View Full Version : "[Schlitzy Screentest contest] JTalbotski's WIP"
12 December 2003, 03:50 PM
Here's my quick storyboard. It is surely too much for me to handle, but I couldn't think of a shorter scene that I liked. Any advice is MOST appreciated.
12 December 2003, 05:53 PM
nice work on the boards Jim. THe only things that will be difficult will be getting the dialogue recorded after you do that though it's just a matter of getting the poses and the timing...
You've done well to keep it simple as far as sets and props go so you really only have to worry about the character.
next step: get the board put together as an animatic to start laying down your basic timing.
12 December 2003, 06:11 PM
Thanks, David. Should I add more drawings to fill out the animatic more. Or just use what I've got?
12 December 2003, 06:27 PM
matter of preference really I tend to just use the story board, but some people want to feel the motion more at that stage. I would recommend that you start with just the board and then if it feels too stiff (or is to hard to get the timing set up) add a few more drawings to see how that goes. don't forget to get some basic voices in there too, you can't time that stuff out (in my opinion) until you hear the voices.
12 December 2003, 08:28 PM
Great storyboard, Jim. I hope you can get this done, it looks like it will be good.
12 December 2003, 05:25 AM
Storyboard looks great! You might want to break it up into a few different camera angles though. It's easier to animate four short shots rather then one long shot.(at least to me anyway) plus its easier to throw stuff away. This is just my opinion maybe you were already going to do this.
12 December 2003, 01:41 PM
Good tip, dagooos! I think I'll do it that way.
12 December 2003, 02:44 PM
Okay, I'm having way more fun than I thought I would developing this "animation". I did a quick and dirty soundtrack, using some canned sound effects from an old Kaboom! cd I had lying around and my own voice. I adjusted the pitch of my voice for each character and put together an animatic, which you can see here:
And I did a quick lipsync using the mouth poses I originally put in Schlitzy here:
These Require Quicktime with the first Sorenson codec, maybe QT5 (?).
I know the sound is pretty awful (and irritating after hearing it over and over), but I'm enjoying learning things as I go.
12 December 2003, 03:20 PM
Wow! you're a natural animator Jim, thanks for a good giggle and great gag BTW.
Judging from what you've already accomplished, I don't think this will be too much for you to handle. In fact, I shall prune my own idea down to size, if I ever hope to finish it.
12 December 2003, 04:32 PM
Thanks, Stephen! I'm sure I will be asking many questions of you and the others.
Thanks for the encouragement,
12 December 2003, 04:45 PM
I'm in complete agreement with stephen! great job. good timings and it feels well paced. heck I'd say it's time to start blocking things in! :thumbsup:
12 December 2003, 06:13 PM
Hahaha, that's great Jim. Very funny idea.
Two things on the lip sync though. Try selling the whistle a little more. Maybe try puffing the cheeks a bit more and squint his eyes so it looks like he's really trying. You might even want to do an animated decal on his face, making it turn redder, so it really looks like he is having a hard time whistling.
And at the end when he says "my whistle too much", it looks a bit jumpy, like he's trying to hit too many sounds. Try hitting just the first letter in each word at first and see how that looks. You could always add more keys later.
Great work! :p
12 December 2003, 06:30 PM
Thanks, David and Brian.
I agree about the lipsync being overly complex in certain places. I guess I was trying to match the sound too accurately. I was having fun doing it. That might be another reason, I just couldn't stop! A:M makes it fun.
I got the Stop Staring book, with my Schlitzy prize money. :) It made me see that lipsync isn't something to fear. You just break it down to simple shapes open and close, wide and narrow.
I like the idea off his face turning red, too. I didn't focus on the rest of his face yet, but I will try to do that when I get to that point.
12 December 2003, 07:14 PM
Great purchase Jim. Stop Staring should be on every animator's shelf. Jason did a magnificent job with it. It definitely shows that you've read it, as this early pass was already really nice.
If you have half the skill animating as you do modeling, you will be phenomenal. I'm really looking forward to see how good this is going to turn out. Heck, even your voice work was great. I'm guessing we'll be seeing a great Talbotski short sometime soon :thumbsup:
12 December 2003, 01:22 AM
Impressive start, Jim!
I've got to get a hold of a copy of that Stop Staring book, too!
12 December 2003, 05:00 PM
Just looked at your animatic and it looks really good.
Voice work was really good also very fitting to character!
12 December 2003, 11:19 PM
Thanks Carl and dagooos!
Here's an early render of Schlitzy walking into view at the beginning of my animation. It's not a walk cycle on a path. I keyframed each step (and it probably shows!) It was pretty tricky trying to get him to walk and also turn at the same time. Unfortunately, it seems pretty bland as it is. No real character to his action. Any advice?
