Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Notes for myself

John told me to rearrange the walk so that I could see it in a cycle.


(It's kind of fun to watch the peg holes go by, haha).

Anyway, looking at it this way makes it easier to see some problems. The biggest issues of concern:

- The head. It tilts too severely. The original looks strange, but still smooth-- my study should match that
- The extreme on the far arm is jumpy. That should be easy to fix, but the arm itself looks weird and wooden, like it's just a puppet's arm moving out! Maybe I should make the fist move a bit more?
- The near arm is very jumpy. It's a little twitchy in the original but it's too much so on this one. I think part of this could be fixed by making the hands on frames 9 and 10 fit in more with the others.
- The tail. No flow.
- The eyes are still weird, of course. Need to tweak them still.
- John said the hair overlap is too mathematical. I don't know exactly how to fix that, but I'm willing to experiment!

Next time: I need to perfect the animation in its rougher stages.

Also: To those of you who have been leaving comments, I appreciate it! You are nice folks.

UPDATE!: I have an exam on Monday and some other school stuff to do, so I won't be able to put in as much time straight up as I'd like to. So I will be updating this post with my progression on fixing this.

HERE is the first update. I am redoing the head and neck, making sure that moves smoothly. Specific feedback VERY appreciated! When you back away it looks fairly smooth but I don't think I'm satisfied. It loses some of the original's bounce but I think I want to focus on just making it work smoothly rather than complete fidelity. I need to learn to crawl before I can walk. Or, I guess, walk before I can walk interestingly.

I have also been informed that I misinterpreted his head shape! It is upside-down! I'm such a dork. It also tilts even less than this!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Second Woody study

Wow! This took... a week and a half longer to finish than I had planned. Seems like everything conspires to get in the way (ranging from no calls/no shows at work, resulting in scrambling for coverage, to huge deadlines sneaking up on me at school). So, I resolved to finish this this weekend. I guess I was technically about an hour and a half late, but I would have made it had my computer not gotten a virus today. Yeesh! If it were up to me this would be my only school, but I guess I need that piece of paper.

So I put everything aside to finish this tonight. It's not really "finished," per se, though, because I want to fix a few things.

Anyway, so here's the clip off of which my study is based. It's from "Solid Ivory," also. I really like this cartoon!

And HERE is my study!

I need to go to bed pronto, though. Tomorrow I need to whip up a research paper for art history, so I may not be around much (if I am, sock me, because I need to get that done).

Without going into too much depth:

The original was not very well constructed. But it was spunky and interesting. It has charm and energy. His eyes aren't in perspective in the original, but the asymmetry is charming. To make it more solid, I chose to make his eyelids asymmetrical over his eyes. I liked embellishing on the brow, but I don't know how well that worked. I think I went with the pupils being way too huge (they shift during the original) and they don't wrap very well. I think I may go over each frame and make the eyes work better. I also think that shading them in was a bad, short-sighted idea because it flattens them out.

The tail doesn't react to the movement as much as I think it should.

Most disappointing, though, is that it doesn't have the same vigor that the original does. Hmm. That's something a little less tangible, less easy to articulate and specifically fix.

More technical, base stuff: It is a pain in the ass to split the scan into two. It also results in some weird seizure flashes when it animates. Next time, work smaller, and I will avoid going lower than what the scanner can take. I will also be sure not to end up going so high that my drawings ever touch the area near the peg holes! What an embarrassing beginner's mistake. Fortunately it should be easy to avoid in the future with better planning.

HOWEVER, the peg strip and animation paper made the process seem LOADS more intuitive and I am already addicted to the way it feels! It's so fun and I can't wait to do more!

Any feedback would be completely appreciated!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ship ahoy! The boat leaked!

When I was little I remember when I was nuts about the Looney Tunes characters, I'd get all excited to get coloring books featuring the characters... but so many of them were ugly! However, this one is just recklessly cute. Porky and Bugs always look adorable, but look at Bugs' gesture! I love his hand.
Anyway, so, I've been doing this study during very small increments of free time. It's a few shifts' worth of lunch breaks at work. Unfortunately, since I did it in several sessions, I think it lended itself to some disjointedness. It's like the drawing is on three different planes! It's hardly worth showing the overlay.

I just completely copied the angles wrong. I interpreted the ship as being more faced toward the viewer, so it's more opened-up looking in my version. And I put Bugs too high up compared to Porky. Since Bugs' arm area was warped (his hand should be closer to the viewer in space, and further out, rather than as bent inward).

Bugs' face was probably the biggest problem area:

Ugh, that cheek!! It seems ten times worse now that I have it scanned. Doesn't help that the head is overall too big.

His cranium should be leaned more forward in space. It needs to be at a more committed angle-- I seemed to have given it a wimpy treatment. Which stinks, because the original is so darned cute. Anyway, the angle problem lended itself to other issues-- the cheek on the right is too long and floppy. It is tighter to the face int he original. His teeth aren't at as extreme of an angle as in the original. I opened his mouth too wide, and I also puffed out his bottom lip too much.

