Thursday, 28 May 2015

Squirrel Animation Test



After finding and gathering a small library of free rigs to animate with, I've been brainstorming ideas for short animations including AnimationMentor.com 's Squirrel rig. So in order to familiarize myself with this rig I did a quick animation test of the squirrel doing a hop. I have found this rig to be very user-friendly and fun to use. This little squishy squirrel does make me smile! It's also very similar in principle to animating the legendary "flour sack" - a right of passage I think many animators go through.

What I learned:

  • How to switch between global and object controls - this makes animating in arcs so much easier!
  • Create a stamp (key all) at each keyframe - this helps to keep everything clean and have no drifting parts if you forget to key a control.

Thumbnail Sketches for a short animation idea involving the squirrels.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Dragon Flight Cycles...

I've worked with a dragon before (Concerning Dragons) but recently I've been wanting to get back to the basics of 3D animation. I haven't done many cycles and wanted to change that, as they can be very useful as a base when animating, and then using animation layers.

Also recently I've been working on ideas for a short animation piece that would cover some animation that I feel are missing from my showreel. This includes an action scene. I was searching Creative Crash and came across this free awesome dragon rig, which I tested out with a flight cycle. Dragon shaththan Rig 4.0.0 by Revanth Ravi available at creativecrash.com/maya/downloads/character-rigs/c/dragon-shaththan-rig



Before these I researched references for dragons, including shots from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Game of Thrones. There were also these amazing videos of bats in slow motion on Youtube which were incredibly useful because of the similarities in their wing structure!


These are drawings from my sketchbook based on dragons from film and television references:







These are some rough thumbnail storyboard sketches of ideas for an action sequence involving a dragon:

I also read through and took notes from Brendan Body's detailed blog post on flight cycles (http://www.brendanbody.co.uk/flight_tutorial/) This was very useful before I started animating the flight cycle, just to get my head around some of the technical knowledge of how birds actually fly:


So hopefully there will be a kick-ass action sequence ready to be added to my showreel in the near future!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Safari Day Out!


Had a fun day out at Blair Drummond Safari Park, on what seemed to be the only day of the week that was good weather! Which meant that I could do some outdoor observational sketching :D







I always love watching the sea lion shows and managed to capture the big jump at the end in slow-mo. Forgot I have this option on my phone - great tool for an animator! :)

video