For practice I drew animals in different styles with different levels of humanisation.
I also drew different reptiles, amphibians and water animals in my sketchbook 🙂
For summer work we were told to make short animations and I made a quick head turn as i still need to get better at them.
(two different speeds)
Made on Autodesk sketchbook with the flipbook feature
I finally got the turnarounds to work for both characters-
I had a few rendering issues- for Icarus I had to make a new file and with Amphitrite I had to playblast from the turnaround camera as a PNG series and then convert to AVI with premiere pro (that’s why the lights are there). I think turnaround is my least favourite Maya feature.
I like both designs and the turnarounds were made so I could use them for a first year portfolio.
I tested the jiggle deformer in the deform menu on a cube-
This was really fun to do. It was interesting to test the physics and change the material. The engine for this deformer is really good as you don’t need to create an object for it to collide with, the animation instead drives the movement.
All my canyon blog posts-
Initial idea Concept work and pinterest references
Concept work and visual sound score More concept art and inspiration. Also visual score
Animatic, new storyboard and character design Storyboard in black and white and colour
Canyon Redesign Redesign of the layout based on the limitations of my animation
New Animatic and more references Improved animatic with better faces based on feedback
Start of keying Start of actual animation and timings
More Scenery Design Background work and title page
Formative Assessment changes More changes based on feedback
More Animation based on summative presentation
Soundtracks- (trial and final)-
Final Animation Post-
Here is my final 2D animation for the sound project-
(please watch with good speakers/headphones to get all the sounds)
What I like-
I think the sound is really effective and matches the environment. I kept reworking the echo level and timings and I think it really flows well together.
I animated the rain about three different ways. By making it two colours and adding the splashes it helps place it in the scene better. The shadows and lighting changes also ground the place and give it depth. I used about 11 layers for this piece, which while really hard to keep track of did mean I could animate more of the background objects and have a more defined foreground and background.
I think my camera angles, backgrounds and character movement is good. I tried to vary the shot type and place character movement on an angle so nothing was too linear and boring.
I also think my character designs are pretty good. I had three reviews and after each one I was told how to improve them so by the end of the animation I finally got a consistent face and look.
What I need to improve-
In some scenes the lines jump a bit which really annoys me. Also the scene where the canyon cracks took about 10 trials as I had issues with timing and consistency.
The dog was easy to draw and animate but I had huge problems with the human character which I think shows in the animation.
Another thing that frustrated me was the fact I couldn’t export how I wanted into TVPaint so I ended up redrawing all my backgrounds using the brushes in TVPaint. I wasn’t able to get the same style as I did in the concept art so I feel like the backgrounds don’t quite have the soft style I wanted.
I also feel like I could’ve pushed things a bit more. Near the end where I move the shadow of the drill and animate the drill head is more visually interesting than a few of my longer scenes.
I decided to upload the trial soundtrack and final soundtracks on their own so they can be compared.
I’ve started to animate the rain and add more keys. I still have a lot of work to do but it’s going well so far.
Icarus masterpost of all my work on the subject.
During my animation I struggled with the timings and framing of some of the scenes. I ended up animating a lot of the motion from multiple angles in order to get the best results and to disguise some of the faults with the rigs.
Below is one of the scene trials-
And the test for the final head scene-
I found it useful to have lots of notes of things like specific frame timing and light intensity.
I created a soundtrack from freesounds.org. I first picked the bubbles and then added the splash and cello sound. I knew I wanted a crowd as an ongoing background noise, so in the end I spent more time changing the amplification of the tracks than actually brainstorming what I wanted.
Here is the finished piece-
What I like- I like both my character’s designs and how they look next to each other. I ended up toning down the Amphitrite design by reducing the number of colours, and by keeping Icarus’s design down to 3 colours it helped give the piece a matching look. I worked for a long time on the face UV map and Blend shapes for Icarus and I think they turned out really well. I focused on the faces a lot as I knew I would have close ups in the animation. I didn’t want the faces to look dead or low quality.
I worked on the soundtrack last but during the animation I had a basic idea of what I wanted to sound like. The lighting and choir in the background both work well to create the unreal atmosphere. I wanted it to be obvious Icarus was underwater but I also wanted to place to seem dreamlike and it to be obvious he couldn’t leave.
The lighting is probably my favourite non-animated part of the film. I spent a long time getting the colours and intensity of the fill lights right. I needed them to have filters and not create too dark shadows. They were really effective in creating the environment, particularly in the first two cuts.
I ended up with about 45 seconds of animation, but because I used a new camera for each render I could edit much faster and re-render when things went wrong. Having lots of production material and a good system for animating made the creation much quicker.
For the actual animation I think a few parts like the swimming movement, the blends shapes and the head movement are really good, but in some parts the rig limited me in what I could do.
What I don’t like- When i rigged the hands I removed the finger rigs so in some scenes the hand clips around. I don’t think it’s that noticeable but it is a fault that I should’ve really gone back to fix. The shadows are a bit inconsistent but as I like the lighting so much it’s not too big of a deal.
I ended up with about 50 seconds of finished animation at the end, and by the time I managed to edit it down to 35 seconds I wasn’t able to hold the final scene like I wanted, so I’m not sure it it finishes to quickly.
Overall I like it. I managed to tell the story I wanted to, rig and animate two characters, and create a finished piece. Although it isn’t identical to my storyboard I like the film I’ve made. I think reducing it down to two physical character and a spotlight representing the sun makes a tighter story than introducing backgrounds or sea animals would.