Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Bridge Camera Test

The following video is a look at the bridge with the camera in motion. This really shows off the 3D space and gives a first look at the use of 3D objects with the banister  in the middle of the bridge.

The Bridge Camera Test from Lee Waller on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Bridge

Using After Effects I have taken the artwork Al created in Flash for the bridge of the ship and constructed a 3D environment. Using this 3D version of the bridge we will be able to ad life to the animations. This gives us the opportunity to do camera moves, special lighting, and some cinematic flare using depth of field. The screens will be able to have video in them and the doors will actually open and close. I am working with Zaxwerks Invigorator Pro to make the banister in the back into an actual 3D object instead of using the flat 2D pieces in there now. There is still more to do and hopefully soon we can test with some actual characters in the room but at this point I think it is looking good. Lee Waller.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Preproduction Process: Rough Animatic

In the previous post I showed some examples of the first three steps after the initial brainstorming and research phase. They included the script then thumbnails and then storyboards. Next we put together a rough soundtrack and then create a rough animatic from that. 

This animatic was created in Adobe Flash using the same parameters that will be used in the final animation.

The next step will be to look at the animatic for timing and other aspects. Does the dialogue work? What is missing? After initial views I'm pretty sure we'll be working on a score along with sound effects. The voice track is rough and we'll be re-voicing some of the parts. An animatic is a very good way to get a sense of what is working and what isn't before you get into too much work.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Preproduction Process: Script, Thumbnails, Storyboards

Here's a brief rundown of the preproduction process that I use in creating my animated shorts. Let me first say I've skipped talking about the research and brainstorming part. I may do a little about that in a later post. But after that part is done I write a script. This is page one of a two page script. It's a short about how a planet in our solar system was actually named Herschel for awhile. The highlights are there to help in the voice recording process. The handwritten notes and numbering are for the thumbnails and storyboards. 

From there I start thinking more about layout and animation by doing some rough thumbnails of the short or scene - if it is part of a longer animation. I begin with pages of these small frames and start drawing the thumbnails. If something is wrong I don't usually start with a new page, I just mark through the thumbnail I don't like and move on - as you can see with my very first thumbnail.  The short two-page script for this one took five and a half pages of thumbnails to layout the whole thing. 

Next I do rough storyboards. They are aobut 4 inches high by 7 inches wide. While the drawings for the storyboards are more detailed than the thumbnails they are still not what I'll use for the animatic. The numbers in the storyboards correspond to the ones in the thumbnails and on the script.  

I hope to have the animatic up within a couple of days or so. We are finishing up the rough soundtrack. The drawings are done mostly in Adobe Flash and  will be even more detailed than these storyboards. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Animatic for SSSNAPPE #1

Here's a rough animatic for another SSSNAPPE segment. This one is entitled "Earth's Greatest Army Conquered by Half-Naked Snowboarders." There is a little issue with the soundtrack but we'll have that corrected shortly. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Animatic for SSSNAPPE Intro

Here's an animatic for the SSSNAPPE introduction. SSSNAPPEs will be shorts hosted by the UG3 characters. It will give us a chance to test out voices, timing and how the chemistry between characters are working. The main host, Thunderstone, will be stop-motion animation while the others will be done in Flash, although the round monitors that they appear in will be stop motion also.

Here's a mock-up of the chair that Thunderstone is sitting in. The green domes are the monitors that rise up around him and hold the images of the other hosts.

Initial observations include: we need to up the acting with some of the voices, possibly add a music bed and tighten the timing.

We should have another rough animatic for the Half-Naked Snowboarders SSSNAPPE up soon.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Gaul Warrior - Turn Around and Head Shots

According to a reliable historian the Roman army faced an invasion from the Gauls in 390 BC (I think, I need to check my research). Anyway the Gauls came over the Snow covered Alps. In order to throw the usually calm, cool and collected Romans off their game the Gauls played the berserkers and in high style. They were either naked or half-naked (since this is a kid's show you can guess which version I'm going with), they shaved half their head and dyed the remaining hair white and painted their faces blue. Then to top it off they rode their shields down the slopes, into battle, waving their swords over their heads and screaming wildly. The Gauls won the battle and went on to sack the city of Rome - one of the few times in history the actual city was taken. 

So here is the preliminary turnaround of these guys. In the previous post I have a pencil test of one jumping onto his shield and shushing downhill. Next I'll take the character design and convert it to a broken apart symbol library in Flash and use the pencil test as a template for his animation. I'll post that when I get some of it done. 

Here's a close up detail of the heads. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pencil Test: Half-Naked Snowboarder

Here's a pencil test for an animation of an ancient Gaul warrior. He's jumping on his shield and snowboarding down a mountain and into battle against the Romans. There will be others joining him. I'm going to pencil test about three or four then create the actual animation in Flash. From there I can reproduce them and have a full-fledged army of ancient, half-naked, berserking snowboarders.

The pencil test is done in actual pencil and in Flash with a Wacom. The main key frames I did on my light table with pencil then scanned them into Flash. From there I did the inbetweens and tweaked it for a while. Any of you animators out there feel free to make some suggestions.

