Saturday, March 24, 2007


I'd like to thank everyone who made it to Matt and my gallery! We had a great time and I hope everyone enjoyed our work. Here are some pictures that we took,

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Truth in animation

It has been almost two months since I began interning at July Films, and I am very grateful that I have this opportunity to learn more and more. It is not just about learning animation techniques from Mike, but what sort of artist I am and want to become, I am learning a lot from him. He doesn't force me to be any one way, he's very encouraging in getting me to develop my skills in a way that will bring my individuality into my art.

These few weeks have been a little bit busy, since my chemistry class started (awww...) and Matt and I are having a gallery opening this coming weekend... we are trying to put together, and trying to finish some more animation by then....hopefully, we are going to have some flip books on display...

The last few weeks, I have been working on one scene, which has been teaching me a lot about animation. At first, I realized how I have been watching a lot of cartoons and animation, but not many live action or photos. I was forgetting to observe life more, which is so important in animation. I realized observing life is so basic in animation. When we animate, we need to see if the animation is truth, real, and believable. Erick Larson once said that "How you do, what you do reflects who you are." Glen Keane mentioned that "it can be from photos, newspaper, look at life. Look what the face does." Dan Hofstedt said "Act it out! Discover what humans do in real life. Find out the truth about the moment" Many young animators and I still do a lot of overacting animation. I realized that the basic point to avoid overacting is to observe life, and not just make things up in my mind. I need to really listen the character's thinking and motivation.

I got permission to put up some scenes I have done at July film, so here are two different versions of my animation.

This was a scene, the boys were throwing the leaves, excited and celebrating. I had to think about what the leaf feels like, how excited they are, the energy they have... And this was straight ahead animation. At first, I animated all the characters, trying to think about delays of body, what is leading the action etc... and I showed them to Mike.

And he said it needs the breathing part in animation when they open the arms. I didn't get what the "breathing" meant at first. I experimented different ways to see how it looks. And one day, I was re-animating the middle boy, and it worked! Instead of making them stop in the end, it needed many slow in and slow out. But it was all depended on the action. When I tried the same thing to other boy, it didn't work. It looked too soft. So I had to try several different ways to make it look just right for each action. And here is what I have right now...

This is not finished yet. I still see the hair popping etc....but the experiment of animation for this scene was a great learning experience. I just had to be more careful with each action. What is the truth in the moment? It has to look believable. Now I have to animate all the leafs...the effects animation! I will post more when I learn about effects animation!

Reminder! Matt's and my gallery opens this weekend, Saturday 17th, at 6pm. I hope everyone can make it and enjoy our art and food!