Posts tagged: Life

2013 – April

An other fabulous month at The Animation Workshop in Viborg, Denmark – the professional course of 3D Character Animation 2013. <3

In the beginning of April we waved Erik Schmidt goodbye with a Thursday dinner and gave him a nice gift of all of our hand prints on a pretty yellow paper. Maybe a bit childish, but we think he liked it! :)

Our present to Erik.

Right after saying our goodbyes to Erik we had one weekend scheduled for Acting classes with Robert Bennett. It was great and very useful for me as an animator. But I was super nervous before the classes. Luckily I was able to have a lot of fun anyway. :) In one of the exercises I had to act out smelling a rotten avocado without any props. Fun!

When the acting classes were over on Sunday we were all treated pizza from a local restaurant and I made Irish Coffee for everyone. The pizzas were nothing like the pizzas the Italians in our class make! Bah! (I guess we have gotten picky about the pizzas…)

Pizza party!

This month I finally decided to go to the Animation Festival in Annecy. It will be my first time there and I am a bit embarrassed to say that I didn’t really know about this festival until I came to this class. I think I recognize the name of it but didn’t realize it’s THE Animation Festival. Anyway, it’s going to be exciting. :)

I also finally started to take advantage of the bi-weekly life drawing classes at The Animation Workshop. Really nice!

Life drawing. Quickies!

Was a bit sad about not being able to attend this year’s SIS/SPX in Stockholm. It’s the first one I missed since I started going to them in 2006. Anyway, I am sure I will attend next year and have tons of cool things to show! :) At least I was able to finish drawing the whole Chapter 1 of The Din this month. Now I only have lots of editing and tweaks left to do before I think it’s ready. Also proof reading first, of course. :)

Sketch of a panel of the last page of Chapter 1 of The Din!

As for the running I have been doing great in April. Last two weeks I hit a new record in 10 km. :) Around 54 minutes on 10.1 km! I’m getting ready for the race on the 18:th of May! I’m so lucky to have the route around the Viborg lake. From my apartment, 1 lap around the lake and back is almost exactly 10 km! 2 lapses and back is about 16 km and 3 lapses and back is 21+ km – perfect for half marathon work outs!

The lovely route around the southern lake of Viborg. <3

Oh, and there was a party for/by the The Reward crew at the school pub to celebrate their successful Kickstarter. However I was too busy to go. Which was a shame. I really wanted to meet them!

Party flyer from SunCreature Studio.

The teachers for this month were Claus Pedersen from Pixar Canada and Yoshi Tamura who directed Réflexion and have a long successful career as a character animator. He animated some shots of Tarzan in Disney’s Tarzan. Everyone who knows me well know how much I like that movie!

With Claus and Yoshi as teachers I learnt how important it is to thoroughly plan your shots. How to structure and figure out the beats and what kind of mindsets you need to use when working with acting and lip synch shots. It’s super important to know your character to be able to plan and figure out how to communicate your story, character and show what she/he is thinking and feeling. Of course I was also able to apply what I got from Robert’s acting classes into these exercises.

Thumbnails from Yoshi's lip synch exercise.

For the first exercise with Claus I doodled and recorded a reference shot with myself and my friend Juan. For the second exercise with Yoshi I drew my own thumbnails for reference and timed them out in an other program. Both ways worked really well, but I got some more natural poses from shooting live reference.

Juan in my reference video shots!

These teachers also provided us with some helpful advice on how to polish your shot, check the arcs, the slow-in/outs etc. step by step and cleaning up your curves in the graph editor. This is something I haven’t done a lot as a game animator. The way I am used to work is the total oposite in the graph editor – I am used to rely on splined curves and as few keys as possible rather than blocking and keying until you are on twos or ones with the animator in control rather than the computer/splines. Interesting! But I think everyone works in different ways. For me, I find it much easier to make a polished shot with good acting the way the teachers have taught us. But the animation will be too heavy for games. At least the kind of games I am used to make. It’s all about balance!

Thumbnails for the Football shot.

A funny detail is that I kind of based the second exercise’s character on Fozt (from The Din) and his personality. I even modified the rig to look a bit like Fozt. :) It was much easier to work with a character you know better than just working with something random.

Fozt mod of the Malcom Rig.

I have to admit that April was the toughest month during this course. The last two weeks I were really having a hard time to pull myself together. I think it was mostly because I was really moody for a lot of different reasons that I don’t really want to write about. But one of them, that I already mentioned, was about me not being able to go to the comic festival in Stockholm (SIS/SPX) which is really childish since I am having a great time here and consider myself really lucky to be able to go to this course. And I think my second exercise really affected my mood too because the voice and music was super moody. Sometimes the character you work on affect your own mood A LOT. Yeah, have a look yourself and you will understand. :)

 

And here’s something new for this post!

Progress shot movies!

I didn’t have a lot of playblasts saved from the Dialogue assignment to make a proper progress shot movie – but it’s still interesting to watch.

Enjoy!

I am sorry this entry is very late but I have been super busy. :) Hope to get the May entry up as soon as possible! Until then, make sure to follow my other entries. I usually have something automatically scheduled for this blog!

Summarized list of the things I did this month:

          • Started going to life drawing classes
          • Signed up for the Animation Festival in Annecy
          • Attended to Acting Class lead by Robert Bennett
          • I was running, running, running
          • Hit running record on 10 km! 54 minutes!
          • Finished drawing all 45 pages of the first Chapter of The Din
          • Moping for no good reason, but now I’m back on track!

No more art block

Might come off as annoying when posting this but it’s not my intention. Just want to share a piece of my mind!

