Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Flash Frog Fling.

I tried to learn the Highland Fling once. I learned some steps, but I have the coordination of a tranquilized moose and couldn't do it.
It's easier to make flash characters dance. I used the same timing I used in the jump post. Before I tried this I'd always thought of dances as steps ("point,behind,front, behind etc..), when in fact the whole body is active.
The resulting dance is way too oversimplified to be a Highland Fling (the timing is different too), thus the new name.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


This started as a jumping exercise. My first step at animating the jumper came close- yet something was off. I checked my animation books to see what was wrong. The problem? I wasn't scrunching the character at the high point of the jump. I added the scrunch and the jumper was ready for action.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wave In

This began as an exercise based on page 233 of The Animator's Survival Kit, where it showed how to get a fluid look when animating jointed objects. The trick is something like cracking the joints like a whip, where the base (here, the upper arm) moves first, followed by its secondary parts. I suspect dancers use a similar trick to achieve fluid movement.
I gave the guy one "whip" arm and one stiff arm to highlight the difference.
Of course I had to get a little silly.

Friday, January 18, 2008

10000 Ways Not to Make a Bird Walk

I've animated birdlike characters before, but none walked with birdlike legs. Okay, real birds don't wear glitter shoes.
It drove me nuts trying to get it to cooperate. I closed dozens of botched jobs. It was ridiculous.
Thomas Edison kept me going. Supposedly, when asked about failure he boasted ,"Why, I haven't failed, I've discovered 10000 ways not to make a lightbulb!".
So each twitching, flopping or stroby bird that got deleted was one step closer to getting one that worked.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Silly Walks

The animation books insist that walk cycles are important, so I've been practicing. Mostly learning what not to do. I gave the first two characters strange walks on purpose. I was trying to see how goofy I could make them.

Monday, January 07, 2008

"I'm Tropical"

Here's my first attempt at talking. I started with something short and simple.
I lifted the voice from here (Lawrence, raised to a cartoony pitch.)
p.s. Thanks, Sally!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Crude Penguin Test

My first stab at a forward facing walk cycle. I used a different technique* (and a different reference for the walk cycle) and it only came out so-so. With a sideways walk cycle it's easier to see what's in the air and where the weight is falling. Next time I do a forward job I'll do a sideways version first, to get see what falls where.

*The technique, for those interested, was to use less body parts and more drawings, the latter being distorted for maximum use. This ended up mangling edges, dislocating joints, and making it hard to fine tune. Lesson learned: either break it up in pieces or draw the darn thing frame by frame.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Dolphin Walk

The shtick here was

1. A dolphin walking on his tail = funny,
2. Something so weird would be a good challenge.

I'd planned this to be more complex- more characters, and a better background, but I was running out of time. Maybe I'll recycle him in a future 'toon.