Friday, 30 April 2010

Another Gnome Playblast

Just a rather crummy playblast of my work I've been doing for Gnome. Sarah Verrel gave me the rig for the Hero Gnome, which is great because I can work in proper detail on the poses and stuff. In this playblast, I have been working on the hips and body sways. I hope to get some nice arm movement done next, and then some nice expressions. It's just been a very busy few weeks and I haven't concentrated as much on this as I would have liked. It's been slow progress. :( However, I think the timing is getting there, and Sarah has very kindly given me some feedback for the previous playblast:

-maybe dont have the hands cross exactly in the centre of the characters
body, have them off to one side slightly (opposite side to the lean you
have going on) as this counters the weight of the lean.

-try not to sync the arms in movement, even if one starts moving before
the other by just a frame it makes all the difference to break up the
piece, have one arm move just faster than the other (obv not a gigantic
difference in pace) but we never move at the same rate/time.

-Like that you have the hands at different heights, again this breaks up
the shape/creates interest.

- perhaps exaggerate the lean a bit more from the transition of poses.
I've just been acting it out myself and the first pose has you sort of
upright but angled to a side (left or right) but as soon as we enter the
second pose of the arms on the hips you feel yourself leaning forwards,
creating that arch in your back.

So yeah, please continue animation on this, if you could show me an
updated playblast for Tuesday morning (tues 13th) then we'll go from
there. Hopefully i should have the other character for you then.

A final few pedantic points...

were running maya 25fps both rendering and timeline (i know such a silly
thing to mention but an obvious one to overlook)
Were rendering in widescreen so your camera should be set up as 1025 x 576
in Maya (dont worry too much about this for now but just so you know)

Keep up the good work!


I think she raised some very good points, of which I will definitely take into consideration when animating my piece with the Hero rig.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Animatic! YAAAAAY

Here is the storyboard animatic that we all put together a while ago. Jon managed to defeat the evil Youtube problems and get it uploaded for all to see.

I think it is very smooth and portrays our advert very well. :D

Monday, 12 April 2010

My first scene finished??

Okay here we have the first flash scene I have completed. Sorry about the poor quality! It took a lot of hard work to get this done. I have a fairly good knowledge of Toon boom now, so I tried to implement what I know into my work with this. I used a lot of tweening for squashing and stretching and general movement. I have a feeling that I may have overdone it a bit. It was a bit annoying having to line everything up continuously whenever I adjusted things slightly. I think I had about 17 layers at the end as well. :O

I'm kinda happy with this, though it runs a lot quicker as a vid, compared to the test I looked at as I was animating. The playblasts didn't give a good interpretation of how fast my animation is. I'll see what the others say, but I have a feeling I might have to slow it down a bit. It's going to be hard doing that, considering the amount of components and layers I'm dealing with.

Some problems I faced:

The line quality wasn't consistent. When I did the templates, I drew them out very small, compared to the dimensions of the "stage". So naturally I had to enlarge the symbols so they could fit in with the scene. When I drew other components into the animation, the lines would be thinner and not fit in with the templates.

This was a problem I solved by changing the properties of the line at the bottom of the Flash interface screen. I could change the density fairly easily. It was tedious going back and changing everything, but ultimately it has resulted in a better quality scene.

Tweening was occassionally a hesadache, though it made my work a lot quicker to accomplish. Also colouring everything was a bit fiddly. I decided to fill the pencil drawn shapes using the fill tool. This caused problems if the lines didn't connect up properly. Sometimes it would take ages for me to find the gap between the lines that affected the way something is coloured. Very frustrating!

How to tween like a master

I saw this flash vid a long long time ago. I felt that it deserved a feature on my blog. Wonderfully animated and extremely simple. I expect a lot of tweening went into this too! I intend to tween in my flash animating aswell, so this has helped inspire me a lot

Friday, 9 April 2010

Creating the characters in Flash

Spent most of today drawing out all the characters' heads and bodies.

For some of these characters, I'll need to draw these at different angles, such as the geek and the hobo. I think the hobo is going to be the hardest, since he's going to be rotating around 180 degrees. That'll be fun to animate.... oh man.... -__-

The gran is in a seating position because that's basically all she does in her cameo appearance. It would have been a waste of time and effort drawing her standing.

