Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Week 5

So I turned in my week 5 assignments a few days ago. I thought I'd post them up in an attempt to stay consistant for once in my life.

The pose assignment was to make the STU character look devestated. So without further ado here's STU winning an emmy for best performance...

The next part of the assignment was to bounce a ball through an obstacle course they gave us. (I cheated and modified the course a little) This assignment was exciting despite it's bland appearances because this marks the first time they allowed us to use squash and stretch on the ball. Check out the Path of Action sketch I used to plan the animation first. The animation will be below it.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I need a new video host

This photobucket video hosting thing isn't working. It won't play my videos on a loop, and it seems to be playing them slightly too fast. Maybe I'll break down and buy QuickTime Pro.

Weighted Ball Test

It needs a few slow outs on the drops of the lighter ball, but you get the idea...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Cryptic Visit

Monday October 16th Chris and I visited Cryptic Studios in Los Gatos, CA. If you don't know already, Cryptic Studios made one of the most popular online MMO's on the market today "City Of Heroes." The follow-up "City Of Villains," has also done very well, and boasts one of the largest fan followings in the online gaming industry. Cryptic is currently working on "Marvel Universe Online." An MMO based on the popular Marvel comic book universe.

One of my fellow classmates at Animation Mentor is Stephen Stacy. He's an animator at Cryptic, and he was gracious enough to invite the local students to his place of work for a tour.

I have to say our visit was great from start to finish. Everyone at Cryptic was friendly, and more than willing to answer any questions we had about their company and the industry. Stephen was gracious enough to even give us a few pointers on how to build a successful demo reel for a game company such as theirs.

We were wined and dined, not to mention both their art director Shayne Herrera, and CEO/President Michael Lewis took the time to stop by and field a few of our questions.

I was thouroughly impressed not only with how we were treated, but also with their mentality and working environment. Cryptic usually has a 40 hour work week which is pretty good considering most studios ask atleast 50 hours/week. That's not to say they don't have crunch times, but they are a family oriented company, and it shows by the number of employees who are actually very awake.

Probably the most impressive point of the day was learning that City Of Heros was their first game, and it was a smash hit. This has allowed them to be in the position of already obtaining large properties and franchises for their next games and they are in the process of tripling the size of their company in the next year. Needless to say things are looking up for Cryptic, and I know i'm going to be submitting my demo reel once it comes time. Why not? I've already been invited to do so by their staffing manager.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Animation Mentor Week 3

STU is excited this week...


Final pose in Maya

My bouncing ball excersise

Friday, October 13, 2006

Animation Mentor Week 2

I'm in week 2 of my first class at AnimationMentor.com We just had our first assignment where we were to go somewhere public and do quick observational drawings of people as they passed by. Not being a noob to the whole drawing unsuspecting victims in public game I chose the mall's food court and sat down facing the mall with my back to the court. This way I could at least capture people's various walks. Many people made the mistake of sitting in Starbuck's where everyone's sitting, and there's no room for people to get up and do anything interesting. That's ok, I made the same mistake when I started.

Here's a page of gestures I captured that evening.

Here's the sketch that I chose to finalize

and here's the pose in Maya

The theory behind assignments like this one is that animation is just a long series of poses. Learning how to build a successful pose with concepts like: line of action, asymmetry, and silhouette is a darn good place to start learning the craft.

I can't tell you how much better Animation Mentor is than my previous alma maders. The environment is so comfortable and everyone wants to help you. This is real character animation instruction created by animators for animators. I wouldn't recommend anywhere else over this beautiful institution.