martes, 25 de junio de 2013

Mr.México animator - 51 ANIMATION EXCERCISES

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Level 1 Exercises

  1. Ball Bouncing in place, no decay (loop)
  2. Ball Bouncing across the screen
  3. Brick falling from a shelf onto the ground
  4. Simple character head turn
  5. Character head turn with anticipation
  6. Character blinking
  7. Character thinking [tougher than it sounds!]
  8. Flour Sack waving (loop)
  9. Flour Sack jumping
  10. Flour Sack falling (loop or hitting the ground)
  11. Flour Sack kicking a ball

Level 2 Exercises
  1. Change in Character emotion (happy to sad, sad to angry, etc.)
  2. Character jumping over a gap
  3. Standing up (from a chair)
  4. Walk Cycle [oldie but goodie!]
  5. Character on a pogo stick (loop)
  6. Laughing
  7. Sneezing
  8. Reaching for an object on a shelf overhead
  9. Quick motion smear/blur
  10. Taking a deep breath [also tougher than it sounds!]
  11. A tree falling
  12. Character being hit by something simple (ball, brick, book)
  13. Run Cycle
Level 3 Exercises
  1. Close up of open hand closing into fist
  2. Close up of hand picking up a small object
  3. Character lifting a heavy object (with purpose!)
  4. Overlapping action (puffy hair, floppy ears, tail)
  5. Character painting
  6. Hammering a nail
  7. Stirring a soup pot and tasting from a spoon
  8. Character blowing up a balloon
  9. Character juggling (loop)
  10. Scared character peering around a corner
  11. Starting to say something but unsure of how
  12. Zipping up a jacket
  13. Licking and sealing an envelope
  14. Standing up (from the ground)
  15. Pressing an elevator button and waiting for it
Level 4 Exercises
  1. Character eating a cupcake
  2. Object falling into a body of water
  3. Two characters playing tug-of-war
  4. Character dealing a deck of cards out
  5. The full process of brushing one’s teeth
  6. A single piece of paper dropping through the air
  7. Run across screen with change in direction
  8. Sleeping character startled by alarm then returning to sleepy state
  9. Opening a cupboard and removing something inside
  10. Putting on a pair of pants
  11. Opening the “world’s best gift” and reacting
  12. Any of the above exercises using a very heavy character/object next to a very light character/object. Enhance the differences the weight change makes!

domingo, 16 de junio de 2013

The Animator - a run cycle and others

Today's update includes a run cycle I'm designing, some updates on the clouds animation project, finished pictures and some studies.

Here you have!
The first one has alot of moving stuff. I decided to make the beak move that much to keep the viewer distracted from the huge movement the entire head has.

The second one has a more controled movement.
The good-
His hands make a better arc.
The stride is smaller.
Has a tiny follow through body-head.
The bad- 
eyes are all over the place.
Beak is not yet as smooth as it should
CUSHION-IN needed when his body bends. Right now it goes too fast.

I decided to work with a vibrant color palette, with white clouds and a sky that fades to the night.

Right now I'm working with the tiny birds that will appear just before the big aircraft comes in.
Here are some tests.
I prefer the one on the right. Although it is not that smooth on its animation, it does work better than the other one, pushing it's body up with every wing flap. The one on the left is just too mechanical. 

And here are some shots on how I'm composing those birds in the entire scene. 
The first picture shows a simple path I'm following for the bird's movement (black arrows). 
The white path shows how a single bird goes up and down while moving forward.

This other picture shows how some birds will look. They are going to be really small, just to add a good sense of scale.

I've just animated one single bird and duplicated it. I was thinking on duplicating the same bird to create the bunch of birds I'm looking for, but something weird happens.
If I duplicate the same bird and just change its position, it obviously looks bad. To avoid that, I made some birds begin late and others early. Everything looks fine at the beginning, but suddenly a flickering effect shows. 
I guess it has to do with the movement repeating itself. In any case, I'll animate some other birds and work with those, something like 5 will do the trick. 


Yeah, I said I was about to begin working with that. And I am! I've been testing out some ways of making characters talk. Right now I just have a cat making some "ahhm" or "miau" expression.

And time for some drawing! 

