Friday, 19 March 2010

Below is a new scene I've been given to animate for the Trained Assassins project. I think parts of this one are working quite well as a start, and a few bits need changing. It should be playing at double the speed it shows on here. this is it so far...


Thursday, 18 March 2010

Having got most of the the other projects kind of out the way now, I can start to focus much more on the 3rd year project I'm working on, which will be really good as I feel I havn't really put as much as I could into this one.
I had a good chat last time with Justin and Andy about one of the scenes I'm trying to animate, which I thought wouldn't be too hard, but for some reason has turned out to be. I was finding it hard to imagine the character walking forward towards the screen and actually making him look as though thats what he is doing, but without getting bigger as the camera is supposedly following his movement. After talking with Andy I feel a bit clearer about how to achieve this now and have had another go at it.

(unfortunately uploading videos is proving impossible on here at the moment!!)

We have all now been given a set of scenes to go on with the animation for the film. I think the best way to tackle these is just to get going on flash and try and get the movement down for each frame, send them to Justin to see what needs changing or making better/different, then making them look more finished, colouring etc.

Videos are on their way when they will upload to show some more progress with this.

Friday, 12 March 2010


Started working on one of the inbetween scenes this evening after work..only got a few bits done but I think the movement is working ok so far. Maybe needs speeding up a bit and obviously other parts of the background need to move, sparks off the wheels etc...


I also had another go at the bobbing movement, which I think is now a bit smoother but I think I've over done the shoulders a bit too maybe dull it down on the lean on each side a bit?! but I started to go over this one in photoshop to see if it would look better as a proper colour character.


I really want to get these few scenes looking right and finish them so I can get on with more, I feel us 2nd years have let Justin down with the slow speed our work due to focusing on other projects.

Thursday, 11 March 2010


So this is another scene from the assassins project where one of the evil characters is walking towards the screen and therefore just doing a kind of side to side bobbing movement, a bit like a boxer bob. At first I tried to make it really stylised and give him a real swagger, but it actually just ended up looking a bit weird and like he was doing some ridiculous dance...


so I thought I'd better dull it down a bit and make it more of a faster bob side to side...


...but this just looks really stiff and tweeny. So I figure I need to get somewhere in between..below is another attempt. I think I'm getting closer, but still a few more attempts to get there I think...


Life drawing...

Evaluation of pre-production bible...

Having now finished my design bible, I feel quite pleased with the final result and the way that it came together.

I was quite worried about how the background and character designs would work together, however I think it turned out alright. Once I finished painting the characetrs and background by hand, I scanned in the images and worked over them a little in photoshop. I feel I learnt quite a lot about using photoshop, as I had barely used it previous to this. I also learnt a little about In Design when putting the pages together, however looking back I wish I had created the bible in portrait as I realised you can't change single page orientations in In Design after I had already started to piece it together.

From the project I think I learnt alot about character design as this was probably something I had less knowledge about when starting the design for the project. I have also realised how much research is needed before starting a design to really get in the right place and have a really good idea of the time period, designs, architecture, style and everything about it to be able to recreate the feel of the situation.

If I were to do this project again I think I would start working on the designs and style of the piece a lot more in advance then I did on this project. I think I focused on the research side of it a little too long, when I should have been thinking about the style and design and characters along side the research.

Even though I worked a little more on the character of Bannakaffalatta towards the end of the project when drawing out the final designs, I still think he is probably my weakest character in terms of design. I found him much harder to design then the other characters, probably because in the script he was a lot more specific, his head had to be a certain shape and his dress was a very simple 1920's diner suit, which is hard to manipulate. I think if I had more time, I would definitely worked more on his design and perhaps even make some really drastic changes and ignore the script a bit to make him more aesthetically pleasing and generally a better design to work with.

I found the backgrounds really nice to design and I found working with one background to find the right style and try and also recreate the images I took inspiration from in this background really helpful and allowed me to experiment a bit. I like the style the backgrounds are in, however I think some of the colours, perhaps in the main entertainment background are a little bright and bold for the background. Again if I had more time, I would maybe play around with these on photoshop and dull it down more or even change the colouring. Having said that, I think adding the shadows and highlighting certain areas really added to the backgrounds and gave them much more depth then in my original drawings.

