Mittwoch, 15. Dezember 2010

Class 1 - Week 12 - My Progress Reel

The last assignment is done. I uploaded my progress reel and on Friday the class 1 term will be officially over.
I'm looking forward to see the reels of my classmates and of the other AM students. I think this will be great source of inspiration :)
If you want to see my reel as a quicktime file just click here.

Dienstag, 14. Dezember 2010

Class 1 - Week 11

So this is the last animation assignment in class 1. Its the polished version of my personality walk and the balance Stu-pose.
This week started kind of strange. I got my critique and tweaked my animation a little bit and than, I was nearly done for this week. The last assignment is to put all animations into one reel.
I render a few animation and the poses I made during the last weekend. So for now, I'm considering to put some music in my reel. I read a lot that this is not such a great idea because you can't pic music witch everyone will like. Now I'm gonna with a kind of drum-solo, maybe I'll find something else.
Earlier this day I talked with a classmate of mine and we both agree that its kind of strange starting a week without planning an animation or give it some thoughts. Next week AM will be closed and than a 2 week break benign. I'm planning to read some animation related books during the break and work more on my drawing and planning skills. In addition to that I'll try to animate one or two walks too. But as it is witch planning things for breaks, we only have two weeks and they will pass so quickly.
Later this week I will upload my progress reel for class one and hope you stay tuned for my class 2 animation. I'm so looking forward to get myself in more animation assignments and hope I can learn tons of things next class.
That’s it for now, and here is my work

Freitag, 10. Dezember 2010

Class 1 - Week 10

Time is flying by so fast, week 11 is almost over. Right now I'm working on my last big assignment for class 1. Bringing the personality walk into spline mode and getting the last Stu pose done. This week the Stu pose was about balance. I must say that I am quite happy  that this is the last pose for this class. It was not always so easy to came up with something that hadn't been done before, if this is possible at all.
So next week we have to put everything we made over the last 3 month into one quick time file and our first progress reel is done :)
For this I try to tweak all my animations again and add a few frames here and there to get everything nice and smooth.
For last week We had to come up with a Stu pose witch communicates exhaustion.
Also we had to get the blocking done for our personality walk.
Hopefully you have fun with this and stay tuned for the progress reel :)


Samstag, 4. Dezember 2010

Class 1 - Week 9

The last few days were very busy. I moved on Sunday so had a lot of packing to do and of course unpacking.
The assignment was to convert the blocking of the vanilla walk into spline mode. Besides that we had to do a new pose witch communicates "concerned". It wasn't so easy to come up with something that isn't so cliche. Without any facial expressions its tough to tell that one.
Hopefully you like the work. This week we have to animate a personality walk witch is awesome. Its really cool to see what people come up with and even if like ten people make a sneak walk its ten times a total different walk. I decided to make a kind of double bounce walk with a bit of jumping in it. So stay tuned for next week, than you guys gonna see the blocking stage.

Mittwoch, 24. November 2010

Class 1 - Week 8

The last week was all about vanilla walks. The assignment was to animate Ballie in stepped mode. We had to animate a walk cycle without any personality.
In addition to that we had to come up with a physical strength pose with our Stu-character.
Luckily I hadn't have to change much on the pose and the blocking so I went straight over to the new assignment. This week we have to finish our walk cycle and do a concerned pose with Stu.
Ok than, here are the last week assignments and the revision of the tailor assignment

Dienstag, 16. November 2010

Class 1 - Week 7

Lat week we had to animate Tailor. Its a ball with a tail like a squirrel. I knew that this assignment was gonna be tough but I didn't thought it would become so difficult. I started animating the body of Tailor and worked on the timing. After the animation of the body was done I tried to animate the tail. 
My first attempt was to animate it the way like I did on the pendulum. It was a horrible result. I tried a few different method’s like the pose to pose were I animated the whole tail in once. Than I tried to animate joint after joint. Nothing seemed to worked. For three days I started over and over again. 
On the forth day something happened :) The overlapping of the tail seemed to work and Tailor had a fluent motion of the tail. I worked on the tail tip and added more small overlaps. The result can be seen below, I hope you like it.

Donnerstag, 4. November 2010

Class 1 - Week 5

Boy, this weekly assignments getting tougher and tougher :)
This week we have to do some overlapping action with the pendulum. Its really hard to get the timing right for the overlaps, so I’m still tweaking it.
To let the continuity of the blog doesn’t suffer from my work I'll upload my work from last week. I haven't changed the work to the comments my mentor gave me. I think I'll do that on the weekend.
Anyway. Here is the animation and the pose from last week.

