Friday, November 30, 2012

Timing & Spacing Lecture-Now Available

Hey Everyone!

So upon popular request, and because it's a very tricky subject to wrap our heads around, I've just recorded a new lecture for: Timing and Spacing.
In this lecture I will discuss all these elements that create Timing:
-Spacing- Visual Time
-Timing: Side A and Side B
             -Three Speed timing
-Common pitfalls and how to fix them.

Here is a Preview of the lecture:

To purchase the lecture for $15 (USD) please click the Buy Now button or head over to the Tutorials and Lectures section of this page.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Follow A long A Shot-Part2

Breakdowns and Timing pass!

Here is a quick update on the latest shot. I added Breakdowns and afterwards spread out all my keys and added the timing.

One big thing to notes is that I purely focus on each step on my workflow at a time. Therefore when I do Key poses, like last pose that is all I focus on. No Timing, No breakdowns, just key poses. If it's working on just that level I can move on to step two, breakdowns.
Same thing for Breakdowns and once that is working properly move on to add timing.

I do think of some rough timing in my head. but it's important to give each step of your workflow it's proper attention. Just like the architect knows there will be 4 windows in a house, but she/he doesn't start building the house by cutting wood for the window.

Start Spline

So here is the next pass where I start to spline. Notice how some of the timing has dramatically changed since I am going for a very snappy feel. 
I work in small chunks so I spline frm 1-36, frm 36-71,frm 71-98.
I will usually start spline by cleaning up the graph editor, then I will proceed to making sure things are not moving on the same frame. (Super huge note, frame by frame your work so all the parts in your character are not moving on the same frame.)
Arcs, sharpen timing.
Notice frm 1-71 I have gone in and done all that's mentioned above, but frm 71-98 I've only cleaned the graph editor so everything is moving at the same time and does not look very good.

Thanks and more to come soon, enjoy and feel free to ask questions in the comments section.
For more detailed information about my workflow check out previous post or the Lectures section of my blog.

Toon Boom Halloween Contest

My friends over at Toon Boom are having a pretty cool contest this month, and you can get a free copy of Flip Boom Doodle. Might be a fun way to mess around with some 2d animation tools. I know quite a few animators who use 2d software to plan out a majority of their shot. Definitely worth trying, you never know you might love it and find a new addition to your workflow.

Here are the details they sent along:

Toon Boom's 2012 Halloween Animation Contest
Toon Boom is hosting its annual Halloween Animation Contest. Using a free copy of Flip Boom Doodle, animators of all skill levels and ages are invited to create their own dancing Pumpkin! Winners will receive an iPad or a copy of Toon Boom Studio. The contest closes soon on October 31, 2012, so get those submissions into Facebook today! Click to enter:

Here are some of their submissions, if you just want to check out the competition or just watch animation:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Follow A long New Shot-Beginning to End

So here is a follow along for my latest shot. I will try to record myself working through some of these phases and post here, so you can grab some tips :)

Step 1: Imagination
 I visualized my shot and new I wanted something super wacky and over the top dramatic. So I decided to do a little girl eager to eat her hamburger and fries and BAM her parents decide to ruin it with vegetables. So she freaks and then decides to smell the veggies and the smell is so brutal its tweaks her and then she faints. Might even add her waving a little white flag at the end, where all you see is the flag as if saying "i surrender"
Definitely a very Looney Tunes style inspired animation and as said by Genndy Tartakovsky said "if I wanted realism, I'd watch a live-action movie."

*This shot shows:
1. Change of Emotion
2. Character in conflict with the situation

Step 2: Video Reference

Here is my Video Reference (A little crazy and embarrassing but hey go big or go home right!! #sportsMetaphors)

Step 3: Drawings
Extract all my Key poses from my video reference, and clean up poses for line of action, negative space.
(For more on this please refer to the lectures section where I go into more specific details)

Step 5: Set Up Scene and Shelves
Basically set up my scene and reference my character and my set in to keep my Maya file as light as possible.
Build shelves for my character so I can easily select All the controls, the Rarm, Larm, Arms,ect..
(If you find yourself selecting more than one control twice, build a shelf for it. This will increase your speed tenfold)

Step 6: Blocking Key Poses
Here I blocked in my Key poses and even a few extra sort of holds. Notice how I blocked in the nose sniff because I felt it was important, but not the head shake on the initial scare. (You can't see the headshake now, but i know it will go there and it will be in my breakdowns.) (Make these decisions on your own, always go with what YOU need for the shot to make sense and feel solid. Everyone works differently, as long as you feel like you know what will happen in every drop of every pose than your good)

-I fully pose the face, making sure to avoid twinning. Solid expressions that convey an exact emotion (these can take me and hour or more, but you have to invest the time at some point so might as well do it early) Also helps to see if your shot is working
-I fully pose the fingers-they are so expressive and essential to selling your entire pose. Give them love, even if you have to tweak every single controller they have. Get the pose YOU want, not what Maya gives you.

Here is my blocking with NO timing, it's just 20 frames played super slow. I usually just scrub my timeline and imagine general timing in my head. (Timing will not come until after Breakdowns, right now all the focus is on Key poses and then breakdown poses)

That's where I am for right now, more to blog as soon as I get it done! All these steps have detailed descriptions in post throughout the blog and in the Lectures sections. If you want more info check those out. Stay inspired, Stay motivated, Keep Calm and Animate On!

Friday, September 14, 2012

New Lecture:Finding Key Poses in Video Reference

Finding Key Poses in Video Reference-$15
In this new lecture I will discuss how to identify your Key Poses in your video reference. This is an expansion of sorts to the Planning Lecture below. I will give you some rules and tips to help you maximize the most information out of your video reference. I will go through a physical acting shot, a subtle shot, a quadruped shot and facial video reference.

For more lectures please go to the "Animation Tutorials and Lectures" section.

Monday, July 23, 2012

New Facebook Page

I created this Facebook page so everyone could be updated on new post, tips and tricks. Here is the link, be sure to "like" it and you should see my post on your feed.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Step by Step Planning for your Animation"

"Step by Step Planning for  your Animation."
Now Available!
"Spend half your time planning your scene and the other half animating." -Ollie Johnston
How to purchase the full video:
1. Send $15 through paypal to: 
2. Once I receive your payment I will share out the video with you.
3. You're all set and ready to fully and truly understand Animation!

Here is a preview of what you will learn in the 1h 18min lecture:

Here is the outline for the lecture:
1. What line to choose
2. Choosing a set/scenario
3. Writing your back-story, in order to understand your characters
4. How to do proper video reference and get the most out of it.
5. Drawing out your poses
6. Planning your facial expression to the characters emotions
7. You are ready to rock and roll and job into the computer.


Here is a great link to some more information on Frank and Ollie (I love this site!):

Friday, May 25, 2012

Purchasing a Lecture

If you are interested in purchasing a lecture please click on the link at the top titled "Animation Tutorials and Lectures"

Here is a link just in case: