Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pinata wedding?

Ok, so a month has passed even though I only was on vacation for one week. It was really nice being back home and seeing old friends and family. Did some sailing on my brothers America's cup yacht and some late night beer drinking and chilling on the beach. Good stuff!

Much has happened in the mean time. I will not be going back to AM class 6 to finish my short sad to say. Moving cross continent has rendered me somewhat broke and do not feel comfortable putting my family under the financial stress again that AM inflicts on my situation.

At work I have been moved from the Art Asset Team to the full time Pinata 2 team. Doesn't change much work wise I have been animating Pinata's now since i arrived at Rare in April. Speaking of... some guy proposed through Pinata 1... check it out :-)






We send them a congrats card from the team, pretty geeky and cool at the same time :-)

Further more Olivier Ladiuex has joined Rare and is coming from London to the midlands... look forward to having another AM'er arround.. it will now be three of us.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Vacation!!

Woo Hoo! finally some vacation! Its been more then 4 months now here in the UK. And after all the moving, rain and trying to settle in at work etc. it sure is a very welcome break. Going to visit Holland see my mom and brother and his family. Should be good fun and time to recharge those animation battery's.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Demo comment

Ok so since the AM stuff is at 24 fps and the Reel FX stuff at 30... you tube can't really handle that in one file... Quick Time can though... so you can just hit the quick time link on the right to see it if you have QT that is... h.264 compression. So update if you have not in the last year or so.

I know updating is a pain... but if you really want to experience a updating pain, buy a computer with Vista on it. Guaranteed hardly anything will work other then browsing the internet and emailing. I just had bought a laptop and returned it cause it had Vista... it drove me off the wall. Sometimes you wonder what people think bringing out products that are just not ready.

My new(ish) reel

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Transformers!

Ok, so I asked permission and got it... and the game is out now any way. Here are some shots I did for the Transformers game cinematic's for Reel FX. It was my first EVER 3D professional experience and I truly loved doing it. The Reel FX guys were really supportive and even though all work was done over the internet, feedback was always there and I felt like part of a team... but then at home in my shorts.. in the Bahamas, cause thats where I was living at the time. Hope you dig 'em!


Monday, July 16, 2007

New short & stuff

So I have written a new short... I am currently trying to trim it down some and cut off the unnecessary fat. It is not actually a new short, I wrote it during my class 5 but chose a different one instead. One that would be easier to complete within 3 months. However I felt that it was missing certain things that I have become more aware of since January. Either way I will be developing my new idea and then taking a look at both just to be sure I will be making the film that I feel is better. But most importantly the one that has the most acting potential. I will start class 6 in October so I have time to do this.

As for becoming more aware of things, I made a list of all the things I can still polish on my multiple character shot and all the things I see wrong with it now. It has become quite a big list and I am now wondering if I should just keep the shot as is just to remind myself what I was seeing then and what I am seeing now.

When I did some freelance work for Reel FX on the Transformers game my supervisor then had consistently the same notes... being keep it moving! No flat tangents in the GE. I have since then focussed allot on that aspect in my work.. moving holds... eradicating flat tangents, becoming more aware that I am animating in 3D space and should use all the channels as such. Putting this in mind has made my work flow allot faster from the get go... now that I am animating tons of in game animations but also small cut scenes on a day to day basis I feel I am truly building up a more solid foundation in my work. Getting better results quicker.

I am enjoying this aspect of games the most ... the quick turn around on different characters/creatures. It is extremely helpful to just get that solid and quick work flow going.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mark Travis staging seminar

This week we (The Rare animators) were invited to attend a staging and directing seminar by our colleagues from Lionhead Stodio's, also a Microsoft Game Studio. I had had some really good info on all this through Animation Mentor but when I Googled the name of Mark Travis... the person giving the seminar, I could do nothing but get really excited. Pixar, Disney are among the tons of studios he has been giving his view on staging and directing. I did not really know what to expect but I was more then happily surprised. He was clear, funny energetic enthusiastic... all the good things that make learning such a awesome experience. We ripped through a scene of American beauty and by the end of it a whole new perspective of film and acting and staging had opened for me. So much so that now I feel I should seriously take another look at my short film for class 6 and revise my multi character shot not only animation wise but most importantly staging wise and the acting choices that I made 6 months ago when I did the shot.

I have two quotes from him that really hit home for me:

1. Make the scene work first through staging. Then add the camera to reveal the situation.
Staging is more then just layout, it is finding the best way to tell the story. And levels of details should be layered in.

2. By saying a line on the move you weaken the line AND the move!

It seems simple enough but when you are still at a stage of being more concerned about overlaps, follow throughs and about another 27 principles of animation... this info doesnt stick right away. Now that the animation is becoming second nature more and more this sort of info is the new gold! Acting, staging... its a whole new universe to explore and I am super glad Mark Travis helped shared his experience and insight to this matter and I am really pleased and thankfull to Lionhead for inviting us and Rare sending us.

http://www.travis-johntz.com

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Damn good animation!!!

yeah... its good stuff... really good stuff...so go watch these :-) Gobelins... just awesome..

Monday, June 18, 2007

Gesture Drawing for Animation


Lately I have been reading this book, by Walt Stanchfield. i'ts on gesture drawing for animation. For those of us who are 3D generation just read the word drawing as pose... and this is a certified must read. I cant get enough of how he describes getting to the poses and am trying to implement this stuff into my work. I must say allot of the AM material is based on this same concept but it is always good to get several diferent approuches to anything I feel. So go read and enjoy!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Annika's Art

My daughter Annika turned 3 this year march... not to long ago. She has always been drawing and painting and watching me do animation. Recently she made a jump in her work.. she now is drawing these amazing figures! Its just crazy :-)



Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Congrats Barros

Woot Woot!! my good friend and AM budy Robert Barros got on as an apprentice animator at Rythm & Hues!! Congrats to him, he is always a super positive and dedicated artist and I am sure he will do great!

