Friday, January 26, 2007 moves!

just a little bit. i've been animating nearly every day since i got back to pratt. and i had promised that i'd be showing progress more often on here. until i get some more animation up, for now, here's a bit of a run i have the monster doing.

it's the progress of tests i've done so far on it. any critique would be wonderful, but i have been told several times about the problem of weight already and that'll be fixed in the next tests i'll show.

i'd also like to take this opportunity to share with everyone what my film is about, since i've realized i've been kinda vague to many (that kind happens i guess when you're so involved with something and know it so forget that others don't).

for our senior project as an animation student at pratt, we have to independently make our own film (though we actually had a pair of twins work on one together last semester). I started with a vague idea fall of 2005 when i needed to create characters for animation exercises in class, and the idea of two of them interacting with each other somehow budded from there.

i'm quite a sucker for monsters and large creatures (and dinosaurs), and wanted to use one i had recently designed for fun in the simplest story i could think of. i didn't want to bother with sweating over some complex story and just stick to having fun animating characters. so i turned my monster essentially in to a kleptomaniac, who ends up stealing a beloved teddy from a small child determined to retrieve it. i thought it would be very straightforward and i could achieve a plot with relative ease.

whoops - i was wrong. never take even the simplest story lightly.

i began thumbnailing the entire film over the summer last year. i was quite proud when i had all that complete for the first day of class and critique. i left that class quite exhausted.

i had so many kinks i had to work out. fine-tuning the characters so they made sense; helping the story flow and weeding out all the questionable struggles and random decisions made. it was a nightmare all last semester. i think i worked on my story more than i did animation.

after mulling over and meditating on everything over winter break, i came back to work really refreshed and re-set up key points in the story. but getting a story just right, even with a buttload of animation still to go (and consequently running out of time), makes me feel oh-so much better about the film and more confident about it's success. i can sit at my light table in peace for hours knowing i don't have to spend extra time afterwards and continue tweaking the story.

the premise and outline are basically the same from the original idea.

The Packrat

Gary, a little boy, has his precious teddy stolen from his backyard after dropping it by accident one day. A creature that inhabits the woods behind Gary's house swipes the teddy away deep into the forest. Stunned, Gary makes his way into the woods in search of teddy. Gary stumbles upon his abducted friend, but the monster as well. Frightened away, Gary is lost in the woods, still without teddy. The monster subsequently tries to rid Gary's disruptive presence and noise from his woods, but will they both get what they want?


Lee said...

rock the rock rock!

Piotr said...

wow jess this is beautiful! it reminds me of the creature from the "Bone" comics! Oh I wish I could draw like this. Fantastic work!

Nolanium said...

I love the character design for the Packrat. The animation is pretty smooth, but I feel that the gestures that you used for the keyframes were not exagerrated enough. There needs to be more of a downward arch on the spine when the feet hit the ground. The secondary motion of the tail needs to be amped up a bit as well. The legs look good, the motion works, but like you said, it just lacks a little bit of weight.
The key to a successful animation is having really exagerrated keyframes. It won't read as well on the screen if gestures you draw aren't turned up to 11.
Trust me, I had lots of trouble with this when I worked on my short in college.
Keep up the good work!

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