Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pencil Test Blog - the goodness!!!

This right here is an incredible blog dedicated to animation pencil tests!! Its a real treat getting to see the raw drawings of some of the most celebrated animation in history - its like looking into the mind of the animator. Enjoy!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

That Rigging Malarky

Yup its true, I have a weird taste for rigging – while im not particularly advanced I enjoy building virtual machines which come to be the characters we animate. I’m insanely against bloated and slow rigs and believe that a good rig should be expressive, relatively fast in realtime, and simple to animate.

Here is a little test video of my latest facial rig, this is by no means anything fancy. There are no expressions, no fancy node set-ups… this is simply the combination of joints and blendshapes connected through set-driven-keys. The real challenge has been trying to make the deformation as appealing as possible when posing. More testing needed, body rig to come…

I’d also like to thank Andy Thomas, Josh Burton and Dan Harris for their advice and encouragement along the way – thank you guys!!

click me

Back to the madness.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gobelin Animation

Damn, I love these guys – what they produce is just outstanding. The simplicity in character design, yet it has such beautiful movement. A lesson to us all - keeping it simple at every layer of development, and bringing these layers together helps to reach a true sense of depth and dimension.


Superb Rig by Josh Burton

If you’re like me, don’t have much of a life, strange looking and find yourself back on maya animating evenings and weekends – but unable to find a decent free rig, so you try making your own, only to break down in a fit of frustration – crying and screaming and then you accidently run over your neighbour’s cat because your too distressed at the thought of reskinning for the billionth time because maya’s tools are poo?!?! Well look no more… this is an incredible free rig! Especially great if you’re learning animation and need a decent rig to cut your teeth on (or like to learn rigging and enjoy looking what’s under the hood). Plus check out the site for other hidden gems such as Josh’s development on the rig, how he has approached and solved problems and various useful scripts.

If you do happen to use this to some degree, and able to spare a few pennies then please drop a small donation via the link, the time invested in a rig of this quality is enormous. Thank you Mr Josh!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Express yourself !!

Sometimes its easy to forget that animation, much like many other art is expression... its ideas...and most of all its opinion. When planning an animation, either to dialog or a mime, we are fundamentally making a statement about how we perceive and understand (creatively) the driving force of the scene and its characters. Its a little like writing a visual diary. Of course, its important not to go off willy-nilly expressing anything and everything… we need to be selective, and faithful to the scene / movie /story / character, but if there is ever a moment when you are given the opportunity to freely express what you feel – grab it! This is why many artists tend to have personal projects on the go - never underestimate the importance and fun of exploring your own ideas and opinions. Recognise that your artistic path does not have to be the same as everyone else’s. This can help us to develop our own personal style and flavour, and make our work unique. So if you have a good idea, or an interesting opinion.... say it loud and animate it proud – because who knows, it may be the next best thing.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Finished: Shower Power

Well i guess i really should post this up on my blog by now. This is the completed version of my short movie Shower Power. I must thank the guys for all the wonderful responses ive had so far and i was even lucky enough to be feature on Bobby Becks blog. Its usually pretty tough squeezing these projects into our personal life but i found if you pick something that truely gets the animation jazz playing in your own mind – its a little easier to see it through to the end. Enjoy!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Whats to Come for 2010...

Greetings and Happy New Year to you ;) How to go into the new year with a bang? Rendering and fighting maya I tell you! I’m sure there is a better way but if your like me, strange, weird and a sucker for the keyframes then this picture below may give you some idea of where ive been for most of the holiday. It’s a little silly I know, but heck – its just animation ;)

Still some development to come, animation fixes, sound design, water effects… all that madness.