Thursday 30 June 2011

Maya Training - Lighting in Maya

Jason Welsh has made this useful introduction to 'lighting in Maya' video tutorial. Jason talks through the different types of lighting in Maya and how to use them affectively. Click the image above to go to 3D Total where you can download a free tutorial on understanding the basics of lighting in Maya.

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Arthurnal and Emanuel Interviews

Hello guys and gals,
This post brings you interviews from the winners of May's competition. This month, not only do you get to read the story and thoughts from animator Arthurnal, but we have invited composer Emanuel Parment to share some words too.

Before we start I wish to thank both Arthurnal and Emanual for your time. Its been a fascinating few weeks talking to you both.

And to the rest of you, its a long read. So grab a cuppa, a biscuit and of course a comfy cushion. Hope you all enjoy!

Arthurnal Interview
1.Tell us about some of your hobbies in your free time. I understand you are a musician?
I always watch animation movies or clips from many different websites such as 11 secondclub and I prefer to watch comedy clips because I'm funny guy. Believe it or not I can laugh all day!
If I have a free time I love to play both the piano and guitar. I also play the mouth organ. The piano I started playing about a year ago and I have played the the guitar for about 10 years. Those are my two favourite music instruments.

2.When did you first realise you wanted to become an animator?
Actually I graduated in Physics but I love animation so much. During my free time, I take every opportunity to practice animation further.
I realised I wanted to become an animator when I saw Veerapatra Jinanavin's work. It inspired me to become an animator also.
To view the first link I saw of his work, please click here

3.You work at The Monk Studios in Thailand, what is your country's animation community like there?
It's a growing community, with many young people wanting to become animators. Many are studying animation classes in university.

4.What is your typical day at the studio?
I prefer to animate action or comedy shots rather than acting shots.  My supervisor likes to assign the action shots to me.

I always learn from my work and co-workers. If I have free time I like to walk around the studios to relax and take a look at another person's work. Its give me many good perspectives because we can share ideas all the time.

5.What were your first thought's upon hearing Emmanuel's audio clip?
At first I fell in love with his sound, it's a good and beautiful melody.When I first heard his music I pictured someone running around to find something in the funny way.

A toilet idea come from my real life, I've experienced something like this. I believe the toilet story can make the people laugh easier becuase when you want to use a toilet everything in your life is a rush.

6.Tell us about your animation process.
At first I want to put a rough outline of the idea. I do it to find timing and ensuring that the story is what I want to do and that it flows with the music.When I have a simple polygon to animate, it's easy to fix and change everything.

These are the other stages my animation went through. Between the third Blocking and the Blocking Plus movie clips, a little of the stage is changed and Joe goes from just knocking on doors to also pulling the door, which I found helped to add more force. This is a change recommended by my mentor.

7.The style of the environment really adds to the story, creating a world the audience can believe in. It really is a beautiful render.What influenced the staging of Joe's story?
I would like to show something simple in this movie because it's an easy way to understand what action is happening.
Also the simple scene really pushes Joe's appeal.
8.Your animation has lots of really beautiful animation tricks. For instance on frame 52 the head pops off and on frame 367, Joe spouts a second pair of legs. When initially creating your story idea, was this something you wanted to include from an early stage?
 Yes, it was. However, I think that this is my first time to do animation in this style. When I started working on the piece, I didn't feel like the actions were really happening yet, so I found new inspiration by watching Tom and Jerry and Looney Tune movies. This really helped get that 2D cartoony classic style into my work.

9.Would you like to talk a little bit about some of those tricks?
On frame 52 the head pops off because Joe's head look like a ping-pong ball.When I finished animating that. I felt that it looked quite funny, so I added Joe's full body stretch.
On frame 367 or some frame similar you can see Joe has 4 legs. I imported a second version of the rig to my scene and then I offset the keys, hiding the whole body except the legs.

