be nice to not have everything hitting at once) but realized he's just easing in to his last pose. Also interesting is the head squashing which makes it feel more fleshy, but isn't big enough (usually) to be noticeable.

Facial rig test from Kevin Webb on Vimeo.

Then watching his awesome dialogue. It's interesting, the body doesn't do that much movement, basically 1 pose per beat. Transitions between poses are simple straight across with ease into the 2nd one. Then there's some slight adjustments if the limbs are moving big enough to insist on it.
Head and Hands are offset from the torso, usually arriving afterwards. Hands don't actually move that much, maybe once per phrase (instead of per beat like torso) and head is just a little more, Head is kind of bobbling a little during it's poses to sell the feeling of words coming out of her. If the head moves, it feels like it's getting tugged to it's new pose by the eyes. Brows seem to move about as much as the head. Eyes move a ton, never still for long.

Eyes | | | | | | | | |
brows Head | | | | | | |
Hands | | | | | |
torso | | |

Zooey Lipsync from Kevin Webb on Vimeo.

Animation scene blocking from Kevin Webb on Vimeo.