Friday, September 30, 2011

Character Expressions

Character Expressions
Since I am doing all the pre-production work, I would also have made a mouth chart for every character. However, my animation won't have any dialogue, so I have no reason to, really.
If I did a good enough job, you can probably figure out what emotions these are without me telling you.

The dog only gets 4 emotions. Some of them can be used for more than one expression.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Once Upon A Time

Until now, I haven't actually explained the story that I will be telling in my final in any more detail other than that it is a combination of The Tortoise And The Hare and The Wolf In Sheep's Clothing.
Here's a rundown of events in my story:

The setting is a town of some sort. There won't be any people but rather the town is populated by animals similar to my main characters. I could call it Furryville for kicks, but I'd rather just leave the place unnamed and save everybody the embarrassment.

The first scene shows a shop and introduces the tortoise, who is looking for a camera to purchase, the sheep is also seeking the same camera.
Yeah, I know that animals buying a camera comes out of nowhere, but it's a cartoon, you'll get over it.

The tortoise grabs the camera to buy, but it's the last one, and the sheep steals it from him and then accidentally drops it and breaks it.

As they leave the store angry they see a sign for a race being held the next day. The prize is the same kind of camera. And just like magic, we have a plot device.
The sheep seems afraid of losing to the tortoise, but his friend the hare is really fast and he pressures him into racing in a sheep disguise.

While the hare races, the sheep intends to leave traps for the tortoise to guarantee he fails.

While thinking about how that's going to work in the story, I realized that this sounds very similar to what might be seen in old Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons. I may decide to add a few little tributes to those beloved classics somewhere in my piece.

There was originally going to be a wolf in the race as well, so that I would be using all of the characters from the two fables. After realizing that the sheep is actually a bigger antagonist than the wolf, the wolf was dropped and replaced with a dog.

I won't have any details of exactly what sort of diabolical traps the sheep places in the race until I go to make the storyboard for this project.

In the end, the sheep's meddling backfires and actually causes the dog to win the race and the camera. As the sheep chases the hare away furiously the dog is actually nice enough to give the tortoise the camera. I guess the story ends happily for someone.

So, I have a beginning and the end, but a very vague middle. This will be worked out in the coming weeks when I storyboard the project and decide on gags, scenery, shot choices and scenery.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

After Effects Practice

I have been trying to learn Adobe After Effects this semester and have posted a bunch of shorts I made using the program on YouTube.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Final Character Designs

I've posted all of my sketch work and gotten that out of the way. Here are the final character designs for my project:

 First up the tortoise. I wanted to make him look young and a pretty happy looking character.
He is easily the most fun to draw, mostly because of his head.

I wish I was just drawing a bunch of turtles instead.

The next character we have here is the hare. He will be racing against the turtle, although he doesn't exactly want to. I like the design I made for this, however from the side view at the bottom, it looks a little skinny and awkward, so I'll remember to avoid drawing the character from that angle as much as possible in the final animation.

Don't you love my inventive names for these characters?

This character is the sheep that is supposed to be entering the race against the tortoise, but he is afraid of losing and asks the hare to take his place.

Look at me! I'm the antagonist!

This is the hare dressed as the sheep. While designing this, it was important to keep it looking very similar to the sheep, so the disguise is convincing, but also, it needed to look different enough so that if the two characters appear on screen at the same time, you can easily tell which is which. If you're wondering how the hare's limbs change color to match the sheep's, it's because he wears something over them.

That's how I fit The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing into all this.   

Now finally here we have a dog. Yes, I replaced the wolf with a dog. It's a similar enough animal, hopefully. Originally, the wolf was going to be entering in the race and trying to catch the hare (dressed as the sheep) the entire time. The problem here was I would have too much going on at once, and I also wanted the wolf to win the race. It was making less and less sense as I went on.
This dog was created so that there would still be the same amount of characters. 3 race participants instead of just the tortoise and the hare. The dog wins the race as a result of the sheep's intentions backfiring. I wanted the character of the dog to look like an unlikely candidate for the winner so this is what I came up with:
Isn't he just precious? ...or maybe just stupid.    

