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Batter Up!

Last week’s posing assignment was similar to the first one: creating poses with Stella that show movement.

I was casting around for some cool inspiration and I came up with….baseball!

Damn girl. Throw that.

Damn girl. Throw that.

Swing, batter batter, swing!

Swing, batter batter, swing!

I’m pretty happy with the poses and I’ll post up my sketches for these poses later. For now, here are the before poses and the critiques I received:

Before

Pose 01: Plant the screen right foot and pay attention to the twist and arch in her back.

Pose 02: Lean her back more as she is in the sketch and really twist her upper body. My peers also gave me reference images to help with the angle of the bat. Thanks peers!

On a side note, my cool German friend Al liked my work and he mentioned me on his blog, so I’m gonna do the same and throw a shout out back at him! He has fantastic animations and his blog can be found here:

http://alexdiestel.tumblr.com/

– and his website is here:

http://www.alexdiestel.de/

Danke!

Term 2

Here we go……….again…..

Oh yeah, I forgot to say I’m in my third week of Animation Mentor Term 2!

The aim of the class is to use the fundamentals we learnt last term to nail basic body mechanics.

My mentor is Leigh Rens! He’s a really nice animator originally from South Africa (eek! Springboks Rugby team!) currently working in the pre-viz department of the Disney Toons Studio. The awesome thing about his career journey is that he’s pretty much self-taught, and so he can offer some insights to animating that don’t come with having taken a degree.

Some of the assignments this term involve using a dog, which I’m really excited about! Last year for my graduate film, I learnt how difficult dogs are to animate, and so I’m glad I get a chance to learn the basics of quadreped mechanics.

Can’t wait to see how the term pans out!

STELLLLLLAAAAAA!!!!

In a previous post, I had talked about how Animation Mentor was rationing out the limbs on characters (rigs) we get to animate. First we only had a ball and tail (Tailor) and then we had a ball and legs (Ballie).

Well guess what the cat dragged in???? That’s right – A TORSO COMPLETE WITH ARMS!

The rig’s name is Stella (hence the Streetcar Named Desire reference) and she’s amazingly flexible with her controls and body manipulation. Our first assignment with her was to create poses expressing ‘Movement’.

Woo! Parkour!

Woo! Parkour!

I chose Parkour references because let’s face it – anything that involves flipping around buildings AND the French language slots right into the ‘cool’ chart (just above Lenny Kravitz and just below walking away from an explosion).

REVIS_stephanie_tomoana_movementpose_01

REVIS_stephanie_tomoana_movementpose_02

Catch ya on the flippity flip!

I think the revised poses turned out pretty well, although the first pose was quite difficult to make appealing while remaining true to the mechanics of anticipating a flip.

AM T2 Initial Movement Poses

These images were what I initially submitted.

Critique (Pose 1): Have her weight thrust more over the front leg, bend the back knee, revise the arms.

Critique (Pose 2): Her eyes should be looking more towards the ground (where she’s going), add some tension to the top foot.

Can’t wait to show you guys the walk that I have going with Stella!

Anim Mentor Term 1 Poses

*Sexy kitty growl*

*Sexy kitty growl*

You’re a tiger baby, yeah! That’s the Austin Power’s photoshoot vibe I was trying to channel in my first assignment with Animation Mentor (above).

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I said I would post the 7 poses I created in term 1. I finally got around to rendering them and compiling the initial version of the pose (on the bottom) with the final version after peer and mentor critique.

‘Free Pose’ Critique: Separate the shoulder from the head, avoid 2 straight arms, make the screen right hand support the body better and simplify the feet/leg shape.

AM_T1_excited

Tee hee!

“Ooh, mint ice cream!” turned into “ZOMG butterfly!”

‘Excited’ critique: Avoid twinning with the arms and legs, revise the balance of the pose and revise the line of action in the body.

AM_T1_devastated

What do you mean there are no Snickers pods left!?!?

Yes, this is how I feel when I check the cupboard and my chocolate stash has been obliterated – possibly by myself (possiblyat2aminthemorning) – but still, WHY IS THE CHOCOLATE GONE!?

‘Devasted’ critique: Rotate the screen left hand to hang more naturally, align the hips more to the right over the feet and make the screen right leg flow into the torso smoothly.

AM_T1_strength

There’s a good energy in the gym!

Cue the Rocky music.

‘Strength’ critique: Bend the lower body down more, watch the negative space of the feet and revise the placement of the rings.

AM_T1_concerned

If you’re wondering why little Jimmy is so upset, it’s not just because he lost the game for his team – his chocolate stash is also empty.