10.As Joe steps around the screen, he squashes and stretches through some beautifully-appealing arcs. Talk a bit about how you think about arcs in your animation.
I like to play with clear and beautiful arcs as a means to entertain the audience.
Inbetween frame 160-170 Joe steps with a big arc because I have so few frames to move Joe from the first door to the third door to fit the music. If I do not do it I would not have enough time make that action happen.

11.What are you most proud of in this shot?
I think I'm proud most of the first shot where Joe runs into the scene. Its cartoony style really stands out and sets the scene.

12.Talk about one or two parts of the e-Critique that enhanced/expanded on the ideas you had originally set out to animate.
Big thanks to Wayne Gilbert, I found his Critique really useful to me to improve my work. In particular, I found enjoyed his notes on storytelling

13.On the 11 second club forum, you note Veerapatra Jinanavin as your mentor. Please share with the community two pieces of advice he gave to you.
Veerapatra Jinanavin (or KEKO as everyone in Thailand knows him)
He is my inspiration. Currently, Veerapatra is one the best animator in Thailand. He has a good attitude and very friendly. He hopes to drive the animation industry of Thailand to step up to international level, so he shares everything he knows with people who are interested. He taught me everything about animation and showed me how to become a good animator.

The three big influences he had on this clip were
1. He helped me with the staging,
2. Including the camera movement to add make the shot look more dynamic
3. Helped me to make a bigger action on Joe in certain parts.

You can see Veerapatra Jinanavin's 2010 demoreel here

14. Do you have any advice of your own you would like to share with the community?
Animation is something we need to learn all the time. Try to do the best as you can.
Practice and learn from professional or from your own inspiration. The main thing you have is to remain optimistic and should have a positive attitude and then accept the opinions of others.
It is an easy way to help you become a good animator.

Emanuel Parment Interview
As many of you are of course aware, for May's audio clip, the 11 second team did something pretty special. They teamed up with Hooked in 60 Seconds , to create a collaboration between composer and animator. Emanuel Parment's was the winning composer. He joins us to share his thoughts.

Thank you for joining us Emanuel. First I would like to ask if you have a favourite animation film or series and why? 
I don’t think I have any favourite series. But I love all the Disney classics with Donald Duck. It has a lot of good music that really get the show going. They integrate the sound made by the character’s (like a bee) into the music. And it’s just awesome.

I do love Ice Age. The film is great, the music is good and the characters are fantastic. I love Sid!

Please tell us about your history in music so far
I think my history of music started when I was born. My father play’s the flute and is a composer of both classical and electro-acoustic music. At home my father always played the flute, and if he wasn’t, there were some classical music playing at the turntable.

When I was five years old. I started playing the violin. One year later. I played at the Concert Hall in Växjö, Sweden. When I was nine, I found the drums. I soon began playing almost everything you can call percussion. It came clear to me, that the xylophone was my thing. I continued with the xylophone and when I was fifteen, I bought my marimba.

At the age of sixteen, I began studying film and television at the local High School, and like everyone else, I wanted to become a director. I also had the option to study some music, which I did. During my second year I saw Gladiator, and I founded myself not looking at the movie, but listening to the music. And I said to myself; “Hey! This is awesome.” I got the CD with the Gladiator soundtrack, (compost by Hans Zimmer) and I listened to it day and night. I got more soundtracks, and one day when some random people asked me what I wanted to do. I said, without thinking; “I want to compose music for films!” Later that week I tried. I it was hard. But many days later, I finally had one song ready. Since I didn’t wrote the song to anything, so I simply called it “Unknown Soundtrack 1”. You can listen at my website.

In the past two years, I’ve studied Music-production and rock- pop ensemble at the Linnaeus University.

Today I’ve got seventeen songs called Unknown Soundtrack. You can listen to some of them at my website. I strongly recommend Unknown Soundtrack 5, 9, 11 and 15. Those are my favourites, but I have a lot of other music as well.

