"Well I have two simple rules that define horror to me: the things that create fear are either things that shouldn’t be, but are, or things that should be, but are not."
Guillermo Del toro, Monsters in the Movies (J. Landis, 2011, pg 131)
Where art, design, music and performing arts collide into one amalgamated crushing noise and filtered through my brain, down to my fingers and on to a website. My name is Bryan Hancox and welcome to my world.
Guillermo Del toro, Monsters in the Movies (J. Landis, 2011, pg 131)
Watching films like Taxi Driver, Bronson, Dredd, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Scarface for research on human locomotion feels like I’m not doing any work again but why shouldn’t I enjoy researching?
I’m watching these movies to get an angry/sinister walk cycle that can be turned into a search like scene (looking around corridors etc), as I want to try and get a paranoid feeling for my character to come across, like it’s looking for an intruder. The scene posted above has some great body language, especially in the scene where Robert De Niro is interacting with the pimp and his stance is notably anxious which comes out when he walks away.
The character I’m trying to portray for my Human Locomotion class, is that of an Icarus (antagonists of some previous work seen here icarusfallsgame), an army of secretive invasive force that is trying to usurp Earth’s population by pretending to be diplomatic peace bringers, but as we know they’re quite different. There would obviously be two main sides to this character, one that is quite reserved/calm and the other which portrays a paranoid/intimidating emotion. I was thinking to look into other films for the espionage factor, like Taken and James Bond Skyfall, so that I could have a much more varied spectrum, but this is only for the walk cycles.
I would like to start with an idle animation before anything else as it would be able to give people a glimpse at both sides at once by having the Icarus standing in it’s calm state then peer around it’s shoulders for the remainder of the action. After watching clips from all films, I will possibly upload videos of myself re-enacting parts.
The rig I will be using will be the Blake rig as the Icarus rig isn’t set up to be able to emote this much in detail as of this moment in time.
Below is an excerpt taken from the link above which has also been paraphrased from the book ‘Illusion of Life’ (also stated below). I thought that I’d take the time to post this on the blog as part of my research as I’ve already got it printed into my sketchbook. The brief that has been set by my lecturer for our Human Locomotion work will have a check sheet which will be used so that each principle is acknowledged when the character is animated.
The following 12 basic principles of animation were developed by the ‘old men’ of Walt Disney Studios, amongst them Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, during the 1930s. Of course they weren’t old men at the time, but young men who were at the forefront of exciting discoveries that were contributing to the development of a new art form. These principles came as a result of reflection about their practice and through Disney’s desire to devise a way of animating that seemed more ‘real’ in terms of how things moved, and how that movement might be used to express character and personality.
It needs to be said that many brilliant moments of animation have been created without reference to, or knowledge of, these principles. However they are appropriate for a particular style of cartoon animation and provide the means to discuss and critique the craft in a language that animators have come to understand - “you need to anticipate that action to give it more punch” - “why don’t you put more follow through on the coat tail?”
The following has been paraphrased from the “Illusion Of Life” by Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston (pp.47-69). For a more extensive explanation of these principles, refer to this seminal text.
1. SQUASH AND STRETCH
This action gives the illusion of weight and volume to a character as it moves. Also squash and stretch is useful in animating dialogue and doing facial expressions. How extreme the use of squash and stretch is, depends on what is required in animating the scene. Usually it’s broader in a short style of picture and subtler in a feature. It is used in all forms of character animation from a bouncing ball to the body weight of a person walking. This is the most important element you will be required to master and will be used often.
This movement prepares the audience for a major action the character is about to perform, such as, starting to run, jump or change expression. A dancer does not just leap off the floor. A backwards motion occurs before the forward action is executed. The backward motion is the anticipation. A comic effect can be done by not using anticipation after a series of gags that used anticipation. Almost all real action has major or minor anticipation such as a pitcher’s wind-up or a golfers’ back swing. Feature animation is often less broad than short animation unless a scene requires it to develop a characters personality.
A pose or action should clearly communicate to the audience the attitude, mood, reaction or idea of the character as it relates to the story and continuity of the story line. The effective use of long, medium, or close up shots, as well as camera angles also helps in telling the story. There is a limited amount of time in a film, so each sequence, scene and frame of film must relate to the overall story. Do not confuse the audience with too many actions at once. Use one action clearly stated to get the idea across, unless you are animating a scene that is to depict clutter and confusion. Staging directs the audience’s attention to the story or idea being told. Care must be taken in background design so it isn’t obscuring the animation or competing with it due to excess detail behind the animation. Background and animation should work together as a pictorial unit in a scene.
