story / concept / animation

Animation Projects

Pumpkin Pie

Finally finished cleaning this up. Started it a few weeks ago and added the plate wobble at the end after all this time. Felt like I could finally post it. Let me know what you think! Good practice for this weekend’s competition.


49-Hour Animation Competition

So, my professors sent me a link to this amazing opportunity. I was instantly excited. I really want to enter a competition and compete for something. And if it’s in animation, all the better! I was really itching to do something like this last semester with the William Shatner Toon-Boom contest. But, I never entered it and regretted it ever since! The premise is pretty simple. Create an animated film from scratch in 49 hours. It starts on Friday April 1st at 6PM and ends on Sunday at 7PM. There will be a viewing of the films in Indianapolis later on. The films will get reviewed by some top animators in the industry! I have managed to scramble together a pretty awesome team of my fellow student animators. Nathan Welch, Chad Bierdeman, Keff Beasley, and possibly Drew Vosberg are going to team up with me for this animation experience. You may find the respective links to their works in the sidebar! We will be doing ours hand-drawn in Toon-Boom/Flash. Keff is going to do sound-design as he is just phenomenal at it. Chad, Nathan, and I will be doing the animation, and Vozzie will head up the concept and pipeline work if he decides to give us his 100% decision to join.

Hopefully this will turn out to be a wonderful test of our skills. We don’t know what the topic will be or what prizes there are at stake. We will receive a topic at the very start of the competition so hopefully we’ll get something fun to animate! Wish us luck, pray for us, and root for us over this weekend of slavery to the art of animation.


Spring Break Progress

Hello everyone. Sorry for not posting over spring break! Believe it or not, I was not out partying or anything like that this past week. In fact, I was working hard on my Senior Project, trying to get all the technical issues fixed and making it look better and better. There is just an issue or two left that I was able to spot in these frames, but otherwise I think they are complete. This will be actual footage of the final video. Let me know what you think!


Thrust

Hey guys. Just a quick little update. I worked all yesterday on a new thrust for my little astronomer. Tell me what you think and how it compares to the old!


Invention of Flight

Hey everyone! I finally have some more stop motion assignments to show. First I have my 2nd 10-Second Club assignment, “Vehicular Play”. This was just an interaction between our molded characters and a wooden vehicle prop. Since my character is a flyer, I chose to have it interact with a plane. I have my guy taunt it, circling around it, and that’s it. It was during this shoot that I came down with a killer fever and couldn’t even stand up any longer. I called it quits and never got back to it, sadly. I wanted to have my character chase the plane back onto stage and then literally expand (since it’s clay), wrap around the plane and completely consume it. Breakfast of champions? Here it is:

My second little film to show is my 3rd assignment. In this we had created “trainer puppets” in order to walk cycles more easily and effectively than using a clay character.  I just finished this tonight. In it, we had to include a walk cycle with our new trainer puppet and then have it interact with our molded characters. Again, I chose to incorporate flight. This was better as I had the assistance of my friend, Keff Beasley. He assisted me in making a new fly rig involving a shield of popsicle sticks, two strings instead of one, and puppet grip. It was my own idea, but it would be nearly impossible to assemble it with out a second set of hands. I used fishing line this time and so the rig barely shows up! Nice! So, I hope you enjoy this COMPLETED project:

Time to sleep!


More Previews

Flying into the orbit of the dark side of the moon...

Some interesting edits are shown here that I want to talk about. In the first image, you will see the introduction shot, first-person perspective of flying into the dark side of the moon. I have added a particle effect to help give off the impression of acceleration. Hopefully, it will look as if he is soaring quickly into the shadows, never to return.

Our home being consumed by an unknown force!

The next shot is of his flashback sequence. He is remembering his home and trying to figure out how it disappeared. This is a shot of the earth and the moon getting sucked into the shadows as if in a whirlpool, almost like a black hole. I added some nifty lightbursts onto the two celestial bodies. This worked out better than the multiple other effects I had tried. I started with a radial blur, directional blur with a keyframed direction, as well as others. Nothing quite did it like a light burst, though. I am pretty sure I will keep it. I might change the particles later, but overall I am quite pleased with this bit. The 20 second scene is fully ready to go.

What's that light at the end of this chasm?

The last scene is the stomach pan, where he gets swallowed up. He is flying into the belly of the beast, unsure of what he is going to find. I added acid clouds to the composition. I changed them to a neon green to sort of make the reds conflict with each other and pop out on the screen. On top of that, I added a keyframed Spherize effect over the particle passes and had it parented to the ship’s movement. This makes the particles warp around a sphere, which makes it look as if the particles are physically interacting with the ship as it moves through the clouds. Pretty nifty! Finally, I added in a subtle background pass. There are faint animated ribs in the far, far background that move as he flies through. This should make the belly of the best look as if it is truly alive. We will see when I eventually render out some tests.

That’s all for now. Back to work.


Senior Project Previews

Started to compile some new assets together today. Spent probably five hours getting it all together. I jumped ahead to the stomach scene and started putting the pieces together for that puzzle. The 15-second pan shot is just about finished. I need to add some stomach acid splurts, drips, and more particles. Good work day today!


Flying carefully through an asteroid field...

Our hero has been swallowed whole!

I’m also trying to figure out if I should change the ships thrust to match more of what the animatic shows. I think that I should, but don’t know how to do it effectively. Any tips or advice would be great!


Protected: Back to Animating

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Senior Project Animatic

This is what I worked on all of last semester in Senior Project. Even though I had a lot of this piece animated last year in After Effects, I had some inconsistencies and this big pit of unknown riding with it. So, this past semester I worked it all out in Toon-Boom, kept it simple, and got the whole piece down. This is good because this paves the way for finishing the project by May. It’s a perfect blueprint to the very second. I finally decided to upload it instead of keeping it a secret. Let me know what you think!

Oh, and if you’re wondering, there is exactly 20 seconds of black in the beginning intro. This space is reserved for title slugs during the final piece.


Fire and Flames

My partner in crime, Christian Washington and I did this in-class assignment today. I think it turned out alright. While I took ownership of the animation, he built the flame rigs and did tech with camera and lighting. I like stop motion, because it’s pretty fun to see the result, it goes by quick, and it always ends with a laugh. However, I’m not really impressed with this stop-mo stuff. I’m really itchin’ to draw. So here it is! Please play the video in 720p HD so that it plays all the frames in the animation.

However, YouTube still adds that pixelation in the beginning of the vid. I tried like six different exports to try to make it go away, but YouTube doesn’t like me today.


Animating Backwards?

So, it was inevitable that I would dish out some work this school year. It’s funny, because this feels like the first real/new assignment I’ve worked on since August. Truth be told, it is. So after making a mold for this little clay figure of mine, I did my first 10-second Club animation of the semester. We had to introduce our characters from a ball of nothingness. It was basically a morphing assignment and so we had to animate the whole thing backwards…something I’ve never done in my life. This means I had the character fully sculpted, fresh out of my mold (which felt like a project in and of itself), and animated him end-to-beginning. As it plays through, just remember that. Needless to say, it was tough and didn’t turn out so great. I didn’t feel like painting out the acrylic cubes, so don’t even bother about them.

This week will yield another 10-second animation involving cars. I will most certainly post it when it’s complete. As for my figure drawing works, we’ll see what happens. No promises! I love the drawings I’ve been doing, but it simply is so much work to scan everything or photograph it and then edit them. I need my own scanner…sigh.