Friday, August 31, 2007

ANIMATION EDUCATION - using her words

hey ya'll, shel here....with my latest animation exercise.....learning to speak. justin suggested i try some speaking by having my puppet say "hello, my name is lola" or something. i went the "or something" route...



this is definitely the longest thing i've animated so far, (it took over 10 hours not including all the after effects parts) and it quickly became not only a speaking exercise but a recording, mixed media, compositing and patience exercise as well. also, this time i used real lighting. this is a new puppet (lola gen 2) but she broke two fingers and a thumb while i was shooting....shoot! turns out i used some BAD (non aluminum) wire for the fingers. [i finished 4 other puppets last week too, three dogs and an Edwardo puppet and don't tell justin but i'm really hoping i didn't use any of the BAD wire on them!!!]

the awesome FLEAMAN voice is JUSTIN, who also very patiently helped me record the sound, taught me how to do x-sheets using a program called Magpie, helped me capture the video, and walked me through (or, more acurately, carried me through) all the photo shopping and compositing we did (Adobe Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects) to get the split screen effect. Justin and son Shamus both also helped with dialogue ideas for Fleaman.

i shot it on stop mo pro on twos but the sound didn't end up matching right for some reason, had to tincker to get it to match. i wasn't too sure i liked stop mo pro's sound deal but i have nothing to compare it with, and i wasn't all that confident about what i was doing so i can't assume it's a problem with the program.

i learned a ton of things on this exercise, alot of it having to do with soft ware, but one animation thing is to keep moving the puppet slightly and taking pics even when she's sitting "still" to avoide the freeze that happens a few times in this shot.

15 comments:

Craig Harris said...

Wow Shel,

This is great!!! Did you say this is your fist dialog test?? That is powerful powerful powerful!!
KEep up the hard work its paying off!! Great idea for the test too.

-Craig

Animator X said...

Patience is super important! This piece cracked me up. Nice work. Already tackling dialogue? Daaang.

Jeffro said...

Awesome! Love the comedy in it. Like Craig says...powerful!

adam said...

Haha.. awesome. Great facial expressions and poses, Shel! You guys are a dynamic duo for sure.

Eric said...

That was awesome! Cracks me up even on the 3rd time watching it. Lip sync were solid. Keep up the good work!

jriggity said...

i love you guys!!!

shel said...

whoops! not to detract from the sponteneous outbursts of love for you guys that i'm sure justin experiences and expresses daily, but that was actually from me, shel. thanks for the support guys.

Pram said...

Hiya, Shel!

Great timing, I'm very impressed with the way it's all blocked out with certain actions falling on particular words, and that was a really long shot with no technical errors at all. AMAZING.

What I'm curious about, is which version of Magpie are you using, Magpie Pro? As I understand it, the free version is no longer being offered.

Shelley Noble said...

Way to go, Shel!

Darkstrider said...

Whoah!!! Super-awesome!!!!!

And I never noticed a puppet-freeze, because the sock-dude was moving then.

shel said...

thanks guys!

pram, the program is magpie 0.9 shareware. it didn't have as many mouth options as i would have liked, but it did the timing fine, which is the most important part. my first attempt at the animation i accidently had the magpie fps set at 36 fps and i was shooting in stop mo pro at 24, so as you can imagine it got pretty wacky pretty quickly....then i (justin) figured that out and i started over but stop while mo pro was shooting at 24 fps, my playback screen was so big that it was playing back too slow (so of course nothing was syncing up)....very confusing....at that point i stopped using the x-sheet but then justin made my playback smaller and i was able to sync it all up. what a crazy combo of right brain/left brain smarts this art form requires!!! tech, art, smarts, heart.....stop mo has my serious respect!

cspangler said...

Haha - really funny! I find it so hard to think of successful supershort ideas, but this was great. Awesome voice on the fleaman too.

Brian Oakley said...

LOL...Very nice! keep it up!

Ryan McCulloch said...

Awesome! Very Funny.

Brian "My Fault" Nicolucci said...

OMG that was soooo funny. Fantastic job. Crazy that your first dialogue test is that good. Sky's the limit!