11 second

Deary deary me. I have finally finished all our work.. what. a. Relief. So much effort over these last few weeks.. haven't seen the sunlight for days.. my only outing was to get down to Tescos.. yep, i've become one of them people.


Here's all my 11 second additional things. For a start - the filmed acting. I didn't actually film a reference video at the beginning of my project. Instead I just went with the idea I had in my mind which I felt was strong enough, and then - the biggest aid on this whole project - used my mirror to study my own face as a reference for all the voice acting / expressions / hand gestures. I can't really descrbie how useful it is to just have a mirror plonked on your desk. Number one tool for animating, well after a pencil & paper..

I shot a reference video later on in the project, if you would really like to see it.. here it is.

You can see all my prior research, including drawings that I did originally for the characters by looking HERE

I did a few sketches once i'd decided on my characters. The main focus was on the more active guy as he has a range of emotions/movements/expressions to convey, wheras the other guy keeps to his solemn self.

I did these mainly to get a feel of drawing the character on a computer. They're just sketches.

I tried to keep in mind the principles of animation while working on this, stretch & squash, overlapping animation, the weight of the characters. I found that anticipation was a useful tool in this sequence.. there's moments of blank expression from the characters and having a little anticipation in there helps create there personalities. 

I'm happy with my result but I have a slight ill feeling towards it. I think it's because its not 100% smooth - that wasn't what I was going for, but I find when something you've made is key'd on ones, there's just this satisfaction to watching it flow. Its quite simple really, continuous flow just tends to look good. 

Saying that though, watching it - I think its of a satisfactory standard in terms of the flow of it. To be fair it's not like I have a team of inbetweeners waiting in the wings so I can solely focus on the keys, or vica versa. I think my favorite bits are the bits where I have clearly pushed the boat out, even just a little. For example, at the end when the loud character spins to turn the other way, or when the quieter character says 'kindness....' and looks all nervous. I think it's a case of finding the love in what you're doing and commiting to it, rather than  just 'getting  the job done' and crossing the line with something that you had no love for, it will end up neglected! You can see examples of this in certain bits of my animation.. where you get lazy with the animation and duplicate keys.

this is the first 'jotting down'  I did for this project. I got the idea for one guy to
push the other by the head right at the beginning.

I decided to not use any symbols for the lip sync on this and instead draw it all as it came. I did this because I wanted to free myself up and have the characters not have to conform to the same positions to keep the mouths correct (as in, if they were to turn to face the camera, and wanted to use the same lips as for the side view - I wouldnt be able too). I found this easy enough, it didnt feel like a hinderance atall really having to draw the mouth over. I also tried to work on my hands, and feel like I have over the course of this project. I looked at how Milt Kahl used to do hands, but not imitate them, just put it at the back of my mind so that when I am drawing hands hopefully i'll get some great shapes like his.

The planning on this project, as with the experimental, helped tonnes. Having my pipeline up on the wall above my monitor kept me in check completely, and it's simple things like that that Andy's introduced us too that really help streamline your animation. Dope sheets aswell, very handy.

If I were to do it again, i'd start by recording a video of myself. I concede that it is easier to have a reference. My only worry then is that it would be too mundane perhaps? I don't trust in my own acting abilities to be as lively and off the wall as this guy. As a basic framework to go by it's handy though. The other option i'd take is to really try to capture what's in my mind to a T. I would begin on paper and thumb all my key poses from the start. Things like 'line of action' i'm really beginning to understand and consider for my animation.

One thing I must also do is learn about exporting, handling video files for different criteria. Once again I had issues, the colours for the final video are not correct when uploaded, it was infact lighter than it appears on the 11 second website..

But, as I said, I am happy with my final animation, and I like that it is a step on from the sister project we did last year (LINK). I think I have improved since then. 


So that wraps that up! I am very very tired now so I think it's off to bed.. sorry if I waffled a bit, or wasn't coherent, but I think that's what days on end of animating at a computer does to you. All work and no play makes Tom... err, tired and tongue tied. Goodnight.

11 second club, November. from Tom Gameson on Vimeo.
My attempt at the 11 second club, November.

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