Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Walking With The Puppet Tool

This month was quite interesting. I struggle a lot with Puppet Tool in After Effect. There is no doubt that the tool is very powerful, the problem is that I have lack of knowledge on how to use it. It is my fault that I did not learn the tool beforehand.

I also found out that the graph editor in the software is very different than the one in Maya and I found out that the graph calculates the value of an object travelling from one point to the next, but please correct me if I am wrong. The first time I used the graph editor was very confusing. I am very glad that there are a lot of tutorials about the animating in AE that has really helped me out. So, I thought it'd be a great idea to share it with you guys here, so here are the links:

The other problem that I had was spacing. Thankfully, the graph editor fixes this problem. Another solution that I did was, I animated the object every 2f or 4f.. for some reasons, I kind of  feel better if I did it this way.. it probably because this method gives me more control over the animation.. but, I am still trying to find a better way on how to adjust the spacing properly..

The next thing that I would like to talk about is The Puppet Tool. I was very stressed out because I did not have a good control over the limbs of the characters that I animated.. and guess what..?! There Is a Rigging method for AE animation! (O_O;!) I was quite surprised when I found the tutorial.. It was a very nice and clear one, and you could watch it on the link below :

I have not got a chance to try it out because i had already started animating by the time I found the tutorial, but it was very helpful!
There had been a lot of trial and error during the animation process and I am not very happy with the result that I have right now.. If you have a time, feel free to check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_54_3v0cp4 .. and let me know what you guys think about it.. I'd really appreciate your feedback for the scene..

Thank you guys for reading my post.. this will conclude my gloominess for today and I will start fresh tomorrow! Ooh and.. tomorrow is a New Year!! Wooott!!

Happy New Year 2014 Everyone!! All the Best for Next Year!! :D
Take care and Stay Healthy
God Bless You All


Friday, December 20, 2013

Say Hi to Momo's Adventure! (Petualangan Momo)

I am very lucky that I could be a part of our small but lovely team called, Blackappleroom :)
My friends and I are developing an educational children series, titled 'Petualangan Momo' (Momo's Adventure). The show will be broadcasted on YouTube and right now, we have a teaser trailer for the show :D If you have a spare time, please check out the video below and you could also leave some comments or feedback for the teaser our YouTube page... We would greatly appreciate it :

So far, the process has been very interesting! I have to learn how to animate in 2D medium and I don't have any experience to animate in 2D medium! I'm going to share how I tackle this challenge later on.. This is completely new to me and I am very excited about it! :)
Thank you everyone for reading my post!

Have a great day and Happy Animating!

Overview - Long Time No See!

Hello everyone.. :) Hope everybody is doing well.. :))
So.. It has been a really long time since my last post and it has been a really interesting year for me..
The great stuff that I discovered during class 6.. well, thank goodness they are still in my brain (yayy!) . I unfortunately could not upload the playblasts from my last shot because I am in my hometown now and left them in my PC in my second home.

However, you can check out the shot on my reel here. It is the first one on the reel.
There are couple things that I did differently in this shot. I still feel that the facial animation is still very weak, but here are some of the approach that I did and some discoveries that I found :
  1. During my planning stage, I tried to find a way on how to make this little girl more appealing. I could not remember where I got this from initially.. maybe from alumni tutor q&a, the lectures, I couldn't remember.. but it was about Clint Eastwood and his remarkable facial expression when he talked. I thought.. I should try that out! So I decided to make her mouth shapes move sideways, to the screen right, when she talked or smiled.. the idea came from my own habit hehe.. My mouth tends to go sideways when I talk :p
    I guess this would be a great idea to add to our shot, I kind of feel this could add more personality to our character.. :)
  2. At some random moment when I was animating the shot, I think I was animating a blink and having a hard time with it.. The thought appeared out of the blue, 'I think I am going to try to use an X-Sheet next time..' .. I should have realized that we could use it to add details too.. :/ So, a note to myself: use an X-Sheet when you plan your next shot.
  3. This time around, I added the facial animation at the very beginning of the blocking stage. As always, I made 2 different groups of controllers; All Body Controllers and All Facial Controllers. The aim is to avoid confusion in the timeline. I blocked the body first and then the face came along..
  4. On my class 5 shot, I was thinking about how the character talked and behave.. This time around, I tried out the method that was taught on the lecture.. I used my dad as a reference :D I was thinking what my dad would do if I talked to him about becoming a fireman.. My mentor gave a very nice suggestion too! He suggested that when he tries out to find out a nice acting flow, try to listen to the dialogue.. and then, listen how the tone of the voice flow, and then go with the flow of the voice of the actor.. It is kind of hard to explain it.. but, I hope you guys get it.. Please let me know if this part is not clear! :O
  5. I think I have better understanding of video reference now.. My mentor taught us to quickly take a new reference if we got stuck with our shot.. and it was really helpful! I think I get more patient when I plan my shot as well.. Studying the body mechanics before we bring the poses to Maya is very, very helpful..
Those are some of the stuff that I learned from my Fireman shot, that I could remember :)

