Monday, November 28, 2005

Belief quotes

A couple of days ago I came across the Pollinate video by the design studio Belief. It was very cool and inspirational. Mike and Cain (who names their kid Cain?) the founder and producer at Belief talked for 40 minutes about creativity and how to nurture it.

I love quotes and love to collect them. Here are some quotes from the video.

What then is the goal for doing what we do? As designers (animators) and producers we should inspect alternative ways of looking at the entire business of broadcast and promotion and the role that we play in the process.

Big budgets/small budgets… they all exert their specific pressures and pitfalls. Every scenario places its own set of demands on the production process.

Don’t just steal from TV (animation) cannibalize the world.

Originality is nothing more than judicious imitation. –Voltaire

The secret of creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. –Albert Einstein

What is originality? Undetected plagiarism. –D.W.R. Inge

Brilliance exists in the broad search and the clever linkage of one seemingly unrelated event to another. That sort of functional and engaging translation of one graphical language to another, when handled properly, contains a built in punch line.

A wonderful harmony arises from joining together the seemingly unconnected. –Heraclitus

Imagine a picture of a bear. Next think of a different bear. Now dig deeper and attempt to conjure a third visual of a bear. This is more difficult to imagine. This is the threshold from which original ideas are spawn.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Old Comics

I have decided to move all my comic experiements off my website and on to my blog. Currently my website serves as my portfolio and my comics aren't portfolio quality yet. Below I have posted three comics that I did based on three characters I created Martin (an over imaginative 12 year old boy) Rubus (an average run-of-the-mill bigfoot) and Zap (a their silent alien friend).

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Lango Notes: September continued

Keith's Blocking (posing & timing) Technique

He likes to separate Posing & Timing during the blocking stage.
1. He sets out the major poses.
A. "Draws" on successive frames the "key" points in the action.
B. Uses the whole body (the drawings are complete as possible).
C. Marks out the beats.
D. Works out squash & stretch, arcs, drags (weight), center of gravity, silhouette.
E. Works like a traditional animator drawing the keys.


2. Next he adds in the in-betweens. I had a question about this so I emailed Keith and here is his response.

3. Once he has great drawings he takes the drawing and times them out.
A. Keys are set to flat.
B. Typically his actions lead the words.
D. Add the eases/breakdown in.
E. Play with the timing (energy) of the eases/breakdowns.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Lango Notes: September


Eases: The change in velocity of an object in motion over the perceived distance of the motion to build visual interest and weight to that objects motion.
Technically there is no defined ease in and ease out some people use ease in for ease out what is important is that "ease in" or "ease out" means a change in velocity.

Things tend to be weightless and robotic without eases.

Animation is all about managing the energy of a motion.

Three aspects of timing
1) Timing
2) Spacing (see snappy motion tutorial)
3) Phrasing

There are no rules!
The most important thing is the feel. Are you playing with gravity? Then characters can zip across the screen (i.e. Roadrunner) or hover in mid air for a few seconds before falling (i.e. Wiley Coyote). Or maybe you are trying to be realistic and the motion needs to feel real.


This next section might not make much sense without seeing the example animation. Keith used a sphere that traveled in the postive X direction half way across the screen to illustrate "what feels right". I hope that if you wanted to my notes are clear enough that you could recreate the example.

Add even more anticipation to the move. With more anticipation you can make the move even faster(see above).
Something feels weird about the anticipation and the slow out. So try hitting an extreme and then settle the move back instead of and ease out.

There are NO RULES to whether you should ease out or hit an extreme and settle back. You have to go with what feels best. You make that decision by considering the energy of the move and the properties of the object.(FORCE)

You could even add a micro anticipation here (or an anticipation to the anticipation). These micro anticipations must be very small (MICRO) or it will become chattery. Generally a single frame anticipation works best. Remember there are NO RULES!

Keith Lango Notes

Ever since Keith Lango started up his subscription based Video Tutorial Service I have wanted to check it out. But I avoided plopping down the $14.95 a month because I thought it was too much money. Luckily I came to my sense in September and signed up. Ever since I can’t wait till the 15th of every month comes around when Professor Lango post another tutorial. I have even begun purchasing all the tutorials that I missed. Keith really knows his stuff and is an excellent communicator. Every animation student should check this out. It is worth more than its weight in gold! (How much does a QuickTime file weigh?) This stuff is so good that I plan to keep my subscription going even when my Animation Mentor classes start up.

Each class is about 20 to 25 minutes long and I have watched each one four or five different times just to get everything out of it that I can and to cement it into my memory. I have also taken detailed notes. After email Keith he gave me permission to post my notes here so I can share them with you all. But trust me these notes are not even a fraction of what the videos are. They could never replace the real thing. They are more a written catalyst to help me remember what I have learned.

So heads up I will start posting them soon.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Mountain Bike Action

I am pretty sure there is going to be mountain biking in heaven. There just has to be. If heaven is a cool place mountain biking has to be included. Well maybe not but here's a picture I took from my bike this last weekend. And yes, Lisa (my wife) often looks at me like I'm wearing my underwear on my head.