Saturday, February 28, 2009

More again!

Okay, here's an animated version with the previously missing frame and some adjustments to frames 2 and 14. I saved a 24 fps one (I think that's what it's supposed to be) and a 12 fps version so you can actually see what's going on. The 24 fps looks really frantic.

24 FPS

12 FPS

Does anyone know of a more efficient way of uploading these things? Should I make them into smallish .movs? Upload them to Youtube or Vimeo?

Anyway, thoughts:

  • The extreme on the left arm seems to jerk a little. It's preceded by some choppiness of the hand-- like it switches angles too many times in too awkward of ways in a really small amount of time. I see now why the original had sort of soft, bendy hands on those frames.
  • Some things shift shape/size (the beak, even with perspective and all that tilting taken into consideration, seems to change its proportions)
  • I think the jerking comes from when he shifts weight (and consequently the line of action snaps)-- it doesn't flow gracefully at all once he recovers from the step
  • The tail feathers have no idea what shape they are. I think it's because of weird inbetweening in the original animation. I was being conservative in terms of following the original because I know I'm new to it. I know part of the shifting is because they're moving back and forth into space away from the viewer, but it doesn't feel as sensible as it should. Should I take more liberties next time? They also shift length but that's my fault.
  • Also related to blind fidelity to the original-- the eyelids go down a little. I wasn't sure exactly why-- he doesn't fully blink. They just sort of go down with the step, like they have to catch up with his head when it pulls up. I kind of liked that notion so I stuck with it, but I don't know if I pulled it off. I also thought the pupils shifted around a lot in the original and I wasn't sure what to do with it. Again, should I try to keep it more consistent next time or trust the decisions the original artists made?
  • I like the feet and far hand most. Making sure I paid attention not to tone down the feet was a decent success. The far hand stays pretty solid.
Either way, an awesome exercise. Doing so many construction drawings one after another really got me into the swing of things. Little weird a-ha moments are more and more frequent. It's like staring at a magic eye and totally getting it for fleeting moments at a time, but not being able to cross my eyes hard enough to get it to stick. Or something.

If I could get a critique, some advice, etc., I'd appreciate it a lot! I think I wanna study another walk before I try making my own.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Quick post before work.

Edit: I must have forgotten to put one of the frames on my flash drive yesterday before I left for work. Woops. I put the missing one in, working on fixing the other problems.

I finally finished drawing all of the frames from the Solid Ivory walk last night.

I think the head bobbing down on frame 2 doesn't look right. There's also some shifting of the hand size. Here's John's post containing the footage I'm studying. The original does look stompy and fast, but I can't help but feel like I missed something.

(this last frame is just frame 1 repeated)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Busy busy

Preview of my walk cycle studies. I have about 1/3 of the frames done, but I'm revising all of them, too.

I think I'm going to request less hours at work soon. I am not drawing enough. Luckily I'm not scheduled for tonight, so I hope to get some decent work done.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Coming soon

Been working on closely studying this walk cycle from Solid Ivory. Constructing each and every frame! However, I want to do it right, so it's taking time. I also have a big paleontology exam on Monday. I keep sneaking away from studying to... well... study.

Also: no weird stretching on this one. I think something was illegitimate about my roommate's dvd. Oh well, the new ones aren't stretched.

Have I mentioned that I've been ridiculously happy since working on studies daily? I haven't felt like this while drawing in years.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Things I am learning about Woody Woodpecker

Original above

Just something really quick that I started on my lunch break at work last night. I will probably revisit it when I can. Again, this fattening phenomenon. I squished everything and pushed his head-feathers forward way too far. I started the baby but ran out of time.

The eye on the right is completely off the head. I'm wondering if I have a mental deficiency.

John K has been gracious enough to offer me a lot of help recently. He even gave me a specific assignment. I'm flattered and really motivated.

Anyway, to get started on what John wants me to do, I need to study Woody Woodpecker. I've been watching the theatrical shorts. Pausing, rewatching. Studying walk cycles.

I didn't upload all of them because the other frames aren't as well-drawn on my part. I need to get over this timidity thing; I think as I improve it'll take care of itself. I like this third drawing above more than the others. The line of action works.

This one not so much. Hands look stupid because I rushed them too much, even for a quick practice doodle.

I like the character used design here, so I think it's the one I'm going to stick with when I animate him. These are from a walk cycle in "Solid Ivory" (coincidentally John posted it today).

These are just quick, very quick, studies of the parts of a walk cycle. I drew them Monday night. I scanned in all of my studies and put them together but they animated very choppily. I guess it is my first actual flirtation with character animation, though, so I'm not discouraged. I'm just not showing you.

Fun things I've noticed:

- He is a dick and is primarily interested in food and haranguing people. Awesome.

- He looked more interesting with fat legs, but moved more wonderfully when he started to even out a bit but kept a really prominent, pointy beak and somewhat stout stature. I don't like the pinchy-legged Woody of the 50's and onward nearly as much.

