Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day 5: The Bouncing Ball

Good morning class! We have successfully made it through Day 5 of 2D Animation Class. Day 5 was a bit overwhelming for me but exciting, nonetheless, wouldn't you all agree? The professor began the class by checking our Arrow and Character Hit Films. If you followed the directions and tips I gave for Filming Your Animations, you received a good grade and you weren't asked to redo the assignment. If you were asked to redo the assignment I strongly suggest that you follow my tips on this blog. For those of you that filmed your Character hit with an interesting background, the professor may have requested that you send him the Flip Book file in an e-mail. Don't forget to send him your file! We don't want him to think we are stupid, forgetful children, do we? :)

This time around, the professor did not check on our Preston Blair Sketches that he assigned in the last class. Instead, he will check on them next class, so please have them ready. To begin the lesson he started off by showing us a Character Jump-"Squash and Stretch" Antic Path Of Action. Click "this link" to view the character jump. 
Professor's Character Jump
Professor's Ball Form

You can observe that the character (in ball form) stands at the top of a ledge and as it prepares to jump, it squishes down as if to bend its knees. In another motion it stretches upward to signify that is is jumping up and off the ledge. After the first arch it will fall, touch the ground with a squashing motion and stretch upward to bounce or jump once more. Another arch is made before the character lands on another ledge, squashes down and stands erect. Though the height of the arches made by the character appear to be the same, when applied to the ball, the concept is to make it look as if the ball is losing momentum when it  bounces across the screen so that it stops at the end of the paper.
Ball Losing Momentum

Here is the path of action for the ball that we will be animating:
Professor's Path Of Action

A student in the class asked a very good question yesterday. I believe they asked something that sounded like this: "If the ball is losing momentum with each bounce, why is the ball squishing down into the same form every time it hits the floor?" The professor replied that the ball can be animated in many different ways. He showed us pictures of other student's work and how they did the path of animation for the ball. This answer didn't seem enough for me. So while he showed other examples I formulated my own idea as to why the ball squishes the same every time. The ball squishes the same every time because it is alive in a sense that it is a character. Maybe it is not just squishing and bouncing, it could be preparing to jump as well. So don't think of the ball as just a ball; think of it as a silly round character we have yet to put the face on. Like Baby Digimon for example! I'm sure you all know about that show. I wont post a picture because I don't think the professor will like it, but there is a picture link if you click on "Baby Digimon".

Start off on a clean sheet of acme punched paper. You should be using the 10x12 inch acme paper the professor instructed us to get at the start of class. Just 4 sheets for now. Start off by drawing a straight line about an inch and a half from the bottom of your paper in blue animation pencil; this will be the ground. Next you will draw the ball's path of action. As displayed above, the ball will seem as if its rolling off of an edge. You cannot see an edge but pretend it is there. Draw half an arch touching to the ground, another arch, which cuts in half the height of the first arch, one more arch, cut in half again and the last arch, which is the smallest, stops the ball. That makes 3 1/2 arches. Next draw your tick marks to let you know where you will put your key drawings. You can also use tick marks for the in between drawings.

It is important that when you draw the ball, you are following the Timing Charts. Now pick up your Carmine Red Animation Pencil. For the first half arch, you will have 2 key drawings. Key drawings have circled numbers. (In this case 1 and 7.) Draw the 1st ball at the peak of the first arch to signify the starts of the object. Then draw the 7th ball on ground level, squished to signify that the ball has hit the ground. You can clean up your key drawings with Black Pencil so you don't get confused later. Follow the Timing Chart which tells you the next two spots the ball needs to be draw; 4th and 5th, which are the 1/3rd and 2/3rd points on the first arch's path of action. Use your Blue Pencil to draw guidelines from ball 1 to 4 and 5. These will help you keep your next drawings the same size. According to the Timing Chart there are 2 more drawings between 1 and 4, as well as 1 more drawing between 5 and 7. It's pretty obvious the missing drawings are 2, 3 and 6. You will need to draw 3 before you can draw 2. When drawing 6 you will have to draw it stretched like an oval to signify that is has picked up speed during its fall before it hit the ground. Make 6 touch 7 slightly, but don't let 6 touch 5. When sketching the guidelines from 5 to 7 make sure to curve it inward over drawing 6.

The same concepts can be applied to the other arches. All you have to do is follow the timing charts given for each half arch.

