Sunday, 13 December 2009

Prep and Landing

Just finished watching Disney's Prep and Landing and man...I was blown away! These guys really are back on top form. It was such a great, heart-warming story which kinda reminded me of stuff I used to watch as a kid. Stuff like they don't do anymore. I'm such a kid, and I freakin' LOVE Disney AND Christmas, so this was perfect for me. Amazing animation, stunning visuals, great gags...just plain awesome! Seriously...check it out. The main character is Wayne, who after working for 227 years as part of the elite "Prep and Landing" crew for the big man himself, is sure he's up for promotion. Unfortunately it goes to his partner, and the guy he trained up, Robertson. Dismayed and given a new rookie partner, Lammy, who's not the brightest of fairy lights, Wayne heads out once again, this time with a little less spring in his step. Hilarity and action ensue as they team up to try and save Timmys Christmas. Hmm...reading this in my head I sound like one of those movie trailer voice-over guys! :) "Imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit!" :) Haha! Ok...I'm off to get some figgy pudding. Happy holidays everone...

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The final countdown...

Well...this is it. The final assignment for the Maya Springboard Program. I can't even begin to tell you how quickly these last few weeks have gone. It's crazy. I'm gonna miss it. Hmm...maybe not the Q&A's at 3.00 in the morning! :) It's been a great experience already, and it's just the begining. I can't wait until January 4th when I officially become an Animation Mentor student :D Big thanks to my mentor Carlos Fins for all his help, and the rest of the class :)

So here's the final assignment. I'm not 100% satisfied with it. The jumps ok...but I just couldn't nail the slip up at the end.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Finishing touches...

Well I think I finally got finished up on the robot arm. Had a great Q&A which cleared up constraints and let us all put on the finishing touches to this assignment. This was really fun to do, and I'm glad I put a different spin on it by going for a more cartoony approach. Ok, so it's not perfect, and I'm sure I could spend a lot more hours tracking the arcs, looking out for spacing issues and a whole bunch of other things. But I'm gonna put this on the shelf for now and look forward to the next assignment.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Giving it more "snap"...

While doing the robot arm assignment I really thought I needed to give it more "snap" and I remembered that in an earlier exercise I'd posted on the 11 Second Club forums I was recommended that I take a look at one of Keith Lango's tutorials on snappy cartoon motion. It gave me a great insight into offsetting keys to add extra snap, and that you can actually add more snap by lengthening the time of the movement. It gave 3 examples that I've posted here. There's a couple of problems with the arms getting twisted in FK mode that I don't know how to fix, but as a quick exercise I think it's kinda successful and I learnt a great lesson. The first video is literally 2 key frames at either extreme with the tangents set to linear:

In the second one I offsetted the keys to add overlap, also adding ease in and out of the move:

And in the last one I pushed the extremes and actually pulled the key for the lower arm to hit the extreme the same time as the upper arm, just dragging back the hand and fingers, but giving a greater build up to each move:

It's a simple little exercise, and I didn't have time to move the rest of the body at all. I just wanted to focus in the arm. I think it's pretty successful.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Do the robot...

So this is the assignment I was looking forward to the most. I had a whole bunch of ideas going in to it, and I played around for a while and though I'd go for a more natural movement, nothing too robotty (I may have just made that word up!?) I ran into so many problems though. With every assignment I'm pushing myself to do better and there was points in this I was getting the point where I cut out a whole chunk and redid it. I think that was a valuable lesson. It just sucked though, I had that moment where I thought to myself..."perhaps I'm not cut out to be an animator?" I gotta remember though to take baby steps and nail the basics. Anyhoo...I've said too much! Here's the blocking for my robot arm. It's probably "blocked" a bit too much, but I've got this weird work flow at the moment. Gotta sort that out!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Maya Springboard

Man, it's been ages since I last posted on here! Been kinda busy with the Maya Springboard program. It's going really well. Everyone's really cool. There's no competitive feel about any of the critiques people give you, just genuine suggestions or praise. I think everyone's getting real excited about starting AM in January. Just over 7 weeks away!!! :D My mentor for the Springboard is Carlos Fins. He's a really nice guy. Just down to earth you know. He's really good at explaining things and he's got a lot of patience! I'm pretty chuffed with my work so far, but there's some really great stuff ot there. Kinda feel like I'm gonna have to bring my A game when I start AM :) Here's a couple of bits and pieces I've done so far...

