Sunday, March 01, 2009

Animation Mentor: Class 204-207


Class 204: part 2

This week was both finishing up my last shot AND planning out the next one. I chose to do a tough pick from the list and did the "jump on to a post and balance". Now those of you that know me..I couldn't just do a basic jump...no, I had to give myself a little more of a challenge. I thought it'd be cool and DIFFERENT if I had Stewie (who doesn't have arms, by the way) not just jump, but do a "NO HANDED CARTWHEEL" or aerial onto the post. But it doesn't stop there..I then also decide to have him then do a back tuck flip onto a second post. Most are thinking about now..wow..that's a ton. But wait..I ain't done! I then wanted him to do a bigger back layout flip onto yet a third post. After he did this, he was then gonna do a crazy flip. Easy, right?? WHAT AM I THINKING?????

Luckily, I coach gymnastics and also participated back in the day. I took my wonderful Christmas gift mini-dv camera and asked one of my level 7 gymnasts to do an aerial for me. I would have loved to have just filmed myself..but I didn't want to break my neck. I then asked a couple other gymnasts to do some back tucks and layouts on the trampoline. I had wished I coulda video taped my girls back in South Dakota. I know they would have loved it..but the girls here are great sports and good kids too!
So yeah..the reference footage. I also took some of myself doing the "acting" parts of the shot and maybe even a couple flips..dang..old, outta shape guys CAN flip!

Here's what I submitted for reference footage:

video

Along with the reference video we needed to have a few pages of our sketchbook for our mentor to see our planning process. This is really important for us to work through our poses to get the clearest ones, along with working out timing and some story. Here's what I came up with for that part of the assignment:




Class 205

Week 5 of this class was my birthday week! I turned a year older on Monday and spent the day at Disneyland...FREE! A good friend of mine with a season pass went with me and we had a blast! But after the fun and games of Disneyland..I had to come back to reality and get down to my blocking of my second shot. I got some good feedback in my Week 4 e-crit from my mentor, Rebecca, about my choice and she was supportive that I could meet the challenge. I just hate that she's trying to push to make me a better animator! LOL (in case your wondering..that was sarcasm..)

Here's my week 5 blocking assignment:

video

Class 206

Week 6 started with my e-crit from Rebecca. It wasn't as glowing as I'd wanted, but part of that was my own fault. As you saw in the previous week's assignment, I had created the shot in a perspective view to get the LONG shot into a closer view. I was trying to make the poses work towards that camera view. I thought it would be a good decision to add the profile view so Rebecca could really see the arcs of the action. I was really proud of my flips. This was not smart. When Rebecca was giving me her crit, she couldn't read the poses as clearly because my camera angle was too drastic. So she went to the long profile view to give feedback. This is where everything went down hill. I had animated all the poses in this view to be nice clean lines of arcs..but wasn't worried about the silhouette of each pose, so she started really rippin' into it. In the end...I learned a ton and learned NOT to give additional views of the animation that aren't as cleaned up as the main one! Lesson learned!!

I took the crit and applied the comments to my shot. This pass is suppose to be a BLOCKING PLUS. Which means...well..it can mean alot. But the basic idea is that you push your blocking pass further and maybe that includes starting to smooth out the motion into splines. You'll notice that I have added a camera move. I was really stubborn and wanted a better camera angle that showed off my animation. I didn't like how small it was when you saw it in the profile, so I tried my hand at a camera move. It took some work, but I finally got my mentor to see my point and in the end she agreed that the camera angle DIDN'T distract (like she had thought it would) and it does make it better to showcase my animation!

Here's the blocking PLUS pass:

video

Class 207


My FLIPPIN' shot was due this week. I worked my butt off to take the comments in Rebecca's Week 6 e-crit and implement them into my shot. I really tried to track the arcs in as much of the body as I could. Arcs are in EVERYTHING in real life. Nothing organic moves naturally in a straight linear action..it all has an arc to the path of action. This can be tough..and is something I'm STILL working on. I really worked to polish this shot as far as I could by the Sunday noon deadline.

Here's the finished shot:

video

The other half of this weeks assignment is the planning for our third and final animated shot for Class 2. I decided to tackle the "throwing a ball" pick. But I decided to have it be a snowball fight, in honor of my missing actual winter in this WAY TOO WARM southern California! I once again used my place of work and shot the reference footage using some camera tricks and some foam pit!

Here's the video footage:

video

I also then did some planning for the shot. I'll admit..these are rough and in the end I ended up redoing them..but here's what I handed in this week:



I think this is enough to please you hungry, faithful readers this time around. Thanks for checking in with me..and hopefully it was STILL worth your time! Check back soon to see some more work...and check out my other blog DakotaKid's World to see what non-Animation Mentor stuff is going on in my life.

Until laterz!

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