Week #5 was about lifts and anatomy, as in how different joints of the body fold/rotate in different ways.

Steve showed up dressed for the occasion
we had a blast.

Anyway, I’m going to keep this short today because I’m not too literarily inspired.
I tried stop motion this week, so my lift exercise (the usual Monday animation brief) was done that way, using a puppet. I had some issues with my puppet but I don’t think it shows on the animation. His joints were either too lose or too tight, and one of the hands kept on falling down.

Let’s put it this way, I really enjoyed the stop motion process but I am very clumsy and had to go back to the start after having kicked my tripod (oh so predictable!.). It’s the bad thing on stop motion, you can’t really go back to that frame and correct it. No. You have to do the whole sequence in one go, otherwise it won’t flow normally.
The whole video took me around 5 hours, and I could definitely feel the pressure building up as I was progressing. I think that if traditional animation requires patience, for stop motion you need to be on level 100 of zen.

Still! I managed, and I’d definitely like to explore this medium a bit more…
…but for now I’m happy to go back to drawing!

Bring it on Monday #6! 🙂

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 🙁

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.
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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?
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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! 🙂

* 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..

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! 🙂

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.. 😐 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!

🙂 see you around!

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