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Back on track :)

Following yesterdays bit of bad news, I've been in touch with AM and everything seems just peachy again. Victoria Tripp and Rosie Varela have been amazing and given me some great advice. Big thanks go to both of them! As the title says...everything seems to be back on track! :) Can't wait to get started already...

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

1 step forward...2, maybe 3 steps back!!!

Today started really well. Woke up, went downstairs, got some breakfast and what was waiting for me on the side...all the Autodesk goodies I've been waiting for. Maya, 3DS Max, Mudbox...loads of stuff! Happy days! Unfortunately my bank decided now was the best time to tell me that I need to reapply for my Career Development Loan cause I'm now starting AM in Jan 2010. Thing is, I gotta wait until October to do it, which'll give me 7 weeks to get everything sorted out in time to make payment to the lovely guys at AM. It took them 6 weeks last time just to send me some more forms to fill out!!! I feel like a bit of an ass cause I've had a good old rant on the 11SC forum. I'm just hoping someone can give me some advice. Or just wish me luck :) Gotta get myself organised and keep pushing things in the right direction. Keep my chin up. Maya workshop starts on Monday!!!! Whoop whoop!!! :) I'll be sure to post up some progress...

Saturday, 12 September 2009

And so it begins....

Today has been such a great day!!! Got an e-mail from AM to set up my account and profile and stuff. It's that close to starting I can almost taste it :) Can't wait. I've seen a few blogs about people about to start AM, or read a few forum threads about it...and there's such a buzz! So much excitement! I really think this will be one of the best decisions I've ever made! Not only that, but winging its way to my door is my own copy of Maya 2010, 3DS Max, and a whole host of other Autodesk goodies, for a ridiculously low price, courtesy of those fine guys at Escape Studios. Happy days...

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Weight Shift

Just finished the last of Jason Ryans basic tutorials...the weight shift in Maya. Had a lot of fun doing this one, but there's loads to keep an eye on. Learnt a few nice little tricks as well, and not once did I go into the graph editor to sort those arcs out :) Here's both the Flipbook and Maya versions.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009


Just finshed rating Augusts entries in the 11 Second Club. Man, there's so many awesome videos this month!!! That's gonna be hard to call! Onwards and (hopefully) upwards with my JR tuts. Here's the walk cycle. Had a lot of problems with the knees, and I'm not 100% satisfied. I think there's still a bit of popping going on. I love how in depth Jason is in his tutorials. Everytime I thought I was done he was picking up on small details to include. Looking forward to starting the weight shift in Maya.

Monday, 31 August 2009


It's only 4 weeks til I start the Maya Springboard Workshop, which I can't wait for! Having done a few of Jason Ryans tutorials it's dawned on me how powerful Maya is, and how little I know about it. I actually emailed Jason last week cos I couldn't figure out how to bend the toes on the Boris rig!!! I literally spent about an hour trying to find those damn toe rotation boxes! He politely replied to expand the gui box just a bit more and hey presto...there they are at the bottom! I felt like a real chump! But I mean, what an awesome guy! He must be so busy and he's still got time for the likes of me with my embarrassing questions! :)'s my latest attempt at the run cycle:

Friday, 28 August 2009

My first time using Maya

Finally got my hands on a copy of Maya, and as a way of getting used to it slightly before starting the Maya Springboard Workshop, I thought I'd give the cg parts of Jason Ryans tutorials a quick go. Had loads of great feedback from the guys at the 11 Second Club, and I'm pretty happy with the results so far...

Saturday, 15 August 2009

My Birthday :)

ARRGGGGGHHHHHHH......30 today!!!!!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

My First Entry!!! :)

Ok, to kick things off I've just put up a few clips of animation that I did a couple of weeks ago. Nothing too fancy yet :) I've mostly been working through Jason Ryans tutorials...which are amazing and I highly recommend. I've only covered the basic stuff so far, but I'm really chuffed with the result. See what you think...