Illustrator

Lip Sync Animation Study

I learned a great method for rigging mouths for lip sync animation and applied it to this audio track I had of my 4-year-old recounting one of her crazy dreams :). I think it worked out pretty well, although next time I'll probably make more than the 7 mouth positions I used here (to include some softer/lazier mouth positions like "nuh" and "uh"). This only took a couple of hours to animate, once the illustration were complete. Roughest part was the render, which took over an hour.

30 Gifs in 30 Days: Lost in Space

I learned a lot--especially regarding my CPU limits--with this one. Drew the astronaut in Draw and imported but all other elements were created in AE. The stars are a simple effect but the colors are blobs with displaced turbulence. All in all, there were about layers that each had at least one effect that included an evolving element. The duration is just a few frames over 4 seconds, the frame rate is low (20) and the size is only 750 pixels wide. Still, my computer could not render this file with crashing After Effects. In the end I had to reduce/delete many effects and tweak the export settings. The resulting render turned to be less than ten megs, which leads me to believe that all of those vector calculations are difficult for the processor for a brief moment and then the rest of the render must be very light work. 

I love the way the outer space effects came out and want to do more of these on their own (no character). So next time, I'll probably have to consider knitting elements to gather in Photoshop and/or test-rendering as I add each effect to know when the compass reaching its limit. 

Elsa's Walk Cycle

It's finally done! After two months of working on this in every bit of free time I have, this little walk cycle animation is finished. This started as a tiny little project for me to learn how to make a proper walk cycle and ended up as a 35 second journey through a complicated landscape. And while I need to disclose my understanding that I'm still terrible, I am kinda proud of this! 

The illustration was done in Illustrator and imported as a massive layered file, which knowing what I know now, should have been broken into many little pre-comps. And what I really like about this project in the end is the art direction. I'm really happy with the palette and all of the texture.  

By making this animation I learned a lot more about rigging, how to make a simple walk cycle, and a ton of effects and tricks for more polished looking movement. Some of the biggest takeaways were learning how to better use the graph editor and control pre-comps with null objects. Can't wait to do it again and do it right.

30 Gifs in 30 Days: Insect Generation

Entirely generated in After Effects so everything is vector; I can have this rather long animation save down to just 2-3 megs. Learned some new tricks for generating the complex patterns in the wings which will surely dominate the next piece I make. Just need to better understand what their ideal use would be. I'm thinking passageways to the future or a tunnel around a black hole (?).

It goes without saying that I'm not 100% satisfied with this, but I am starting to feel more competent in After Effects, so much so that when I have an idea, I almost immediately understand how to approach/execute (or so I think). 

30 Gifs in 30 Days: Skater Chick

This little animation looks pretty simple, but it was massively informative to create. When trying to character rig the body, I learned the hard way that Duik will only allow for three bones per IK. After working around that issue, I realized that I could have built this whole character out of sine waves, which would have resulted in a smoother, more elegant design, especially with regard to the underlying code. I'll likely rebuild this rig the "right" way, including the animation of her hair,  for a later practice. For now, I just want to let her ride for awhile.

On the up-side, this is the smallest animation I've made. It's just over 2 seconds and the initial render was only 4 megs. (By contrast, the walk cycle animation I've been working one for weeks, renders the 10-second clip at almost 2 gigs).