I think Bugs' cranium has reverse perspective. The half nearer to the viewer is smaller than the one further away, I think. Does anyone out there have advice on beating this mistake? I seem to make it a lot, even though I'm conscious of it.

Porky's head looks better, in my opinion. His jaw is exaggerated in my version. The sphere within Porky's cranium confused me a bit because he has some meat padding his head. My version looks squished, to me. I stacked on too much meat on the right side.

I feel like I am getting better at understanding my mistakes. But I need to avoid making them in my new studies!

Monday, March 16, 2009

No, I am not done yet

I have the roughest of roughs done on my next Woody cycle study. I unfortunately work after school tomorrow so getting it all done for real will take a few days.

HOWEVER, in addition to real learning, here's a fun thing I noticed about the footage I'm working off of.

Haha! I'm going to guess this was some time-pressed ink-and-paint worker's doing.

Somewhat related, I was wondering why clean-up and inbetweening doesn't happen in the states anymore at all. Is it really cheaper to do it overseas than it would be to get animation-anxious young chumps like me to do it cheap? I'd totally do clean-up for minimum wage.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Some touch-ups

John told me to fix a few things. They're sorta subtle, but I think they made a difference!

Ink practice

Drawing above is by Jim (I think) of Spumco.

EDIT: Fixed the sleeve thing.

Here's my first inking study. I'm actually surprised with the outcome. I should have pushed line width variation more, now that I see it from so far away. More thick lines holding together the larger forms. The noses and eyes have some uncertainty to them. I don't know if I should have inked Ernie's jaw under his arm, because I'm really not sure whether or not it's supposed to be there. The shape made sense, so I went with it, but it should be less visible, I think.

I see what John means when he says lots of artists have a tendency to round out the forms-- whenever I was presented with a form I didn't totally understand it was really tempting to just round it off into something that made more sense to me.

I actually enjoyed doing this... there were some things I messed up, but it was cool to actually enjoy the inking process. I've never really been a fan of it-- but hey, I'd never tried it with Illustrator before.

A lot of the mistakes I made were primarily from being so green with the program. I'm only somewhat familiar with it, and never for this purpose. I found myself a little frustrated by an apparent inability to tweak line width after I had placed the line/applied pressure. Does anyone who's more experienced with the program know if that's possible? In the meantime, well, I just gotta get more experienced with it. I'll do another some time.

I have like three John-related projects going (well, two now, but I may come back to this). I am so greedy. I want to learn how to do everything.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Jinx studies

Midterms are finally done. It's spring break. Thank goodness. I find it so weird that I hate school for the first time since the middle school days. I'm getting extremely cynical about it. I'll make a post on why I want to unlearn art school some time in the next month or so... In the mean time, I'm happy as a clam actually having chunks of time to devote to studying.

I am itching to get going on animation studies again, but the stuff John told me to order still isn't here. I'm gonna guess it'll be here either tomorrow or Tuesday.

Anyway, I'm sort of a newcomer to John's blog. So here's an older exercise I've taken a stab at.

The photos of this toy were from John's blog.

It frustrates me that I'm still not totally good with construction lines. It's not second nature yet. I mean, I can use them as guidelines, sure, but I'm not understanding the form in space well enough. I want a series of egg-like, oval-like and circle-like shapes that are transparent and have the construction lines drawn on. I was actually snooping through Easter stuff at Meijer the other day hoping to find a totally transparent egg I could buy and marker up.

I spent the most time revising this one out of the three I did (I will probably do more).

Goddamn, he's cute.

The shape of his muzzle is more flat on top than I drew it. I sort of invented a bulk on the bridge of his nose that isn't there. I also notice that I misjudged where the horizontal construction line goes and stretched the eyes down to meet it a little. I really don't have much commentary besides that I apparently can't get a consistent grasp on head construction.

Poor Jinx looks like he was punched in the muzzle and everything on his head was pushed to the upper right.

I am giving myself lame critiques. I don't think I'm going to get better until I practice away my construction line issues.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Some landscape nonsense

I've been trying to figure out gouache for a while. I got a set near Christmas-time and haven't had as many opportunities as I'd like to use it. So, for an open-ended landscape drawing assignment I decided I'd try using them.

This one is bigger, so I had to take a photo of it. Here it is in the context of a corner of my room. The colors are a bit off but I think you can get the gist of it.

I really like the left side of the painting, actually. The transition between the grass and the dirt looks interesting. The right half makes my time constraints more apparent. I don't like how big the texture gets. it messes up perspective. The brown, round bushes could use definition. They're indistinct and the one on the left has a weird dent in it.

Here's a cropped, closer version of the stuff I like. Unfortunately I don't have access to a great digital camera, but you get the idea.

This one was small enough to scan. I like the color of the sky (I took some cues from some awesome cartoon backgrounds for this one). There's a smudge above the trash can from where some of the paint reconstituted. I want to try acrylic-based gouache for this reason.