Meet the Team Project: Animation Research

In the first week of this trimester at SAE, in my Studio 2 class, we were told that our main assignment was to be a Meet the Team video that was to introduce new characters into am existing franchise. We were split into teams based on whether we had chosen to do 2D or 3D animation, and then we decided on a franchise to create these original characters for. My team elected the cartoon “Samurai Jack” as our franchise.

This blog post has been made to discuss how I am to be going about animating the shots I’ve been assigned, however to do that, I should first show and explain my character.

Samurai Jack MTT character model sheet FIXED

This is my character, she is an ice mage. Of our characters, she actually has the shortest screen time. In the video she will be the apparent villain. And though I have designed four different views, she will only ever be seen from front on.

One of the requirements of the brief is that we rig our characters so the group had to then research 2D rigging, or puppet animation. That required to break my character a bit, so that she could be rigged. Here is her sprite model sheet.

Samurai Jack MTT ice mage sprite sheet

Now she can be rigged. Currently, she is rigged in accordance to Robin Fuller’s video on puppet rigging, using the second technique mentioned; parenting.

It works for me, and is easy enough to use, and makes the most sense. The set up is easy to. At least, in my opinion, it is so. It does everything I need it to do for this animation. It most likely wouldn’t be the technique I would use if I had more scenes to do with my character, or if I needed to animate some more complex movements, however, and there are more efficient ways of setting up a 2D character rig. Like the Duik tool add on for Adobe After Effects, which contains many advanced tools to make for easy animating.

However, for this project, I shall just stick with my parent rigging, where I have attached all the pieces of my ice mage, in a hierachy, starting from the torso, working outwards to her hands.

Here we have some of my reference images of my own hand in the position that I was drawing my casting hand in. Twenty photos and two videos got me the movement and poses that I needed, to have the ice mage casing magic. I can’t embed my own video’s to my blog post however, so I can’t show you the video reference.

Another piece of reference I used, was Khadgar, from Warcraft, in the Warcraft movie, when the main characters have their first altercation with the Orcs.

khadgar-as-seen-in-the-warcraft-movie

Now that’s magic. It is a good example of the hand movements in casting, although with magic, it’s hard to come up with an exact casting stance, since it would rely on the character’s personality and the situation that which they are in.

And now that all of that has been adressed, I’d like to leave off here by sharing some of my thumbnails for a few of my shots that I will be animating. The order is up down, left to right.

MTT Thumbs

I didn’t feel like drawing the mage again, so I took her model sheet and reconstructed her in each frame. With the arrows, I think I’m going to have to discover a better way of representing the movement through the air.

Well that’s all I have to say on this. Thanks for reading! And I’ll see you all in my next post!

~Icetail~

Reference
Blackburn R. FrostieHeart on DeviantArt. DeviantArt. 2015. Available at: http://frostieheart.deviantart.com/
Duik – Rainbox. Rainboxprodcoop. Available at: https://rainboxprod.coop/en/tools/duik/
Fuller R. After Effects puppet rigging tutorial. YouTube. 2013. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsuOXXEo9qI 
Jones D. Warcraft. Universal Studios, Blizzard Entertainment, Atlas Entertainment, Legendary Entertainment; 2016

Blog Task – My Media Use and Identity

If I had to choose three favourite forms of media, I would have to say games, anime and my paper stash. And those three things tie in so seamlessly together. The games and anime provide the inspiration which I then draw down onto my paper, or write down into stories.

World-Of-Warcraft-LogoGames are my main source of inspiration, with such captivating story that I am able to interact with, its where I go to first when I need to find more ideas. PC games such as “World of Warcraft” are good places to start, with its many different story and quest lines, its not hard to find inspiration or get lost within the story. The same is so with other games like “Legend of Zelda” games or “Fire Emblem” games for Nintendo consoles. They have such captivating stories that are well thought out and take time to complete, instead of being just “finished in one afternoon” kind of story.

Charlotte_keySomething else that can’t be completed in an afternoon (unless you are crazy) is a full season of Anime. Doesn’t stop anyone from trying to watch it all in an afternoon. Anime like Sword Art Online, Charlotte and Black Butler are another source of inspiration, but also entertainment. I love watching anime, animations in general, to find mistakes in the animation, or inconsistencies in the story. Its just funny to me when I notice one frame where the animation has been left uncoloured in some part of the image, or when there is a jump in a walk or run cycle. But other than a source of amusement, I love the art style of anime. It is amazing. I love watching the characters move around their worlds, taking in all the detail of the art style involved.

failure_means_the_loss_of_everything__sketch__by_frostieheart-da69y1pFinally we come to my paper stash. Lined paper, white paper, coloured paper, used paper, even handmade paper! I have it all. Paper is my life, because without it I wouldn’t be able to draw or write my stories (No, Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop do not travel with me everywhere, paper does.) As can be seen in my sketch to the side, I use a semi-anime art style in my drawings. This particular drawing compliments my short story “Failure Means the Loss of Everything”, showing what I envisioned when I wrote the story, and how I saw Icetail (right) and Montague (left) as they conversed.

And that is what I have to say on the topic of media. I hope you enjoyed reading this post.

If you wish to read my story that the last image is related to, please click this link to head to the last chapter of “Tragic Is Only Another Word For Pain”:
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8507009/19/Tragic-Is-Only-Another-Word-For-Pain

If you want to read more of my stories, please head over to my profile on FanFiction.net here:
https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3395518/Icetail-of-WindClan-Meta-If

And if you would like to see more of my art, please head over to my DeviantArt profile here:
http://frostieheart.deviantart.com/

Thanks for reading through this post

~Icetail38~

DISCLAIMER: World of Warcraft, Fire Emblem, The Legend of Zelda, Charlotte, Black Butler, and Sword Art Online are all owned by their respective companies. All I own is the sketch image and the story and profiles I have mentioned.