Saturday, 4 August 2012

Building the old showreel

Decided that I should try to keep this blog rolling for as long as I can and as long as people are still following.  Anyway, lately I have been job hunting while simultaneously trying to build up my showreel.  I have already started building my showreel as I have included clips from the Synaesthesia film which I am particularly proud of.

However, much of the work that is still on my showreel is fairly old now, such as the Ace Ventura piece and even the 15 seconds left short I produced.  I really need to generate some more work to put on my showreel in my time off so that I can demonstrate my ability, specifically as a CG Character Animator and ultimately get a job.

The first method that I chose to go about setting up personal animation projects for myself was to root out all the issues that I had of the magazine 3D World and then scan through them to find any tutorials. Unfortunately, the majority of the tutorials in there are modelling and texturing tutorials, which although they may come in a mega useful in the near future, they are not relevant for building a Character Animation Reel.  Having said that, I did find a very good tutorial on producing Secondary Animation, using rigging and a basic dynamics system on a Grim Reaper character.  I am quite pleased with it so I may post up a little demonstration soon; plus it will be useful for my portfolio as it shows the versatility of my rigging skills.

Anyway, I have now decided to enter the 11 second club competition for a third time.  I have found that whenever I end up at a loose end when it comes to my animation work and I struggle, the 11 second club proves to be a fantastic source of inspiration and means for a well planned animation project, along with being a terrific place for getting constructive feedback from other animators.

If you take a look at this month's piece of dialogue from the 11 second club, you will find that it was taken from an episode of Doctor Who and consists of Matt Smith saying that he dreamt of the stars and has lived his dream; he is presumably saying this to a young Amy Pond.  Initially, I did not care for the choice of dialogue this month as I found that it did not lend itself well to a wide range of poses.  I tried doing some sketches for my concept, but I did not really get anywhere.

I had already decided that the concept would revolve around an elderly man and a young child and that they would be sitting next to each other cross-legged.  The man would tell the child that he once dreamt of the stars and that he has lived his life his way.  With this concept in mind, I decided to film myself a few times reciting the dialogue and working out some poses for the character.

I think that I could probably do something pretty good with these poses.  It probably won't be very animated or dramatic, but I could go for something subtle in the animation, to see how well that will work.  What I intend to do is look through this footage and pick out the best poses for each bit of dialogue to come up with the final set of poses.  I will then put the best series of poses together into one video file and use that as reference for animating the CG character.  I will need to work out some character animation for the mute child character soon as well.

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