Saturday, June 18, 2011

Style Change.

Better? Worse? who knows. Obviously someone else does the lettering and speech bubbles.

I've switched to almost 60% brush now. I'm using ink fine liners (0.05-0.2 mm), a dip pen (old school!) and brushes. Even with a fairly thick brush just by angling your wrist you can get a huge variant of line. Except for the very thin hatches, the girls faces and the gun, and the obviously ruled lines, it was all drawn with a brush. I was quite surprised.

Anyway I hope they're pleasing and get me the job.

Untitled from Patrick Meharg on Vimeo.

So I had to put this on vimeo because Blogger video upload is crashing. Any how. It was widescreen format but it's gone square for some reason. I was just trying out the technique that Tom and Rozi used on their Royal Wedding Animation for the project last term. I'm going to do a few of these to basically make my show reel look good - yes they're roto-scoped but they look kinda pretty and they're easy to do and they only last a second or 2.

(Trivia! ; if you're wondering then, the guy in the white is a Quarterback for the Oakland Raiders and the guy in the Blue is a Defensive End for the Buffalo Bills and they haven't played each other since 2008. Nobody wears number 93 for the Bills and number 11 is actually a kicker for the Raiders - I changed it to correspond with the game on Madden NFL I was playing at the time)

So, style change more like comic booky. So that's how it is so far. Gotta do all the environmenty bits. hoorrrah.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Potential Summer Work.

So there's a possibility I may be doing all the artwork for a graphic novel called 'Displaced' which I saw advertised outside the Animation Studio about a month ago. The original artist has dropped out so I'm hoping I'm the next top choice or at least top 10 and beat the other 9.

Anyway so I had to do some 'test' pages. These aren't sequential, they're page 11, 26 and 41.
There's quite a few things I'd change on these if I was doing it for real, like giving the Jeep a Door, and changing a few angles of the women in the last 2 pages.

I've also only had brief character descriptions to work from, no designs and I've basically been given 2-3 days to do these so that's why the characters look very generic. That's also why there's no colour and no real art style. But it's not needed at this stage, as per the brief anyway.

The below one is more accurate to the script as it calls for a closeup of the gun. In the next page he is shooting a few people so I also drew the above as a suggestion that it might be a little more interesting (it was to draw anyway), but they both could work.

Might help if I drew the gun at the right scale though; the barrel is looking a bit short.

It's actually really good fun. And a bit odd because your drawing a lot of different things that you maybe take for granted. I'll give you an example. Draw a TV remote now without going and looking at one first. Then go and look it and I bet you've drawn it wrong. Same with a sofa. Even just these 3 pages I had to go out and look at Jeeps, Car Wheels, Caterpillar boots, IV Bags, Hospital Beds, TV remote, Sofa, Coffee Table, Lamp shades, and well, obviously guns - I'm not much of an arms dealer. Scarily though I stumbled on a site where you can buy parts and build your own Steyr AUG (an Austrian assault rifle apparently)...thankfully I don't think they were selling the bullets.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What I are handing in.

Patrick Meharg ImagesPDF

So this is my final hurrah. about 3/4 weeks work. You may not think this is a lot, but there is a great deal of behind the scenes work that you can't show anyone, like mastering a software (I've sort of shown it with the progression of my models, from crappy to OK) or, tracking points on matchmover, stuff like that. Theres about a weeks worth of unseen stuff. But anyways. ENJOY.

Oh and I should probably explain, that in the armature design, those aren't light-bulbs. No. That's a twisted loop of aluminum wire - this allows you to actually turn the head and the torso. If you had a single strand of wire the connection would become loose and the head would swivel about uselessly and with no tension.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Most stuff done now.

So I've finished my Animation Technologies essay and now have 500 words to remove from it. Yay. Easier than adding 500 though I guess.

So here's a quick snippet of what I've found out about Computer Mouses.

Microsoft are still trying to develop actual mice, and not doing a very good job of it, but at least they look kinda cool.

This is the Side Mouse and is basically a camera that tracks where your fingers are.
The drawback is you have to keep your hand still and make your fingers very precise because Microsoft couldn't make any software to tackle the complexities of the human hand (I doubt anyone could). The cool part is it does away with conventional clickers and scrollers and brings us one step closer to making Minority Report a reality!

Speaking of which here it is. Imagine how cool this would be to animate with. Or better yet that Jarvis system in Iron Man (can't find an actual picture) that Tony Starks uses to design the Iron Man suit after he escapes from the terrorists. You could actually physically interact with your 3D model. I think that'd be much better than an optical mouse.

This is the closest thing I found to it. Remember the Nintendo Power Glove? (well I don't because I never heard of it before but if you did then...well....well done?) They've re-made it for the Wii and it mixes 3D mice and Air mice with the Power Glove to create a bulky Minority Report Glove. No idea if it works at all but it looks very cool.

Compared to this anyway. The first mechanical mouse. Douglas Englebart's 1963 design. Unfortunately for him the idea didn't catch on until the 1980s and by then his patent had run out so he never got any royalties from it. Don't worry though he's doing pretty well for himself otherwise.

Another one of Microsoft's genius ideas to give you yet more repetitive strain injury. If you're reading this, take out your hand, spread out your fingers like you're holding a normal mouse and then touch your forefinger and thumb together repeatably. That's how it looks like this mouse works (there was a video on the website). When I do it I can feel a bit of tension in my palm so I can imagine this one getting uncomfortable after a while. Even so it's still a cool idea and it's a step in the direction of having say, 5 little things on the end of your fingertips to control the interface.

