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Scarecrow model packet

Posted on November 29, 2011 
Filed Under Character design, Drawings, Education, Painting, Portfolio | 5 Comments

Today we had one more amazing Animation Collaborative Character Design class.

This time, Albert and Chris brought Jason Deamer to give us a talk on Model Packeting. According to Al and Chris, Jason is the best artist for that kind of work at Pixar. Jason shared with us some of his Model sheets from Finding Nemo and we also saw some more from Up and the character Muntz in particular.

Here was the assignment I turned.

This is a rough “model packet” for one of the characters from my take on the “Wizard of Oz”. A “Wizard of Oz” that would take place in Siberia.

A model packet is a document that gets handed to the 3d modelers so they can take a design and turn it into a full 3d model. It can range from 5 to 18 pages depending on the complexity of the character or how much direction the modelers need.

There is nothing too complicated for that one but that was still pretty challenging. It is still very rough for the time being, I will post a cleaned up version very soon. Right now the arms and nose are not detailed enough for the modelers to do their job. The eyes also need to be worked out as they wouldn’t communicate eye direction. I will probably go for cartoony eyes like the last drawing.

I hope you like it!

Related posts:
Snowman walk

“This is what you need” v541

Posted on November 28, 2011 
Filed Under Animation | Leave a Comment

This is where I am as of tonight, I refined some areas, constraints and other fun business are still untouched for now. Four days left before the next crit. I just added a background for some people so they can understand the story a bit better, hopefully ;-)

Eye darts – video reference

Posted on November 27, 2011 
Filed Under Acting, Animation, Education | Leave a Comment

I was watching a documentary on the Sherman brothers and found that really good eye dart video reference with two actors only few inches away from each others. It is striking how much the actress’s eyes move around when she is looking successively at the left and right eyes then at the mouth. Also pay attention to the timing of the darts, it is between one and two frames and the eye lid seems to be delayed by one frame at time.

Related posts:
Kids take – video reference
Take – video reference

“This is what you need” v.460

Posted on November 25, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Education | Leave a Comment

After Aaron Hartline ripped my shot last week I wasn’t too sure what to think anymore. It is very refreshing to hear someone showing you a very different perspective on your shot but it can also be a traumatizing experience if it is summed up by “you have some nice motion here but the story makes no sense“. Aaron suggested that I would change the story entirely as Palapatine “doesn’t have that voice” and Anakin “is blond and not a delivery boy“.

I guess it is like contemporary art, some people are more receptive than others. Some people prefer Picasso’s more figurative paintings when others prefer his cubist period. Some people prefer Jim Carrey’s humour to Larry David’s, I guess it is a question of taste.

Victor Navone didn’t have a problem with it so I will keep pushing and finish the shot with the original idea. Once I have the cloth simulation and the rest of the environment, it should make more sense for the wider audience.

So, here is where I am. A mess! ;-) The rig I am using (very old but really fast Bishop rig) doesn’t have FK/IK Snap or any fancy IK hands space switching so I am supposed to set up a lot of constraints and I am not to willing to go into that Victor is completely happy with the body animation. I was hoping to finish that shot WAY earlier than that but with only one review per week, changes can impact the completion of the shots in a dramatic manner and this is without counting the changes that were finally reverted to the original blocking and video reference and I have had several like this. Lesson learnt, show your video reference at every review! I am actually thinking of putting my video ref on a Nurbs plane actually. This way we can compare immediately the two instead of having to switch all the time which is not very easy with the shot review software we are using at AnimC.

Here is what I have today, it is not really at a presentable state but since I haven’t posted anything for the past 4 or 5 weeks, I felt it was necessary to finally post something. I am not going to pretend I have a feature animation workflow completely nailed, especially with that kind of rig. Also, let’s remember that this is a 17 seconds sequence with one long full body shot, two characters interacting and plenty of constraints. A lot of fun ;-)

As you will notice, I have also done a lip sync pass as it is pretty unlikely Victor will ask for dramatic changes and it makes the shot a bit more presentable. Also… I love lip sync and close ups.

I am posting a Youtube version as it was quicker than Vimeo Vimeo version posted but the sound seems to be slightly offset despite uploading a huge uncompressed version.

