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3d49sue
03-29-2005, 07:36 AM
http://www.vfs.com/~3d49sue/cgtalkposter.jpg




Hi everyone,
I finally graduated from Vancouver Film School, and this is my first attempt on an animation short. It's a cute little piece made for kids. Made entirely with Softimage XSI.

I would really appreciate comments and feedback.

I am also looking for a lighting or animation job.


"A Gift From Santa"
http://www.vfs.com/~3d49sue/SueSanta.mov (http://www.vfs.com/~3d49sue/SueSanta.mov)

(right click and "save target as")


Thank you very much! Enjoy.

stung
03-29-2005, 09:00 AM
The little penguin (Peley ?) is very cute, I like the acting when he is sleeping and walking .... that's soooooooooo cute ~~

aylora
03-29-2005, 03:48 PM
your link doesn't work.

nickchong
03-29-2005, 04:43 PM
Definitely some very awesome content for a kids show. i like the lighting and the story. well done!

your link doesn't work.

here's a mirror and a much smaller version of the reel. (22mb)

http://www.3dnick.com/SueReel.mov

Right click and "save target as"

seanchou
03-29-2005, 08:04 PM
hi
I love your story. It's so cute. Nice animation, sets, lighting and great camera movements.
I believe you will have a job pretty soon.

Marsinfur
03-29-2005, 09:26 PM
hey Sue ~
cute
story love it always makes me smile
...keep animating :)

Dearmad
03-29-2005, 11:55 PM
I'm beginning to wonder if the VFS students aren't granting 5 stars to people who are their "mates." Until a few weeks ago with the current flood of VFS stuff, stars were few and far between. Anyway, since your film is rating 5 stars at the moment- I guess I'll give it my opinion (worth what ya paid for it).

I like the story. Considering its audience, it hits about the right tone. I think the pacing is a little slow.

The characters are appealing, but the environments you put them in seemed disjointed, incomplete, and without an overall design sense as to what you wanted each location to say to the viewer. No emotional sense or conenction to any of them for me. And the characters seemed to just "be" in the sets without owning them- not much reflection of their characters to their rooms or the outside of the house, for example.

The animation is pretty floaty throughout. Characters appear to bear no weight in their walks. They also seemed little stiff- slow moving?

While there were moments in the short where I could "see" the characters thinking- as when Penguin comes back without milk and the girl sort of gives him a look, this happened too infrequently in the film, for me- there were lots of "thinking" moments without the character actually appearing to think- eye movement too limited? Head positioning too trite?

Good job locking down the camera mostly and using it in motion sparingly- allowed me to focus on the story being told by the actors- however- the framing to the shots didn't add much to the story unfolding.

Ok, sorry to rain on this parade of :thumbsup: and :applause: , but I thought maybe you'd like an honest opinion rather than kudos from a friend.

Bottom line: CONGRATS on finishing something so lengthy and difficult, I'm not unaware of the effort that entails.

HenningK
03-30-2005, 12:42 AM
Damned slow-ass VFS servers!
Just adding my voice to the sea of complaints that always swells at VFS reel time, hoping we'll bug em enough to invest in something better.
-hen

Zack Attack
03-30-2005, 12:54 AM
Yeah theres a lot of VFS students demo reels on this thread. Did you all finsih same time or is semester over with.

stung
03-30-2005, 02:46 AM
I'm beginning to wonder if the VFS students aren't granting 5 stars to people who are their "mates." Until a few weeks ago with the current flood of VFS stuff, stars were few and far between. Anyway, since your film is rating 5 stars at the moment- I guess I'll give it my opinion (worth what ya paid for it).

I like the story. Considering its audience, it hits about the right tone. I think the pacing is a little slow.

The characters are appealing, but the environments you put them in seemed disjointed, incomplete, and without an overall design sense as to what you wanted each location to say to the viewer. No emotional sense or conenction to any of them for me. And the characters seemed to just "be" in the sets without owning them- not much reflection of their characters to their rooms or the outside of the house, for example.

