Monthly Archives: December 2012

Ink n Paint Tests

testing ink n paint for the line work elements, struggling to find a decent technique for producing a line that looks like pencil, but stumbled across this technique, which gives quite a nice watercolour/brush pen look to the line. it is done by adding a smoke map to the lines in the ink n paint material. little tutorial on ink n paint by autodesk here.




Astronaut Character

brushpen_astroAstro shadow

quite liking this character at the moment and i like how it was looking in 3D as well, when i modelled it over summer.

3D Astro


Creating a ‘Moment’

In chapter two of Hybrid Animation, O’Hailey talks about creating a ‘moment’. a ‘moment’ is a combination of a style frame and research and development. it is a further progression on from concept art, to give you/studio a clear of image of what the final piece will look like as it is a piece produced with the final ‘pipeline’ rather than a pretty drawing from the concept phase. producing a ‘moment’ is made up of two parts the first part is the;

Style Frame; a style frame is an image created that depicts a certain part of the animation usually a scene with high emotion. The image, often a panel from the storyboard, is drawn giving what the final outcome is needed to look like.

The second stage is;

Production Techniques/Pipeline Tests; this is where you begin to find the best technique and or combination of 2D/3D to get the best final outcome that looks closest to the style frame. here is the time to experiment as much as possible with different tests.

O’Hailey says the reason for picking an emotional moment is because;

1. “creates a strong visual glossary”

2. “it creates great images for you to use” for promotional purposes etc.

in a studio creating a ‘moment’ is useful because in the storyboard phase everyone may agree on the scene to look “painterly and sad” but every person will have a slightly different interpretation of what “painterly and sad” means.

here is the example of the progression from storyboard to the final outcome they give in the book;

'moment' eg

Line Mileage!

Ok, so I’ve decided to scrap the idea of using toon boom to trace over my characters. I decided to not trace over the character whilst I was making this;

Tracing each frame seemed too daunting a task especially when I started thinking about when I move to longer pieces of animation. after deciding this I didn’t really know what to do next so I started reading Hybrid Animation, in it O’Hailey was talking about when she was a student and another student was pitching their animation to the rest of the class and she wanted to have sand in the animation, and the professor said mid pitch ‘we cant do sand’, to which the student then stood there for a minute and went and sat back down, and O’Hailey writes; “Sometimes it is the ‘we can’t do’ situations that spawn greater ideas. instead of ‘we cant do’ you can ask, ‘how could we achieve the same look?”. this got me thinking and the reason I wanted to trace the characters was to have the movement of line you get from 2D animation in my character. then I started thinking about ways I could go about this in a different way to get line movement into the character, I know I can achieve it with assets in the scene using after effects but need to get it into the character, I then remembered a little test I did during my BA, using movie clip as textures on the 3D model. this is the test I did with moving textures;

I don’t think that the model or textures are that great but I think it’s a good starting point to start looking into more.

What I’m liking about Hybrid Animation is that it really encourages testing as many different ‘pipelines’ of combining both 2D and 3D as possible even if they lead to dead ends, because at some point you might learn something new that will help you to re light that technique etc.

Another piece I started thinking about for getting around tracing each frame was my final piece for second year where I tried using ink n paint textures to give an outline to the objects, which could solve my problem completely and I feel more comfortable with the software to start testing ink n paint and seeing if there is a way of adding movement to the line or manipulating the line in post production. here is one of the first ink n paint tests I rendered 2nd year;

I think overall I was a bit narrow minded and set on doing 3D characters and tracing them but now I’ve come to my senses a bit more.

Hybrid Animation by Tina O’Hailey

So I’ve started reading Hybrid Animation: Integrating 2D and 3D assets. So far so good, I’ve read the first two chapters and so its been discussing the decisions of when to use 2D/3D and what questions to ask yourself to help you decide. In the book the decision is broken into 5 sections to help make your decision on what should be 2D and what 3D. I think the first three are really useful personally to what I’m trying to achieve and the other two seem to lean more towards a studio and decisions that would affect your choices. The 5 sections are;

-Visual Target / Not subject matter; this is basically the decision of what to use to get the best outcome for the visual style you want for the final animation. This section is summed up with the statement of, “this question will be answered with a strong art direction and experimenting during preproduction.”

-Line Mileage; this is how much drawing your going to have to do for the 2D assets of the animation and how can you approach character designs and assets, for example if your 2D character was wearing a patterned shirt, you would be having to draw more lines every frame to get the pattern on the shirt over having the character in a plain shirt. the example given is for Lilo and Stitch, when they moved from the programme to the feature, “the T-shirt for the character Nani had a coffee cup design on the front. The design was simplified to a heart in to lower the line mileage.”

-Complexity; this is where it is too difficult or long-winded to draw assets rather than just using 3D. the examples in the book are; the carpet from Disney’s Aladdin, having a detailed pattern on it meant it was too difficult to emulate when the carpet started to move and bend at different perspectives so it was easier to use a 3D software for it.

the next two sections are more for studios.

-Team Skills vs. Production Schedule; if the studio wants a 2D piece but the staff aren’t well trained in 2D animation, there may not be time to train the staff and it would be easier to produce it in 3D or vice versa.

-Physical assets and Budget; again for a studio, they have to take into account material costs, so if they want to produce a 2D production they have to think about light boxes, paper etc. and if the studio wanted 3D, they have to take into computers, 3d software’s etc.

The second section of the book talks about the issues of combining the two mediums. again this is broken into 5 sections;

-Style Matching; having the 3D blend well with the 2D

-Registration; when the 3D and the 2D interact with each other.

-Frame rate and image format; an obvious one really, of making sure if you’ve animated in 3D at 24fps, make the 2D 24fps as well.


-Image sizes; making sure the resolution and more importantly the ratio is the same.

One section in the first two chapters was titled ‘Judging the Success of 2D/3D integration, in the section it talks about how whatever part of the pipeline the member of production is they feel that, “it is successful if our work is invisible.” Which personally I don’t think is the case for what I’m trying to achieve, for my outcomes I don’t necessarily want an obvious difference between the 2D and 3D but I want there to be a bit of distinction.




Symbols Redo

On Thursday’s tutorial it came up that the symbols weren’t integrated in the scene enough, and I have you agree, I think there is a couple of reasons, the first is the lines were too thick and pure white so they stood out too much from the rest of the scene, with everything being quite dark, I think this is also down to using toon boom, having quite bold vectorised line but not completely because I could have made the size of the brush smaller in toon boom.

So for the re-do I have used after effects, because there was no real reason to waste time and effort moving it into toon boom just for the symbols. The other reason for keeping it in after effects meant I could make the symbols in Photoshop and repeat them to give movement to them. Using Photoshop gives me the option to use the same brush I’d used for drawing the glass jar so this has tied in the symbols already, rather than thick white lines. Having it in after effects also meant I could turn down the opacity of the symbols to blend more into the scene like I’d done with the glass jar. Also with the symbols I was able to move the position of the layer to be behind the glass jar layer to make it look like the symbols are appearing in the jar with the skull.


Blob Gif

Blob Gif

Skull Gif


Through the Mist

This is a quick I did from a drawing I did for a test when I’ve made my character in Maya. it’s basically a storyboard for it but seeing as he doesn’t really move or anything really happens I thought I would do it this way.

Brush Pen

Found my brush pen at home so did a little doodle.

brush pen doodle original

brush pen doodle