Studio 2

Journal Week 8

What I did:

A rough blockout animation on Duik, using the auto rig for the arms and legs. And a controller and linking the head and body together as well as a general master control to move everything.

Compiled what I have done into a slide show.

Drew thumbnails/storyboard for swan animation after watching videos and looking at videos of ballerinas bowing and pictures of swans sleeping, as well as the original inspiration image for the animation.


Some more research into Duik watching most of the rest of the Lynda tutorial I was watching.

Did some concepts and rough model sheets for cross discipline:

 My notes:

Spatial interpolation
Allows you to switch from linear (straight lines, animation straight to keykrames) and bezier (curved lines, smooth flow to keyframes) with paths of movement, by selecting the desired keyframes.
Morpher tool allows you to adjust keyframes across several layers from only modifying one timeline.
To do this select all the desired keyframes/properties you want to adjust. Make sure the keyframes button is selected (to the right of morpher) then click morpher, in effects there should now be a morpher property, through adjusting the timeline of this it affects all the layers/properties you selected. If you like the timing of everything you can delete all the middle poses on the morpher tool timeline and move around the start and end keyframes to slow it down or speed it up.
Copy and paste tool, really easy and simple to use. Select the keyframes from the layers/properties you want to copy. Click on the copy button, place the time slider where you want to copy the animation to on the time line. Click paste and as long as in the animation settings you have copy based on layer names, everything should be on the same layer
Controller tool the same as rigging toolbox.

Import rig into composition
Make sure you only have one composition open in down where the timeline is, and that you have it selected in the project window so you don’t import the rig into the wrong file. Whatever you are importing needs a unique prefix.
Importing takes a long long time.

Cel animation allows you to hand draw animation, by clicking new cell it will create a new layer in the composition that already has a paint effect added to it, when adding another drawing, click the checkbox single layer beside the new cel button so the new cel will be under the same layer as the other one, making everything more organised. There is an onion skin tool, like animate, it is customisable allowing you to adjust how many frames ahead or behind. As well as how opaque frames before or after are, different settings for each. You can copy and paste onion skin settings across cels. The exposure setting controls how long the cel will appear on screen for, like if you are drawing on 2s or ones. The arrow buttons are the previous and next frame buttons. These buttons should be used during the drawing process as it moves you safely from frames to frame, it also activates scripts that are important. Use these to the draw frames, not new cel.
Make sure paint on transparency is on, and that the transparency grid tool is on (mini checkbox, highlighted blue).
Select the cel in the timeline and select or deselect onion skill to get it working.
To colour in, use the single layer tool and create a new cel. Make sure timeline indicator is at the start.
To get the outline on top, get the cels to open up in the effects panel and change the fill to have be painting on transparency, and the outline not on transparency.
Scale z-link
” The scale z-link function adds a slider to a 3-d layer, that will compensate for the distance of a 3d camera. This causes that layer to maintain the same apparent size, regardless of where it is in relation to the camera. ”
If you don’t want an object/ layer not to change size then have it selected and then click scale z link. Then its size won’t change when the camera zooms in and out.
2d multiplane gives things a 3d look but keeps them 2d. Have the layers you want to affect selected, then click 2d multiplane, then type in how many layers you have. Then click multiplane. There is a controller made, its symbol is a camera, if you move it around, it moves all the layers like they are within a 3d space, if you bring up the effects for the controller and open up the multiplane it gives you options to “zoom in and out without actually adjusting the parallax . You can truck in and out which does affect the parallax, you can pan around without affecting the parallax, and you can also tilt or kind or rotate it back and forth. ”
The zero/parent layers created for each layer have camera controls for them, which adjusts how much the layer is affected by the camera.
Control camera
“Adds simple controllers linked to a 3d camera, its position, and its target, also called its point of interest. ”
To create a camera go to layer- new- camera. Make sure its a 2 node camera, click on the view setting in the bottom right-hand corner of the viewport and change to 2 views and make sure one is an active camera and the other is custom view one. The second view allows you to move the camera better. Have the camera selected and click control cam. Creates controls that allow you to move the target of the camera and target, create a control that moves both target and camera at the same time.

Research from the Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams. Just general animation advice.