The animation is pretty floaty throughout. Characters appear to bear no weight in their walks. They also seemed little stiff- slow moving?

While there were moments in the short where I could "see" the characters thinking- as when Penguin comes back without milk and the girl sort of gives him a look, this happened too infrequently in the film, for me- there were lots of "thinking" moments without the character actually appearing to think- eye movement too limited? Head positioning too trite?

Good job locking down the camera mostly and using it in motion sparingly- allowed me to focus on the story being told by the actors- however- the framing to the shots didn't add much to the story unfolding.

Ok, sorry to rain on this parade of :thumbsup: and :applause: , but I thought maybe you'd like an honest opinion rather than kudos from a friend.

Bottom line: CONGRATS on finishing something so lengthy and difficult, I'm not unaware of the effort that entails.


Hi sweety, I just checked your web site and watched ur "firefly animation", try to give you some useful feebacks:

1. I didn't see any walk cycle to show your animation skill.
2. Don't you know how to turn on or off shadows and intensity of light.
3. Your transitions and cuts are very abrupt
4. your story for fireflies does not make sense as i don't see the focus on your subject throughout. I think you need to do a little art direction in that sense....
5. i didnt see any secondary motions/ follow throughs in your animation.
6. the flight of the fireflies dont have any weight, needless to say nor does your characters.
7.Finally, your animation is worse than "floaty".


I don't think "A Gift From Santa" is floaty, rather to me it looks like a limited style animation.

Marsinfur
03-30-2005, 02:59 AM
i guess you did not read before you started posting

"Be courteous and polite". Show respect to the opinions and feelings of others. Use of the forums is a privilege, not a right.
"Engage your brain before your mouth". You are responsible for your own words and any harm they may cause.
"Don't dilute the forums with irrelevant and unnecessary fluff". CGTalk is a professional, moderated forum.
MAKE SURE
YOU FOLLOW THEM ... !!


NOT BEING RUDE BUT TRY TO APPRECIATE THE HARD WORK BEHIND EVERY PIECE..

maskdartist
03-30-2005, 04:49 AM
thanks so much for the smile, it was really good, i needed to smile, young love hurts a 16 year old :(... yeah youve probably all been there, first love first kiss, then its over in a heartbeat, this animation made me smile, i like the story, makes me want to make a short, if i knew anythuing about rigging that is haha!

maximanya
03-30-2005, 05:48 AM
I was downloading the movie however after I read replies I stopped. I won't watch this film because of the attitudes presented above.

Why anyone would post a movie here? Everyone to cheer or to clap? I don't wanna believe it. Main aim should be to improve. And this forum is an open source anybody can represent their ideas. These ideas, whether they dissapoint you, are IDEAS. Believe or not. Just listen. You don't have to offend or take it personal or attack.

So who am I to post any critiques? I cannot dare. I guess Carlos Baena or Bobby Boom will post soon. So no need to download.

Thanks.
ps: check out my website. I suck.

Rio Yeti
03-30-2005, 06:04 AM
Hey, is VFS a religious cult or something ? You can't criticize or your family will receive mortal threats ?? Haha, sorry but your reactions are too funny.

I agree totally with what Dearmad said, and I think it's pointless to start criticizing his work, as this isn't the point. We are here to put comments and critics on 3d49sue's animation.
Dearmad was honest, and frankly I didn't find him offensive at all, I thought he said everything with tact and with good examples, to help 3d49sue improve her skills.

"Marsinfur said : with this attitude you wouldnt be in the cg industry for a longtime"

I guess you are not in the CG industry for long, because unfortunately it is a 90% technical industry (rather then creative). And people WILL tell you right to your face that you are not good enough or that you are... No one will try to find the good part in something you're showing them if they think you're not good enough to work for them.

Now lets go back to 3d49sue's animation. I wasn't going to post anything until I saw your comments, but now that I did I have to talk about the animation itself.