4. STRAIGHT AHEAD AND POSE TO POSE ANIMATION
Straight ahead animation starts at the first drawing and works drawing to drawing to the end of a scene. You can lose size, volume, and proportions with this method, but it does have spontaneity and freshness. Fast, wild action scenes are done this way. Pose to Pose is more planned out and charted with key drawings done at intervals throughout the scene. Size, volumes, and proportions are controlled better this way, as is the action. The lead animator will turn charting and keys over to his assistant. An assistant can be better used with this method so that the animator doesn’t have to draw every drawing in a scene. An animator can do more scenes this way and concentrate on the planning of the animation. Many scenes use a bit of both methods of animation.
5. FOLLOW THROUGH AND OVERLAPPING ACTION
When the main body of the character stops all other parts continue to catch up to the main mass of the character, such as arms, long hair, clothing, coat tails or a dress, floppy ears or a long tail (these follow the path of action). Nothing stops all at once. This is follow through. Overlapping action is when the character changes direction while his clothes or hair continues forward. The character is going in a new direction, to be followed, a number of frames later, by his clothes in the new direction. “DRAG,” in animation, for example, would be when Goofy starts to run, but his head, ears, upper body, and clothes do not keep up with his legs. In features, this type of action is done more subtly. Example: When Snow White starts to dance, her dress does not begin to move with her immediately but catches up a few frames later. Long hair and animal tail will also be handled in the same manner. Timing becomes critical to the effectiveness of drag and the overlapping action.
6. SLOW-OUT AND SLOW-IN
As action starts, we have more drawings near the starting pose, one or two in the middle, and more drawings near the next pose. Fewer drawings make the action faster and more drawings make the action slower. Slow-ins and slow-outs soften the action, making it more life-like. For a gag action, we may omit some slow-out or slow-ins for shock appeal or the surprise element. This will give more snap to the scene.
All actions, with few exceptions (such as the animation of a mechanical device), follow an arc or slightly circular path. This is especially true of the human figure and the action of animals. Arcs give animation a more natural action and better flow. Think of natural movements in the terms of a pendulum swinging. All arm movement, head turns and even eye movements are executed on an arcs.
8. SECONDARY ACTION
This action adds to and enriches the main action and adds more dimension to the character animation, supplementing and/or re-enforcing the main action. Example: A character is angrily walking toward another character. The walk is forceful, aggressive, and forward leaning. The leg action is just short of a stomping walk. The secondary action is a few strong gestures of the arms working with the walk. Also, the possibility of dialogue being delivered at the same time with tilts and turns of the head to accentuate the walk and dialogue, but not so much as to distract from the walk action. All of these actions should work together in support of one another. Think of the walk as the primary action and arm swings, head bounce and all other actions of the body as secondary or supporting action.
Expertise in timing comes best with experience and personal experimentation, using the trial and error method in refining technique. The basics are: more drawings between poses slow and smooth the action. Fewer drawings make the action faster and crisper. A variety of slow and fast timing within a scene adds texture and interest to the movement. Most animation is done on twos (one drawing photographed on two frames of film) or on ones (one drawing photographed on each frame of film). Twos are used most of the time, and ones are used during camera moves such as trucks, pans and occasionally for subtle and quick dialogue animation. Also, there is timing in the acting of a character to establish mood, emotion, and reaction to another character or to a situation. Studying movement of actors and performers on stage and in films is useful when animating human or animal characters. This frame by frame examination of film footage will aid you in understanding timing for animation. This is a great way to learn from the others.
Exaggeration is not extreme distortion of a drawing or extremely broad, violent action all the time. Its like a caricature of facial features, expressions, poses, attitudes and actions. Action traced from live action film can be accurate, but stiff and mechanical. In feature animation, a character must move more broadly to look natural. The same is true of facial expressions, but the action should not be as broad as in a short cartoon style. Exaggeration in a walk or an eye movement or even a head turn will give your film more appeal. Use good taste and common sense to keep from becoming too theatrical and excessively animated.
11. SOLID DRAWING
The basic principles of drawing form, weight, volume solidity and the illusion of three dimension apply to animation as it does to academic drawing. The way you draw cartoons, you draw in the classical sense, using pencil sketches and drawings for reproduction of life. You transform these into color and movement giving the characters the illusion of three-and four-dimensional life. Three dimensional is movement in space. The fourth dimension is movement in time.
A live performer has charisma. An animated character has appeal. Appealing animation does not mean just being cute and cuddly. All characters have to have appeal whether they are heroic, villainous, comic or cute. Appeal, as you will use it, includes an easy to read design, clear drawing, and personality development that will capture and involve the audience’s interest. Early cartoons were basically a series of gags strung together on a main theme. Over the years, the artists have learned that to produce a feature there was a need for story continuity, character development and a higher quality of artwork throughout the entire production. Like all forms of story telling, the feature has to appeal to the mind as well as to the eye.