This one literally is a camera that captures what your fingers do. However unlike the side mouse you still 'click' on that perspex bit with your fingers. There's just no actual button. It's not going to go commercial though probably because the camera is high resolution and therefore quite expensive.

Here someone has made their old 1989 Nintendo Power Glove into a gyroscopic 'air mouse'.

This is the first ever mouse...thing. It's a bowling ball an works like a mechanical mouse. The discs are attached to rollers (those little things you had to clean all the damn time). It was developed by 3 guys with the Canadian Navy after WWII and it weighs several pounds.

Clay Maquette!

So now pretty much all my drawing is out of the way (save for a few I can mess with in the evenings to keep me from robbing banks), my maquette is done, my 3D model is modelled, all that is left to do is to create the final footage of the motion tracked head which is all set up and ready to complete before Wednesday (the hand in day).

Bare in mind I'm going to try and give her sponge hair...I just have no idea how to fix it on. I may need to just use ally-wire rods.

I think it's about as good as I'm going to get. I'm still keeping it in the fridge and I'm still going to keep working on it but I think it's close enough for me to be able to submit it for marking without stressing about it now.
I might get a ping pong ball and cut it in half for the eyes, the beads are a little small.
The side view would look a lot better with sponge hair.

I've had to give her a bit of a rugby player neck as a compromise to allow the head to actually stay on the mount slab bit. It kept falling off.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Oh my gosh - super progress.

Here's what I started with for this one, pen and ink wash with a bit of very very thin blue watercolour.

This be the bad guy - Romo the Prison Warden. I drew most of this by hand, then in photoshop just basically using the black fill tool and masks.

I made my own brushes for this from grass and wheat pictures.

This is what I started with, just biro and a dash of watercolour:

More Updates. Done these in the last 2 hours. Because it's sunny, so I sat outside. And now I don't look like a pasty animator any more! horray!

Yes I can do photoshop masks! This is probably far too distracting and should just be blank white. I might water colour her too, rather than digital colour.

I re-did Commander Mustard. Much happier with him now. I can leave all the drawing and such alone for the pitch project now. It doesn't have to be amazing, but I'm happy that it's not pants.

(just realized I accidently swapped the mustaches on Hans und Schmidt...oh well.)

We've gone all out on the rudeness. You'll have to wait and see for that though. (i'll put it up after we've done our final pitch in case anyone is reading this now - no spoilers!)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

So its 23:50 and I've finished for the day having started just after 9. I took a half hour for lunch, and an hour to eat my dinner whilst watching the apprentice but my GOSH busy day. Lots done though so its good.

The above image has taken me the last 3 or so hours. It's complied of previous images and newly drawn ones. I'm not happy with Commander Mustard (name changed 'cause there may be a copyright with Cluedo, similarly Uber Pea is now Ultimate Pea due to this, better safe than sorry) he needs to POW! WOW! IN YOUR FACE KAPOW! And he's a bit shite (especially the beret), but that's to be expected this late in the evening. So I shall revisit it tomorrow! The rest of it I like.

Alice or Insa...or both are coming up with a super duper font so that'll change. Also there is a tagline to come but for now this is one 'wow' image. Alice is doing another wow/concept image. So that, this and the lineup should suffice as 'selling images' for our pitch. Because it's only 5 minutes, less is more. As long as the less is kick ass.

Also the characters are getting their own personal taglines (it helps get across the feel of the show) - like this;


So if you'd told me I could do this, 3 weeks ago, I would have laughed in your stupid optimistic face.

Although, I wouldn't because I'm not that mean.

But still. A lot better than two squashed sausages innit?

This isn't me finished, I was just mucking around in Maya. Because tomorrow every one is in to help and I'm a bit stuck right now and tired and need to get on with other things.

I've tracked the movement of the puppet head, which is just time consuming but kinda theraputic (in a carpal tunnel sort of way) so I think that's Stage One Complete!

Also my muzzle fits the puppets face like...a face glove. So, score. Well it does from my cleverly placed angles anyway. I've got 7 days to merge the two sequences which is entairly dooable. I've pretty much spent the whole day learning Autodesk Match Mover (even if that was somehow a waste of time it's still a useful software to know the basics of since you can motion track live action)

I like Match Mover it makes me laugh, I can imagine it being like a worried little child. I've been doing what the help pdf. called "supervised tracking". So you put your key points in then press 'autotrack'. When it comes up with a red bit (red = bad, yellow =ok green = good) It's like it knows it hasn't done a good job, and I just imagine it being all apologetic....and that makes me giggle to myself.

This is how I amuse myself now.

So yes, enjoy this if you like but ignore it because it's not getting submitted or anything like that.
(it's also just the playblast)

Here's the original footage. With dots. Super Duper Dots.

I was basically just doing random movements, getting it to move in all directions, fast and slow. Because it's just a head on a wire stick essentially, and shot on an overhead rostrum, it's a little difficult to do any real animation. I'm also not getting marked on my animation skills for this so it's not strictly important. I'm just moving a stopmotion puppet, and matching that movement with a 3d model.

And yes it'd be much easier to have had it going in on perspective slowly from left to right but where is the challenge in that?

Remember my Dad quoting this scene, thought I'd use it for my animation technologies essay about computer mice. It's Scottie from star trek having gone back in time, trying to use a 1970/80s computer....Hello? Computer?