April 2010 Archives

8B: Lip synching

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Mickey Mousing (editing/animating to sound) is a key production skill. The following are sources:

8A: Storyboard due

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Pitch your final project idea. I will meet with each student individually to discuss the proposed work.

7B: Story Board Exercise

Do a storyboard for one of the following:

We Real Cool


We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

Gwendolyn Brooks

Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Shel Silverstein

Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

Final project is assigned

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45 seconds long. It can be anything you want. Storyboard is due next week.

7A: Walk Cycle Critique

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Submit 3 looped movement cycles. The length of each individual cycle is dependent upon how long it takes the character to make a complete movement before returning to its starting position. The cycle need not be humanoid, nor bipedal. (Do keep in mind that the more legs involved, the more difficult the work).

The loop should be seamless. (That is, if I hit "repeat" on the video player, there will be no skips or jitters between cycles).

The three movements should be distinct. They may be distinct via kind of movement (walk, run, hop, jitter, crawl, etc.) They may be distinct because the characters have different kinds of movement. (One tends to mosey, one is nervous and jittery, another is zombified).

Bonus points for all three loops being the same length of time and all within the same movie.

Do not concern yourself with the background. The character(s) and movement will be sufficient.

6A: Cel Animation and environment

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Multiple cycles (movie clips) can be used in conjunction with one another. Characters have their own cycles, as do environments.

Old Popeye

Class Assignment: Flock of Seagulls (not the 80's band)
Here's a tutorial that covers lots of ground at Creative Cow.
Part 1
Part 2

Some important concepts are the notions of looping and staggering loops within a composition, then nesting compositions into others.

6B: Work your walk

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Get out of class when you have two out of three movement cycles done.

Walk Cycle is Assigned

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Exercise: Worm Movement Cycle

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Create a worm movement cycle.
contrast this with a snake movement cycle.

Cycles and loops are efficient and the staple of all early animation, Scooby Doo, and (oh yes) game animation.

Introduction to tweened animation using Flash.

Character Animation and Movement


Character Animation

  • The Importance of Timing
  • The Language of Motion (arcs, curves, etc.)
  • Suggesting Weight
  • Movement Cycles (walk, run, swing, etc.)
  • Facial Animation & Expression
  • Gender & Race
  • Energy Level and Attitudinal Suggestion
  • Limited Environments of Recreation (MMOs, Real-Time, etc.)

REFERENCE: Walking Dots: A study in motion with varying interactive attibutes (gender, weight, mood)

Video: http://www.squetch.com/tism.html

5A: Rotoscope Animation Critique

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Create a minimum of a 20 second rotoscoped animation on twos. (12 or 15 fps). Your source material may come from one source. Edit your source material to 20 seconds BEFORE you begin to rotoscope.

*FOR THE PARANOID: Minimum means you should target 20. There is no penalty for going over. You will not necessarily get a higher grade for a longer movie. Mo' is not necessarily bettah.

A resolution of 720 x 480 is preferred for display purposes if you have desire for personal glory.

Source material that is less than this size can be transformed (expanded) prior to rotoscoping.

Grading criteria:
There should follow a narrative arc: meaning a perceivable increasing complexity over time and then resolution.

It is not sufficient to throw a bunch of filters at this and call it done. The original footage should be reinterpreted and clearly have your own take on it.

Your rotoscope should be beyond an animated version of the source material. Change the meaning, recontextualize it, take advantage of the fact that it is an animation and laws of physics, gravity and reality no longer have any bearing on the work.

Examples of things which may follow this arc:

  • protagonist - antagonist conflict storyline
  • themed movement
  • rhythm
  • pace
  • flocking
  • color
  • line shape
  • spatial relationship

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