18 October 2010


This week's micro project was all about sound; more specifically, onomatopoeia. I have to say I wasn't really looking forward to this one, as sound isn't really my forte, but I actually think I enjoyed this the most out of the three! 

We were asked to choose at least 5 onomatopoeia, record them, and then create an animation which used them all together. Mine were Plip, Rustle, Thud, Click, Whoosh and Splosh. I decided to animate a person throwing stones into a pond, who is then met by a big monster, who also throws a stone in the pond, making a big splash. I like how this one turned out, though I hadn't had such bad shoulder pain one day that I had to stop and go home...I think there are definitely areas that I would have wanted to improve upon. 

So, that's the last of the micro projects. I can't say I'm not relieved, but at the same time, I think I learned a great deal from doing them, and I definitely think it's given me a much better idea of the quantity of work expected when working in industry. It's going to be so strange working on the main project now, having a whole eight weeks or so to complete it. I think I need to get back in the habit of drawing rats, too. I had it pretty much down to a tee over the summer, but now because I've been doing other things, I'm finding it harder to get them to look natural.

I've also got to try and remember that I have two other modules to be getting on with, which I'll probably write more about in the next few weeks. Anyway, till next week


11 October 2010

Quarreling Hippos

So, for this week's micro-project we were each given a proverb from a different part of the world and we had to create a short animation illustrating it. Mine was 'When two hippopotamuses quarrel, don't put your oar in'. I decided to take it quite literally- two hippopotamuses having a girly fight over something, man comes in and tries to separate them with his oar....but then gets sat on!

I'm pleased with how a lot of it came out in the end...in particular the girly fight, the way the characters step back when the human pushes them and the high-5 at the very end. I think I never truly appreciated until now how much you can do with holds and cycles, and still come out with an engaging piece of work!

There are some things that I would like to have changed though- for a start, I orinigally wanted the animation to begin with one of the hippos shoving the other (in an attempt to provide a reason for the fight breaking out in the first place). I think this would have made the whole thing stronger, but decided that it wasn't necessary, especially considering the time constraints. I'm really keen to ink this and scan it and colour it properly to create some showreel-worthy stuff, so I might make some amendments as I do that.

Also, the reason that the video is so blocky and layered, is because I used so many cycles, and animated each character on separate pieces of paper for the most part. I worked out how to cut them all together in Digital Pro without having to vectorise the line, but it wasn't a perfect solution.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the animation, if you've got any feedback I'd love to hear it


4 October 2010

Starting 3rd Year

Well, I meant to update the blog literally weeks ago, but didn't because I'm now back at Uni! I really want to consistently post here every week, though, so from now on I'm going to schedule in posts alongside my work. From now on, I'm going to officially use Sunday as blog day, because I'll be able to write up what I've been doing over the week, and hopefully I won't be too stressed out about being in the studio and frantically trying to get work done :s 

So then, for the first three weeks of the semester, we're being assigned 3 one week 'mini-briefs' in an attempt to try and get us used to animating constantly and going into the studio all the time. This week's brief was to create 9 short animations depicting various prepositions (e.g. inside, behind, in front of, over, under etc.) using only basic, geometric shapes as characters. Pretty stressful stuff, considering that this was set to us on the Monday and due in of Friday! 
So, we've all been hard at work at that project, and although it's been difficult and exceptionally stressful, I see why we were asked to do it, and feel like I learned quite a few things from the experience. The most significant of thing for me was that it re-emphasised how important it is to plan your scene properly before you start animating. I think I would have really benefitted from allocating a day to planning it out thoroughly, and not just barging my way straight into animating in a desperate attempt to get it done on time.

I'm pleased with some of the animations, especially considering the timeframe that we were given in which to do them, but I think most of them could really stand to be improved. I might post the video here later on in the week (depending on how I think it looks when it's edited together...)

Hopefully I'll keep my resolution for regular updates and post again next Sunday


9 September 2010


Well, I haven't managed to get an awful lot done the past couple of weeks, what with getting ready to go back to Uni and stuff.

I've mostly been working on my other summer project where I have to write a sentence for each of Walt Stanchfield's 28 principles, as well as illustrate them. It's mostly going OK, except it's really difficult trying to summarise some of them in only a sentence...

