Sunday, November 30, 2014

She_Hulk Walcycle Part 3.5 : Clean Up

I originally thought I'd have this walkcycle finished in 1 day...I was wrong...very wrong. Inbetweening and clean up take much longer than I expected, below is a work-in-progress with 50% of the clean up done, I'm not sure if I should've have cleaned up keys first, then breakdowns, and on to inbetweens, I instead am going through it frame by frame. I'll try to do the rest of the clean-up tomorrow evening. (I also should've traced off the key I drew up in Photoshop, I think the face especially had a bit more appeal, but too late to change now).

Saturday, November 29, 2014

She_Hulk Walkcycle Part 3 : Ready for Clean Up

My goodness, I think I had forgotten how hard frame by frame animation is :P All the more reason to get serious about this if I ever want to animate the things I love. Anyway, lot's of things to be corrected, but I'll try and do that at the clean up the end it's for practice, I'm not building a reel so it doesn't need to be perfect, as long as I see what's wrong with it.

If any experienced animators happen to look at my blog and have some advice about my workflow or general things I need to look out for or work on, please let me know!

Here's a clean up test in toonboom with a highlight effect. I used the standard pencil, but it was a bit too thick with a min. brush size of 20%, I'm setting it to 0% with smoothness knocked back from 20 to actually makes a huge difference.

Friday, November 28, 2014

She-Hulk Walkcycle: Part 2 - Rough Animation

It always takes me a lot of time to actually start animating...I kind of always dread it, because I know I'll fail to meet my own expectations. But the only way to get good is to make lots of mistakes, so let's get started!

1) Simplify your character
First of all I drew a simple version of the character over my key I did yesterday, maybe some people can animate on model but I'd totally get lots in all the detail.

note: I didn't draw the jacket, hair or her..euhm..chestbits, because that's all secondary action, I'll do that as straightahead animation once the walk is done.

2) Dig out your Survival Kit!
Unless you've done a lot of walks, it's probably a good idea to use some reference for the key positions you need to draw. I used Survival Guide by Richard Williams, and using his timing of 16s because it's easy to divide up.

3) Show us what you got!

So I basically drew the 2 main keys first: Contact and passing position, and then did the down and up position, I didnlt trace my my drawings for the other leg, because I'm doing this for practice...gotta do it the hard way! I also don't use "onion skinning", I prefer to flip between drawings to feel oput the movement.

Anyway, now I'll be cleaning up these drawings, just tidy up the shapes..fix some of the leg transitions, and once that is done, I'll do the inbetween drawings and we'll be ready for clean up and secondary action.

Cleaned up the frames and did the inbetweens:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

She-Hulk Walkcycle Part 1: Setting up your scene

Before doing a walkcycle, you need an idea. I actually stuck a piece of paper on my wall with 3 words: WHAT - WHY - HOW

Anything I draw or animate, I want to (and still often don't :P) ask these 3 questions about the character.
What: She is walking out her office.
Why: She has her yearly review.
How: She is very confident and sure that she'll ace her review and come away with a raise.

This comes straight out of the first issue from Soule's run on She-Hulk drawn by Pulido (reference below). I'm adding my own flair to the drawings, but for the most part staying close to the original idea of how they designed the character.

I drew this in Toonboom but cleaned up in Photoshop (comfortzone) but the end result should look the same in Toonboom. I'm also going the extra mile and reading up a bit on how to walk with heels. Who knows high heels might one day cross over to male fashion.

And below a reference of the original artwork by Pulido.

Dragon Ball Z: Piccolo Sketch

Did this sketch for a weekly sketchgroup.

Before I did this drawing I did a couple of studies of a pose from a book, I then tried to draw that pose from memory and made it suit the character better. I mainly focussed on getting that 45 degree angle between the arm and the body.

I also used a standard 100% opaque brush without line variation instead of normal sketchbrush.

And here are some studies from a book I bought more than 10 years ago I think...the cleanup lines done with the same 100% opaque standard brush. Trying to practice drawing with a steady-ish hand.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ride The Lightning

So  I was supposed to be in L.A this week, and I would've been watching a Lakers game with my best mate. But instead...I ended up getting sick and had to cancel my flight...booooOO! But health is one of those things that always needs to take priority unfortunately.

 SooooOO instead I've had a buttload of time off at home. I really tried to stay away from doing any "work" as much as I could to come back refreshed and with new purpose after the break. However I still messed around a bit in ToonBoom doing some (or let's say "trying" to do some) fx animation.

Starting off with some lightning animation.

Test 1:
Single Lightning Strike (drawn by hand) with Radial Blur fx effect filter.

Test 2:
Same thing, just a more refined design of the lightning bolt, playing a bit more with movement.

Test 3:
This one is actually a bit crude, I just wanted to try and animate some lightning hitting from the clouds, but I was too focussed on playing around with some of the color and contrast filters and not so much the design and timing on the lightning itself...even though it's a bit shabby looking, I learned a lot from it.

Anyway, my aim is to fill up this blog more with personal animation work, I originally intended to just focus on figure drawing until March next year but I'm ok with my drawing skills right now. I think sometimes the information needs to settle a bit before doing another focussed session to improve my work.

Anyway, going to enjoy the rest of my time off, back to normal business next week!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

STUDY: Cowboy Bebop Frame by Frame

I'm really trying to devote more time to improving my animation skills, so one of the things I'd like to do is to study pieces of animation frame by frame. Looking at timing, spacing, arcs, smears, and whatever makes animation cool.

The best way for me to learn anything is by taking the case of animation, these notes are rough animations. This will look very crude, but this is not about good looking drawings, just a study of movement. I am using Toonboom for these, but you could easily take the crappiest free software out there (like pencil) to do the same.

