pasithea: glowing girl (Default)

Swiped this link from work. Looks not too difficult to implement and really pretty cool. Has some obvious limitations of course but still. Neat stuff with some interesting potential for animation.
pasithea: tankgirlesque (tech)
Worked with Paka yesterday on the oilslick animation and I think things are going pretty well. We discussed story ideas and decided to go with something he presented which wasn't quite the story I had originally envisioned but it is a lot more focused than my idea and I like that. Paka penciled out most of the opening sequence for it while I worked on parts of later sequences.

Decided to cheat a little and use some roto of 3D animation to get some of the bigger stuff to look good in a timely fashion. I was able to find 3D models for a few of the things I wanted but they were in 3ds format. Happily, in the Maya Bonus tools (which requires only a painful navigation of Autodesk's poorly organized site) there is a tool to convert 3ds files to maya files. So woot.

This morning I started by animating part of the next sequence and then turned my mind to import of the images (My animation stand is in the basement and not presently set up or easy to get to) ... So... I have this fancy new sheet-feed scanner and I was thinking that it'd be nice to see if I could use it for animation anyhow. So I've been fiddling around with that.

I thought that there was a scan and orient feature in ToonBoom Studio but it's not in my current version and only exists in their pro version. Not sure if I'm smoking crack about it having ever existed in my copy or if was a feature that was moved out in the forced-upgrade version due to OSX. Anyhow. Searched around.

There are several expensive solutions that I did not try out but I did eventually find two that are reasonably priced.

One is DigiCel Flipbook Lite at $80 It's my favorite. It worked out of the box with imperfect levels of black behind the holes (I stuck a piece of gaffer's tape to the inside of my scanner where the autofeed sheets come through) It also seems to have some smarts that make it do good contrasting for line drawings on white paper, giving me nice-looking lines. It can also do the multi-page import and correction directly in the program via TWAIN libraries. When I have a little extra money if I'm doing a lot of animation again, this may be the route I go.

The second solution is 'ScanFix' ( ) It's freeware beta but you have to e-mail Duane for a copy of it. He's a pretty nice guy. Scanfix is not quite as friendly or instant as Flipbook. I had to tweak my scanner settings a bit to get it work properly but now that I have a profile created for it, it cranks along nicely. I also found some minor bugs when trying to have it automatically rotate the cel counter clockwise but that's no biggie. I can script rotations in a number of different aps.

The scanner I'm using is a Cannon Artisan 810. I'm very pleased with its behavior. Scan rate at 150 DPI is around 8ppm which isn't blinding BUT it's about as fast as I could photo stuff on my animation stand and, unlike the stand, I just drop the pages in the sheet feeder on the scanner, start it going, and work on something else while it's doing the work and I now have the option of going resolution crazy and throwing in stuff at much higher resolutions.

Of course, I still prefer to work 12 field and my scanner isn't that big so it won't work for all of my stuff and I'm not giving up my animation stand just yet, but this is definitely a nice solution for quick pencil tests.
pasithea: Ragdoll and the very dark path (cavalier)

Jim Woodring says that this cartoon is part of what made him who he is. ... Yeah. I can see that. It's a shame that very shortly thereafter, the right wingers wold throw a fit and the Film Code would be enacted and cartoons like Bimbo and the very fast and loose Betty would vanish.

Note: If you're not a fan of Betty, this cartoon will weird you out even more because it's one of the ones where Betty was in transition from her original dog form and she's even freakier than usual. Giant head on human body with long floppy dog ears.


Sep. 10th, 2009 10:48 am
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Yesterday (9/9/9) at 90 minutes to 9, we watched 9. We got out at 9:09 which made us 9 minutes late to get to Ranch 99. Instead, we went there at 9 this morning where I purchased 9 different ramen lunches.

All this banter is because I don't really feel like talking about the movie, though I feel compelled to. I'm disappointed with it. I feel like it's Tim Burton's weakest offering to date. For the most part, I've liked Burton a lot. He's been one of my favorite modern directors and of course, I'm a huge animation fan and the world the film was set in was pretty neat.

