Tuesday 29 December 2009

Vermin Drawings

Vermin: a common scavenger amongst rat-like creatures. This is a replacement to a small crab like creature in the stop motion story board. This is actually a start on my series of arta, here I am practicing its movement. At this moment I am making a small animation with this creature for the begining intro of my world of Arta.

Thursday 10 December 2009

Evolution and Communication

Here are two animations that I have been working on. The first is from the Evolution Sketches. a 2D walking cycle. The other is part of my "pencil case" series of Pixiliation using the surroundings of the animation studio.

(If you wish to see more drawings of what could be in the future please visit my Deviant Art website and look at the following gallery only: Arta & Skelk)

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Evolution: Practice Sketches

After the walking cycle animation test, I decided to try a walk while a species of creature evolves through time. I have seen the cycle of man evolving into what we are today through several illustrations. As i like monsters, I have drawn the creature through several stages.

The cell form is the first basic life form. We all start small and in the sea which evolves a tail. One extraordinary mark of evolution are the eyes.

The fish stage is when we have grown a tail and with sufficient strength, fins and a mouth in order to eat. It has been proven through fossils that the first life forms came from the sea and so our ancestors have spent a long time evolving their shape to adapt in the sea.

The next stage is when we move onto land. For the first time we grow limbs. Our fins become strong enough to shape into legs. We loose our capacity to swim and gills but we develop lungs to breath onto land and absorb more oxygen.

Once we are on land, our legs evolve. Large or longer. Our bones, muscle and tissues evolve as well allowing us to run away from predators, chase after prey and walk.

Through time again, the creature looses its tail and starts to evolve arms. These limbs are used to grasp or pick up morsels of food. Arms and hands are another mark of evolution because through time again but longer, our brains begin to understand what else could these limbs be for.

The Ape stage is when our creature has evolved a long way through time and is at a stage of walking on four legs but the arms are much longer and the spine is bent forward. Those claws can grasp fruit or larger pieces of meat.
The Sapient stage is when the creature rears up, bending its spine upward and starts to straighten. This allows the creature to walk on two legs but the arms are no longer as long as they were but can still grasp. The creature's complex brain evolves and soon the creature begins to understand a certain basic form of intelligence. later on the creature will enter a Tribal stage involving social groups but with the understanding of creating tools for survival. The last two stages is Civilization: A period like today were the creature has fully evolved to create and build more tools as well as building, vehicles and certain forms of subjects in society. The last stage is Space: were the epic evolution comes to a halt in which we are able to leave our planet and travel through space discovering other worlds and interacting with them.

The next project I will make a 2D animation walk cycle of this creature's evolution.

Friday 27 November 2009

During one part of my course, i was filmed walking. Here I was to explore the phase of an animated walk based on myself. To get more of a personality. A normal wlak, and a enthusiastic or proud walk after wards.

I prefer doing my animations 2D because of my love for drawing. Also because it seems easier. I did the first walk with 6 frames per leg movement, so it looked like a fast walk. Here I was looking at time again.

this one is a normal walk, I added 2 frames for each leg movement making it 8 frames for each leg.

For a Pixilation practice, I made a three finger hand out of card as a cut out animation. Unfortunately, the camera was a bit unstable and the fingers were too fiddly so movement was a bit complicated but it gave me a general idea of what to use in the future.

What I could do is use the hand to interact with another character or the hand could be the close-up of something else. I designed the hand to resemble a robotic hand. I thought having three fingers would give it a mysterius and creepy atmosphere.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

The Art of Walking

Walking Animation Cycle test

The art of making your animation or character move is a good experience. A simple animation test of a walking cycle is a start. But it basically starts from one's own walk in real life. I have learned that when one leg lifts off the ground, my height increases and my hips raise as well. Before I looked at the photographed waling cycle's of Eadweard J. Muybridge (April 9, 1830 to May 8, 1904). He was a photographer and is known for his capture of animals and people in motion and has able to project them through a "zoopraxiscope" device allowing us to see the walk cycle as an animation frame by frame.

