Last two shots, the long shots, for The Legend of The First are finished! I had such a great time animating these shots! Whilst animating I realised I got very good shots too in which I got to really build Stewart's character, do pantomime to reveal his inner thoughts on top of all the body mechanic animations.
I'm going to keep this short, so here are the final version of the animation in these shots. The short film itself will have its premiere most likely on the 30th of May at Glammies after which I'll post up a like to it as well as to all the other animations that will be premiered in the award show.
It's Throwback Thursday - time to look at where it all started from!! I moved to Wales with just one suitcase and a backpack. It was September in the year 2011. I can't remember much of it to be honest, I was probably so scared and excited at the same time.
After settling in the accommodation it was time to start my studies and I felt like I was the only one in the class who hadn't had any experience with CG animation or art before. As a relief I realised soon I wasn't alone and there were quite a few people who had had no experience in Maya. It still makes me smile how I didn't even know what Maya was before I arrived in Wales even though I did some research before my arrival.
Anyway, here are the very VERY first CG animations I've ever done and oh god how it makes me cringe to show these! On the other hand, it's rather interesting to see how far I've managed to get since my first animation days at university. Our task was to animate simple shapes, a Pac-man and a ghost look-a-likes, to demonstrate our understanding of the software and animation principles.
Please try not to die in laughter - you see it's difficult to make something even turn when you have no clue what you're supposed to click. Hahah! And let me tell you the naming convention with these files as well... oh my apologies what? A naming convention, what's that? Oh and the very professional 497x334 image size with the aspect ratio of incalculable.
Recall the past, learn from it and stay tooned of course!
Only a couple of days ago I heard that the game Form Wars I was fortunate to be animator for had been nominated for best game category at the annual Ffresh Festival. As the team leaders Conor Moloney and Pavel Tsihhotski weren't able to come for the award show us, last years 2nd years, went to accept the award on Monday.
The ceremony itself was held at Cardiff's Cineworld and was probably the shortest award show I've ever been to. The 12 different categories were presented and the awards given out in hasty pace with no speeches. Also unfortunately they had no footage for the nominees in our category. For you though, I have a video of the game so enjoy!
Also some of the animations I did for the game can be seen more closely in my last year's showreel. I was fortunate enough to be teamed up with Pierre Laffoux aka Pierre Benjamin. He's an amazing CG artist and ZBrush wizard. Check out his work here at pierrebenjamin.com.
As always, stay tooned, play games and celebrate hard work!
"Don't quit. You're already in pain. You're already hurt. Get a reward from it."
As it's a bank holiday I thought what a perfect day to write a blog post... Well no, actually, a perfect day to get a lot for work out of the way before the week really starts. It's the final day of animation for The Legend of The First. I'm writing this now as I've finalised two of my four shots and I want to discuss the differences between short and long shots. The first two shots that are now finished belong to the short shot category - around 25 to 75 frames which is 1 - 3 seconds.
shot 005 breakdown
shot 005 final animation
When you're animating a short shot it's easy to add too much movement and 'events'. That is how I usually start: I will do all the keyposes and exaggerate them in a very early stage and then from that start polishing and taking unnecessary things out, making actions clearer and clearer until I think there's nothing else to change or a deadline demands me to stop.
Also it's a lot easier to improvise and do straight ahead animation with short shots because a small change will make a big difference in such a short time frame. The small amount of frames also gives you the feel of control and it's somehow easier to digest than a larger shot. Thus, I actually tend to break longer shots into 'acts' and animate them one by one focusing on maximum of 100 frames at a time. This creates the same feel as when animating shorter shots and makes me more confident in what I do. Anyways, I'll stop babbling now and here's the breakdown of the shot number 11 and also the final version. Enjoy and stay tooned!
