Wednesday, 31 March 2010

How To Train Your Dragon

Ok, so this will come as no suprise now...but tonight I went and saw Dreamworks How To Train Your Dragon, and I was blown away!!! There's been a lot of hype, and justafiably so. This is without doubt Dreamworks finest movie, and...dare I say of the best animated movies I've seen!!! They've really raised the bar. The animation was awesome, the character design was some of the best I've seen (everybody had a whole heap of appeal) and the environments were stunning. The story was soooooo good. I mean, some of it was kinda obvious (not that that's a bad thing) but there was one bit at the end (which I'm not gonna spoil) which literally had the cinema gasp almost in synchronisation! The action scenes were great too. My girlfriend actually shouted out "oh no!" at one point. She's gonna kill me if she sees this :) hehe. I can't say enough good things about this movie. Definitely one I'll be buying when it comes out on dvd. Hmm...maybe it's time to upgrade to blu-ray??? Ooh of the best things was the fact that a load of AM alumni and mentors worked on it too :D It really gets me fired up. Hopefully one day I'll see my name up there in the credits too :D

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Class 2!!! :D

It's been nearly a week since I've done any animating, and I'm going crazy! Luckily...CLASS 2 IS HERE!!!! :D I'm unbelievably excited about it. This is where the really fun stuff begins. My mentor for Class 2: The Psychology of Body Mechanics is Dana Boadway. She's worked on a whole bunch of stuff, from Everyones Hero and The Wild, to Halo 3. What's most exciting is that I've just read that she's gonna create her own short film, which'll be awesome! that even a word "which'll"? It kinda sounds right but looks like I may have just made it up!? *ahem* anyway...I'm really stoked to have Dana as my mentor this term. As the lady herself says: "I try to get my students to try out cartoony styles of motion and also realistic stuff. I want them to learn how real body mechanics and physicality work so they can bend the rules later." Which is freakin AWESOME cos thats exactly what I wanna do too! :D

I can't wait to get started. I just gotta figure out which assignment I'm gonna choose from the pick list. There's quite a few options, but the one's that I'm looking at doing is either kicking a football, hopscotch or a 180 turn. One thing that I learnt from class 1 is to really have a solid idea of what I'm gonna do in my scratch that...on paper! Plan plan and plan some more! I'm gonna shoot a whole load of reference and study the crap out of it :)

While I'm rattling on about planning, I came across this chap on YouTube. Mark MacDonnell. He's worked at a whole bunch of places in various roles, but currently he's workin at Disney teaching gesture drawing. Here's a link to his YouTube channel. There's some great videos which I can't wait to watch and get drawing :) Here's one to whet your appetite :)

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Week 12

So...class 1 is over. What a ride it's been already! I've met some awesome people, learnt a ton, worked my ass off, and had a blast doing it :) I'm really gonna try and post here more often for the next class. I'm gonna try and raise my game too. I really didn't value how important planning was until the last assignment...the character walk. It was a 2 week assignment and the first weeks work had to be scrapped because my planning sucked and the blocking sucked too! So I literally had to start from scratch and condense 2 weeks work into 1! So I'm pretty stoked with the result...even though it's not perfect. Without further's my class 1 progress reel:

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Week 4-6's been freakin ages since I posted on here. It's true what they say...AM takes over your life. But I wouldn't have it any other way. My whole way of thinking and observing is slowly changing. I find myself looking at things in more detail...almost like that dude from Prison Break who can look at stuff and in his head figure out how they work and log in all these crazy tiny details. Ok, maybe thats a bit of a stretch but hopefully you get the idea. Well, it's pretty obvious that I've been unbelievably busy for the past few weeks, but it's been so amazing. Who ever thought work could be so much fun?! Not me. Right...lets try and think back to what I've done. Oh yeah, week 4 was an introduction to timing and spacing. We had to animate two bouncing balls of different weight. Sounds easy huh? But how do you show a difference in weight? If you've got two balls the same size and drop them, no matter how much difference in weight there is. the air resistance is gonna be the same...meaning they'll fall at the same speed. Unless you're dropping them from a HUGE height. So there was a lot of playing around with timing and spacing. If I'm honest I don't think I fully understand it yet, but I think it's something we'll cover again.

Week 5 was all about anticipation and squash and stretch. These are some of the most important principles of animation, and really breathe life into something and give it fluidity. Without anticipation your characters look robotic and it doesn't give the audience a chance to register whats happened. The video lectures gave a load of examples of actions with and without anticipation, and it's totally true. It's like BAM...somethings happened but I don't know what or why. Even in small movements, like lifting a foot off the floor, you have to shift your body weight across your other foot or yo're gonna fall on your ass! With all this in mind we were given the ball assault course assignment. This gave me extra problems cause it was the first week our class dealt with the rotation of the ball.

The second part was to pose Stu to clearly read "Devastation!!!" Poor Stu ;)

Onto week 6 and overlapping action:

Oh crap...I gotta go. Time for my Q&A. Yeah baby!!! Gotta LOVE AM!!! Woot woot