I plan on cutting to a closeup of his face for the next shot, as dagooos suggested, to break it down into smaller manageable chunks.
12 December 2003, 11:56 AM
Jim, I think he has quite a lot of character in his walk and the animation is nice and smooth:) The feet sliding, is the most noticeable problem. I would have them slap down flat on the floor quicker, ie. less time on the heel. At the moment, it takes about 8 frames from the heel touching the ground to the point when the feet are flat on the floor. I'd cut that down to 3 frames. This would also have the added benefit of allowing the feet to have longer 'flat' on the ground, thus making the walk less floaty. Make sure the heel doesn't move when in contact with the ground, the only way to ensure this is to add more key frames, (use the rulers to line things up). You might also have observed, characters with big feet tend to waddle side to side more and splay their feet out sideways, this avoids the awkward action of them having to rise on the ball of the foot too much. Although, I do like the bobbing up and down feel of his walk.
I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next Jim.
I shall start putting in my major key frames for the first pass of my animation today, hopefully I'll have something to show soon.
12 December 2003, 02:47 PM
Thanks for the advice, Stephen! Seeing it again after you mentioned the foot slap, it seemed pretty obvious there was a problem there. I'm really going to have to learn what to look for.
I can't wait to see how you and the others build your animations!
12 December 2003, 07:42 PM
Looking pretty goos so far. Another thing you can do to give it that extra "stick" look. Is to subtly lift the toe right before the foot comes down than in the next fram or two lay it flat.
01 January 2004, 04:20 AM
Well, I am most likely trying to animate this too quickly, since it seems very loose and disorganized movement-wise, but here's another render of the first 2 shots combined into one movie file.
I'm pretty much animating this straight ahead without blocking out major poses. I'm thinking that's a mistake right about now. He's going through the motions, but there is no intensity or believablity to his actions. I know I have to make it snappier, hence my thought of redoing it in the pose to pose method. I don't mind doing it over if it will allow me to improve the animation.
So my question is: Is pose to pose better? Should I switch? I'm not looking for encouragement, just real honest advice.;)
01 January 2004, 07:00 AM
Perhaps I shouldn't be the one to give advice, but I'm going to anyway. First off, this looks like a good start to me. Why not build upon this? You mention a lack of intensity. To correct this, perhaps you should examine your existing poses and try to punch them up? For example, when Schlitzy begins to whistle, bunch up his shoulders and draw up his arms, so that it looks like he has to make a concerted effort to wheeze out a note.
Watching Jeff Lew's training DVD, Jeff seems to prefer animating straight ahead, but he's forever pausing and going back, and tweaking things, as he tries to punch up the character's poses, so the animation looks more dramatic, and conveys more feeling.
I don't believe pose to pose is intrinsically superior than straight ahead. At some point you're going to have to add keyframes to make your character move in a snappy way, and to refine his posture so that his poses are stronger, and to adjust the timing. As far as I can tell, your existing sequence is a perfectly adequate foundation to build upon.
Here's a trick I use to make snappy movements:
Let's say you have two keyframes 12 frames apart. Advance 2 frames from the first keyframe and create a new keyframe (with the make key button on the frame toolbar). Go to the last keyframe, backtrack 2 frames and make another keyframe. In the timeline, move these two new keyframes in towards each other, so that they are only three frames apart, maybe. This is a cheap trick, but for lots of movements (e.g., weight shifts) it is suprisingly effective. I find this trick helps to negate that swimming-through-honey floatiness that plagues my work.
Okay, that's all for now! Keep up the hard work!
01 January 2004, 02:51 PM
Thanks Carl! I also have the Jeff Lew DVD and liked the process he used for animating. It seemed to match the way I usually model, in a freeform kind of way, so I decided to try it that way.
You're right about the need for more exaggerated poses throughout the piece. And thanks for the tip about adding more snap!
I'm thinking he has too much unneccesary body motion which weakens the poses that I have already put in. But then, he is supposed to be a bit tipsy. I don't want him to appear too alert either.
01 January 2004, 05:15 PM
I agree with everything Carl has said, 'pose to pose' is just one method of getting to where you are now. What you have is very promising and just needs further refinement. Don't worry too much about snappier movement just yet. Concentrate on the acting and physical observation of the character. This is the phase where you clown about in front of the mirror (or video yourself).
Here are some observations (caveat, I'm no expert)
Before you go any further, give Schlitzy some shoulder bones, which are the parents of your arm bones. You won't be able to hunch his shoulders without them. Lots of people overlook the importance of shoulder movement with the arms, they are very expressive.
