Wednesday, August 8, 2018

New Character Rig: Marco 2.0!



Marco is AnimSchool's new pretty-boy character rig. He has two complete outfit changes and two hairstyles to choose from. Students can mix and match the shirt, pants, shoes, as well as hair to get a unique look.

AnimSchool's new character Marco is a new favorite among our animation students. Our students use Marco in our feature animation classes 5-7.

Marco was carefully crafted over a long period to ensure appeal and versatility.

Marco represents a new initiative at AnimSchool, using detailed texturing, while still maintaining a simple look. Marco looks great in Maya's viewport too, taking advantage of Maya's Viewport 2.0 stingray materials display.

Marco was designed by artist David Lojaya and modeled by Dave Gallagher, Jacob Van Valkenburg and Paul Bellozas, rigged by Dave Gallagher, and textured by and Paul Bellozas.

See when the class is offered here: https://www.animschool.com/ClassListing.aspx


To apply to be a student at AnimSchool go to www.animschool.com.
Come join our animation classes to learn with AnimSchool rigs!






New AnimSchool VFX Character: Grave






AnimSchool's new VFX Creature Animation class uses our new detailed creature rigs.
"Grave" is our new lizard character. If you could combine a lizard, crocodile, velociraptor, and dragon, you might get something like our new creature rig, Grave. These creatures are eager to wreak havoc and create mayhem in the cityscape provided.

Our students use Grave in our new VFX Creature Animation class, integrated with our custom HDRI background plates. To apply to be a student at AnimSchool go to www.animschool.com.

Grave was designed by artist Jong Lee and modeled by Dave Gallagher, and textured by Dave Gallagher and Paul Bellozas.

See when the class is offered here: https://www.animschool.com/ClassListing.aspx

Come join our VFX and other animation classes to learn with AnimSchool rigs!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Pushing Poses Through Iteration

















    There are so many animation principles to keep track of when creating poses - line of action, silhouette, appeal, and contrast, to name a few. The first pose you create is almost never your best, so here are some techniques that many professional animators use to take their poses to the next level. You can use these along with others as a great way to help train your eye to both see and create better poses.  


(Preston Blair on Line of Action)


  • Purpose: What's the drive and intention of the character? What emotions does your character have? What are they trying to express? Where is their focus and their energy? 
  • Line of Action: Push your main line of action to reflect the story behind the character at that frame, whether opening them up to one side or the other, or hunching away. Follow the line through the body, and see if you can extend the line of action through the limbs and other extremities.
  • Silhouette: Make sure you have a clear pose even in silhouette. Can you get rid of or make use of negative space?
  • Appeal: Is your character’s personality showing in the pose? Is the pose engaging and interesting to look at?
  • Contrast: Make use of different shapes and angles to add interest to your poses. Think of what your character is doing before and after that pose - can you exaggerate certain parts of the body to accent a motion, or play with squash and stretch to contrast a previous or upcoming movement?
  • Iteration: Keep pushing your poses until you end up with something a little more appealing. Don’t worry if you don’t see much change or improvement right away, or if you’re concerned about pushing things too far. It’s an iterative process, and as instructor Thom Roberts mentions in the demo clip below, you can’t judge your progress or determine whether you’ve gone too far until you can compare with what you had before. Make sure to occasionally flip between your old pose and new poses to compare and make decisions about what parts look better. 


    In the clip below, you’ll be able to see Thom’s process for iterating on a pose. Watch as he takes into consideration the purpose of the shot to shape the character, little by little, into a pose with more appeal.  







Looking for the best 3D Animation schools? For more information about AnimSchool and our online animation programs, visit us at www.animschool.com  

Monday, July 16, 2018

Hand Posing 101















(Hand poses drawn by Milt Kahl)


    When creating poses, some of the most overlooked yet important parts of the body are the hands. Hands can reveal a great deal about your character, but many beginning animators tend to leave the hands in flat, default poses. Even a neutral hand pose should adhere to the principles of good posing, such as readability and appeal. Hands can help accentuate a movement or action, and bring life into a gesture. Hands and fingers call follow a path of motion, reinforcing the path and strengthening the impression of a quick movement.


