28 January 2017

The Inmates have Taken Over the Prison

Just a quick note to say I have taken over The Celluloid Slammer film blog site. I have been writing for it for many years at the request of Donna Lethal and since for almost two years I have been the only one writing for it, she was kind enough to hand it over to me. I am joined by Mike Luce who does a video series called The Movie Wrench where he fixes the mistakes in films under the character Hipster J. Douchebag.  I have asked several others to become contributors but no one else has stepped up so far. So if you are interested and have something to say about film and video... contact me!

20 January 2017

cast of characters

I just finished the initial set of characters for use in my science animations for Dr, Christopher Labos at Mouton no More. I have a workflow now that keeps getting faster and working from one générique model is definitely the only way I can get this done, but it seems to work well enough.

All of the characters can be posed and have basic face and hand expressions that are easily added to as needed. The rigging is very basic but works so far. Odd things always crop up when you actual get into the work.

My goal for years was to have a stable of actors, so to speak, to work with so I'm no reinventing the wheel every project and can concentrate less on my weakest point (modelling people) and get faster into my strongest point, the animation itself.

I seem to be on the way to that now.

04 January 2017

Getting a head start on 2017

I occasionally make animations for Dr. Christopher Labos and the group Mouton No More. They started with the idea I would get illustrations of the characters and animated them simply in the software "Motion by Apple but the illustrators stopped illustrating and I was left with the task of making the main character seem more alive by a sort of cut-out form of animation - replacing his arms with arms in different positions and replacing his face with different expressions. This can only take you so far so I took it upon myself to make a 3D version of him and soon a small cast of characters that I can simply pose and render out. I think this will look better in the end and since I can't really draw cartoons, it lets us have a little more freedom with the characters. Not sure if there will be any full animation sequences yet. We'll see how it goes. We are not producing a short at present so I can afford to play around a little.
As you can see (above), the original look wasn't very complicated and very appealing. The new version was taken from a bought model (by cartoon studio on Turbosquid.com)(below) that looked enough like the 2D version I felt confident that he could be modified to look more like the drawing.

I think I succeeded (see below) and can use the model I bought as a base to make the rest of the characters. He isn't perfect and isn't feature film ready, but he'll do fine in the 90 second science shorts, hopefully!

I have new character ready for rigging already. It amazing how far you can go with a simple base model to work from. I would love to develop the skills to model everything from scratch but that particular talent is evading me at the moment.

And below is one of the earlier films in case anyone is interested.