I think the story is cute, and probably works well with children. I do agree that the animation is floaty, but it is the kind of floaty animation you see on 3D tv series... so if this is your aim, I think you could find a job in that field (if you work fast, because don't forget a series is an animation twice as long, and one each week...).
As for the lighting ( because you say you want to work in lighting), it is very poor in my opinion. The render is really 3Dish, the lighting doesn't reflect a particular mood... I really don't think you are suited to work with lighting. Again you often see this kind of lighting on tv series for children... but this kind of simple lighting is chosen to accelerate the render process, and I doubt there is a person working only on the lighting.

And just to finish, I think honest and constructive criticism can truly help someone. As fake exclamations and "two thums up"s, can only help that same person hit the wall harder once they find out how the industry is.
Now I truely believe 3d49sue can find a job, I just think she should be more aware of her strenghts and weeknesses.

P.S: VFS GOD, have mercy on my poor blasphematory soul !

c_Hotchkiss
03-30-2005, 07:47 AM
Anybody who was thinking of posting on 3d49sue's thread, or watching 3d49sues reel, but decided not too because of this thread, Please reconsider. If you want to post ABOUT this thread, or VFS, is it possible to start a new one? ie "vfs: whats the deal?"
The reason is I dont think any of this is 3d49sue's fault. She just wants to show her work.



Now back to the show: (waiting for download)
Ok a few critiques, I think the head is a little swimmy in places, fortunately the curves are tight enough that it doesnt get too distracting. Theres stiffness, (the dog walk cycle in particular), "the big yellow bag" and "the big green bag" (ha ha ha) could use some more overlap and follow through when Moe is leaving the scene. Petey is very off-balance when he looks down at the homeless boy for the first time. The scarf on Peteys walk cycle has no drag (first shot), and since its a cycle, some time should have been afforded. Theres some awkward movements as well, ie (Peteys surprised jump, More stepping off porch step, Petey jumping on chair). Seems like timing problems. Blocking will help alot.

Im actually jealous of something you have instinct for. I find some moments in your reel, the same as Dearmad did, that are the key (for me) to fantastic animation. They are the "subtlies of character" as Chuck Jones said; thinking moments, changes of expression, sympathetic situations and natural poses, that add life and charm to characters. I can see these kinds of moments in your reel. The biggest one for me is the homeless kid; just the way you posed his face, his mouth slightly open, the blanket rising and falling under his breath. It felt real, and it fit in your piece; had just the right emphasis and wasnt overdone. Things like that are conciously skipped over by too many of us, but sooo Important. The way Petey takes off his glasses to look at the label on the present, Petey carrying the dog, the way Moes shoulders slightly shrug when she is asking, "where's the milk?" The way Moe claps her hands when she is calling (the unfortunately slow/stiff) puppy. The great posing of Petey, in bed, not sleeping, (right before his foot starts floating). I like the way Moe pushes up the little puppies chest, repositioning him on her lap. Also, the way the dog behaves in the storefront, (but its in danger of being overdone) The way Petey reaches over and slides himself to his computer, I even like when he is counting his change.
Ok, so work on making nicer physical movements to help sell these types of moments, and you'll be well ahead of me.

Tom W.
03-30-2005, 07:48 AM
Regardless of where this thread is going, I think it's very cute and you already know I like it. You tackled imo one of the harder projects in our term. You we're focussed you listenned to critiques and most of all.... you we're a hard worker. I definately look up to you, you're a great person who is organized and helped the whole class more then you will ever know :). I like you're piece, the animation is definately "saturday morning cartoon" style (simple) and I'd think it to be a mistake if you were'nt hired. Now, you know what my animation crits were so I'm not going to get into that. I'll miss you alot and so will our class. GL


<3 Tom

Dearmad
03-30-2005, 07:48 AM
Hi sweety, I just checked your web site and watched ur "firefly animation", try to give you some useful feebacks:

1. I didn't see any walk cycle to show your animation skill.
2. Don't you know how to turn on or off shadows and intensity of light.
3. Your transitions and cuts are very abrupt
4. your story for fireflies does not make sense as i don't see the focus on your subject throughout. I think you need to do a little art direction in that sense....
5. i didnt see any secondary motions/ follow throughs in your animation.
6. the flight of the fireflies dont have any weight, needless to say nor does your characters.
7.Finally, your animation is worse than "floaty".


