Friday, 4 December 2009

Old animations

I wanted to share some of my early animations i produced in my first year of college, mostly created with my brother Liam (3years ago).
After making these animations i knew i wanted to become an animator.

So enjoy...
There is half the screen missing on this animation however i dont have the original file to hand so this will have to do for now.

This is an attempt at a opening sequence for Amityville Horror, i used lots of different media for this, for example i scratched into 35mm camera film to create the scratchy effect.

This is one of my whiteboard animations using sound i recorded.

Walk cycles continued.

This week i filmed my own walk...

I am going to create 2d and 3d walk cycles using the essence of my walk, to do this i had to pick out the key points of my walk these are:

-Quick steps (a full 2step cycle is 1second long)
-Short steps
-Upright posture
-Little arm movement

My 2d walk took a couple of attempts to get it right as i had to experiment with timing. I think that i have captured the key points of my walk in this 2d animation.

We were given a generic rig for our 3d work. I found it much more difficult to animate my walk in 3d than in 2d, as i had to keep going back over it tweeking the positions to make sure my character was balanced, i think it works well, but there are a couple of frames that makes the walk look slightly robotic... i am going to keep practicing walks over the Christmas holidays, as practice makes perfect!

Walk Cycles

This week our task was to produce generic walks in 2d and 3d.

I feel that my 2d walk went rather well and i got to grips with it straight away.
I found the easiest way to produce the walk was to create the keyframes for the first step (the extended position, crossover point ect) then use them to create the in-betweens. Once i had done this i could then use the frames for the first step and copy them; changing the legs and arms by bringing the back leg and arm to the front and vice-versa. This method ensured that the steps had equal distance and created a symmetrical cycle.

I think that it turned out quite well as a first attempt at a walk cycle, but i need to work on the secondary animation a little more (the hands mainly) to produce a better fluid motion.

Our 3d project was slightly different, we were asked to produce a walk across a distance, using an already rigged model.

As a first attempt i think it went rather well, however looking back at it i think i could have added in some more key-frames to make the walk smoother.
I found animating a walk in 3d a much more difficult task then producing a 2d walk cycle.

Sunday, 29 November 2009


This week we have been given the task to create an animation using anticipation and overlap, using two interacting characters, both in 3d and 2d.

My first animation was using Maya, using the Cubie character rig and use him to interact with a sphere, i chose to give the characters different characteristics for example the ball is annoying and the Cubie character curious then becomes fed up of the sphere.

My 2d animation was slightly different; in the fact we had to use two Cubie characters; one big, one small.
The small Cubie had to jump towards the big chracter to which the big character would look at it and react accordingly.

I chose to make the small Cubie jump into the Big Cubie then had the Big one ignore it and turn around and jump off of the screen, leaving the small Cubie sad.

This is my 2d animation.

*insert animation*

Although the idea was good i think i tried to put to much into it, therefore moving to fast.

Friday, 27 November 2009


I would just like to share some of the animations i have been watching recently.

These first few animations are by an English Animator Chris Shepherd. I love the way he combines live action with animation in which contain dark representations of human nature and fuses that with dark humor.

I first saw this animation years ago and it has always stuck with me but i could never remember who it was by until i stumbled across it the other day. Its called Dad's Dead and is one of my all time favorite animations.

I also found another animation directed again by Chris Shepherd called "Who I Am And What I Want" although its not the most technical of animations, the idea behind it is amazing. I love the way Shepherd brings Dark Humor and experimental animation together.

Mr Cubie

My task was to use an already rigged model of a character called Mr Cubie (a basic cube with an antenna) to make jump/move around. During this i had to use the principals of animation in which we have learned, ie stretching and squashing, anticipation and secondary animation (using the antenna).

Here is my first attempt, trying to make the cube bounce over a wall.

I think i tried to put to much into this so i decided to make another animation, which is simpler.
I also wanted to try animating another object along with the character to experiment with timing and reaction between the two object. I added a trampoline, this way i could experiment with the different way's in which the character bounced on its own and then when using the trampoline.
This way i could also experiment on animating impact.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Long Exposure Animation

Recently i have been extremely interested in long exposure animation, this came about during an obsession with long exposure pictures (using trails of light).

I started off by creating pictures using long exposure pictures (which i don't seem to have on my computer at the moment, will upload them when i find them)

I then decided to try out a stop-frame animation using this long exposure technique with Liam.

I did this by taking a photo leaving the shutter open and moving the light, i then moved the camera forwards and repeated the process so it looks as if the light is moving.

Here is my first experimental animation using this technique.

I would like to expand on this in my animation technique lessons to create a move complex and visually appealing animation such as these.

I am going to go to the beach over the next week to try and create a more detailed light animation

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Stopframe Animation

We have been looking at stop frame animation during our Animation Techniques lessons.
This type of animation has always intrigued me and, basic stop frame was the first type of animation we experimented with.

I have been researching at animators such as PES and Norman McLaren.

I had an experimental session using stop-frame animation to create this animation inspired by Norman McLaren to create this.

Both of these artists are phenomenal animators; however i have been more interested in the dark side of stop-frame animation, as it seems to break the rules of animation being a childrens media.

I found this short film created by Robert Morgan, called The Separation, in which has truly inspired me.

I love the dark and imaginative context of the animation and the smoothness in which it has been executed.
I find the detail of the characters and objects surrounding them amazing.

2d Stretching and squashing.

In almost all animation there is a technique called stretching and squashing.
Stretching allows the object to appear as if it is traveling fast; the more stretch the faster the object appears.
Squashing is used on impact; the more it squashes the harder the impact.

The trick is to make it as unnoticeable as possible, as in real life most things don't stretch and squash.

I have made two 2d animations using this stretch and squash technique.

My first animation is a simple bouncing ball.

My second animation is using a simple shape and to make it look as if it were jumping, this was slightly more complicated as i had to use a secondary animation on it. (the antenna).

I started off by animating the square first and then going back over my drawings and animating the secondary animation, so that it flow together.

The secondary animation needed to move in the opposite direction to the primary animation.


Animation techniques

This week i worked on basic animation techniques.
I worked in maya to create two 3d bouncing balls; one heavy and one light.
To create these i used the graph editor so that the bounce was more realistic, compared to the soupy effect you get from just keyframing the positions.

Heavy Ball.

Light Ball.

I found this exercise extremely useful as it has allowed me to experiment with density of the object, in which the principal could be transfered on to more complex animations, for example a character walking (creating a realistic impact when the feet hit the ground).

Monday, 12 October 2009

Digital Animation- First week

I started off my first week with a 2d animation assignment, I was asked to produce a 2d animation consisting of 12 hand drawn frames, using a light box to produce them.
The assignment was to produce a short animation morphing a circle into an object.
To make this i drew the first and last frames, first and then drew the frames in-between working in a systematic way to make the animation flow a bit better.

Here is my first animation from the corse.

This animation links back quite closely to some animation i was working on over the summer with my brother Liam Fraser. These animations were made using a whiteboard.

This is the first animation i produced on a whiteboard, i was just experimenting to see what i could create.

Here is my second animation i produced on the whiteboard, this time i was more interested in creating animation to go with the sound (which is all self produced). I also wanted to created more detailed scenes.