Thursday, March 8, 2007


I've spent the time between last post and this post on New Zealand, on vacation. At the moment I'm working with another project and will not be able to focus 100% on Pablo - hopefully 10-20% each month til I'm done.

Distance is sometimes a good thing. I think I need to rethink the character and the set - I need a character which is easier to deform (with a neck, without a tail) and I think the set should be a bit more colorful, with more light. I'll look into this ASAP.

And as I thought (but somewhere deep inside hoped for), SFI didn't want to support me.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Shot 16 - Enter Bat

This is my first animation using nothing but linear "curves", and I'm pretty satisfied. Please give me feedback. It should play in 16:9-format, but not all media players can handle it automatically.

This way of working does save a lot of time - and it's much more fun animating using the picture rather than the f-curve editor. This animation took about 8 hours to do.

Horror: I think I've set up all the shots wrongly. There's an "Output format"-preference in XSI that I didn't notice when I set it all up. The worst thing is that the frame rate is wrong (NTSC instead of PAL) and the time line becomes screwed when fixing this. I'll see how I'll overcome this.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Good lessons

Got some honest feedback on sh01 from my great friends at DICE and Kaktus - both said the same: too floaty. And Johan sent me a great link on pose-2-pose animation. It made me see. Best part is a link from those tutorials about how he fixes delays and overlapping and all that today - rather than how he did it. A must read.

I'm trying to adapt to this way of animating, and it kind of works. Here's where I am after today (took about 2 hours to do). It's with linear curves. Next up is adding "pictures" for overlapping etc.

Monday, January 15, 2007

24 seconds in a day

Click here to download. Some media players show the wrong aspect ratio - it's 16:9.

Maybe not the most beautiful seconds ever animated but reasonably good, considering the time spent. Pablo's pipe needs some tweaking (it bounces back and forth a little bit too much) and I think the spacing in some parts needs some tweaking - but from a broad perspective, it's there. Keep in mind that this render lacks motion blur which will make the arms look better when writing (I hope).

In this shot Pablo writes:

Once upon a tome,
In his lonely lair,
The Heartbroken Pablo,
Wept on his chair.

Stuffed with sorrow,
He typed away,
When his story,
Went... astray.

Tomorrow I'll spend some more time tweaking this shot before moving onto sh02.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Blocking stopped, animation started

I got the same feeling doing the full-movie-blocking as I got when setting up all the shots at once - extreme boredom, something close to anxiety. So I decided to block and animate as I go along, it's much more fun.

Shot 00 is done for now. I'm quite satisfied. Click here to see it (wrong aspect ratio). And I've done the first second of shot 01. Click "See latest version of the movie" to see them.

I spent last week doing something else, that's why there's been very few updates lately. Hopefully I'll be able to fully concentrate on the animation the upcoming weeks.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Blocking continued

Continued with the blocking today. I tend to spend more time on the shots that have interesting animation, but I try to stop myself from going into too much detail. The purpose of blocking is to find the timing, but I haven't really spent much time focusing on that (something I'll have to eat up later, I guess).

I built a baseball bat today, too. That was fun.

The latest movie is available here.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The happy new year

After a nice vacation I had some problems to get going yesterday but today felt much better. I've started to block the shots and have made one third of them.

Adding to my happiness is my rendering system - it's working really good. I just start it when I leave for the day and the next morning I can watch the movie. You can watch the latest version by clicking here.

I can already say that I need to re-skin Pablo, as the skin can't handle the extreme positions (or even quite normal poses) that Pablo is forced to. It doesn't stop me right now so I'll take care of it when I've blocked the entire movie. I think I need to use morph-targets to overcome the worst deformations.