My notes:
Richard Williams learnt from Grim Natwick, that animation is all about spacing and timing. The timing is when the keyframes happen, where the rhythm of the action is set, the timing of a bouncing ball is established when the ball hits the ground. Spacing is the space between slow and or fast clusters, again with the ball it slows as it reaches the arc but speeds up as it falls.
P48- 50
Extremes are the starts and ends of a change of direction. Inbetweens are the poses that fill in the gaps between extreme poses, showing how something got from a to b. Without in-betweens animation elements like arcs of action slow in and out wouldn’t be depicted.
Ken Harris referred to slow in or out as cushioning, which is exactly the effect that it has on animation.
Inbetweens are extremely important in ensuring the quality of an animation, as if they are off in their placement or just wrong as simply as their appearance or how they depict the movement then it adds wobble or a strobe-like effect to the animation. As long as the good keyframes outnumbered the bad it usually turns out to a decent standard.
Grim Natwick used to say “Bad in-betweens will kill the finest animation”.
P57 key poses depict action, tell the story.
P61 3 ways to animate

Straight ahead– “the natural way” drawing from start to end in chronological order
Produces ” a natural flow of fluid, spontaneous action”.
Allows for improvisation that adds energy and spirit to the animation.
Is very creative process, taking the action as it develops.
“Often the unconscious mind starts to kick in: like authors saying their character tells them what’s going to happen.”
“It can produce surprises- ‘magic’. ”
“It’s fun”.
The animation starts to get off track.
“Time stretched and the shot gets longer and longer.”
Character size changes.
“We tend to miss the point of the shot and  not arrive at the right place at the right time.”
“The director hates us because he/she can’t see what’s happening.”
“It’s lots of work to clean up the mess afterwards and it’s hard to assist.”
“It’s expensive- the producer hates us.”
“It can be hard on the nerves- mad artist and nervous breakdown time as we creatively leap in and thrash around in the void- especially with looming deadlines.”

At my level, all the advantages are true, but for the disadvantages, I don’t have to worry about directors or money.

Pose to pose- “the planned way”
Keyframes- extremes and other important poses- in-betweens/breakdowns- set the timing and spacing, embellish.
Clarity of action and the point of the scene.
“It’s structured, calculated, logical.”
Clean, nice drawings that clearly present the poses/action.
The order and timing is right
“The director loves us.”
“It’s easy to assist”.
“It’s a quick way to work and frees us up to do more scenes.”
“The producer loves us.”
“We keep sane, our hair isn’t standing on end.”
“We earn more money as we are seen to be responsible people and clearly not mad artists. Producers have to deliver on time and on budget, so brilliance is not rewarded as much as reliability. I speak from experience working on both sides of the fence. They don’t pay us for ‘magic’. They pay us for delivery.”
The flow of animation is missed- which is a big deal.
“The action can be a bit choppy, a bit unnatural and if we correct that by adding a lot of overlapping action to it – it can go easily the other way and be rubbery and squishy-equally unnatural.”
“It can be too literal- a bit cold blooded no surprises.”
“Where’s the magic?”
Again all are relative to me except regarding directors and producers.Combination of straight ahead and pose to pose.
Create small thumbnails, then create “big drawings” of the keys, extremes, contacts and other important poses, just like the pose to pose workflow.
Then it switches to straightforward, which goes over several runs, in various levels of detail.
“Working this way combines the structured planning of working from pose to pose with the natural free flow of the straight-ahead approach.”
“Its a balance between planning and spontaneity.”
“It’s a balance between cold-bloodedness and passion.”
“None that I know of….”

For my animations, I think I’m going to use the combination method, with some adjustments just from how I like doing things. The frog will probably at times edge towards pose to pose, as I think there is a structure to the jump.
With the ballerina swan animation, I think it will edge towards straightforward sometimes, as its a transformation and I want it to be beautiful and fluid, like a budget basement version of Cinderellas dress transformation.
And the trapeze will be a combination, probably the truest to pure combination.

Go through all the types of poses you create at the different stages (extremes, in betweens etc) for the animation as a whole. Then do the process again, for the important things, to add and refine them,starting with the most important to least important.

I learnt that a hybrid between the both straight forward and pose to pose is definately the best, and it is easy to cross in between the two without realising. Even though i thought i would be able to easily just do it one way or the other I don’t do just solely one type as much as i think i do.
Ballerina bowing :
 Trello report:

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