The illustration I was working on for the past weeks is finished!
Yes, I decided to end it up just before I began to smooth out the brush strokes, which, I believe, add a lot to the entire picture.
I'm quite happy with this one because of tons of reasons! 
I'm finally beginning to understand how a picture can create a story, revolve around some characters, and make people imagine something.  It's really fascinating how with a single frame you can  say so much ^^. I'm eager to work on some more illustrations, with better stories, different places, techniques, etc. 

Browsing some art sites, animation articles, and blogs, I found the animator. It is quite easy to just think of an animator as the guy that makes funny characters move, but there is much more to it, and if I want to be one, I'de better understand it. 
Artists, as people with the possibilities to create new ideas from almost anything, have to make decisions. An animatior might be an artist, that is, it has to make decisions, art decisions, but also, animation decisions. To be an animator then involves someone to act and think as both, an artist and an animator. But, how is it different one from another?
Well, the artist would make decisions on how colors may be used, how figures represent ideas, how composition may help tell a story, etc. 
An animator decides how stuff moves, why, and how that movement adds to the character [pathos] of a certain being. 

That said, I just noticed I haven't done much of any.
I've drawn, yes, and I've animated, yes, but have not yet made my brain think as an animator. 

Studies, just like the ones artists make to find the perfect color combination(palettes), the best way of portraying someone, or the ones animators make to invent a new walk, are the fundamental element on such a career. The lack of it may be the reason there are frustrated guys that want to animate, bad animations, mediocre studioes, etc. 

That's why I decided to begin my journey on a much more concrete and practical way of studying. Here are some of starters:
Boring blue parrot. It seems pastels look better if not smudged, at least on grainy papers.

A weird steampunk car. Made on a smoother paper, pastels were smudged here. 

These two are some quick pastel studies with two main purposes:
1.- find out how to use pastels
2.- create some color studies, only choosing among just 36 colors. (I will use this on digital pics too)

This sketches were some design studies of  NEOFELIS NEBULOSA | CLOUDED LEOPARD.
I was looking for a way of simplifying the animal's figure into an appealing design.
I also tried to make some designs following china and aztec cultures.

And that's all for today! 
Thanks for reading ^^ 

domingo, 2 de junio de 2013


First of all, the almost usual walk cycle:
This time I did a double bounce designed by Richard Williams. He says that you can create a nice double bounce by making your passing position a down position, as well as the contacts. The rest are ups, and that gives a funny jumping guy XD.

I think this one did not turned out as good as I expected. It has some flow issues, as well as timming issues.

I really think it needs more power on the extreme positions, like those two contacts. But I'll say the bad timming and posing has to do with my struggle on the planning. I tried to plan the walk beginning with the down positions (the down position method) which seems ok until you need to add the contacts. [if you look carefully, my contacts are not good, nor precisely mirrored].

I do like the arms animation, but they need a better timming. The arcs are fine I guess :P

Must keep working on a way to make movement flow nicely through the entire animation. 

And that's for the walk cycle.
CLOUDS - Or something coming through the clouds. Is a small animation proyect I'm working on to find out an easy way to build up a complete colored animation. It is mostly a research excersice for me to find out:

  1. Ways to move backgrounds
  2. Create a visual developement style that does not need of high and expensive technology
  3. Integration of traditional hand drawn animation with some more digital methods, such as After Effects animation and Flash.
  4. A small introduction on sstorytelling - This wont be a full story, it has to look like a scene that may form part of a bigger film

Here are my first thumbnails:

Here I explore the look of the clouds, the overall tone and atmosphere.

I want to create something simple, almost like a moving painting. Tiny accents like the birds will be there, leading the finishing animation of the aircraft appearing, which may be the most complicated thing. Still waiting for some designs of that ship. 

Here are some cloud animations I did yesterday.
They are done in photoshop.

This one was animated with AfterEffects, plane by plane. 

This one is too fast for my taste. Clouds are not a fluid; they do not reform so quickly. 

On upcoming updates I'll show some designs for the aircraft, some more animation studies, perhaps another stills, and whatever comes to my mind ^^.


And for the Illustration part, I finally finished that Goat Kid portrait I've been working on for a while.

I'm quite happy with the result, specially the light and color it has. I'm the kind of guy that prefers dark pictures with few hues, but hey, colors are great too! :D (but not that easy to control hahaha)

And that's all for now!
Thanks for reading! :)