Think about offsetting some of the actions. For example, when he clears his throat. At the moment, it's a straight forward A-B operation, essentially your first pass. His hand and head start their movement towards each other and meet at virtually the same time. Try delaying the start of the arm movement, as it is, it's too slow and mechanical. Arms, hands and legs tend to move faster than the torso). Exaggerate the pose more, hunch his shoulders for the cough. Try leaving the right arm roughly where it is after the cough, it doesn't have to go back to a default position. Also, this will give more impact to him throwing his arms back as he starts to sing.
Floatiness. Yes there's quite a bit of this, but I think it's because poses are blending into one another. Back to the same example as before, hold that cough pose a little more statically. The floatiness in this area, is because the cough pose slowly blends into the 'oh' pose of him starting to sing. Although you have the head thrown back at the end to emphasize his launch into song, it probably needs the whole body arched to give it real impact.
Of course, I've also been studying drunk behaviour. They do move more slowly but not always. They tend to stand off kilter, always gradually keeling over until they quickly catch themselves to prevent losing balance completely. I guess on the whole their movements are sleepy and deliberate, but sometimes they have moments of lucidity.
Okay, I've whittled on long enough, I hope this has made some sense.
01 January 2004, 06:08 PM
Thanks Stephen! Great direction, I really appreciate it. I think I can chew on these nuggets for quite a while!
01 January 2004, 11:18 PM
Well, I'm not thrilled with this, but I am calling it done just because I don't have any more time.
It's filled with things that can be improved and I hope you guys will critique it, just so I can learn from it some more.
This contest has been a great learning experience, even though I couldn't spend as much time on it as I wanted.
I added some "aged movie" effects to help hide the flickering in the hair (due to not using AA).
Here's the link:
I can't wait to see the other submissions.
01 January 2004, 11:24 PM
Okay....why did I think the deadline was tomorrow? Hmmm...maybe I do have time to fix a few things.
Well, then...critique away, boys!
01 January 2004, 12:07 PM
Jim......I like it! The 'aged movie' effect is a neat idea and I still think the punch line is very clever. Cracking open the bottle off screen is very effective and saves a lot of unnecessary animation work.
I won't bore you again with my interminable ramblings on how I think you should animate. :scream:
But, (there's always a but) I do have two quick suggestions.
(1) The blowing sound of him trying to whistle, perhaps it could have some tiny bits of actual whistle interwoven to make it clearer he is attempting to whistle.
(2) The fall at the end could be generally quicker, but particularly the area between the end of the fall going into the bounce and the final settle.
I hope you can eek out some extra time to work on it more, your model certainly deserves it.
01 January 2004, 02:15 PM
Good point about the whistle. I am definitely going to work on the fall and tweak some other areas as time allows.
Thanks for looking,
01 January 2004, 06:08 PM
It's looking very good. I hope you get to put some more work into because it's almost there, you've got 2 weeks still :cool: . The aged effect is very cool but hopefully you'll get to render it with AA enabled since the effect doesn't mask the strobing completely.
The fall definately needs the most work. Another nitpick on the whistle is that the camera gets too close to his face. I would pull it back a little so it's not such an extreme closeup. The poses when he starts to sing could be exagerated more, maybe throw his arms out/lean him back more. Also, it might be cool to see him zip off stage when he gets his "bright" idea ... of course what you have now also works.
When he scratches his chest at the beginning the motion looks too mechanical. A lot of the motion still needs offseting, it still looks like everything is moving at the same time. Also, I was glancing thru the Animators Survival Guide yesterday and something that Richard Williams mentions is that drunks tend to move their body parts independantly, almost as if each part has a mind of it's own. Anyway, those are my observations, I'm pretty much a beginner at animation having done a total of 3-4 animation projects over something like 7 years with AM. I really like what you've got so far and I love the gag at the end ... the sound effects are perfect, makes me want to crack open a bottle of schlitz :beer: . Now if I can only get enough of mine animation done to post something ... with the super bowl tomorrow it might be the perfect time to observe some drunks (Go Carolina).
01 January 2004, 10:47 PM
Trying to animate a drunk is probably not the best choice for a newbie animator! It adds a whole new layer of complexity, it seems.
Thanks for the advice, I will try to work on those areas.
02 February 2004, 02:34 PM
Not the easiest for sure but it does preseent some interesting challenges. Drunk people are looser and more under the pull of gravity. the character will move heavier and slower, your arcs will needs to be more fluid.
A piece of advice from Ed Hooks' Acting For Animators: "Allow the substance do whatever that particular substance does to the body -- and then act to control it, to hide it."
he also provides a couple of good movie references to drunk acting: Arthur and The Days of Wine and Roses.
you want schlitzy there to attempt to maintain control over his faculties that is what will make him seem drunk...
