Animated Sketchbook Journal

Week 1:
After Mondays workshop introducing us to this new project I have started drawing more frequently and from primary observation, keeping in mind line of action to keep my work fluid. To be able to make my animated work better I first need to get my ability to draw people in motion up to scratch.
The workshop looking at the sack of flour was a great opportunity to remind us what the 12 principles are all about and how they can be applied to our work. It was also interesting to see how emoted something so basic can be by using line of action. I struggled to translate the poses of people I had sketched before the workshop to the sack but intend to work on this in future sessions and in my own time.

Week 2:
After looking at self-portraits this week, I feel I have a couple of good ideas I’d like to move forward with. Applying a line of action in my work has made things a bit more interesting when sketching. After the blinking session, I’m slowly feeling more adept with TV Paint and I’m starting to see it as something I want to stick with in the future.

Week 3:
t started off with another look over our animated sketchbook plans before getting on with doing a rough animation of each of them. I’ve started my idea of a car driving over a bump. Robert spoke to me and reminded me that I should only rough out the extremes of the movement before spending a lot of time drawing any in-betweens that don’t fit. I will remember to do this with the other two also.
We also discussed the fact I was partly referencing footage from a film, which certainly isn’t primary observation. Robert said this isn’t a problem if the movement is something I feel strongly about but he recommended not referring to third party content for my animations in the future.

Week 4:
This week saw me finishing one of my animated sketchbook ideas and leaving the other two in need of a little more development. The car driving over the bump is now complete and I’m going to leave it as is despite a small flaw at the end making the loop look odd. Robert praised me for recognising the problem but though it was best I leave it and continue working on my other animations. My selfportrait is good but not progressing. I’ve inbetweened the first half of it but the laughing half is tricky to work with. I find that when I put in the inbetweens it breaks the timing and ruins the movement so I’m contemplating leaving that one as is also. The bird diving however is great and just needs to have the tie down layer drawn over.

Week 5:
This week I’ve left behind the animated sketchbook project a bit as we started stop motion and CG but I continued to work on my self portrait animation in my spare time. Something about the timing during the big laugh is stopping me from being able to draw the right in-betweens. I’m not sure what’s wrong.

Week 6:
I think I’ve finished my self-portrait animation now. I’ve captured the expressions I set out to. I can’t help but feel it needs more in-betweens during the laugh but no matter how hard I try, nothing really improves it. I need to move forward with my third animation which is lacking now.

Week 7:
I finished inbetweening the basic movement behind the grebe animation and added some a couple of head turns to spice things up a bit at the beginning. I also decided that the plumage on its head should follow through a little to make things less rigid. It’s looking a lot better now.

Week 8:
I put some water in the background of the grebe to complete it and fixed a couple of inconsistencies on my self-portrait animation. I think everything is ready for submission.

Summary:
The initial stage of this project really helped me get to grips with drawing from observation and kickstarted my sketchbook which I’m using a lot more now. The work I’ve produced I’m proud of, especially the car driving over the bump. It took a lot of problem solving to work out how something with that much detail changes as it jumps towards you. The diving bird I like as it captures how the movement begins so fast and slows down as it sinks into the water. The way the water splashes around it is quite satisfying too. My self-portrait animation conveys the expressions better than I initially planned it, with the leaning forward into the punchline. But I think this one is the most flawed of them all. The timing is all fine, but there just isn’t enough going on. There’s hardly any inbetweens, it doesn’t feel very fluid. The body during the animation doesn’t feel like it moves enough. The neck and the head lean backwards but the body remains rigid as you can tell by how the neck of the t-shirt stays in the same place throughout, even as the shoulders move.
All of them could have done with more time and care and relied more on primary observation. I think I lost sight of what the entire point of the project was and ended up animating what I thought looked good. Throughout this project I should have kept the goal in mind, pushed myself harder to make tidier animations and dedicated more of my own time towards the project.

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