So I've finally recovered from FMX and Derren Brown's Infamous and been working towards something very exciting which is also very hush-hush still - it's been great too weeks! For the last couple of days I've journeyed back to The Legend Of The First and it's going rather smoothly. I have, however, discovered a way to break the Stewart rig somehow - maybe it's just me as an animator trying to push the rig beyond it's limitations.
Here is a compilation of all the shots I'm animating for the project. The first two shots will be one after another but the last to shots won't be straight after the first two or after one another.
It's so exciting to see a collaboration project like this coming together bit by bit. I've seen other animators' shots and the animations are looking very good! I can't wait to see this short all done and rendered. For more about The Legend of The First pop to Graham's blog Between The Frames.
On the way back to the UK so it's time to recap the festival experience and list highlights and talks worth special mentions. The highlight of the whole festival was most definitely Blue Sky senior animator Chip Lotriezo's talk on Friday. He explained how he uses lines of action to refine his poses and create rhythm and flow to his animation. As examples he showed his shots in Rio and Rio 2 as well as his thumbnail drawings and video reference.
Another mentionable highlight was 'Facial Animation' by Chris Landreth. He guided us through all the main muscles in human face and explain how it actually takes only two muscles to frown as well as smile in contrary to the way in 'it only takes two muscles to smile and 17 to frown'. Through his final and very touching video example he showed us how subtlety in expression can create greater impact in the audience than exaggerated expressions. When we're very happy we tend to try to hide our smile and when we're not amused the smile that we flash is usually overly exaggerated.
The venue itself was very beautiful too and right in the centre of Stuttgart only a couple minutes walk away from the Koenig's Strasse. Thus we also had a chance to visit ITFS and attend some of the outdoor cinema screenings at Schlossplatz. Also it was a really great experience to get feedback on showreels, connect with new people and catch up with old friends. Over all a very positive experience which has motivated me to push myself even further and get really determined with my goals for the next few weeks and our major project. Stay tooned, row your own boat and read The Seven Secrets of Successful People. And while waiting for next year don't forget to check outFMX 2014 Streaming Sessions!See you next year Stuttgart!
Amazing short film called Bear by Pascal Floerks from Filmakademie kicked off Friday morning. The renders of the bear are absolutely incredible and the idea to do something like that is just genius! I tried to find stills from the film but wasn't able to so keep an eye out for it! I'm, sure at least a trailer of it will soon be released online and It's definitely something you don't want to miss.
Next up was The LEGO movie presentation by Damien Gray. What can I say - it was AWESOOOOMMEEEE! I had a chance to speak with Animal Logic's recruiting team on Wednesday and did feel rather proud when they were very positive and liked my animations, especially the giraffe! So yes, one only needs a word to describe these people - AWESOME!
Next up was Blue Sky Studios presentation Bringing Rhythm into Animation. Chip Lotierzo, a senior animator at Blue Sky, animated and choreographed this phenomenal dance for Rio 2 with all the birds - there
is over hundred of them all together and he said it was a great challenge but
something he really wanted to do as you always want to do something bigger a
and better than before. And he certainly does that by animating a bigger and
bolder dance with over one hundred birds compared to the just under twenty
birds in Rio 1. He shared his animation process and gave some tips on how to bring smoothness and rhythm to animation. I loved his presentation! The talk came to me as a slight surprise but it definitely became the best talk at the festival!
When Chip showed us the final version of the shot I was literally, no kidding, holding back tears and all shivers. The music and animation together are amazing! Here is the scene for you to enjoy too! Chip animated all the wide shots and the close-up shots with Blu and Jewel.
After an amazing day I attended a very interesting panel afternoon - 5D Institute's Industry Panel discussing pipelines, production, future of pipelines and anything in between. First two hours were slightly low beat but then the conversation really took off and and the last to panel sessions were great! It was awesome to see so many industry professionals together discussing so important intriguing topics.
After a last wonder around the city centre of Stuttgart we are now headed back to the united island and more specifically the land of the dragon. In the next post I'll sum up the whole week and discuss some of the highlights etc.