Saturday, November 28, 2009
The oval and radial shader tools came in handy on this rendering of Ray's desire...
I really wanted the Porsche to look awesome, so I spent a lot of time on that. The fleur de lis on the hood of the car is a jpeg file that I downloaded from The Grace Collection of battle shields. Should there be any copyright infringement issues, I can always trace over it to create my own later. I drew the car using the pencil tool, and used the oval tool for the headlights. My inspirations for the car were the Bat Mobile, and various sports cars I've seen in Road and Track Magazine.
I began the animation by rendering in backgrounds for the first scene, but the part where the camera zooms out from the parking garage over the city took the longest. The whole town had to be built, and I wanted for there to be cars rolling up and down the streets as Ray's desire's Porsche can be seen racing through the parking garage levels before making a right turn off screen. It saves time to reuse as many elements as possible. A traffic light or a street light can be grouped, copied and pasted as many times as needed. Then I transform them to face the right direction. The buildings are all in groups in a graphic symbol. In Flash, I can select any object and make it a symbol, which is something that gets placed in a library of images that can be reused as many times as needed. Symbols can have individual animations in them. For example, I could took my drawing of Ray's desire and made her a symbol. Then I can click to enter edit mode of that symbol, and make groups out of her arms and legs. Then I can move and keyframe them on the symbol's timeline to create a walk cycle. Then when I click and drag the lady from the library to the desired keyframe on the main timeline of my scene, I get an instant walkcycle. The walkcycle is built into the symbol. If I need a character to move somewhere on screen, I can copy and paste the keyframe containing the walk cycle symbol, select both keyframes and motion tween them. Flash 8 has a motion tween tool that allows me to create smooth animation very quickly with little effort, but it tends to make the animation too robotic looking. If I really need for a character to emote, I might use a combination of motion tweening and hand keyframing. In some situations like for lip syncing I keyframe all of my character's movements by hand.
Hand keyframing is when I have to spend hours moving things a tiny bit, then creating a new keyframe and move it a little more, before the illusion of realistic movement starts to happen. The process is very rewarding, but painstakingly slow. As an artist I prefer to paint and draw than animate. I like to draw cartoons, and paint with acrylics on canvas, so I am actually phasing out of animation. I am interested in producing or directing an animation or a feature film at some point. I want to spend more time cartooning, maybe even screen writing to come up with lots of ideas. Then try to find people to promote them, so that big animation studios can give my ideas the craftsmanship they deserve. Does that make sense?
Well, That's all for now. I got to get back to work.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
So I've got the Metropol animated music video to work on, but I get frustrated, and I lose my focus and my patience when I work on one project for more than 6 hours at a time. It's good to have multiple projects going on to keep my job exciting and fun. The other thing I'm developing is the next Adventures of Froggie Animation.
Froggie is a frog that lives near a pond in a land surrounded by adventure. Up till now, the entire animation has revolved around Froggie and his quest to find the Raspberry Shrubs. Recently I asked myself, what will happen after he finds the Raspberry Shrubs? The entire story will come to an end leaving no room for a sequel. I will definitely have to develop this animation more to ensure it's marketability. Many successful animations revolve around a fully developed world. Matt Groening, creator of The Simpons, invented the town of Springfield. So I have begun the task of putting Froggie in an imaginary world. I haven't thought of a name for it yet, but in this land there will be many challenges. Froggie, our little green friend starts out as being a very self-doubting character, but when faced with a challenge, and with the support of the friends he finds along his journey, he will inspire us as he finds a way to overcome. There will be PIRATES! NINJAS! OUTLAWED BIKERS! DRAGON AND WILDEBEESTS! to confront and subdue in a land that was once a good place until it was invaded by these troublesome enemies.
There was once a railroad that could get you from the big city streets out to the outskirts of a empty and dry desert land, but it was broken. The people of this land depended on the train system to transport their goods and services. Now with a broken economy, many people are hungry and desperate. Deep within the heart of this land, the forest critters and Froggie gradually become aware of the collapsing world around them. Despite how small they are, they are filled with optimism. I anticipate this production to be a very successful and entertaining story that many even have a shot at an award from the Sundance Film Festival. I've just got to keep developing my ideas and go from there. Another thing I've been working on is my graphic design skills on Zazzle.
to upload and slap on my design work to t-shirts and other merchandise. I've also put high resolution photos of my paintings and illustration work on merchandise. So far, nothing has sold, but if nothing else, it's entertaining. I like to come up with goofy, humorous ideas for shirts. Even if nobody buys them, it keep me creative and inspired.
Well, that's all for now. I got to get back to work!
1. Squash and stretch
4. Straight Ahead Action and Pose to Pose
5. Follow Through and Overlapping Action
6. Slow In and Slow Out
8. Secondary Action
11. Solid Drawing
12. AppealLearn more about these techniques at http://www.animationtoolworks.com/library/article9.html
Well, that's enough animation talk for now. I've got to get back to work.
acrylic on canvas
by Stan Levine
The painting got increasingly difficult to complete, because once all the basic shapes are in place, the challenge of capturing all the little nuances of the light and shadow that coats over all the shapes of various components in the painting. It was especially difficult to understand the spots of light that appear to be caressing over the shadows of the buildings on the lower right hand corner. It took many hours of patience, focus and experimentation to get the painting to a finishing point. This is the sort of painting I can see fitting in well on the decor of someone's dining room wall, or perhaps on the wall of a nice upscale restaurant.
Well, that's all for now. I got to get back to work!