One has to see how he will walk to see the animation. The shoulders move up and down and sometimes our body could move from side to side. I even learned the difference between some walks from women and that of men. My 2D and 3D teachers appointed the assignment to make a walk cycle animation. I started with the 2D:

According to Andy Wyatt, my Head course teacher, it takes 6 frames for one leg to start from an "Extended" point to a "Passing" and finally back to "Extended" and so forth thus making a total of 12 frames. But then this is not a walk I would make unless i was in a hurry for a lesson...then again I would run instead. I then thought of making it 8 frames per leg but instead I ended up making 10 frames foe each leg thus 20 slides in total for the two legs to "Pass" and extend. In the end, this turned out to be a nice, simple and calm walk: a walk similar to my own. I might have missed on frame somewhere where one leg moves down or looks a bit stiff but passing those errors, one can see a nice walk.

The next was using the 3D software of Maya:

This is "Burt", a robotic ball with legs added on. Once again I had no need to use a frame by frame technique but I did had to correct the leg movements, placing one leg in a position, "key selected" it and repeat the same step on another frame while relying on the computer to do the rest. Making him walk is fun but his feet seem quite heavy and rather large. At least this a test to make an animated character walk for other future projects in mind. What is useful, I now know that I could make a sculpture and the computer would scan it onto Maya, allowing me to animate that particular character. Imagine making statues coming to life.

I also began drawing walking cycles of my own characters from my "ARTA" idea. Here we had a 2D walking Cycle of OOD and NOG. Ood seems to have a walk similar to that of humans, despite that his legs and feet are completely different. He moves his arms back and form and his ears flop up and down when he moves.
Nog on the other hand has a very strange walk. He lets his hands dangle at his sides, almost trailing them on the floor. To imagine his walk, you need to have your legs spread outwards almost revealing your private area. Nog's back legs move up and down and forwards like an half insect-man. His head bobs up and down when he moves forward.For this Walking Cycle of Ood, I drew him walking in a 3D technique or as if he was walking round in a circle or on the spot but spinning revealing the 3D mechanism. His back body moves slightly from side to side when his small shoulders move up and down. His ears flop like a dogs ears. I like it when my characters have an alien walk that still can be similar to a human walk. To imagine his walk, you have ti walk on your toes ans sway your arms sightly from side to side while hunching up at the same time, because Ood's arms are at the back of his body which makes him an interesting character.

Friday 6 November 2009

Pixilation Practice

Sea Scorpion, Silurian Sea and Talking Old Man Pixilation Animation Tests, 2009

In my time in the animation studio, I have started practicing "Parer-Cut" animation. From the recent Pixilation clips by Derek Hayes, I had begun my own clips. First I just wanted to try out some tests. As I am an insect lover I looked at some images of prehistoric insects and one came up as the sea scorpion. Imagine you could view a world back in time where all things began, in the sea and somehow it is a theme around Falmouth. So I have decided to do some sort of prehistoric animal documentary of the Silurian Sea similar to the BBC series of "Walking with Dinosaurs", "Walking with Beasts", "Walking with Monsters" and the all time "Chased by Sea Monsters" which shows each dangerous filled sea in prehistory.

As i am a Arthropod fan, I wanted to animate a sea scorpion doing something comical. At the same time, this test is one step ahead to what could be the opening credits and end credits of my paper-cut animation. What is different about this...SOUND. I took each picture "frame-by-frame" technique and posted the frames on the software "stop-motion pro". Then I uploaded the clip on a software called "Adobe Premiere Pro CS4". This allowed me to edit and cut my clips as well as import audio sounds to make the animation work.

