Saturday, 15 December 2012

Abstract Animation Project: Good Vs. Evil

The "Abstract Project" mentioned in my last post has finally landed! It has been a crazy couple of weeks between writing extensive "Animation as an Art Form" essays, working on this project and late night feeds I've had no free time to work on any of my personal animation projects. I still have an animatic to get done for January for my Narrative class, but asides from that I have a bit more time to get back to a bit of 2D work.

For this project, we chose a 30 second sound clip created by the sound students and were tasked with creating an abstract animation that matches the sound. Sound and sight are of major importance with this blend of both music and animated imagery. This animated piece conveys war in a very simple form, representing both sides clearly using only colour.

Good Vs. Evil - Link to better quality video on Vimeo.

Overall this project wasn't as bad as I first thought it would be. As my main interest is in character animation, I didn't feel insanely motivated by the assignment. However, once I got started, and incorporated a bit of plot and character into it, I found it much easier to progress. I looked largely at Walt Disney's Fantasia (1940) when researching for this project, as well as the extensive abstract works of Norman McClaren, Oskar Fischinger and Walter Ruttman.
"Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" with "Nutcracker Suite"

"Ave Maria"

These particular scenes from Fantasia were of inspiration to me. The "Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy" scene motivated me to use the glow effect in Maya when it came to texturing the bullets and the "Ave Maria" segment encouraged me to have lights on the "soldiers" in a couple of scenes.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Yorb "Porn" Scene

In-between assessments for GSA, I've managed to produce a little bit more work on "Dog Daze." I initially ran into a bit of trouble with the scene, as I had originally created it in Toonboom Studio 4.0, but have since upgraded to 6.0 which messed up the audio files and render settings.

These are shots that I worked on today, taken from the when the main character Gary accidentally comes across some "porn" when flicking through the channels. I still have work to do on them which I may get finished this week before starting work on our Abstract Animation project.

The scene was originally inspired by a scene in a "Family Guy" episode named "And I'm Joyce Kinney" in which primary character Lois is revealed to have starred in an adult movie and screens it in church (See clip)

Below are my early sketches of the two "stars." My main inspiration for the male physique was a combination of real life research and anime style bodies (pictured) I decided to include the cigar as I felt it added to the overall sleaziness of the programme.

Characters from "Dragonball Z" helped influence body design.

I was never completely happy with the look of the female. I felt that her face was still a little too masculine looking (see below) Drawing the female form has always been a challenge for me and so I worked on it in order to make her more convincing. As well as real models, I looked at two particular Disney characters for the look of the female: Roxanne from "A Goofy Movie" and Ariel from "The Little Mermaid." What I was looking at in particular was their hair, as the curly style hair in my original design wasn't very pleasing or "sexy."

I found these images helpful in overcoming my problems with the character's hair.

Early design that was ultimately scrapped. I felt the body was looking better than some of my earlier concepts but the face wasn't feminine enough especially with the thick eyebrows.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Animation & Sound One: Hopper Project

Our first assessment in Animation & Sound One was to create a 3D representation of an Edward Hopper painting, with a choice between "Office at Night" and "Nighthawks." I chose "Office at Night" because I felt it offered more of a challenge. We were required to submit four renders of our final representation of the office. Below are the four renders that I submitted.


For creating the area that cannot be seen in the painting I decided to include a fireplace, which added to the overall warmth of the office. Overall I was rather happy with the outcome of the project, although I feel the final render could have better matched the painting. I overestimated the size of the office, which consequently meant that there was more space in the frame, unlike in the painting.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Inception style BMW commercial.

University group project from last year. In the brief we were instructed to create a commercial for the BMW Coupe 3 Series in the style of the film Inception. My main duties during this project included animating the car in a number of the shots and some general modelling.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Fatherhood & Masters Degree!!

A lot has been happening in the past few weeks and I hardly know where to begin. First off, I became a proud father on 6/9/12 to a lovely little boy, Logan William Campbell. Since then work on "Dog Daze" has been fairly limited, although the first scene is now ready for animation.

In addition, I was given a place on the "MDes in Animation & Design" course at The Glasgow School of Art.  This follows my unsuccessful application to the Gen Up program at the start of September, so naturally this has lifted my spirits greatly.

