Humble Tronald: First Pass

I whipped up this very rough facial animation to start looking at Tronald’s mouth shapes.

On reflection, I should probably have done his whole head but I was only really interested in his face. To make this, I drew 5 key frames that captured his head movement and key phonemes then inbetweened the rest. I think I’ve captured a rough likeness.


Tronald Dump


Decided to do some sketches of Tronald in preparation for my character performance piece. Jon suggested when I told him my idea for this that I created a character based on Dump instead of straight up drawing him. However, I think he’s too good a reference point to waste this opportunity.

I took these sketches from 4 seconds of footage. It’s absolutely insane the amount of expression he gets through in such a short space of time. There’s a lot of elasticity in his face which I think is going to be incredibly fun/difficult to deal with.

Classical Lip Sync & Character Performance

This clip came to mind when thinking about a 2 character performance. I like how the lip sync for these two characters is far more bespoke than just a series of stuck on mouths. I’d like to experiment doing a facial animation with Tronald based on the original clip concentrating on how he forms his mouth.

Looking at Richard’s reaction to Milt is helpful here, looking how staggered it is while Milt is saying his lines. He’s slowly broken down as Milt gets more and more angry. There are a few big moves from Richard that you can see in the corner of your eye as Milt’s performance grabs our attention.

It’s a bit more interesting when the mouth shapes are so fluid.

Bestiary Week 3

This week I made up a bit for my slow progress. Because I was having trouble taking my ideas anywhere new, I decided to make a sculpey model of a Hermit Hog. I now have a solid idea about how the rubbish they live under stays on their backs (by growths that swell to grip the rubbish). I looked at The Pogels for a bit of inspiration, notably Master Hedgepig. I have the SmallFilms art book and I really love all the photos of the puppets set up in interesting places.

The biggest development is coming up with an idea to film the items the hogs live in moving round by attaching them to a remote controlled car, then animating the Hermit Hog underneath. It’s an interesting way of looking at the breif as animating on top of a photograph sounded like it was gonna be a bit of a pain in the ass to blend. However, this way, by filming half of the performance on location, my hogs should blend much more easily. Over the holdiays, I’m going to experiment with this process and see if it works.

Thinking ‘Bout Hogs

This week, I’d been struggling to take my idea for the hermit hogs to any new places. I was drawing the same thing over and over again without bringing anything new to it so I decided that it would be a good idea to try and model one.

Here’s the development of a Super Sculpey maquette I’ve been making over the past couple of days. My initial idea for the hogs had no physical way for the food packaging to stay on securely so I came up with the idea for one big lump on it’s back that would expand to hold the packaging in place, but drawing this looked a bit peculiar and gave the hogs a bit of a dissatisfying profile.

So while I was playing with the Sculpey, it dawned on me that I could have a crown on smaller nipple type lumps on his back that would expand to make the fit work.

Before making the maquette I struggled with knowing where to place the legs. I found hedgehogs were too hairy round the bottom to see exactly how the legs extrude from the body. Looking at the skeleton of a hedgehog helped but making this model has certainly  helped nail down the basic anatomy of the hogs for me.

Bestiary Week 2

I took a drastic change of direction this week and I’ve begun work on an old idea I had from earlier in the year – Hermit Hogs. I’ve made some initial sketches based on the old ones and had a bit of a look at Hedgehogs too. I’m having a bit of a think about how they manage to keep the rubbish they live in on their back. I’d like to have a solid design by next week.