Throwback Thursday – Animated Rooster

Inception style throwback — I filmed this rooster during a trip to Peru in 2006 and animated it a couple of years ago as part of another film (which I will upload shortly).

I have an unusual affection for hens and roosters that I can’t quite explain. It must be some sort of nostalgia for a homestead style of living that my parents and grandparents experienced.  And as an animator, their movements are so strange and interesting!

To create this animation, I exported the sequence as TIFF images and hand painted over them in Photoshop using a wacom tablet. I didn’t do any “onion skinning” technique just straight ahead color animation. I used the eye dropper to approximate the color of the bird in different areas and to catch the light shifts in the original movie file. Then I exported the image sequence in After Effects. Enjoy!

Linda Doesn’t Make Excuses – Puppet Practice

It has been a long time since I animated a stop-motion puppet and was overdue for a practice session. As I rework my demo reels I realized I have an unruly ratio of robots to people and felt something must be done to rectify the situation. Luckily, John Sumner over at Stoopid Buddy Studios was kind enough to lend me several of his puppets to practice with.

Linda puppet

The first puppet is a voluptuous lady in a full dress. Similar to the You Like Me puppet, she is only poseable from the waist up. I fabricated some eyelids for her and decided to use the mouth shapes I had previously created.

I scoured the site and found this:

Linda’s Film on Menstruation (1974) is a hilarious and cringeworthy coming-of-age tale worth watching in its own right, but it also has a great bit at the end where the producers interview people on the street.

Once I settled on a clip, I did track reads in Dragon Stop Motion and spent an evening fiddling with the lighting and setup.

I didn’t get anywhere close to finishing today but here is what I have so far:

The full clip is about 20 seconds and I really hope to get through it in the next few nights. And yes, that’s a popular coffee chain sign behind her.

Nightmare Scene Transition rough layout

These transitions are a brain twister in terms of AE workflow. I want to avoid a very long composition with the transition scene and the two other scenes that bookend it. I’ve uploaded a draft quality version of this pass. Images are from NASA site; robot animated with Dragon; composite and effects in After Effects.

This approach is a modification from the original spiral idea that I had planned. I was hoping for a nuanced indication of both interior and downward movement (into hell) but really I will be happy if the idea of any kind of transformation comes across. One of the feedback points I received recently is that it’s unclear why the stylistic change occurs at this point. I think this transition will help to clear that up. Also I should add that the other half of this transition is not posted – he opens his eyes within the new environment.

Flames Animation Test

A very rough concept test for the goddess halo. The idea was to use the Illustrator stroke function to animate a cycle.

  • 4 frames looped in After Effects.
  • layer sequence: outside stroke, center stroke, inside, center
  • Rendered at 24fps
I like the pointed joints but I will need to finesse the bezier curves to achieve the desired results. I also need to rearrange stroke order for each captured frame so the flame colors stay in sequence