(Model sheet for the Disney animated film, Tarzan)


    Some ideas to keep in mind when posing hands are spacing and grouping. The fingers should be in harmony, and create appealing shapes with strong, interesting silhouettes. It’s preferable to avoid even spacing and parallel fingers. You can create interesting groupings, and play around with pushing one or more of the fingers to set them apart from the others. It also helps to utilize the arches and curls in the fingers, and to pay attention to the splay of the fingers in relation to each other. Don’t forget that fingers also have 3 axes of rotation!

(Hand references for Hogarth from the Warner Bros animated film, The Iron Giant)


    It can be difficult to effectively pose hands with all the different controls you need to keep in mind. In this clip, instructor Thom Roberts goes through his process of posing simple hand poses and gives us some helpful tips, such as rotating in the palm for a more relaxed and natural look to the hand, focusing on the first two joints of the fingers, and achieving visual interest by pulling out one or more fingers.   






Looking for the best 3D Animation schools? For more information about AnimSchool and our online animation programs, visit us at www.animschool.com

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How to Caricature the Face to Create Appealing Poses

















    As animators, we have the ability to push characters past the bounds of reality, and this is often what makes animation so appealing to watch. Though it can be very helpful to reference real life when animating, exaggerating and caricaturing those references can result in something with more life and appeal - especially when posing the face. Caricaturing the face can lead to cleaner mouth shapes and eye shapes, which make the expressions easier to read, and can help introduce some more personality into the face.



(created by Nico Marlet for the Dreamworks film How To Train Your Dragon)


    Character expression sheets for animated movies provide some great examples of how shapes can be simplified and pushed to create appealing expressions. Translating those into 3D comes with its own restrictions, but it's not uncommon for animators to "cheat" the facial controls into unrealistic positions to achieve the looks they want.


    To help illustrate this concept, take a look at this clip of Hans Dastrup, an instructor for our Facial Performance class. He shows us how to push a normal facial expression from a reference into something more appealing and suited to stylized characters, and talks about some tips for posing the face in 3D.









Looking for the best 3D Animation schools? For more information about AnimSchool and our online animation programs, visit us at www.animschool.com


Friday, June 22, 2018

Lecture- Animating Pupils

In this clip, AnimSchool instructor Luke Randall discusses how to animate a character's pupils to make them appear more alive and getting the maximum effect out of an eye animation.



Looking for the best 3D Animation schools? For more information about AnimSchool and our online animation programs, visit us at www.animschool.com










Friday, June 8, 2018

4 Quick Tips for a Better Idle Animation Cycle
















    When creating idle animation cycles for games, there is more to keep in mind than just keeping the character moving. It is important to make sure that the animation is not only mechanically sound, but immersive enough to keep the player focused on the game. The key is to make the animation feel as natural and balanced as possible, while allowing for personality to show within the subtleties of the animation. Here are some good points to keep in mind:


  • Body Mechanics: The foundation of all animation. Make sure to have solid posing that accounts for any extra weight from armor or weapons.
  • Appeal: What is your character’s backstory, and how can you show your character’s personality through the animation? Even within an idle cycle, you can add appeal and contrast through posing, quirks, fidgets, etc.
  • Balance: That being said, it’s also important to keep your animation balanced and feeling natural. Too many fidgets or head turns can feel unnatural, so it could help to space them out so that they occur once every few breath cycles. With eye darts to the side, make sure to bring the gaze back to the other side and looking forward, so that it doesn’t feel like your character is focusing on one side.
  • Smooth Cycling: Even idle cycles contribute to a player’s immersion in a character and a game, so make sure that there aren’t any hitches in your cycles! You want to make it so that no one can tell when the animation loops back again. Make sure to check the tangents at the beginning and end of your animation to prevent any jitters.


In this clip from our Introduction to Game Animation class, instructor Jarrod Showers outlines the basic rubric of a good idle animation cycle, and shows his creative process from video reference to character animation.








Looking for the best 3D Animation schools? For more information about AnimSchool and our online animation programs, visit us at www.animschool.com