Friday, January 07, 2011

January "Finish Me!" Work and Susano

So before the weekend starts I'd like to kick off my first batch of resolutions - my "Finish Me!" three month series. I'm starting off nice and easy - a bit of animation I began a couple months ago and had pushed aside until now.

I'm in love with the Japanese film Wanpaku Ôji no Orochi Taiji (sometimes called The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon, read more here: and draw a lot of visual inspiration from it. It's fairly simple in terms of story, but the execution feels like a very nostalgic fantasy.

Trailers for the film, which was released in 1963 in Japan.

I started the ruffs in Flash, and had just started cleaning up the keys, but want to take it into Toon Boom and clean up the animation from there. I've been working in their Harmony software and am quickly becoming a fan of the program. For the background I've got a couple ideas to work out in After Effects, but we'll see about that later.

A model sheet from the film - I love the simple design of the characters, but they all still exhibit clean action lines and emotion.

So when I set about thinking of a small bit of animation I could start for practice - something that I didn't have to necessarily design from scratch and just focus on straight animation and compositing while sticking to a finished model - Susano, the main character from Little Prince popped into my head. He rides the most adorable little Pegasus, and the action directed for the horse is hilarious and fun, not strict and literal.

Unfortunately it's pretty difficult to find a good copy of the movie - it seems to be one of those films confined to a vault and only available on an obscure DVD copy or two (that's not in my region code, OF COURSE). The only copy I have is a recorded television broadcast, in a fairly obnoxious English dub, but, ah well what can ya do =\.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy New Year!

The start of anything new and fresh is always good mental inspiration for a lot of things. Change, repairs, and clean starts are present in a lot of personal resolutions, and are never short of present in creative fields. That's why I'm bucking up and solidifying goals for myself this year.

My animation has actually grown pretty stale, and I'm making quite a few adjustments alongside projects for artwork. A few things I'd like to post on this blog consist of a handful of monthly animation goals - not on new projects but on pieces I've actually begun and failed to finish as of yet. It's nice to start completely fresh on things, but very discerning to leave perfectly good beginnings to collect dust.

Each month I'll be working on short animation pieces - not necessarily complete shorts, just something to practice on for different reasons. January, February, and March will consist of three clips each that will have progress posts to share, while when April hits I'd like to post an announcement for a much larger project.

As terrible as I am with personal motivation, I hope that pushing myself to publicize these guys will give me a good incentive to keep up the work on them. Some things fall a bit short sometimes this way - I never really continued with my weekday morning drawing exercise that I started here - but trying to plan experiments like this help to see what's blocking progress, and I'd like to continue to correct these kind of shortcomings.

I'll be posting the first update on January's animation work later this week. It's already pretty far along so I can upload what's already done then.