Character Animator

Author Archive

Cartoony Baseball

Animation Mentor Cartoony Workshop with Mark Oftedal.

Shot Progression


Metro6

[UPDATED] Excited to have worked on this project through Artella.

SFFilm Festival 2020 Best Animation


Swinging Bar Flip


CGMA Body Mechanics

I am currently taking Kyle Kenworthy’s Body Mechanics workshop at CG Masters Academy

It’s really been great focusing on just mechanics and playing with the timing.

Here is where my first shot currently is:

And here’s a playlist of the progress:


Ballerina – Blocking

I’ve been working on this ballerina shot slowly for awhile now. I wanted to focus on my workflow, working with the reference and going into blocking and posing.

I’ve started working on the movement more, adding breakdowns and working on foot contacts, refining the poses.

 

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Spungella Online Animation Workshop

A few months ago I met Jean-Denis Haas at The Animation Collaborative’s Bay Area Creative Connection. I had a great talk with him about animation, being a father, and began to consider taking his online workshop. A few weeks later I signed up to his Spungella Online Animation Workshop. He helped me decide on what I wanted to focus on, and how I could approach it. I wanted to improve on my mechanics and performance, and with that he gave me a list of ideas for inspiration, but noted that it should be something I have fun working on. I tried a couple different ideas but decided on this: An escaped prisoner sitting down in a church bench (with guilt and hesitation.)

I imagined this as someone who had just gone through something terrible and was feeling guilt, but was seeking guidance.

Initial layout and planning of the idea.

First pass at blocking. I shot reference but it deviated from the original planning of the performance for the shot, the tonal change was because I focused too much on the mechanics. I re-shot reference and focused on the performance.

Current progress of the shot. Still needs more polish but it’s nice to see the improvement. I’d like to move on to smaller exercises for a little while.

JD really helped with how I thought about the shot, the performance, and how I could continue to improve on animation fundamentals and mechanics.


Basics

Quick shots to work on the basics.


The AnimC

I took the Intro to Acting for Animation workshop in the Summer of 2016 with Robb Denovan at the Animation Collaborative. It was a great experience to be in a room with other animators across from Pixar talking just about Acting and Animation. Being able to go through small exercises and analyze the principles of animation in depth was eye opening. A few months later I was able to attend the Animation Masterclass with Michal Makarewicz of AnimC and again had an amazing experience with them. I was able to learn so much and hope to take another workshop there soon.

I was going through my folders of work from then and decide to post them as good reminders of keeping things simple and to always be thinking about the performance.


Associate Cinematic Artist Test

I was given an opportunity to do a test for Associate Cinematic Artist for Telltale Games. Unfortunately I did not get the role but it was a good experience and I look to continue improving my storytelling skills.


Barry the Blobfish

I was looking for a project to contribute to and found Barry the Blobfish on Artella.

It was a great experience to do something new and I’m happy to see how the project turned out.


Game Animation Test

I recently did an animation test for TinyCo.

The test was to do 3 shots – a walk, an attack, and an acting shot.


Update – Baskin Animation

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted something. I’ve been doing some work the last couple of months as a Forensic Animator, but I’ve also been trying to get more knowledgeable on rigging, cleaning up notes and scripting things out. Hopefully, I’ll have a workable Auto-Rigging system done soon that I’ll post up. So far it’s all in MEL, and as soon as it’s done and working, I’ll work on converting it to Python and make it a Modular Rigging System.

I’m almost done with another rig for the Cerebus animated film project. Here’s a link to the Cerebus production blog with an image of the model with my rigging progress, and here’s a little bit of animation with my Baskin rig.

http://whatcomix.blogspot.com/2012/07/what-rolling-stones-rats-farmers.html

Animation progress by Kristopher Houge
kristopherhouge@aol.com

Voices by Daniel Geduld
everyonesvoice@gmail.com

Turg modelled by Daniel Grant
daniel.grant.j@gmail.com

Turg rigged by Paul Ormerod
paul_ormerod@hotmail.co.uk

Baskin modelled by Ajoy Paul
ajoy1paul@gmail.com

Baskin rigged by Jose Molina
jmolina189@gmail.com


Cerebus the Aardvark – Baskin Rig Finished!

I finished my work on the Baskin rig this past weekend. I’ll try to post updates on the project with how it’s going, but please check out their production blog to see everything about the project.

I worked a long time on making sure I understood how I was building the rig, keeping notes so I can recreate it easier later.

