works in progress

Usually, I write when I have finished projects to show. But lately, we’ve been working on a couple of projects that won’t get done in a week.. So I thought I might as well start documenting progress, hoping that sitting down on a Sunday night to think about what I’ve been doing will help out organising/planning the week ahead. Here we go!

Right now I have 4 pending projects in hands: the animal gallop, the body acting project, the green screen exercise and a creature’s character sheet.

I’ve drawn these octopus-y looking teeth, but the exercise was to show our understanding about animal joints+movement so..cheetah
I’ve made a cheetah, shown it to Steve and got feedback that it’s looking way too stretchy. That was kind of my point but in the end, I don’t really want it to look awkward so went home and amended it. Unfortunately, I never saw Steve again so I’m waiting for tomorrow to get more feedback and hopefully finish it off with colour!cheetah2
Can you spot the differences? ;p

BODY ACTINGbackground2
This Monday we started a project on (human) body movement. The brief is to make a character react to different stimulus – ideally coming from a screen.

I spent the day trying to figure out a plot for my exercise.. Then I went home and spent the whole night drawing this background. I wasn’t too sure I wanted to use it, it was more to try out some stuff we’d learnt the previous week on photoshop. And when I spent Tuesday night finishing it, it just felt like a waste not to use it!

Regarding a plot, I went full narcissistic and decided to make a character inspired in me. She comes into the living room all happy, turns on the tv, reacts to news on tv, gets really depressed and throws herself on the floor. I’m not sure this is enough of a mood change, but will most certainly know tomorrow after showing the keys to Steve.

animaticI made a quick animatic of how I’m imagining my creature to be/react.

monstahI also have made a mask for the footage we filmed and am now working on the background (watercolour!). Hopefully will be able to get all the background bits done by tomorrow night so I can start compositing them in class Tuesday.

And the 4th thing I should be doing and haven’t even touched is a creature character sheet. I don’t know what to do about that yet. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to use the greyhound, but am still trying to decide between the cheetah or that blobby creature for the green screen project (which I am not too sure would be complex enough to work..). And now that I’m thinking about it, there’s this little square dog that I’ve drawn on the character development workshop with Rory that I’d love to draw more of.. Not sure I can do that so I’ll ask around tomorrow.

Monday tomorrow. uff

Rocket the greyhound

Last week I showed a WIP of my greyhound, it’s been a busy reentré to say the least!

When I decided to draw a greyhound for the 4 legged walk exercise (for the single reason that greyhounds are my favourites) I went into research mode. My idea was to do a realistically looking doggy, and I’d been having a bit of a fixation with scientific drawing. Let’s just say I’ve managed to fully get it out of my system!

So this was how rocket was looking some days ago:

On my mentor’s advice, I’ve tried to make it look a bit bouncier. I think he’s looking more natural. I do have to admit I could’ve lost a bit more time with the movement but was so excited to experiment with the colouring in by hand that I ended up accepting that I couldn’t do any better with the time given!


I’ve enjoyed the process but don’t think I’ll repeat such a realistically looking style. It is hard, slow, work! Each of these pencil drawings took me around 20mins. On the other hand, the thin liner pen felt really great to use – although the complexity of the drawing made it even slower to finish the frame than the pencil drawings. I think I might want to try it with simpler shapes in future projects…

Now onto making a gallop cycle!

Joni’s FINAL steps

She’s all done! yay!
Quick recap, here’s how Joni was looking the last time I posted:draftjonigif

I’ve fiddled with the arm and sent it to Margaux (my mentor) for feedback and she suggested I should make her head bounce a bit. Which I did! I didn’t want to make it feel too bouncy though.. So after watching some reference videos, I’ve slightly tweaked Joni’s head just enough that it wouldn’t look stiff but also didn’t feel like a jumping ball 🙂

And then to the fun bit!

I bought myself a cheap scanner/printer to play around and used it to scan Joni’s everchanging mad dress. I don’t usually say this but I am happy with the result! I think it totally fits within the whole 60’s counter-culture vibe, and according to one of my flatmates it reminded him of an LSD trip. I took that as a big compliment! hah!dress-draft

Joni’s cleaned up line versionline

And the final result! 🙂walk-with-background

Back to school tomorrow! Can’t wait! 🙂

walk the walk

Holidays are almost over and I’m getting anxious about the amount of stuff I still need to do to have a calm uni reentré.

I’ve painstakingly slowly worked on two walk cycles during the last couple of weeks. Working from Lisbon is seriously hard, everyone here thinks I’m on holidays and peer pressures me into stuff I shouldn’t be doing (mum included! help!).

Like this new year, both walk cycles are still in their early days of development. But unlike the new year, they’ll need to get sorted in (way way way) less than 355 days!

So here’s my Joni marching for peace:
I still need to do a lot here.
Movement wise, the arm needs a bit of adjustment and she could do with a flowier hair. Then I need to print, draw it by hand, add patterns to the dress and finally scan it and post produce the drawings.

And here’s my doggy walk cycle. His head and neck need to move/bounce, and I need to sort the tail as well. I know there are some thickness issues on his legs but then again I want to draw it by hand after I get the movement right so I’m not too worried.

I’m a bit annoyed on how slow I’m working at the moment. Thinking of how much I want to get done until Monday is already starting to stress me out. Nevertheless, I can’t help but ‘complicate’ my projects more than they’d need to. I’m back in uni to experiment and develop and if I don’t do that now it’s definitely not happening when I start working (been there done that!). So I’m starting 2017 stressed but also aware that I did need holidays, and now I just need to stop moaning and procrastinating and get things done!

Let’s do this, 2017!

check your sources

Here’s a mood exchange walk exercise we had to do. Compared to the lifting exercise this one felt like a walk in the park. I tried to make things easier for me this time.. So I’ve simplified the character and tried not to divert myself from the main task: show two different ways of walking.

