October 23, 2009

Week 03: You Know What Some of the Kids Said? More about Layout

Before we get into Animation, I would like to expand a little about LAYOUT from Week 02. =)

It all start with the 12 Principles of Animation: Staging

We don't simply layout-ing, putting camera around if we know how important staging is.
If we study animation featured, we noticed how every single shots has been designed, layout nicely.

& how's my friend, Jin Liang think about layout design, do check out one of his post: Lady & The Tramp & I'm totally agree with him.

The Basic idea of Staging

We can see how everything should be organized nicely because everything appear within the frame tells the story. Good staging lead audience into the right mood of your story, it make your audience focus on your story. & Yea, it's all about story.

What we can expand from Staging is Composition,

& what we can learn from Composition is the Rule of Thirds.

This is how's the great master piece painted during Renaissance, good photography nowadays, they all followed the Rule of Thirds.

Let's take my shots for an example..

& now you can really see how I can improve my composition.

The third thing you may need to consider is Leading the Audience's Eye.

Spungella on July 2009 has great post of this topic.

The basic idea is to create an area of focus from shots to shots.
The focus area could be the position of your character, the direction of your character looking, the props that pointing to specific direction & etc.

For my shots,

shot 1 & the direction of little girl looking.

when we put shot 1 & 2 together, we can see the direction of 2 characters looking.

shot 2 & the direction of batman looking.

when we put shot 2 & 3 together, we can see the direction of 2 characters looking.

shot 3 & the direction of both of them looking.

By applying this, it would spice up your shots, & this is how you differentiate a good or bad shots.

& So here's my improved layout,

Oh yeah, what do you think? what do you think about this layout? what do you think about this piece of sharing & infomation?

feedback guys! comments!

Hope you like it.

Have Fun =)

October 15, 2009

Week 02: You Know What Some of the Kids Said

Yeah yeah, after ideas brainstorming from Week 01, I finally decided what I'm going to do!

I'm going to create a scene with a little girl was about to sleep, sitting on her bed & telling her dad about her worries, what she heard from the other kids said in school.

I want to make it a cute, sweet, adorable character animation..

Cast: Little Girl, Dad
Set: Room

After I got my ideas all set, I quickly go into Maya to create the layout with my characters (from modified norman).
I did sketch out my ideas, but too bad I left my sketches in school lab computer..

Anyway, here's my layout.

Haha, surprise~!! Batman?! Yeah, I changed it to Batman instead of 'Dad' because of 2 reasons:

1st, I want to make it looks like a scene from the Batman movies.
2nd, I don't have time to modify a 'Dad' norman..

Something about layout,
I try to make it more 'movie' approach instead of just one camera. It's good to make your piece that looks like it's a scene from movies.

At least I believe it make your work stand out among the dialogue animation, especially student's demoreel. Of course, animation quality is still the king.

Alright, this is actually the 1st layout I created, as you noticed the switch between First & Third camera is the only different.

It's actually not that bad because the 1st shot established everything clearly.. but it turned out too clear for me..

I prefer the top one because it doesn't show Batman at the 1st camera, when it cut to Second shot only people realize... it's Batman!
& they'll scream 'what the hell'.. & this is the respond I want!

Do you like the layout? heeh

So once the layout, cameras are all set, you're ready to animate it!!
But not so fast, before you really begin your animation, some brainstorm & planning should have done as well~

& I'll talk about this in my next post.

Have Fun~ =)

Week 01: You Know What Some of the Kids Said?

Yeah yeah, finally I got something to post here~

I'm working on a new clip now which I think it's a pretty good idea if I can share my progress here. =)

I'm taking JD's workshop now, & I'm doing a dialogue piece..

Week 01

In order to do a dialogue animation, you should find yourself a dialogue clip first (of course~).
There are many ways you can get it through internet but it's not easy to get a good one sometime.

Few things to bare in mind:
  1. Look for something contrast in speaking tone, clear accent but not mumbling, less background sound.

  2. Contrast as in emotional changes as well, to show character's thoughts, thinking, emotional gear change.

  3. Avoid too famous actors, movies/ scenes that too recognizable. It's not a good idea if someone recognize where's your dialogue originally from, or who's the original actor who spoke the line, these would cause the audience recall the original scene, & letting your animation down by comparing them.

  4. Not from an animation featured for sure. Just like Michelangelo was not going to re-paint, re-produce Leonardo da Vinci's artworks.

  5. Avoid FXXX or similar words if you're putting it into demoreel. Keep it clean.

  6. If there's more than 1 character conversation, we should look for the 'conflict' between 2 or more characters.
    For example, Character A would like to offer something to Character B but B refuse to accept it.

  7. Be able to create the context that show your brilliant, interesting, creative ideas. We don't want to re-create the similar scene from the dialogue you've choosen.

Here's what I original have.

scene from Omega Man, video sources from youtube.com

I've several other clips from movies like Memento, Legend of 1900 but I decided to work on this because I would like to do something with a cute little girl scene.

However, it's too long, length of 9-12 seconds is always preferable.

& here's the version I edited.

I take out some of the lines to make the topic even more clear & focus, & tried to reduce the background sound (esp the foot step walking sound at the beginning) as well.

Alright, I'm cool with this & I'm ready to move to the next step --> Brainstorm the ideas, Show your talent~

but remember, try not to involve politics, sexual, racist, toilet/dirty jokes, animal abusing, violence issues in it.. if you're putting it into your demoreel.

That's all for week 01, there are more to come. What I mentioned here is basically the basic rules of it.
Hope you like it & find it helpful (whoever reading this). Do let me know what I missed out or to make it better. Thanks!

I'll show my layout for the next post.

Have Fun =)