Archive for October, 2013

Story or entertainment?

Posted by Wayne

October 6, 2013 | 4 comments | Tags:

Does anyone care if a story is told in a film?
Is entertainment enough?
Should film makers respect their audience?

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Einstein’s Dreams

Posted by Wayne

October 5, 2013 | 0 comment | Tags:

Inspriation from a book titled ‘Einstein’s Dreams’ by Alan Lightman.

He speaks of people hiding in the shadows of different time, trying not change the future and hoping to return to the right time.

 

Einstein's Dream

Einstein’s Dream

 

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The Lemon Drop Monster

Posted by Wayne

October 5, 2013 | 0 comment | Tags:

It’s finally through formatting approval at Apple iTunes and available.

The Lemon Drop Monster

The Lemon Drop Monster

THE LEMON DROP MONSTER

Soon I will have a new website and a section called ‘ANIMATION THOTS’, with notes, sketches, example planning, animation and ramblings.

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The Lemon Drop Monster

Posted by Wayne

October 5, 2013 | 0 comment | Tags:

Early Monster Design

An early design for The Lemon Drop Monster – a tad too creepy for kids.

The Lemon Drop Monster children’s picture book was created with iBooks Author and is waiting final formatting approval from Apple. Good news for iBook Author users, people will be able to read your work on iMac desktop and laptop computers.

Lauren-LDM-smallClick on picture for a link to the news from Apple.

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The Lemon Drop Monster

Posted by Wayne

October 5, 2013 | 0 comment | Tags:

Monsters don’t like it when you sneak up on them, even at Halloween.

The Lemon Drop Monster, a children’s picture book will soon be available through iTunes as an iBook. I’ve been working with iBooks Author because of the easy formatting and submission to iTunes (well, submitting could be easier). I’d love some contacts or guidance for converting to other OS such as android for this book and the Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation iBook.

Book-pic5-2bsmall

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Writing Novels, Screenplays, for Animation Posts, Drawing, Animating, Family, Family Comes First, oh yeah – Work

Posted by Wayne

October 5, 2013 | 0 comment | Tags:

Focusing on one thing at a time is not what today’s world preaches. Multitasking, that’s the ticket. Well I can’t, never could, don’t want to and according to science – it’s not possible. Therefore it has taken me a very long time to finish a number of projects that I have been working on one-thing-at-a-time, in small pieces.

Bobby Beck (of the famed Animation Mentor online school) and I have been talking about converting my Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation book to an ebook or app. Not so simple. It has to be bigger, more information about animation principles, and sample animation for blocking in a shot from detailed planning, new drawings for action analysis. Easy, I can do that, I can focus on that, for…a few minutes. No, it is underway. Some demo animation is done and new drawings completed, even some philosophical ramblings about animating force.

I just finished the cover for my first novel.

There has been some interest shown in my supernatural thriller screenplay ‘Torso’. Actors and producers are kind of tingly about it and I’ve been advised to toss it at CFC (Canadian Film Center) in their development program.

I’ve been scribbling designs for a children’s book that I wrote last year titled ‘Monster Following Me’. I’ve probably missed this year’s Halloween market so I’ll shoot for Easter 2013, we need a good monster book for Easter.

The novel is an action adventure for young readers and written with animated feature film in mind. It will resonate with all ages. ‘Resonate’ – I don’t like that word but it’s the catch word with those in the know. ‘Tooza, in Betweenland’ is finished and will be released as an ebook within weeks. I’ve chosen to go the self published ebook route after endless amounts of research and advice, legal advice. The story of Tooza started many years back and has certainly evolved – lessons learned. Some pretty cool lessons that I’ll write about when my to-do list gets shorter.

I’ll post the logline, elevator/twitter pitch along with a synopsis next week.

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Weight in Animation

Posted by Wayne

October 5, 2013 | 1 comment | Tags:

Weight is described through the visual presentation of opposing forces. That’s it. Stop here or continue reading for accompanying babble and random thoughts.

We want to believe that the character moved, not that someone moved the character.

Force does not exist in animation. It is implied through posture, path of action, balance, timing, arcs, successive breaking of joints and on and on. It is implied by what the character does. Deciding why a character moves will reveal how it moves.

weight in Animation
Hold on, this is about weight, not force. No, wait, weight cannot be shown without the visual implication of FORCE. Wait, force and weight don’t exist in animation, there can only be a visual implication. There are two types of FORCE – internal and external.

