Friday, 26 October 2012

Animation Pour Ida

Oh dear, oh dear, it’s been far too long since I updated all of my millions of readers about what the crack is!
So, I’ve graduated (whoop whoop), and with a grade to be proud of and a diploma in hand I set of to conquer the world! Of course, conquering the world is easier said than done, and I am currently held captive at 69 degrees north in a town called Tromsø.

I’ve been here for 4 months now, and I am getting restless. Tromsø isn’t really a Mecca for 2D animators, so jobs aren’t being thrown at my feet for every step I take.
The goal (for now) is to make my way down to Oslo, and conquer the world from there.

After Uni ended, my passion for animating has sparkled up once more and I’ve been practicing animating. To keep my skills fresh, and to get better, I have a little ‘project’ called Animation Pour Ida, where Ida gives me new scenarios to animate every week. I find this  to be very helpful, as she get’s very disappointed if I don’t keep to the deadlines, it pushes me to finish in time, and not slack of and think ‘I’ll finish it later’.
I haven’t got so much done so far. I did a flower to start with, but since Adobe Flash can be a bit of a pain, the file got corrupted and I lost all will to finish.

The second one was a bouncing teddy bear (apologies for the bad quality) 

And  the last, was Fishy. A little goldfish trapped in a fishbowl with nothing to entertain him but himself. Ida liked the design of him so much, so for now I’m going to focus my animating on him, and do whatever scenarios Ida sets up for him.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Highlights of The Dark Descent

It is now the 2nd of May, and yes May is such a lovely month, however, as we travel into this lovely ‘summer’ month we approach the deadline for our final major project rapidly. There is still a lot to be done before we can declare The Dark Descent complete, yet we are hopeful that it can be done in time!

As I have said earlier, I am head of colouring, and it is with joy and relief to say that the colouring department have now expanded. Earlier, I have been doing the grey/purple block colours for the old man, but now Emily and Darrien are onboard, and Emily has more or less taken over the role as the block colourer (and she is doing a great job I must add).

I on the other hand have finally moved on to the part I’ve been looking forward to the last few months: HIGHLIGHTING!
I love being in charge of the colouring. I find it relaxing and almost therapeutic when I work my way through the empty frames one by one, and there are few things as satisfying in the world of animation as to seeing the empty frames being filled with colours and brought even more to life.
And as fun block colouring is…It gets a bit repetitive over time. Highlighting is like a breath of fresh air now. Doing the highlights is so much more fun because you are not only following the lines given to you, but you get to use that blob behind your eyes to decide where the highlights go and how they will follow in the next frame to come.
So now my face has gone from this (^_^) when colouring to this:

Darrien, Luke (2nd year) and Elliot (2nd year) will be helping me with the highlights for the old man. The original plan was that I would handle them myself, but after going over the shot list, timing my work, and discussing with Tom and Miguel we’ve realized that help is needed if we are to have a chance at finishing them all in time.

The highlights for scene 3 are almost complete (just a few simple shots left) and I’ve set the boys to help me out with scene 5, as scene 5 is my favourite scene in the film (it’s just awesome and pretty) I don’t want the highlights to be rushed because we’re running out of time.
I’ve put together a little teaser of some of the completed highlighted shots so you can see the wonders a bit of light can do to an old plain gray man.

Friday, 23 March 2012

The Dark Decent

The dissertation is finally handed in and the easter brake is here! That does not mean a break for team Decent though. The dream team (Me, Mig and Tom) are staying here for easter to work on the project, and even though I haven't updated the blog in a while, a lot has been done on The Dark Decent since the last update.
As I mentioned earlier I am responsible for the colouring, so what I've been doing is colouring in the shots given to me by Thomas and Miguel.
We've decided to do the colouring in two steps; first I colour in the main block colours, which for the old man is the greys, then when they're done I move on to the lighting.

Here you can see a screenshot of the workspace. We're using TVP for the colouring (Adobe Flash for the animating). We made a colour palette for the greys, which makes working more effective, as the brushes and colour are just a click away. The greys are coloured on a separate layer than the actual animation is, and by doing this we don't have to render the animation out without the white background. By choosing the blending mode in the layer which contains the lines, one can merge the colours and the lines together, but still be able to add a background behind it without the white.
Below you can see some of the grey-coloured blocks (we have put it all together but I don't have the file on me):

Thursday, 26 January 2012

I Love You Maya

I got up at stupid o'clock this morning, ready to crack on to what I thought would be a very productive day!
So, I sit down with a cup of tea, and start up my computer - Today, texturing is on the menu!
I load up the flower scene I'm going to work on in Maya, and the UVs in Photoshop. All good so far... I've done about two of the flowers attached to the plant when I decide that yeah, I should check out what this looks like when rendered... Nothing happens. Awesome! Nothing works, and nor my helpful course mate or Autodesks help forum has anything that is working... And to put the cherry on top - now Photoshop wont let me re-save the Uvs I'm working on, and Maya wont reload the textures.

As I have little patience when it comes to technology failing on me, and even less patience for failing technology without any solution on how to fix the problem, I got angry.
So after punching the wall and trying and failing several times, I figured it was better to get my frustration out via Photoshop.

I would like to dedicate this drawing to Autodesk Maya, and the amount of times it has driven me to madness.

Faen ta deg

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

To the millions of readers out there...

I just want to apologise for the extreme lack of 'blog-updating'!
I have been drowning myself in dissertation work, and neglecting my blog for far to long now.

Right, so what have I been doing other than working on my dissertation?
For the third year, I am currently working on three projects; Kernel, The Dark Decent, and Hole. Kernel is the only CG short film that made it through this year, so I thought 'better get in on that!' and The Dark Decent and Hole are both 2D animated shorts.

So, for Kernel I've been doing some concept art for the desk area, and for the dome. Here you have the concept art for the desk. (I can't find the one for the dome so stay tuned for that one)

And now as the project moves on I am working as a texture painter. Currently freshening up those old texture skills.
Look at this amazing suitcase, which has been unwrapped amazingly. YEAH!

For Hole, I am working as a line cleaner, so on that front not much has been done. I have just been practicing in specialising on Sian's style, so that when the linecleaning kicks off, it will be easier and faster to do the work needed.

For The Dark Decent, I am... responsible of all the colouring! Everything from backgrounds, filling in colour to the characters and so on is what I'm doing.
Did some style tests of the old man and the dog: