Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11 second

Really a little bit pissed off. I've been trying to upload my video to the 11second club website all day. The limit is 10mbs and mine is 4.4mbs and it gets to 7% and then cuts out. Might be my internet connection but I can't do anything about it and it's terribly annoying.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Expiremental update.

Well I WAS going to update and upload my experimental project so far, and I had 26-27 seconds done and finished BUT for whatever reason, since leaving uni and getting home on the bus the video has disappeared from my memory stick leaving me with just 1 frame. I left uni with 300 odd and now I only have 1. Which means I have wasted 2 hours and £1.20 and a saturday morning. But oh well nevermind nothing I can do about it except re-do it. The problem is now that I've peeled off all my post-it notes they're all scrumpled and shit.

This really sucks I was happy with how it was looking too and I'd actually have something to show for it other than a few words but you'll have to wait until monday to catch a glimpse.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hopefully Final.

They're both the same, one has black background one has grey. I think grey provides more contrast, clarity wise.

Derek was right, adding the legs definitely helps the characters and the movement as the figures feel planted because you can see they have feet and they're on the floor. I know the quality of the actual animation may not be fantastic but I think the point is it's my best to date and this is all I want from myself with each task, is to be better with each one. I think this one flows a lot more than previous tests and works better as the 2nd character reacts to the 1st character. There are a few things that are odd, and one or two timing issues.

It took me a while to get focused on this project this is partly because character animation is not my strong suit or chosen craft, and partly because at the start I got more into the planning of the experimental project. So that's one thing to learn from is maybe a few more days thumb-nailing pays off.

One thing that really helped me out and I can feel it paying dividends is life drawing as although some poses my look odd and exaggerated I feel like I have a much deeper knowledge of how the body sits on feet, shifts it's weight and how the joints work. I think I have some decent body twists in there in a few places or at least one's I'm happy with.

People have remarked it has a good 'feeling' to it. Which I guess is good because it IS only 11 seconds and it's hard to take it all in without watching it about 10 times to spot everything. As usual though whilst doing this project I've had a gazillion different and better ideas of characters and stories but such is life. Stupid clavemen.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Well on Derek's advice I added legs. And on Kathy's advice I have animated the secondary character (small claveman) more. Although it's hard to get a decent pause for his fall down, I might be able to get away with it how it is at the minute (his face still on floor whilst he's saying "I tho-") but it may need a tweak. I guess it is better and more dynamic although I'm finding it very fast and it is in danger of being hurried but I tihnk it's okay for now. I'm putting a bit more time into this than the experimental (I know other people are doing the opposite) but I am devoting Saturday, Sunday and Monday exclusivley to the experimental tohopefully finish it. Tomorrow is lip sync and finish the animation on the 11second and I have to finish it tomorrow so it shall be a long day probably. This gives me tuesday as the emergency day before the hand-in.

At the end what is happening is he's shout out of the cave when he says "He stole it" I shall upload the storyboard for this bit soon as it seems to make more sense that he shout out "He stole it" to the outside world because it's just the two clavemen in the clave so who is he shouting to? Although it could be the audience...which is what I had him doing before but the angle of drawing and the perspective was bloody difficult and it just didn't look right, in fact the more correctly I drew the perspective the more wrong it looked because his arm just disappeared.

Anyway, people seem to like the drawing style. I was thinking of drawing the backgrounds by hand and then scanning them in because I don't look how flat and bold the computer tools make it look, maybe that's just my lack of skill with it though either way I want it more subtle.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Life Drawing.2

Englby is holding the corner down by the way, that's not a super realistic drawing of a book.

Oh no wait...it is, I drew that....

I messed up her left arm on this one. Oh well.

Forgot to upload these last week.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Drive it like you stole it.

I just realised I've forgotten to draw in what he actually might have stolen....will that matter?

Also no lip sync, that's to come. I kind of liked it when I finished it but give it a night's sleep and I'll come back and spot more things that need to be fixed. I'm happy with the movement in general though but watching it back I can see a few places that don't make sense or need 1 or 2 more inbetweens. The plan is to add more detail or clarity or whatever is needed to it as I finish up with the experimental project (which would go a great deal quicker if the other linetest camera in the studio re-appeared or got fixed but nevermind).

Apparently my background is crazy? I think if you can't tell the difference between a rock and a tree then YOU'RE crazy. Although I guess in some way I do draw tree's like rocks so maybe I'm crazy?

Who knows.

I've looked at it again and some of the ways I've drawn thumbs is just plain odd.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I think I actually like the guide hand drawn version better which means I wasted a load of time doing the puppets. The only movement I actually like is when he goes "Why would I put it there?!" and his face beforehand. Anyway long day ahead tomorrow probably. I wasted a few hours trying to intergrate the Toon Boom camera compositing but it just wasn't working. However the drawing tools, the software smoothness and reliability are so much better than Flash still. Before I simplified it all down I was working with about 200 layers and pegs. Why? I think I got over-excited. Tomorrow is a trip to simpleton.

Friday, November 19, 2010

background test

Wow check it out. I have mastered the camera moving! I think. I have done 1 second of animation today. Horray. So next week I shall finish the acting and lip sync. Then the following week I can shoot my experimental project and mess around with the backgrounds on this because this was actually good fun making it sweep and stuff. I'm sure there's more to it than just this simple movement though.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


This is just for a scale reference really because this far away their features are a little hard to make out. The movement probably isn't going to be fluid enough on this from the way you create the puppets. I've intentionally done claveman 2 (short one) out to be south park-y....just for..funsies really, he isn't going to be that lively anyway, claveman 1 (tall one) is going to the one jumping around all livid and upset which is why I'm contemplating drawing the torso by hand (I.e. not using the rigged version I've done) but we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Character re-made.

I think I need to redraw the hands a bit. I have to add detail onto the body and add detail to the feet. But I didn't manage to fit that in today before the last bus. I spent most of the day mastering rigging and now things should go a lot quicker.

The other claveman shall remain tall and skinny. This claveman is the accused one of the 11second plot.

I'm not sure on the eyes still. I've tired big ones small ones, no whites, wide set and close set but this seems to be the best so far. I like the short arms big hands, but I think it just needs to be slightly redrawn. I've realised I don't need a side view for this character though just a 3/4. So both characters should be finished by tomorrow If I can get it done before life drawing. This means hopefully the 11 second should be finished by the end of next week. I have nearly drawn all the frames I need for the experimental project, I just need to do a few tests which I shall upload when done, and thne It'll probably take 2-3 days to film. So all is looking on scheduale which is goodo.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Character Work

So I think this may be enough to be going with. No sense not getting on with it really in Toon Boom. The only problem is I've been set back a few days because I've snapped and broken my student card so I can't get in or get out of the studio. I managed to get in on Thursday but I couldn't get out again once everybody had left which was FUN and I'm still waiting for a replacement. So in the meanwhile I'm getting on with my experimental stuff which I tested last week and it works fine, but I forgot to save it and post it on here.

Anyway all this and some more is going in a PDF file or something (hopefully they have the relevant programs in the Library) and be handed in on Wednesday. I was hoping to have the Character puppets rigged for the 11second project by the end of this week so when my student card is fixed I shall have to pull my finger out to get back on scheduale. But as I said I can use this time to get ahead of scheduale with my experimental project.

I have drawn Caveman 2 (the one thatlooks more like a flintstone) in Toon Boom and he seems to move fairly fludily and easily but I am yet to rig him (Because the tutorial for rigging only came out 3 days ago during which time I've been locked in and out) or test it fully. Since it's only 11 seconds or so though I'm hoping to have it animated and lip synced in 4-5 days. This in theory will take me to the 25th of November and leave me 5 days to cross T's and dot I's.

I've had a bit of trouble deciding on Caveman 1's face (tall skinny one) whether or not to give him a nose...how to do the hair, how to do the mouth. I hope it works okay. I looked a bit at The Brackenwood Series, (Similar hair/head character called 'Bitey') and Where the Wild Things are. I've got for a cross between it's really long hair and fur. With Caveman 2 I've treated the Hair/Head more like a mask, something like Batman. It's slightly easier to see what's going on I think so I might use that on both characters. We'll see how it all pans out. Anyhow If you hear any yelling and banging out side the studio could you please let me in?

Thursday, November 11, 2010


So this is a first, about 3 hours straight. The side view isn't working for me. It'll go much better tomorrow and faster because I'm getting better with the wacom tablet. I've got to sort his hair out a bit and some detail on his garment might work nicely. I am going for the South Park meets The Flintstones. You'll notice this Claveman looks a bit like Fred and Barney's love child if they'd done it with those cavemen from Wackey Racers in some kind of weird orgy that I'll bet you any money is on the internet somewhere.

Anyway. On the side view, a bit of neck, re-draw the body shape at the bottom should do it. I'm halfway through the 3/4 angle as well then soon it shall be on to some rigging! When the tutorial video for it is released tomorrow anyway.

It's kind of hard to get the detail on the hair right when it's all hair. I put a lot of lines in and it looked too complicated. Something to muck about with anyway. Hopefully once the two puppets are done it shouldn't take too long to actually animate.

Dope sheet to follow.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Life Drawing.

20 Minutes.

5 minutes.

2x 5 minutes.

4x 2 minutes.

5x 1 minute.

5x 1 minute (left hand i.e. not your dominant hand)

5x 1 minute.

10 minutes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Jean Beanie

Here he is, The Jean Beanie. I've drawn this in Flash. Hopefully (I think I remember Andy saying it was) I can use the model in Toon Boom or TVA. Anyway I'm pretty proud of him. That's a whole summers thinking right there.

Also my Experimental project is well on the way. I bought 2000 post-it notes for £5 the other day so now I've gotta get drawing. I only need 1400 so I can make a few errors.

First step is drawing the post-it animation and getting that to work. Then it's on to phase 2 of my mighty plan. I'm giving myself 2-3 weeks for this. So I have to draw about 200 post-its a day. It sounds like a lot but they're only little things and you can hold them in your hand and do it anywhere.

I'm hoping I can use the Jean Beanie for the 11 second club thing in November which is why I thought I'd get him out of the way now. I'll try animating him later or tomorrow and put that up too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Emotional State

Here's my emotional state changing video. The Brief was to animate a sequence where a character changes from one emotional state to another. This will probably get feedback along the lines of not expressive enough or not enough gesture. But I kind of hope this is a little more subtle I just wanted to try something a bit different. I think it works. Could probably be slower I guess or better drawn in some places. In my defence though Flash crashes a lot and that kind of wares your patience down. But hey I might have another stab tomorrow morning but at the minute I'm pretty happy with it and I think it gets across the nervous to adrenaline rush okay.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Experry MENTAL

The next page in the epic struggle between Manbotroboman and Shade and the Witch.

I did this for the house and if anyone wants it it's going for a million squids. Nah only kidding It's not for sale because it's so...good? Well it's okay. Better than looking at a blank wall right?

This is Peter.

And my map of things to come. The little squares are post-it notes. I'm en-visioning a round robbin of the post-it notes so that they're all moving.

I've had an idea. Unfortunately another group had the same idea. So I had another idea on top of that and whilst I was thinking of that Idea I had an Idea that stemmed from that Idea so I combined those two Ideas. Make sense? Good.

So my first idea involved photographing the sky approximately 30 times a day, or 5 times every 30 minutes for as long as I remembered. And then do something with seagulls on a moving sky. Sort of like a speeded up nature thing.

My second Idea involved drawing on post-it notes from remembering something I saw ages ago (It's a short film that's called Escape from Post-it Land but unfortunately it's not on you tube or anything)

Then whilst looking at that French animation (see older posts) and listening to the Vivaldi piece, I had a few other noggles (that's an "ohhh what If I do this..."). Anyway I did a bit of research on our pal Vivaldi and turns out he started off a renound wealthy composer and died a pauper after the death of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI of Austria. This is pretty much because Charles was Viv's number one fan and commissions from the King of the Habsburg Emperor certainly help pay the bills. Anyway point is the Habsburg Coat of Arms (Charles V Coat of Arms) is pretty neato to me. I was particularly drawn to the double headed Eagle which is a symbol of the Holy Roman Empire. Eagles were also a popular image of Napoleon France for anybody who cares to know. Annnnd combining that with my French Animation discovery that features that big black Raven/Unknown Bird I have arrived at my sketchy Double Headed spooky morphing bird.

I don't know what to call it really from a species point of view, so for this exercise I shall call it Peter.

So the grand plan is; To combine all of these things...

Basically Peter is on the post-it notes. He dances/flies/moves to the music behind a pixilation puppet (me or some "volunteer") who is pretty much clad in black but is recognizable as a composer. He slowly degrades and moves and responds to Peter's movements.

This is best explained by a picture. (up top of this post)
I want to explore light as well so I'm going to have to do this at night and I'm either going to use spot lights or tea candles.

So the experimental techniques I am using will be, Pixilation and slight silhouette animation and well I was going to put clay/plasticine in there somewhere because the composers face shall be melting, by using a mask with clay/plasticine running down it.

So there will be a lot going on and I probably haven't explained it greatly but It will all make sense once it starts coming together, it's a little easier to explain visually this idea.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yellow Sticky Notes

DEADLINE post-it stop motion

Found this. Gave me Ideas. It was a suggestion from something my mummy showed me a while ago by this Canadian guy (see above post)

Anyway having more ideas for the experimental project. I've decided to go with the Vivaldi piece.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Walk and Lift

So here's a walk and lift.Lift is late (as in deadline) so very sorry about that, but it's there and at the wrong angle. Well not the wrong angle just a difficult one. I think he also doesn't stretch enough when he lifts the box up, but that can be amended with a couple of frames I think.