And while I'm typing this blog post, here is an work progress of the pendulum assignment from this week.
I really have a hard time figuring out the amount and speed of overlapping of each chain joint. Hope you like it.

Mittwoch, 27. Oktober 2010

Progress on Week 5

It's unbelievable how much fun it is to animate a bouncing ball. This week its get even better, a bouncing ball and an obstacle course. 
I started my planning on this assignment by making a screen shot from all 3 obstacle courses and opened them in Photoshop. I drew some bouncing possibilities right onto the image and tried to think about the timing of each bounce. After I had the path I added the balls or circles into the image and thought about the spacing. As this week is all about squash and stretch, I also added some drawings for that into my planning. 
After a while I came up with this on.

I knew already that it was going to be tough to get this animation into 120 frames.
I blocked the key poses in Maya and added some breakdowns. 
I worked on the timing and spacing and after tweaking here and there I was quite happy with the result. I started to add the rotation to the ball so its always line up with the path its traveling. 
Now came the fun part :)
I added some squashes and stretches over the animation and it was such a gigantic different.
The animation is still work in progress, but here is what I've got so far.

Montag, 25. Oktober 2010

It's time for some squash & stretch

Before I get started with this weeks assignment I want to talk a bit about last week.
The task was to compare two bouncing balls with different weights. I chose a beach ball and a heavy canon ball. I planed my shot, began to animate and in no time I was 30 frames over the frame limit.
So were to get 30 frames? I moved the my keys so frame 17 became my new frame 1. I had still the problem with my frames.
I thought of solutions to edit my animation in a way that I could stay in the frame limit but couldn't come up with something.
And again, this awesome AM community helped my figure out a way. Thy gave me some tipps and than I added a little platform were the beach ball could drop off. Such an simple idea.
So here is my animation for week 4.

This week is all about squash and stretch. We have to animate a ball bouncing around an obstacle course. Again we only have 120 frames to get everything done. This will shrink the possibilities but not the quality :)
Furthermore we have to do a new Stu pose. This time Stu should communicate "devastation".
This pose is going to be a really hard one for me. Every time I think about a pose I only come up with something that had been done hundreds of times before. 
Later I'll make a brainstorming and see what I get.
As always, thanks for reading and I will post some progress of mine later this week.
Happy animating :)

Dienstag, 19. Oktober 2010

Class 1 - Week 3

Time is flying by so fast. Week 3 is already over and I got my eCritique for my work.
I was surprised that Tim (my mentor) didn't really had something to comment on my bouncing ball. Only the ending of the animation could be a bit longer and smoother. So I just moved the Keys further apart and done. Revision finished! :)
So after Tim watched my animation he got over to my Stu pose. And surprise, surprise, nothing to change for me. WOHOO =)
 During the week I changed a lot on the pose and got a lot of comments on it so this is totally the product of comments and refining. In the end I was really glad that I switched over to the pose with the 2 characters.
Again, here are my revisions.

Yesterday was also a Q&A with Shawn Kelly. He is one of the founders of AnimationMentor. It was really cool to see how enthusiastic and excited he gets when he talks about animation. I'm so looking forward to the day when I meet all my AM-fellas at the graduation :)
This will totally be a blast.

Donnerstag, 14. Oktober 2010

Progress on week 3

This week we got tow assignments. The first one is a bouncing ball witch the weight of a soccerball or basketball with a limit of 100 frames. This is not as easy as it sounds.
I began my planing for the shot and after it looked good for me, I went over to Maya.
I started witch my key poses of the ball. After that I worked on the timing and spacing of the arcs. The problem is to get a smooth ending of the animation within the frame limit. For my work it meant to cut of frames from the beginning and extend the ending.
So this is my progress so far

To get more practice for the timing and spacing I worked on another bouncing ball exercise.
When I have time before the next weeks assignment starts I will try to animate a few other bouncing ball clips
- short update, just another bouncing ball test - 

The second assignment for this week is to pose Stu in a way witch communicates excitement. I sketched some poses and shortly realized that nearly all were full of cliché elements. 

I picked one pose for the beginning and started to pose it in 3D. It looked kind of good to me. It has a good line of action, a good silhouette and no twinning. 

The next day a AM-Buddy send me a mail with a link to a pose with was nearly the same one as I did. So I thought: back to the drawing board!
I thought about moments when people get excited and what kind of people could communicate this the best way possible. After a few moments I thought of a child jumping in front of her dad who has a birthday present behind his back.
I started to sketch the pose and posed both characters in 3D.