Are there any animation soundtracks you find particularly inspiring to your own practice?
I do really like the old Disney soundtrack. And also Looney Tunes. I love Looney Tunes. But I can’t say any specific soundtrack. I found my inspiration from everything I do. Everything I listens to, a thunderstorm, people walking on the street and the sound from everyone’s step makes a good rhytm.  

I have also found a lot of inspiration in Du Levande, a film made by the Swedish director Roy Andersson.

Upon receiving the competition details from 'Hooked in 60 Seconds', what were your early thoughts?
I actually thought it would be easy, “making cartoon-music can’t be that hard”. I was totally wrong. I worked 6 hours a day. I had a very good idea of how I wanted it to be. The hardest part was to get it on paper. Two hours before the deadline I realized; “This sounds awesome. If I work more I will destroy the magic”. I took a one-hour brake and listened to the song. From my point of view, it was brilliant. It sounded even better then what I thought one hour earlier.

The 11 second club competition celebrates upon having many individual interpretations of the same audio clip. What was your own interpretation?
I actually don't got a beginning. But I see a cowboy running from the right and after him there is a really angry horse chasing him over a dessert. The horse takes a bit from a cactus and blows some sharp spikes that hit's the cowboy in his butt.
In the end they come to a precipice. The cowboy jumps and grabs a rope that hangs from heaven (don't ask me why or how). The horse jumps after the man, but falls down. And last note in the music, the rope torn apart, and the cowboy follows his horse down into the depths.

Can you talk a bit through your choice of instrumentation
Yes! First of all I checked out a lot of cartoon music to find out what sort of instruments they were using. Almost everyone used piano, a standup-bass, trombones and of course, the xylophone. So I had to use these, otherwise it wouldn’t be cartoon. I chose the piano to play the melody and the main chords.
I start with the piano because it's very easy listening to and I can easy hear if something isn't right. It's also easy to record. When I get an idea I don't want to record a lots of tracks just to remember it. All I need is the melody (my right hand) and the chords (left hand). When I'm sure I won't forget the idea I can start working. And if I need, I can simply go back and listen to my first record. The piano sounds good, easy listening, and I can play it.

Next the standup-bass plays the bass (of course). I had to have a quick start because I only had 13 seconds of music. It had to begin and finish quickly. Everything must be interesting and no replays of anything. That’s why I added a flute to sometimes play the same thing as the xylophone, just to make it more interesting.

To get the real speed and get people to hear the rhythms I made. I let the snare drum play backbeat and sometimes follow the rhythms of the xylophone and the flute. I didn’t get the “chase”-feeling. I wanted something that made me think of a cowboy being chased by his own horse. So I chose to play picking chords in some kind of backbeat by a banjo and some violins the play straight up.

What did you think of 'Toilet Please', Arthurnal's winning entry for May's competition?
It’s brilliant. It’s a really good idea. The animation is beautiful and the story is amazing. This is not an animation. This is a short film. Watch it without the music and it’s still marvelous. Great timing and… I don’t know were to continue.

I understand you followed animators' progress on the main site. Other than 'Toilet Please', if you had to name one or two other works that stood out for you, which would they be?
I must say “The Bacteries”. Very funny, cute character’s, good timing. I love the part in the end, when the one playing the tuba falls died.

Character Design

(the Bacteries by animator roulik)

Lastly, what advice would you give to anyone writing music for animation?
Find out what kind of animation your writing for. Search for similar sounds and songs if you need some inspiration. Keep it simple and don’t work to much. Get a deadline, maybe fifteen days. When your reach your deadline. Go away from your music, maybe one or two days, listen to other kind of music, another genre. Then go back and listen to your song. Now you really know how it sounds.

If you got an idea but you can’t get it out of your head, go to the instrument you play, and record the melody. The melody is always simple to get out. The almost impossible part is the arrangement.

Listen to your record. Now grab your instrument and play along. You will find other – or new – ways to get your composing going.

Outdoor Lighting tutorial

Hello guys and gals,
Discussion on how to light a scene has been a hot topic for the main site, especially after seeing Dapoon's great 4th place entry for the AnimRigs competition

Sarath Thomas lit the scene, using Maya before compositing it in After Effects. He has now kindly offered to show the community how to light a scene just as beautifully. To view the tutorial, please click on the image.