Related posts:
This is what you need video ref 02 and blocking
“This is what you need”, planning
“This is what you need’, gathering references
Lip sync observations

Kaeloo. Let’s play Scaredy Cat

Posted on November 21, 2011 
Filed Under Animation | 2 Comments

I am currently in L.A. attending the incredible CTN Convention and it is a blast! I would recommend everyone to attend next year as it is a crazy event for people interested in Animated Features.

I got to meet and talk to so many exceptional people for the past two days. Among them was a great workshop with Corpse Bride character designer Carlos Grangel and tomorrow an other workshop with Sergio Pablos. I will probably write a full report in the next few weeks with pictures.

In the meantime, nothing to do with CTN but it is always a good time to post some French wacky animation. Check out that crazy episode from Cube creative/Blue spirit’s Kaeloo.

Related posts:

Robert Craig Lighting artist

Posted on November 17, 2011 
Filed Under EA, Friends | 3 Comments

Strange I never talked about my ex coworker Robert Craig before. Bob is a Scottish 3d generalist with a great eye for lighting and rendering. I have worked with Bob on several projects at EA, amongst them was Spare Parts and he also rendered some of the marketing videos I animated.

Bob did a lot of great work on the Harry Potter game series, with all the constraints it entails, and I love his personal work as it immediately reminds me of what is being done in Feature Animation and especially at a studio in Emeryville.

His work has a very painterly feel and shows a great passion for light, no wonder he also loves oil painting.

Have a look at his CG Society profile page to see his latest work in high resolution and also his Vimeo channel for a breakdown of some of the shots (his game work is included as well).

With the closure of EA Brighlight in the UK, I think someone should quickly grab him while he is still, kind of, available!

Robert Craig CG Society profile

Related posts:
Lights and colours
Francesco Girloldini, lighting tutorials
Eduardo Martin Julve showreel

Pixar “Brave” November trailer

Posted on November 16, 2011 
Filed Under Animation | Leave a Comment

As announced few days ago, a new trailer just came out. That one is not a teaser but a proper trailer for Pixar forthcoming feature “Brave”. The movie, directed by “The Incredibles” Story supervisor and “One Man’s band” director, Mark Andrews, is set to be released June 22th 2012 in the US and around August in the UK.

It is good to finally see those character designs in motion. The three Lords have so much character, it is great! We still haven’t seen the Wise woman though, I can’t wait!

The accent is a bit strange I am finding, some of the characters seem more Irish I feel. Oh well.

If you want to see some high resolution pictures, check out my latest “Brave” post below.

Pixar “Brave” new pictures before trailer release

Related posts:
Low polygon modeling
Pixar “Brave” D23 concept art part 2
Pixar “Brave” D23 concept art part 1
“Brave” Concept art and teaser

Pixar “Brave” new pictures before trailer release

Posted on November 14, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Character design | 1 Comment

A new “Brave” trailer should be hitting the theatres and our computer screens tomorrow. In the meantime, here is a series of shots from the movie.

Hit the following links for higher resolution pictures:

via Empire online
Via Bleeding cool

On a side note, I wasn’t too far off with my modeling and the hair on Lord Macintosh is looking really fun.

Related posts:
Low polygon modeling
Pixar “Brave” D23 concept art part 2
Pixar “Brave” D23 concept art part 1
“Brave” Concept art and teaser

Kids take – video reference

Posted on November 6, 2011 
Filed Under Acting, Education, Reference | 2 Comments

Browsing Youtube is usually the best way to waste your time and kill your productivity but once in a while some great references emerge.

Check out that collection of Kids reactions when they ear their parents ate all their Halloween candies. It is hilarious and a precious reference to animate similar shots.

Related post:
Take – video reference

Aaron Hartline Chiustream

Posted on November 4, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Education | 2 Comments

I mentioned that great interview with Pixar animator Aaron Hartline a while back but loads of people seem to have missed it.

Make sure you watch it this time as it is really good.

Aaron was a Blue Sky senior animator until he finally made his dream true after years of effort and attempts despite many hurdles. A great lesson on persistence.

You might as well be interested in watching the following interview I just found:

Pencil Kings recently spoke with Art Directors, Animation Supervisors, Layout Designers, etc. from the most notable studios in the world. Pixar, Walt Disney, Sony Imageworks and Blue Sky Studios were all represented and some of their top artists provide insight and share their story on what it took to reach the top of their profession.

Aaron is currently a tutor at Animation Collaborative.

Related post:
CTN Animators tool of the trade
Aaron Hartline “Vlad”
Dice Tsutsumi on the Chiustream

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