Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Princess and the Frog - opening 6 minutes

Below is a new clip of Disney's newest traditional film
'Princess and the Frog'.
The directors John Musker and Ron Clements ,
who I had the pleasure of working for on
their movie 'hercules', opens the clip
with some words regarding the movie.
As they note, this is the opening 6 minutes of the film,
some in colour, some in pencil test form.
Here it is posted from YouTube:

Came across this collection of rough traditional animation for
Disney's next feature 'Princess and the Frog' on Youtube.
Thought I'd post it for people to see.
It's nice seeing this art-form again. Instead of all those shiny textures ;-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

FLASH - my 1st animated scene using FLASH

Here is my 1st scene I animated using the program FLASH.
It's still not completely finished but here it is.
It was while I was at Renegade animation studio in Glendale California working with Darrell Van Citters and crew.

This scene was for their animated series called 'The Mr Men Show'.
This show is wildly popular in England and is being shown at various times in America on the Cartoon Network.
In this scene, I have MR Grumpy settling into his chair as he starts to watch his television. I had to have a bird fly into the scene { as we see though the opened window } and land on the branch. I decided to have fun and make it look UPA-ish ... having the bird just rotate in a complete circle before he lands.
The one thing with shows that have limited time to create the work.... as long as you are making it look good, it's pretty open for ideas.
I really liked the change in look, as an animator. It flooded my thoughts with ideas for animated shorts that i could now do working with FLASH. Maybe quick little moments of just fun animation.
It really was interesting having the scene, once I was done with it, be pretty much what the audience will see on TV. I was really finishing the entire shot. Note that there was a ton of work done by other artists creating all the libraries of 'symbols' or layouts, characters, props etc. that were completed BEFORE I started animating.
But once I was done animating and the scene was approved by the director, it was finished. Only to be edited into the reel.

It really felt like I was making a real CARTOON. Very simple shapes, going into and out of poses...holding the pose, hitting accents with little actions within the main body holds. It wasn't 'FULL' animation as we do at Dreamworks/Disney etc ... but it was using the same principals to make the animation look natural and 'real' even though it was a limited project.

Really thinking out the action, blocking out the main holds and any accents to create the scene. Using such graphic shapes and colours to animate with, in a limited style yet hopefully entertaining way. And I found this to be a shot in the arm creatively, putting fun back into the job. I was really making a silly cartoon.

And having my kids laugh at how 'dumb' the bird looks was only an added bonus :-)

This scene, being my 1st FLASH scene, was at the beginning of my 'learning curve' of learning the program. Knowing the 3D animation program ' MAYA ' and also animating at Dreamworks with their own 3D program ' EMO ' { emotion } , I had a good start with learning another software.

I find each program to be somewhat similar in style, each having their own ' hotkeys ' to creating a ' KEY ' for a certain item { body part or 'symbol' }.

Each program has it's own version of a ' Graph Editor ', where you can adjust the speed of going into or out of main ' KEY ' poses.

BUT, with Flash, that I found to be unique from the other programs was it's way of how it organizes it's different layers of items. With MAYA, EMO etc.... each numbered and keyed body part was numbered and connected to the 'time frame', meaning a 'KEY' on frame 14 WAS meaning that on frame 14, that 'key' body part was 14 frames into the scene. The numbering related to the timeframe.

In FLASH, the 1st level known as the STAGE was also in relation to the timeframe.... BUT once you 'click' into a characters body, the numbering of the different body 'keys' { or as the say in FLASH, 'symbols' } the numbering becomes it's own having NOTHING to do with the scenes 'timeframe' used on the STAGE level.

I know this may sound somewhat confusing, BUT I found that once you simplify the way to look at how FLASH is organized, it is easier than it looks.
It just takes a clear mind to wrap yourself into how it it organized, how it is set up.

Once you start understanding the set up, you'll be moving around the program quite easily.