However, The Ultimate Thing that I learned from my last class is ... 'To look back on the process and be Grateful' .. a quote from my mentor that I will remember forever :) Shout out to my awesome class 6 mentor Mark Oftedal! :D I couldn't even describe how grateful I am to be able to become a part of AM and finish the course.. so, Thank You very much everyone, the support has been incredibly amazing... this thing called Animation is my light at the end of tunnel.. :)

Have a great day everyone and Keep Animating!
Don't forget to enjoy the sun and fresh air out there! Holiday Season is coming! :D


Friday, January 25, 2013

Animation Layer Quick Tutorial

Hi everyone!
There is one tool that i use quite a lot when i polish my shot, it is animation layer! Honestly, I have no in depth knowledge about it, but i thought i'd like to do a quick how-to tutorial about the tool. So here is the video:

I find this tool is very helpful and it kind of feels more organized. In my humble opinion, i think it could save us from destroying the previous animation that we've already had before we polish our shot. I mainly use it for adding small details such as breathing, head or hand shakes, staggers, and squash & stretch. I'm sure that it can be used to layer in a lot of other cool stuff as well! I hope the video is clear and i hope it helps. Please let me know if you had any trouble with the tool or if you had any questions about it, i will try my best to get back to you asap.

Thank you all for watching and Happy Animating!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Overview - Animating a Contact

Animating a Contact is one of the hardest thing that I have ever encountered so far. In my 2 people dialogue shot, i had a lady stroked a girl's hair and then caress her cheek. I remember that every week, i always asked and told my mentor that i had a problem with this. My mentor explained that a contact is indeed one of the trickiest and hardest to animate. The reason for this is because sometimes, the object is probably not even touching the other one and this may be caused by the camera angle or maybe we want to have a clear silhouette for the pose and we have to find a way to make it as if the objects are touching. I like to think this of this like an illusion... it's not there but it Is there... I hope this make sense..

The other thing that i learn from this shot is that we need to be always aware with the relationship between our characters. I came up with few 'reminder' questions for myself, such as Are they siblings? Are they related? How close is their relationship? Ultimately is What will your character do? Not us, but what will she/he do? I found out that it is very easy to make their movement not exactly right even though it seems like it is the right and proper one for me. At this point, i do believe that peer feedback and taking countless video references are some of the ways that will help us to find the solution.

Couple things that i noticed when i took video references for this shot is that it was important to take a close look on what is going to happen on the surface that i touch and how the object reacts to the touch. In my case, i unfortunately did not have a person that i could rely on becoming my test subject and i am to shy to act it out to other people.. so, i act it out on my own cheek, my giant Winnie the Pooh doll and my dog ('_';). I probably did not get an optimal result from this because those objects are not human and they obviously will not react like one. However, it was really cool to notice some micro eye movements when the hand is approaching to the face and see a bit of head movement, the subtle change on the cheek as the finger touches it and how the fingers move as they touch the cheek. These are some of tiny details that i usually missed to notice because they are so subtle. The other tool that i used a lot was a mirror and i found that just by doing the hand movement every now and then was very helpful as well. In the end, i sort of combine all results that i got from all of these references and gave my best to translate the research to the animation.

At the end of class 5, my mentor told me that the lady's last touch was almost there. It really took me a long time to polish the movement and i was also scared that i might be noodling on it way too much. As the term proceed and almost at the end of class 6, it really just came to me that in order to polish this hand movement... there is no other way but to get into each of the hand and finger controllers.. It is inevitable ... :D

 Below are some playblasts for shot 2 progression :

Week 6 : I think i was still refining the lady's body movement on shot 2

Week 7 : The hand contact was still very rough

Week 8 : I had a problem with the timing of the lady's hand movement when she raises her hand to touch the girl's cheek

Week 9 : Still refined the lady's hand movement, it still felt too fast and not gentle enough

Week 10 : Still refined the hand movement, my mentor suggested to add something on it so that it will show there is a Real contact and not simply just moving her hand from the girl's forehead to her cheek..

Week 11 : Still refined the hand movement. That week, my mentor suggested to add something more special for the hand movement, something like another hand strokes on the cheek..

Tweaked the movement and added another hand stroke..

Changed the angle of the hand like it was mentioned on the critique...

This is the last version from week 12. At this point, I did not manage to thoroughly refine the lip sync on shot 2.. 

I did further polishing for this shot in Class 6, but I'm going to wrap this post now and i will continue to write about polishing this shot on my next post :) Thank you everyone for your time to read my post..

Have a great week and Happy Animating!