Saturday, April 30, 2016

45 Minute Mandala on Sunday

Fiddling with the symmetry thing again- not sure why.....
annoyingly it doesn't seem to recognise cut and paste- only when you are drawing does it update symmetrically.

Not sure what drawing is about- I guess interior and exterior.

Just starting to bumble about with Harmony and its sound/lip synch thing.
(Need to get to the main event tutorial wise with it because my trial time is running out.)

Also notice the Photoshop CC layers in it video timeline are quite similar to the look of Storyboard Pro- I wonder how much coincidence it is.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Piano Stool Space Opera

craptastic space opera from Lachlan Creagh on Vimeo.

Mucking around this Saturday afternoon for an hour or two.

No planning,- just grabbed some stuff from the kids toy cupboard .
Just put it on  and started .
Probably inadvisable but was channeling my childhood.
Some bits worked, other bits I forgot to animate both/everything in the scene/check feet placement....
ie when white man jumps out etc

Anyway a bit of fun.
Interesting though- although its craptastically filmed and on a piano stool etc- once things start you get involved watching and sort of forget......
 As yoda would say-
"A long  way from the uncanny valley we are."

Thursday, April 28, 2016

One of Us

Well I finally joined creative cloud.
 I feel a little violated. Instead of sticking it out I became "One of Us".

And you know if there's a revolution the first guys against the(my)  wall will be the adobe 'evangelists'- they occupy the same  annoying otherworldly space as people in stock business images.
An otherworld we can do without.

Pros- there is a bunch of useful stuff in the latest softwares
and I've wanted Indesign for a while so I can mock up or do my own books.
Cons- annoying interface remodelling- it feels like that joke about Stevie Wonders parents punishing him by rearranging the furniture.

I'm picking it up fairly quick but head spinning a little because I'm trying to  mainline about 6 dfferent new or updated software packages at once.
(After a blissfully ignorant  period of mainly photoshop cs5 and watercolour ).

More refamiliarising with Max 2017 - still a bit to go over - renderers, materials- look at current rigs.
Need to look at Vray.
Initially newer Max icons looked like they're in Thai script to me- again with the Stevie wonder punishment.
(Has passed after a day and a half of fumbling for where things used to be.)

More time on After effects and illustrator going through things.

Looking at Indesign it's still really very much the same as Pagemaker/Quark express ever was.  Whats pagemaker or quarkexpress daddy?-
 Its software dad used to use in the 90's (and earlier when he was at uni doing the QUT (QIT) student newspaper,- back when people with IBMs still had to park their hard drives.)
So that's being assimilated fairly fast.

And a bit more life drawing....and a bit of time on Magic Word Book,
Life drawing still not there/not back yet but feel at end of Thurs night sculptors session that  I was starting to focus and see properly again.
Sadly I think I need glasses soon or now- that would probably help with the details.

Faces and heads are still dodgy in 2nd week  back
but once I regain the ability to be focussed  and steady hand while drawing with pad on knee it'll be good.
Trouble is when you're tired you're telling yourself "focus!Pay attention when you draw the line!
After all that time spent just fixin it in your head!"
and the other bit of brain is going "Awww why doncha just leave me alone- they've got wine over there"

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sock Puppet monkey does Lewis Carroll

Trying out the track read in Dragonframe.
(Sockmonkey phoneme pictures courtesy of Dragonframe. )
Trying out Soundbooth.

from Lachlan Creagh on Vimeo.

Looking at Max2017  today- (unrelated)

Sock monkey might need a couple more visemes,
I might need to learn to use Soundbooth a bit better or record clips that don't clip out- or buy an actual microphone.