It wasn't as good as i imagined it so I went along with some more possibilities of a child and her dad to get excited. The final thought I had was, that the girl hasn't seen her dad for quit a while and keep running like crazy in his arms. This is the progress on this pose. I hope I can push it even more to get it perfect :)
Hope you like it

Montag, 11. Oktober 2010

Class 1 - Week 2

So excited I got my first eCritique today. Tim Crawfurd, my mentor gave me some feedback. I changed my pose a bit and now I can say its final. So to keep my blog organized, here is my work for week 2.

The assignment for next week is to pose to in a mood of excitement. Also we have to animate our first bouncing ball. I couldn’t wait to start on this assignment so I started to work on the bouncing ball. I think in the next days I will upload some progress of mine.

Donnerstag, 7. Oktober 2010

First real try to sketch with my graphic tablet

I've practiced the last days to sketch in Photoshop. For now it's still kind of strange to zoom into the drawing but I think I'll get used to it. I'm really curious to see the development in my drawings in a few weeks or month from now on.

For now, here are some sketches

3D Character Poses

The last days I went out a few times and worked on my sketches. Here is a compilation of my best poses, at least in my opinion.

After a classmate of mine found a way to scale down the Stu-Rig I was able to transfer pose #1 to the 3D character. I've already got some feedback and change a few things. If there wont be much more feedback and if I don't find a way to push the pose more I will submit this one for this week.

And just for some personal training I tried to transfer some other poses to the 3D Rig. Hope you like them

Montag, 4. Oktober 2010

Sketches for my first assignment

Today I went to a cafe and tried to sketch some people there. It's so difficult to catch a pose when the person you are drawing moves every 20-30 seconds.
I'll work more on my drawing skills and try to make that a weekly challenge for me. Furthermore I will try to use different pencils and mediums to draw to find my favorite.
Anyway, here are some of my sketches.

Donnerstag, 30. September 2010

Some Sketches

As mentioned I upload some of my sketches. They are far away from perfect but when I compare the last ones with the first drawings... man, there is a big improvement.
Hope you like them

Mittwoch, 29. September 2010

My first Q&A

So today I had my first Q&A with my mentor. His name is Tim Crawfurd. He worked on nearly every Pixar movie since A Bug's Life. Here you can see his credits and his reel
It was really great asking him all kind of questions about Pixar, his work there and how he works on different shots.
Looking forward to the next Q&A.

I'm still watching all videos in the Trainging Video's and Library section. Still to cover the whole forum. Next week our first real assignment starts and than I'll post some sketchings and some poses with the Stu-Character.
I will try to sketch everyday so I get really into it. I think and know that this will improve my workflow a lot when I learn to draw quick and good.

Montag, 27. September 2010

Now it's getting real

So today the AM programm started. First we had a Q&A session with Jay and now I cruise the campus and getting to know everything. There is just so much input here its unbelievable. So stay tuned for AM-related stuff here :)

Dienstag, 21. September 2010

New book to read

Just read the book "Simplified drawing for planning animation" by Wayne Gilbert. I really think that this book will help me to get better in sketching poses. Gilbert has good tips in reducing the human anatomy to simple geometric forms. So when my next drawings specially the line or arch of action will be clearer the credit goes to Mr. Gilbert :-)

Montag, 20. September 2010

Only one week left

In one week the new Term will start at AM and I'm so excited, I can't find words for that. In the last Q&A Victoria and Jay talked about what will happen with us when we get access to the hole online campus. Jay said the first week is all about reading the forum, and getting in touch with everything.
I didn't find the time to sketch some poses like expected but I'll try to sketch this week.
Also my goal for this week is to relax as much as I can before the animation-madness starts :)
So stay tuned because in the next weeks I will upload the first AM assignments I finish.

Montag, 30. August 2010

Bachelor Degree

Today it's official. I've got my bachelor degree. I've had my last presentation and all my grades are set. Now the way is free for the AnimationMentor programm.
Only one moth left untill the programm starts, I'm so excited :)

Donnerstag, 26. August 2010


Just read "The Animator's Survival Kit" again. Every time I read it I learn more about the walk-cycle’s and the timing and spacing. I saw on amazon that there is a second edition available. At some time I might get the new edition but till than I have to buy some other books before.

The next day's I will work on my drawing skills and try to sketch different poses. If there is something to work with and to show I'll post it here.

Freitag, 11. Juni 2010

Its got official

Ok, last Week its got official. On September 27th I will start at Animation-Mentor.
I can't belive it and its feels so unreal to me. I guess it will become true to me when I sit in fornt of my PC and talk to all the other students ans mentors.
I can't belive that my dream to become an animator is one step closer to become true :-)