If you follow the timing chart you shouldn't have any trouble drawing the rest, plus you may use the professor's drawings above for reference! You must draw the path exactly the way the professor has or you will not be able to go on to the next step. He WILL make you do it over. Make sure you get it checked by the professor before moving on.

The professor wants us to get 35 sheets more of the 10x12 inch acme paper and draw each ball on a separate sheet of that paper. Make sure to label each page by it's ball number. In the next class he will go over slow in and slow out, where we will be putting in extra drawing of the ball for the smoothness of the animation film. He's also going to show us flipping order and rolling order. We will also figure out the source of lighting above the object and draw cast shadows.

Make sure to draw a background for your animation. Start with a vanishing point and grid, like so:
Grid by Professor

Decorated Grid by Me

The background has to be more advanced thean the last background you drew for your previous animation. The professor expects more and more from you each time. Look online for ideas.

The homework assignment is to create 15 ball characters with the leaf like bow on its head. (Refer to the flowing object on the character's head in the first picture I posted.) Use your Preston Blair sketches for reference ideas.

Time Versions for Bouncing Ball:
1st Version
Name/Title Page 24, Holds
1st Ball 24, Holds
Balls 2-31, 3 Holds Each
Ball 32, 48 Holds
2nd Version
Ball 1-31, 2 Holds Each
Ball 32, 24 Holds
3rd Version
Ball 1-31, 1 Hold Each
Ball 32, 24 Holds
All 3 versions should be filmed on 1 Scene.

I know it seems overwhelming now, but we're all in this together! If you need help I'll be in the lab today when there aren't any classes going on. I will also try to attend the professor's Thursday class or I will be in the lab next door. See ya later!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Homework Sketches Due 9/26/2012

Here are the completed homework sketches assigned to us on Day 4 and due on Day 5.

Pages 33 and 34
Pages 36 and 37
Page 39

Monday, September 24, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Completed Homework Sketches Due 9/19/2012

Sorry this post is late but, here are the completed homework sketches due on Day 4.

Thanks for viewing! :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Arrow Film

This is what your film of The Arrow should look like. Enjoy! :)

Thanks for watching!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 4: Animating Character Hit

Day 4 was all about how to animate a character hitting into a wall. Start off with a clean sheet of acme paper and draw a line horizontally across the page with your blue animation pencil. Draw your wall on the far right of the page about an inch and a half away from the edge. Next you will use tick marks to scale where to draw 6 character images. The first 5 Characters will look exactly the same while the 6th character will be squashed to the wall like below. Draw the characters with your Carmine Red Animation Pencil. Try to keep the first 5 characters one directly in front of the other with the stomach of the character on the blue horizontal line. Imagine the head of the character is a ball, When drawing the 6th version of the character squashed to the wall, make sure the heads are alined as well. Do not move the character higher or lower than its head's landing point.
Taken from The Animator's Survival Kit By Richard Williams PDF pg. 99

For a stronger hit, you will have to draw the character exactly the same for all 6 spots and then draw the character hitting into the wall as a 7th image, like so: 
Taken from The Animator's Survival Kit By Richard Williams PDF pg. 99

For an even stronger hit, you will have to draw the character exactly the same for 4 spots, and replace 5 and 6 as an elongated version of the character labeled as number 5. Then draw the character hit into the wall labeled as number 6, like so:
Taken from The Animator's Survival Kit By Richard Williams PDF pg. 99

Side Note: After the character hits into the wall the professor would like for us to draw an additional number/version of the hit. You can draw this in blue. The character's limbs are to point inward and you should label this as number 8. You can use my drawing below as reference.

Full View

Up Close

When you are finished with your drawings take a couple sheets of paper and begin drawing a cleaned up version of each one on a separate sheet of paper labeling each one accordingly, just as you did with the arrow project. Draw your background for your animation on a separate sheet of paper; make it unique but not too detailed. You could make the wall a pole in a street scene or a tree in the forest for example. Afterwards you are ready to film!

Side Note: Don't forget to draw the ears and tail on your character!

Here is the full page from The Animator's Survival Kit By Richard Williams you can use as reference.

Taken from The Animator's Survival Kit By Richard Williams PDF pg. 99

Homework Assignment: Cartoon Animation By Preston Blair pages- 33, 34, 36, 37 and 39.

See You Next Class! :)

Filming Your Animations

We all know how difficult it can be to remember to do every single thing correctly when filming an animation so here are some helpful tips and steps to follow when filming your animation:

1.) When filming your animation, it's good to have a buddy or a partner with you to ensure that you are doing everything correctly.

