Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I'm a few key's away from having the whole first act blocked out. It totals to about a minute of animation.

Up until now Ive been animating in a hybrid method between 'straight ahead' and 'pose to pose'. I would block the whole scene and then go back and move the keys around of the different limbs etc to create the necessary overlap and follow through. But for this project I'm approaching the animation in a more devolved way as it will. I'm trying to key my poses to a more traditional style of animation. 2D animation requires that all follow through and overlap animation be drawn into the key and breakdown poses. They don't have the luxury to go back and move keys around to create overlap...and why should you? It only creates a mess of keys on your timeline while if you keep it simple will get you the same or better results.

So on lovestruck Ive animated with all this in mind.. I will probably still have to move keys around a bit but the more I do it the easier it would become to think in that way. going back to the roots is what its all about.

Here are a few screen grabs to see the characters out of their T poses..and looking a bit more alive.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

im alive!

My dear friends, ive been horrible with the updates.. no, I havent fizzled out and left the project. Yes, im still very much busy with lovestruck. I guess the last few weeks were filled with so many little tweaks and roughs that i felt that it wasnt big enough news to post but that defeats the purpose of this blog so ill be better i promise. The big challenge for me is to give you information without giving away everything. That way it will be a surprise for you aswell! I still have to work out the balance of that aspect but ill get there.

Where im at:
Since ive last updated on this blog I have gone back to the storyboard and revised it even more. I sent the storyboard out for a professional opinion and after a few tweaks it feels smooth as a baby's bottom.

Next I worked extensively on sets just to give me a basic layout of the whole world.

I did an animatic but tried not to get stuck going in too much in detail so I kept it very basic.

Then I finished the body and facial rigs of Wesley and Rebecca. I got 'the setup machine' for the body rig and 'the face machine' for the facial rig. Dont get me wrong, I love rigging, it was one of my primary job descriptions for a long while but in this project where time is such a big constraint I have to look at good solutions to get me to the animation stage quicker. I must recommend this package to you if youre in a bind for time a want a pretty decent rig very quick. As youll read in the next paragraph Im in blocking stage of animating so ill let you know once ive starting refining the animation how these rigs hold up. At the moment im very happy with what the rigs are doing and letting me do. Check the site out HERE to read about the rigging tools.

And finally im happy to say ive started animating 2 weeks ago. Its going slowly because of the limited time I have but im enjoying it a lot and its coming along, Im currently on the blocking stage and the method im going to do is to take a scene and block the whole thing from begin to end with camera cuts and all. That way I can see the flow between the cuts and basic timing on the actions. As for the whole story ive devided it up in the 3 acts and going to treat them as 3 seperate chunks. Its so much work that it gives me a brain freeze if I even try to think of it in a whole so this way its better. Im thinking of treating the 3 chunks as 3 shorts for instance ill animate, render and get a whole act out before moving on to the next. That way I can use say act 1 as a teaser for the film and drum up some interest. I will let you know if I decide to go this route.

And then lastly ive gotten a domain for the film so that when im done I can put the film, making of and the countless awards ;) on there.. www.lovestruckfilm.com
not much there yet but ill keep you updated.

Enough typing, I need to get back animating!
Oh if youre in San Diego, look for a place named 'java jones'. such a nice little coffee lounge, ill be animating here every saturday so if you want to come say hi, just pop in!


Friday, June 19, 2009

intermission: 'this one time' by nelson boles

I dont want to fill this blog with much other than the project itself but every once and a while we can have an intermission; a showcase of what gems are out there. A work that need to be shared and boy what a great piece of work this is. This is called 'this one time' by Nelson Boles. Enjoy.

This one time... from nelson boles on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quick update

I haven't posted anything for a while so I thought Ill quickly update you on how its going. I went through all the character models and revised the geometry again so that all the limbs can bend properly with joints skinned to them. The characters' arms were modeled so that palms faced forward. I changed that so that the palms face downward, it just feels more natural and less straining on the muscles.

So, the wheels are still turning, slowly but surely. I'm currently busy UV unwrapping all the characters and getting them ready for texturing. I'm beyond the halfway mark on all of them so almost there. Its not too exciting so I'm just going to plough through them and get them done instead of posting every single UV edit I make.

I must say that after doing hours upon hours of UV editing its starts to turn in to a pleasurable experience. I was dreading it but you find your method of working and you just do it. It feels very rewarding. I guess it the equivalent of painting weights which I love doing just because I'm used to doing a lot of rigging and skinning over the years.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Passmore Lab climbed on as a producer!

I recently presented the Lovestruck project to my boss, he liked it and so agreed that I can treat it as a background project at work! Its great, because now I have more time and computing power to my disposal. Also, seeing that I work for a company that specializes in stereoscopic 3D..I will also be making a stereo version of the film! This obviously adds to my workload but I think its worth it. So welcome on board Passmore Lab! If you want to see what they are about please go visit their site: www.passmorelab.com

big update

The modeling of all the characters are done! Man, its taken a while but it was fun seeing that I usually don't model the characters I animate on. The more I modeled the characters, the more I found the visual style coming through and 'mature' so by the end I could take that back to the first guys and revise them. The biggest change was on Wesley's face. He lacked in appeal for a main character especially in the nose area. It was just too dopey in my opinion.

as for the new characters: this is Rebecca, the love interest:

Lastly we have a background character that will just be reading a newspaper, so ill be calling him Mr. Hamilton. As you can see, hes a slight deviation from the Wesley model:

So...whats next? Im going to skin a basic rig to the models to test if they can do what the are supposed to like arm bends and proper leg deformation when its rotated. If I find the model lacks information in those specific areas, ill update them until im happy..then comes my dreaded UV editing stage. The plan is to have the characters at least modeled, rigged and UV'd before I move on to the set and the million other things. That way I can do their textures as im doing the props and set pieces so that they can all tie into the same visual style.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Meet the violinist

Here is the violinist concept and completed model. Im still busy modeling the violin and should be done soon. Only two more characters to go..almost over that hill :) soldiering on.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Huggems the bear complete!

