In preparation for our 15 second animation assignment Conann and Alec gave us some pointers and things to think about during the conceptualization process. They put emphasis on keeping it simple and to think about things coming together, to think about how hard and soft objects react in contact. They talked up animation techniques, blocking in animation starting with getting the key poses done first then work on the tweens and the timing. To think about the principles of animation and also about acting. To act to the camera, a book that they told us about was Acting for Animators by Ed Hooks, this should help us for when we are shooting reference video that we can later import into Maya to aid the animation. Alec also suggested looking at Jesse Baumgartner on youtube, he does stepped animation and shows the progression from stage to stage.
He also mentioned to check out the 11 second club for some ideas. (http://www.11secondclub.com/) Its a website that has competitions for animators to enter, provides the rigs needed and allows you to get some practice in. Something that I should really start entering.
So that was the starting point for our conceptualization process. We started with group mind maps, sketches and discussions.
This led to some individual research to see what we could come up with, I started by looking at simplistic characters in film and TV that have appeal. I was thinking that if we could design simple shaped characters, even if they are just a sphere, we could give them character and personality through props. This would allow quick modelling and a straight forward rig meaning our production could be quickened.
This image shows the characters from a Bupa advert I seen on TV. The characters can be quickly identified through their colour, shape and props. This is a clever way to use visual information for characterization.
Minions are very simplistic in shape and style. They have been extremely successful. For this particular project I was looking the minion shorts that were online.
Those shorts are all longer that 15 seconds, I think we could take some ideas from them, the setting is very simple. Just plain white which could help us both in terms of getting it done quicker and also to keep the audiences attention on the acting.
Those are images that Charlie showed the group for some inspiration, I like them they are quite qwerky.
Conann also mentioned that the work we do it Mudbox, mainly the sculpture of faces would benefit alot from doing some research into anatomy. Learning how the muscle groups beneath the skin work together and also to learn the correct proportion of faces to give the models a better sense of realism. I picked up an old book from the library that consisted of a series on illustrations depicting highly detailed body parts. I focused on the faces, I have a selection of images taken from the book.
Most of the images were surgical and probably too complex for me, but overall they were helpful. It is clear to me that further life drawing is required to improve my drawing and understanding of human form which should aid my modelling in the future.