This one, I used more cut-out puppets into the animation, although using the same background. The main plot is the sea life of the Silurian Sea where small prey have to avoid large predators and survive the conditions of the sea. Trilobites avoid the large Orthocone but one eventually gets ensnared by the claws of a Sea Scorpion who waits and ambushes. (link for images: http://dinorider.blogspot.com/2007/11/monstruos-marinos-2003-parte-1-los-7.html)

Derek Hayes also showed the class a cartoon from the Monty Python series. I enjoy watching Monty Python over and over again, whether the jokes may be simple or confusing. I tried a paper-cut animation with the same style when they use photographs of people and animate them in a funny and rude way. For this animation, I used the help of a student Brain Williams to record my own voice. I am very pleased with the result which is also a test for voice acting.

I seem to have a style of cutting out photographs but in future I will draw my own cut-out puppets.

Tuesday 3 November 2009

More Drawings of ARTA

Tri-pod machine

Parakecium and slave designs

Hexoright clothing

Nog and Hexoright sketches

Insect mount

A couple of Arta's Wildlife

Friday 30 October 2009

More cubie animation practice

The next assignment was to animate the "cubie" character. At the same time we had to add another character to interact with the cubie. The 2D has a small cubie jumping up to the big one only to see that he is not welcome. The 3D from the software "Maya" has the cube jump on a sphere the moment it enters the scene.

Here are some practice drawings of the movements and actions of the cube characters. From these drawings I can fully understand the character's emotion, exaggeration, line of action and body language. It also shows the anticipation of the characters from the way they react to each eacher similar to the Pxar Lamps animation. The 2D animation took exactly 51 frames. Despite the fact it is just a cube with no arms I am animation, I am still fascinated by the animation course and what it is teaching me. I probably still need to practice with the timing for the 2d cubie jumping.

Monday 26 October 2009


I have practiced with stop motion before and I personally enjoy all forms of this animation because it involves making the puppets and models. What I have done here are two tests of the animation technique of Pixilation from the Digital Animation Course.

I practiced with my pencil case through the software of "stop-motion pro". Here it involve the pencil case spitting out its contents and then sucking them back in if necessary. The second one involve the objects fighting each other and then a cardboard arm appears and attempts to impress us. This is but a test to see what else I can use for this particular animation skill.

We also watched several examples of Pixilation and one of them has a particular interest because of the technique. During one session, the course tutor presented us with a "Cut-out animation" of "Binky and Boo"by Derek Hayes in which it involves an old musical comedian looking back at his memories of himself and his old partner. Its the actual method of which I am interested in. See website link below:


Friday 23 October 2009

Life Drawing

Here are six life drawings which were drawn in my Animation course of life drawing at Falmouth. Four are drawn from one man while the others are drawn for observation students in the Stannary.
I have done life drawing before two previous art and design courses, one from the International School of Geneva in Switzerland, the other during a foundation course in Poole. As described to me, life drawing is essential to all forms of art including animation so that the "character design" can get the right format or body movements and poses. The life drawings were done from different angles.

The one at the top is crouched onto a chair and the media is in soft pencil while the other is sitting and drawn in green ink pen.

These two images are drawings of students but with animal heads instead. The sketch-book assignment was that I had to enter a group and draw students through observational drawing.

I have a string liking for insects, arthropods, deep sea marine life and reptiles (crocodiles)

Media: Charcoal and soft pencil. The animal heads were found on the web and printed them out.

Insect/Arthropod Faces

This part describes my interest for insects and arthropod designs. I quite like insects, also the fact because they have been living on earth for millions of years before us. Insects are considered inferior to most but to me I think of them much more superior to us. I watched the film "District 9" in which it involves an alien race referred as "prawns" have their ship stuck in mid hover above the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. The aliens resemble arthropod, extraterrestrial beings. They are given a home called district 9 but the human population has a few bad reactions. The story involves one human who will experience the aliens "point of view". I am impressed how they make them look sapient and the way their mouths move when they talk. I always have tried to imagine an insect talk through its mouth parts. It is very interesting to see such aliens could live in our community. (link of image: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1072531712/tt1136608)

I really like District 9, not for the human aspect of the story but of the insect-like aliens that struggle to live in a planet who judge everything by appearance. If such aliens would come on our world and would not harm us, I would accept them. Maybe the film is preparing us for such future events that could happen. Who knows...

