when busy gets busiER

I survided week #4, but barely!
There was so much going on this week for me, I’m not sure how I managed, but I’m also not too happy. I just managed, didn’t excel (in my very critical mind, that is. I keep reminding myself that I have actually accomplished A LOT, but my brain likes to tell me it’s never enough). Anyway, done and dusted (!), here’s what I’ve been up to these last 7 days…

This Monday our job got a bit bigger than a ‘bouncy’ loop consisting of a dozen of frames.. Which was a good reminder (even maybe a gentle* reality slap..) that animation is effing hard work! Apart from consolidating some learnt concepts like the follow through, overlapping action and anticipation, we heard about smearing for the first time! Our task was to apply all of these techniques in a ‘jump, bounce and dive’ exercise.

I present you: the suicidal carrot!

although this looks simple it took 40 drawings to make. It was the first time I felt my patience being tested, but you just need to be very British and ‘keep calm and carry on’. Fortunately I managed to make it work (in my eyes!! Let’s just wait to see what Steve says tomorrow..) at the first try. There were some issues with the first jump of the carrot: size and movement, but I wasn’t too fussed because I wanted to redo it in TV Paint anyway..

So, along with those 40 drawings that I only started in the afternoon, I had a great conversation in the morning with Pedro Serrazina, about Portuguese animation.

I had to do a presentation on Wednesday about animation from my country, that happens to be Portugal, and although already a bit too late for the presentation, this talk was really useful. He gave me loads of references and names to research. I am hoping to finish writing an extended post on the subject in a very near future – watch this space/COMING SOON!

This week we’ve also had our first ‘monthly screening night’ on TuesdayOCTOBER
I think it was a success! We’re definitely repeating it next month (which happens to start next week – seriously 2016 you’re going a bit too fast!). If interested, you can see the shorts we screened here!

This week just whizzed through! I’ve had the usual 3 days of classes, organised a screening, did a presentation, freelanced on Wednesday night, worked 9 to 5 Thursday and Friday, 5 to midnight Saturday, catsitted Friday to Sunday and managed to waste my Friday evening redoing my suicidal carrot on TV Paint.

But even so, I had time to stress about my level of drawing (dear brain) and on Thursday the life drawing class felt like psychological torture. I ended up leaving early, I guess there’s some days you know you just can’t win.. And I am actually still stressing about my drawings**, but I guess I just need to ‘stay calm and carry on’ drawing and watching Prokopenko’s tutorials.

Oh Monday, you’re too near!

* I’m saying gentle because I’m foreseeing these reality slaps becoming more and more frequent, and stronger and stronger. I think we’re probably going for a big reality punch..!

** Along with not having read anything I was supposed to for my big post on Portuguese animation ūüôĀ

heads or tails?

Mondays are becoming my favourite day of the week.*
Week #3 in the fantastic world of animation taught us the power of a good follow-through.
YouTube Preview Image

We’ve started by doing a basic shape to get the gist of it. Just a ball and a line, following through like a tail..

And then Steve challenged us to go wild with the ‘tails’.
Challenge a c c e p t e d!

I started thinking about the most random things I could draw.

But it was still noon and I had already finished the tampon… Gotta keep busy! Yay kangaroos!

This was not immediate, but by re-watching it (and parents’ feedback – thank you!), it became obvious something was a bit off with Taylor the kangaroo.. It took me a while to realise the head was tilting up and down way too much. They barely move their head when running. That’s also probably why she lost a bit the kangaroo identity and seemed like some¬†other animal. Not sure which.

I went to make sure I was right about the head not moving, before I’d spend a precious¬†couple of weekend hours redrawing it, just to get it wrong – A G A I N . No thanks!
Hello youtube, have I told you lately that I love you?
YouTube Preview Image

Here’s the redrawn Taylor:

But anyway, going back to Monday… Kangaroo didn’t take long either. The diving giraffes¬†passed through my mind and I couldn’t stop thinking about those long necks…


There’s something about watching your movies over and over again that allows you to understand something’s not quite right.
This time, Geoffrey’s head movement¬†is not fluid, but I couldn’t figure how to solve the problem. His neck also grows quite A LOT during the loop.

Isn’t it ironic? This week we’ve learnt about tales, and my problem ended up being with heads.. Live and learn.

Anyway, back to Monday (again!).. I had spent the whole day wanting to make that little tampon splash some blood.. because.. why not?!
(also, Hi TVPaint! I like you, let’s be friends!)

Hey¬†week #4! ūüôā

* And I’m just not ready to say ‘are’ with no ‘becoming’ because I have never in my life said anything good about Mondays. Ever. It’s a process..

On acting for animators

and why it is important..

Some of my colleagues have been questioning the need to have acting classes. Although I am totally in favour of the aforementioned workshops, I found myself not really knowing how to explain to others/prove them that acting is actually a really useful tool for an animator.

On our first acting lesson I realised how¬†useful it was for me to walk in different ways, make up different personalities.. It¬†hadn’t yet clicked in my mind, but different movements and ways of moving¬†do¬†massively affect the identity and personality of a character.. Body language y’all!