I've got no complaints about the world, character designs, or animation, but the editing was a bit weak. The pacing was rather off. However, much more distracting was the story itself. It was just not very good, not very compelling. The characters weren't engaging, the plot was nearly purposeless, and the resolution was just kind of.... Eh.

It's by no means the worst film I've ever watched but I think I'd recommend people save their money on this one. There just isn't a lot in it to warrant seeing it on the big screen. :/ And this from someone who's a fan of Tim Burton, rag dolls, and burlap. *sigh*
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
If anyone is interested, Gene Deitch will be speaking at DeAnza on Sunday at 7PM. Free admission. I'll be going assuming the poison oak hasn't killed me by then.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I'd heard that Warner was going to discontinue the 'Golden Edition' collection of shorts, which is a real shame because getting to see all the old shorts in the original editing is awesome. Anyhow. I was quite surprised to see Volume 6 when we were at the store and I picked it up.

In a lot of ways, Volumes 5 and 6 have been my favorites so far. They have a lot of weird stuff that I've not seen as much or in some cases at all. Volume six has a lot of war era cartoons, and those are really neat but I've seen a lot of them on Toonheads. However, there's also a lot of Bosco and Foxy shorts that I haven't seen at all or have only seen once. Disk 3 gets even more creepy, moving from WWII into the post-war boom. It has several cartoons that I have to infliction on [ profile] prickvixen because they are horrible Randian screeds done with beloved cartoon characters. They're absolutely appalling and half baked. They sound EXACTLY like where modern republicans seem to get their understanding of the economy.

And finally, there's disk 4. Disk 4 is, I suspect the 'The animators did a bunch of acid and then drew stuff' disk. It's GREAT! Oh man how I loved those weird-sounding WB intros and I confess that I do actually like the AP style. These really took me back to my childhood. Dark distant memories of strange barely familiar cartoons. This one in particular tickled ancient parts of my brain:

Meet Norman Normal. He's a lot like yooooooOOuuu! This cartoon is so awesome! Short of the one where Porky makes a cartoon, this is one of my favorite collections (despite the sometimes hard to watch racist and sexist overtones of parts)

Anyhow. I'd like to write a longer review but I'm going to be late for a date. Seriously though. At $40 (The cost of 4 movie tickets around here) this disk set totally worth a look.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I'm thinking I'll probably go to this. Anyone want to come? Jon?






pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I really like the exercise that Eric Goldberg did in his book where he takes start and end key that are identical and then puts a different breakdown between them. The result is completely different motions and feels even though it's the same pacing, same character, etc.

I liked it so much that I decided I'd try doing my own version of it.

I also decided I was tired of Mr. Minimalist and that I wanted to do something that was still simple but had some nice secondary motion. Rabbits are particularly nice for this. The ears can be expressive or simple follow-through but more importantly, they're generally up out of the way of the rest of your drawing, unlike a tail which is always crossing the path of your hands and such.

So. Here's my first motion. I'll be using the same start/end keys for the next couple pencil tests I draw. Though hopefully I'll generally be doing them on 2's rather than 1's. I've been having a mad tendency to draw on 1's lately. :)

Mmm! Look at that secondary motion! ... Just don't pay attention to the business, which kind of fails.

This is interesting really. The motion is nice and smooth and lively, and if you single-frame through it, there's a lot of stretch and squash happening. That rabbit gets really stretched.. But when you watch it at speed, it doesn't appear that he got much more than a nudge. Definitely doesn't read as a good hard kick.

This is a funny thing about animation. The individual frames here look pretty wild. If you deformed that much after getting kicked in the rear, you'd be in the hospital. But for a cartoon character, it's barely a tap. This is why motion-capture looks so crappy. With a real person, we just kind of accept that the way they move is how people move, but our brains actually tend to encode motion as much larger actions than what we really see, so to make something that isn't human move in a 'lifelike' fashion, we really have to deform it.

