Saturday 30 April 2011


One of the great secrets to good animation is planning, planning and more planning. One thing that definately helps is having a great storyboard to work from.
Storyboard Secrets is a great place to explore and learn to make good informal decisions. Set out in a fun and easy to follow way, it takes you through topics such as how to plan your establishing shot, how use the camera and plan a good pan, when to cut and much much more.

Friday 29 April 2011

Mc week 1 : obstacle course

The one that started it all. The obstacle course

mini challenge week 1 obstacle course from mini-challenges on Vimeo.

Names and links to follow shortly

Robin Hood walk cycle's

Though its title of 'Whistle-Stop', may not be too familiar, the opening tune of Disney's Robin Hood is instantly recognisable and been loved for many generations. To animators, it provides a great compilation of walk cycles to study and learn from. With walk cycle's being the theme for next week's challenge, today's post highlight's these fine examples.
Those in the opening title and those throughout the film, have been editted together on Flooby Noob's blog, please check them out by clicking here

The challenge starts on Monday, criteria to be announced shortly. Please feel welcome to get involved!

Monday 25 April 2011

Camera movement

Although often advised to keep fixed shot positions when beginning your animation education, learning about camera movement in film can add another weapon to your arsenal of tricks when applying texture to your shot.

A recent post on the 11 second club site spoke about the use of a virtual dolly to aid realism to your shot. In virtual space, we have near limitless freedom when positioning the camera. The virtual dolly could be used as an aid to force the animator to think about why a camera is should be located in a particular spot.

Of such usage, Keith Lango wrote 'I've been at studios that have built and used such a rig. I've made a few myself. Nothing says fake like the floaty, weightless camera work of an unconstrained camera in CG. A rig like this forces you to shoot a scene like it's on a real film set. If I have a shot that requires any kind of flying camera or crane shot I often use a rig like this'

Jais Bredsted presents an interesting choice of camera positioning for his class 4 Animation mentor work, replicating what would be a webcam.

Class 4, week 5 from jais bredsted on Vimeo.

Vimeo Video school
To understand the rules of a composition in animation, it is best to study how camera footage is used outside the animation areana. Vimeo video school has many online tutorials, which are certainly worth checking out. They range from explaining appropriate use of editting, to fancy camera tricks

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Animation Resource Centre

Hello guys and gals,
We would like to introduce you to the Animation Resource Centre.
'The Animation Resource Centre is a site set up to help you navigate all of the great resources for studying animators on the net. We link to over 70 different web sites and blogs and all of the information is conveniently organised to make learning easier.'

Loads of great stuff, advice on facial animation, walk cycles, animation basics, background layout and much much more. A delight for both student and professional alike.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Week 5 Squash and Stretch

Week 5, squash and stretch using flour sack from mini-challenges on Vimeo.

Above are the highlights of the Week 5 Challenge, Squash and Stretch using the flour sack rig. They are created by Abhi Kalra and Somnath Nabajja.

This week's challenge is principle number two 'Anticipation', which is to prepare the audience for an act. The challenge is to animate a take. Have a go and submit to our dropbox account!

Good luck and happy animating!

Monday 18 April 2011


With the anticipation being next week's challenge, Abhi Kalra highlighted Lucas Martell's tutorial on anticipation both mentally and physically. Before a character acts he thinks. The advice to animate the facial expression a few frames in advance, that the eyes move first should be of particular interest

Also check out Lucas Martell's other tutorials. The one about the lighing of the eye is pretty snazzy!

To watch Pigeon Impossible, please click here

Monday 11 April 2011

Drawing for classical animation- Doug Compton

Doug's guide in how to draw for classical animation, takes you through page by page, developing your drawing skills from groundfloor up. The setup of this website is admirable. At first it appears out of date, showing one page at a time, a bit of a painful process. But that's the beauty of it. It encourages you to take your time, take the info in. Very quickly you'll find your bouncing balls, turning into bouncing cubes, into flour sacks, into a full body. Beautifully crafted and user-friendly, hope you enjoy

Line of Action and good posing

I have noticed Ron Doucet's discussion on line's of action floating around the net and thought be great to introduce it to the blog. Taking examples from Disney's 'Mickey's Christmas Carol', he presents many great examples of how line of action is used in character performance.
I love how he also presents the notion of negative spacing within a pose.

p.s. either I'm dreaming, or I've seen a tutorial on Line of Action done by one of the animators on the film. If anyone spots it, please give me a shout)

