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Animations, ahoy! (or 'Nakirush Goes to Art School')

nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
edited November 2014 in Artist's Corner
Hey all,

James here - back from a year hiatus. I'm happy to say that I've FINALLY taken the first big step toward my dream of becoming an animator/visual effects artist. This past spring I began my studies at Gnomon School of Visual Effects. I just completed my second term and thought it would be fun to share some of the projects I've been working on for school. Most of these are complete unless stated otherwise, but going forward I will post as I work on my future projects.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, comments and critiques!

Projects from Term 1

-Matte Painting, Introduction to Photoshop Final Project

-Jurassic Park 'Clever Girl' Scene, Storyboarding

-BeetleJuke Beauty Shot, Visual Communication Final Project

-BeetleJuke Detail Shot, Visual Communication Final Project

-BeetleJuke Usage Shot, Visual Communication Final Project

-SciFi Environment, Introduction to 3D with Maya/Texturing and Shading 1 Final Project

Compiling my projects from Term 2, I will upload as soon as that's complete.

Thanks for looking!

EDIT: Resized images, sorry for the initial largeness...

nakirush on


  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    Projects from Term 2

    -Dinette, Texturing and Shading 2 Final Project

    -Wristwatch, Hard Surface Modeling 1 Final Project

    -Compilation, Animation for Visual Effects

    -Compilation, History and Principles of Animation

  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    Homework assignments from my first week back.

    Yay, more bouncing balls...

    And some gestures, ranging from 1-3 minutes.


  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    I quite like these. Your gestures have a good amount of weight to them, but all the males seem unusually chubby (maybe it's your model) when looking at their other limbs. It looks like you're using newsprint and...a sanguine pencil? I've never used one, but it looks like you can't go super broad with the strokes. If they'll let you, maybe try out some charcoal pencils and experiment with tone a bit?

  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    I like your Beetlejuke.

  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    @kevindee‌ That particular model was quite chubby with thinner/muscular extremities. I was using newsprint and sanguine and have since switched to colored pencils with a long point. I like the silkier feel of the colored pencils as they feel more like drawing on a Cintiq.

    @NibCrom Thanks! That was a fun little project to put together.

    And here's a bouncy ball with a tail. Because reasons...

  • Uncle PKUncle PK Registered User regular
    edited November 2014

    Uncle PK on
  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    @Uncle PK‌ - Thanks, man!

    Here's a walk cycle -

  • Uncle PKUncle PK Registered User regular
    edited November 2014

    Uncle PK on
  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular

    I'm using Maya almost exclusively. Seems to be the industry standard these days.

  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    Time for some traditional animation, y'all!

    Lightsaber Duel Animatic -

    Background painting for the opening shot-

  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    Finished the backgrounds for my animation and added them into the animatic.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Man, that duel is pretty onsided.

    In the first and third shots, I would get rid of the stray pencil lines. It looks better/cleaner without them.

  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    @Iruka Thanks! All the pencil lines are going to be gone shortly. I start the real animation work this week. The current lines are just left over from the original animatic and were used as a rough guide for the backgrounds.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Awesome. How finished are you going to go? full color on the characters and everything? What software are you working in?

  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    edited November 2014
    The plan is to go full finished with this eventually. Full color, line work, shading, etc. I only need the pencil tests done for this class so that will come down the road.

    So far everything has been done using Sketchbook's Flipbook feature. Not sure what I'll be using to finish it off.

    Edit: I should also note that I'm using an app called Flipaclip on Android to do roughs on the go.

    nakirush on
  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    edited November 2014
    Sorry for the lack of updates. Here are a few posing exercises using my first full body rig.






    nakirush on
  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    edited November 2014
    A full body walk cycle -

    nakirush on
  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    More lightsaber duel progress-

  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited November 2014
    I might suggest working on the timing on the actions- there's a temptation/tendency when doing animation (especially when starting out), to keep things moving smoothly and evenly, do all these drawings to make every action niiiice and smooooth, because smooth = well animated, right?

    But what ends up happening is that those nice, readable poses you had going in the animatic get lost, because you end up speeding by them before the audience gets the chance to comprehend that pose, while things that ought to go by in the blink of an eye become slow and lack impact- it's like performing a play underwater. Everything is an even medium tempo, but more realistically actions more of a fastPAUSEfastPAUSEfastPAUSE etc. rhythm, especially with something like a fight scene. Getting over a fear of holds and pauses is something that animators have to get over to get good performances.