I found this really useful video online and used it as a reference for the first part of the walk. The second part I had a bit more trouble with (as you can see in the video above) but in the end, it was just a matter of being more stubborn than the animation (redraw redraw redraw!).

I also thought about doing it in after effects, but the walk was not going as fluid as I would like it to and the character was walking on the ice like Michael Jackson would moonwalk. So for speed/quality reasons I decided to do it hand drawn.

Et voilá!

reporting live from assessment day

yay! holidays in sight!

not going to be long right now but I’m feeling relieved and I’m back to normal levels of stress. I finished my assignments. I’m planning to do some more detailed posts* but for now I’ll just show the 4 things we had to deliver.


see you soon! (ah it feels great to have time to write/babble again!)

*at least on my character design! I have SOOO much to talk about her! uff! 🙂

late for the party, but i brought a killer rainbow


Oh hi! It’s been a while I know! So long I didn’t get to round up week #6 nor #7 so here’s an update of what’s been happening for the last couple of weeks in my life, aka uni work I’ve been doing.

Apparently deciding to take a week ‘off’ for my birthday was not a good idea. By the Tuesday of week #6 it suddenly dawned on me that we only had 4 weeks until assessment time and that gave me cold cold sweats.

I had done the weight lift exercise using a puppet, but we are being marked on that specific exercise and I felt I should do it in 2D as well. Mainly because although I am satisfied with my puppet animation, I thought I could do better than that, and also I should practice as much as I could because how am I going to get better otherwise?!

Oh and practice I did…
ok, maybe not as aggressively but I swear it was hard times

Anyway, I went ambitious level +100 with it and have been closed at home for the last two weeks working on my lift. Good news is that it’s done, the bad news is that I am still a week’s worth of work behind.. oh well, let’s focus on the positives for now shall we?

I don’t really know how I got the idea for my lift, I started by drawing a cutesy little fat unicorn, which was followed by a girl.. And then I got bored of all the cuteness and decided there had to be a twist to the plot. Unicorns don’t exist, the girl and the unicorn could never have lived happily ever after! Anyway you’ll see what I mean when we get there (if you haven’t already skipped this whole blabber and just watch the videos already).

I’m finding that for animations to work smoothly you need a lot of movement references. I am not going to share footage of my ridiculous acting, but it exists and it sure helped a LOT. The unicorn doesn’t really move that much but he jumps so I got lost in youtube watching videos of horses jumping in slow motion. Thank you youtube. And then I used One punch man for an impact reference/more of an anxiety relief (although I kind of ended up doing my own version of an impact).

Ok let’s just get to it! Here’s my FINAL draft:

and by final draft I mean I have done versions and versions of this animation, I don’t really want to deal with a unicorn anytime soon. It was hard work to get the movement flowing to an acceptable standard.

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-00-08-03 as you can see, it was a process..

Mid way this draft mess, I showed the work in progress to Steve, he wisely told me to simplify it. Which I kind of did.. But I was already in too deep to go back/let it go. Oh so stubborn.

Anyway you can’t really (I think!) present a draft-y looking animation on your assessment, so I then went to clean it up.

Honestly, I’m with Helena when she says she feels her animation lacks character. I feel the same about mine, I think cleaning it up made it lose a lot of the personality so (in the future) I might need to rethink either my way of drafting or cleaning up.

I had done the clean version yesterday (pyjama Sunday), and showed it to Steve today. I managed to make him laugh but he then said the sizes were not consistent, and that in the end she was too big. He told me not to worry about it and just move on. But inside I was like
and then got home to finish it (I needed to add the rainbow smears at least!) and got like
so I quickly tried to amend it, and here’s the final result. That I-won’t-touch-anymore-because-I-have-other-stuff-to-do-and-nothing-is-ever-perfect-and-I’ve-tried-my-best (this on repeat until I’m convinced).

To sum it all up once and for all (I really need to move on to other assignments!). Although a hard test to my patience and perseverance, I have tried to apply everything we’ve learned so far in this exercise. Follow through, smears, squashes, anticipation – you name it! It was great practice, and although I might have gotten lost oh so many times(!), my stubbornness to keep on doing it paid off (I think!). At least it’s done and I can move on. I’ve learnt a lot about the process of animating and how it works best for me. I’m probably going to start listening more to Steve, but then again if you don’t do it you’ll never learn. 🙂
It’s not like I think it’s a perfect piece of animation, I’d love to have the time to properly colour it and beautify it but I think it’s ok, and I’m pretty happy with it. It was just a very slow and enduring process and that makes it harder for me to be all hyped about it. Right now I just want to sleep!

Which is what I am going to do!

I’ll come back soon, I promise 🙂
(“please don’t!” – you beg)

one punch man

Just rewatched the whole season of One punch man today (I know.. get a life..).

I was in desperate need of references for spectacular attacks/falls* and after a quick youtube snoop around for Looney Toons and Dragon Ball I remembered this sweet sweet animé series. My brother introduced me to it (and to all the animé stuff I watch, to be honest..), and I just love it! The series follows Saitama, a total anti-hero superhero. Saitama is so powerful that he’s always bored he can’t find a challenging opponent. It’s refreshing in the sense that you always know he’s going to win, but the plot is still super entertaining and filled with good puns. The episodes are around 20 minutes, and there’s only 12 so get in quick before it becomes a chore to watch the whole series (hey One piece! I’m talking about you…)!

It also has an openly gay character, that just happens to be bad-ass-awesome. There are not a lot of animés (that I know) this inclusive!

That’s it! 🙂

* I’m working on my lift exercise, I’ve done it with the puppet but we’re being accessed on it so I’m doing a 2D one..