 Tried just doing a pass on the face shapes -
then started on the phoneme/dialogue-
and it comes through on the dope sheet easy.
Dragonframe you rock-
I like how I can bumble through its functionality  without too many video tuts etc. I think that means good design.
Now I just need a character I can try it on properly    :/

Did try out a couple of rough tests in Dragonframe again.
But it was late and things didn't work out- here is a small paperclay summary-
faarkoff from Lachlan Creagh on Vimeo.

paperclayman from Lachlan Creagh on Vimeo.
Interesting that even though the different heads are pretty different-
it still reads in a craptastic way. Its funny how the brain works.
The reason the blob does those simple curvy moves in and out is- I was going back over the interface and decided to make paths with ticks to follow just as an exercise.
plus he aint got legs.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Symmetry update

Sketchbbook pro had a symmetry update

 so did a few  rough things to play around with it.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Back to the drawing board

Well back to life drawing for the first time in.. it 2 years?   too long.
Managed to make it to QLD sculptors life drawing at 'the shed' which has always been my favourite and what I think is the model for life drawing (they get their wine,nibbles on between poses).
Was very weary and semi dreading how bad I'd be since I hadn't done it in so long-
but went anyway-
and it was very nice.
And really, really  nice people
Bought a big solid graphite pencil thing to try- but hadn't worn a bit flat for shading, and forgot bulldog clips so it was drawing pad on the knee once more.
 Ok I guess for first time back - hopefully I'll remember the rhythm and process properly next time.

+ A bit more time spent looking at storyboard pro.. still looks good.

Managed to trip on a metal grate thing last night (not at life drawing)  and nearly lost a toe- so after getting it stitched this morning spent a lot of today in swimming or running for a couple of weeks :(

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tool Man

Well its been a bit of a blur . Bathrooms in the house are being renovated so a few days spent demolishing things.
Hadn't got back onto Magic word book idea properly  :(

And more days spent looking at software.
Time spent looking at After effects CC at Radium (I just have CS5).
I think I like reading manuals (first) more than watching tutorial videos. Wonder why they chose Cinema 4d to integrate?- I guess it was a cheaper deal and in the short space I was looking at Cinema 4d lite I guess the interface is more modern with easy looking icons (than 3ds max/Maya/etc).
 Further at ease/remembering with the animation stuff .
A few sections to go back over still, and I'll probably have to go over illustrator as well.
I'd avoided illustrator because I like to see humanity and evidence of me in my illustrations- which is why I like pencil, watercolour and other painting software:- whereas to me illustrator always seemed mechanical and soulless- 'corporate'- a place where you create 'products'. But with the animation thing, and you need it to make the most of after effects,  and because I like(feel like) trying different styles I'll dive in .

Renewed a 3ds Max Subscription. More to catch up on-
on one hand I feel I need to re-render old animations like game stuff with nice new renderers so I've something to show, on the other hand I feel like pressing on with new stuff altogether.
I just want to focus on animation really....( but having activated a licence again opens the door to noodling with  Unity again- which I need to refresh.)

Bought Storyboard Pro subscription.
Opened it up- and well pleased, excited.
Just what I need.
Not too far into the Harmony tuts but immediately the similar interface/tools are good but the immediate sensation was "this really is a production tool for getting stuff done"-specifically presenting stories .
whereas Photoshop feels like "does a  whole bunch of stuff- no particular purpose- if you want some specific task you're gonna have  to create actions etc to make it easier".
Story boards- or working on presenting my own stories is still a thing I'd want to focus on.
Need to try a sequence or two.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Dragons of the Everliving

From that monumental idea I was working on the last 2 years on and off.
(Sadly off most of the last year)

Because I'm flappy

Flap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do.
or for old people-
"Think of christmas, think of snow
Look a tyrannosaur far below"
Ok I changed that last line....

Because I'm flappy from Lachlan Creagh on Vimeo.

Another end of day 'motion sketch '.
Again in sketchbook pro -
but will be trying Toon boom- next.
(Started watching the tutorials and it looks like there is  a bunch of stuff to make things easier - so it looks far superior to photoshop or sketchbook  for the job of traditional  type animation- .)

Saved it out at a slower frame rate

flappy2_slow from Lachlan Creagh on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016

Update- learnins

Well more time spent looking at after effects and a few tutorials- and  beginning to remember my way around it(sigh of relief- was worried it was so long but seem to be picking stuff up quick).

