Shannisha Donnerson is an extremely talented draftswoman and BFA student who I think will eventually make a name for herself designing characters for television or film. Of the interns I’ve had so far, she was the one who captured the style of the characters the easiest and best. Because her portfolio is shaping up to be more focused on character design than animation, this was a great scene for her to get some practice on and push her skills. This scene is short, but has some pivotal acting and we really needed to make sure that Lovey’s mood changes were clear and her focus was readily apparent. We had to go back and forth with notes on the timing and spacing, eventually extending the scene longer so we could get the acting necessary. A little work on her arcs and eye placement and she had it. Shannisha worked very hard and she should be proud of the results.
Jackob Murray is a talented and hardworking BFA student who is eager to animate as much and as often as he can. I gave him this sequence which isn’t heavy on acting, but took a lot of coordination and effort as it had to be on 1’s, and the two runs had to function at different tempo’s. Students often get thrown off when you ask them to do anything more than a vanilla march time walk cycle, but Jackob figured this out very quickly and spend the rest of the time refining and clarifying the art quality. I plan to give him more work in the future.
Susan Howe is an ambitious and talented recent graduate from the BFA program where I teach. Her scene was a short, but challenging acting sequence. There were some drawing and spacing notes on her first pass, and this was a good scene for her to practice her volume control, timing and spacing. Susan handled the coloring on this shot as well. She did a great job and I am happy to have had her work on this shot and the cleanup and color of Shot 25.
Here is the final cut of Shot 50, my initial test shot, so it’s not really a making of, so much as a conclusion. Many things about the pipeline were worked out on this quick shot.
Primary personal notes: Let’s animate bigger if we’re going to start closer to the action, so we can avoid pixelization on final render.
Be careful and thorough with the ScanCleaner function in TVPaint, so that painting in Photoshop is quick and easy for myself and future assistants.
Do more animation, less camera work! (This is really the only real big multiplane shot, so I am happy to have knocked it out.)
Tom Bancroft‘s feedback was:
… I have to say you’ve done an EXCELLENT job on your thesis project so far John! I’m really impressed. I didn’t think you’d finish the pan shot all in color and fully animated, when I saw a first pass of the camera move, just a few weeks ago. You did a lot of work in that short amount of time and it really is at a high level. The woman who’s skirt flies up really came a long way and you took my notes and ran with them well. The camera move concerns I had initially (that it would be too fast) have been tweaked and refined and work really well now…
…Just keep going. There is A LOT to get done still, so I hope you don’t rush anything too quickly, but stay at it at in even clip. Don’t be afraid to redo things as you continue forward, much like you did segments of the pan animation. It will pay off. I look forward to seeing the final product!
So, that’s pretty intense, huh?
Now that the effects are tested and refined, this scene is awaiting completed character animation and then ink and paint. A lot was learned this semester, and I am happy to have a scene that is shaping up to be a real gem in the entire production so far a long. Hopefully there will be one more making of video for this one before I post the final cut.
Kathleen Quaife’s feedback:
Super job John. You have accomplished what you had set out to do. When the scene is completed, I have every confidence it will be memorable scene in your thesis project.
She did a great job pushing me to extend the scene so the audience could see more splashing and then more rocket exhaust. It’s probably 2, 2.5 seconds longer than the animatic version, but I’ll go with the longer version, it’s just too cool. I’m really thrilled with this progress. Kathleen is tops in FX, and one of the best instructors I’ve ever had. We have worked together previously, a while back, and she never ceases to impress academically or professionally. I was blessed.
Tom Bancroft also took a look and gave me some feedback as well:
That EFX animation test for sce. 25 is really incredible too. I watched it a few times and thought, “This kind of test would have easily have gotten John a job in the EFX department at Disney.” Very impressive.
That’s probably a little too glowing, but I think I genuinely surprised him by getting Shot 50 completed while also working on this shot.
Needless to say, I’m on cloud nine today, and very pleased with being done with this semester!