Webinar Series 2
There has been a huge demand in the industry for broad cartoony animation in CG. It seems as though studios are branching out more and more with cartoonier type movies where video reference starts to become very difficult. In your showreels, you have to be able to show the naturalistic, subtle shots but also be able to show your versatility by doing very broad cartoonier type actions. In cartoony animation you really have to rely on your knowledge of animation to push the poses to the extreme and know where to "snap" up the actions to give it that appeal. In this next JRAwebinar series I will be taking shots each month and breaking the shots down live to illustrate how I push the animation for a more cartoony style. Students that are new to the JRAwebinars, this is your chance to get in at the beginning so you don't miss any of the live events. For variety, we will be using various free rigs from the internet like "Moom" by Ramtin Ahmadi and others.
In this August Webinar, we will be going over how I create quick pick buttons for easy selecting in Maya. I storyboarded an action sequence that we'll be animating some shots from throughout this Series and if that's not enough I also talk about how to push your breakdowns to get more exaggerated actions.
In this September Webinar, I take two shots from our action sequence and animate them both live in Flipbook. These will serve as my blue prints for the CG versions of the shots to be animated in October and November. The first shot is a slow, cautious sneak on a moving Background. The second shot is a terrified run on a fast panning background.
In this October Webinar, I will be spending at least an hour and a half animating live in Maya. I want to spend this Webinar really focusing on bringing a blocking pass on Shot1, the cautious walk on Moving Background to a final polished state. I will be talking about Body Mechanics, Weight, Favoring and animating your inbetweens to make sure Moom's performance is solid. After getting the body Mechanics working, I will be taking a look at the facial performance to see how we can add life and interest to one emotional state. These slow subtle shots can be tricky because it can easily become very even and floaty if not broken down fully. We can get too hypnotized by the computers smooth inbetweens so I will be looking for nuances that I can sprinkle into the shot to give it a bit of spark. Even though the pace of the shot is slow and subtle, I still want to make his performance cartoony and entertaining so looking for overlapping actions moving at different times and speeds will really help here.
In this November Webinar, I will be spending at least an hour and a half animating live in Maya. Then spending the remainder of the session answering your questions. In these fast action type shots, I approach the animation of the character in a different way. The idea with these shots is to create a flurry of movement that shows the characters emotional state and adds tension to our sequence. It would be too easy to just plug in a cycle of our character running but I want originality, I want to be able to control every frame of the shot and add as much character as possible. This shot actually took about four hours to complete in Maya because we solved the performance in flipbook first. We will be taking the shot from the blocking stage all the way through to the final polish. I also want to talk about smear frames and how to these 2D techniques can really add a great quality to our CG shots.
In this December webinar I will animate a very broad 2D "Tex Avery" style shot of a Bunny Character stealing a bite of a carrot. The Bunny has to bounce in, move to the carrot in a cartoony way and almost gets to take a bite from the carrot. An off screen character shoots in his direction, the Bunny does a Tex Avery style take and dashes off screen before being shot.
In this January Webinar, I wanted to animate a cartoony take and treadmill dash off screen in CG. This is shot 6 from our action Sequence. In this webinar, I do both the Flipbook and the Maya conversion in this one session.
This is a line of dialog recorded by Larry Vasquez. Larry imagined a James Bond type Villain and played him going from a cool, calm attitude then bursting to a very broad contrasting delivery. It's always great to pick lines that have contrast to illustrate how you would show that transition. This webinar covers the 2D Flipbook stage, to be converted into a polished Maya shot in March.
In this March event I will be converting the February Flipbook pass into a final polished Maya shot. This scene is a walking talking shot and it's 240 frames long. In this particular webinar, I will illustrate how to approach animating a contrasting subtle to broad dialogue shot. I will be animating this shot as if it is from a current feature production. I will be concentrating on getting all the flourishes and final polishing tweaks into the animation for final approval. I love animating these full body acting shots because when they pace back and forth and go through emotional beats and dialog, it makes them very believable. When students ask me what type of shots I like to see on showreels, this is what I'm talking about. It's about grounded physicality and believable acting all wrapped up into one shot.
In this April event I will be taking one line of Dialogue and approaching it two completely different ways. When you are animating personal tests, showreel shots or even on feature productions, it's always a good to try different acting choices. Let the ideas evolve and trying not to fall in love with your first pass. I like experimenting with different character types to see how their personalities change the overall acting choices that I animate. I will roughly spend about 40 to 50 mins on each character, leaving plenty of time for Q&A. The initial brainstorming or concept stage is always an issue for students but it really helps when they see me struggle and change directions on the fly. It gives them a sense of relief to see that the concept stage is not all about sticking with your first initial thoughts. Even for professional animators, the concepts have to be kept fluid and should be able to evolve. For me, this is the most enjoyable part of the process because you're taking a thought, an idea or a concept and shaping it into a piece of original animation that nobody has ever seen before. After I solve the two performances, I will then choose one of these passes and convert it into Maya for the May webinar and animate the other pass for the June webinar.
In this May webinar, I'm converting the broad catoony style shot with the girl character using the April Flipbook pass as a reference. In this Maya conversion, I will want to add sub text to the shot, to help sell the characters personality.
In this June event I will be taking the second shot (boy animation) with the same line of Dialogue from the April Webinar and making the conversion into Maya. This is an interesting webinar on "how to milk the pose". Sometimes there is a tendency to change poses just for the sake of changing without any motivation. This webinar is all about finding the few poses that you want the animation to work around and hitting the accents so that dialogue is being delivered by the character.
In this July webinar, I will illustrate how I approach animating a four legged character dialog shot in 2D. I will use this as a teaser for ianimate.net". Watch the teaser here.
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