Its a rabbit hole alright
and I can see how people get sucked into the motion graphics side-
a lot of the motion animation is so easy and when you see all  you can do -the possibilities are exciting-
add to that the gazillion motion animation  plugins there seem to be.......
that plus illustrator and its kinda sexy.

Looked at a couple of peoples lip synch how tos- looks like time remapping a comp of all the mouth shapes is the consensus.
Thoughts- need to  find a more complex version/solution as the examples I saw had 1 emotional state for the mouth- is it more like an array of shapes you need or some kind of warping on top?.
Again I can see there's  a bunch of plugins made but I believe you need to know the (or a)  hard way/brute force solution (and the problems)  etc in the base software before running to a pre made solution.
Also looked at a couple of the null linked to pin puppet tool ones- and they appeared to use the same bit of expression to link the motion.
Initial thoughts of puppet tool before trying- probably short thick shapes (legs) it wouldn't cope very well- possibly why people tend to long thin or wibbly wobbly pipe arms and legs.
So thought I'd try it minus the linkage to hierarchy of nulls just to feel how it is managing the unlinked pins.
Answer- on the one hand its 'easy' because you can cut and paste the anim for whole blocks of all the pins, also because pins have basically motion paths and paths are what AE does well its sort of good.
But you need ways to manage groups of them at a time, (ie combined motion of 2 or more for a rotation)
they don't scale (just a position- you'd need the combined movement of 3 or more in a given spot to fake scaling)
and they don't move out of their plane into the z axis (it seems).
Tried a test guy with the puppet tool -long legged - thinking it would be a better case.
Thoughts- I wonder if the range of motion people animate to in it is limited to the subset that the puppet arm or leg behaves/keeps a nice shape. ie In some shapes/pin position it looks ugly/misbehaves- and so people avoid those and so it affects the range of motion and so the animation- the character is affected.

Downloaded trial of Toon Boom, 21 days to go.
Watched the Foundry's Flix software video- man they make good software.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Trench humour- The working dead

A start of an idea yesterday  in between things.
Part of a few joke ideas about zombies in an office- like team building exercises, or trying to hold a meeting while attendees are gnawing on each other/bits falling off
or an old tea lady with brains on her trolley instead of scones/lamingtons being followed by office zombies..

the working dead from Lachlan Creagh on Vimeo.

 Theres a gag to be put in the end but hadn't finished it- so it's a bit dark for an idea.
 Used the same pen as the band one because I liked the look of it but realize for slow stuff
- if I'm going to put in frames and make it less stilted/storyboardy- then it should be a more uniform thickness line- the thick thin and being inattentive makes the boiling worse.
Also think sketchbook pro flipbooks needs adjustable layers and the ability to drag and copy more than 1 keyframe at a time.
Also realised its important to not get caught up with drawing it all(even though I was trying to explore/test the drawing thing) - and specifically not get caught up with drawing before doing the rough out in simply drawn geometry/forms.
or doing it all in sketchbook pro if I were to draw in it.
- even a simple scene has to be split up and would be better pieced together in After effects- ie fg pieces (3-4 frame loop) , dead guy,chair(like fg) ,  maybe flies on paths in After effects- a waft of fumes over the top,

Just  got caught up in the idea ....and trying to see if if it might work in sketchbook pro.
But you need the extra layers and adjustable ones even while you are working on a segment.
Kind of leads back to using photoshop/AE instead .
Or  some proper software like Toon Boom.

Anyway need to finish  a pass on the "The Magic Word"  book that I'd workedon last week and begin to look at 3dsmax and Vray. Vray or some nice renderer is what I need to look at- also try to catch up on rigging a bit. much to look at. I suppose at least if I rent Max then I can get back onto Unity and Zbrush too.

Monday, April 11, 2016

After dinner .....

a bit of drawing...
Not too well planned with the cat one...was feeling a bit bleah/not with it but kept drawing.
Thought ye olde bouncing ball worked considering how little effort it was. Kick is a bit slow/too many frames.....
Well what I need to do there is remove the contact drawing where the boot hits the ball....

No animals were hurt - only the guy drawing.

