March 29, 2014

March 24, 2014

iAnimate workshop, only two weeks left...

For the past 12 weeks I've been taking an iAnimate workshop. I've got 2 weeks left to go. The focus is body mechanics. At this point I am much more comfortable animating in Maya. I'm far braver manipulating the graph editor. I find it difficult to get all the assignments to a satisfactory point of polish while also working a full time job. I'll get there, just not when the official deadline comes around. It's fun though and challenging. Like animation bootcamp. I would suggest this course to anyone looking to dig into a great 3D animation course.

It's actually pretty fantastic to learn how to animate with 3D because you can move the camera around and see exactly what is right and wrong with a shot. Tweaking the curves in the graph editor is an education. I still think learning with 2D hand drawn animation is absolutely very helpful, but it seems to me that practising your animation skills in both mediums is quite beneficial.

Here's a screenshot of my walk to run assignment in progress:

As soon as this course ends I'm going to hop into another animation course, this time with Animsquad. It looks like a great workshop. I signed up for the Intermediate course and I think the amount of work and level of intensity is going to be even higher than I'm experiencing with iAnimate. I'm scared and excited about that.

March 23, 2014

A new digital hand drawn animation package!

This new digital hand drawn animation software looks cool and promising... It's called Animation Paper. If you sign up for their newsletter before the end of March you will be offered an early bird price when the software is finished! There's no pressure to buy but at least the discount will be yours if you want it. Here is a link to an article about the software on Cartoon Brew.

I hope the onion skinning feature is decent... That aspect of digital software is often very frustrating. The creator, Niels Krogh Mortensen wishes to create "the world's most responsive, intuitive and powerful software for doing one thing, and one thing only: hand drawn animation." That sounds awesome. It will be available for Windows, Mac OS X and iPad. A responsive program with great pen sensitivity and brushes would be fantastic to have.

Man, I miss drawing.

Video of Animation Paper in use:

February 23, 2014

Exciting things to come...

Today I recorded my first ever podcast! I interviewed Pixar character designer Deanna Marsigliese. Deanna is going to be leaving shortly for a year to travel. She graciously took a bit of time out with me today to help me record an interview and a bit of promo material for a future Kickstarter. It just occured to me this past Friday that getting a Kickstarter together for my short film (Pickled) would be a great idea because it could allow me to raise money to hire some other animators to help me complete my film! A three minute short film is a lot of work for one busy person to complete after all. I've been trying to get it done in my spare time for awhile now.

So watch out for exciting new things from me in the future! First I've just got to finish up my iAnimate workshop and then a workshop with Animsquad. So, in July I'm going to have much more time to get back to my short! I may put together some animation and/or Toonboom Animate tutorials as well, we'll see.

Stay tooned!

February 10, 2014

Drawing Goal! To Draw 100 Hands

I've been taking a lot of 3D animation courses recently and at my day job I animate (for the most part) 2D digital puppets in Flash. Last night I lost track of time and stayed up to 1:30am working away on a 3D animation assignment! With all of this digital animation I'm doing I'm really missing drawing. I don't have time right now for life drawing sessions nor to work on my short film. On Saturday I felt like I was going to burst if I didn't just do a bit of sketching already! So I did. I started drawing my own hand holding a pen with the intention of doing a short and simple animation. I realised how relatively few hands I've actually drawn in my life. I want to memorize and understand human anatomy to become a better animator and sketching hands seems like an excellent starting point. So I've made the goal to understand the anatomy inside a human hand and draw 100 hands! It's such a perfect goal for me and I'll be able to fit it into my schedule by plugging away at it here and there.

Anyone want to join in on this artistic goal and share work in progress? It's a great goal for anyone. Even if you feel knowledgeable about drawing hands you could find a new style or interesting new hand poses. Or you could pick another subject, like feet or heads!

Drawings to come! For now, please enjoy these lovely hands drawn by Mohammad Almuti:

*Edit, This post was originally titled "Drawing Goal! To Draw 1000 Hands" but I've realised that 1000 hands isn't going to fit into my schedule in the next 5 months. Making goals that are reasonable and relative is important.

January 29, 2014

I'm busy being an animation student again!

The month of January is almost over! I've been very busy this past month with homework and lectures. I'm taking a workshop with iAnimate (as I mentioned in December) and it's going really well! My teacher, Jason Anastas is awesome. I would recommend him to anyone. Taking this workshop is a great opportunity for me to improve my 3D animation but it's a great overall animation class as well. I've never received lessons and reviews quite like this. I'm learning so much.

I really, really miss working on my film! It's frustrating for me to be so busy that I have to leave it on the back burner. I've gone through periods in the past where I wasn't able to work on it and it's always the best to get back to it.

Tomorrow I'm going to purchase a used copy of The Art of Tangled from someone I found on Craigslist. I miss drawing and there are a couple of gorgeous art books that I haven't allowed myself to get over the years because my husband and I were trying so hard to pare down on belongings as our living space has gotten smaller with the past 3 moves. It's also expensive to ship stuff around the world so we're generally just trying to save some money too. But I feel like I could really use the inspiration. Most of the art books I've hung on to over the years are instructional or informative types. The "how to's" and the "survival kits". I need some beautiful art books full of inspiring drawings! I already know it's a great book since I've flipped through it and seen lots of the drawings online.

I went back and watched the talk by Jim Capobianco at CTN on his process of making Leonardo, his hand animated short film. Jim was an inspiration to me and it's both relieving and terrifying to think that it took him 10 years to finish his short. Here is Jim's making of blog.
Leonardo still
Time to do some homework!