2.) Make sure that the lights in the classroom are on. The light of the lamp isn't always enough and it can make your animation film look dark and grainy.

3.) Place your animation on the peg bar so that all of your pages are lines up correctly.

4.) Open the Flip Book software. (If you have trouble getting in at the school, click the "unlock" button and type "educational" in the code field given. If that doesn't work, get help or you may have to select the "Try It" button for the demo mode. Warning: There may be a huge water mark over your work, but I don't think it is permanent.)

5.) Once inside Flip Book, click on Create New Scene. This will start you on a completely new film process. The frame rate should be set to standard; Frame Rate: 24, X Sheet # of Frames: 500.
Notice the new scene is set to standard.

6.) Next, adjust the camera above your animation to get a full view of your page.

7.) Open the X Sheet aka the exposure sheet to keep track of your progress. The X Sheet displays a sort of column with every shot of your animation taken. (Side Note: If the other tabs for other columns are distracting you, for example: the sound tab, you can click the little box for that tab to collapse the tab and turn off its functions.
Notice the 3rd sound tab is collapsed.

8.) To film your Arrow, go to "File" and "Capture". Keep the Video Capture on Gray Scale and adjust the Gamma for contrast and White for brightness. Film on Level 1. You will need to adjust the "Hold" a couple times when filming. The recommended hold for your Title/Name page is 24. The first page of your animation should be on hold 24 as well. Afterward you are to film the rest of your pages on 3's 2's and 1's. To film your animation on 3's, set the hold to 3; for 2's set the hold to 2; for 1's set the hold to 1. This means for the first time around you should have three shots of each page, the second time around you should have two shots of each page and the 3rd time around you should have 1 shot of each page. This is all done on one scene. Click "Capture" to take a shot of your animation pages. Every time you remove a page you need to record the next one displayed by clicking capture again.
Notice the video capture is set to grayscale and the hold is on 24.

9.) Short Cut Arrow: You do not have to keep going back to film it. For the short cut you should visit your X Sheet and select the first page that begins your animation, (not the title page) hold down the shift key and scroll downward till you reach the last page.
3's: Notice how there are 2 spaces between each tab with red numbers.

(Note: Not the last one with red numbers, select down to the second one below that.) Click "File" and copy, deselect what you have selected, click the next blank frame and paste. You will now have two sets of your animation. To make the second copy a 2's format you would have to go to the beginning of the second copy and delete one frame every two frames you skip down to.
2's: Notice how there is only 1 space between each tab with red numbers.

When you are finished you will find the very first page of your 2's format and select it from top to bottom using the shift key again. (Note: Not the last one with red numbers, select the one under that.) Copy, deselect what you have selected, click the next blank frame and paste. You will have two sets of your 2's format now. Lastly, you will find the first page of your second 2's format and delete every other page turning it into a 1's format.
1's: Notice how there are no spaces between each tab with red numbers.

Congratulations you now have your animation filmed in 3's, 2's and 1's.

10.) Our Character Hit will be filmed all on one speed so your 3 versions of it should look like below with the required number of holds.
1st Version:
Title/Name: 24 holds, Blank Page: 24 holds, 1st page-8th page: 1 hold each, repeat 7th page: 1 hold, repeat 8th page: 24-48 ho holds.
2nd Version:
Blank Page: 24 holds, 1st page-5th page: 1 hold each, leave out/delete page 6, 7th page-8th page: 1 hold each, repeat 7th page: 1 hold, repeat 8th page: 24-48 holds.
3rd Version:
Blank Page: 24 holds, 1st page-4th page: 1 hold each, Elongated 5th Character: 1 hold, 7th page-8th page: 1 hold each, repeat 7th page: 1 hold, repeat 8th page: 24-48 holds.


11.) When adding a background to your animation you may place it in the backgrounds tab, however you will not have the option to adjust the brightness or the contrast. The professor suggests putting the background picture on Level 2 so that you may adjust the brightness and contrast as you wish.

12.) Remember, your Arrow and your Character Hit are to be filmed separately. When you are done filming your arrow you are to click "File", "Export", "Export Movie". You should have 185 used frames by the end of your filming, so adjust the start and end frames. They should be set like this:

Start Frame: 1
End Frame: 185
Start Level: 1
End Level: 1

Select the folder for your class, create a folder within that folder including your full name and save your movie export there. Don't forget to put the name and title of your animation movie. (Otherwise, you are stupid children, as the professor would put it. LOL!) You may also save a copy of your work to your flash drive.