On a positive note- it was first school holiday  and I took the kids  to Brisbane for the day and went to the Museum....and they had three of my books in their shop!
I owe you one Queensland Museum. 
Made my day.

soccer2 from Lachlan Creagh on Vimeo.

A start on a wibbly wobbly wierdo.....after the cat one- waiting for it to process on vimeo....

wobbler3 from Lachlan Creagh on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

I'm with the Band

Bangin' from Lachlan Creagh on Vimeo.

Another fun sort of test- sort of started (I had ideas for a music clip to go with the Yardbirds 'For your love'),- did these three drawings and then thought hey I'll do a few more so they kind of loop. Lead singer looks like a mix between ian curtis and ian brown- but dead.....w
ell I guess poor ian curtis is dead.. I love Joy Division.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Late night anim test

Trying again but with something more complex-
moral- After effect CS5 kind of feels like a pain.
It has tools for sort of massaging keys but getting keys in the first place is a pain.
 The stacking order of the layers makes going about the hierarchy a pain when you are trying select keys.
*edit 1 week later- I can see now,  how I could have rearranged the nulls after setting it all up, to a better list to access instead of leaving each piece under its null + the shy layers etc*

Back left leg seems to hold a bit at the ends of its forward stride
oh well its late.....

I see there's a market full of animation plugins for after effects- like the IK I was wondering after- (but seemed kind of limited still).
Also see people use expressions to create interface /animation controls and I can see why.

I guess cs5(my current copy) is sort of old but given the state of animation technology back then its just crap to not have it in there- and expect people to shell out for functionality.
Anyway -
 the boy, the dinosaurs arms and neck are segmented but I hadn't  got that far..
.the last thing I started on was the head...heads movement a bit much at the moment-needs fixing.

I used the dinosaur from my "standing paper cut out page" so it has chunky legs.
...makes it a bit Terry Gilliam/Monty Python..

Rough again so I could fix the layers in photoshop once the movement was in and I could see how the segments worked.

Friday, April 8, 2016

A quick test this morning- trying out a segmented character in after effects (CS5).
Part of the great re awakening to animation.
Anim is a little clunky and vanilla and slidy feet- but functions.
 Probably need toenails shortened- would help.
Some kind of ik or an ability to copy and paste keys for the whole character or arm or leg would help.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

One for the artists

from Lachlan Creagh on Vimeo.

Budget Cuts

Godzilla on a budget.

Michael bay and Zac Snyder eat your heart out.
Action- Pathos, blood. No annoying love interests between elves and dwarves......
Is gozdilla the animal or are we?

Maybe I just like people falling over.

gojira_2 from Lachlan Creagh on Vimeo.

Another quick test in the dying hours of the afternoon.Well hour and 20 mins.
Again in sketchbook pro.
I think I had grand visions of putting more keys  after this rough block out.

I love how painless the rough sketchy perspectives are with the sort of perspective tools they have in sketchbook, painter and Manga studio.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Lil test

lil test2
from Lachlan Creagh on Vimeo.

In the whole process of looking at animation again,-
 maybe with a 2d bent this time.
Also interested in stopmotion via Dragonframe......

Anyway have been looking at various programs, and decided to experiment with what I have software wise. in the meantime
So tried goofing around for 2 hours this morning with Sketchbook pro flipbook.
That's it up there in glorious "wobblyvision" TM.

I like sketchbook pro for drawing in-
but was also looking at photoshop (and Alex Griggs tut video).
Maybe draw in sketchbook and
colour in and move things around (layerwise/smartobjectwise) in photoshop/after effects?

Then there's Open Toonz-to try and I guess Toon Boom.
Trouble is Toon boom costs money and I don't like the way Google has let them track me about and follow me with their ads.

 Isn't vimeo neat- compared to the blogger/youtube video that sucks?

Friday, April 1, 2016

A dump of scratchy doodles from my sketchbook

Haven't been doing much in it the last while.....
a couple of interesting characters though.....
actually one is from another book idea I have.

I'll probably get to work converting the book idea to official rough form next week
(in between looking for work and re-learning  re-educating myself.)
(I sort of have a 2 year stockpile of ideas)