Saturday, 30 November 2013

Animation Principles-"Character Appeal"

This week you will be learning more about character design and character appeal. Appeal is one of the 12 Principles of Animation. The purpose of this week's investigation and practice is to prepare you for the task of creating solid main characters for your story pitch. (Again, if you are confused as to what a story pitch is, it is the document uploaded to this blog that highlighted the pitch for Adventure Time, Frederator Studios).

This week please read the assigned reading and respond to the daily questions on the BlogSpot comment replies. Do this daily to make sure you are getting the reading and responses required. Daily responses will be awarded points.

For December 2nd reading/response:

1. Based on reading Brian Lemay's article, what are the 5 basic body types you could use when designing your character?

1. Again, based on Brian Lemay's article about appeal, in the early days of cartoons and animation gags were used to get laughs and engage the audience. But now, appeal means more than just a character that can pull off a gag. What are all of the factors that engage an audience regarding characters?
1. Finally, based on Lemay's article above, what is the role of the character designer? What are the basic poses the character designer prepares for the team?

For Wed., December 4th reading/response:

1. In the blogger article by the Fanboy and Chum Chum designers, what different expressions do you see represented when the writer/artist talks about mouth charts and expressions (there is an illustration beneath this discussion).

2. What is the benefit of creating expressions for your character?

For Wednesday,
  1. Please take the handout Character Worksheet and fill out a sheet for the main 3 characters in your story. You should include the protagonist and antagonist and significant other character.
  2. Create rough sketches in your sketchbook of the top 3 characters.
Note: Please let me know if you are not at this point as you will start to fall behind.
For Fri., December 6th reading/response:
1. In reading the blogger's post above, what do you think he believes are some traits of character appeal?

2. In the blogger's post, he suggests that the Hanna Barbera characters (some included in his blog) perhaps had more character appeal than the work of the nine of men at Disney, who would have been responsible for movies such as Snow White, The Rescuers, Peter Pan, Bambi, Cinderella and others. Do you agree, or not? Why/why not?


3. Think about your favorite animated characters of all time (from when you were a little kid to now). Make a Pinterest Page of your favorite animated characters and their related character designers to share with the rest of the class. You will present these on Monday. You may consider these characters inspiration for your own work. As you select your characters to pin, think about their character traits, internal/external motivations, physical attributes/quirks, personality, temperament, etc. Think of the character designers for your favorite characters and the process they may have used to design these characters.

The next step in the process for making a story pitch is to illustrate your main characters. We want to make sure that you design your characters with character appeal in mind. This week's work is intended to help you best understand and apply the concept of character appeal to your work. Character appeal is critical for the story pitch.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Story development

 Please use this link for all documents about story development. Inside this folder there is a document called Plot Outline. Please make a copy of this document inside the shared folder and rename it plotOutline_lastname.

Complete this story outline today. Double check it is available in the shared google drive at the end of class.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Plot and scriptwriting

Read the article about 8 plot points here.

Brainstorm 3 story concepts.

In a google doc, write a paragraph summary of each idea and include the 8 plot points outlined in the article.

Share your work with Mrs. Leather at

See this useful site for tips

Adventure Time Pitch

Fred Seibert 

Friday, 18 October 2013

Principles of Animation-Stretch and Squash

Please read the following article that details the principles of animation, written / presented by John Lassiter of Pixar/Disney:


Review the following Blender Tutorials:

Bouncing Ball (Stretch and Squash)
Bouncing Ball 2 (youtube)

Soda Can (Anticipation & Stretch and Squash)


Create a simple model of your choice and apply your knowledge of stretch and squash AND anticipation. This model may be anything you want ranging from a simple ball, a more complex ball (such as basketball, or other with segments/seams), a simple model such as the soda can or glass, or even your robot.

Requirements: Please click the tab at the top of the blogspot to see 'rubric'

Monday, 30 September 2013

The face of your robot character

Remembering the Pixar concept that the eyes are the windows to the character's soul, please respond to this question on the blog:
What kind of face and eyes will your character
have? How will you make the eyes? Will the 
eyes have eyelids, or will the eyes be hollow

A good tutorial for creating "Pixar-like" eyes.

In looking at your current robot design what
would you say the personality of your robot would
be? Is it kind, friendly, mean, antagonistic, gentle
giant, etc?

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Character Design

Dreamworks: The production process
Pixar: Character Development
Jason Deamer Pixar Interview (Character Developer)

Student response: What benefit might you have when drawing your robot design before modeling?

File:WALL E Concept Art 3.jpg

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Sept 23 Your Robot

Many 3D artists start off creating great geometrically based characters. Often these characters are based on inanimate objects such as Cars, Lamps, Robots, and more. Much of the early 3D animation that you might see features inanimate objects created mostly using primitive mesh shapes. It's a good place to start. They key to creating a great character is by figuring out how to breathe life into the character.

Let's listen to John Lassiter of Disney/Pixar as he talks about how to infuse an inanimate character with life and personality.

In groups discuss the ways in which Lassiter describes bringing the Cars in Car Story to life. In pairs or groups of 3, look at this trailer for Cars. Cite areas in the trailer where you see the concepts Lassiter talks about in the Charlie Rose interview.