- I don't think his head is an oval. It tapers on the bottom, like an upside-down egg... unless I'm not reading it right. I can't seem to get head construction under control as much as I'd like.

- I really like the openings to the cartoons where Woody pops in, says "Guess who?", laughs, and immediately there's a cut to Walter Lantz' name. When it fades it's just not as snappy.

This is a (sort of large-- which is why it is a bad photo instead of a scan, sorry) sketch for what will be something for my landscape drawing class. I am figuring out the colors first, but will paint it soon.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hands part one

I have been doing hands studies in my spare time for the last couple of days. I like them because I can get them done in a timely manner, so I've got quite a few of them so far. There would be more but I have to do drawing for school, too (in fact, it's what I should be doing instead of taking the time to upload this; I might come back and self-crit a bit on these later).

Originals above, from the Preston Blair book. It's the newer version.

I just drew them with blue lead until I felt comfortable with them and then went over the last one in a regular HB pencil.

I was falling asleep when I was finishing this page. That's why the last one is so big and not very controlled.

Originals from the Preston Blair book above.

I'll have the rest on this particular page done soon. I actually already did the last one in the middle column already, but it's the only one on that sketchbook page. There will be more. I want to feel comfortable with all the ones in the book (still at least 30 left), then I'd like to get comfortable turning poses referenced from my hand done in this simplified way.

I'm itching to do more, but I need to do homework for school.

Speaking of homework, I showed my drawing teacher these studies and told him about John's blog and my aspirations, and he seemed willing to work with me on it. However, he wanted to see me incorporate this knowledge into my own stuff. I'm a little reluctant, seeing as I clearly have no mastery over it (and am improving already, pretty noticeably. In two months I'd hate anything I'd make now), but I need to think of a way to do it.

So... how should I apply what I'm studying in a way I can call my own? It feels premature, but I'm thankful that my professor has such an open mind about it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dreadful Dragon study

I liked Bugs' pose here. I didn't like the dragon immediately but he grew on me as I deconstructed and reconstructed the picture.

The whole image looks like it's lunging forward from the original!

I fatten things. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because I don't have an actual desk of my own, so when I start things at home, I never do them with good posture. This is probably why my doodles during lecture classes and during work breaks are my favorites.

Anyway, so, I completely moved the dragon's head forward, sort of leaving his neck sprawled in a way that looks awkward and dangly. It also evens out the composition. In fact, the whole thing seems pulled downward a bit-- like gravity affects it differently from what it does the original. Bugs' face is also fat because of this.

His right arm is too fat, his hands too big, and things get too round and stubby. John told me that I need to commit more to my forms, and sometimes that results in me pushing things too much (I think that's why his body is more marshmallowy and fat). Other things aren't pushed enough. Bugs' tail is too poofy.

I know bugs' head isn't an oval, but I can't totally figure out exactly what it is. It makes the eyes difficult to place. I need more control over construction lines in general so that I can place them more sensibly.

Bugs' face looks so darned fat! There is too much negative space on his cheek.

I also now notice that the form of the mound is too upright-- the angle on that edge is far sharper than it should be.

All that said, I enjoyed making this. However, if you'd notice, the tail of the dragon looks a little funny. When I was making it, near the end, I accidentally got some juice from an apple I was eating on my eraser without noticing before I used it. It made a big hole in the cheap paper I've been using for these studies. So I had to fix it a bit in photoshop.

Anyway, lots of fatness problems. Again, I feel like my Oswald study was better, but I enjoyed constructing this one. It felt right. I tried to trace it over with a regular HB pencil using a light table, but it didn't work very well and the results were downright embarrassing. I'll keep practicing that, but I'm not posting it quite yet. Yuck.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hare-brained reporter study

This cover made me laugh, so I drew it.

I'm sort of embarrassed by this one. I thought the Oswald one turned out much better, and I'm not sure what I did wrong. Maybe I was just having an off day. Bugs' legs are too sprawled and his foot pops a bit much. The foot's heel pokes a bit. The ears "breathe" a bit more in mine, which I don't hate but it does throw the head off balance a little. Bugs' face looks fairly cute but it's pushed in a direction that doesn't look much like the original's. The tail doesn't puff out in the right direction, which seems like a line of action error.

I was surprised that Bugs was as true to the original. I felt really "off" on his head/neck area, and the foot. They are a bit wrong, but less severely than I thought. The bear is too high; I think it was caused by not having a large enough arm, so the whole thing was thrown off trying to get it all to work together.

The bear's face is all sorts of wrong. I couldn't get the construction lines to look right, so the eyes don't look right. They're too big, and within them, the pupils are too big (and the direction in which they look becomes vague because of it). Because the eyes are too big, there isn't enough negative space on his head. His cheeks are too fat. And, again, he's all-around squished down.

Here's a more helpful overlay.

The snout is pushed in the wrong direction a bit. The eyes, again, are retarded and I have to wonder what I was even looking at (same with the eyebrows). Ears are squished and don't have the same thrust as the original's.