I specifically focused on getting a few things to work as I wanted them to be, like a No Flip Knee with a Pole Vector. It was a really great opportunity to work with a guy like Oliver Simonsen, who’s doing an amazing job putting this kind of project together. I learned a whole lot these past few months that I hope to keep working on and getting better at.

This is the link with my rig part in it, it’s just a picture. They’ll post animation update as things develop.

http://whatcomix.blogspot.com/2012/04/what-family-woody-allen-luzzo-baskin.html


Batch Render Fix – script by John Mather

Hello!

When I was working on finishing up the Balloon short film, my team ran into an issue where Maya’s batch render would go crazy and our character would lose parts of her body while the other parts moved through the animation. Or the clothes would be the only thing moving and nothing else would move.

My team mate, Andrew Rodriguez stumbled on a thread where this awesome guy John Mather made a script as a way to solve this exact issue. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones having batch render issues. His script takes a start and end frame number, like 0 to 200, and renders out from the current camera with whatever settings you have in your Render Settings.

In my journey to learn more on the technical side, I decided to make a window for this so I could learn how to extend the function of a script, since his didn’t have a UI. This is my version of the script that has a simple window for inputting the required data to run the script. And also, I really wanted to post this because it was an amazing find for my team since it saved our final project.

This is the link to where you can see the discussion and if there are any updates to his script.
 http://simplymaya.com/forum/showthread.php?p=318227 

And this is the script:

BatchFix.mel


Scripts

I’ve been learning how to script for a few months now and the hardest part has been thinking of finding a way to use what I’ve been learning. Not being a programmer or having any kind of formal training in that field, it’s been very interesting since I didn’t know where to begin, but it was still a fascinating thing to me to be able to make things that help the process, that automate things. So I just want to post two little things that I managed to make and learn from.

This first script flips/mirrors the selected objects position in world space.

I made a little thing that goes through the steps of mirroring an objects position, and then I started asking well what if I wanted a choice to duplicate it or not, and also what if I wanted to mirror across a different axis. So that’s what this script does organized in a window. It’s very simple but handy, to me at least.

jnm_flip

This next script is extremely simple, but it was really confusing to understand as I was just starting to learn this stuff. For awhile I had tried making For Loops for arrays, but kept getting errors. Then I found something someone posted stating the obvious that made sense.

My error was that I was trying to do something like this

//store selection

$sel = `ls -sl`;

//run for loop renaming objects

for ($obj in $sel){

rename ($sel + “something”);

}

When I should’ve done it like this

//store selection

$sel = `ls -sl`;

//run for loop renaming objects

//using $obj, not $sel

for ($obj in $sel){

rename $obj ($obj+ “something”);

}

This script takes your selected objects, runs a for loop through the selection that self-groups each object, and renames it appropriately. Like selecting a circle, grouping it, renaming the group “grp_circle”.

jnm_iGrp


Hand Rig – Set Driven Keys and Extra finger controls setup

I set up a file to help a friend out with their rig awhile ago. It shows a relatively simple concept of layering a rig to allow for extra overall control. I thought this was pretty nice when I first learned it, so I wanted to share this with anyone starting out who may not be aware of this technique since it’s not something that seems so simple when you’re first learning how to rig.

The file is seperated in three seperate files, showing the steps of how to setup the fingers of a hand rig with Set Driven Keys, that control custom attributes to pose the hand, and extra finger controls that allow for tweaking of the preset poses or to make completely new poses.

The way it works is like this:

You have your basic joints for your finger. Then you have your control objects, like a nurbs circle, fitted around the joints. They will be orient constrained to control the joints after the control heirarchy is set up.

The control objects are then self grouped twice, one to set the SDK on and one as the null node that doesn’t do anything.

Then the null group of the control object is parented under the next control object (not its SDK or null group).

So the idea of layering can be thought of as having one step above that which controls something, and that one thing above controls something else or is being controlled by something else, like a custom attribute in this case.

The files are pretty easy to understand, but if you have any questions please feel free to contact me for help.

You can download the files here.

jnm_handRig_fingerTutorial


Cerebus the Aardvark

I’ve been working a lot on a new rig lately for a project.  It’s been helping me clean up some of my rigging knowledge and techniques that I wasn’t really happy with on my “Kattie” rig (which I plan to revise and release for free later on).

I’m keeping track of everything I’m doing since I’m also working on learning more scripting to automate things.

You can follow the production blog here http://whatcomix.blogspot.com/

The character I’ve been developing the rig for is Baskin, and this is his head with blendshapes.

Baskin model by Ajoy Paul

ajoy1paul@gmail.com


Rigging reel

UPDATED: 02/13/2012