Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My SVA Animation (AAARRRGGGH!)

Here's 3 animation assignments I did in my 1st semester at the School of Visual Arts! I decided to leave out the minimal stuff (for now) & just go right to the meat & potatoes!

These three scenes were all part of our "final" of the semester. Each student was assigned a different character. One person got a polar bear holding a fish, another got Little Bo Peep, somebody got a superhero, etc. I got a pirate.

The first clip is a walkcycle of the pirate. My professor, Doug Crane, designed the pirate. The cycle contains 16 drawings, 14 of which are mine (Doug gave me drawings 1 & 9 for me to work off of). I think I drew him mostly on model. The walk itself was alright, but I messed up by not making the head bob up and down as he walks. His head stays in one place, which is very odd looking and out of place, especially for a pirate with a peg leg.

This next clip was my first shot at making the pirate morph completely into another character. For this, I was given a totally different character for me to transform into: a businessman with a briefcase. The plan was that we'd all get a character to morph into, then in the end we would shoot all the scenes at once and we'd wind up with one continuous morph cycle (ex: pirate walks then morphs into businessman, businessman walks then morphs into polar bear, etc.). But unfortunately, the day the characters were assigned, some people were absent, so the order of things was completely screwed up, and people got characters being done by someone else.

For my first attempt, I thought I would make the morph look completely insane. Things were flying off one place and forming somewhere else, the eyes & nose blow out like a balloon, and it was just a complete hodgepodge of action. It looks like the aerial battle around the Death Star in Star Wars. I thought it looked awesome at first, but when I showed it to Doug, he critiqued me, saying how that there's so much going on in such a short time that you'd miss the main action. I was slightly heartbroken, but I agreed with him, there was too much going on. Luckily, thanks to Blogger video, you can watch over & over to see all the stuff going on in it. Enjoy!

After that, I went back to the drawing board (literally) and tried again. This time, Doug was at my side helping me out with the preliminary stuff. He offered some advice, & I took it like a fish takes water. After our little chit-chat, I drew like hell, ideas running through my head. In the end, I showed my new test to Doug & he really liked it. He laughed at the wackiness going on on screen and patted me on the back saying "Great work!". It felt great that I got Doug's approval, & I was satisfied with what I did, too.

Unlike my first test, this morph seemed a lot more organic. It moves like Silly Putty instead of a bunch of wooden blocks or cardboard cutouts. The flying stuff was reduced to a minimum (if you look closely, you can see his tooth fly out & transform into his tie!) & the nose is the icing on the cake. Things seem a lot more fluid & this is probably my favorite thing that I've ever animated (so far)! See it yourself:

Well, I hope you enjoyed my stuff. My animation still needs work, since I'm only in my freshman year, but hopefully I'll improve over time.


Here's an extra little scene I did in my spare time for kicks & giggles. After doing one of my small assignments, I had a few sheets of paper left, so I drew a quick little scene involving everybody's favorite duck, Steve-O, pulling a lever with a little effort. This is what is called a "stagger". Staggers are usually used when a character is vibrating (ex: Goofy's head vibrating in Clock Cleaners), or lifting a heavy object (ex: Goofy lifting dumbells in Goofy Gymnastics). For this test, there's only 6 drawings, but when animating a stagger you repeat drawings in a kinda "two-steps-forward, one-step-back" order (ex: 1, 2, 3, 2, 3, 4, 3, 4, 5, 4, 5, etc.). It took me about 3 minutes to draw the 6 drawings, & I was taken completely by surprise when I played it back on the Lunchbox. I can almost sense the weight & force Steve-O is pulling on that lever. Can you?

If you want to see the little, insignificant tests I did before these, let me know & I'll put them up. Thanks for watching!

Remember to leave comments!


thedoreenster said...

Whoa, those animations are so cool! Sometimes I wish I could just take random SVA classes and be an art nerd. ;] I'm taking an art class now for my Masters in Education and I love it so much. We're doing collages and paintings and all kinds of random stuff. It's so relaxing. :) Hope SVA is treating you well - I just know that one day I'll bump into you in the city!

Michael J. Ruocco said...

Thanks, doreenster! Glad you liked them!

Art is relaxing to me too. & I just found out some of the classes you can take once you're a second or third year: maquette sculpting, toy making, puppetering... I wanna take all of 'em!

We should meet up sometime. I am here 5 days a week.

Bri said...

sounds like Mr. Crane is a good teacher. i like the second walk cycle better that the first too, the first just had a little to much going on. the second one was cute.

sandra said...

how do you do those stuf your incredible

Fabián Fucci said...

Hi there! Is your teacher Doug Crane the animator behind one of the segments in the movie Heavy Metal (1981)?

Michael J. Ruocco said...

As a matter of fact, he was! Last time I talked to him about it, he told me how much he enjoyed working on it.

Brett W. Thompson said...

Thank you so much for posting these! I'm considering attending SVA's traditional animation program as well so this is really helpful to look at!! :)