We moved on from flash onto 3D animation using Maya, i hadn’t used Maya before so everything we learned was new to me. We started off buy going over the process of creating shapes, rotating them, scaling them and changing their position. To review what we learned we each built towers using these shape, i didn’t find this too difficult but that short cuts that we learned for Maya will probably be forgotten by me until i use the program more often.
Maya also has an option to view the scene at different angles, being someone who uses flash and 2D animation this was a new thing to me. The different angles helped me to properly align shapes together and was very useful, something i’ll definitely be using in the future.
After creating the tower we moved onto animation using Maya, it had some similar tools to flash such as keyframes and ghosting, which is similar to the onion skin tool. Maya is a little different though as you set the keyframes and it fills in the rest for you between those two frames which you can then tweak later. I thought this would be great and easier when i first heard about it but tweaking it was a lot harder than i though and will take practice, the place where you edit the frames Maya puts in looks like a timeline, and you edit the X axis, Y axis of the stretch, rotation etc. until you get a motion you’re happy with.
In the lab we talked about loglines, similar to how newspaper article headlines are they have a subject which is usually a person/people or an object and they have some sort of conflict or event. The loglines are short and give a very brief overview of what happened, because of this the logline can be very vague and triggers many different scenarios in your mind until you read a more in depth story about it.
We split into groups and started creating our own, due a mistake i made i was creating loglines without knowing that they would be the subject of our animations. because of this the creativity of my loglines were limited compared to the others in the group.
We shared our 3 best loglines our group had and pitched then to another group to gain feedback on them and develop our ideas further. it was interesting to hear the other groups’ ideas and how they overcame some obstacle such as people having different art styles or methods of animating.
We reviewed the first principle of animation, squash and stretch. For example how a bouncing ball changes shape throughout its journey, becoming more stretched out as it moves faster. The change, or lack of change in an objects shape can help show the audience what type of material the object of interest is made of or just help them understand it better overall. Squash and stretch seems important to me as it is key in showing expression on a face for example to communicate the emotions the character is feeling. Also on objects use of no squashing or stretching shows the object to be quite solid whereas using squash and stretching can make it become more like rubber.
The practical session consisted of us turning our flip book into a digital animation, i was already familiar with flash but i hadn’t used it properly in a couple of months so it was a good review for me.
The lecture consisted of going over the physics used in animation, i already know a bit about physics but probably no where near enough to take me through the course. To be honest, even though i knew physics are necessary in most animations, i didn’t expect to be learning about it in class.
I was made aware that there are 12 principles of animation which i expected to start learning in the next class, if not in my own time. And we also went over a few of newtons laws.
The practical session was very entertaining for me, we went back to basics with learning about the bouncing ball. How it is fastest on its descent and sometime just right after it hit the floor, and the slowest point being when the ball is at its highest point. After reviewing that i made a flip-book animation using a stack of Post-It notes, i was a bit unsure about it as I’m used to using Adobe Flash and rely a lot on its Onion Skin feature which shows your where the last frame was positioned however, i realized that i could just about see the pencil marks of the last Post-It note through the paper so it worked out.
A problem i faced was the ball shrinking in size by the time it got to the end of the flip book, meaning i had to go back and redraw them.
In the class i was shown examples of already existing stop motion shorts that people have made and in terms of animation i don’t like stop motion very much, i prefer working using the computer and software to create something that looks more fluid and make easier transitions, one thing i did learn is that animated films follow the rule of using 24 frames/pictures per second. Our class was given the task of making a stop motion short and we split into groups which we then chose a theme for another group to base their stop motion short on, my group was given the theme Titanic. A hard one for me to think of ideas for.
Though we had a slow start we did create something using our theme, our group traveled off campus down to the discovery center where there was plenty of water to include in our short and used distance effectively by having someone stand far away and then moved a paper boat close to the camera to make it appear as if that person was on the boat. We had fun making it even though our final outcome probably isn’t as good as it could have been but we worked hard on it, we’ll get better as we learn more about animation through the coming term.