Animation a Day: Practice makes ... better?

TomaToma Registered User
edited February 2010 in Artist's Corner
So a long time ago I dabbled in animation. I loved it, and threw a 2 minute cartoon up on Newgrounds. 2 years later, I haven't done squat, and miss animating. So to challenge myself, I'm trying to do an animation a day, at least 5 times a week.

That being said, I was thinking, why not post it online, journal style? As in, 5 days a week, do the animation online, post it each day, just like a daily webcomic would update.

To save time, I would do them simple, sketchy, and not too in depth (unless I felt up to it) ... and since it's daily, I guess that might forgive the look of them(?).

Anyways, I just started it this week, and this is all I'd have to show for so far... They're in .gif form, though most likely I'd post online in flash or something.

Spoiler'd seperately to prevent the gif files from freaking out with one another. Only open up one at a time if your PC sucks like mine.
2010-01-26.gif
2010-01-27.gif
2010-01-28.gif
2010-01-29.gif

I appreciate any feedback. I kinda wish I didn't stay away from this forum too much, but thanks, nevertheless. (Please smack me if that was a horrible way to post pictures.)

tomapop.gif

PSN: Toma84
Toma on

Posts

  • lyriumlyrium Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I don't know anything about animation but these look pretty nice and enjoyable to me. Hopefully someone else will give you some tips.

    lyrium on
  • beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    speed em up a bit i'd say to start with
    go for 24 fps

    beavotron on
  • TomaToma Registered User
    edited January 2010
    beavotron wrote: »
    speed em up a bit i'd say to start with
    go for 24 fps

    That was 24 frames a second... Hmm, I wonder if perhaps that's due to them being as gifs? Here's just a video of them all together at the proper speeds... so maybe that'll make a difference? Gifs are definately not the way to go.

    Test video.

    Let me know if that improved the speed, if any.

    Toma on
    tomapop.gif

    PSN: Toma84
  • beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    yeah that's better!
    it was the gifs for sure

    beavotron on
  • bombardierbombardier Moderator mod
    edited January 2010
    beavotron wrote: »
    yeah that's better!
    it was the gifs for sure

    Safari and IE don't like to play gifs at the proper speed, I have found. Firefox is good though.

    bombardier on
  • TomaToma Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Hmm, I am determined to do this "journal" style... anyone have any suggestions for free hosting, perhaps a site that focuses on webcomic hosting, so that I could maintain a daily upload, with ease?

    I know the standby's like Keenspot, but don't know much of what they've become. Also, I don't know if sites would mind the use of a webcomic ofrum for something that is not a webcomic at all. I'd most likely use flash files to maintain the frame rate.

    Toma on
    tomapop.gif

    PSN: Toma84
  • BuckwolfeBuckwolfe Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Those don't look too shabby to me, but overall its a little difficult to critique. It'll probably sound generic, and maybe even unhelpful, but the only thing I can say is that you should keep it up. Animation is fickle. Its exhausting, tedious, and entirely lacking in any form of instant gratification. This makes it a little more difficult to gauge and critique in general. At least in terms of early progress, roughs, exercises, etc.

    It might be helpful if you posted the NewGrounds animation you mentioned. Even though you say you haven't done any animation in two year gap between then and now, it might help set up a comparison of sorts, ya know?

    Buckwolfe on
  • TomaToma Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Buckwolfe wrote: »
    Those don't look too shabby to me, but overall its a little difficult to critique. It'll probably sound generic, and maybe even unhelpful, but the only thing I can say is that you should keep it up. Animation is fickle. Its exhausting, tedious, and entirely lacking in any form of instant gratification. This makes it a little more difficult to gauge and critique in general. At least in terms of early progress, roughs, exercises, etc.

    It might be helpful if you posted the NewGrounds animation you mentioned. Even though you say you haven't done any animation in two year gap between then and now, it might help set up a comparison of sorts, ya know?

    Sure. Posted it a long time ago, trying to spark a topic on animation, but I think that doing it this way, focusing on practicing the art of animation and seeing where I came from and where I'll end up, is probably the best angle.

    http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/433189

    Toma on
    tomapop.gif

    PSN: Toma84
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    beavotron wrote: »
    speed em up a bit i'd say to start with
    go for 24 fps

    Depends on what he's going for.

    24 frames per second is the standard for movies and television commercials. Twelve frames per second is what you see in normal budget kids shows. Six frames per second is for economic animation, and can be just as difficult (if not more difficult) than 24 FPS.


    Overall though I have no idea how to approach these, because I haven't the slightest clue what you were striving towards. Are these just fun things? That's cool. I like cool things. If that's the case then keep on trucking.


    I'm not going to tear apart these quirky animations if that's the case.


    There is a lot I could help you with here, I just need to know where you're coming from in terms of an overall goal.

    Godfather on
  • TomaToma Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Godfather wrote: »
    beavotron wrote: »
    speed em up a bit i'd say to start with
    go for 24 fps

    Depends on what he's going for.

    24 frames per second is the standard for movies and television commercials. Twelve frames per second is what you see in normal budget kids shows. Six frames per second is for economic animation, and can be just as difficult (if not more difficult) than 24 FPS.


    Overall though I have no idea how to approach these, because I haven't the slightest clue what you were striving towards. Are these just fun things? That's cool. I like cool things. If that's the case then keep on trucking.


    I'm not going to tear apart these quirky animations if that's the case.


    There is a lot I could help you with here, I just need to know where you're coming from in terms of an overall goal.

    It's good you ask that, because I'll be honest, initially it was just a "hey I'll just do this everyday and feel productive."