‘Concerned’ critique: Simplify the pose of the child to draw attention back to the adult, rotate the screen right arm back.

AM_T1_exhausted

My uni life in CG.

Snorlax much?

‘Exhausted’ critique: Get rid of the negative space between the chair arm and and the legs, and between the head and the couch.

AM_T1_balance

Looks like the beginning of “YYYYYY-M-C-A!”

‘Balance’ critique: Bring the body more screen left over his hand.

And there will be plenty more poses at the end of this term with awesome new rigs!

Sketches: My Concerned Exhaustion is in Balance

You know what I learnt (besides sketching is faster in Photoshop)? Drawing concern ain’t easy, mostly because you kind of need two characters: one to throw a pity party and another person to attend said party.

Concern. I could have sketched a lot of politicians for this one. Or celebrity fathers.

Concern. I could have sketched a lot of politicians for this one. Or celebrity fathers.

Exhaustion – now that’s something that comes easily! Drawing these poses was just about channelling my time at University and Japanese train commuters falling asleep while standing up. I have to say, even though I chose the first pose, I’m particularly fond of pose 3 slamming his face into the step:

Probably sketched from life. My life. Around 2pm in the afternoon.

Probably sketched from life. My life. Around 2pm in the afternoon.

No joke, that was a pose based on an image of a polar bear. HA!

Drawing balance was definitely the hardest to reference yourself. Normally I like to try a pose out myself so I understand where the body feels pressure and weight. Unfortunately I’m no Yogi or ballerina. In fact, when I tracked my Center of Gravity on Wii Fit once, the image it drew looked like a Pollock painting.

Enter Google Images!

Ahhhh balance. 'Karate Kid' at sunset anyone?

Ahhhh balance. ‘Karate Kid’ at sunset anyone?

Next time I post about emotions, it’ll be for my final renders!

That, or I’ll have watched ‘Atonement’ and need to throw a pity party on the internet. You’re all invited.

A Small Tale – Tailor Animation

I realised at Animation Mentor that they like to ration you on limbs for characters like you’re on a diet. Then when you’re really hankering for something else to animate, they give you the typical dish of a ball – with a side of tail!

That’s Tailor, a character that should mimic a squirrel (password = tailor). The animation is an exercise in secondary motion and overlapping action.

When I was at Uni, I couldn’t get enough of overlap (password = wave):

Woah ho HO! Ribbons, ponytail, handbag, dress, boobs, I just didn’t want to leave anything out did I?

And before we had Tailor, we had a pendulum:

As simple as it looks, I actually struggled with this pendulum. Ironing out the stickiness of the segments of the arm and finding the right speed for the moving platform took a bit of experimentation. If you didn’t get it right, you could have the arm breaking so it wasn’t smooth or you could have it so smooth and slow it looked underwater. However, compared to my 2010 pendulum (password = swing):

– the timing is better and it’s a bit less mechanical.

Stay tuned to see what limbs are rationed out next!

Week 8 Sketches

Work those abs!

Work those abs!

Here are my sketches from Week 8 showing “physical strength”! If only it had been “mental strength”, I would have been able to do a pose of Professor X from X-Men with two fingers on his forehead while he uses his mind-voodoo.

The pose I chose (woah, Dr Seuss moment) is so horizontal because it’s based on this amazing cross-fit chick. She makes me wanna eat about a kilo worth of chocolate feelings.

Ball Bounce: Hindsight is 20/20!

Ok, so I lied. I said I would post animations at the end of the term. Then I remembered that when rendering animations, it NEVER goes right the first time. It’s scientific. Here, I wrote an equation:

Rendering (first attempt) = FAIL + try again

So here’s my first second render of the first exercise from Animation Mentor:

Did I blow your mind!? I know I did.

With that exercise, I now have the credentials to make a feature film. Coming this Spring: Ball Bounce – The Movie (in 3D!). I’m trying to get Brad Pitt to make a cameo appearance as the hoop in the background.

But in all seriousness, check out how different it is to my first attempt at a ball bounce in 2010 (password = 1b):

WOAH, that ball must be an Autobot because he was determined to “roll out” of there. And the sudden stop for no reason is juuuuuuusssttt a bit painful.

Ah well, it’s easy to criticise but we all have to start somewhere right? And now that I know that a bouncing ball is like the hips of a character, it suddenly makes the exercise seem more relevant to me 3 years later. It’s also nice to see progression :).

So stay tuned and I’ll keep you all posted with past/present animation comparisons for your entertainment!