Thank you Sarath

Character Design

Monday 27 June 2011

11 second tips: Eye movement

Hello guys and gals,
I am hoping to build a list of 11 valuable tips for animating the eyes. I must apologize that there are only five listed here so far. There are more to be added, this post is a wip and will be finished soon. I just felt it was important to something up as I have had a few people ask me.
Secondly, I wish to thank those who helped on the post. This is certainly a community effort, with links and thoughts being provided by many.

Hope you find these helpful 

Tip 1: Changing the pupil
In Disney's Illusion of Life, there is a great discussion about changing the size and shape of the pupil. The early development of Mickey Mouse illustrate how adding more detail, can provide more options. But in the case of Winnie the Pooh, the character designs were based upon dolls. The eyes, were returned to simple buttons, meaning the head had to turn for character to looking at something. This added to the characters appeal.
To view a wealth of model sheets on the new Winnie the Pooh movie , please visit Stitch Kingdom

In his autobiography "Talking Animals and Other People" Shamus Culhane talks about contracting the irises to pinpoints in expressions of fear.  This was based on actual physiological research and which was used it on the animation of the Fox in "Pinocchio." Just look at the contrast between the eyes of the fox and those of the coachman.

Always be aware of why you are making your choice. Illusion of Life also talks about how some symbols have became old, such as the knocked out look. In some stylised animation, this device could work great. Your character is an individual, so never be afraid to try new things and see what works for you.

Tip 2: Read Stop Staring by Jason Osipa
In his book Jason Osipa teaches you not only how to animate a face, but how to model and rig too. It is also a great place to learn lip sync.
Accompanying his book, is a cute and helpful rig called Cubey. Through Cubey, Jason introduces animators to his methods of controlling the brows, lids and pupils. He uses the brows as a last resort in creating an expression, as an icing on the cake, with much being communicated through lids and head tilts.
Recommended by many in the animation world, this truely is a great read!

Tip 3: visit Kevin Koch
Kevin Koch's site holds many treats and delights for animation students, both beginner and expereinced alike. One area of his site, holds 6 high level discussions on eye movement. A golden gem is his section on flavoured blinks, presenting a beautiful example from The 400 Blows. A great cure for Randomblinkitis :)

As well as discussing how to use blinks to add character, Kevin also creates a deep discussion into how to create a vanilla blink. Those who have tried a vanilla walk cycle should know that there is more to it than meets the eye (sorry about the pun). A few live footage quicktime clips are included, so we can study for ourselves how much goes into this little action.

Tip 4: Understanding the eyebrows
Struggling to understand put in practice expressive eyebrow movement. Carlos Bauna's page really helps build the connection between the two brows. Delightfully simple read, that will provide an 'eureka' moment to many.


Tip 5) What is Randomblinkitis?
Animation Mentor is the leading online school for character animation. They have released a free ebooks, a collection of tips and tricks to really help add some life into your characters. During the read, you'll learn about randomblinkitis, an alien disease that really sucks the life out of your characters. Is there a cure? Download the book, have a read and find out!

Mc 11 - Composition

A picture says a 1000 words. Imagine how many a well thought out animate scene can say? Well sadly a 1000 words isn't always the case. If we don't put enough thought and planning into an acting shot the only word we may leave the viewer with is, "huh?"

So this challenge is all about telling the story with only a few well thought out images, that hopefully will leave the viewer wanting to see the finished scene.

Just to get your creative juices flowing, and to set the bar ridiculously high, here is an example of what we are looking for using a great scene from Huncback, of the cardinals song hellfire.

 Notice the first image is a close up to show how much he is longing for what he is singing for. We can really only see his face and his hand gestures, as these really convey that emotion so well, and at this point its the only important thing we need to see.

Than it cuts to the fire, and we see the gypsy dancing in the fire and we only see her and we know this is what he is longing for.

