Saturday, 4 May 2013

Troll Walk Animation Test

Watch in HD - Click here

I wanted to practice animating something other than human characters so did this test on the Tiny rig. Upon reflection, there are a few things I would do differently - primarily making it more "troll-like" in it's posing and overall movement. Anyway, I thought I'd archive this animation and leave it as it is. There's always next time!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

New short anim

It's been a while since I last did some good old stick figure flash animation and I had a blast!

A little breakdown:
The core action/block was done in 1-2 days. Spent the remaining week detailing the animation and polishing.

Primarily I focused on getting clearer silhouettes  cleaner staging, better flow and appealing poses, more exaggeration and texture in timing for comedic and entertainment purposes. I experimented a lot with different eases in and out of poses with different offsets and timing to get a varied effect for every action - learnt a lot in doing so too!

Overall, I still love the fact that I'm learning much from animating something as simple as a stick figure :)

Monday, 17 December 2012

Some old animations from Uni

For the record I thought I'd post some of my earlier animations when I was still a student at Teesside Uni:

Not Typed (2008)
This animation was done in my spare time during my Second Year at Uni to practise my first character performance animation. It was entered into the 11 second club competition of December 2008 and got 50th place. Later it was entered into the VIS awards (2009) and won me a Character Animation Award which got me a one year placement at Ubisoft Reflections.

Trapped (2009)
This animation was also done in my Second Year at Uni for my 3D Character Animation module. This was fun to do to practise body mechanics and clear storytelling (without the use of audio).

For any students reading my blog, remember to keep looking for ways to improve. Animation is very hard work and you can't expect to succeed if you don't put the time in.

Thanks to Lynn for the email which inspired this post.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Framestore time!

I start my animation internship at Framestore today! I'm working in VFX department which is really exciting for me because I love films. Here's to a new experience in the film industry and I hope to learn loads from the amazing animators here!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Some Personal Work

For the last 6 weeks I've been working on and off on a personal project. It's a trailer parody for Valve's newest game - Counter-Strike: Global Offensive which is coming out in 2012.


I would like to thank everyone who collaborated with me on this project:

Jonas B. Ingebretsen for Music and Sound Design - This is my first project where I've had the opportunity to have a music specifically composed to fit to my animation, as well as excellent sound design to push the standard sounds into something so much more professional sounding. Something that's quite new for me :) 

Fernando Zamora for Voice Acting - Fernando, in case you didn't know was also the voice actor for my short film, Self-Conflict. He voiced the narrator and also the character voices and screams in the animation. Some of those character screams still make me laugh.

Aran Saunders for Additional Animation - Aran volunteered to animate a few shots for me and he did very well (maybe too well?) at adapting to the style to fit the rest of my animations.

And I did pretty much everything else! Overall, I am very pleased to have worked with these guys and very grateful to them for helping out.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Some work from Cubic Motion

I can finally post about some of my work at Cubic Motion since it's now released as samples for the website.

This here is an example of capture-driven animation:
This type of animation specifically requires strict adherence to the video reference capturing every subtlety made by the actor. A lot more time consuming to clean up and get right. I was responsible for the animation and lighting.

This one shows the capture-driven animation being transferred to a stylized character rig (Morpheus rig by Josh Burton):

A fellow animator started the facial animation and I finished it off, cleaned and polished the rest, including the body animation. I was also responsible for the character customization and lighting setup.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Driver: San Francisco is out now!

Check it out guys! This is the game I worked on while I was at Ubisoft Reflections from 2009-2010. It was great to be a part of the animation team and I learned a lot from everyone.

The game is out today (in the UK). If you've played it, let me know what you think!

P.S. This is also my first credited game! :D

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Obs: Comfort Zones

What do you do when you can't figure out what your character should be doing in a scene? Well, the most important thing is knowing what the character's objective is. Everyone knows that.

But let's explore something more global, something that affects us in all scenarios and pretty much all the time. Today's observation is about comfort zones. This is something that should be considered on-top-of our character's objectives. Take for example, our character wants to eat some pie but there are spikey obstacles in the way. Our character won't be running across it to get to the pie if it's going to hurt him or cause him discomfort. Ok, that's quite an extreme case but this can be really effective if used in more subtle ways.

In the biological sense, our body is always finding ways to use the least amount of energy possible and to be as comfortable as possible. Say you're at home and sat down watching TV. A few minutes later, you'll find that your body is completely slumped. And if you get any lazier, you'd fall asleep. Biologically this makes sense because we need to conserve energy for when we need it - in the case of danger. Similar reasons to why our heart beats faster when we're afraid, to make sure our body is ready to flee or fight. So the next time you're animating a character doing an action, it's useful to think about how "comfortable" they are. It helps add that bit of realism to your piece doing things that people naturally do.

We also move in reaction to our comfort zones. When someone we don't know or don't like moves too close to us, we move away. This is best observed at the bus stop. When there are few people at the bus stop and you're stood on one side of the bus stop and another person comes up right next to you, chances are you'll feel very uncomfortable. The funny thing is that your comfort zone is adaptable depending on the situation. If the bus stop was packed with a lot of people, and you are sandwiched between others, it becomes acceptable because everyone else is in a similar situation. 

The more we understand about what makes us or our characters comfortable or uncomfortable will help make our character's interaction with others in the scene a lot more believable. So the next time you make your animation poses, ask yourself if it looks comfortable in etiher a) as a normal balanced pose or b) comfortable in the situation.

Apart from the main objective that our characters are going through, do remember that there are also a lot of subconscious things that our bodies will do naturally to support our actions. The more we observe the nonverbal clues of body language, the more we can accurately display genuine actions for our characters. I used to believe secondary action is something you add to your animation for extra awesome sauce. It's not. It's something you consider before-hand and apply consciously throughout your animation for all the right reasons. 

Friday, 15 July 2011

First Class Honours!

I just received my degree results from my University today.

I got a Bachelor Of Arts in Digital Character Animation With First Class Honours! Can't be more pleased about this. It's time to celebrate with some sushi.