1)  Faye sneeze (Episode 12)
This animation caught my eye because of the timing/spacing. There's really nice contrast, and the animator cleverly set it up for a loop...

2) Punch in the nose (Episode 12)
This shot is really well set up, there is no camera movement, but I love how Spike comes into to the shot from Right to left and settles back to the right while the other dude swings back around to land on the ground. What's really nice is how the arc works for the dude who gets punched in the face.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

STUDY: X-Men Days of Future Past Gestures + Changing Man Sketch

I bought 2 blu ray movies on day 1 of release this year, The LEGO Movie and X-men Days of Future Past. I saw Days of Future past in the cinema twice, and together with Avatar it's the only 2 movies I think that are better in 3D. Not because of the 3d effects, but because things are more hazy and distorted, so it blends CG and live action together better...alternatively you can probably achieve the same effect on a very bad hangover.

But what really stood out to me were the excellent fight sequences, this was the first movie that captured the action of the comics. The acting and story were already superb in First Class, but this one made me believe the mutant powers were real. And mystiques' sequences are just bad-ass. Just check out the last 2 pages of these sketches, really great silhouettes and poses.

(sketches above done in ToonBoom)

I then also did a quick sketch of "the changing man", I don't know anything about this character except that he wears a cool jacket...I imagine this characters is a bit of a weirdo... I didn't really do a good job of drawing that foreshortening of the torso ...but this is just a sketch to try and get more into the character before I do my piece this weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

STUDY: Sword of the Stranger + Wander over Yonder

Another round of some cartoon sketches! It's embarrassing how bad I suck at drawing cartoons! So I balanced it out with some quick sketches from the movie "Sword of the Stranger".

**all sketches done in ToonBoom**

And here some "Wander over Yonder", really funny show! Great designs! Maybe I'm the only one who actually notices, but these sketches below are very's because it's like I'm reading's somehow a familiar language yet so very different. Scheisse!

Monday, November 10, 2014

STUDY: Wander over Yonder Headturn

For a change I did a study of a very short piece of animation from the tv show "Wander over Yonder" , normally when you see a headturn you think about anticipating and possibly overshooting with a settle.

But in this example there is no anticpation, no breakdown, no overshoot.
There is one frame for the ease out of the first pose, followed by an inbetween favoring the second key pose and then it eases in for 4/6 frames, there is a nice secondary motion on the hair though.

Unfortunately I don't have a nicely rigged character so my raw version looks a bit choppy but you get the idea.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Changing Man Part 1 + Toon Studies

For this month's drawing challenge on that forum I participate on I need to work with the topic: "The Changing Man". Never heard of this character before, which means I need to use my good friend google. I am thinking about creating a sequence to animate in Toonboom with this character, but it will all depend on how busy I am with work.

I did try to replace Photoshop with ToonBoom for my initial character interpretation of the character. I used a brush with texture for the sketch, but when you want to use the paint bucket to color him up it leaves pixels along the lineart...which doesn't look very nice. So I'll definitely be using the pencil tool in the future (which is just as a good as the normal brush..but has a lot more benefits).

In this instance, I patched up the missing pixels with the brush in "paint underneath" mode, which worked perfectly allowing me to change the colours in my palette and keeping a traditional feel on the lineart.

Anyway here is what I drew with a few notes... I'm not really feeling this character as of yet, but that wasn't the point of the exercise, just trying to see what I can achieve in Toonboom for digital frame by frame animation....once I figure out something that works well for me I'll post up a tutorial.

I also filled 2 A4 sheets in Photoshop with some toon drawings, I really never..ever...draw cartoons...kinda weird for a guy who works in cartoon animation :P So I'm trying to remedy that by sketching away! Also frame by framing old Warner Brothers cartoons, just love their use of spacing to create dynamic action.

Excuse the quality of the drawings, it's painfully of model.

1. Dragon Ball Z and Danger Mouse (not really recommend to study timing on animation :P)
Warner Bros short.."A corny Concerto".

Saturday, November 1, 2014

STUDY: More Korra Sketches + Kyu Bum Lee ToonBoom Tutorials

For today's sketch session in ToonBoom I created a custom brush with some texture settings and opacity. This is starting to feel exactly like sketching in Photoshop. To continue the trend this week I used Korra as an excuse to practice drawing with the brushes, but if you look at my sketches you'll see that I don't "copy" what is on the screen. I approach my sketches like a gesture drawing from a live model.

For example in the third sketch from the left, I tried to draw the eyes like the character on screen..but it fails miserably and doesn't capture the expression of the character...this is because is was more concerned with the actual shapes and not with the attitude/gesture...I suck at drawing expressions which is why I mostly drew faces here.

I also wanted to share some great ToonBoom tutorials by Kyu Bum Lee, my friend Des (check out his work HERE and HERE) recommended them to me and so far it's the best out there! Though it's got to be said that the tutorials on the ToonBoom site are also really great!

Next week is going to be a sink or swim week for me, but luckily I have a holiday break to L.A waiting for me at the end of the month, so I'm ready to give it 200%. To quote one of my spirituals mentors " Keep on keeping on! - Mel Milton"

STUDY: Korra S3 ToonBoom gestures

Watching Korra Season 3 and taking the opportunity to get used to sketching in ToonBoom since I'll be switching to that software package from next week onwards.

These sketches are done using one of the vector brushes in Toonboom, I can't really ask for a better brush to sketch with...what I'm interested in now is to check out how to clean up drawings, if anybody knows any good ToonBoom tutorials for frame by frame handdrawn clean up, let me know!

The legend of Korra is awesome btw, watch it!