Really nice to see fellow class mates move on to great things, and Barros is one of the original OSG members from class 1!! and thats 1 1/2 year ago! crazyyyy...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

News from the midlands

Ok so we didnt end up bying a bed... a air matress instead to save some money... we did get a couch, TV, dining table and 4 chairs, a bed for my daughter etc etc... We didnt have anything... just some clothes so its gonna take some time to build it all up again. The bed will have to wait till june.

Things at Rare are coming along, I feel now that we are settling more and more at home my animation is getting better aswel and I am still verry much enjoying it. (go figure :-)

I was hoping to join Animation Mentor for the summer term but unless a bundle of cash magically appears on the door step I will have to wait till the autumn term. Which means I will be finishing end of december this year. Not the best timing, but right now the only way.

James Brown dance lessons

Ive been a huge James Brown and Funk music fan since..well whenever .. i came across this at youtube and i simply love it. Maybe i'll try animating it some day :-)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Time to write something

Ok, so... time to write something in this blog since its been a solid month! 3 weeks of living in a hotel room with my wife and daughter have past here in the U.K. and my first 2 weeks at Rare have been completed. We finally got a apartment in Tamworth and will be looking for a bed this weekend so we can sleep comfy and do the rest as we go along. Tamworth itself is just a city like any other really but it is strategically located between work and Birmingham with a good train connection and Birmingham Airport nearby. We will stay here for at least 6 months to get settled and take our time to check ot the beautifull country side here in the British Midlands, maybe find a house out in the twigs some day... that be really cool. Lots of castels here aswel that I would like to go see.

I am working on cool little creatures at work with all sorts of legs and wings which is quite a challange but i am finding i am getting more and more comfortable with it and i should be up to full speed soon now that we have a house and all... thats a big relief for sure.

I do mis AM, and the guys and i hope to continue class 6 soon as possible. Although with work we will have to see how much i can put in. However 3 more months and i graduate from the program so that is something to shoot for for sure!

Friday, March 30, 2007

RARE

WOOT WOOT! awesome stuff happening and I am super proud to say I have accepted a full time postion as 3D Animator at Rare in the UK. ( http://www.rareware.com ) They have done some trully amazing stuf in the game world and for the past 20 years! I look forward to working on anything they throw my way and we are currently looking at how to handle the move over.

Also my good friend Eric Luhta from AM and a skype buddy has landed himself a temp job at Blue Sky! amazing stuff and all thanks to AM for getting us there.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Awesome take on Batman

Just wanted to share this link: http://www.daniel3d.com/pepeland/misc/isaak/Batman_Chapter_01_Help_Me.mov

It is a really nicely done take on Batman, also since starting my own 3D short film production I am gaining more and more respect for those who have done it and do it so wel.

Enjoy!

Monday, March 05, 2007

On the move again

So it's been a while ofcourse. I am not a weekly blogger seems. Anyhow lots has been going on and one major thing is that we are heading back to Europe. We will be trying our luck there and will leave island live behind us. Its been an interesting and long 20 months here and have discoverd new levels of relaxations. However its time to step up and persue what ive been working on really hard here and that is animating and attending Animation Mentor. I am currently about to finish up on my class 5, short film pre-production and after this I will only have 3 months left in the programm. I am however taking a break since animating the short film and class 6 will be very demanding and at this time I dont have the rest in my life. It will also be nice to enjoy life... since the harder one animates the less they get to go and play outside. So as time goes by I will post more about all this later... for now.. this is what we are leaving behind...

Monday, January 29, 2007

AM for a year

So ive been attending Animation Mentor for over a year now and am currently in class 5, short film production. Compared to all the other classes, this one starts off pretty slow. We get lots of time to think and ponder upon our story's. I had been animating 6 months straight from class 3 to 4.. we didnt have a break or anything so it was quite welcome. Story is coming along pretty good and i'l post my story boards etc. here when the time time comes.

I'l have to put the character walk on hold for a few weeks, doing some freelance work now and need to spend my hours on that. BUT I will finish it and post the final here aswel.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Creating a walk cycle part 3

Ok, so by now i have reached the phase i am quite happy with the feet and hips and COG movement. So now i am layering in the rest, i start from the inside out. In this example i have added upper chest rotation, some squash and stretch on the body which makes the neck fat come up and down (cool thing about this rig is its really stretchy) and i added side to side on the head, some up and down on the head and did the lid of the cap as well while i was there. Still in blocking and keeping it all on the same keys, in this case on 3's. I still have to add the arm swaying and the wrist and hands, also some facial expression would be nice before i switch to spline. I prefer to put all the info i need into my poses including thinking about the overlap etc. in advance, that saves me time when i switch to spline and i know i have a solid basis for the principles in there. Down side is.. lots of cleaning to do in the Graph editor.

Creating a walk cycle part 2

I proceded to block in the thumbnails poses that you can see in part 1, starting with the COG (centre of gravity) and the hips and the legs. In this example i have already started tweaking the way the character moves his legs and hips. The feet are rotated out.. the body wobble. In a vanilla this would not happen so much, a bit bow leg etc.

Important to note here is that i have only done the main driving force (cog) and legs.. thats it. all movement comes from there. The process im working is referd to as layering.


Creating a walk cycle part 1


OK, so here is the planning i did at Animation Mentor during my first term for a regular plain old basic also known as vanilla walk. I thought it be fun to create a character walk based on this 1 year old planning with the Sergio rig you can find at http://www.strutyourreel.com they will be happy you do so, just give them some credit for it.