Side Note: The folder for the Wednesday Class would be called "Wednesday Animation Class Fall 2012 5pm", so I'm guessing the folder for the Thursday Class would be called "Thursday Animation Class Fall 2012 4pm".

Hope this helped! Let me know if I missed anything, class! :)

See The Arrow Film! Click Here!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 3: Animating The Arrow

Hello class, Gossipi here! Yesterday marked Day 3 of 2D Animation Class so here I am giving you an update on what went down. First things first; the professor had each of us come up to his desk and show him the Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair Sketches we were assigned last week. If you did them and showed him. GREAT! If not, who cares! (As the professor would put it.) That just goes to show that those of us who completed the homework assignment are serious about the class. I strongly encourage those of you who didn't get the work done to read my blog so that you can catch up on the homework. You wouldn't want to fall behind on the work and I would like for all of us to pass this class together. Lets make the professor proud! As for the 2D Shapes in a 3D Perspective assignment, the professor would like to see those during the next class, so have them ready!

At the start of the class the professor assigned us more pages out of the Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair PDF. (If you do not have the PDF you can e-mail me for a copy.) The pages to be completed by next class are pages 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32. Once again the pages listed are going according to the PDF not the page numbers listed in the book. Want to see this completed homework assignment? Click Here!

To just give you an example of what we're doing, here is the professor's rough sketch:
Going on; the exercise for Day 3 was the arrow. We first placed a couple clean sheet of copy paper onto the light box. (The professor prefers that you never draw directly on the glass because you could mess it up.) Start off drawing a straight horizontal line across your paper with your blue animation pencil; this line is called the "Path of Action", which is the path your character or object will be traveling.

Now with your carmine red pencil draw very simple and proportionate shapes (triangle and rectangle) to create your arrow on the left side of your paper. Be sure not to start too close to the edge of the page. You will label that arrow number 1 and circle the number. Now draw very light guidelines across the paper to help you draw the next arrow. Your guidelines should be just above and below the top and bottom of the arrow tips and you may draw guidelines above and below the rectangle portion of your arrow. Once you have finished drawing your guidelines nice and straight go back to your first arrow and outline it very carefully with your black pencil.

The first and last drawings of your arrow are the most important parts of your animation. They are called keys or extremes. Begin drawing your second arrow to the far right of your paper. Make sure it's not touching the very edge of the paper. Draw a small tick mark at the nose of your first arrow as well as the second arrow you have drawn. You can use these to keep track of progress between drawings. When your second arrow is complete you are to label that arrow by placing a number 5 above it and circling it like the first arrow. Now clean up arrow number 5 with your black pencil; nice straight lines without erasing if you can.

Now that you've got the first arrow, number 1, (character starting point) and the last arrow, number 5, (character's ending point) you can draw the arrow's half way point, which will be arrow number 3. As we break down the animation of the arrow keep in mind the following:

1 and 5 make 3
1 and 3 make 2
3 and 5 make 4

Now we start drawing the middle arrow. You must be careful and sure that your are drawing the middle arrow directly in the middle, otherwise the animation process wont come out as smoothly as it should. We are not aloud to use a ruler so the professor taught us a little trick with our pencils. Draw a half way mark of where you believe the nose of the 3rd arrow would be. Next take the tip of your pencil and line it up with the the nose of the 1st arrow comparing the distance of the 1st arrow nose to the 3rd arrow nose like so:
While holding the pencil in place inch your thumb nail on the pencil where the nose of your 3rd arrow would be. Hold your thumb there and lift the pencil to compare the tip of the pencil to the nose of the 3rd arrow now while your thumb nail matches up with the nose of the 5th arrow like so:
Were both distances between noses 1+3 and 3+5 equal? If so, you are ready to draw the 3rd arrow. If not, erase the nose mark of the 3rd arrow and try again. (Note: This trick can be used to draw the other points of the arrow as well.)

When you've matched every point of the arrow up perfectly draw it in with your carmine red pencil and then make it permanent with your black pencil. You have completed the 3rd arrow; your half way point. Now you will need to draw all the other arrow in between. Refer to the breakdown I've listed above and the Timing Chart I've placed below:
The notes under "Remember:" are referring to the breakdown; this is also the order in which you should draw your arrows. The Timing Chart lists the order of the images and it tells you the direction and speed of the animation. (Side Note: 24 Frames = 1 Second)

When drawing the other arrows you should start in between the arrows you've already drawn. Be sure to use the pencil measurement trick. Here is my sketch for reference:
I Used Blue for the in between arrows so I wouldn't get confused. You can also use the professor's sketch at the top of the page for reference. Be sure to label each arrow as you draw it with the proper number or number letter.
When you're finally done drawing all of the arrows on the page it should either look like my sketch or like this one:
This sketch was done by Gary Torres; our fellow classmate. Gary didn't darken the arrows with black pencil, but it is still a very good reference. You must darken the arrows with black pencil, don't forget.