Cuts back to the same shot as the first and we see how seeing her in the fire has angered him as he is fighting the emotions he has for her.

Next cut is a long shot and we see the fire place he has been looking back, and he needs to step away from it to help him fight the fire within him. We could keep going on how amazing each shot choice is for this scene, but eventually the fire surrounds him and turns into cloaked figures judging him and back to fire and he gives into his lust for her.

I'm sure we all have our favourite animated scenes. So why not revisit those, figure out why it is your favourite. Look at the camera shot they chose to use. Look at the first image of each cut. Notice how important each first image is after a cut. What I was taught back in school is the first image tells the story, the rest are just helping that first image out.

The Challenge
Take June's 11secondclub audio clip, and putting our own unique story to it. I want you to think of at least three different images that tell your story, and if you want try to add some well thought out camera cuts to enhance what you are trying to tell.

This is your chance to show an idea that you may not have had time to create. Or possibly show off some illustration skills if you usually work in 3d.

Now go download this months audio and have fun!

The work should be submitted as a jpeg, a4 size with 300dpi. It should presented in a similar template as shown in the Hunchback of Notre Dame example. Don't forget to show frame numbers.

Sunday 26 June 2011

A Clay Animation Tutorial

Hi, I'm Michael Parks and I've been asked to share what I know about stop motion and clay animation here at the 11-Second Club Blog.

Most of my career has gone towards CG animation, but my first five years out of collage were spent at a stop motion studio, Matthews Productions , where I worked on an assortment of shows for TV and video. I’ve noticed over the last few years that stop motion has been showing up with greater frequency in commercials and films, so I have picked up the practice once again once again to expand my skill base.

My goal has been to bring together the stop motion techniques I learned in those early days with the principles of animation that I have picked up from working at Pixar and other studios. The tutorial above, using a character from last short, is my first effort to share what I have learned in this process. It by no means covers everything, nor does it start with the beginning basics. It just jumps right in and explores a squash-and-stretch effect that can be done with clay.

So for those who would like to try out stop motion animation for the first time, I will soon cover step-by-step instructions on how to start shooting at minimal expense. Just as CG animation has become easier through accessible software and freeware rigs, stop motion has become easier with the use of digital cameras and inexpensive software. It can be a great way to make your animation skills stand out from the crowd.

Thursday 23 June 2011

Animation Insiders free e-book

Hello guys and gals,
Animation Insiders Workflow Edition, is a free ebook exploring many different animators method of production.

Delivered from such wonderful talents as Jason Ryan, Pablo Navarro and Victor Navone, it provides a wonderful insight into use of thumbnails, how to work through different passes from blocking to polished,  acting as well as many others.

Well worth checking out!

Monday 20 June 2011

Deja View

Hello guys and gals,
Andreas Deja, one of Disney's most famous animators, has created his very own blog, Deja View. Within a very short space of time, its looking a vast resource. Containing some amazing insight into his work as well as the original 9 Old Men, this is definately one to check out.

I also wish to present an interview he did with Cloneweb. Andreas discusses his work on the new Winnie the Pooh movie, but what I love best from it is his viewpoint on 3D animation. He talks of learning a 3D package, seeing how he could use it, yet firmly believes he can offer most as a 2D artist.

Coming from one of history's greatest animators, this is surely great news and long may this continue!

While visiting, please explore Cloneweb's website further. It contains some fab content, including an interview of one of Deja's former colleagues, Glen Keane.

Bodies in Motion photo reference

Hello guys and gals,
Inspired by the Eardweard Muybridge series of books on movement, Scott Eaton's website hosts a fab collection of photographs of models stepping through a series of action exercises.
Each could be used to build upon your artistic knowledge of anatomy, allowing you to see how the line of action changes through each step.

One method of using the site could be to grab yourself a timer, and spend 30 secs drawing each pose before moving onto the next.