The picture on the left here is a microscopic photograph of some unknown insect. The shape is somewhat similar to the "prawns" in District 9 so I drew up my own drawings. (link: http://www.uglybug.org)

The drawings are aliens similar to that of the prawns from the film. I really enjoy drawing insects. I cannot give more reasons but I plan to use such concepts for future animation projects. Currently, most of my insect related drawings go back to my "ARTA" drawings (see previous blog posts). As District 9 is a live action film, it is in my very interest to see my own drawings in such an animation.

Here is some more drawings. For one assignment I was to draw life drawings of people and replace their heads with animal heads/faces. I started to look in depth of some insects but most faces are difficult to draw from.
To the right are some Ghost Crab face/head drawings, the picture was clearer and came from a library book about marine life.

To the left are some woodlouse drawings from the first 2d assignment, in which I have drawn them to appear sapient or human like. In the middle is an attempt to draw the face of a Mantis Shrimp.

Friday 16 October 2009

Ball Animation and Nog character test

The art of Ball Bouncing animation

For another assignment I had to learn from the animation course was the technique of bouncing a ball. If you understand the principle of a bouncing object, then one can do it as an animation. For this task, i had to animate a bouncing ball from a 2D scale and a ball tied onto a bouncing cube.

Here are the tests of ball bouncing animation that I have completed. With animation its all about the timing, the weight and the speed. some animators do not necessary obey the natural rules of life with certain objects and characters but it must be shown. When the ball is dropped, according to what speed, the ball changes shape when it lands it squashes itself. drawing the bouncing effect and when to drop it needs to be precise, which is why timing is important. I have learned through 2D animation when to draw precise moments of time and speed of certain objects, example when should an object go really fast by skipping a small action bit in the frames. You may notice this with the cube bounce, it hangs a bit in mid air then increasingly heads downwards very fast.

This here is a 3D animation ball test(s) along with my notes of the Ball Bouncing Animation technique. The 3D test was on a software called "maya". With little experience it took me a while to figure out how to work it but with the help of other students from my course, I was able to configure of how to make a ball bounce through the software. Each ball bounces differently because of the weight i placed upon them. One bounces for a short period while the other bounces a little more before coming to a halt.

The heavy ball

The lighter ball

Introduction of a new character: NOG

From the same concept as a hero only he represents the funny or comic hero. He becomes Ood's best friend in his quest to understand the world of Arta and free it from the grip of ill. Nog is of a very different species, a creature with three pupils in each eye,a very thin mouth and whose legs are wide apart. I wanted to have an amusing character for my future Arta projects. He is not very bright but can improvise on ideas. I used him to try out a jumping technique of animation using the same "ball bounce" skill.

Nog is in the air heading towards the ground. His head is back then moves slightly forward. When his feet touch the ground, he begins to bend his legs down. His head squashes in then stretches his body up and pushes on his legs to jump up. his body elongates a bit then comes back to normal after the jump. This is but a test to see how I can animate my characters through several techniques.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

The Drawing Continues

After the stop motion of OOD, I wanted to contine with further improvement such as more scenes, events after he escaped, more characters and introdcing the wildlife of ARTA. I want to commence the very beggining of this project as a series or films with Ood's introdction to the world outside Hex Industires.
There are more drawings of possiblie wildlife of Arta in another sketchbook. This is just a preview. To the right are woodlouse like creatures. The small ones are called weevils since they can eat of farm foods such as corn. The sapien ones are caterpillar shaped and resembling to the giant insects from the japanese animation: "Valley of the Wind".
The other picture is what could be a ruined temple thus introducting the history of Arta. At the same time I though up of new additions to the villans such as flying mounts and machines.

This tall four legged machine was inspired from the tall robot like forms from "War of the Worlds". This design however, has four, skinny legs instead of three. Its smaller too because of having maybe one or two pilots in it but these machines can still reach above forests.