Tag Archive: story



When drawing, animating, or even creating a live-action movie, the creators have to direct the audience’s eyes to what they want them to see. It can be done by having the following:

  • Visual Clarity. The content that you want to show has to be presented clearly in the structure
  • Contrast. If you have characters in mainly dark colors, create a lighter background to make them stand out
  • Focus. Balance, and position things in a way that the content that you want the audience to see is not dominated by anything else. Increasing the blur as objects become more distant can also help.

I tried keeping this in mind when I was working on a scene. Before I knew of all this, this was the background I created:

Original

Original

I was aiming for the cluttered room look. Now that I look at it, it looks like there’s a bunch of items that are screaming “look at me” and if I were to put a character in this scene, the audience would get distracted by the randomness. So I tried something new:

Depth

Depth

The characters are in focus, but I still felt something was missing, and the eye still wondered a bit.

Not too long ago, I wrote in a post about how, in a very wordy way, the “lack of shades and shadows diminishes realism and does not accentuate shapes to improve the overall quality of a scene.” I experimented with the idea here and there with what works on this background, after I realized that some objects appear to float above the floor.

I had to fix the issue of course and who knew that shading could do so? Well certainly not me. But it definitely created a more pleasing and uniform composition. Here’s the final (for now) result:

Depth, Shadows, and shading

Depth, Shadows, and Shading

Now the characters stand out more clearly, and are also more in focus. I will probably add more blurs here and there, and maybe decrease the saturation of some objects, to make the characters stand out even more.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, and hopefully learned something new, tell me what you think of this in a comment, and follow me if you would like to stay updated with the adventures of Bo in “Bo the Creature.”


When animating a character, a lot of animators observe subjects from reality to create particular movement. It could be from a live-action video, or even watching themselves in the mirror. Whatever technique they use, is fine, as long as the outcome is a believable. A believable animation, does not have to be realistic. It is important to distinguish the difference. The animator’s goal is to convince the audience of the character’s existence. If the animator manged to do so while still creating illogical movement, then the animation remains believable. When watching a cartoon, we might not realize that what we are seeing is not quite realistic, but still accept it because the structural work is below our threshold of awareness.

The animator’s work is to create movement that is a result of a character’s thought process, or a reaction to a stimulus. As long as the character’s weight and volume in space is consistent, the animator can get away with doing a lot of things. The key word here is consistent. Consistency is important throughout the whole animation. If you have been animating quite a realistic animation and suddenly bring cartoon violence, it will confuse the audience and it will start to ask questions, that don’t relate to the plot. As I have mentioned before, the animator’s goal is to convince the audience of the character’s existence. Rules need to be set up from the beginning, and need to be followed till the end. You can’t be selfish, and not think of your audience.

 

 


How to Let Your Hero Beat Your Villain – Villain’s Tragic Flaw.

Story Development


Before you can start animating, you got to have a story to base your animation on. Without it, there is not direction, no end. I started my movie on an idea. When I began, I did not know where it was going, I just animated. But I know see that I did the wrong thing. By knowing where I was going to end, I could have planned a better beginning. Alas, it is too late. Not to say that the beginning of my story is terrible, but I cannot do much about it now. There is so much that goes into a story that I did not think of before I started studying how to direct it. I had my story before, but as I look back I realize that it is not a very captivating story and it doesn’t have a lot of suspense, and beats, things that are vital in a story. Really, what I should have done first, after deciding on a basic plot, was to develop clearly the antagonist and protagonist.

Crafting a villain is much more complex than I thought. It takes a lot of planning, and it is very important to know your character, especially his/her background, since it can affect the choices they make strongly. The appearances they have can have a great effect on how we perceive them, since we as humans tend to, unwillingly, judge others based on looks. I am still working on my villain for the story, which will completely change the direction. It is exciting, yet nerve wrecking at the same time. I have come up with so much ideas, that at times don’t seem to be enough, but at others too much to deal with. This doesn’t only apply to working on the villain, but for the story overall.

Brainstorming is an important aspect of story telling. I wish I had done more of that before.  I recently have been doing that a lot which caused me to modify things in the story, add and subtract. This project will be my first substantial story, so I don’t have too high expectations of myself. Hopefully it will all turn out well.

How it started


thought

As you should know, I recently posted the first part of the pilot of my series, Bo the Creature. I started the show by creating the main character Bo, the little alien creature, about three years ago.

alien yeahAt the time, I had only a vague idea of what I was going to do as always.I knew that the alien had to be cute, but I did not have a concrete story line to accompany it.

abigail and farnham I soon decided to create a supporting character, Abigail. Still I had no concrete story line, but having another character narrowed my options. Even after I created the final main character, Farnham, I had not developed my story. I only figured out what I wanted to do after I created Abigail’s mother.

determined

I was hesitant to start a series since it is going to take more work then a movie, but I am now willing to try.