I've assigned us all to the scenes we will be working on. Here they are as follows:

  • Opening Scene (Spotty Greasy Nerd)
  • Dynamic Spinning Box
  • Classroom "Spots and Blemishes" Scene
  • Car Scene
  • Funky Chicken Scene
  • Grandma Present Scene (both parts)
  • "But That's Not All" Shot
  • Spinning Pedestal Hobo Scene
Emma (me):
  • Dancing Girls Scene
  • "Completely Waterproof" Scene
  • C-Box Scene
Michelle requested to do more animating, so I gave her a couple more scenes then me and Jon. The extra ones are fairly straight forward, so I'm sure she'll have no trouble getting them done as well.

I should also say before I forget that we have recorded our dialogue for our voice over. Tom Ritchie, a good friend of ours, agreed to take part in this. He did a fantastic job exaggerating the lines for us, and even taught us a bit about the program "Garage Band". We sped up the dialogue for the product purchase information, which made it even more funny. Also, we echoed the line "But that's not all!", which gave it a rather comical ominous feel to it. The effects you can do on Garage Band are really handy and can create a lot of different moods and depth to a single sound.

Speaking of sound, we have enlisted the help of Matthieu Baron, who will be dealing with the sound and music for our advert. Tara Dulake recommended him to us, so we e-mailed him and another guy to see if they could help us. Here's the e-mail I sent a while ago:

Hey Georgi and Matt!

Tara Dulake has recommended you both to me as awesome sound designers. Me
and my animation team (Jon Blake and Michelle Vinall) are looking for
someone who could do some nice music and sfx for our Rave Live 30sec clip.

At the moment, we are thinking of doing an advert parody in Flash. We have
a vague idea of what we are looking, but obviously we are still in the
early stages of development. But we wondered whether you were both up for
the challenge. If you do happen to be interested in assisting, we should
meet up at some point so we can talk about our ideas, and give you some
example clips as reference or something. If you are unable to participate,
maybe you know of some people who could help us instead.

Anyway yeh I hope to hear from you soon!


Emma Wyton
So yeh, it's great that we have another part of our project in motion. I feel as if all the components are piecing themselves together nicely. Now we should be able to animate! Yay!

Final Colour Swatch

Here's the line up again, only with a splash of colour.

I intended to colour the Jock guy with a tan colour, but he unintentionally looks like an asian indian. I decided that he looked cool like this, and helped create a nice diversity of nationality.
I also changed the look of the Curvy girl to make her look a little more like Betty Boop.

Jon also sent me this video link that helped inspire me with designing her. The lady in the pink dress is extremely expressive and engaging.

I got some good responses from my team about the colour designs. They liked almost everything about the designs. They pointed out that the Hobo's hat shouldn't be a similar colour to his trousers. I altered this by changing it to a more greyish green colour. At first they weren't sure about Blondie's dress colour. They suggested that maybe a red colour would be more appropriate. I had a think about this, and then came to the decision that the Jock guy was already wearing red, so people may assume they are linked or something. I also explained that the green dress contrasted with the Curvy girl's purple dress. After I had talked about this, Michelle and Jon both felt that these were justified reasons for Blondie to have a green dress.

Final Designs

Voila! These are the final character sheets of the characters. We discussed a bit about the 2nd shorter dancing girl, and we think she might be tweaked a bit, because she doesn't look very appealing. So yeh I'll do an update later of how she's changed and stuff. Again, sorry about the photo quality, the scanner was playing up, so I had to use photobooth again.

All I need to do now is add some colour, and then starting bringing it all into Flash! Wahey!

Sketches of some beautiful main characters

Some doodles centering around main characters in our storyboard. Was fun coming up with the look for the cool guy and the dancing girls. It's allowed me to try and vary my way of drawing people. I've tried to make each character look unique and vary in shape and design. I think htis can be seen in my development.

Sorry about the quality of the pics. I had to use photobooth, which was annoying.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Gnome Playblast01

Yehhhh this is a bit awful, but its a block out so its not meant to be super super neat. Unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to work on it, considering the time span I have for the other project. I will try and work on it a little more, and see what Sarah thinks of it. She understands that I have a lot on my plate, so I will try my hardest to get something good completed for her.