This was also a fun character to draw. Much better than anything I would have come up with for the wolf. I think this goofy looking character will get some laughs, especially when it wins the race. in the end.

This concludes my showcase of character sketches and designs so far. Right now I'm working on getting some turnarounds done, and then after that storyboards, backgrounds, the animatic, and then the final animation itself.

Wow, is this going by fast...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Second Batch Of Sketches

Gather 'round, children. Today I will be sharing with you another set of sketches. These ones were made after I finally decided on my story and knew what the characters would be.
The hare, very close to the final design.

The tortoise, also very close to the final design, the only real question I had for myself was how the legs would look.

Funny story about the wolf, I ended up not having one at all...

The sheep on the left is pretty much the same as the final design, but the hare here is very different. I actually gave the hare Ugly Bunny's ears. On the right is the hare wearing the sheep's clothes.

More tortoise ideas. Like I said before, it was very fun to draw.

As you can see, there actually weren't a lot of refinements in my designs, many of them are very close to the final designs I decided on. The one big change is that I ended up not using a wolf in my story at all. When I upload the final character designs, I'll explain why.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Initial Sketches

The first sketches for my final project were all over the place, including having the characters be human, robots, switching roles, or entirely different animals. 
This was before I had decided on which of the Aesop's Fables I am doing.

This was the first tortoise I drew, and it was so much fun to draw I knew I had to use something similar for the final design.

The hare is quite obnoxious here.

The tortoise and hare as humans.

From the beginning I was sure I had to make fun of the morals of the story.

The wolf as a woman wearing sheep's clothing.

This would've been interesting, but not fun to draw all the time

The note to myself says that this scenario would be harder to do with no dialogue.

The wolf running a sheep's clothing store

Yes, that is indeed a duck wearing a cat

While sketching I had a feeling that I would end up combining the two stories since I was having so much fun drawing both. A discussion in class came to the same conclusion, and there we have it. That's how my final began.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Explanation Of My Final Project

For my final project, I am going to combine two Aesop's Fables, The Tortoise and the Hare, and The Wolf In Sheep's Clothing.
I came to the decision to do this after being unable to decide between the two and wanting to give myself the challenge of putting these two unrelated stories together seamlessly.
The story that I made from the two involves the Tortoise racing both the Wolf and the Hare disguised as the Sheep. Meanwhile the Sheep, whom I made the antagonist, tries to lay traps for the Tortoise to stumble upon on the race track.
My aim is to tell the story in this animation without the use of dialogue. After finishing the writing of this story I realized this may seem reminiscent of old Wile E. Coyote cartoons.
So why not go with it?
Maybe I can plan this out to have the sort of humor found in those cartoons. I have yet to make out the storyboard, so we will see how far I can take this.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Summer Animations

I kept myself busy this summer by making two new animations.

The first is a piece involving sound.
This was a concept I had wanted to execute all semester but never had the chance to. I didn't think it would fit the requirements of any full assignment I had the past semester.

In my second animation of the summer, I returned to my usual antics and brought back my Alien characters for a short involving clouds.

I had one more animation planned during the summer, but it was never completed. I wanted to start a series involving a character called Ugly Bunny. I wanted to see if I could keep up a series on my own...and as it turns out, I didn't have the motivation to. Here's a little sample of what could have been:

And now that I've archived what I did this summer, I can look forward to this semester and planning my senior project.
More posts to come shortly.

Everyone Else Was Doing It...

I have returned!
And I need to start making regular updates on this blog even though I really don't use this for a class anymore. To start I have made changes so my blog looks pretty now.

I will be making other posts soon to explain my senior final project and show off any work that I have done for it so far. I need to get to planning what I need to display on this blog and also planning other work for deadlines.