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My Animation Doodles

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My Animation Doodles

For the past several years I've been working myself up to work on that "one big project." Each time I'd over extend myself, get frustrated and give up. I knew that I can do it and I had it in me to be the next Craig McCracken and create that animated show that everyone wanted to see. I freely commented on other people's animations, confident that I knew what was up.

I was wrong.

I looked back on my education, and while I have gotten to be very proficient in Maya, and know how to tell a good joke and story on film, I realized I was missing something. I realized that somehow I had skated by without doing many of the basic animation exercises (like a bouncing ball). Later, I had done some of them using various computer tools that allowed tweening, but I had never drawn it.

Pascal and Internal Cow's galleries really inspired me to think differently about things. I'm hoping to work towards their quality.

Instead of biting off more than I can chew, I'm returning to the basics. The idea is simple, on nights that I have time, I'll sit down and doodle out a quick animation in an hour or two.

This keeps me from going too far with it and aiming for a full series or feature and gets me working on the basics that I'm realizing that I didn't really have down in the first place. In the few days that I've been doing it, I've already noticed an improvement in my animations. Not to mention I've done more animating in the past week and a half on these tests than I have in over a year of working on that one big idea.

I'm learning where I can cheat the drawings, what works, and more importantly what doesn't. They aren't perfect, but that's the whole point. Quick and dirty. Does it do what I want it to? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Learn my lesson and move on.

Currently, I'm using Flash because I had an old licence of it and the drawing tools aren't too technical. I'm considering trying out Toon Boom as well since it seems a little more suited for frame by frame stuff. But for the moment I'm content with Flash. It's a pretty nifty piece of software for doing pencil tests (now if only I could afford a cintiq :rolleyes: ).

Eventually I'll move onto a larger project, but for now I'm content in working over the basics. I still need to perfect the bouncing ball but I'm working on it...

Anyway, thought I'd share.

kdiddy13's picture
Producing solidily ok animation since 2001. Now with more doodling!

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.

Now with more doodling!

hey kdiddy
how are you?

Ok.. what i think is a bit unelegant for me is the fact that the tongue and the character pretty much all move at the same pace..
I don't feel the sense of weight and mass usually associated with the mental image of such a huge creature
Not that it needs to be that way but, at the moment it moves excatly s if it weight what the character weights.. and it feels a bit stiff .

If there is some ways for you to think about how heavy that creature is.. it may help.
as far as the speed of is not uncommonf for large creatures to be slow( elephants are usually seen as being "slow"(note the quotes), but other larfe creatures can be very fast( some dinosaurs were thought to be really fast)

think about that could you differentiate the two characters by their behavior, even when they are not doing anything.

Then. as far as follow through.
When the guy is hanging, i have the impression that his secondary motions are very close to the action of the tentacle...I'd love to see more delay in the reaction of the body, and some breaking up in the joints.. first the had and arms, the the mid section then the feet..ect ect( you should ask ape about that actually..i Think it's part of the twelve principles of animation!)

When the tentacle is holding the guy... I'd love to feel the weight of the two characters shifting more back and forth..
when the tentacle moves.. it should offbalance it's weight to get sme momentum going, the swing the oposite direction to lift the extra weight of the character ..
things like that.

Of course.. these are just MY opinions. and not to be followed necessarily..
Just consider this as a different point of view


Good stuff. Thanks for the detailed reply. I've done some brief sketch work on it. I think I've added more life to it. I definitely get what you mean about contrasting the two characters better. I'm not sure if it's as much a size issue as a matter of strength. The tongue needs to feel strong, but it also needs to feel like the character weighs something. Getting it to look like it is always the challenge :) The results of the sketches have made it a little clearer where to add to the character animation. I don't think it does exactly what you're suggesting, but it is closer, and I'm trying. It isn't easy (but I think that means I'm thinking about it now).

I'll try to post it in the next couple of days (still working on that pesky demo reel).

More opinions and suggestions are always appreciated.

Thanks again. I still can't believe this level of help is free.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.

Now with more doodling!

remenber..i'm only giving suggstions...not solutions.
I'm trying to make you see your own work in a different light
Only you can decide ultimately to do something about it.. so..
DON"T WORRY about trying to make it the way i long as you can look back at your work and think..hmm...there's a point i hadn't thought about... then, you're going to have all the room between my point of view and your point of view to navigate how to "change"your animation.

Also.. keep in mind that whatever you learn from one piece should be principles you will use for a next piece.
meaning.. understand the foundation of what youa re doing as oposed to just try and fix the damm thing!

that said.. i think you're stuff looks good!

just wanted to make sure you knew that!


No sweat. I've been critiqued before. Everyone has an opinion, and you should at the very least take them into consideration, whether you act on them is ultimately up to the artist. I appreciate a well constructive critique, which they've all been. (and most are on this board) Everyone here is pretty good about not only saying they think something can be improved, but having an idea of how it can be. And don't worry, if I didn't agree I wouldn't change it.

Anyway, I love your work and trust your opinion (and totally agree in this case).

In any event, it's led to a much more interesting animation as the tongue lifts him out of the house. I don't think it's exactly what you suggested, but it did point out a problem which led to it being livlier (in my own way :). So, thanks!

I'll post the next work in progress as soon as I can (and you can see what your suggestions have caused :D )

And thanks for the compliment, it means quite a bit coming from you.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.

Now with more doodling!

No problem kdiddy.
Post your stuff up when you have it done!

and you might want to get scattered and animated ape's opinions on your stuff.
In my eyes, they are still some of the best constructive critics on this forum!


pretty good work. I undersstood a lot more form pascal's suggestions

I totally agree! I'd love more input from anyone. They're more than welcome to comment when they feel they have something to say (or just pat me on the back :D).

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.

Now with more doodling!