Saturday, March 15, 2008

You can do it if you really want.

Tonight I don't have any pictures to post because I'm animating on my laptop and the whole process gets messy. Instead, I figured I would share some links that may be generally useful for me and everyone else. It's still research/thesis related, there just isn't anything to look at.


So you wanna learn Photoshop? You should try this ridiculous list of tutorials here.

And say you need some anatomy help. Well, this is an equally ridiculous list of Deviantart tutorials on anatomy and drawing people.

Perhaps animals are giving you some issues? Behold, the answers may be in this list somewhere.

Each link is to a Deviantart page that links to almost every tutorial on DA for that particular subject. I haven't been through the animal one, but I've probably been through most of the Photoshop tutorials just by searching around on DA without this list. (And now I find it, great.) I've looked through a lot of the anatomy links before. My favorites are anything by Cedarseed like the one for faces, different ethnicities and regional variations in human anatomy, general genetic variation in humans, and the general guide to musculature. The drawings are very simple and everything's explained pretty well. (Weirdly enough, I'm almost dead on with the Baltic body type given my Eastern-European genes, and I draw most of the time in a style that resembles those face shapes too.) The detail of information is incredible and really fascinating.

I know not everyone learns very well through reading and books and such, but learning this way is literally how I learned to draw. I've been reading books on drawing since I was in elementary school, and even if I may lose a bit by not reading everything that goes with the pictures, I always come out of a book with a few more skills than I started with.

So, there's my research. I've been looking at tutorials on DA to learn to draw stuff and color it. In actual animation news, I'm almost finished with this scene where Ella sits down and looks disgruntled and it really makes me happy. I can see so much improvement in the flow and proportions of my animation even from last semester and it makes me happy. I'm glad I'm keeping my lines loose for cleanup because it really preserves my drawing style better.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

This is probably what it sounds like when doves cry.

I had this great combination of determination, exhaustion, and anxiety last night that somehow convinced me that most of my issues with this film could be solved by cutting out two scenes and adding like...14 or something. I realized that a lot of my animation issues were stemming from trying to do too many actions in one shot instead of cutting, and it only made me reluctant to even bother animating. INSTEAD, I've done up a few things to increase clarity as well as increase the amount of cuts I'm doing per scene.
This is the first part of where Mel gives her the apple to appease her and it doesn't work. She takes it from him, sits down as the camera zooms in a bit, then she looks unamused. He gets on his thinking face and sees the stump behind her. Then it cuts to the part in the middle of the page (hey, I understand it, you don't have to) where he points behind her and she sees the tree shoot up. Then she gets all shocked face, and it cuts to an apple wigglin' in a tree.

Contine to the apple falling (motion blur!) as the screen pans down with her looking at it. Then it lands next to her. She looks up at the tree (I need to switch screen direction on all three of those), a whole bunch of apples fall (After Effects!), and then they sit next to each other and he looks pleased. Then she pushes him.

I think as long as I establish that the tree grows to the point that it sort of looms over them, it should be okay. Right now, it sort of seems too far away.
The other stuff is the redo for the last set of the scenes where she visits him during the seasons. I'm not going to explain that part. I have to animate it next week, anyway.

AND, I know this is a lot of work, but it needs to be done. My film's not coming together like it should and I should've done this a long time ago. I'm technically ahead on my animation anyway. Three of these shots are animated (one I need to fix up a lot, though), and one of them is an adjustment to an earlier scene. I have to do the tree growing scene today and a few of the reaction shots I think.

video
Look at my progress! I need to darken the lines still, but I might have to batch my PSD files in Photoshop first and bring them into ToonBoom again over my colored layer. ToonBoom doesn't want to darken them any further because they're so light to begin with. The timing's a little off, but I'll probably have to cut off a bit at the beginning anyway when I cut it together. The background doesn't really have buildings yet. I still have to do those :).

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Have a background.








Here at my internship, the connection's too slow to update with video, but I'll try and put up my test from Toonboom soon. It turned out well considering I did a scene that only had an eye blink. I would upload the background I did for that scene too, but I left it at home.

This is the background for the very last scene of the film. It's actually a very modified version of the background for a scene not too far before it, but I don't think they're similar enough for anyone to notice. This took me maybe an hour to do, but I could do it faster if I had to, I think. At this point, I've almost got the forest from every angle, so I'm just copying and pasting bits of trees into other scenes. I really like the look so far :).

My next post will have the colored scene in it, I promise!

Monday, February 11, 2008

I'm posting again!

This is four seconds of non-stop thrill ride animation. Or something. I worked on this most of the weekend, and while Mel still doesn't move a muscle, at least Ella's movement is fairly fluid. Forgive my lazy apple-falling action, because it just wasn't meant to happen in Mirage this weekend. I plan on making some apples and having them fall like crazy in After Effects. The idea is that one or two fall, so she looks up, then a whole slew of them fall down from the tree and she is surprised. Yay!

video



Also, because I'm feeling generous, have a background! I crosshatched this using a fantastic brush from Photoshop in the lab. I know it's a bit much. I'm very aware of it. But at this point, I also realize that most of my artwork is going to get blown out like crazy when projected unless I overdo it a little bit. Plus, I like crosshatching :D.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Time to update!

I would update with something amazing showing how much progress I have done, but that's all at home on my PC and I'm currently at work. Instead, I'll talk about what else I've been doing to research for this film.

For the last few days I've been overdosing on high budget, larger scale anime movies. Satoshi Kon is one of my favorite directors, and he's done some really awesome work on films like Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, and Paprika. Most of them make no sense, but the visuals are amazing.

So today was Millenium Actress:
I can't find much online to really do the visuals justice, but the movie's really amazing as far as the wonderful muted color palettes that it uses and all the patterns in the clothing.



Last night, I watched Metropolis with Lauren. It's roughly based on the original B&W version, but it's a really wonderful reimagining based on the work of Osamu Tezuka. I remember seeing this movie in a small theater in Chicago with my dad when it came out in 2001, so I'm still really fond of it. It was hard to find images online that really capture the amazing visuals of this movie, but every shot is an awesome study in color. I really am relying on this film's palette for my own movie. Sure, it won't look anything like Metropolis, but the way the colors are so saturated but also very grungy really appeals to me.
Other than that, I've been spending my time at work today looking for resources for finishing my film on Deviantart. Right now, my favorite resource is this person's stock portfolio. They have some really great textures that I'm going to use on all the trees in my film, as well as some great brushes to give things some nice texture. I don't want anything to look too flat, so the more brushes I can use to make things more appealing the better :).

Today and yesterday I've been working on trees. I'll try and post some progress when I've really made some. I first attempted to make them move using the Warp Grid tool in Mirage after a few aborted attempts in Photoshop, but the warp grid was too much. It looked like a tornado had swept through and sort of turned the trees into over-reacting jelly. Now I'm working on a really subtle cycle so they move a little in the background. This is really for only one shot, but I don't want the trees to stand out too much from the rest of the movie. I'm probably going to have to mess with the colors and go over everything with some brushes and texture in photoshop to make it blend in better.

Okay! I'll post something to see later on.