Ohwell. Comments, critiques, criticisms, or heck, even praise would be much appreciated. :)
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
The past two nights, I've been doing some throw away practice animation. I hit on this idea a few months ago but hadn't got to put it into motion until now. It's not a very original idea but I'm having fun with it.

The gist is to take some simple action like a walk, run, turn, jump, picking up a weight, etc and try drawing it several different times.

My goal here is to learn not just to move stuff around but to really emote well. Staging, timing, expressiveness and all that stuff.

Anyhow. Below are the first 3 samples of a character being 'surprised' and turning to look a different direction.

The first one is the 'no thought put into it version, just do the action requested'.

Here are my self criticism notes. If you agree, disagree, or have other input, I'd appreciate it. (NOTE, I left the 'positives' in there too just so you know I'm not being too harsh on myself)
Good motion arc
Blink good
Solid character; stays on model.
Good follow through
Staging connects well with character.
Some minor stretch and squash
Needs Work
Left hand flips around too much.
Tells us nothing about the character.

Here's the second one. A startle, then a slow turn.

Startle convincing
turn has good arc.
Shoulder follow-through is decent
Needs work
startle could be more extreme
last frame pops
shoulder drop on turn okay but needs work.
arms move wrong during turn
mouth is boring.

And last for the evening, the 'wild take' version.

Very expressive
Some solid drawings. My god! I drew hands!
Timing good (except end)
Good framing for the motion
Needs Work
Moves too far left when dropping to ground.
Turn to look and drop too fast.
Goes pretty far off-model by end of sequence.
Wider framing reduces emotional impact.

So.. The next thing to do here is go through and 'fix' the 'needs work' parts of these sequences and reshoot them and see if I can make them better. Then maybe do a couple more takes on this particular action or move to another simple action. FWIW, I suppose I should also note that these are animated on 1s (except the panting at the start of the 3rd one but that was for effect) That's a definite problem with being inspired by good cartoons. All on 1s with no layers. Okay, really this is a good thing and marks a big improvement in my animation style. Though, I should give myself a scolding for animating a 'finished' character in my pencil tests. Granted he's simple, but I really should be doing stick figures and only the slightest hint of facial expression when it's absolutely needed. This would not only save me time but also help me identify issues in my motion by simplifying the image. My next set of tests will be less detailed.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Since I've been home from Burning Man, I've spent most of my time resting and cleaning my studio/lab which was in bad disrepair after the months of projects. It took 3 days of almost constant work but it's finally clean...ish...

Anyhow... During all that time, I've been watching a lot of cartoons. Looney Tunes and Popeye mostly. Augh! How can anyone watch Popeye and NOT be driven into a frenzy to animate something? Popeye continues to be simply one of the most beautiful and amazing animated shows ever made. He's almost consistently fantastic to watch.

So last night I yielded to temptation and did a couple of little fiddly animations. Just playing around at the moment. It's been a long time since I've done any real animation so I'm just doing exercises. Surprisingly, I'm finding that for the most part, animation skills don't appear to rust as quickly as other skills. Or maybe I've just gotten so much better at observing and drawing that my animation has improved by osmosis. Or possibly, because I'm not heavily invested in the projects I'm working on right now, I'm stressing about them less and that makes them move easier. Whatever the case, while I still have a LONG ways to go, I'm not too disappointed with where I'm at right this moment. (Did I almost say something positive about myself? Yikes!)

Tonight I'm in for an extra special treat! Felix the Cat from the 20s compliments of Woot! The real Felix of Otto Messmer, not Oriolo's watered-down 'for children' version. Okay, I admit that I like the 50's Felix too but the 20's Felix is just simply amazing. Don't get me wrong. Disney did some beautiful stuff and Warner's animation is slick and expressive, but honestly, there's just something about the stuff that came from the Sullivan and Fleischer studios that just hits something for me. They're weird, surreal, strange, exotic, and completely unrestrained. They were animation for adults. They were made for the cities and the slums and the working class people. They're what I've always thought of as 'REAL' animation. They don't need to try to imitate realistic motion, they have their own life. I suppose sometimes it makes me kind of sad to see that more and more animation is moving towards being 'realistic' Particularly with 3D computer animation it's all about making something that's 'real'. Felix isn't. He doesn't need to be and I love him for it. He's the sort of animation I want to make.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
TWU got shuffled around recently and when that happened, my scripts all died. Heh. This is hardly surprising. I write them around 1994 before there was a CPAN library or anything of that nature. They were written in tcl-expect. ^_^