    An example from kung fu movies might be helpful:

    Looking at the full-speed version (0:18-0:23), it seems to go by fairly quickly, but if you look at how they're practicing the choreography a minute in, they do the actual moves in slow motion, but most of the effort they're putting in is to get the held poses right- if they were just constantly moving at full speed the entire time, the audience wouldn't be able to figure out what was happening. Even if it's a hold of 6, 4, or 3 frames, these little pauses are essential to make these things look impressive and impactful. It's not the brief action of the punch that makes it work, so much as the pause when it lands.

    So, breaking it down for what I might suggest with your animation specifically (sorry this is so long- not meaning to blast you with a bunch of shit, it's just hard to get into the nuts and bolts here without using a lot of words):

    -Greedo guy walks in, stops. Sees something. Hold there a beat to let the idea of 'he's seeing something' sink in.
    -Robe guy jumps down. Pause and hold before rising. It's a cliche, but the holding that beat and rising slowly is a thing for a reason- it lets the audience know that BOOM, falling from that height has an impact, there's gravity involved- then rising up and holding shows the audience that the character is strong enough to withstand it. Just smoothly transitioning from crouch to standing without pauses robs the action of impact.
    -Greedo rushes in- the shot starts there, but it probably shouldn't. Give a pose of anticipation, where he has a moment to react to the situation. Then let him make a decision, and charge in at speed.
    -Next shot, Greedo's running at him, but it's slow. It should be very, very fast- blink of an eye quick. Give robe guy a distinct pose before he blows Greedo away, and one to hold on when he does, so even though the action moves very fast, the audience still picks up what is going on. Might want to have a pause where Robe guy holds Greedo in the air for a moment before blowing him away- that way you can have the running up and blowing away be really really fast and feel very powerful, but still give the audience enough information to know what's happening.
    -Greedo flies through the air, tumbles, and gets back to his feet. Choose whether you want to read to be, "he tumbled and landed hard- it was a hurtful impact', or 'he's a master, and recovered without missing a beat'- right now it feels like you're trying to have both, which doesn't quite work. Either let him land hard and it give him a hold before he picks himself up, or let him land on his feet or do some kung-fu flip move to recover gracefully. Then hold a bit to let the idea of him standing again to sink in.
    -You have anticipation for the lightsaber throw, but it's just showing motion, rather than thought. There needs to be a beat of "I need to do something here!" before swinging back and letting that thing fly. The overall length of the shot probably wouldn't be changed too drastically, but the movements would be faster, and the pauses longer.
    -Robe guy catches lightsaber. Again, the flying lightsaber can be a lot quicker, as long as you hold when he catches it.
    -Robe guy rushes. This needs a beat of anticipation, faster action on the rush.
    -Robe guy needs a beat for the "I am force choking this dude" idea to sink in before he starts lifting. Also it would benefit in that same moment to have Greedo have a moment of surprise at the rush, and an "oh shit, this is happening now" beat right as he realizes he's being choked.
    -Greedo slammed to the ground- give a long pause to have the "this guy is down for the count" idea sink in before robe guy dusts himself off. The idea the audience should get from robe guy is that "this guy is in no hurry, because he's broken his opponent".
    -Probably could use an "oh no" moment in the air from Greedo before he's skewered on the lightsaber.
    -Long ending shot- hold with Greedo on that saber for a long moment. Flop him off unceremoniously. Hold a long beat on robe guy over the body. Then, slowly turn and slowly walk away, instead of scampering off. Remember, he's in no hurry.

    Now, some of this may require some new drawing- but the vast majority of it is just timing issues, choosing where to uses pauses and holds to punctuate the action effectively, and where to speed things up. You can tweak and play around with that really easily in Flash (or whatever program you're using), so I'd suggest just taking a day or so to just mess around trying to punch up the timing for effect.

    EDIT: Also when I watched this before I watched it without sound, so I didn't hear the 'record scratch' sound effect in there.
    If the intention is to have that moment get a laugh by having a dramatic furious battle ending with a sudden, ignoble death, having the guy who gets killed shown getting trounced from start to finish doesn't really set up that idea very well. As a gag, it would make sense to show Greedo dude as a more well-trained fighter with crazy kung-fu awesome moves and whatnot, and then have robe guy just up and Force crush a giant rock on top of him or something out of nowhere. Something that's like, "hey yeah why DOESN'T everyone just do that in Star Wars movies??"
    Watching without sound I had no idea the ending was supposed to be surprise, or funny- the guy isn't doing very well the entire time, so him getting killed is the exact logical conclusion of what was happening.

    Angel_of_Bacon on
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