Thursday, April 4, 2013

Weekly Poses

Here's some weekly assignments used to practice emotion and readability in the pose. Each class we focus on a particular aspect of what goes into a facial pose. I can definitely see a progression in interpreting the emotion. I used Animschool's Malcolm rig for all my shots this semester. I really enjoy using this rig, it has tons of squash and stretch abilities within the face that helps enable me to get more life into the poses.

I said I LOVE YOU!

Here is my first assignment involving dialogue of the Spring Semester. We were given a shot length of 90 frames max so any action or acting bit we had in there really had to be the right one for the story beat. I was inspired by the line delivery and decided to play up the physicality. The audio clip is from Bridget Jones. Malcolm Rig by Animschool. 

Street Art

Here's a short story I did for my TA 100W class. It's inspired by some things I went through as a kid and has some themes of what art has done for me. That pursuing what I love, art and storytelling is what gives me purpose... the thing that keeps me going. I'm proud of the way it turned out:
Street Art
            The room was warm and fetid from the number of packed bodies. Seeking refuge from the weekly torture of accompanying my 55-year-old mother to a band rehearsal with other middle-aged amateurs, I trudged outside. Before I could take a full breath of fresh air, I saw a man across the dark void of the parking lot. A single street lamp revealed him as he sat hunched and cross-legged intently applying abstract shapes to the sidewalk. Approaching cautiously, I saw that he was old, haggard, and completely absorbed in his work. His nails were caked with the chalk that he applied liberally to his makeshift canvas. His clothes were covered with tears, paint spatters, and old grease stains. I could smell years of chain smoking from 15 feet away. Even from this discrete distance, I quickly concluded that this was not someone my mother would approve of.
            I didn’t think he was aware that anyone was watching him, so I was surprised when I heard him clear his raspy throat and ask me, “See anything you like there tiger?”
            Embarrassed to be caught spying, I was at a loss for words. The man continued to draw, until I let slip, “My mother wouldn’t want me to speak with someone like you.”
            “Oh?” The man coughed and wheezed as he laughed. He cleared his throat again and finally looked up from his work. The shadow cast from his hat left a dark negative space where his eyes should have been. “Why would she think a thing like that?”
            “Because…” I murmured, “She says you have to be careful and only associate with certain people. She says the good kids do music.”
I flinched, immediately aware that this insolent remark might provoke unwelcome consequences. Unfazed, the old man reached into a bucket of chalk, pulled out a few pieces and selected a new color. “Well, your mother just wants what’s best for you,” he offered.
This sounded like a sane statement from someone who wasn’t going to do anything really dangerous, so I edged closer and finally asked, “What are you doing?”
 He then made a big, board gesture with his whole arm circumscribing his entire creation with an impressive mark. “Art,” he said.
Feeling an inexplicable need to defend the concrete he was defacing, I asked, “Isn’t art supposed to be done with a pencil on paper?” 
The man scratched his scraggly beard, tried for a time to express with his knobby hands what he was about to explain, gave up, and said,  “How would you know, you’ve never done it, you’ve never tried?”
 “Well, what you would you know? I asked annoyed and full of emotion that this vagrant would challenge me. “You’re nothing but a stupid bum who thinks he’s making art.”
The man stopped mid mark and turned revealing aged skin and clear, blue eyes. “Art's an expression.” he retaliated. “It's an extension of who you are. It's a story you tell through your eyes. It is how you express yourself and make sense of the world around you.” Gesturing to his soul he continued, “Creating art fills you with a force” he then smiled, “A joy that you can’t go without. It gives you purpose, it keeps you going. Even in the hard times. Even in the cold times.”  A tear of truth ran down his face as he then spoke through gritted teeth “Even when the voices say you can’t, say you’re no good, say quit, and do what is to be expected of you.” I could feel a bag of brick sink into my stomach. “The artist is one who feels the roar of creativity rush through them.  Who does their art because that’s how they live, how they breathe.”
Recognizing his louder tone and upward stance, the old man found his hands trembling with emotion. Taking a moment he calmed down and kneeled back down to his work. The old man opened his hand to find a piece of crumbled chalk. He slowly pushed the colored dust around in his hand letting the chalk smear and then fall to the ground. Then, taking one heavy hand in the other he bowed his head to his weathered caked hands and said, “It’s a medium that speaks across all languages.” Stopped for a beat, he suddenly said softly, “It's music.”
Music? I finally glanced down to actually look at what it was he was working on. The sidewalk outside the concert hall was suddenly covered in a symphony of colors, shapes, symbols, and observations beautifully captured on slabs of concrete. Each mark was planned, expressive, and so filled with life that I felt weak.
The man kept working for a moment then turned abruptly catching sight of the soft tears forming on my face before I had a chance to wipe them away. Taking off his hat, he scratched his messy, graying hair, and looked at me squarely. “Do you want to…”  He began. “Do you want to, pull up some sidewalk and draw with me?
He gave me an encouraging smile and gestured to the patch of concrete next to his. I crawled over to this fresh canvas glancing at the old man as the light caught what looked like a tear of his own. “Do you have any blue?” I asked.

Here's the short film adaption of the short story. It was super challenging working in live-action. I learned a lot in leading a team but overall it further cemented the fact that I love working in the animation medium.... After this project, I definitely have a new-found respect for live-action films and all their challenges in location shooting, on the spot problem solving and team management. 

Walk Like An Egyptian

This is a shot for Raquel's Ani 116, Body Mechanics class. We all got to pick our own dance genre and I chose to be inspired from the 80s pop-rock music. More specifically, I interpreted it as a house mom who's still rockin the 80s...
I used Josh Burton's Morpheus Rig.

Below is my "Walk Like an Egyptian" pencil test. I like to work and plan my shots with 2d traditional approach going into Maya and to do the 3d blocking. It allows me to figure out my poses, timing, and arcs. 


Trails and Tribulations of Fall Semester

This shot was a nightmare of constraints and parenting. Not going to lie, I hated this shot while in production because of all the technical difficulties. But I stuck to it and I now feel a lot more confident in my parenting skills within Maya. hahah oh those maya puns..... never get old.

I worked on the last shot with the character dangling from the abstract sculpture of a fishing pole. It was tough stuff. I'm glad I stuck through it because I learned a lot.
I used Josh Burton's Morpheus Rig for this shot.

Layouts and Backgrounds

These are some of the layouts and backgrounds ideations/comps I did for "Attack of the Fifty Foot Hero". We were looking at the great Maurice Noble for inspiration and initial direction. I learned so much in studying his work. He's a king at designing the composition to cater to the animation. 


Citizens of Glacier City

Here's more design work I did for "Attack of the Fifty Foot Hero". These are the citizens of Glacier City. My roommate, Trent Correy taught me a new way of designing, where I had my girlfriend draw a bunch of random shapes on a page and I had to see a character out of them. It really helped me think of ways to push my designs and get more appeal. The last image is before I used this new technique. Notice how stiff and boring the poses are! It's always fun seeing the progression.

I'm Back

Haven't posted in while so I decided to post in sequential order of all the work I've been up to. After Eric Goldberg's master class, I knew my calling was in the flipping paper field. I learned so much from that experience that I can honestly say it changed my life for the better. Here's some of the monster design work I did for the short film we made called "Attack of the Fifty Foot Hero".