I don't think "A Gift From Santa" is floaty, rather to me it looks like a limited style animation.

You're hilarious. I did that film using Polyray. Have you even heard of polyray? It's a script interpreter raytracer. Means things for it look like this:

--
total_frames 10
start_frame 0
end_frame 9
define noeval time frame/(total_frames-1)
define noeval sisot (time-0.5)*3.11482
define stotal 10
define stime (frame+0)/(stotal-.99)
define sfuture (frame+1+0)/stotal
outfile "e:\poly\can1\out0"
--

and here:

--
object { // Sphere001
sphere <0,0,0>,1
Texture01
scale <1.0+time*0,1.0+time*0,1.0+time*0>
rotate <0.0+time*0,0.0+time*0,0.0+time*0>
translate <0.0+time*0, 0.0+time*0, 1.0+time*0>
}
--

The above are *small* sections of scripts. One is just to get a sphere onto the screen. Most scripts for that animation ran into the thousands of lines, usually 3000 or so of stuff like the above. I programed the animation environment for the raytracer, as there was no animation support interface at all. That means the interpolation math, etc was all my doing. So of course things were floaty.

Now, let's hit your crits:
No walk cycle? Uh... yup, since every part of the animation had to be keyframed in entirety, meaning it was a linear environment without cycling. Meaning key frames were basically modelled set-ups out of MORAY (ever heard of that?). Not that you have any clue what this stuff means...

Shadows... uh, I didn't have the option... but you wouldn't know that as you're so brainy and all.

Transitions: LOL- yes they are abrupt, as each cut/transition involved no editor other than a DOS command line MPG app to string together stuff from Dave's Targa Animator- ever heard of DTA?

Art: Don't like it? I disagree- I think the color design is rather nice.

Secondary actions? LOL- yeah like I'm going to figure out how to program my own non-linear animation environment ON MY OWN that would make that as easy to do now as it is. :applause:

Fireflies: that's because they were on simple spline paths which I had to define using the actual math involved- unlike what we do today by drawing lines and paths. Do you know how to mathematically define a spline?

Overall- oh boy, I'm so hurt you found an animation I did so many years ago to be so... poor compared to a current graduate of VFS.

And no talk of the Ravel film... which has all sorts of boring walk cycles in it, and a sincere attempt to craft non-floaty animation... and such. Though, honestly, I've no ego like you that covers up my ignorance by attacking other people- I'm still learning as I go.

Okay... send in the next VFS graduate... :argh:

3d49sue
03-30-2005, 08:05 AM
I do appreciate honest feedback, so thanks to all. Please can't we all just get along?!! :love:

HenningK
03-30-2005, 08:19 AM
Jeez christo.
No need to jump on his ass, twas an honest crit... solicited, need I remind you.
Anyway, I dl'ed it finally. It was okay. The characters are pretty cute. I haven't much to add to the critiques by dearmad, Hotchkiss and RioYeti. Just really think about framing your shots so it contributes to the storytelling. And yeah, lighting is not so good: think of limited, well-chosen color palettes for each shot, color the shadows so they arent just gray and muddy, warm up the girl's face. Animation: it gets the job done, its okay. I like little touches like the puppy licking Petey's beak at the end.
love,hen

Heber
03-31-2005, 06:55 PM
yeah whats wrong with you guys , all hes trying to do is just give honest critique, thats the point of cgtalk anyways to improve your work not to praise each other , after all you cant benefit from that. Now lets not ruin sue's thread lets get back to the work
congrats on finishing your reel and best of luck. I think it needs to improve in several areas that have been said
-heber (3d50)

PUR-C
03-31-2005, 10:08 PM
Damn i want to see the short :(.

