Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dancing James Baxter

Some people just make you sick! And i mean that in the most complimentary way possible :) In case you never saw it while it was on his website, i found it here on youtube. It's a fun bit James made for the "open house" party at his studio. Some people got flipbooks, I haven't been able to get my grubby little hands on one yet, and notice the "yet"... So, enjoy this whilst I try going back to bed and actually sleeping for a change. cheers!

Monday, October 23, 2006


How nerdy is this, I'm celebrating my blogs birthday! Well, what's NOT lame is all you people out there who've made this so much fun to do! The funny thing about this blog is that i started it so flipantly that i never expected or intended to do much with it. I though it'd be a convient way to show potential employers some work i've done. Well, nearly 50,000 hits later it has been a big teaching venue, as well as showing off a little bit of what i've done.
The most enjoyable part has truly been hearing from people like yourself that visit every now and again! I love sharing animation and what i've learned about it, and it's been a blast to hear that some many people enjoy reading about it too! Also, the other great thing about this new blogland we have found ourselves in is all the AMAZING artwork out there! It's scary, but inspiring too! If there's any 2D guys out there with blogs, post more pencil tests man! There are only a couple i know of that do, i think it'd be really fun to see more of that out there!
This next year i'd like to finish that tutorial of course, ya know, on how to approach a scene. I still have to finish all the tie stuff. by the way, that bear shot is nearly complete, about 85 percent done man! but i want to post more on my short film-- maybe some designs, even though i suck at it, maybe some boards, and definately more animation.
So thanks to all the amazing artists out there who have made this such a fun experience and here's to another year at the Hand Drawn Nomad!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

From 2's to 1's

I've been thinking about this for a while, and it kinda works out that I can post this now cuz I've been teaching this in my class at CalArts. There is a real danger in SOLELY thinking on 2's. Meaning, you assume that if you need to add ones inbetween those drawings all you do is simply add them in evenly spaced. Not so much-- It's a super important tool to understand the difference in spacing on ones and two's and it can be kind tricky. but the important thing here is to understand WHY you space things a certain way, not memorize charts for whenever the occasition pops up.
I thought a very clear way to present this idea would be through a little ball bounce experiment for ya'll to prove my points. I've animated 4 different ball bounces, all different spacing. 1: all 2's, 2: lazy inbetweens, 3: adjusted spacing, 4: fine tuning of spacing. The first test is completely on two's--

Ball Bounce on 2's - video powered by Metacafe

As you can see it works "OK", but it's not great-- what would give it a lot more fluidity and weight, you decide, would be to put it on to 1's. And I would agree with you, plus it's strobing! So, you just think, whelp, just throw in there 1 drawing between every other drawing and we just be set! Yeah, ummmm, THEN your results come back and you get this:

Ball Bounce - video powered by Metacafe

It's not terrible, but it doesn't have the weight you'd hoped for-- in fact, it feels kinda watery and floaty. Why? What happened-- this animator made "lazy or possibly ignorant inbetweens"... Meaning, he wasn't considering the transition of spacing from ones to 2's or he wasn't thinking period. The main parts of the test, you'll notice, is in the slow in's and out's and the contact of the ball. By the way, side note: you always need at least 2 frames of contact for it to actually read as a contact. Anyway, you think, huh, how can I fix this-- you need to respace some of your animation. You locate the problem areas and begin rethinking it. It seems floaty from 17 to 1, so you respace with place 18 as a half, 19 as a half, and 20 as a third (because that last inbetween needs to be a third to continue the slow out).

ball bounce - video powered by Metacafe

Ok, so it's looking pretty close now! That repsacing from 17-1 really helped! But man, it's still a tiny bit sticky on the contact, and it still doesn't have the punch on the impact that you wanted. What else is there to do? You've already respaced it to an extreme favor-- Whelp, just take out the drawing 10 and add one frame into your slow in at the beginning of the chart! Simple as that!

Ball Bounce - video powered by Metacafe

So yeah man, 1's can be tricky, and sometimes it's a trial and error thing to figure out what'll translate but I think the important thing here to remember is to PLAN FOR ONE'S. If you know your going to need to be doing something that requires 1's, plan for it, build it into your existing work that is on 2's. This is why I animate with the lightbox on, so I can see where my spacing is coming and going from. Spacing is one of those very important pieces of the animators tool-kit that so few truly understand. I'd like to do a whole other post on spacing when your animating your Keys on 3's: 1, 4, 7. but i'm affraid i don't have the energy at the moment! Thanks for continuing to visit everyone! I love hearing from you all, and please, feel free to ask any questions you want!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Were have I been man!

My apologies everyone! Man, has been so psycho... have been helping someone to get ready for pitch and had to animate, like, near 30 feet in 3 weeks! Ughhhh, i hate it when life gets taken over by work--
So, because of my business i am going to continue the tutorials but in short bursts. I just don't have the time to sit down and organize an entire huge entry right now, but i need to keep posting. I dug this up... i showed this in a rougher version a long time ago but i realized i never posted the finished piece! I like the weight in it, but i spent so much time on the beginning that the end, the real acting got sacrificed. meaning, i had to cut it off about half way through cuz of time. So, hope everyone enjoys!

hand drawn animation on Vimeo
So, here's a little question I'd be curious to hear from all you traditional animators on. What would you prefer to work on... cintiq, paperless hand drawn animation or just the regular paper and real pencil animation? I ask cuz I've heard very mixed reactions-- I've tried the cintiq, i hate it personally although I'd do it if i had to. but i would prefer a choice between which method. what do you guys think?