I'm also working on a project for Sarah Lawrence, which seems like it's gonna turn out really awesome! I'll try and update again on Monday.


23 August 2010

Animation Test

I decided that I wanted to try out some animation with the anthropomorphic rat character. I roughed out him putting on a waistcoat, because the movements involved are more complicated than you'd initially think. Also, because I haven't really animated fabric before, so I just wanted to get a feel for how it might work. All in all I'm pleased with how it's turned out, though there's still a couple of things I'd change if I was going to clean it up properly.

I've also been looking at the last of my reference points for the character, as well as trying to break down some natural-looking movements from some video reference that I took from Alonso and Reece. Hopefully I'll be able to use them to get a good walk and run from.

I really want to get a model sheet done for the character soon...for both the realistic and anthropomorphic versions, so I'll probably be posting that up next week if I manage to get it done. Got a pretty hectic week ahead, though- I'm going to the zoo tomorrow to try and get some observational animal drawing done, as well as the many cinema trips I've got lined up (I have friends who still haven't seen Toy Story 3, and I really need to fix it!)


16 August 2010

Ratty Character Development

So, I've been working on developing a design for my rat character that I can use for the anthropomorphic section of my animation. 

One of the main things that I need to try and keep in mind with this design is that it needs to be capable of realistic movement, as well as anthropomorphic movement and expression, in order for the 'seamless transition' to work. This means that I'm somewhat limited with how far I can push the design, and still keep the character looking relatively realistic. I've been looking at a number of reference points to help me with the design process; primarily the illustrations of Beatrix Potter. I really admire the way that she was able to inject such human elements into her characters, but still keep them looking so natural!

I think I'm actually closing in on a usable design now...there's just a few more details to fiddle around with and then I might be able to start on some tests. Oh, and working out what the hell it is I want the character to actually do! I think I want him to put on a little ratty waistcoat, which would also provide a nice way of transitioning between the realism and anthropomorphism, but I'm not sure exactly how difficult it would be for me to animate something like that....

Anyway, here are some of my developmental drawings for the rat character

Incidentally, I've been reading 'Drawn to Life' by Walt Stanchfield, and I've been picking up loads of helpful stuff from it about making a good drawing. I've tried to use a lot of what I've learned in this project and I think you can really see an improvement in terms of visual impact and appeal. I really recommend anybody that's interested in animation or drawing to read both the books, they're really great!

I'll post again next week with any more work I've done,

10 August 2010


Alrighty, then! Time for my first proper post!
At the minute, I'm working on the prep work for my first 3rd year project at University. We had to choose one of four possible briefs that we wanted to do, and I decided to follow the 'Realism to anthropomorphism' one. It's pretty self-explanatory, I have to start off with a quadruped of my choice, and animate it behaving in a realistic manner. I then need to seamlessly transition the character into an anthropomorphic biped, and then back again.

I've decided to use a rat as my animal of choice, seen as I have 2 fantastic ones living in my house!
(Lol, see Alonso on the right sitting on top of the log that me and Booth infamously rescued from the canal...) So far I've mostly been concentrating on doing speed drawings and studies of the rats, both from the real things as well as from photos when I'm in Newcastle. I have a vague idea for the animation itself, but only really that it'll involve a rat in a waistcoat- and possibly a top hat- at some point. I feel as though it's more important at this stage for me to focus on thoroughly getting to grips with drawing the rats, before I get into storyboarding and what have you.

I've posted some of the drawings I've done so far for your viewing pleasure ;)
Hopefully later on this week I'll scan some of my more 'developmental drawings' and post them up too.

Hopefully I'll be posting again before the week is over,

16 March 2010

Doodle Dinosaurus

So, I finally got around to making this blog...talk about procrastination. When I get a spare minute I'm going to spruce it up with a few homey touches. Anyway, I'm going to use Doodle Dinosaurus as a place to post what I'm doing in terms of animation. That means drawings, linetests and even just ideas and thoughts. I think it'll be a good way of keeping a record of this kind of stuff for me to look back on and learn from, and hopefully might even help out somebody else looking to get into animation.
Well, I'll hopefully be updating soon with my first actually relevant post...see you then!