So.. Anyhow... I banged together some PHP scripts real quick to get my animation directory viewable again. It's pretty crap code and seems to sort things in a completely random order BUT it more or less works. if you're interested.

One of these days, I need to decide what to keep and what to chuck and move the good stuff off to youtube or something. Part of me just can't quite give up my animations from 1990 done on a 286 no matter how bad they are.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Naturally, with all thise sewing and construction yet to do, all I can think about is animation, but that's okay. Planning is important.

How to make really good animation )
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Man. Yesterday just blew. :(

Not only did Ollie Thompson die, so did Will Paicius.

You probably wouldn't know him. He was a Disney animator for a while, but he was also a really great teacher who taught me a lot of stuff about animation.

I was looking forward to my next class with him. :( De Anza's animation department won't be the same with him gone. :(
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Farewell, Ollie.

The last of the nine old men has gone.

Say what you want about Disney but those guys were great.


Feb. 4th, 2008 03:55 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Stacey and I went to watch Persepolis last night. It's a story of an Iranian woman about my age. The overthrow of the Shah and the religious extremists coming to power. Really good film. I'd particularly recommend it for Jon.

Film review )
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)

I never thought there'd come a day that I'd say something positive about an Autodesk application but woah. I knew Maya 2008 was going to be faster than 7.0 because it runs in native mode on my IntelMac instead of interpreted mode. However, I expected it to be maybe 1.5 times as fast. Instead, I find it's about 15 times as fast. It's able to take advantage of my multiple CPUs and the video card. It totally screams in comparison to 7. Color me impressed.


Dec. 14th, 2007 12:20 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
My final for my Maya Modeling class this quarter. Not quite done yet. The fence still needs work and I'm not happy with the lighting yet. I'll fiddle with it a little more tonight but this is what I turned in.

I hate the kid model but I'm pretty happy with the dog monster. He's one of my best models so far.

Bulldog by ~dv-girl on deviantART
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Note to self: Please use better numbering when animating. Cells from the stupid baby animation that have been sitting unshot for 2 years nearly impossible to figure out what sequence they go to, let along what order they are in.

First pass

Sep. 13th, 2007 09:07 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Okay! Well. It's not quite complete yet, but the wordpress version of my website is starting to shape up. You can find it at I'll finish fleshing it out over the weekend but right now, I have other tasks to tend to.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I'm going to split my blogs up, if for no other reason that because I post too much and it's hard to find stuff in this one since it's such a heap.

But also, I want to make a more public-friendly version of myself that's focused on art an animation and contains a minimum of foamy ranting.

This will still be my primary location but I'll also be putting my better art on a different blog (So if you're sick to death of hearing me gripe about politics, you might prefer that) Looks like I'm going to use wordpress for that and it's an RSS feed type thing and it has the benefit that I can more or less totally replace my website with a blog and not have the hassle of maintaining a page. (Just trying this as an experiment. Probably won't stick to it)

I believe I _am_ going to start podcasting. Probably weekly with short-fiction. Either my own, or those of friends who want to get run. First however, I need to figure out the feasibility of creating a good audio program on a regular basis and what tools I need. Probably looking at 2 or 3 weeks before I seriously start.

I'm also going to be publishing a lot more short fiction. I've got a heap of old stories and back-piled ideas that just need some cleanup to be turned into fiction and I can probably run them directly as podcasts. Although maybe it'd be better to first try to market them. I'll have to figure that out too.

Lots of stuff going on for me right now but it's well past time I quit hiding behind the label of 'student' and started presenting myself as a professional. I've run from fame for too long.

February 2012

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