Cristin McKee - Musings of a Character Animator
Character Animator, Animation Mentor Graduate
Monday, November 26, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Week 108 - Strength
Guess what??! I got an A! Yeah, yeah, it's not about the grade. Believe me, I know that. But I feel like I made a real breakthrough. I worked EXTREMELY hard on that squirrel animation and reached a point at which I was trying to nail every detail. This is something that I get trained out of doing at work so it's really hard to focus and get there with AM. Doug liked that I studied a lot of squirrel reference and felt that I had done well in capturing some squirrel mannerisms. He also had some interesting critique that I'll try to apply Friday or Saturday in a revision if I have time.
I'm doing everything I can to take care of my wrists. I replaced my work desk AND keyboard (Kinesis is my hero!), I'm icing a few times a day, constantly on ibuprofen, wearing all sorts of wrist sleeves, using a rest break program (break minder). Though I did discover that the much vaunted carpal tunnel remedy of wearing wrist braces is just plain HORRIBLE for me. So I guess I probably don't have carpal tunnel. At least I figured that one out and stopped doing further damage. I'm ever so slowly getting better. It could be faster, but then again it could be getting worse and it's not!
This is a really stressful week for me. I have a big Friday deadline at work for, unfortunately, a British company. What's Thanksgiving, eh? I have two AM asssignments, and of course Thanksgiving. That really isn't THAT much but it's enough to have me wanting to chew my nails.
Anyway, he's my strength pose for this week as it currently stands. I kind of rushed this so I'm a little unsure if the bottom right guy looks like he's in a "strength pose" vs actually looking like he's pulling on something, if you know what I mean. The top left guy may be a little too cheesy. I might do another one with him actually pulling really hard in the opposite direction.
While I'm posting poses, here's one I missed from way back in week 3: EXCITEMENT. Doug Wasn't super thrilled with it. I like to think he just hates girly poses though cause they don't feel natural to him. ;) But, no, he's probably right. The hands are too jumbled. They should probably be reaching or something. I can't remember what he said about the legs. I'll have to rewatch the critique at some point to do a revision. This earned a C, btw, as did the sketches.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Tailor ze Squirrel (week 7!)
(posting this a few days after writing due to video issues)
Wow, time sure does fly. We're starting week 8 today! I'm gonna keep my typing to a minimum here cause, uh oh, guess what? wrist pain!!! Aieee! That's no good.
I'm really happy with the direction of my last assignment. I tried very hard to make very squirrel-like acting and motion on tailor, a character consisting of a ball with a tail.
The initial goal was to have two squirrels. One is tentatively hopping and pausing and twitching as squirrels do. The other comes barreling in, startles the other one, obliviously continues and spins around and jumps up to a ridge where it tumbles out of view.
Unfortunately... wrist pain. Yeah. So I did the tail on the first little guy. And it was really really hard. I had to do it frame by frame to really get the right result out of the tail. Trying to get a nice subtle wave action through the tail while still keeping the tail looking light and squirrelly. It's taking little hopes so I couldn't paint broad strokes with the keyframes. Naw, it's all painstaking and tiny. But I worked really hard and I think it's really close. Not perfect, but a nice move in the right direction, where I'm focusing harder on doing my best work.
I also ran an arc tracker on the whole thing and really carefully tweaked those paths of action.
Hopefully I can do the second tail before the end of term!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Sorry about the lack of updates on the Animation Mentor front. I've obviously been busy. Doug has been kicking my ass and I think I'm finally living up to the challenge. Here's my latest and greatest... DEVASTATION
I'm a little unsure about that arm, it sort of weakens the strong emotion even if it improves the silhouette... but two mentors have stopped by and given me super positive critiques so I'll wait and see what Doug says. From the looks of my classroom page, he's actually doing the critiques right now.
Excitingly, I got a response from Bobby Beck. I messaged him a few days ago bubbling with enthusiasm for the site and letting him know that my work is allready improving at the studio, and that seemed to really make him happy. So much so that he went and critiqued my pose and really liked it! It's such a relief to hear after my last two poses.
Anyway, here are the sketches and my bouncing ball assignment: