Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Don't Concentrate On The Finger!

I've been working on this for some time, mostly in the mornings. It's coming into fruition now.
So this isn't the first time I've tried to animate from this clip:

This clip shows the quality of my work from the beginning of my Master's Degree.

I noted before in the last post that my work here in SK as a teacher has unlocked an ability to create more compelling key poses, and I think this is evident when watching these two clips.

This was one of my better pieces of work from the past. Personally, I think my new work still comes in at a quality level above this, which is quite something since I was practicing a lot more back at that time. I've put a greater emphasis on making bold key poses, and even purposefully overdoing them to get that cartoon feel. I was careful this time to check the curves so that body parts moved relatively smoothly unless necessary. I was careful to preserve circles that real human body parts tend to move in - a feature of inertia.

I think there is still room to improve my new work, but it's a step in the right direction for sure!

Sunday, 5 February 2017


Hi, it's Tobias.

I haven't posted for a while, and honestly, I haven't made anything for a while. But I'm happy to announce that that's no longer true. I actually have two things to show you.

One of them is this:

A storyboard for an animation following Bruce Lee's lines from Enter The Dragon

It's what the Bruce Lee animation I did those years ago wished it could have been. It's important because it reflects a development both in my skills as an animator and personally.

As I've been in Korea as a teacher, I have had to adapt to the role expected from me. This means I have had to learn how to stand at the front of a room, draw attention and project my voice, from those who have the shortest attention span, kindergarten children - and across the language barrier too!
This version of myself stands as a stark contrast to the Tobias who went to school at Nottingham Trent, a much quieter, more reserved human without the capacity to wave his arms around.

I've learned how to become a caricature of myself. This is important because now I can produce the poses with my own body, I am able to draw them. Now I can demonstrate the actions, I can animate it! It's amazing, this connection. Perhaps some people have the capacity to model their poses purely from imagination, or from elsewhere, but I find that the kinasethetic approach of performing these actions yourself gives you an insight into how they work that pure imagination and observation don't.

I am grateful for this opportunity to come out here, because even though I've been working in a field unrelated to my animation, my skills have continued to develop. I can honestly say that I'm a better animator than I have ever been before.

And yes, I do have clips of it I can show, but I'm going to wait until at least all of the first major pass is complete before I put it up. Watch this space.

This is the second thing I will show you this time:

Whilst I was animating the Bruce Lee clip, I kept thinking how it would be nice to make something of my own again. I thought about cartoons I like to watch, cartoons I would like to watch, and also what it is that draws me to animation and storytelling.

I realised that the most compelling thing for me is to have a world filled with adventure, of old things to rediscover, and new things to find for the first time. I felt that it was a nice idea, but that's only the feel of the cartoon, at most an overall theme. It's not a story on it's own, so I can't really tell it.

I began to wonder what possible stories I can tell in a world with such a feel to it. I reached out to the internet to find out how the stories from my favourite cartoons were made, and they told me something I remember from my time studying for my MA:
  • A character is presented with a problem, one that they can't avoid.

  • The character is forced to find a solution, but their solution isn't quite right.

  • The character refines or makes another solution that allows them to succeed.

This tells me that I don't need a specific story to make a start. In fact, knowing this, it becomes more important to define the world so that I know what stories are apt to happen within it.

So, with this as a starting point, I made this character. A story needs a protagonist, so here one is.
He's a frog, going by the name of Geggle. He's got a good heart, but he's inexperienced. He's not content with simply swimming around in a pond like the other frogs. He'd sooner be like the heroes he's heard of and read about in books.

I think I'm going to try 2D animation this time. I always wanted to try it, since my favourite cartoons have all been 2D. I'll be sure to post up how it goes!