In the future I would quite like to have a go at stylising my backgrounds a little more, perhaps making them really exaggerated and completely unrealistic, really cartoony, or even go completely the opposite way and create much more realistic pieces, just so that they are a little more one way or the other, rather then being quite an average looking animation background.

I really enjoyed this project and am pleased with the work I managed to produce for the bible, even with the changes and developments I would make. Pre-production is something I'd really enjoy working in in the future. I feel I have learnt a lot about character design, animation design, research and storyboarding from this project and with more and more practise I would like to build up a portfolio of work in this area.

Finishing the pre-production bible

I think, I'm pretty much there with the design bible now. I feel like it is coming together quite well and having got some characters and backgrounds together and working with shadows etc I think it's looking more like an animation and something which could now be animated and created into a film. Working in In Design I have put the bible together along with a script summary and a little bit of information about the characters. Below are a few examples of the bible pages...

Thursday, 4 March 2010

3 year project

For the 3rd year crew assignment, I'm working on Justin's Assassins project. I'm working as a 2d animator, and between the group we are working through the scenes, and with Justin's guidance, creating the movement in Flash that he wants from each scene. So far we have been given a few scenes and have just been trying to get the right style and the movement the way that Justin wants it and visualises it. I was given a scene with the character Grey running away from the evil rat character who is running after him in a windmilling fashion. I had a few attempts at creating the right run for both of these characters, and after meeting with Justin again to see what he thought of the work, I think I'm nearly there with my final attempts. The man's run still needs a few bits changing, for example the hair movement and the arm needs to be a little more erratic, however I feel more comfortable that I know what I'm trying to create in terms of style of animation and movement. Grey run attempts...


Rat run attempts...

Having got to this stage, we have now been given inbetweening scenes to do. These should be a little easier in terms of getting the movement right, however it is important that they look exactly right, so I think I'll have a few different goes at them to see what I can come up with.

giving the characters colour...

Having now got the backgrounds well underway and having decided on a design for them, I then started to finalise my character designs, keeping the backgrounds in mind so that the styles of the two matches and worked when put together.
For each character I drew out an introduction close-up, along with turn arounds and model sheets.
I also developed the Bannakaffalatta character a bit more as I didn't get much time to work on him before the last hand in and therefore rushed his design a little. After looking at a few more ideas I made a final character for him. I'm still not as pleased with him as I am the other characters, however as his cyborg body is covered throughout pretty much the whole script and he is in a 1920s style suit, it was only his head I could focus on, which is scripted as conker-like.

Having made the final designs I then began to colour them as well, printing them very faded I worked over my drawn images to have a pastel/watercolour appearance with no black outline. I really like the style I did the doctor in, with the strong shadows and would like to use the same for the other characters. However I didn't want to use this style for the turn arounds as I don't think they would be very clear. Having scanned the characters in, I will work over them slightly in photoshop to add in shadows and make them more dramatic, and also bring in the style I want to use with the shadows for the concept art.

coloured characters....

backgrounds - colour development

After developing my backgrounds and drawing over them a few times to get them right, I finally settled on ones I was happy with and started doing some colour trials. To find the best way to colour them, I used my inspirational images and examples of the artwork style I like and wanted to stylise the animation in and used these as a base. Using one of my backgrounds, the reception I tried out a few ideas...

From these I decided on the final style that I preferred and though would look best as the background for the animation and with the characters I designed. The first few attempts I thought worked ok, but I wasn't sure how they would look with the characters and I couldn't get them as neat and detailed using the technique. I then combined using watercolours and patels which made the image stand out a little more, however in the last version I used pencil to outline and highlight some areas which I found to be more effective. I then went on to colour the rest of the background designs in the same style...

From here, I will take them into photoshop and add in some extra details, for example highlight areas, put in some shadows, make some finishing touches to really complete the background pieces.