The Principles of Animation as listed in The Illusion of Life:

Squash and stretch
Staging
Straight-ahead animation
Pose to pose animation
Follow through
Slow in Slow out
Arcs
Secondary action
Timing
Exaggeration
Solid Drawing
Appeal

Nine of the Principles of Animation are a result of, or create a FORCE. Let’s take a stab at re-thinking, re-defining and prioritizing the Principles of animation and call them, say, The Principles of Movement.

FORCE – creates the principles of animation – physical, emotional, psychological.
External
Internal

Physical:
Squash and stretch – (Compression and Extension)
Follow through
Slow in and slow out – natural (physics), character controlled or mechanical
Arcs – natural and controlled
Secondary action
Timing – the strength of the greater force dictates how fast something moves.

Aesthetic: creates an emotional/psychological response or force in the audience
Staging
Exaggeration
Appeal

Skill and Methodology:
Straight-ahead animation
Pose to pose animation
Solid Drawing – a must for ‘Traditional Animation’ and great for planning

Weight is all in the timing. Well posture and timing. But then context plays a role in why the character moves which dictates how. Ah man, now I’m rambling. Do over.

It’s all in the timing. True, but what are we timing? We’re timing effort or force. How much effort must the character exert to successfully accomplish the task at hand? For an animator, weight is a visual presentation of opposing forces. When a character jumps up, it is actually driving down against the ground. The faster it can drive down the higher it will jump. The character can enhance the power of the jump by thrusting shoulders and arms in the direction of the jump. Study a high jumper or long jumper.

Once the force needed to jump is believably represented visually, the principles of movement are initiated. If the character is weak and heavy it takes more effort to jump, which influences timing which influences the principles.

Why does the ground shake when the ‘500 pound’ Incredible Hulk walks? He’s strong enough to jump half a mile, he should be able to tip toe quietly. Ok I’m rambling again. When I read this article tomorrow I’ll probably want to re-word it as I have everyday since starting it and now I sound like Shawn again.

Make sure that the ‘impact’ is visually defined. That could be one goal for showing weight. Watch slow motion live action walking and pay close attention to the impact frames. Going into the impact/compression shows how much effort is exerted to stop the body weight from its downward motion and coming out of the impact/compression describes how much effort is needed to raise the body ‘weight’. Keep in mind, the slower the cadence the more weight shift from side to side there needs to be. The further apart the feet are the more you have to shift weight.

As these following examples are copyright protected I can only direct you to the source. Reference – American History X – Just before Edward Norton is arrested there is a sequence of him walking toward camera. The shot is from the waist up but you can tell what the hips, legs and feet are doing. This is proof positive that you have to animate what is not seen as well as what is in frame if you want it to be correct. Watch a close-up shot of someone’s face as they walk toward you, slow motion is extremely revealing. You can tell when the foot makes ground contact and the leg stops the downward fall of the body.

BallWalk1

Balance is extremely important to support the visual implication of weight. Weight must be over or nearly over one foot before the other can be raised while maintaining balance. Weight must shift from side to side in leading the balance during a walk. These examples from The Iron Giant do not address the fact that we may be looking at a directorial decision for mechanical stylization. (See if a lawyer can get through that one).

The Iron Giant – to shift weight or not? At the electrical station and in the final battle scene the giant lacks ‘human characteristics’ and there is no weight shifting in his walk, but at the pond there is.
1 – First time Hogarth sees the Iron who walks over him at the power plant.
2 – Final battle when the Iron Giant has transformed and walks into the fight.
3 – At the pond when the Iron Giant walks back to take a run at the pond.

The timing of a character lifting a heavy object has to be properly blended with the correct posture and balance to describe appropriate effort.

300 lbs can look light if the character is strong
50 lbs can look heavy if the same character is tired or ill
A 300 lb character can be strong or weak
A 98 lb character can be stronger than a 300 lb character
You create the rules– be consistent throughout your animation.

Weight is described through the visual presentation of opposing forces.

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Story or Entertainment

Posted by Wayne

October 5, 2013 | 0 comment | Tags:

An animated feature film need not have a good story to be successful. It need only entertain. Often they entertain through topical humour which has a short shelf life.

If the film is a good and well crafted story it will entertain and have a far more enduring life.

A good story well told is more difficult than any other aspect of writing or film making.

Success through entertainment is a comfort zone that most major studios appear reluctant to leave.

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Where did the story go?

Posted by Wayne

October 5, 2013 | 0 comment | Tags:

Does anyone care if a story is told in a film?
Is entertainment enough?
Should film makers respect their audience?

“Movies should be a positive expression
that there is hope, mercy, justice, and charity”
(and)
“It is the film maker’s responsibility to
emphasize the positive qualities of humanity
by showing the triumph of the individual
over adversity.” Frank Capra

Look beyond the words by Frank Capra for the creative options within them.

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