Animations again!

It’s been a while since I updated the blog, but it’s not out of idleness. I’ve been actually pretty busy learning things and going to conventions (where I’ve learned quite a few things I might add) and updating my webcomic and my multitude of blogs and social networks that were gathering virtual dust during this semester.

Speaking of gathering dust, I’ve had this post stored for a while because I wanted to finish cleanup on some projects that I was proud of but was barely visible thanks to eraser smudge and my very thin lines which tend to be almost invisible to the lightboxes.

Each animation takes a big chunk of my time, because I’m extremely insecure of how I’ll be doing them and also because I always want to add something else that exceeds my knowledge or skills.

Let’s begin with the simple stuff: A four legged walk cycle.




The goal was to make an interesting looking four legged walk. So I chose a bear, because gorillas would’ve been way too hard.  But in order to do that I made sure I did some prep sketches from anatomy books and looked at some youtube videos of bears doing silly stuff in the zoos.





Looks like really cool stuff, until I sat down to animate it and every stroke looked weird. I did the first pass on paper and then took it to the laptop so I could finish the assignment at work thinking I could somehow fix it.

The result looks like a person walking in the back and something else happening in the front. Weird.






This exercise is for a 6 second lip sync and action.  For my inspiration I chose that god amongst actors: Christopher Walken. I love his SNL sketches and I can spend hours failing at doing impressions of him.

In particular, I love his recurring skit for The Continental:



I had to simplify a bit and figure out a way to set it apart from being just an attempt of an impression, so I went for a slap. A big crazy Tex Avery slap.

But there was a problem. I couldn’t do the voice. I wasn’t FUNNY enough.  My accent can do funny things, but it lacks the oomph necessary to make you sympathize with such a creep.

Enter Bojan.  Bless his absurd way with words.






Then there’s the 20 second animation project.  For this one we had more time, so I went all out.  I didn’t just want a simple exercise, I wanted to make something that made sense and that would reflect more of what really dragged me to animation.  So, after a four legged walk and lip-sync, one of the things that I fear the most in animation, is dance.

Dance is beautiful. Well animated it can tell you a lot about the characters and about the skills of the artist behind it. Otherwise it turns into Thumbellina (look it up, or don’t if you’d rather not have animated nightmares).  So I put on my dancing shoes, went to salsa class and looked carefully at the moves I wanted to do, learned them (or attempted to) and used the knowledge in the animation.  It was fun.

But Blair told me it had to have something more than just dancing. There had to be some lip sync in this one too, so I needed the characters to say something that could lead to the dance.

Writing is hard. I can do it in Spanish in the blink of an eye, but in English it’s really hard for me.  I couldn’t think of any dialog that could be smooth enough for this.

One morning, I found this word: Tarantism.  I wrote it down on one of my sketches and it just clicked it. I wrote the bit and then looked for people to voice the characters. And failed repetitively until the deadline was looming dangerously.  Thankfully Mershad and Jean gave me the right amount of awkwardness to make it work without being creepy.

In the end it looks rough and the lines are shaky, but I’m incredibly proud of it.






The semester is over and I have spent the first month out making sure my stuff looks nice and shiny.  As an extra dose of punishment I went back to one of my animations from last year and gave it a clean up. It’s silly and gross and it was a pleasure/pain to make.



Once again, thanks for watching.


The Portfolio for ANI – Game Design Stream

It’s time to face a Robert Frost dilemma: There’re two roads to take in the ANI program. One is for 3D Character Animation Stream (oriented at animators who want to take their craft further into 3D Animation with Maya) and the other one is for 3D Game Art and Design Stream (oriented at those artists who make the bits and pieces that go into modern videogames).

I love both paths, but I have already taken a very good course in CentreNAD for 3D Animation for Film (which was what motivated me to go further and aim for a full bachelor on Animation), so I chose to go for the Game Art path, which has more modelling involved.

However… you need to apply for it.

The creation of a new portfolio scared me and it took me a long while to figure out what to throw in it and what to take away. I took away a lot of my old 3D stuff, but left the car, lots of cartoony or designy stuff was also discarded, pretty much most of my life drawing was stripped from the final piece… and I still feel I went a bit overkill in how many things I crammed into the application.

But it’s done now and I already handed it in.

Wish me luck.










Weird projects: The Snail

After 2 semesters of insanity, deadlines and lack of sleep, most of us in Seneca’s Animation program are still restless. We’ve been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, waking up screaming “Sleep is for the weak” and sweating every time someone mentions the word “inbetweening”. Which means that during the summer we’re all working hard in crazy personal projects and animations, or taking Summer courses and forgetting about the beautiful outside world. There’s a super secret project going on with Dima, Jay, Kalvin and other guys in A and B class who want to create a crazy animation. I still have some comic book pages, storyboards and even writing on my own.

So, a couple of weeks ago, during a break from TCAF, I was talking to Salar about having too much time in my hands. And we came up with a simple story concept for a short and quick animation: A snail has to cross a sidewalk. The goal is to make it super-quick and simple enough to not let our animation skills rot during the Summer.

As everything with me, the concept has to involve suffering of the Chuck Jones category. So, the snail will try to cross the street to get to a flower, but will have to be squashed, mashed, destroyed, and ultimately unable to reach its goal. Salar agreed in the end that it would be funnier, not without lots of struggle. He aims higher in animation arts, I aim for dick jokes and slapstick.

Then, we created two different boards for some of the gags (which will be revealed as soon as we agree on the style). And I called dibs in designing this complex, multi-layered character.

Salar may want to animate it completely different, but I’ll be testing this idea on Tuesday. Also, there will be posts on my crude attempts at animating it.

The other thing I did is a character expression sheet for the guy.

Complex stuff as you can see.