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Character Rigging / Clutter Free Rig
« Last post by trodwe02 on April 24, 2015, 12:33:02 PM »
Hey guys,

I recently finished creating a 'mesh selection based rig'.

what does this mean? It means there aren't nurbs circles and controls everywhere, cluttering the character. You just click on the part of the body you want to move, and go for it. I have found using it so far is much quicker because when you go to pose eg an arm, you are thinking *i am moving this arm* but when you go to pose with a normal rig, you kind o think *i will move this box, which will move this arm*. Anyway, I had fun learning and researching how to make this rig. I got a good kickstart from this tutorial:

But it took some time to figure how to get the mesh to be oriented to the joints, and still match with them. As well as parenting them into the hierarchy and avoiding double and even triple transformation.
Animate (Flash) / Flash Tutorials From Great YouTubers and Other Awesome Sources
« Last post by Thalia on April 23, 2015, 01:20:55 PM »

I just wanted to make a post here about some really great animation/flash tutorials I've found in the wonderful world of YouTube.

Now I know at the moment we are leaning more towards using ToonBoom and our main medium but I still think that flash is a simple yet power tool to have in your skill set.

 - Draw with Jazza:

Jazza is an Australian animator and artist and his tutorials are great for everything from basics to specific areas like animating fire and transformations.

 - Harry Partridge's 'Happy Harry's HuHa 2 How-Tos!':

Harry Partridge is an incredibly good 2D animator and he teamed up with HuHa 2! to create a these tutorials. These will give you the knowledge to create a 2D animation from scratch in flash.

 - And as always, Digital Tutors is a fantastic place for all your how to needs: 

These are the best ones that I can think of at the moment, but if you find great flash or even just 2D animation tutorials from YouTubers or any other good resources around the internet please share it here!

P.S. For those of you who enjoy "DovahBear" ( ) here is the animator of the short series on how he animates!
Animation / Re: 3D animation research & notes
« Last post by trodwe02 on April 18, 2015, 11:54:42 AM »
Hey guys,

Here's some more very useful information that originally posted on my own thread.

I have always had a love/hate thing with animation where sometimes i will get it, and other times i just dont understand whats going on. The reason that was happening is because i was trying to just do it my own way, and that was incredibly stupid of me. I think a lot of us try to figure things out our own way without learning the basics and using the resources around us. Anyway, now that i've been looking into things a bit more and experimenting (with guidance), i think i'm starting to understand how to break down an animation shot. I watched a great short tutorial series:

Here's an image from the tutorial that i replicated (because it was so informative)

-The black line is the stepped tangents. 3 poses
-The red line is the next stage, where we convert our stepped tangent to linear curves. We copy the key poses and paste them just before the next pose.
-The blue line shoes the smoothed curves, where we apply auto or spline tangents, and adjust some positions to fit.

I really liked this diagram, because you think of animation as formula. Obviously there's a lot of creative control and decision making to do, but when you start with this basic formula, it is much easier to approach.

To sum that up, it's basically
-Block in stepped
-Convert to linear and copy poses
-Smooth and adjust (to your liking)

-*the final stage involves adding all the character or 'texture' to you animation. You can add little wobbles and noise and all kinds of things eg. a couch or head not, or more blinks. As long as the final curve, with all its extra keys here and there, follows the flow of your original smoothed curve, it will work out.

Here's an image showing that final layer of finessing to your curve

Just to be clear, this isnt my material. I did draw the images, but only to cement it into my mind a bit more.

Here's the animation i did whilst following along with the tutorial.

It's not great, but it has decent timing and spacing, which is one of our main issues. I didn't go into the 4th stage of really finessing, because i'm no where near that level yet.

Here's my notes from the tutorial about some of pitfalls of working in stepped and a few other things:

pitsfalls of working in stepped animation

-potentional large rotation values that cannot be seen until curves are splines.
The computers only shows one pose to the next, so the interpolation could be anything.
(tip to avoid this - everynow now and then, convert your curves to linear to check them, and then back to stepped,
when you've finished)

-you must key all curves on the rig that have been animated prior, otherwise they will not be blocked
together. This can give very weird results. eg. say you had two poses of the whole rig, and you wanted
to add an inbetween only to the head. You might make your adjustment to the head and then think everything is good to go.
This isnt the case, because the rest of the controls will only know to be in the first position and last. You need to key them all
at the inetween pose, even if you didnt move them.
(tip to help with this - every now and then, select the entire character and go through your keyframe poses, and key everything.)

-you want to add some detail to your blocking, you do this and now you have a lot of messy keyframes.
Your options are to key the entire controls on all these keys or to leave them how they are.
The real solution is to not go into this detail in the blocking stage. Save it for later when things are smoothed.

When converting keyframes to splines, we notice everything seems a lot slower. We actually have to move our keyposes around for them fit
where we thought they did with our original blocking. The smoothing process makes it neceasssry to change our key poses slightly. This is known
as the timing cheat when working when stepped-smoothed.

when we create our blocking, we have blocky curves that look like steps. We first convert these to linear, and now we are going to need double the keys.
we create a key on either side of where our original blocking key was. (see image#1)
Then we convert these to spline curves and smooth them out.
The final stage is to add in whatever you feel is necessary, but as long as the overall flow of the curve is kept, it will work.