Final Storyboard of Advert Animation

Here's the compiled final storyboard that me and Michelle drew up. We're pretty happy with the layout and flow of the shots, and will now endeavor to develop backgrounds, characters and props.

Jon has done a really good animatic of these shots as well, which you must check out.

My Storyboards

Here are some of the ideas I had for the advert animation story. I hope it's clear enough for you to interpret and read.

The feedback I got from the others was very positive. They liked the rain and xbox ideas the most, and felt that there would be potential for most of the shots I pitched.

There was a lot of debate about who the main character should be in this, and how we were going to sell our product to him or her. We considered an old lady character for a while, because we thought she could be a bit senile and not really understand how awful our product is. But the a lot of the ideas we came up with were aimed at the youth more (xbox, disco, class etc) so in the end we concluded that a teenage boy would be best. He could be a loser who wants to try and fit in in class. The box would be the product we would promote for him as a way of being accepted and getting through life.

Michelle and Jon came up with some great panels too, and we have manage to select the best ones from each of our storyboards. In my next post I'll show you what we came up with

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Gnoming Around

Well, I've made a good start on the character designs for the Advertisement project. I've finalized the design of the main character, and I have almost finished designing the xbox friend of his. I've had a few distractions this weekend so I think I've done pretty well considering.

Anyway yes here are the two poses I need to do for our dear friend Mr main gnome.

[These are screenshots I got from the youtube animatic which can be found on the Gnome group blog]

Using these as reference, I'll try and get as close to these illustrations as possible. They are really nicely drawn, so I should have no problem utilizing them as a guidance for my animation. Unfortunately, the Main Gnome character hasn't been fully rigged and modeled, so I have the Butch Gnome character to use instead, so I can practice using the rig and stuff.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Research - Adverts and Animations

I figured the best way to group all my fave clips that have helped me would be to create playlists on Youtube. Inserted on this post are two playlists I made. One contains Animations, and the other contains Advertisements. - Adverts - Animations

Some of my absolute favourites, that have inspired me the most are the following videos:

I think the important thing that we need to remember with an advert is the structure in which an advert is laid out. It's not the same for all products that are advertised, but I have noticed that there is a trend in layout. I see adverts being structured like this:

  1. CLARIFICATION OF A NEED. Basically, you have a problem, and you need something to fix that
  2. SOLUTION. We have the product that will solve your problem and here's why
  3. CONCLUSION. Clearly show the product so it can be recognized, and maybe where you can buy it
I have tried to bare this in mind when thinking about our advert ideas


Not only am I going to be working on the 30 second animation with John and Michelle, I'm also going to be doing a short shot of animation for the BA students. The group I am going to be assisting are doing a project for a short film called "Gnome". Here's a link to the group blog.

Gnome Blog

Sarah Verrel, the team captain, has been asking us year 2 students for help with their project, and I felt that I would be able to find time to join in as well.

Here's my correspondence on rave mail for you to see:

Hey Emma,

well the character that will be ready tomorrow will be Macho Gnome, so not
the one you'd use for shot 11 however i think its still worth making a
start of even with this character just to get used to the rig and into the
swing of animation again. Once you've cracked the movements/facials you'll
easily be able to transfer it to Hero once he's complete. Im happy to give
that shot to you so yeah by all means, take a copy of our character and
start practicing for this shot.

You'll find Macho Gnome in Public Folders > Gnomes Animation Tests. Look
for Macho Gnome file. Letme know any feedback concerning the rig and of
course how your animating is going.

Please let me know what your weeks panning out like as i'd like to keep up
to date with how your doing on this. If we say could i see a playblast of
the animation for next week (Tues 6th) would this fit well with the rest
of your work? We hope by then to have Hero Gnome complete by then so
hopefully you'll be able to transfer your animation over to him.

Letme know your thoughts and I look forward to seeing what you've got in
store for us.