    I do have goals. There are things I'm struggling with when it comes to animation, and I'm going to practice them as much as I can:

    -Stretch and squash.
    -Timing
    -Consistency of shape (this will most likely be my biggest challenge)

    While for now I might be doing silly shapes and goofy creatures, I want to do more lofty ideas as well. Maybe I'll sit down and draw an eye blinking. Maybe I'll try my hand at a few hand gestures, a simple glance, or a cup tipping over and spilling water.

    Ultimately, it's to hone my skills, and build up a portfolio as well. And as I do more of these, I want to do more real cartoons on the side. Who knows how it'll pan out, but at least I'm doing it now, and I want it to mean something in a month or two.

    Toma on
    tomapop.gif

    PSN: Toma84
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'd love to help you later this week, cause right now i'm completely booked with school/life in general.

    So I tell you what. Focus on the 12 fps format; Don't try to do 24 fps yet, you'll be wasting your time honestly, and it'll confuse your judgement when it comes to timing. Timing is everything; just because it's fluid looking doesn't make it right.


    Start out small, like a clock pendulum for example. If you want to do actual character animation, try using the bean bag model. Just try some basic jumps and movement.


    I'll check back later next week and give you some pointers.

    Godfather on
  • TomaToma Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Godfather wrote: »
    I'd love to help you later this week, cause right now i'm completely booked with school/life in general.

    So I tell you what. Focus on the 12 fps format; Don't try to do 24 fps yet, you'll be wasting your time honestly, and it'll confuse your judgement when it comes to timing. Timing is everything; just because it's fluid looking doesn't make it right.


    Start out small, like a clock pendulum for example. If you want to do actual character animation, try using the bean bag model. Just try some basic jumps and movement.


    I'll check back later next week and give you some pointers.

    I should probably mention that I've been doing 24 fps on two's... which equals 12 fps. Sure, I'll give it a shot, and start small as you've said, but I think every few days or so I may jump into something a little abstract, just for fun.

    Whether or not I do these through a daily blog or something, or instead, just post a weekly re-cap on Youtube, I'll find a good way to chronicle them.

    Toma on
    tomapop.gif

    PSN: Toma84
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Good; that's smart, and the usual standard fare in the industry.


    Feel free to explore if you want, just take into effect that most things should have a rhyme and reason to it (even effects animation).

    Godfather on
  • feebsiclefeebsicle Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    My two favourites are the mouth-ball biting and the flying one, and I'm pretty sure it's because they make a good clean cycle. The other two are (incomplete) actions that just stop and repeat. I know they're just little exercises, but these are so short anyway...why not just cycle them?

    The mouth-bite has some really great follow-through and weight. I think you could push the action a little more by adding a more pronounced antic before the bite actually happens, which might help to loosen it up a bit more and make the bite more dynamic.

    As for the sack and the other thing with two legs, there is a shift in weight missing in both of them. Their center of gravity needs to shift to the weight-bearing leg in each one (well, the sack one cuts off before it can happen fully but it would probably feel better if a few frames were added at the end to do this).

    The flying one is super cute! I would suggest adding some follow-through on the tip of the wings. You want to make them feel like they're pushing the air, and also being affected by the drag of the air. If just the tips of the wings were offset for a few frames behind the main bulk of the wing, it'll look more like flying. It also might be a good idea to add a few more frames in, and offset the little dangly-bit (tail?) at his bottom. There is a little twinning happening with that thing and the movement of the wings, and twinning can get a little distracting.

    I hope that helps :) I love your style!

    feebsicle on
  • TomaToma Registered User
    edited January 2010
    feebsicle wrote: »
    My two favourites are the mouth-ball biting and the flying one, and I'm pretty sure it's because they make a good clean cycle. The other two are (incomplete) actions that just stop and repeat. I know they're just little exercises, but these are so short anyway...why not just cycle them?

    The mouth-bite has some really great follow-through and weight. I think you could push the action a little more by adding a more pronounced antic before the bite actually happens, which might help to loosen it up a bit more and make the bite more dynamic.

    As for the sack and the other thing with two legs, there is a shift in weight missing in both of them. Their center of gravity needs to shift to the weight-bearing leg in each one (well, the sack one cuts off before it can happen fully but it would probably feel better if a few frames were added at the end to do this).

    The flying one is super cute! I would suggest adding some follow-through on the tip of the wings. You want to make them feel like they're pushing the air, and also being affected by the drag of the air. If just the tips of the wings were offset for a few frames behind the main bulk of the wing, it'll look more like flying. It also might be a good idea to add a few more frames in, and offset the little dangly-bit (tail?) at his bottom. There is a little twinning happening with that thing and the movement of the wings, and twinning can get a little distracting.

    I hope that helps :) I love your style!

    I think I'll need to try those suggestions, at least, go and clean up the animations. I finished 5 for my first week, and even made sure they all looped, but now I can go back and clean them up, and I'll use your suggestions too.

    I think I'll have a good schedule with this... 5 animations a week, and I'll use the other 2 days to go back and clean up the ones I did that week. I don't expect them all to be good, in fact, I expect %75 of them to suck or need work. I plan to have the animations done Mon-Friday... doing them after work, and on the weekends, doing the cleanup. Since I'll only have today to do the cleanup, and I have other work to get done, I may need to spread the adjustments out to some of next week, as I do more new animations too.

    Toma on
    tomapop.gif

    PSN: Toma84
  • TomaToma Registered User
    edited February 2010
    So I got a blog, where I can post these without too much trouble. I know I've only done 5 so far, but I'm planning on playing catch-up soon.

    http://animationaday.blogspot.com/

    Edit: I realize that I really need to get it spruced up (layout wise) as the default theme is quite boring.

    Toma on
    tomapop.gif

    PSN: Toma84
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