Episode One: Animation

Episode One was very heavy in terms of animation and featured quite a lot of difficult scenes, not to mention that we were wanting to push ourselves to mimic that Tex avery, Max Fleischer style of animating – With the majority of the animation spilt between Matt and myself.

Within episode one I animated altogether 7 scenes…

Below is a link to the rough animatic produced by Matt for episode one:

  1. Kimmy Dancing 01
  2. Kimmy drinking 01 (with one bottle)
  3. Kimmy drinking 02 (with 2 bottles)
  4. Kimmy drunk drinking (with one bottle)
  5. Kimmy falling out of the frame
  6. Kimmy dropping into the next frame
  7. Kimmy setting herself on fire

Some of the scenes animated by myself which are mentioned above are completely rendered so I will include these links below:

Kimmy Striking the match:

Animation progress: Generally when Im starting a scene I’ll plan out my main poses in the timeline on every 5th frame and from there will work on my timing and adding in the in-betweens but with this scene where kimmy sets herself on fire I didn’t animate pose to pose but jumped straight in and animated according the the straight ahead principle and I don’t know why other than it wasn’t a very complex scene, kimmy wasn’t reaching very far or doing anything extravagant, she was just sitting moving around her desk which to be fair is what I do most in the studio so I did have a great source of reference to work from. As i did with most of the animations I worked on getting Kimmy’s body movements right before adding in her blinks or even the individual movements of the fingers. I am actually rather pleased with how this shot turned out.

Kimmy Drinking, 2 bottles:

Progress: This scene provided me with a lot of hassel as you can probably tell form the playblasts below, for some reason I just couldn’t get it right and it was starting to frustrate me. I think with the first couple of attempts I was trying to be too funny, maybe even pushing the animation too far as this was one of the last scenes I ended up animating because I just couldn’t get it right. At this point in the episode Kimmy has discovered discovered her love for beer and partying which is why I had been attempting to make her dance/ wiggle her hips whilst drinking

I wouldn’t say that I’m happy with the animation within this shot but it has improved from where it was, it was the timing I just couldn’t get a grasp with although from filming myself as reference it did get become slightly easier to animate.

However I didn’t want to rely on reference too much while animating a character that is supposed to be extremely stylised with her movements.

Scene drop, Kimmy drops into the frame:

Progress: Again this was quite a difficult scene to animate, the main challenge being how to make her fall into the frame, when she was dropped straight into her chair, her legs and lower body were going straight through the surface of the desk. To avoid this I didn’t really have much choice other than to animate the chair, she would drop in, position herself in front of the computer and the start to work. I do particularly love the animation of her fingers as she prepares for work, overall I am quite happy with how this scene has turned out. Obviously there are aspects that I would like to go fix had we extra time but here comes a point when you just have to admit that theres not enough time to get it to the standard you expected or wanted.

Scene Drop Part one, progress: This part of the drop was a lot of fun to animate, as I was required to create facial animation within a semi close up shot. From the video below I started by blocking out where kimmy would look and what movements she would display, from there I just had to open the graph editor and smooth and adjust the curves before finally animating the face.

Drink 01

Progress: As you can see from the video below there were a few approaches I had planned out for this shot and it was in a group meeting where we discussed how Kimmy was having her first alcoholic drink that the final shot came about. The bottle pops in, she tries it and she loves it – This is one of the scenes with which I am happier about how the animation has turned out

Drink 3 progress: Again with approaching this scene I had an idea of what I was wanting Kimmy to do, overall it wasn’t really a difficult scene to animate, I created my main poses, then sorted out my timing before finally adding the in-betweens and cleaning up the graph editor.

Dance 1 progress: All the scene below really needs is to be smoothed out, it’s still a little too blocky but as I mentioned before there wasn’t enough time to push and develop our animations to the standard that we would have liked, files had to rendered so that the compositing and editing could be done.

Gas Can pour, progress: This shot in my opinion was one of the hardest shots to animate, with the shaking of the gas canister being the most difficult to animate. The difficulty came from having to add the weight of the gas canister through Kimmy’s movements, however I did enjoy being handed a slightly more difficult scene.

Eventually after a lot of trial and error I realised that if I changed her chest, hands, elbow and head to linear tangents whilst she was shaking the gas canister that it would give a much more stable movement as before it was still looking a little too floaty. With this scene (just like the first mentioned on this post) I avoided creating my main poses and instead jumped right in to some straight ahead animating, I don’t know why but this method worked a lot better for me in these scenes were Kimmy is setting herself on fire.

I really did enjoy animating these shots and pushing myself in terms of the style of animation and although I may not be happy with how some of them have turned out, I am pleased with the majority. If we plan to enter our short into a couple of festivals then the decision is to come back and fix up the animation – that will be our main priority as we have managed to successfully convey create the look that we set out to achieve.

Some references I used to help with the comedy of a few shots:

I really love ‘Cat Groove’ the animation just so dynamic, it’s so well done that i could genuinely watch it all day. Most, well all, of the references above are for the dancing scene as I could’t decide what way to make her dance. I didn’t want to push her too far as this was an early scene in the conveyor belt of events that happen to Kimmy, so if I pushed her too far too early there wouldn’t have been anywhere to go where it came to the drunk dancing, noodle scene.

I picked references that I myself found funny, ones that people of all ages would find funny and appealing but especially those in the audience who are online. We can picture our project as a youtube series so we wan tot try and direct it towards an online audience. We’ve kept it relatively short as people today seem to want everything instantly, we will also be producing a previously on section so people aren’t put off from watching it by thinking they need to go any watch every other episode created, the episodes aren’t overly connected anyway so people would be able to jump in and out of the series.

Below are a few pictures of our animation pipeline, it was the easiest way of seeing who was animating what scene and what stage they were at with it:

Column one is available scenes, column two represents progress being made and column three animations that are finished. Yellow is for episode one, Pink is for episode two.

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