I will be trying to continue work on "Dog Daze" and get it finished, while continuing to post updates on the blog. I will also be posting work that I complete on the animation course.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Colouring Gary's living room

This is the first rough sketch that I created for the living room shot.

This image is close to the final design that I will use. As you can see, the basics of the shot have remained the same as in the rough sketch. The only improvements I hope to make are in the colours. I admit choosing colours isn't my strong point, and hope to get helpful criticism from others to improve it.

EDIT: This is the final design that I chose to use for the living room. The main changes were with the colours, the thickness of certain lines and getting rid of the black outlines, which I think has improved the look of the background completely. I also redid the outlines of the rug to give it a more natural look.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

"Creative Animation" pieces from university

Both of these pieces were submitted as part of the first assessment for the “Creative Animation” module. They were part of a group project in which Jon Campbell and I were in charge of animation.

Character Animation: Dream a Dream

This animation was created for a "Character Animation" module in my final year at The University of the West of Scotland.

The main character, Larry, is confronted by his life guide, a small blue creature who guides a person through their life. He has had enough of Larry's laziness and sees no other option but to confront Larry in his dreams..

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Animatic: Scene One

This is a rough animatic for the first scene of "Dog Daze." There are a number of little parts that will probably be timed better for the final animation and the sound effects will be revised. However, I will collect opinions first in order to find out what others think of what has been done so far.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Colouring Gary's house

These are the colours that I have chosen for the establishing shot of "Grumpy Gary's" house. I am not great at deciding on which colours to use for backgrounds and I will probably make several changes before I am completely satisfied.

EDIT: This is the final look that I have given to the establishing shot.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Storyboard images for Scene One

Gary watches his television intently.

 Gary looks around angrily for any flies.

He glances towards his table at his bug spray.

POV shot of the bug spray, a callback to episode one.

Gary closes his eyes and begins to sleep.

Suddenly a barking begins from outside Gary's house.

He turns towards the window and growls.

This is the first scene in "Dog Daze," which I will be starting work on soon. Originally, I had intended the scene to begin with a voice-over from Gary as he read a book (A Tale of Two Cities), which was then interrupted by the barking of the dog. However, this was against my original idea of the character being mute, and therefore, I decided to cut it. I will begin working on this scene after I have colored the establishing shot, and sorted the camera on said shot.

Development of Gary's house.

Creating Gary's house took quite a deal of patience, but I think it was worth it in the end. I will most likely make a few small edits before the entire animation is completed, but this is effectively it. Next, I will begin to work on colouring the scene, for which I will create another post, to show my research and final output. 

Friday, 24 August 2012

Establishing shot of Gary's house

This rough sketch shows is the final angle that I have selected for the establishing shot of Gary's house. This is an improvement on the previous shot, which was face on and felt far less dynamic. I may change the look of the house slightly, when inking it digitally, in order to give it a 'less human' look.

My main influences for this look were the homes of the main characters in both "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy." These shows are a different sort of animated show from the "Grumpy Gary" shorts but I found their establishing shots to be pretty effective.

"Dog Daze" opening sequence

This is the opening sequence that I have decided on for the latest "Grumpy Gary" cartoon. I will no doubt tweak with it before I am finished the episode.

"Dog Daze" title card colour schemes

After a rather long hiatus, I am finally back and working on this project. It feels exceedingly good to have goals once again and I have immediately slipped back into my rhythm. Using Toonboom again after three months was far easier than I thought, and I was instantly familiarised by the tools.

The following images are the different colour schemes that I considered for the background of the title card. The bottom right image is the colour I chose in the end:

Friday, 15 June 2012

"Dog Daze" Title Card

Another design for the title cards of the episode. I am pretty happy with this one, and will most likely use it.

EDIT: I have uploaded the final title card in order to provide a better comparison.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Grumpy Gary in Dog Daze: Planning

This image is a rough sketch of how the title card may look. The title "Dog Daze" is one that may change at a later point.

This is a rough sketch for the background of Gary's living room, where the episode will begin.

This sketch is for the establishing shot of Gary's house.

This sketch is of Gary, looking in a fairly bad condition. I may or may not use this in the episode. If I choose to use this shot, I will probably tone it down a little as it is quite graphic.