Good work so far Jim, i look forward to seeing the completed piece
02 February 2004, 06:51 PM
Thanks, David. I think I understand what you are saying. And I appreciate the feedback. I just don't think I'm at the level where I am able to get that much personality into the motion. Right now I'm trying to make the motion seem, at least, partly believable. Adding the character to the motion has my head spinning! :)
02 February 2004, 08:54 PM
Damn Jim, I hate you, haha. Let's just say I have seen way crappier animation from people that are considered pros -- and this is you first one!
Congrats on getting this done. I loved it.
02 February 2004, 04:20 AM
02 February 2004, 06:47 PM
I love the animation; it's a lot better than you think it is.
One thing I'd like to see, though: when he's trying to whistle, I'd like to see his eyes frown. The eyebrows don't carry the feeling enough.
If you could animate his forehead just a little, bringing it down and using bias to create a little pucker when he whistles, I think it'd make his expression more convincing.
02 February 2004, 06:56 PM
Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions. I'll see what I can do.
02 February 2004, 09:46 PM
Kudos on your first animation effort! Yeah, it needs work, but it beats the pants off of many other first attempts I've seen. Nicely done, man! :D
02 February 2004, 11:14 PM
Thanks, Justin! That means a lot!
I know you took on a project that kept you out of this contest. Just wondering, got anything we could see?
02 February 2004, 12:06 PM
Not yet, but almost. I'm actually a little behind schedule, but hopefully I can get caught up today. I'll be showing some teaser material in the not-too-distant future. :)
02 February 2004, 04:45 PM
Originally posted by Obnomauk
he also provides a couple of good movie references to drunk acting: Arthur and The Days of Wine and Roses.
Just to throw my two pennies worth in, another good reference for drunken acting was Michael Caine in Educating Rita. I believe he was either nominated or won an Oscar for the role.
02 February 2004, 12:41 AM
Hey Jim ....WOW!,
I let this whole animation contest thing slip my mind and now I see that you have been working wonders. This is a realy good bit of animation for your first attempt. I have no crits (ther than what others have said). I hope that you get the animation bug so that we can see more animation from you in the future.
I really wanted to animate your character but It looks like I am a little late. I may have a go anyway as I have always wanted to animate a drunk, after all I have plenty of experience acting that way :)
02 February 2004, 03:03 AM
Thanks, John. I'd like to see what you do with Schlitzy if you get the chance to animate him.
02 February 2004, 02:11 AM
Hey, Jim! The lipsynch work is impressive. I like how Schlitzy's eyebrows go up and down when he chugs the bottle down.
I think the backward fall is the only place that needs a little work. When Schlitzy's butt hits the ground, his torso should continue rolling onto the ground; his torso should collapse to the ground too. I think you were trying for a funny little bounce, at that point? It doesn't work. He really should flop down, until he is flat on his back.
Well, that's my advice. "What great ones do the less will prattle of." :thumbsup:
02 February 2004, 07:44 AM
I agree, amazing work for an early animation. Great job!
02 February 2004, 03:29 PM
Thanks guys! I made some changes, but don't have time to get to any fine detail. I hope to put up a link to my final animation later today.
02 February 2004, 03:37 AM
Here is the link to the final version of my Schlitzy animation.
No joy with a final render of the hair. I have too much work to allow my comuter to be tied up all day rendering.
Again I want to say how much fun it was doing the contest (and to see Stephen's work).
02 February 2004, 05:27 AM
Great work, Jim!
His backward tumble really works, now! :applause:
02 February 2004, 06:32 AM
Just showed it to my brother. He got a kick out of it, too! :thumbsup:
02 February 2004, 10:55 AM
Well, I showed it (your last version before this one) to my sister and she giggled and chuckled throughout, :love: stone silence when I showed her my effort :cry:
I guess she was recognising the subtle, but deliberate subtext of unfulfilled dreams and futility of life running through my piece :rolleyes:
Anyway, it's come out really good Jim, the end now works especially well.:applause:
02 February 2004, 11:09 AM
The backwards tumble is a classic. I also like the bit where he has a brain-wave and runs off.
02 February 2004, 12:12 PM
Looks better, Jim! Again, really nice work on your entry. This is going to be tough to vote on, I can see. :D
02 February 2004, 12:42 PM
Nice work! That is amazing for a first animation.
02 February 2004, 07:11 PM
Looks a lot better Jim :thumbsup: A nice piece of work like this still needs a proper render but it's easy to understand why you weren't able to get that done. Anyway, great job...
02 February 2004, 10:47 AM
well done Jim!:beer:
01 January 2006, 12:00 AM
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