For The Mask Vs. Deadpool we wanted to make the final part of the fight SUPER dramatic with three different kinds of lighting. Lightning strikes, gunshots, and a nuke blast all timed to music. SO, when making the backgrounds for it I made an ON and OFF version of each of the backgrounds to let animators do things Like control lighting/intensity, and move things like clouds out of the way for the super wide shot of the explosion. You can watch the last part of The Mask Vs. Deadpool fight here:
Camp Camp Backgrounds
Some of the backgrounds I made for Episode 13 Season 4 of Camp Camp “Campfire Tales” Which you can watch here. These are from Dolph’s story where he imagines himself as a graffiti-artist in East Berlin. The idea was to have a lot of fun surfaces that I separated out so a painted character could run and act behind the brick texture, you can watch the effect starting at 7:12 in the episode.
Here are some more backgrounds I made from Episode 17 Season 4 of Camp Camp “The Butterfinger Effect” Which you can watch here. These are from a couple moments where Nurf first triggers the change in personalities and when everyone starts to return to normal around sunset. Engineering a bunch of tent flap layers to make the transitions between interior and exterior shots in the campsite area was a lot of fun.
Here are some more backgrounds from Episode 18 Season 4 of Camp Camp “Time Crapsules” Which you can watch here. The first one is from the scene where Mr. Campbell is looking for his long lost deposit box. The second is from the scene where Max tries to set up Gwen with her high school crush. A fun part of background-crafting in general is finding ways to preserve continuity of layout without having to make too many new assets. Keeping the spacing of things on the table consistent without having to remake the plate or candelabra saved a bunch of time plus the multiple camera angles make the mess hall feel like a real 3-dimensional space.
Going from storyboard to backgrounds can give you a deeper understanding of what information boards need to help ease the workload later in the animation pipeline. It especially helps you figure out what details matter in a storyboard frame that will often act as an initial layout for a background artist.
So, after watching a pile of Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans and being super nostalgic for Chrome Hounds and Armored Core, I ended up trying to sketch an artillery mech:
SO, I remembered I had a handy light table and cleaned up the drawing a bit:
AND THEN, I did another round of the light table clean-up with microns and a brush pen:
I think I will color this at some point…
Self-discovery through social games.
Recently, I worked on a project aiming to make a massive multiplayer game to help LGBT teens in isolated areas connect and relate to their peers going through the same thing. The basic premise is to help people who typically feel excluded to have a place to fit in. Players can fully customize their characters and have the opportunity to change genders or races at level ups to gain perspective. The game takes place in a futuristic super city where players go on quests to help improve the city. Gameplay is centered around elemental future-magic powered by a character’s wardrobe, accessories, and apartment decorations. I wanted to have “stylish” clothes that evoked elements without beating players over the head with obvious imagery. I stuck to basic geometry to make it seem more like a legitimate clothing line rather than a kitschy brand that printed flame icons on everything.
Anyhow, here’s some art:
Animation basics are pretty straight forward. There are a few things you need to know which lay the foundation for essentially every animation you try to approach ( BUT I’M NOT HERE TO TALK ABOUT THAT). You need a basic idea of how physics can be imitated, and should learn how to break the real-world rules to get a desired illusion of motion:
LOOK AT THIS FRAME FOR EXAMPLE:
The weird melting face frame is used to trick the eye into seeing a faster motion. Here’s a lil’ science: Your eye can differentiate frame rates up to 150 frames per second. Which is to say your brain can process things moving VERY fast. Animating is a pretty time consuming process so rather than animating a mind-exploding 150 frames per second most animators stick to 24 frames per second. To make animations more fluid, you can try and eek out more motion from individual frames to make 24 frames per second seem faster. While you shouldn’t blur every frame, you can blend important frames together by stretching a form across an arch of motion.
Here’s what it looks like with just one blurred frame tying it together:
What you might notice about this is that it’s sudden, jerky, not entirely fluid…disgusting. DAMN YOU HUMAN EYES! DAMN YOU AND YOUR POWERS OF MOTION PERCEPTION!! The blur is such a drastic change between the first and last image that it doesn’t quite make sense to our brain. How do we solve this? Let’s add another frame in the blur to slow it down before the final image. Much like a bouncing ball (pause for effect), we must keep anticipation and follow-through in mind to make motion appear fluid. Consider the top of the raised arm the top of a bounce. So, as the arm gets closer to it’s slowest point in the arc we include more frames of the motion to stretch out the time spent in that pose. Here’s what it looks like when I add one more blurred frame before the final frame:
Just one extra frame and it looks much, much less clunky. Now that we’ve gone through all that, here’s a more complicated animation that uses a bunch of anticipation:
Here’s a rough animation that uses blurring:
ANIMATION IS GREAT! YAY!