I spent some time today drawing quick sketches using the Bodies in Motion site. The Muybridge images are especially good for quick studies, and after exploring a variety of sequences I settled on this one.
Katrina modelled at this special ‘animation’ life drawing session with short poses. Normally there are poses from 2 minutes up, but we had several 1 minute poses and (after I begged) some 30 second ones too.
We began with a sequence of 1 minute poses.
There were several longer poses dotted about through the session. The hand studies were drawn during a 15 minute pose, and the others were 10 minute poses.
It was fantastic to do some live 30 second drawings again. It’s such a good way to learn gesture and storytelling, and to train to speed up in longer poses.
Near the end of the session we had some more 1 minute poses. By this point I was able to get details down more quickly.
It was great to have more quick poses at life drawing. Hopefully this will become a regular thing, and, who knows, perhaps I’ll manage to convince everyone to do 10 second poses next time …
I’ve been busy with work and a family wedding, so it’s taken me a while to post anything new! Here’s a group of studies from one of Muybridge‘s wonderful sequences.
I led more high school-age animation workshops this year, expanding on the morphing workshop from last year. This time everyone who took part was in complete control of their own piece of animation between their character and the next person’s. Whether the character melts, explodes, shatters, or morphs, this was planned out in thumbnails before it was animated. I also asked those taking part to begin with simple shapes – this encouraged them to animate the movement before animating the details.
The results are fantastic!
Recently I’ve been working on an storyboard about a pigeon who finds the mother of all crumbs, but discovers eating it isn’t all that simple. Here’s the result!
Based on a true story …
Sound effects copyright BBC
Recently I animated a couple of elements for the new Skoog advert, which you can watch below.
I animated the girl’s moustache, plus several ‘flourishes’ throughout the video. I’ve added a couple of examples as gifs below.
Recently I taught some animation workshops for groups of mainly high school aged children and youth. This is the first time I’ve taught animation in any depth, though I ran one workshop on pixelation a few years ago. My main goal was to give a basic framework for people to think about animation in a different way, and teach skills that they can use themselves.
In the two and a half hour workshop everyone drew a character or object on a piece of animation paper. This became a key frame. I gave a very brief overview of key frames, breakdowns and in betweens and explained charts so each person could add a chart to their key frame. Using the chart, everyone then created breakdowns and in betweens to morph between their key frame and the next. For anyone who is unfamiliar with 2D animation, this blog post may help if you want to learn a bit more.
I ran two of these workshops, and you can see the results of both in the video above.
At the end of the workshop, I gave everyone paper and clips to make flip books. I left the direction of these completely open, and the results were varied and brilliant.
The final session I ran was a day and a half long specialism workshop, where I began by going much more in depth with the technical aspects of animation. I showed a few short animations as inspiration including The Illusion of Life, which is a brilliant little video summarising the 12 principles of animation in a clear way. As individuals and as a group they worked through a couple of exercises exploring timing and weight. I was impressed with the way people picked up on some of the principles from the video, thinking about squash and stretch and anticipation in particular.
After drawing thumbnails for their ideas, they began animating on paper. I encouraged everyone to key out their animation, using their thumbnails as poses. The group really thought about how many drawings they wanted between each key, and after the exercises they’d learnt a lot more about breakdowns and in betweens, especially the fact that they don’t have to be exactly halfway between one drawing and another.
Given that there was only one lightbox I pushed everyone to learn to flip the pages, and seeing people pick it up in only a couple of hours was incredible. Flipping the entire scene was also fantastic. I think there’s something really tactile and fun about animating on paper, and I’m glad I could share that.
The films that were created are far beyond anything I anticipated. Real thought went into the making of them, and everyone made an effort to put into practice principles they’d only just learnt. The end results are beautiful and funny. I’m thrilled to have been a part of it.
The story revolves around odd-couple animals at a therapist’s office. The scene below, featuring a bee, was worked on by several different people throughout the Base Camp.
I’d recommend looking at Erin’s version – she’s the one who came up with the bee/flower gag in the first place, and developed the bee’s wonderfully pathetic character.
The background of the alleyway was a sketch of Hajnalka Szanto’s beautiful design.
I designed, storyboarded and animated this video for trypraying. The trypraying booklet is a seven-day prayer guide which encourages people to try praying for a week and see what happens.
Some of my concept art for the project is below.
I began with some rough character sketches from the script. From the outset I wanted designs that were simple but attractive.
I also began to explore the background environments and colour design. For the background, I wanted to have a very flat, “false” perspective. I wanted to tie the colours to the trypraying booklet.
I created colour keys using the storyboard, finding a range that would work through each scene.
Once the storyboard and animatic were complete, and the colours approved, I made last-minute changes – like the policewoman’s new hat – and then began building the characters and backgrounds in Illustrator and Flash.
I drew some sketches of how the characters would need to be broken up for animation.The minister only needed to wave his hand, whereas the main character had to be able to turn, walk and move his arms. The main character’s trousers were simplified as a result.
Here are some of the final scenes in the video. I’m really pleased with how the colour and designs came out. This was a fun project to make!
And here’s a little extra: I added a caricature of myself sitting on the bus!
This is a walk cycle WIP from a short scene I’m animating. It’s the first time I’ve animated with the Mery rig (available from meryproject.com) and it’s been a lot of fun to use.
I’ve been going along to several events at the Edinburgh International Film Festival this week. As part of the EIFF’s Youth Hub events I took part in a filmmaking competition. Each entry had to be made in under a week, and include the dialogue “young and the wild” and the prop of a mobile phone. “Create” was my entry, drawn in about a day and a half. It won second place.
The narration was kindly provided by Philip Todd. You can see more of his work here: philip-todd.com
I’ve also added “Create” to my Shorts page.
I thought it was time for an update of my portfolio and showreel!
Here’s a peek: click on the image to view the full portfolio.
My latest animation showreel, featuring Maya and paper animation:
Music: “Dial Up” by Kris Oliver www.krisoliver.com
Paper Animation (Photoshop / ToonBoom): All character, background and colour design by myself.
Maya – Personal Project (1): Character (Morpheus) from here: www.joshburton.com/projects/morpheus.asp, chair prop provided by Aardman.
Maya – Personal Project (2): Horse rig by Tomasz Jurczyk and Carlos Contreras, from www.mothman-td.com/portfolio_items/horse_rig/
Maya – Aardman / NFTS: All characters and props provided by Aardman.
All sound effects from www.freesfx.co.uk
I cleaned up and inbetweened the deer over the last couple of weeks. At first the movement appeared very even, so I removed some of the inbetweens and rejigged some of the remaining drawings to get back to the feeling I wanted. Once I was happy, I coloured it, added a little more to the background, and had fun with sound effects from freeSFX.co.uk to create some atmosphere!
I returned to my deer animation today, changing quite a lot of the ending and adding more breakdowns and inbetweens. I’m planning to clean it up in Photoshop, something like the deer shown below: quite loose and free, hopefully keeping some of the rough nature of the original.Here’s one of my favourite breakdowns from today:
This idea I’ve had for a while, but today I had the chance to get all the keys and some of the breakdowns drawn. Lots of issues here still, so I look forward to working on it more.
This is a short animation I created while a Trainee Animator at Aardman. I wanted to push my animation and go for a more cartoony style. For reference I watched a lot of Tex Avery takes! However I still struggled to push the rig (even Morpheus) to get the same exaggeration as a drawn figure while keeping it looking good.
I’m glad I tried to replicate part of the Popeye test a few months ago, because what I learnt doing that (see here) was very helpful with this.
Here are some of my favourite frames: