Saturday, 30 April 2011

My Final Animation

Hope you enjoy!

Now that this animation is finished, i can now look at my own work critically.
I do really like my animation, and i am very proud of the work i have put in the do this. To say i have never done animation before, i'm quite pleased with how it turned out!
The part i think i could have done better in the seconds walking section, when Guy walks to the music shop window. I did this all cell animated, because i thought it would be too difficult to incorporate the walking animation and then to turn his whole body. Because it is cell animated, it looks a bit rigid. In hindsight i could have drawn this out a bit better, but it only lasts 2/2.5 seconds so i think i can live with it :)
Also, i can see when i have uploaded it to youtube, it seems the timing is a bit laggy on the drum solo. Trust me, on my after effects/quicktime file the beats are spot on, i spent hours timing it right!
So ok, its not a pixar short, but i wasn't going for the next 'Toy Story' for my first animation attempt!
I hope you enjoyed watching it as much as i enjoyed creating it! PEACE!


I started playing with after effects quite a bit after the walking test i did, and as i became more confident using it, i am proud to say i managed to cut down my original 190 cell drawings into around 110-150, and animated the rest digitally, or used animated layers from photoshop files.
I actually completed the whole thing in roughly 2 days solid (well, i did take time to sleep, eat and drink, you know, the human stuff). Not because i was rushing, i have a full week until deadline. I did it because i got so engrossed in the process, and i was enjoying every minute of it! And i can firmly say i have a pretty cool final animation to hand in!

Below are a few pictures of the mess of paper i made on my bed throughout the animation. These are piles of cell drawings and character developments i did which were necessary to create my piece. I had to scan in almost all of these (like i said, between 110-150, my poor scanner was making awful noises afterwards...) to then put in photoshop, cut layers out of, colour, import into after effects, position, time, and animate. On nearly every drawing.
Some i could import as a jpeg or photoshop sequence which was really helpful, dragging in whole sections at once as one file, instead of all 36 in each sequence. This made it much easier to layer on the timeline and position correctly.

This pile was 36 images thick, which lasted 3 seconds in animation time :s
I have probably killed a flock of trees (its probably not actually called a flock of trees, but you get the idea) just to create 23 seconds of animation. For this, i apologise to the world eco system. But if the world could literally see my animation, i'm sure it would forgive me!

I will upload my animation to Youtube and post it in a separate post on here because blogger wont upload it for some reason. Get excited!

Friday, 29 April 2011

Colour Choice

I started to add the backgrounds to Guy walking, and realised something; I originally wanted it to be sections of colour. I thought this would attract more attention to Guy. However, when i did this, it looked a bit tacky. So i created a frame of full colour. The images are here below:

Sections of Colour

Full Colour

The full colour version seems much fuller, and brings life to the whole image. My original idea seems unfinished, and i definitely not cool with that. I have put a lot of work into this, so i'm going to go with a full colour animation.
Lets get this started!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Guy starts Walking!

Here is the short movement i have done to get Guy walking.

It does need re-timing to fit with the music and the sequence etc, but other than that it seems pretty good to use in my final animation!

Also, for your own amusement, here are the pictures taken of my legs walking!

Very gracious.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Animation has begun!

I have begun creating some layer-able body parts to create the first section of my animation, where the guy is walking down a street. Obviously for this, i can create a short animation of him taking a few steps and repeat.
Yesterday i did one off the top of my head. I drew this below:

^ WARNING! Do not practise trampoline under ceiling fan ^
From this i cut the parts out as individual layers on photoshop, then placed them in the right part on the body. By importing this into after effects, i could then animate each body part separately. And after a bit of playing around, i made this guy walk!
But something wasn't right...It didn't look real enough.
So i decided to take photographs of my legs walking (well, i didn't, my dad did, that would be crazy!)
Once i looked through these i realised i had got the leg movements a little wrong.
So i did it again today, and drew another body part sheet. And it looks AWESOME!
Unfortunately at the minute, blogger wont upload the movie file i saved. I don't know why, it just keeps saying uploading, so ill keep trying!

