Monday, 31 May 2010


This term when the third years pitched their ideas to us I felt very motivated to work with them by producing character animation for their short films.
I talked to different groups and found it quite difficult to get a place in a team. In spite of this I did not give up and I was then offered the chance to work with third year team characters and create my own animation around this.

This was a very challenging piece of work and tested my creativity as I was assigned two animations. The first was a gnome called 'Macho' and I decided to get him to do some weight lifting and then get hit by a rock. It was really complicated to get the character's hands to stay in the same place on the weights. The reason for this was that the rigging was FK, where as IK would have allowed greater movement of his joints without the hands leaving the bar. Also gnomes are tricky because they have big bodies and tiny legs and restricted, hip,waist and shoulder movements.
In spite of the challenges I like the character design and found that it pushed my creativity to make a good short film.
The second character was 'Patches' the pirate. I found him easier to animate as he was well rigged and modeled. However he had shorter than ideal arms so you could not always get them in the position you wanted and I had to work around this. I am pleased with the lip sync and facial expressions of Patches which showed better in the not smoothed version of the animation.
This character can do the lip sync and facial expressions very well and this makes him very flexible to work with.
Overall in spite of the the challenges I am pleased with the Patches animation but I am not as happy with the end result of the gnome animation.

I have put together a showreel of my best work. I listed all the work I had finished and then decided which ones to include in the reel. I ended up with 16 exhibits showing a range of the work I have been doing and my skills.
When putting the showreel together I allocated spaces for the Patches and Macho animations ready for when I completed them.
Throughout the showreel I tried to keep the animation in sync with the music. I specially purchased music from Audio Network, which I very much liked and thought would suit my work (this is the legal way of doing it!).
I am really pleased with the end result.

Final Thoughts

This year I have developed my skills in modelling and rigging characters, using After Efftects, modelling the environments and 2D animation. I have also learned a lot about teamwork and what is required and I think that this experience will help me be a much better team player in the third year.
I would also like to practice character animation over the summer break due to regrettably not doing as much as I would have liked last year.

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