With the first stage (converting to linear), we copy the key poses just before the next one starts. This is why the linear curve in the image looks flat.

I hope you guys found this as informative and interesting as i did!
Animation / 3D animation research & notes
« Last post by trodwe02 on April 18, 2015, 11:51:09 AM »
Hey guys,

I made this thread to share any information, research, tips and tricks I find on 3D animation, as I am very interested in getting better and practicing my skills.

I am currently watching this tutorial on

Here's some notes/info i made from the tutorial:

Cartoony Animation

-Carcicatured style of design and movement
-Even more exaggeration than typical animation in posing
-Even more exaggeration than typical animation in timing
-Ending actions in 'overshoots' as opposed to 'slowing in'
-Extreme 'slow-ins' and 'slow-outs' between poses


-warner bros' looney tunes
-broad humor - slapstick
-Tex avery

Key elements

-Exaggeration in poses
-Exaggeration in timing
-Occasional distoration in features or body (when necessary)

Planning and Reference

-Always use refeence to get timing ad movement on point
-Helps to create nature motions
-Can act out reference, knowing where to the huge exaggerations will occur later (as your body sometimes does not push to the extremes of your character)
-Reference from other sources of actions
-Reference from other examples of style and genre

Ask yourself: what will our scene be?

Creating Reference

-record video reference from 2 or more angles if possible
-Create thumbnail drawings of where pose exaggerations will occur

Undo-ing camera moves
- square brackets ([) key to go back a move
- alt+Z to go back a camera move
- camera attributes -> movement options -> tick 'undoable actions', this adds the cameras movement to history

Feel free to add anything you find useful to this thread :)

For Sale / Re: Books for Sale
« Last post by Max on March 07, 2015, 01:18:18 AM »

Pen me down for these bad boys, I might enquire about getting some of the pricey-er ones I'm interested in next payday if they haven't been snatched up by that stage. 

   Draw Manga Six books in One ($5)
   Sketch, Draw & Paint Portraits. Jean-Pierre Lamerand, 2007 ($5)
For Sale / Re: Books for Sale
« Last post by AliceP on March 06, 2015, 07:18:12 PM »
They sure are! Ill bring them in for you next week   ;D
For Sale / Re: Books for Sale
« Last post by Pamz0r on March 06, 2015, 06:13:11 PM »
Hey Alice!
don't suppose these ones are still up for grabs?

  • Jim Henson: The Works - The Art, the Magic, the Imagination. Christopher Finch, 1993 ($20) yet?
  • The Pixar Treasures. Tim Hauser, 2010($25)

Thankss!!!  :)
For Sale / Books for Sale
« Last post by AliceP on March 04, 2015, 04:03:17 PM »
I'm selling some books on behalf of a friend. Some are textbooks, others are animation related books. Comment if interested and we can arrange payment and pick up.  :D

   The Animator's Survival Kit. Richard Williams, 2002 ($35)
   Stop Staring: Facial Modeling and Animation Done Right. Jason Osipa, 2010 ($25)
   The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expression. Gary Faigin, 2008 ($15) 
   The Art of Howl's Moving Castle. Hayao Miyazaki, 2005 ($20)
   Body Language: Advanced 3D Character Rigging. Eric Allen, Kelly L. Murdock, 2008 ($20)
   The Art and Science of Digital Compositing, Second Edition. Ron Brinkmann, 2008 ($40)
   Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. Marita Sturken, 2009 ($40)
   The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap. Stu Maschwitz, 2007 ($20)
   New Media in Art. Michael Rush, 2005 ($15)
   Jim Henson: The Works - The Art, the Magic, the Imagination. Christopher Finch, 1993 ($20)
   How to Cheat in After Effects. Chad Perkins, 2013 ($25)
   Maya Studio Projects: Dynamics. Todd Palamar, 2009 ($20)
   Pro Tools 101 Official Courseware, Version 7.4. Digidesign 2007 ($10)
   The Art of Pixar: 25th Anniv.: The Complete Color Scripts and Select Art from 25 Years of Animation. Amid Amidi 2011 ($35)
   The Pixar Treasures. Tim Hauser, 2010 ($25)
   Draw Manga Six books in One ($5)
   Sketch, Draw & Paint Portraits. Jean-Pierre Lamerand, 2007 ($5)

CSU General / Re: Drawing Club!
« Last post by Pamz0r on August 07, 2014, 03:24:01 PM »
Drawing Club is back on again this week!
Same time, same place! Hope to see you then!!
CSU General / Drawing Club!
« Last post by Pamz0r on July 23, 2014, 01:42:05 PM »
Good news :)
Starting from this week, Tony Curran and I will be holding a free* drawing club for students and/or anyone who would like to be involved.
It's going to be a low key event, where CSU students are invited to bring along their drawing supplies and participate.
All disciplines, schools and skill levels welcome!

*We will be asking for a gold coin donation for those who would like to use the art supplies that Tony and myself will be providing.(to go towards buying more supplies in the following weeks)

When: Every Thursday at 6pm
This week we will be based in Room 217 (the corner "drawing" room, next to the courtyard).
We may be moving to another room, but I'll let everyone know prior to moving...
There is also a facebook event; if you're interested could you please RSVP so that we know how many people to expect.
Hope to see you there!
 :) ;D :D :)
All the best,

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