Week 51

This is a weekly recap of the goings-on in my professional life – to keep track of what I’m doing and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creative.

Last week the heat had me beat a little bit, but I came back and did some animation for the opening of my game.

menu

This is the title card shot after the intro cinematic. I painted it on tuesday and animated it with all kinds of parallax effects on wednesday. A classic case of ‘make a plan before you do something’, because after I had finished making it in After Effects, it turns out Unity Free cannot play video files (without excessive hacking or plugins). But it was fun to do so I guess time wasn’t completely wasted. I’ll redo it in-engine this week, which should only take a fraction of the time.

Inbetween on wednesday I jumped through the final hoops to hand off my old apartment, so now that chapter is closed. And thank heavens, all the stuff I had to arrange around that ‘project’ ended up tripling my phone bill this month. Let’s hope the next person enjoys it as much as I did.

In the meantime I also continued my research into the background of the BFF narrative. Even though the story is completely fictional I still want to accurately represent the cultural and societal factors are that could lead to such events taking place. So I’ve read what is known as ‘the Forsaken Report’, in which the Commission of Inquiry describes real cases in great detail, which has been a fascinating read. I’ve also reached out to some community members and CBC reporters in Prince George, Prince Rupert, and Vancouver, and a cultural expert studying the Northwest to learn more about the heritage of the Haida people.

At the end of the week I stayed at my parent’s house for two days (came to see them, stayed for the wifi ha), and got to spend some time sitting next to my dad at the kitchen table while we both drew. Check out his facebook page with space age art over here.

father and son

Daily Sketch – Delicate Genius

A little lip-syncing exercise. Inspired by the Daily Affirmation podcast episode 36, where cartoonists Kris Straub and Scott Kurtz discuss their habits in dealing with their strips being late, leading to a series of veiled insults that threatened to end their decades-long bromance.

[update] now with 100% Scott Kurtz approval.

Get moving

After animating in After Effects for a while now, I’ve found it to be far superior to animating in Flash. So for the heck of it I decided to load up the old sprite for Coyote and see what I could do with the walkcycle. Guess which one I made two years ago in Photoshop and which one I made today.

Turnarounds are a bitch

But once they’re done they’re always kinda nice.

Pro tip: did you know you can press Esc and all gifs will stop animating? Wish we’d known that back in the Geocities era!

Intermezzo

Holy shit, that’s right, I had a blog…

The last few weeks have been super busy for me, as I’ve spearheaded a little side project over at Monkeybizniz. For the Copenhagen Climate Conference this December, Friends of the Earth International asked us to create an animation for the Angry Mermaid Award, an initiative intended to expose lobbying practices in major corporations. It features a mermaid (the symbol of Copenhagen) fighting against environmental injustice.

The animation was completed in two weeks. It’s a little rough on the edges, but we were on a tight schedule. I was responsible for the storyboard, all character animation and final compositing. Most background elements were made by Dimme van der Hout, mermaid coloring was done by Erica Gasataya, and the music by Bart Delissen.

So far it has almost 20.000 views on Newgrounds, with an average rating of 3.96/5.00 after 1400+ votes and 70+ reviews, and won Daily second place on 11/21/2009.

Animashôn

Phew! After about 2 days of pretty much all-day animating, my animation is done!

This was a college assignment, we got a chunk of 12 seconds from a song (in this case Crystal Method РKeep Hope Alive) and we were free to animate whatever we wanted to it. So I made a guy free-running across rooftops. Admittedly not the ̩asiest thing to animate :), but it turned out surprisingly awesome!

All hand-animated with my tablet in Flash, NO tracing, only some reference from freerunning clips on Youtube.

Flash!

Thunder!

(if you didn’t get that reference you missed one of the best tv series ever)

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing some animation for a gwhile (koogwhip), and now that we have to for college I’ve been playing around with Flash a bit. I don’t want to resort to lame tweening, so I’ve been trying my hand at some rotoscoping with my tablet.

A quick 5-minute ‘scope of Laurence Fishburne in a hurry.

And this was a more detailed face test.

You think it’s easy to draw her sitting relatively still, but drawing the entire face exactly as you did the last frame for about 25 frames gets pretty tedious after a while.
You can see the source footage edges moving around a bit, there was some camera shake in it so I had to correct it. I could’ve done it with the motion stabilizer in After Effects, but I thought of that afterwards so I just did it by hand.

Speaking of AE, if you’re familiar with the program you’ll know it can interpolate between keyframes, sort of like Flash does with tweening. Apparently that is the secret behind Rotoshop, the animation program from the makers of A Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly. I really want that program! It makes animation much easier. But I can understand why they don’t sell it, because you can bet your ass there’ll be a bunch of cheap Scanner Darkly knockoffs.