The Kneelsun Kids

Here are preliminary/discovery sketches of two stop-motion characters. They are two alien kids who sit in front of the television set and make funny comments between segments of the show. They inadvertently help to introduce a new segment or tie up a finished one. 

The older sibling is Arbed. I've got the basic body structure but still not sure about the hair.

Next is her little brother Eel.

 Maybe you can see there is some Chuck Jones influence. In fact I want these two to be very much like the two boys in the Looney Tunes short Zip, Zip Hooray... just an alien stop-mo version of them.

Here's some idea/self-direction on how to make the eye pods so they can be more animatable with less construction worries. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Updated Design - Bleeph

Here's "The Bleeph" or as most just call him Bleeph. This is his form for Flash Animation - which will be used in the shorts we are producing before the main film. Here is a link to the preliminary sketches and some more information about the character and his place in The Ultra Galactic Gung-ho Gurus. .http://process742.blogspot.com/2010/04/introducing-characters-blepharon-aka.html

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rough Demo Reel

I've been spending much of my time the last few days updating my resume and demo reel. Here's a rough version of it. I should have more project stuff up in the next day or so.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Updated Design - Fang

This is Brizzle Batterfang - the new version. In the main film she will be in hand puppet form this is the Flash version for a set of shorts we're making to test out the characters and format. To read more about Fang and see here early concept designs go here http://process742.blogspot.com/search/label/Fang .

Monday, August 30, 2010

Updated Design - Screever

Here's an updated design for Screever. This turn around will be the basis for his Flash animation version. For the main film he will be in hand puppet and stop-mo animation form, but this will be used in a set of shorts we are working on to test out the characters and writing before we get too deep into the production of the main film.

Here's a link to the post that contains his preliminary designs.  http://process742.blogspot.com/search/label/Screever

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Slightly New Name

Okay, we've decided to change the name of the series, cast of characters, overall title of this project. Instead of Intergalactic Gung-ho Gurus we're going with Ultra Galactic Gung-ho Gurus. I know, normally ultra is a prefix and not a word unto itself but here it was just cooler to make it it's own word. This way we can shorten the title to UG3 - the three meaning to the third power - as in 3 "G"s in the title. I'll be referring to the project by the new title but you may see the old one in previous posts. I don't plan on going back and updating everything. Here's a temporary logo I put together today using Flash.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Roman Soldier - Turn Around and Walk Cycle

While working on the 30 minute film we are also creating some short films staring the same host characters. These shorts won't focus on "Mankind's Endeavor Into Space" but will give short bytes of information from history, science, literature, etc. One segment calls for an Ancient Roman Army. Here's the beginning tests for it.
This is a basic turn around sketch. There are a few problems with the alignment of certain parts, but it's just to test out the look of the character.


This is a walk cycle created with Flash. I guess I should call it a "march cycle" instead. 

Roman Marching Walk Cycle #2

By the way, the title of this short will be "The Earth's Greatest Army Conquered by Half-Naked Snowboarders". It should be fun.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Schnug-He" Stop-Motion Animation Test

As I promised - Here's a short stop-motion test of the character Schnug-He. I showed the process of creating him in the last post. I'm testing out a new program and just have the promotional version on my computer - that is why you see the words and time-code embedded on the screen. There are a lot of problems with the animation itself but like I said it is only a test animation.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Stop-Motion Puppet - "Schnug-He"

Meet Schnug-He. He's a stop-motion puppet I'm going to be using for section breaks in the film. He'll be a part of short 10 or 15 second animations with his nemesis Rhumbah. There will be more about these animations later but right now I wanted to take you through the steps of creating him.

First some sketches. This is where I was trying to find out how I wanted the character to look.
As you can see I had a rabbit in mind from the beginning, but I needed to bring a bit more into the mix. Finally I settled on the general design below.

Here is a simple turn around I would use for the design and armature layout.
The sketch is messed up a bit because when making the armature I actually lay the materials out on the sketch for measurements and my hands were usually wet or messy. Below is the same sketch but with the armature sketched out on top.

From here I made the armature. This technique I learned from Becky Wible-Searles in my Stop-Mo classes at SCAD. It's simple 16-gauge armature wire twisted for durability and a plumber's repair epoxy to form the stiff welds. This works to create a skeleton or armature that I can pose.

Next came the masses of the body created around the armature.
I made this using foam rubber and contact cement. It is a technique I learned making hand puppets. You cut the flat foam rubber in shapes that, when glued together create the forms you see. 

Now I covered it with a material called antron fleece or Muppet fleece. It comes in white but was dyed to this color.
I didn't have to cover the entire puppet because it would be wearing a robe over most of its body. Many times when I use the antron fleece I use a sewing machine but this time I was able to do this with only a hot glue gun. 

Here's the robe. Made with regular material and a sewing machine.

A lot happened after this step. The details came with a few mistakes followed by creative problem solving. Here's what came out.
What came out was kind of a rabbit/insect/dinosaur/cyborg/Jedi alien.