WEEK SIX MONTHS IN – ANIMATING NOW

this is just a placeholder, again, to make sure the blog doesn’t end up inactive, currently working through animating the rigs so I can get this thing written up and submitted and finally be done with it

finished all cycles for wasp and dragon rigs, just need to record hand drawn run cycle for dragon, then I’m done and can write the report GOD I can’t wait to be done

 

WEEK ????? – STILL GOING

this is just a placeholder so the blog doesn’t get archived again, currently I’ve moved on to a second rig bc the dragon one is fairly complex and I’d also need to redraw most of it bc I learned a lot about the process as I was working on it and I’m no longer satisfied with the setup. however, as it would take a long time to redraw and re-rig all of it, I’ve decided instead to move on to a slightly simpler bipedal rig to show off what I’ve learned. the character in question still has four limbs and wings, so in theory it’s still a hexapodal character, although they’re insect wings so it’s a bit less complex but I figured it was better to do that than overcomplicate things and end up with an unsatisfactory result.

WEEK 7-8 – RIGGING THE CHARACTER

I have now begun the process of rigging. I had to transfer all of the colour art to the colour layer (I had previously filled the drawings in on the lineart layer as opposed to keeping them separate, which is what I should have done).

I had to organise every layer into a hierarchy, and then in the node editor make sure they were plugged into the composite layer in the right order so that each component was visible in the correct way. Currently, I’m setting up the actual bones and curves – I just finished sorting the tail out, which had been giving me trouble as it kept deforming in a very unpleasant way. I was able to fix this by moving the colour art to the appropriate layer and now it deforms in a more aesthetically pleasing manner.

I’m having some trouble with rigging the head, as adding a bone to the face causes it to warp when the bone is moved. I’m unsure how to fix this, so I’ll have to ask Nick for advice during our lesson.

[EDIT: I have acquired a Pluralsight licence so I’m going to look at some tutorials on there to give me a better idea of what to do.]

tutorials

https://docs.toonboom.com/help/harmony-12-2/essentials/rigging/convert-layers-symbols.html

https://docs.toonboom.com/help/harmony-17/premium/rigging/about-rig.html

[REDO THE TAIL BUT MAKE IT STRAIGHT BC THE CURVE DEFORMER LOOKS LIKE SHIT]

https://app.pluralsight.com/course-player?clipId=a0902154-4f45-4245-a62d-e6e02a5634f6

WEEK 2-6: DRAWING THE CHARACTER

My current task is to draw out all of the components of the character. I began in Clip Studio Paint to get the basics down, and have now imported it into Toon Boom Harmony to save time as I have to export each individual layer separately.

At this point it’s just a case of drawing out each limb’s cycles, so that they can be made into symbols and added to the rig system. As of 18/2/20, I have completed the mouth shapes for lip sync, the wing flap animation, the wing unfolding animation, and the guides for a blink and walk cycle. I intend to have all of the drawing done by the start of next week, provided all goes to plan. I’m a little behind where I would like to be as I had a dental emergency over the weekend which prevented me from working, but I’m already ahead of my planned schedule (I misjudged how long rigging would take; the drawing takes longer so I can dedicate more time to that as the rigging itself is a fairly quick process) so this isn’t too much of a setback. Once I finish the drawings I’ll be setting up the joints and then after I’ve tested it I can start working on extra details and potentially add a front view.

[EDIT: 27/2/2020: Drawings have now been finished, and I’m currently in the process of bringing everything into a new scene for rigging.]

PRE-PRODUCTION PROPOSAL DOCUMENT

(Download original:) Project Proposal – Mortimer Kane

Project Proposal: 2D Hexapod Rig

Overview:

For my project I will be creating a 2D character rig suitable for animation in ToonBoom Harmony, using a character that I have designed myself. It will be capable of the basic movements of a quadruped, and I hope to allow for facial animation and more complex movements as well, depending on time constraints.

I will then create a demonstration video of the rig, wherein I animate the different movements it is capable of, so that I can showcase my abilities to future employers as well as using the rig myself for animation.

Rationale:

I have chosen this project as it is appropriate to my career aspirations; I intend to become a 2D character rigger for television/film or games animation. This is the best way to ensure that I have the skills necessary to achieve my goal.

I already have a considerable amount of experience with 3D rigging in Maya, as I was the Lead Character Technical Director for both the Kino and Short Film Production projects I was involved in – this project combines my experience of rigging with my love of 2D animation.

The reason I chose a hexapod (six-limbed) creature to rig rather than a simple tetrapod is that I wanted to be able to showcase a slightly more complex rig, as this could prove useful for my career; there are multiple examples of cartoons with rigs that have extra limbs or more complex aspects – see Rick and Morty, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, et cetera.

Of course, it is not always appropriate to use a rig – some animation styles are more suited for traditional hand-drawn animation. However, in this case, use of a 2D rig is suitable for the style of animation and character I hope to showcase.

Objectives:

My objective is to create a functional, easy to use character rig that is suitable for animation and can perform a variety of poses. The character I am rigging is a dragon and therefore has some more complex mechanics than a regular creature rig would have.

The minimum I intend to achieve is a rig with the ability to walk, run, sit, lie down, jump, fold and unfold wings, and perform a basic tail movement, all from a side-on view. If possible, I would also like to include facial animation capabilities.

If I have time, I will also be implementing the above movements from a front view; I would also like to include some more complex movements, particularly regarding flight, but this all depends on how much time I have left as I need to consider quality testing, any unforeseen technical difficulties I may experience, and actually animating the rig to demonstrate my work.

The main challenge of the project will be ensuring that I use the appropriate rigging methods for each movement; I will need to be careful to avoid the animation looking like a paper cut-out. To combat this issue I will be using a variety of methods to build the rig: for example, using bones for basic limb rotation, and then, for more complex movement like the wings unfolding and mouth animation, drawing each stage of the movement and storing it so that I can swap between them in animation.

The final product of this project will be the completed rig itself, as well as a demonstrative video showcasing the different movements it is capable of.

Demo video format: 16:9, 720p (1280 x 720p) .mov or .mp4, codecs Pro Res HQ or H.264 and audio AAC

Technical Details:

The programmes I will be using for this project are:

Clip Studio Paint – for drawing the character itself

ToonBoom Harmony – for rigging and animating the character

Adobe Premiere Pro – for editing together the demo footage of the rig

Ethical and Legal Implications:

As I am creating the character design myself, there are no legal or ethical issues regarding that. However, I will need to ensure that I am appropriately crediting all reference footage, tutorials, and other materials that I use to assist me with this project. I will ensure that I do this by keeping a document listing references for all of the materials that I have used throughout my work.

Research:

I will have to do research in multiple areas for this project; I’ll have to research the best methods for specific types of movements, as well as researching the anatomy of various creatures so that I can depict walk and flight cycles in a believable manner. I will also be looking into the various softwares used for 2D animation in the industry.

Project Plan:

References:

“M. Night Shaym-Aliens!” (2015) Rick and Morty, Season 1, episode 4. Adult Swim, 4th September 2015.

“Three’s A Crowd” (2014) My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Season 4, episode 11. The Hub Network, 25th January 2014.