Thursday, December 22, 2005

pose this...

Throughout the first term of Animation Mentor we were often asked to complete a pose that specifically illustrates a predefined emotional state. This is pretty tough without the use of facial expressions. Anyway, here are mine. (below) Each of these is the result of many hours of planning, sketching and research. The fundamental goal for these exercises, and really any animated acting piece, is to deliver information to the audience as clearly as possible. If we are capable of conveying meaning in a single pose, without expressions then we're well on the way.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

animation mentor class 1 assignments

Ok, class is done, City of Villains is on the shelves and I finally got around to posting the work I completed in my first semester of Animation Mentor. Images below link to assignments. (if any of them refuses to load, try hitting refresh a few times. I can't figure it out, but sometimes they chose not to load correctly.)

Assignment 1 - Planning: Animate a ball that behaves like a soccer ball or basketball. The first assignment given to us designed to accomplish two things. 1. allow our mentor identify the level of experience each student. 2. begin exploring planning, timing and spacing.

assignment 2 - Timing: Create two balls in the same shot that illustrate different weights.

Assignment 3 - Anticipation and Squash & Stretch: To create the feeling of anticipation by having a ball begin to animate from a stopped position. Continue through obstacle course and come to stop on screen.

Assignment 4 - Overlapping Action: To convey overlapping action and followthrough through animating a ball with a tail.

Assignment 5 - Arcs and Path of Action: To animate a single legged character completing a single jump on a path with an arc, and coming to a settle.

Assignment 6 (7) - Intro to Walks: Through the course of two assignments we were to first block out, then refine the animation of a character with a basic walk in a side view.

Assignment 8 (9) - Character Walks: To create a walking character with personality.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

kong is KILLER

ok, so I finally got around to posting some of my assignments from this first term at Animation Mentor. I will be adding more explanation on each assignment shortly, but I just had to write somthing.


fantastic fx. They did a beautiful job making you empathasize with the big fella, and i couldn't get enough of it. One of the most amazing sequences had already been released online. have a look: KONG

Sunday, December 11, 2005

12 principles...

Our first session outlined and explained the 12 principles of animation, as defined in the Illusion of Life. Again, I had discovered this information many years back, but it would have been golden to start my career with this knowledge.

In no particular order
1. Squash and Stretch
2. Anticipation
3. Staging
4. Straight Ahead Action and Pose to Pose
5. Follow through and Overlapping Action
6. Slow In and Slow Out
7. Arcs
8. Secondary Action
9. Timing
10. Exaggeration
11. Solid Drawing
12. Appeal

I've also found books that expand on these with lists of greater information, however this is the list we'll focus on for our first term at Animation Mentor. The Principles of Animation. Each of the following assignments are specifically designed to explore one or more of these principles.

Man... I'm bad at this.

With the start of Animation Mentor, and the pending trip to Italy for Della and I on the horizon, I thought a blog would have been a great idea. Daily animation journals could be logged, as well as our journey abroad. As you can see... Its many month since my last post, and that hasn't happened.

Anyway, about Animation Mentor. Although taxing at times, my first term has a far greater learning experience that I had expected. Weekly we're thoroughly examining animation as the art form that it is. Although I am currently an animator, and have been working in the games field as one for nearly 10 years now, I never really dove this deeply into my trade. Yeah, I did take animation courses in school, 3 or 4 of them maybe, but have always believed my own personal development, experience, and books had taught me most of what I now know about the process of animation. Of course this current term, Class 1 Foundations, did cover many concepts I have learned over time, but in a fraction of the time it took me to discover these concepts. The Class also continually presented me with validation to my "impressions," (of what hips do when you move for instance) while regularly providing nugets of golden advice from more accomplished animators. Heck... it took me until 4 years ago to realize the connection with acting and animation. Since then I have taken an acting class and am back in school to study "the trade." All that said, I can't wait until I get to the acted performance, and further development at Am.

Now I'll try to post my assignments for the Fall of 05 Foundations class.


Listening to the Pixies right now...

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Finished another week in AM with an assignment to create a bouncing ball, and illustrate Excitement with a single pose. Here's my pose(s).
I tried to think of why the character would be excited rather than simply tossing limbs in the air. Better for me to get my head around.

AM has been great, and has really surpassed what I was hoping for. However i have been unable to keep up the freequency with which I was able to surf. No longer can I do the mornings before work as I will more than likely have been, or will be staying up late to think about, explore, and study animation.

That said, I hit the water again yesterday in Lindimar. First time in a week. Waves were big, and water temp was warm for the Bay Area. I caught a number of waves, some good, some closed out, but no bad wipe outs. However, at one point there was a rather gross, semi decayed dead seal, or sea lion drifting out by the lineup. Dead seals I can handle, but the question about what makes seals dead almost had me heading for the beach. Sharks... The California Coastline is known to be home to Great Whites. Its funny, I used to be a big fan of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, but now that's changed.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

gotta start somewhere

Howdy, and welcome to yet another blog by an animator in the digital age. I joke because I recently discovered an article that specifically commented on the overwhelming saturation of blogs by animators and artists. Bah ha ha ha... I'm going to help fill this pile of muck. Call me the Head Muckety Muck of this page, my own little online world. Though I also have a website that needs a radical overhaul, One day I may even put a link to this from there.

Anyway, here's the WHO. My name is Brian Wyser. I am a 33 year old video games artist living in San Francisco with my wife Della and two cats ( My current project is City of Villains, to be released this Halloween. Check it out if your interested,

The WHY? Why do I need a to start a blog? WHY THE HELL NOT? No, I don't consider myself particularly interesting, and therefore don't care if you like what I write or not. My goal is for this space to become a chronicle of my journey through, and anything else in between that I chose to discuss. It may even be politics, god forbid.

There you have it.