Finished


I am finally done with all my backgrounds and extra things in part 1! Now time to do the storyboard. If only i had some loose paper…


A room in Farnham’s movie:

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Here’s Farnham’s room. As you can see, he lives in  a basement. I was going for the messy and cluttered look when I was designing this. When I actually create the backgrounds, I will of course make it more polished and actually follow perspective rules (in the sketches I did not!) Sorry for the poor quality:

Front

Front

3/4

3/4

side

Side

I am not sure yet what I will be using to compose the background yet. Photoshop’s brush properties are intriguing but lacks the vector manipulation aspect. I will probably be using Anime Studio in conjuction with another software.



Farnham

Abigail

Farnham Run Cycle


Opinions and suggestions are welcome 🙂

 

Farnham turnaround


Just the sides put together in motion:

Sides


I am finished with all the sides for Farnham. Next will be the hands probably. Here it is:

3 Head poses!


Title is self explanatory. Here’s Farnham:

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Limbs


I created the right side of the body for Farnham. I did one side first and once I am done rigging and adjusting points I will just duplicate the arm and leg layers for the other side. I am not quite satisfied with it yet so I will probably change it around. The difficult part is the upper part of the arm because the points have to be in certain places for the arm to move correctly when the bone is rotated. If only I could just copy arms from other characters. That would change things sadly though.

Half body

Half body

Abigail: Back head turn


A real quick head turn of Abigail. I just have to check the front head turn and I will be done with Abigail!

Progress: Abigail


It’s been a while since I posted. I added some actions to Abigail like running, jumping, skiping. In addition I made different hand positions. The only thing to do is check that everything works together well. I will post some samples asap.

Abigail’s first steps!


The first video is  a generic walk. The second has more to it as you will see.  The first one was edited a little after I posted this.

Progress


Done with body turns, added more head turns to Abigail. Now I need to do walk cycle and other body actions. I will post pictures soon. Hope to be done this month and move to the next character.

Views


I finished creating the different head views for Abigail. This is not final since I still need to add details and move some points around. I didn’t include the Back View because I didn’t like it very much =p Here it is:

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If you click on the images fast enough, it looks like a head turn!


I decided to make the pants longer because of how the leg looked before. I also added gradient to the skin and eyes. I added a bow as well. Here it is:

Here is how it looked before when you bent the leg:

And now:

I will add gradient to make it look better. I have been having problems with gradients in AS. I had to bind every body part to a bone using the Bind Layer tool. I will keep searching for another way to do it though.

Update!


If you read my previous posts you know that I decided to make a movie with Bo. However I changed my mind and decided to make a series instead. I drew sketches of the new characters but I’m not gonna post it because it will not look that good (and you may know that if you’ve see sketch of Abigail). I’m actually debating still if I should start working before or after Anime Studio 8 is realeased, I’m not sure yet. I’m still experiencing with Anime Studio 7 with the time I have (not a lot hehe). I hope I get something done by the end of summer though. I guess we’ll have to see. Bye! Come back again!

The story of Bo so far


Bo was out playing with his childhood friend (name) jumping from astroid to astroid. Everything was going great, but then creature slipped because he was trying to show off. When he fell he was pulled by earth’s gravitational pull but somehow (how) survived the fall. He ends up on a deserted street. He wonders around a bit looking around. Then as he turns a corner he sees some angry cats. They start chasing him, so he starts running. But he turned on a not a through street and was trapped. Luckily a girl (name) was walking at that time back from school. (she usually doesn’t go this way but wanted to get home early and it was a shorter way). At first she thought what a strange looking toy and wanted to continue but  then creature looked so scared as the cats started closing in on him that she knew he was alive. At that moment all she wanted to do was to save him. She scared the cats away looked at the creature thinking “What is this thing? Is it a rabbit? But rabbits are not blue.” She took it home anyway hiding it from her family. Creature starts really liking the girl. He always wants to spend time with her. But one day he started looking at pictures of space and started to get home sick. He thought about his childhood friend and his parents. He started crying a bit. Then he did different things to try to go back home. It sually involved him running away. Girl always found him except one time when his parents (who are like the king and queen) found him first and took him away. Creature was happy but a bit sad to leave. He was going to miss the girl and all the food. One day on his home planet, he heard his mom and dad talk about destroying planet earth because creature was exposed. Creature didn’t want that. He had to warn the girl. So he took a spaceship and rode to earth. Girl was happy to see him but creature was panicing. Since he didn’t know how to talk, he had to assemble different items to show what he meant. Girl understood and said what can we do? Creature thought of a plan and called his childhood friend. And then I don’t know what should happen so you tell me!

P.S help fill in the blanks. Even one would be great help!

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