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,