Argggg vfs servers :D

3d49sue
04-02-2005, 04:33 AM
Go to Boogieman's mirror (3rd reply - page 1) to download much faster! I hope that helps!

pritishd
04-03-2005, 10:26 AM
Hi Sue,

I like your reel, but I had few comments

1) Story

Overall the story was nice and it was a good subjects for kids, but I wish the girl character was more involved. Cause at the end of the day what did she learn?She just got the dog, and she didn't believe in santa in the end. Only your penguin character belief in Santa got stronger. I just feel if she learnt the lesson that Santa was real, then the story would have been more intresting.

But you are an animator. not a story writer. So no negative marks for that. :)

2)Animation

You attempted something which no other VFS dared to do. Lip sync. hats off to that. However at various places the girl lip sync seems off eg "How did you ever afford him?"

Also I do agree that Dearmad and C hotchkiss about the floaty part ie the arm seems to drift away. What it seems that you were trying to go for a moving hold, but the curves went too much in a overshoot. Hence it looks drifty. In a moving hold the character barely moves to keep him alive eg Madagascar is a great example of that

3)Render

It is pretty decent. I think it suits the story

Thats all for you.


I was pretty surpised to see Stung critising Dearmad. What was point of critising him? Basically what seems to me that he saying "Dearmad doesn't produce good animation, hence he doesn't know animation. So his critiques are useless because he doesn't know animation". We are discussing Sue here not Dearmad. He is not claiming authority over animation, he is just giving his opinion, just like everybody else. And he doesn't have to say good things all the time. Critique can be both positive and negative, and it come from the junior most people too. It is upto to Sue to decide whether to take his opinion into consideration

Cheers and Peace out

Pritish

Well

ritvika
04-04-2005, 04:00 AM
hey

nice story for kids !!! :)
your characters are really cute i like the penguin specially and technically the animation may not be perfect but it adds to the cuteness i think....Of course it can get better, but to me it kinda feels like limited animation style, and works for the story.

looks like you dealt with a lot of other challenges too besides animation i.e., lipsync, 3 characters along with the other stuff of course .... as always appreciate all the effort that goes in making such a piece........Lets call it the begining of learning......congratulations for that and good luck.:thumbsup:
ritvika

BillyThe Recka
04-04-2005, 12:31 PM
nice short...i think it could be improved by adding music to the scenes.

3d49sue
04-07-2005, 03:11 AM
Yeah, the sound you hear is just a scratch track -- final sound will be added sometime in April or May. Thanks for viewing and for the feedback!

suzana_kilic
04-12-2005, 10:54 AM
I think this animation deserves every respect.
Looking deeper, I think this was a complex project to do, lots of differenet scenes, angles, lots of modelling and enough characters to keep two animators ocupied for a longer period of time. Congratulations for good work - this is a great success for a just graduate.

mattmos
04-12-2005, 12:00 PM
I'd probably agree with most of the crits here, though some are perhaps a little too harsh... not going to get into that except to say that at least its meant some in-depth critiques, and I applaude 3d49sue handling the comments professionally - attitude goes a long way in this industry :)

The piece has a great children's story, very cute, and the dog made me smile. the little character touches are also really nice, and a decent soundtrack will help to speed up the feel of the pacing (a little slow imo). The animation is very limited, can't argue with that, the walks didn't express much emotion... and the lighting does feel very 'cg' - it's mainly the black shadows which are the problem but more localised lighting would work wonders. But 4 characters, several different environments, all put together in a decent story is something to be proud of, congrats.

3d49sue
04-15-2005, 05:28 AM
Thank you for the feedback and for your kind words. I'm sure glad someone noticed all of the details involved in this project. :)

3d49sue
04-15-2005, 05:47 AM
Thanks so much for your kind words and critiques. I checked out your website -- very impressive! Best wishes to you! :thumbsup:

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