Sunday, April 5, 2009

Camera tests

When I go this long without a post it's usually a sign I am pretty swamped and this past week was no exception. Not much time for even random doodling.

What little time I did find, I spent fiddling around with camera moves on the FlipBook program. There are still some things I am struggling with but the the learning curve on the multiple pan bar gizmo turned out to be not so bad. I created a couple of cycles that I got some mileage from by enhancing them with moves. This is not exactly the stuff thrills are made of, but figuring them out for yourself can be both a challenge and a kind of satisfaction.

First up, a tribute walk cycle to Teddy Roosevelt. This is a combination zoom and pan, although it "slows in" at the end instead of "slowing out" at the beginning. Still, for 4 drawings, it does okay.


If you can notice, the highlight in his glasses kind of sparkles, which is a mistake I liked. When I comped the "up" position, I forgot to turn on the layer with the airbrush and highlights on it and it kind of looked worse when I fixed it, so I went back to the mistake version. The character here was drawn and comped in Sketchbook Pro and imported into FlipBook.

Next up is a signature lateral pan with a walk cycle that fans of old Hanna-Barbera cartoons will recognize. I was able to add a little swing to the 2 drawing cycle of the arm to give it a little extra bounce. I always loved how H-B stabilized the head with a hold while letting the body do all the up and down bouncing.


In this case, I drew and colored the character directly in FlipBook, which has advantages and disadvantages. The BG is a SketchBook file.

I haven't had to tangle with camera moves in a long time but I remember the first pan I ever had to do brought me practiclly to tears and took a week to figure out. The nice thing about a digital progarm is that it lets you test the move on a single file with just the BG level, just by setting keyframes (first and last frames). You can check your speed from there and then add the character, which in this case was already saved in another file. The character consists of only about 9 different pieces of artwork exposed on 5 separate levels. Afterward, I was able to make an "infinite loop" version by doubling the background and adding a panning tree overlay on separate pegbars. I can post that one later.

If you're wondering where I am going with all this, I wish I could tell you. Right now I am just trying to get a feel for what's possible given my limited time and resources. Believe it or not, just getting a handle on what the limitations are is a big enough step for me right now. But it is giving me the itch to get back in and do some animation again.


Eric Scales said...

Great stuff as always Will. You're doodles have such a comfortable playfullness- they help me feel comfortable being a little less literal when I try to caricature something. Keep it up!

Chris Diaz said...

Digicel's a great program because it really feels like it was built ground up by 2D animators and with the intent of being as unobtrusive to the animation workflow as possible.

But their help files have never been as comprehensive as they should be. There are some handy and some required functions and options which aren't mentioned in the help file, and only in the video tutorials.

Rick Roberts said...

TR would be proud Will.

Rick Roberts said...

Oh one last thing, I recently watched Sport Goofy in Soccermania on Youtube and saw your name in the credits Will. Thanks for working on that because it was very enjoyable. I also have a question, did Disney intend this to be the precursor to Ducktales ? If it was, I certaintly enjoyed this short alot more then the series. The animation was never as fun and neither were the episodes.

Will Finn said...

Rick, I remember well working on SOCCERMANIA as a freelancer when the project was being directed by Darrell Van Citters. As often happens however, a big senior management change occured in post-production and it was taken back into the main studio to be re-done (mostly done over) by director Matt O'Callaghan and a strictly in-house crew. I had about a minute of animation in the original, but I don't know if so much as a frame of it was used in the final, which I only saw once and was very different than the one I worked on. The project was originally floated (I think) to see what would happen if they produced a TV special with mostly free-lance talent. It was not connected with DUCK TALES, which came some time after, under a newly formed (and separate) TV branch.

I kept some of the roughs from my scenes tho and they helped get me rehired at features a whle later.

Rick Roberts said...

Wow, thanks Will for the info.

Reynaldo said...

Hi Will.
Is an honor to address a few words to you. Big fan of yours here.
Is great to see a giant like you fooling around with a software that I personally use as my everyday tool.
Check out what I have achieved using Flipbook on its whole capacity:
Looking forward to receive you feedback.