Monday and Tuesday: Create sketches in your sketchbook of various ideas for a robot. What would your robot do? What kind of functionality would it have? Would it be a helper, a friend, an animal, made from junk and recyclables, or shiny new material? (Tuesday) In small groups share your sketches and explain the functionality and personality of your robot. Get some feedback from your group. What do they like? Would they as 'audience' members relate to your robot? Who is the audience for your robot? Would it be directed to small kids (ala Jimmy Neutron, Spongebob), older kids (Adventure Time), or mass audiences (Nemo, Cars, Spirited Away).

Yay OK, Rocket Monkeys

Jimmy Neutron's Brobot
Yanko Designs, Awesome Bot
Pixar, Logo Animation Still Frame

Sept 23 Robots and Gingerbread People

More Modeling practice
Start to design your robot in your sketchbook

Robot-model the robot from last week. You do not need to animate it, although you can if time permits.

One thing to remember, you can mirror an object using another object as reference. In this case, I used the robot as the object to use for the center point.

When complete with the robot, try this gingerbread tutorial from the BlenderWiki. It is an easy to follow tutorial, step by step written guide. You will continue to sharpen your modeling skills, use mirror again and practice working with materials. (Click here for tutorial)

There is also an excellent rigging and animation tutorial that follows. Doing the gingerbread person will help set a foundation for character modeling.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Hand in Files

Please hand in your 3D files to the following:

  1. Render your wine glass as a png or jpg file and upload here
  2. Render a view of Steve as a png or jpg file and upload here
  3. Render a short animation of your Steve character walking and upload here 

Robot Models in Blender

BlenderArt-Robot Tut
Blender Art has a good tutorial, although it requires patience. New concepts:
  1. Mirroring
  2. UV Sphere Mesh Object
  3. Much use of the Front/Side Orthagonal Views
  4. Use of Background Image
  5. Select multiple vertices at the same time (c)
  6. Select multiple vertices at the same time, box select (b)
  7. Mesh-Modifiers-Subdivisions (and Mirror)
  8. Convert tri to quad (polygons-what to do if you end up with a tri, triangles can do bad things in the rendering of the model)
  9. Welding vertices (extrude, right click, alt M, 'at center')
Things to watch for: Count of original rings in the uv sphere, use 48 rather than 24. When you cut the section for the ear by deleting vertices, make sure you are cutting an oval or round opening.

This is an excellent tutorial, artist/modeler seldom makes a mistake, the pacing is very good, easy to follow with nice results. Does a really nice job with shading and colorizing the robot. Excellent job of adding lamps and lighting.

New Concepts:
  1. P-Separate selection while in edit mode on single object
  2. Mirror Modifier
  3. Modifier-Edge Split
  4. Select "Ring"
This movie is well worth watching as it demonstrates setting up a rigging with parent objects from the armature menu. 

Thursday, 12 September 2013

History of Animation-Earliest Devices and People

History, 1800s-early 1900

Questions for comment response below:
  1. How did DaVinci influence the art of film and animation?
  2. Did DaVinci ever see his inventions developed in his age?
  3. What is persistence of vision, why is it important to animators?
  4. What significance do the Lumiere Bros have to the history of film?
  5. There were artists and engineers or inventors who advanced the development of film over centuries. To this day the combination of artists and engineers continues to foster great innovation. What skills/value does each bring to a project?

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Minecraft Project

Minecraft Project -Model it. Unwrap it. Export Unwrapped Pattern. Photoshop Design Texture. Texture Map.

  1. Download the attached char.png file. This is the basic minecraft skin.
  2. Model a simple minecraft character as demonstrated in the youtube link below.
  3. After you model the character, you will 'unwrap' your image, this spreads it out like a pattern.
  4. This unwrapped pattern can be imported into Photoshop. 
  5. In Photoshop you may decorate the character to your liking following the pattern, you can even place your face in the pattern.
  6. Save Png
  7. Follow this tutorial to make a minecraft character with the new skin

Unwrapped Model

Partial Texture Map, My face!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Different Kinds of Animation

Cel Animation (Frame by frame):
As this movie demonstrates, cel animation (2D) begins with drawings of the characters and backgrounds. It is the drawing skill of the artists and producers that emulate the look of depth in the scene. This process uses drawings, cameras to capture cels or sheets of drawings, and an ink and paint process for colorization. 

To create 2D animation using a computer many artists use Adobe Flash which is a 2D animation tool that also allows artist input either frame by frame or with computer 'tweening'. This page shows excellent examples of 2D animation using Flash. Click here

3D incorporates a workflow that goes like this:

Concept Sketches - Storyboards - Model - Shading/Lighting/Texture - Rigging - Animation - Rendering - Programming.

Familiarize yourself with the Blender education webpage (and the Blender site). 
Complete exercises 2-6 on this Blender tutorial page

    Tuesday, 20 August 2013

    What is a designer?

    Watch Paula Scher's Ted Talk Here
    Watch Linux Collaboration Summit here
    Watch Trends in UI/UX Design here 
    Watch Aaron Koblin, Sr. Creative Dir, Google here

    In small groups, discuss the following questions. Be prepared to share your answers with the class:

    1. What is the role of a designer in these different industry sectors (media content, mobile user interface, product design)?

    2. How does a designer begin to design something?

    3. What is a prototype in design?

    4. What is user experience?