Sunday, February 24, 2013

TAIS AniJam 2013 Rough Work

AniJam is fast approaching.  For anyone unfamiliar, the AniJam is a compilation of 10 second animations screened at the Toronto Animated Image Society's Showcase.  The theme this year is "UFO", and since I've had cheeky, B-movie spacegirls dancing around my head for a while, I couldn't not participate.

For my entry, I came up with a skinny, rubber hose-y Martian with a spaceship miniskirt and wrists thicker than her waist.  I love drawing bean pole cartoon characters - especially Snowflake from Heavy Traffic.   

After thumbnailing out the action, I determined the most difficult part of the animation would be first two seconds.   To begin, I'm working on getting the step and pivot part functional before I move on to the silly hip shakes.

An early pencil test
After doing pencil tests, I found the step was too fast, the hands were weird right before they touched her head, and the hair didn't work at all.  I went back to the animation paper to make fixes.

Getting closer
By adding a couple rough in-betweens in Flash, the movement improved.  Her leg now lifted higher off the ground as she pivoted, and the pivot ends with a quick hip thrust.  The arms wrapping around her head felt smoother and became my favourite bit of the animation.

Most of the clean up I did was in Photoshop with the rest being in ToonBoom Animate.  I can't see where one method starts and the other stops, so I can use either program interchangeably.  As an experiment, I chose to clean her up without outlines.

As I move forward, I'll make three significant changes.  As she pivots, her back leg boils too much.  I will now draw the outlines first, in colour, to catch inconsistencies in volume.  Plus, I'm not happy with her hair.  For this, I will do hair movement studies and redo it entirely.  Lastly, her eyebrows are dancing around her face.  I will redo her brows in white to match her hair.

So far, there are plenty of things I do like.  Almost by accident, I had added a slight, sassy shake to her shoulders as she steps.  As well, the galaxy was lots of fun to paint, and I'll continue painting the background with that texture.  Third, the UFO skirt turned out better than I expected.  Overall, I think she's pretty cute.

I'm feeling confident that I'll meet the deadline.  More rough work to come.