• Charlotte Grant

A quick Animdojo post!

I spoke about it very briefly in a previous post, but I've been enrolled on the Animdojo mini-course that Blue Zoo started running for a couple of months now, so thought I'd post a very quick review of it/show some of my work on the course!

The course has been really insightful and although my day job has meant I haven't been able to attend every live session it's opened my eyes a lot to how I can both improve and speed up my animation!

Rapid Posing in particular (Rapidly posing a character based on a key word, in less than 5 minutes, in order to speed up your animation) has been SO helpful in speeding up my workflow and ability to navigate Maya! In Last Notes, because of the realistic nature of the film and our very tight schedule due to rigging delays, we didn't spend a lot of time fine tuning our poses. We did block everything out beforehand, but because the film wasn't as snappy as Cartoon or TV animation, we didn't really get to use these kinds of posing techniques for it.

Below are a few of my favourite rapid poses (I won't show all of them, as we did 10 poses twice a week for most of the course, so it'd be a really long thread!)

Surprised

Excited

Wonder

Evil Laughter

Fear

Shyness

One of my favourite things about this task was, in doing it so often I really saw my work speed up. My first few days of rapid poses were awkward and I often had to abandon a pose when the timer went off, without being 100% happy with it. Although it's still not easy to get most of a pose blocked out in 5 minutes, it's definitely more of an attainable task for me now and I'm not feeling as stressed or pushed by the challenge as I did when I started the classes!

Other tasks done though the course have included, adding poses inbetween two completed poses, to finish a shot, lipsynch and short character scenes, re-arranging timing in pre-completed shots to imply weight and more! It's been a really valuable experience for me and I've learned a lot from it.

One task I thought I'd show here was the 'challenge yourself' task where everyone was given a camera angle, a poly cube and a rig and we had to get as far through the shot as we could in 30 minutes. A Blue Zoo animator who was leading the session would also animate for these 30 minutes.Even though rapid posing had sped up my work flow, I still found this task really difficult, but something that could be improved, speed wise, over time! Below is my shot, I only got 5 poses in, up to her reaching the block, but thought I'd share regardless as I did put thought into the poses I did manage in this session!

Finally, the last shot I wanted to show from the past few months was a short character shot we had a week to animate! Unfortunately I was only able to dedicate 2 days to it because of work commitments and travelling to see a family up country, but I'm quite happy with the result, even if it could use a little more polish! :)

Having a task like this at the end of our learning was a really nice way to put everything I'd learned from the course into one scene! There's a little bit of a pop in the last second that needs working out, but overall I'm pretty pleased with the poses and lipsynch in this piece!

Animdojo is now going subscription based for £15 a month! Honestly I'd recommend it to anyone looking to improve their animation skills! Even with 4 years of uni behind me in animation, I still learned a huge amount from it, the price tag is worth the training videos alone, not including all the extra support you get like live sessions and feedback and a community forum!

Anyways, that's all for this update! Thanks to anyone who read through it :) I'm definitely going to be continuing on with Animdojo with the hopes of creating a new reel soon!