I almost lost my bearings :) hehe, Hes done and im happy! He took a bit longer to complete because, like I mentioned earlier.. I was busy moving to a new place and I still have to find another decent coffee shop to go to because the one that I normally work at is now too far away to go to everyday.. very sad but hopefully ill discover some great new places.

So what i did to make him was to take Leonards body up to the neck and cleaned all the clothing lines up...

I took Leonards mouth and Wesley's brow and eyes and just tweaked the hell out of them...

then on top of all that added all the traits and refined until i got this :).

Tomorrow ill be uploading the concept for the next character...so watch this space!

All the best,

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Moving things and revelations

Ive been M.I.A while moving into a new place the last week. Were still unpacking and getting the place nice and spiffy but I'm planning to be productive again by this weekend. The little forced break did me well to look at everything from a zoomed out perspective..not just on the project as a whole but also on this blog, raising questions as to what purpose it should serve. Is it purely a show and tell blog, or is it a tutorial driven blog posting how to's etc. I settled on a midway approach; while the blog would serve as a 'show and tell' throughout the various stages of production, I also want to share what solutions or shortcuts I found to solve a particular problem. Seeing that the final product needs to see the light of day in the near future (year from now or so) and not after 10 years, I have to try and cheat and find shortcuts while still keeping the production level where I want it to be.

I want to stress that although I've been in the 3D field for a few years, I'm not an expert on every aspect of 3D. I specialize in character animation and showing off that skill is the primary goal of this project. however I want to make a short film that can be entered into festivals so getting the final product perfect Ill need to do a lot of research and solve problems that I'm not used to. So whether its stupid known solutions or not, ill share them with you :)

Thanks to everyone that's popped in to the blog. I hope its a fun visit and know you're always welcome, so check back here regularly for fantastic and incredible updates :)


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Meet Huggems the bear..

I'm having fun naming these characters :) Huggems will be the third character out of five for this film so were slowly getting there. I think he will be more of a challenge than Mr.Leonard but I'm amped so lets go for it!

..so in the mean while just bear with me.. (I had to :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Leonard model complete!

He went quicker than the Wesley model which makes me excited be to able to jump on the next character this weekend!
Watch this space!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Meet Leonard

No exciting UV updates from Wesley you ask? well no, not yet. Ive decided to keep the UV editing stage for when Ive got all my characters modeled and ready. Besides, I'm keen to get started with new models so why not.. moving forward we must and we shall! This is Leonard, the flower vendor..he only has a very small role in this film but his talent will be needed to tell the story.. or at least help give the illusion that the setting is inhabited by other people. Because he is a background character I will use as many shortcuts as I can on him...so I will see what I can borrow from the Wesley model. Well, let me stop rambling and get started!


Monday, March 23, 2009

Wesley's modeling stage is complete!!

What a busy few weeks..A lot of fine tuning but I'm more than happy with the result. It took longer than I expected to get to this point so I need to carry over all the shortcuts that I learned while making Wesley on the rest of the characters...Yes, there are still a few characters to be made...EEK! :) This is not what his textures or colour choices look like, I quickly slapped together a few lights and shaded him to be nicer to the eye. I'm keeping the shape simple and letting the texturing make out most of the detail like creases on his clothes etc.

Now what's left on Wesley is to layout the UV's to be able to texture him properly and then of course to rig him so that he can move and pull faces! I'm looking into a few tools to make the UV editing a faster endeavour,,

Stay tuned,

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wesley refinements

Haven't had too much time this week to work on our main man but here's what I'm planning for him..just a casual set of clothes; golf shirt, pants and shoes..plus the hair. Hes not a flashy guy but hes got some fashion sense.. Ill get all over that tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wesley, a work in progress #1

Well its been a busy weekend but managed to get somewhere with the model. It is somewhat different from the original but im happy with the result plus as I mentioned in the previous post I anticipated making some changes to certain features of the design. Now I have to go in and refine hes features and give him some hair and clothes!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Meet Wesley

Meet Wesley. A normal everyday man, with a good heart. Wesley is from more European origin. I tried to stay away from the western looking generic characters hence the bushy brow and quite a boastful nose :) Im generally happy with this design. I do not have the luxury of spending ample time on the character design stage so I have to move on.. However I will be making some minor feature changes to hes face and proportions of hes body. He will be doing a whole lot of physical acting in the film so he has to be able to hold up to that. Its Friday night and getting ready for a full day of working on this at my favourite coffee shop - the living room here in san diego. stay tuned.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

love struck begins!

This blog will follow along the creation and completion of an animated short. The working title, for a lack of a better name will be 'love struck'. I like it and maybe it will end up being the final title for the film, well see when we reach that point :) This is a solo project that I will be doing in my personal hours after work, weekends etc. I will have to get someone for music and foley but the rest will be up to me. I aim to create a film that will not only show off my animation skills (or lack thereof ;) but can compete on the world stage as a short film. I realize that I have a big undertaking on my hands but I will treat it as such..one thing at a time. I specialize in character animation and rigging, so facets like set design and art style will be somewhat more of a challenge than the rest. I do have a good artistic grasp and understanding but getting what i see in my head to translate successfully in the finished project will be another thing.

I invite you to come along with me on this long road soon to be filled with blood, sweat and tears..but finish I will and anything less than perfect is not good enough.