In the meantime, I'm going to tackle the most difficult part of my animation; trying to get this to move in time :s

Wish Me Luck!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Final Storyboards

I have made the few alterations i previously mentioned to my storyboard.
Here it is:


Section 2

Section 3

Section 4

Section 5

Section 6

Section 7

Section 8

Section 9

Section 10

Section 11

Page 1

Page 2
As you can see here, i have changed the beginning and ending of my animation.
The angle the guy was walking at in my first storyboard would have been awkward to animate, so i have changed to a side angle of him walking, which zooms out to the street. This keeps continuity and will allow me to create a walking animation using layers instead of cell drawing.

To finish with, originally it stopped at the end of the first drum fill. This could have seemed like it just came to a sudden halt, so i have added in a final segment where it shows his face again, now drooling from the dream. The music will cut, and i will either leave this silent, or maybe add in the sound of traffic, or wind to create a sense of reality.

My next step is to create some drawings i can use as layers and create some real animations (scary!). Wish me luck!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Crit Sessions

Yesterday i had a crit session where i presented my blog and storyboards to my tutors. The feedback i got was really good, they loved the character (awwwww yeah) and the narrative. HOWEVER, he did say it just sorta stops, and needs an ending. Fair enough, but what?! I was thinking last night how to end it, because the music carries on as a drum solo after i planned to cut the animation, and im briefed to a time limit of 20-30 seconds.
Today i attended a help session with another tutor, where i got some useful info and help, and now i think im ready to develop this storyboard to a finalised idea. Now i have to pretty good ideas floating around. These will get posted up sometime over the weekend when i draw it all out. So WATCH THIS SPACE!

Another After Effects Session

Now this one was REALLY useful. I learnt how to animate characters using layers and anchor points. I created a very simple movement of a skeleton waving, but just by doing this i learnt the importance of 'parenting' and how useful this technique can be. It makes movement so much easier! This is definitely something i am going to consider using for my final animation.

I also learnt a few other tricks. This one in the video below creates the illusion that a line is being drawn, which opens up a new way i could animate. Maybe the setting or characters could draw themselves?

I am looking forward to getting my hands on After Effects with my own imagery to create an amazing animation!

Monday, 11 April 2011


Here are my storyboards for my animation idea!
(Apologies for my terrible handwriting...)

Page 1

Page 2

Section 1

Section 2

Section 3 
Section 4

Section 5

Section 6

Section 7

Section 8
Looking forward to cracking on with this!

Cell Animation

The cell animation has been done now, and here are the developments and outcome!

Firstly, here are a few of the character developments i did. Really basic shapes and lines were necessary for this, as it was just for the tutorial i after effects i attended.

See someone familiar here?
I decided from these quick sketches to choose the simple ball character in the top right, as he was easy and simple to draw for this tester animation.
After choosing this, i developed him a little, as seen here:

After this, i teamed up with Jeffrey Lee (who's blog link can be accessed on the right!) to create a short flip-book animation with a combination of mine and his character.
Below i created 3 keyframes for the animation we decided to do;

Yes, my character did just bite the bum of Jeff's broccoli woman. Cheeky!
To create this animation we had to draw 36 cells, moving the characters ever so slightly each time. This should last for about 2 seconds in real time, which shows how much work is needed for longer animations!
After this was drawn out, it was put into after effects to create the movement in real time. And here it is:

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Animation Idea 2

Before my character starts drumming, i would like a short narrative which gives him a bit of personality and gets the audience engaged with him. Also, i have decided i don't want all the musical element to be pure drum solo, as this wouldn't explain why the guy is a response to 70's disco genre. So i will start my music from 3m14s, where the music is still heavily influenced by this. The drums kick in at 3m26s, so for the 12 seconds i have before he is busting out some beats, i like the idea that he is strutting down a street (like how i originally saw him in my head!). He will stop next to a music shop, and glare through the window in awe at a drum kit set up inside. We are then taken into a thought/dream bubble from the characters head where we see him mashing out the first section of this solo. Nice.

 Here are a few drawings i have done which illustrate parts of my idea.

Strutting, amazement and beat time!
I shall be creating my storyboard draft for this over the next day and will post it up tomorrow.