Keith Lango Tutorial
I believe Keith's set of tutorials are fab. He makes things simple, clear and easy to understand. Here, Keith explains how the 'the best poses are those that have energy in them'. Even once you've found your pose, watching the video you'll find how to push it, twist it, add torque and get more interest out of it.
The tutorials can be found on Keith's youtube page. Please click on the two separate links

Tutorial- Creating Good Poses (part 1 of 2)
Tutorial- More On Creating Good Poses (part 1 of 2)

Saturday 9 April 2011

Life drawing tool

Posemaniacs offers a fantastic resource where artists can practice their life drawing skills outside of the classroom. Made with the artists needs in mind, the site offers the freedom to view a pose in any angle, showcases how the muscles work together to create each pose, plus there is a great section on just the hands.
To replicate the conditions of a life drawing class, it also offers a time restrictions such as the 30 sec poses to practice quick gesturally movements.

Friday 8 April 2011

Mary Blair concept art

Not strictly a tutorial on animation, but this website can be used as a great resource for adding colour and appeal to your animation. It explores the many wonders of Mary Blair, concept artist for many of Disney's best loved films.
The sheer volume of this site makes it every bit more delightful. Hope you enjoy!

To view the blog of Mary's work, please click here

Bio-motion Lab's Walk Cycle Gadget

Biomotion Lab's great little tool developed by Stephen Scovil, is a user-friendly observation gadget to see how sex and personality affects a walk cycle.

Wednesday 6 April 2011

In reference to my last post, I believe the winning entry of June 2010 clearly shows off how different tempos of character can sell a performance. Combining a crazy, nervous, vulnerable character, with a still, calm confident, powerful leader.

Acting reference

How do you get inside your characters, make them feel, breathe and come alive, in a performance that is both natural and appealing?

I wish to discuss in this post how to add in that layer of performance, when the character has limited body movement.

To start with I wish to point to Eric Scheur's fantastic resource in 11 Second Club's helpful hints. Together with Chris Murray, he explores how to break down the dialogue itself, hunting for what the character is thinking between each line. Grab a pen and paper. Ask yourself about the character, create a backstory.

Next he leads you to the idea of 'Leaking'. In nervous, crazy or excitable characters, lots of movements can be appropriate. Look at Hammy from Dreamwork's 'Over the Hedge'. The little guy just doesn't know how to sit still.

Howeever a confident character, if he is completely comfortable, can be portrayed completely still. Even movement of your little finger can break a performance.

I now wish to present Michael Douglas's performance on the site Fourteen Actors Acting, produced by the New York Times.
Look at his hand movement. Calm, considered. The movements are an indication however of his thought, yet you can tell he is a man of strength and power.

Please check the site out, it has some other fantastic performances. Analyse the differences, why the actor/actress has made that decision. Check out the contrast between Michael Douglas and Javier Bardem's performance.

A lot of the performance can be produced just by the movment of the eyelids. Watch this performance from The Departed. Dicaprio's character is lying for his life. He needs to choose his words carefully. While his body language remains still and confident, you can see the thinking just through the character's eyes.

Acting Reference #40 from Kyle on Vimeo.
!!Warning, the clip contains profanity!!

The animator who brought this clip to my attention is Kyle Kenworthy, whose blog contains other great performances which you can learn from. I particularly like the Forest Gump clip.

Hope this has been of some use :)

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Stepped to Splined tutorial

Tonight I read a thread on the main 11 second club site, which asked about transferring from 2d to 3d. Its a big scary jump and learning the right process can be tricky.

Doron Meir created a five part tutorial explaining how to go from 'stepped' to 'splined', explaining each stage along the way and how to solve many common problems that often crop up.

To view Doron Meir's portfolio, please click here



Saturday 2 April 2011

Keith Lango solves gimbal

Tonight's post hopes to solve some of those gimbal problems

This may not solve every problem, but to those who loved the pendulum tutorials, explaining how to produce overlap and follow-through in your animations, Keith Lango is your man. A fantastic teacher and animator, whose gift is making those really hard problems seem so simple. Thank you Keith!

Friday 1 April 2011

Fantastic blog and splining tutorial

Hello again people,
I'm not sure who posted a link on here tonight, but it led me to a wonderful blog by Victor Navone. Well worth a read!

During one entry about natural choice of acting (entry date feb 6 2011), it details a shot from Finding Nemo. Fin-tastic, beautiful work and a great lesson about using appropriate choices that relate to our characters. When animating the flour sack and the lamp, this method of thinking certainly opens your mind!

Meanwhile on his tutorial page, there is a indepth tutorial on splining and use of the line graph. Certainly going to help with a lot of the challenge's

Splinophilia Part 1

Splinophilia Part 2

(please on each title to view tutorial)