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday 16 June 2011

Monday 13 June 2011

MC 10: hand and ball interaction

Hello guys,
I am personally fascinated by the movement of hands in animation. They can be used to create some wonderful assymetry in animation, and can be very expressive just by themselves. Here are three wonderful examples.

Let us also not forget The Thing out of adams family. Each example shows great character.

The challenge is present interaction between ball and hand, preferably to pick the ball up. This set up shows a guideline for presentation

Think about hand poses, break up those fingers to form some interesting silhouettes and think about what they can express. Does the hand creep up on the ball like a tiger and pounce? Does it wave like a magician? How light is the ball?

For those wishing an easier task, place the ball already in the hand and throw it off screen. Warning though, this challenge is hard but it believe could produce some great results.

Frame rate should be 24fps, and animation length should be about 100-125f.

Hope you guys can get involved and enjoy!

Sunday 12 June 2011

Setting up maya and creating hotkeys!

Character DesignKeith Glass aka fighting Panda has set produced some great tutorials hosted on his blog, Pandamation!

They include a short walkthrough showing how to set up maya to make it more convenient to produce animation. Two particular tips is how to set up hotkeys to quickly select controls, and how to produce non-deconstructive keys which help avoid messing up your splines.

Everyone will find their own way, but Pandamation certainly offers some quick and helpful tips which are well worth checking out. Thank you Keith!

Hope you guys, enjoy!!

Thursday 9 June 2011

Facial expression charts

Hello people,
Here's one for those struggling with facial expressions. Both resources are detailed and well put together. Hope you enjoy! Facial expressions
Joumana Medlej, has created a huge chart, detailing the key signs for different moods. Better still, they are nicely grouped, so if your expression doesn't quite say what you want it to, check the chart and it will provide great pointers for which areas to push and pull.
To view the chart, please click on the picture or to visit the website

Lackadaisy's 'Notes on Expressions'
Of a similar nature is this one for the feline lovers. Hosted on the Lackadaisy, Tracy Butler discusses in detail how to create expressions, presenting them in a beautiful illustrated chart of cartoon cats.
The cartoon strip is a goldmine, illustrating how choice of expressions can be dependant depending on the personality of the character.
To visit the Lackadaisy, please click on the pic. Thank you

Wednesday 8 June 2011

IBL For Animators

Lighting and rendering is a big topic of conversation over in the forums. Here's a great tutorial by Stephen Melagrano on how to set up some simple Image Based Lighting in Maya. Click the image to check it out!

Character Design


Tuesday 7 June 2011

Mini Challenges: How to Participate

Hello guys and gals,
It has been requested to make a post, explaining how to participate in the mini-challenges that will be featured as part of the blog. I hope to answer the most frequently asked questions, but if you have any more, please do not hesitate to ask.

What are the 11 second club mini-challenges?
The 11 second club monthly competition is one of the best character animation competitions in the world. With over a hundred entries every month, it celebrates the unique vision each different animator can bring when confronted with the same audio clip.

The mini-challenges are a series of exercises, less demanding than the main competition. The challenges are set to allow both beginner and the more experienced to push the task as far as they wish.

Already we have seen great diversity in the entries, with each participant being encouraged to add something of their own.

How long does each challenge last?
Most challenges will last for a fortnight, starting and finishing on a Monday.

Does the animation need to be in done in 3d? Can I enter using stop motion or 2d instead?
Absolutely. However you feel most comfortable animating your entry, then that's how you should approach it. All that's really required is that you are able to upload a quicktime movie of your work at the end of each challenge. The style and the medium is absolutely up to you!

Where can I find out about the current challenge?
The brief for each challenge will be featured both on the blog and the main 11 second site, found within the mini-challenge section.

Where can I receive critique and help upon making the animation?
During the challenge please post works in progress either within the mini-challenge section of the main site, or within the our group on facebook. The blog will only feature the finished entries at the end of each challenge.

What do I win?
Unlike the monthly animation competition, the mini-challenges are simply to practice and test your skills. There is no winner. However, as a token to those who participate, if you have an online portfolio, please provide the url together with your name and we will create a link to your work on the blog.

