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Sun, May 16

Amputee Theater—6:41 PM

It's been weeks and weeks and weeks since my last update. Terrible. I've been so eager to post the latest animation, because I think it's getting a lot better, but I also want to go in order, so I have really been meaning to catch up.

I suppose part of the difficulty has been recoiling from the thought of having to relive this particular clip. I think it turned out all right in the end, but it was fraught with compromise from the word "Go," and out of all the work I've done so far at Animation Mentor, it was the exercise that came closest to killing me.

When I saw that parkour was an option for this assignment, I was excited to do something kinetic and different, to stretch my skills and begin rounding out my portfolio. One of the reasons I enjoy animation is the design aspect of it, and shot design is one of the best parts. I've said before that I like a moving camera – not just for its own sake, of course, but it does have a cinematic feel to it when done right. In my first term at AM, I'd seen this clip by a fellow student in the class ahead of me, and I had visions of doing a parkour shot in a similar style. But I found out my mentor didn't want us moving the camera, since it would interfere with the evaluation of the animated movement.

Further, since our character for this assignment was Stewie No Arms (he sounds like a mafia footsoldier, but he's just a version of the Stewie character without any arms), a whole lot of parkour movements were off limits – he simply couldn't do them. I probably should've let go of my parkour dreams at that point and done skipping or something, but for some reason I pressed on.

The shot I ended up with was a parkour move called "tic tac," in which freerunners climb using their momentum to bounce between two vertical objects. They usually grab the top of a wall at the end of this movement, and vault themselves over, but not so for Stewie No Arms. Fortunately, I found some YouTube footage of someone missing a step and falling in the middle of a tic tac, so I based my shot on that. Fitting it all into one static shot was a nightmare, though, and if this shot stays on my portfolio reel, I will probably break it into two camera angles or add a moving camera.

Aside from the camera angle and the fact that it's not the action I would've chosen, the animation in the shot turned out pretty well. That much, I'm certainly grateful for – now, when I'm struggling with an assignment, I can reflect on the parkour piece and know that no matter what, I will pull through.

Next stop: Tanglepuppy!

1 comment with related links

Fri, May 14

Jack "el Rod"—3:22 PM

I've read the Comics Curmudgeon blog nearly every day since Ken Jennings recommended it to me – and it's normally good for a few laughs. It has also meant taking an unhealthy interest in the goings-on at "Mary Worth" and becoming emotionally involved in 2008's Foobocalypse.

Anyway, as I said, it's seldom laugh-out-loud humor; mostly I read it for five minutes of quick chuckles, and to follow the thread in case something good comes up – and also to stay informed for each week's "comments of the week." That's when author Josh Fruhlinger (spending time I don't have) culls through all the comments from his witty readers and posts the best ones. That's when you get stuff like this, which makes it all worthwhile:

“I haven’t really been following this Mark Trail storyline, so can someone fill me in on the plot points that led to an ad hoc contest for the best sexual euphemism for masturbation?” –Jester

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