Tuesday, December 25, 2018


It's my first computer generated animated short! My first computer animated anything, actually. I took a class this past semester at college where all we did was work on different aspects of this one video we each created. The only premise was that it had to be about a robot interacting with something that doesn't work as expected. I got to try my hand at character modeling, rigging, texturing, lighting, sound, (among other things) and especially actual animating. It was incredible. I definitely most enjoyed story-boarding and animating. It just was exactly like what it looked like on screen, no extra bells and whistles. I was super excited to go back to my room after the first class and figure out what story I wanted to tell. I left the class having no idea what I wanted to do and had a complete story by the time I walked back. From watching previous films students had done, there was a lot of slapstick comedy and robots losing body parts very easily. So I thought I'd do an action sequence that didn't make light of itself. I also mostly saw just one robot, so I thought "What about two robots?" (oh so brilliant)

I did alright in the class overall, but there's a lot of stuff that isn't correct about this final product. The biggest animating thing I should have thought about was that the chests don't move hardly at all when they're walking. And though I tried pretty hard to correct it, there's still a lot of shapes crossing each other when they shouldn't. Those were the big things, but there's a bunch of other little errors. Beyond that, turns out the story is a bit unclear. I've had more than one person ask me why Red was acting how he does at the end. Some people got it and some people didn't. To say that disappointed me the first time is a bit of an understatement.

So... it's been a few years since I started calling myself an "aspiring" animator, and I'd still say I'm not really an animator yet. I mean after this class I am in a technical sense, but I still don't think like an animator. I don't think about how people move and what that says about them. What emotion that conveys. I haven't yet put in the hours needed for such a thing, but I will. I've learned so many things in such a short amount of time this year. I've become better at telling stories for one thing, even if I haven't improved as much at drawing them. I know everyone progresses at a different pace. I guess the important thing is to try to progress at all. I'm going to be good at whatever God wants me to be good at.

I thought I'd also include these.

I saw a lot of overly-complicated robots, so I thought I'd make it easier on myself by making the characters' designs largely geometric so I could focus on the other parts. Turns out I need the extra time, because I didn't think about how complicated it was going to be to animate two characters instead of just one- and in an action sequence.

This is the first storyboard I did. Part of the grade was to duplicate the storyboard as closely as possible (in the end he told me to change the shot of the hands because it communicated the idea even less well than the current ending). We also had to move on from camera work pretty fast, so we couldn't really go back and move it around. Which was unfortunate because while animating I found a bunch of cooler shots like this one:

Anyway, thanks God.