So, here’s some stuff I found useful to confirm¬†my opinion that acting classes are important. I mean, if Walt Disney made their animators do it, why shouldn’t we?! ūüôā
YouTube Preview Image

Or, if you like to read, here’s a couple of¬†great¬†articles¬†on the subject.
And a book!

As the first article says:
‘Much like an actor, if the acting is poor in a film, it will affect the story in many ways. The animator is the host of the show, and they dictate how our audience will perceive the show. It is crucial for animators not to forget this as our industry will soon fall short if we continue to forget the values of bringing performance and acting into our character animation.’

Dramatically drops mic!

oh balls!

Week 2 was about matter, and how different materials move in different ways. I was also one of the lucky ones that had a brief intro to TVPaint.

On my last post I complained about the time it took me to paint Gertie..¬†Well for what I can tell, TVPaint is the solution to my problems!¬†It feels way more streamlined and it’s just so quick to get a line test set up in there.. I am really excited with that bit of software, feels like we’re gonna be bestfriends! ūüôā

We’ve also started learning Maya, which I am still not sure how I feel about it. I think I might need to lose sometime going through tutorials so I feel more¬†confident with the software.

Anyway! It was all about balls this week. We had to animate a (approximately) 1cm diameter ball as if it was made of different materials. I have started with a football. And then tried to animate a bowling ball. I think I probably needed a bit more time with the bowling ball to bring it up a notch. It feels to me that the de-acceleration process needed to start a bit earlier. But live and learn, this week was really busy – next time I’ll do better!

And to finish off, I was enjoying TVPaint so much I decided to explore a bit more the interface. Still have loads to learn, but it was fun animating the ‘ball’ as if it was a water balloon, skinned up as a boobie. eheh!

See ya soon!

first line tests! whoop whoop!

On our first day Steve taught us how to do a line test by animating a walking cycle of a character of our choosing.

Lately, I’ve been (obsessively) fixated with drawing fat people. I’m guessing it’s because you can simplify them to a collection of curves. They become quite fun/easy to draw. So here’s my fat dude happily walking down the street. I think he might be going for coffee and cake…
whoop whoop it works!!*

And here’s my second cycle – a fat lady cycling.

At this point I got a bit excited(carried away much?) with the results, and decided to push my fat lady further. I wanted to see a bit of a finished result, so I painted her in photoshop and even gave her a name!
This was a bit of a reality slap. Each frame took me around 30 mins to colour in, and admitting/wanting to believe I am a big newbie at painting with photoshop, the amount of time still seemed quite excessive! Especially considering I only had one character to colour in.. Here’s to hoping this will get MUCH faster with practice.. ūüėź ANYWAY..
Meet Gertrude, you can call her Gertie, like everybody else. She loves flowers, drawing and eating, and her size doesn’t stop her from loving cycling too. That’s how she goes everywhere!

ūüôā see you around!

*I messed up my first line test, so the fat dude is a second try of the walking cycle.

First week at CSM

We were asked to write a post about our first few days in here.

Here’s a quick sum up!

First time I walked in I was like

Then you look around and there’s all these people looking totally stylish and in control, like

And you kind of feel a bit small, but inside your inner child is going mental
excitement level +100

So you just focus on getting to your class room on time, hoping no one’s paying attention to you

There’s a lot of information thrown at you these first days. Loads of online stuff to memorise, departments, people, names of your colleagues. It can feel a bit like

But then you see the facilities you can use, the amount of resources you have here, how beautiful the building is, and you realise people have been super nice (so far!)¬†and you’re like this
ALL        THE        TIME!

And when your first line test works*


For now!

Really excited to be here and looking forward to our upcoming adventures!

See you around!

*this deserves a post of its own Рcoming soon!

Images taken from The Internet (holly sound). In order of appearance: Despicable me (Universal Pictures), Beyonc√© (not sure where this one’s from), Despicable me¬†(Universal Pictures), Brave (Disney),¬†Spirited Away (Studio Ghibli), Snow White (Disney),¬†Despicable me¬†(Universal Pictures), Adventure Time (Pendleton Ward), Looney Tunes (Warner Bros) and Spirited Away¬†(Studio Ghibli).


Hello internet world (and fellow animation students)!

This is supposed to be that first post where you talk a bit about yourself. So.. here it goes, some really important pieces of information about moi.

First of all let’s just get this out of the way, you can say In√™s like

I originally come from¬†Lisbon, Portugal,¬†but¬†I’ve been living (and working) in London for about 5 years.

Do I like it here (-you ask)? Well, yes.. Yes, I do. I used to hate¬†not be too into this constant bustle, and find this city pretty lonely – though it’s filled with people E V E R Y W H E R E. And (coming from a mediterranean country) let’s not talk about the weather. Let’s just not. But something changed along these 5 years and now I’m pretty content/satisfied/even happy (!) in London.

I come from a graphic design background, but got bored along the way with the staticness (is this even a word?!) of my work. So here I am!*

I’m going to keep this short (I do have a tendency to babble), so here’s a few things¬†I like/am into at the moment (in images and videos taken from all over the internet):

YouTube Preview Image


YouTube Preview Image

See you around!
*also because I love watching animated movies, but I’m guessing that’s kind of a pre-requisite in this course.