When all of your arrows are drawn you are ready to draw the animation, which will then lead to filming the finished product! Take 17 sheets of clean copy paper. Place your arrow sheet on the light box with 1 clean sheet of paper over it. Trace arrow number 1 with your black pencil and then label the page number 1 in the lower right hand corner; you're done with the first page. Continue with  fresh sheet of paper and draw the next arrow in line which would be arrow 1B. Be sure to label the page after drawing each arrow in order and don't get them mixed up! Continue to do this until you've drawn the last arrow; number 5.

We're almost done! Now go back to each arrow and medium shade it with your black pencil. Don't shade outside the lines! KEEP YOUR PAGES IN ORDER! When you've finished the last arrow, draw a cover page for your animation and make sure to include your name and maybe a little icon, symbol or mascot to represent your company or production It doesn't have to be much but if you'e been waiting for a chance to free style, do what you like. When you're done, take a stretch and then you will be ready to film your arrow! I'll display my filmed arrow in another post.

The professor said we could come visit his high school class to find out how to film our animation, however, I didn't get to find out where and when that was going to be. He also said you could come to his Thursday Class (today) and find out how to film your animation then. I'll be in the classroom waiting till then. If you're confused about anything I'd also be very happy to help you, so stop on by! :)

See The Arrow Film! Click Here!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Completed Homework Sketches Due 9/12/2012

FINALLY I'M FINISHED! Omg! It's almost 2:30AM and I finally finished the sketches for our Day 2 homework assignments. Due to all the commotion going on in my life I didn't really get a chance to start this assignment till yesterday, however, the first sketch I had completed days before starting the other six sketches. The seventh sketch was completed at exactly 1:30AM. Even though I've got class at 12PM today I was in no rush to get these sketches done. You should always take your time because if you rush, you'll mess up and have to do something all over again. Enjoy the sketches, comment and I'll see you in class. I can't wait to see how you all are doing with your own sketches! :)

Page 3.
Page 4.
I quite enjoyed drawing that friendly Gator.
Page 5.
Dogs, dogs and more dogs...
Page 6.
I think I can say for sure that after drawing all of those dogs I can now confidently draw one without this book, lol.
Pages 8 & 9.
I hated doing those egg heads; such annoying faces.
Page 10.
This part was fun!
Pages 14 &15.
I, personally, don't like this kind of dog but it was a good exercise.

I'm off to bed now! Good night, class, or should I say "Good morning"? Lol. I'll see you all in class later today. :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Further Character Development: Hochi-Min

Here she is! Hochi in the very first pose I drew her in naked. She is withdrawing a bow as if to ready herself for a threat in a rustling bush before her. 
On the lower right hand side of the picture is a little scene of her being chased off the dock by a huge shark. There's a story behind that, still in development but allow me to just tell you that the idea, once again, came from Little Big Planet.
My cousin, Jarrid and I loved to play the shark survival boards and somehow it became a story line about his character and mine running for their lives from a never ending swarm of sharks with razor sharp teeth, stomachs full of acid or electrical current all driven by a sensor powered jet pack in their tail fin! I know it sounds crazy, but it's the most fun we've ever had on Little Big Planet playing on the customized boards. Every now and then after being swallowed whole with an exaggerated "GULP" by one of the sharks or just barely escaping we would scream in agony the quote "IT'S EATING MEEEEE!!!" LMFAO! aaaahhh... good times....
You must be wondering what she's screaming. She's screaming the name of her partner and mentor in crime, Cooper. Cooper is a rouge soldier who failed SF training, according to my cousin. I have yet to create a sketch of cooper, however, when I do, keep in mind that his skin color never shows. It's always completely black with war paint and the only thing you may see is his leering eyes and tough guy scowl.

2D Character Shapes In 3D Perspective: Turn Around

Here's the first in class assignment I completed from Day 2. I'll post my completed homework assignments next. You may use them for reference! Good Luck! :)

Sphere & Ovoid

Cone & Cylinder