The plan with the walk was to make him walk across the screen but It's only a 6 drawing cycle and I looked at it and I would have had to draw those 6 frames about 12 times and....in a nutshell I didn't.

I think I got his stomach bounce quite good and the legs but the arms aren't great and it's a still a little fast for what I was going for but it's a walk nonetheless.

I might try using Toon Boom or TVP for the lip sync task for next week. Mostly because it'd be good to try it out and its probably a little easier to do that on the computer than draw it by hand.

Friday, October 15, 2010

En Francais

Just saw this whilst searching for something completely different but a nice stumble nonetheless. I really enjoyed it.

I'm not sure how to post it on the blog so just click here.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Summer's over.

Should have posted this first maybe but....we like mixing it up here at paddymeharg.blogspot!

Basically I know I said I was going to animate about 3 minutes of American Football but frankly it's very hard and this may turn out to be a life long thing. It took me a month to get Tony Romo here to throw the ball. I'll shoot it properly on Monday because the stuff I have at home isn't playing ball (no pun intended...well maybe a little bit) and is playing it really slowly. Anyway here's some finished panels from my comic book / graphic novel which is really fun to draw. And as a quick reminder to anybody reading this who may be marking my degree, it's supposed to help me with my storyboarding and story telling.

And the story, in a nutshell, is about A Human who think's he's a Robot (idea first came from the Futurama Episode "The Cyberhouse Rules". It's told from the Human perspective where he fights an evil Witch and tries to rescue a pretty woman, and from the Robot perspective where he dons a cape and fights crime.

In the Human world he ploughs the Wicked Witch's fields and he gets along fine until she kills his Cow (and best friend) Daisy after he takes a break. From then on he swears a vendetta against her and vows to rescue the damsel locked in her tower.

In the Robot world he meets Shade who is some sort of experiment or apparition gone wrong, anyway he corrupts our innocent young hero into "dipping his hand into the cookie jar" once in a while, so in other words when he stops a bank robbery he pockets a few notes. Obviously this kind of thing attracts the attention of the "suits" who pursue him and label him a vigilante. This all spirals out of control until the Robot is eventually killing people.

Anyway eventually the two worlds collide and it becomes apparent that the Witch and Shade are the same thing. It ends revealing that he is a Robot who thinks it is Human and that 'Shade' is a virus and the finale is the Robot fighting Shade in a big battle of virusy doom.

The story may be a bit cliche or deja vu but I'm hoping to tell it in a different way. I'm going with the Quentin Tarrentino philosophy of 'It's the same story you've seen a thousand times just told in a completely different way'

It's what I'm aiming for anyway.

And the Jean-Beanie, well he came from my other summer task that Kathy gave me which was to try and create more cartoony and animate-able characters but starting with simple shapes like Beans. So I did that, but as I did more and more I sort of stuck with it and am on the brink of creating a whole new brand of characters based around Beans, Fruit and Vegetables.

Let it be known that the only beans I actually like to eat are kidney beans. I'm not some kind of 'Bean-Freak-Obsessive' . Although to all you BFO's out there, I don't mean any offence towards your healthy love affair with beans.

I'm hoping the Jean-Beanie will be able to make a relevant appearance this term. I've worked quite a bit on him to try and make him a good character but it's still a work in progress. One book that was very helpful to me was Animation 1. It's in the campus library and it's not hard to find because the Animation section is only about 2 shelves, and it's a big thin book by a character designer from Warner Bros. I think it was. It teaches you basic head, body, hand, feet construction and how to build and construct all types of characters. And if you can't find it it's because I've probably taken it out.

Anyway that's all for now. If you want to know how my film for the BBC is coming along (I'm not commissioned for it I'm just going to send it to them relentlessly until they accept it) well I've written the opening and am fairly happy with it. I shan't run down the plot as I fear this blog is too long already but very briefly; Agoraphobic Teen is assigned to look after an ex-commando pensioner for Community Service. It's about opposites attracting, personality clashes and conquering fears. It also focuses a bit on how the Mother deals with it all.

Why Agoraphobia? Well I'm Claustrophobic and I find the opposite quite interesting.

Also, anybody seen the Film '9'? (Elijah Wood does one of the voices and Tim Burton helped produced for anyone who's a Tim Burton nut) It looks really good. It looks more serious than say a Pixar family film.

Enough chat! I'm hungry.