What framerate should I animate with?
We recommend using 24fps. Of course, any frame rate can be used as we request the work to be submitted as one whole quicktime file. However, when presented on the blog, the clips will be gathered together and viewed as compilation at 24fps.

What size should I make my submission
Similar to the 11 Second Club monthly competition, the submissions are all required to be 560 pixels in width by 316 pixels in height, or a compatible 16:9 aspect ratio, eg. 640x360 is a standard 16:9 aspect ratio.
The file should also be no bigger than 10mb in size. For a guide on encoding your file, please click here

How do I submit my animation for each challenge?
When you have completed your entry for the challenge, please upload your file in quicktime format to dropbox and post the link it provides either on the facebook site or within the mini-challenge section of the 11 second club site. If you are unfamiliar with dropbox please click here and follow the simple steps. Thank you

Monday 6 June 2011

Quality vs. Quantity

Jason Schleifer from Dreamworks has put together a great set of posts at his Blog that focuses on Quality vs. Quantity. It does a great job on breaking down the things to look for and how to get the most product out of your deadlines. It's is a five parter but worth every second of the read.

Animation Quality Vs. Quantity – The Great Debate! (Part 1)
Animation Quality Vs Quantity – Learning To Focus. (Part 2)
Animation Quality Vs. Quantity – What About Quality?! (Part 3)
Animation Quality Vs Quantity – Intent (Part 4)
Animation Quality Vs Quantity – Finding The Intent (Part 5)

Of particular interest could be how to breakdown a shot after receiving feedback. It may seem a bit disheartening when told that a shot needs improving. Sometimes its hard to know where to even begin to start, particularly when your own eyes no longer feel fresh??

Jason has provided a method of grouping your workload into two main areas acting and animation. A checklist has been provided which can really help to take a step back and look at different areas of your work. By going back and making sure you are happy how each of the areas add to your animation, it will quickly push and polish your work to the next level.


Sunday 5 June 2011

Posing and Body Language

Hey guys and gals,
Just looking through animation mentor students' reels for class 3 pantomime, you will see many strong examples of how posing and body language can be used to express character. Often, story be told from a single pose.

Samy Fecih, a character animator at Double Negative, has written a series for cg discussing posing and body language. I particular like the point raised about silhouettes, presenting a clip of Jim Carrey to show how to control where you want the audience to look. Another fine point is highlighting the work of contortionist Captain Frodo to show that even in real life, our bodies are more flexible than we first think.

Hope you enjoy!

Friday 3 June 2011

Mc 8: Jump onto a box

Hey guys and girls, this time around the participants took the challenge in two very different ways. Kiopaa and Merj Jrem tried the jump onto a polygon cube, while Benny Kan and Klaw tried a ninja leaping onto a platform.

Great Animation by all :)

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Thank you Luca Pisanu

Hey guys and gals,
Just a big shout out to say thank you to Luca Pisanu for designing our new header. It looks fab, love it!!

To view more of Luca's beautiful work please visit

Walk cycle tutorial - Using reference

Socks! They come in black, white, yellow, pink, blue, as well as green and purple. What colour are mine?? It doesn't matter, particularly to Matthew Finch who bet me 20 bucks his walkcycle tutorial was going to blow my socks off. Now I have to walk around in sandals!

Most importantly, here it finally is guys and gals. Firstly covering the lower part of the body, Matthew takes us through how to use reference to quickly produce a walkcycle with personality. Lots of details discussing not only how, but why. When asked about adding these little details, Matthew said 'never take anything for granted, not everyone will notice you skipped things but someone will'.

Those who wish to get the most out of this tutorial, we recommend taking both your own reference and these tips, and trying a new cycle

Just like to add a thank you to Matthew for creating it.

Now, have fun and enjoy!

Part one: Root up and down

Part two: Legs and feet

Part three: feet continued

Part four: Hips
Part five: the spine