There are countless of “my art sucks, oh no, fml, art block, what is art, why me, etc” memes/drawings/parodies from really good artists out there. I know most of them are meant to be funny – and they are to some extent! – but some of them just make think: why are you doing this to yourself?

When this phrase got to me: “Doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop” it was much easier for me to stay peaceful in difficult times of creating and lack of free time to draw. I figured it’s important to learn to stay proud about my progress no matter how slow I am some days or if something turns out like shit constantly for weeks. It’s crucial to fail to succeed!

A really skillful artist friend of mine once said something like this:

The more you learn the harder it gets. It’s not supposed to get easier, so don’t make it harder for yourself!

Couldn’t agree more! :)

2012 August

Now that it’s official I can finally share the reason why I have been so absent as of late!

The company I have been working for since 2008 has filed bankruptcy. This company has been like a second family to me. It was partially my company after all! I was there from the beginning when it was all late Skype meetings and ideas to an organisation in an office. From 5 people to 20+. It’s indeed really something incredible to have experienced this early in my career! :) I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

It’s been a long and bumpy road with lots of up and downs. We have faced many hardships like these and been able to put our heads together, work really hard and overcome them but this time we did not succeed.

I’m going to be alright but I am very sad about the fate of this company. So many talented people who put their hearts, lives and so much effort into our products. But due to some unfortunate events the company is coming to an end.

I’ve learnt so much these 4 years and I have had a lot of fun. But the last months have been very difficult. These years I’ve dealt with 90h+ weeks of crunches tons of times without any problem because it’s been fun, I’ve been doing it with awesome people, with friends, in the same boat. But to see so many people go, the people you admire wear out, the company slowly going into nothingness and at the same time do 3 people’s worth of work in attempt to keep the company alive have been so draining. This has been going on for some months. I am not lying to you when I say I’ve been doing nothing but sit in my sofa and stare into nothingness when I have been off work (aside from working out – because that is my one and only stress relief these days! Haha!). I’m glad that the waiting for answer about the company’s future is over but I’m very sad about the result.

There is still some work left to do in the aftermath of the bankruptcy but when that’s done next step for me is to update my portfolio and put together all of my best pieces from these years into a new show reel! My portfolio is soooo very old and dusty right now.

I’ll be up and running before you know it! :)
I’m really optimistic about where I might end up. It’s scary but sooo exciting!

Thanks for everyone’s support through these years, friends and family! Esp. thanks to my Robe and to Kichisu & Monni for being there for me this year when I’ve been stressed out about the future! <3 <3

There, now that I have written this on tumblr, I think I have shared it on all channels. Now I can move on! :) And maybe start posting more interesting stuff. Sooon! :)

365 – Last but not Least

Here’s the final round of the 365 project!

It’s been an exciting project and now – 3 months
after finishing it -  I can’t realize how I managed to draw
1 character a day because it feels like I am still as busy
as ever! It was an amazing exercise, though. :) I
recommend it to anyone who wants a challenge
or simply get back into regular drawing.

These last characters are a bit random and
do not follow a certain theme. Enjoy!

To see the books I drew all of
the 365 characters in go here.

These were originally drawn
2010 November 15:th – 2010 November 18:th

To see an index of all the 365 characters click here.

Sliding Cat - my original cat characterSliding Cat – my original cat character

Soldat J (Pizza) from The King of Braves GaoGaiGarSoldat J (Pizza) from The King of Braves GaoGaiGar
(I drew this for Diana! <3)
Btw, she had a 365 project too!
Check it out on the link!

Kiran Dinravell - Original CharacterKiran Dinravell – Original Character
This is one of my first original characters from
1998. I don’t draw him much these days since
he doesn’t really have a story. :) Here’s an
older drawing of him.
And yes, you are right, Kiran
is an altered version of my name. :)

My Robert!My Robert! <3
I don’t draw him much because even if he
appreciates my drawings of him, he’s not very
smooth on giving feedback. His reaction to this
was “Why don’t I have as cool weapon as that
dude has? (pointing to Kiran drawing)”
Awww!

That’s all, people! Thanks
for following this project! :)

OMGPOP!

Wow, I slept for way too long today. I just got home from grocery shopping and half of the day has passed. Argh! Anyway, I was going to write a short entry about OMGPOP. It’s a community with tons of mini games. My friend Emelie introduced it to me and yesterday we played one game called Draw My Thing, which was super funny. It’s a draw-and-guess game. Time really flies by while playing that game. Then I tried out Putt Putt Penguin which was really funny too. It’s like mini golf, except it’s on ice and you need putt your penguin into the whole. I won twice but it felt really random. My mouse started to act up one time and I dropped the sling repeatedly without actually clicking. XD

Check out OMGPOP!

Today’s highlight: played Mario Kart online. Lost points but re-won them. People are darn good at that game around the globe. I don’t stand a chance!

Biking!

I went by bicycle to work today. Wow, what a workout! It’s about 15 km (9.3 miles) from where I live to the office. That makes it 30 km (18.5 miles) today! I hope to keep it up. They are renewing the railways which means the trains are really late (aka goes at random point of time) and FULL of passengers. A few days ago the train was so full they asked people to take an other train, but these trains only go once an hour while the railways are being reconstructed. Argh! And they aren’t finished until 2:nd of august, so I saw this as a great opportunity to take the bike to work.

I found the soundtrack to Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea on Spotify!

This is certainly a movie I want to see when I get the chance. This reminds me that there is a version of this movie’s main theme that reminds me so much of how my little brother’s voice sounded like when he was reaaaally small. I remember a short documentary about a tame carpercaillie that used to lurk around our lower school. In this short documentary they interviewed him while he pet the bird. And his voice was something like this!

Highlight of the day: Ponyo music, and managing to bike to work without passing out. XD

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