> Hey again!
> Thats cool I'm glad you like my animation! It wasnt much fun animating
> listening to that music over and over again, I have to say lol!
> Great! Thanks for the links to the blog and stuff. I've checked out the
> whole animatic and shortlist of shots, and I've taken a fancy to shot 11.
> I'd love to animate that great mood change that Hero displays there. Of
> course, if it's taken by someone else already, I'd be more then happy to
> do a different shot. I dunno, what do you think?
> I'll be in college tomorrow, so I'll grab that model when I get there. Yay
> I can't wait to play around with the gnome's model!
> Ciao for now
> Emma
>> Hey Emma
>> Thanks for getting back to me. I understand the other project
>> commitments
>> you have, but of course if you could spare some time to help us out with
>> Animation I would be very grateful. Thanks for the link to your blog,
>> your
>> animation to music did make me laugh! Our shot list is up on our team
>> blog, link is:
>> if you need to refer to the animatic again the link is:
>> perhaps you could complete one of the easier animation shots, giving you
>> more time to finesse? Letme know your thoughts.
>> One of our characters will be ready on Monday to start test animations,
>> and you get hold of it through the public folders > gnomes animation
>> tests. Any feedback on the rig would be great.
>> Keep me updated and hopefully we can arrange something.
>> Sarah
>>> Hey Sarah!
>>> Thanks for your e-mail. I really enjoyed your presentation of your
>>> short
>>> film the other day. Sounds like a really cool and well thought out
>>> story,
>>> and the style looks really unique too!
>>> However, I have decided to join a group of other animators who are
>>> making
>>> a 30second long animation to be played at Rave Live. We have quite a
>>> short
>>> time to accomplish everything for it, so I feel that my priorities
>>> should
>>> lie with that.
>>> But I was thinking that I would still like to be involved with your
>>> project, since I'm so stoked about it. Even if it is just a small role
>>> or
>>> whatever, I'd be happy to help! I might be able to do a short bit of 3D
>>> animation.
>>> If you'd like to see an example of some 3D animation I have done, here
>>> is
>>> a recent example on one of my blogs -
>>> please
>>> excuse the annoying music >__<>
>>> send me a copy of a cute lil Gnome for me to mess about with :D
>>> Speak soon!
>>> Emma
>>>> Hey Emma!
>>>> Sarah from the 3rd Year here!
>>>> Just emailing to see if your still interested in helping out on our
>>>> film
>>>> Gnomes as I know you put yourself down to help with animation.
>>>> Our rig will be available from Monday to start practising animation
>>>> with,
>>>> so you can start some walk cycle tests and then send them through to
>>>> us,
>>>> provide a link to you blog with it on or alternativly come see me to
>>>> show.
>>>> Im usually in most days up in the 3rd Year Animation room.
>>>> Email me back and letme know asap please
>>>> Thanks
>>>> Sarah
I have only just got the model today, so I'll be able to have a play around with it this weekend and hopefully show her some snazzy animation by Tuesday.

I'm going to do shot 11 in the shot list, which can be found on the Gnome blog. It's fairly simple, and requires some nice expressions and timing. I think this should be right up my street. Fingers crossed I'll be able to get it done in time!

Development of Ideas 2

Hey again!

I'm a bit late with my posts. A lot has been happening lately, so I've been trying to keep on top of that more, and my blog has taken a step down in priorities lately. Sorry about that! However, I intend to try and update everything that I've been doing for the project.

Okay well I was assigned the task to develop some sketches of the homeless man. Here are some of the drawings I did for the hobo. These drawings are based on ideas we had, which can be seen on my last post

Before I delved into the drawing of the character, I utilized a technique that Pixar uses to explore personalities. "He is, You are, Thou art, I am" or "The Invocation" is a way of examining the following attributes:
  • He is = Physical Appearance of object or person
  • You are = How it functions, or personality
  • Thou art = Personal relationship or experiences with object or person
  • I am = Personifying yourself as the object or person
Below I wrote down a study of the hobo we were thinking of advertising:

You can see underneath the drawings I did. As I was sketching these, I was very aware of how progressively mean these drawings were becoming. It seemed a bit harsh putting a poor person into these situations. My team discussed that this kind of idea may not be very broadcast worthy, since it may be seen as a bit cruel. However, here are the sketches for you to see.