Reblogged from zizzani
A glorious fuck-ton of perspective angle references (per request).
[From various sources.]
- Perspectives Tutorial by DerSketchie
- TUTO - male reference pose by the-evil-legacy
- tuto - women ref poses by the-evil-legacy
- Foreshortening Practice by Bambs79
- How to Draw Manga vol. IV - Dressing You Characters in Casual Wear
- HUMAN PROPORTION: SIMPLIFYING THE FIGURE USING GEOMETRIC FORM AND GESTURE by The Helpful Art Teacher
- Basic comic interpretation - different camera angle by diaemyung
- Foreshortening tips by scruffyronin
Speaks for itself - perspective and foreshortening studies for the human form.
A brief show reel of walk cycles and animations for the game character Sly Cooper that were created by the character animator Travis Howe. Through the reel you can get a great sense of character appeal that Travis brings into each action through understanding of anticipation and exaggeration as the Sly Cooper series is heavily into cartooning. One of my favourite parts of this reel is when Travis animates the classic cartoon action of the character being knocked unconscious and spinning around 360 degrees, this mainly due to the use of overlapping action and the illusion of kinetics on the foot as it sways when Sly drops to the floor.
Regardless of which part the video you watch, you can guarantee that the strong sense of timing has been the foundation on which Travis has been able to apply all the other principles of animation to his work. Although the characters are animals they’re anthropomorphic and as a result, heavily influenced by human locomotion.
Reblogged from zizzani
Hot Topic is known amongst artist groups as one of the worst offenders of art theft in U.S. retailers. I know artists are important to What Pumpkin, and I’d imagine multiple cases of art theft would be a very big deal. The most well-known of the cases were stolen fan art from independent artists, which is the same demographic the Design Contest was aimed to. I’m an artist myself and I wouldn’t want to support a store that steals from my peers.
The people running Hot Topic have zero respect to artists and to copyright law. They’ve been ripping-off independent artists’ storefronts, and continue do so. The whole company really should have been shut down long ago.
If you support artists, independent, fan artist, or any kind, you should oppose Hot Topic and MSPA’s association with them!
Tell What Pumpkin to kick Hot Topic out of the Design contest RIGHT NOW.
We have so little time left to stop this please tell them that it is completely unacceptable to do any sort of business with petty art thieves.
Even if you don’t know what to say, or if you think it would compromise the contestants; It won’t. Just please voice your thoughts in anyway you can put them. Don’t let Hot Topic get a dime out of Homestuck.
And I might note that it’s worth keeping an eye out to make sure your own work in’t taken advantage of.
When businesses like HT takes advantage of hard work, it deserves to be outed.
Reblogged from ask-rung
Help An Aspiring Animator Make “Last Stand of the Wreckers: The Movie!”
That’s right, folks! This campaign is still going strong! As of the writing of this post, I have managed to purchase three of the seven essential components for my animation computer with the help of you generous fans, but we’ve still got a ways to go! Remember, even a few spare dollars will help! You can help this dream come to reality by donating here!
But wait… What’s all this about?
Incase you haven’t happened across my first post about this, allow me to explain…
I have been wanting to be an animator for a very long time. This campaign was started so you, my fellow Transformers fans, could pitch in and help me build the computer I need to make high quality animation. As a way to say thanks, my first production will be an animated movie adaption of the iconic Transformers comic ‘Last Stand of the Wreckers’! Once finished, it will be released for free on the internet for the world to enjoy. The above picture is an example of what I am able to do on my current computer, but I’m afraid it is the upper limit of what my laptop can handle. Thus, if you would like to help me eliminate these hardware limits, please consider donating to the campaign. A mere five US dollars is all you need to give to receive a reward. Speaking of which…
Donation Rewards Have Been Updated!
That’s right! Since the first few days of the campaign were so successful, I’ve decided to add a proper reward for donating a minimum of $5! (don’t worry, you can still have a hug if you want. And I’ll still think you’re groovy)
Those who donate $5 or more will be invited to an exclusive early stream of the film once it’s finished! That’s right, you get to see it earlier than everyone else! I’m planning to run the stream at least two weeks before the eventual release date, but more details on that will come later. Stay tuned!
But I still has no monies!
Don’t sweat it! I’m still going to be looking for volunteers to play voices in the film, so even if you can’t donate you may still be able to help in the production! And, as always, reblogging this post is the single most helpful thing you can do for me!!
Again, thank you to everyone who’s donated so far, and thank you in advance to all of you who consider donating in the future!