Thursday, 7 November 2019

AN5002: Advanced Anim Starts This Week

Creature animation: "Planet Mars"
On Monday 4th November our 2nd year undergraduate animators started a new module: AN5002: Advanced Computer Animation.

In this module, worth 30 credits, students get to grips with animating animals and creatures.

The module started on Monday 4th November and lasts six weeks. It finishes on Friday December 20th,  just before Christmas.

In AN5002 students develop their skills in animal and creature animation, including quadruped locomotion and performance.

Animal and creature work
Leopard by Francesco Nevi
Much of the animation industry in London focuses on realistic animal and creature work, achieving photo-real levels of quality. For example, the Disney re-make of The Lion King was made at MPC in London.

2nd year tutor - Alex Williams
Like last year, I'll be teaching the second year animators. I have worked on a number of film projects featuring animal and creature animation, including the last three Harry Potter Films and The Chronicles of Narnia - Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Student work.
To see more examples of student work, read this blog post from 2018.

1. Canine locomotion exercise by Maria Robertson
Maria's canine animation was based on a number of live action clips, combined into one seamless piece of animation. It's an excellent study of quadruped locomotion and a very skilled performance. 

2. Dog animation by Tim Golton
Animal and creature work doesn't have to be super-realistic; it can be cartoony as well, as in this very charming dog animation by Tim Golton, using the Cody rig.

Daily Classroom Schedule
Classes are taught in Winterfell on the 3rd floor at 190 High Holborn, from Monday November 4th and runs for 6 weeks until Friday December 20th.  Classes take place at 9.30am in Winterfell on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and all day on Thursdays. Friday is a self-study day.

Animation library
Animation Library
We have many books on animation in the animation library, located in the hallway just outside Rapture on the 3rd floor. The Animator's Survival Kit Expanded Edition, for example, has a section on animal and creature animation. We also have Edward Muybridge's historic reference book Animals in Motion.

Online Tutorials at Vimeo
We have many online tutorials at Vimeo to support this module. Tutorials include:

Quadruped Locomotion - Walks, Trots & Runs
Quadruped locomotion by Edward Muybridge
Quadruped Walks, Trots & Runs 
by Maria Robertson
Also read this blog post for more on quadruped locomotion.

Multi-legged Creature Locomotion
Six-legged crab animation by Maria Robertson
For more on the crab animation, see this blog post

Dino locomotion: IRex by Truong
Creature Performance using live action reference
Six-legged "Xye crab" mating dance animation by Maria Robertson
Also see this blog post.

Dinosaur Locomotion
Dinosaur Walk Cycle by Alexander Williams
For more on dinosaur animation, read this blog post

Butterfly Animation 
How to Animate Butterflies in Motion by Alexander Williams
Also read this blog post on Butterfly animation
crow in flight

Vehicle Animation Tutorial  
Cartoony Yellow Beetle tutorial by Alexander Williams
For more on animating vehicles, including rig notes, read this blog post.
Bird in Flight Animation Tutorial
Crow in flight tutorial by Alexander Williams
For more on animating the crow in flight, see this blog post
To see more about how the 2nd year at Escape Studios works, read this blog post.


Assigment - Portfolio (75%)
Students will create an animal or creature performance which may or may not contain spoken dialogue, approximately 7-12 seconds long.  Students should also build a portfolio of progress through the project at your website or blog containing written elements, images (such as storyboards and/or thumbnail sketches) and video (such as live action reference) to describe the development of the project. The final animation should be lit, rendered, and uploaded as a movie file to your YouTube channel. Links to the video and the blog should be emailed to your tutor before the deadline (see below).

Assignment - Retrospective (25%)
Students must write a retrospective based on the portfolio submission, of about 2,600 words. You should reflect on your performance, the work that you created and the decisions that you made.  How does your practical output relate to the established theory and practice? How well did you do, compared to industry standards? What might you do differently next time? This written analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your portfolio should be in the context of current industry practice. You can use our standard template if you like (ask me for a copy) but this is not compulsory.

The Portfolio assignment is due on Wednesday 11th December at 11.59pm.
Presentations, peer marking and self-marking of the portfolio assignment will take place on Thursday 12th December at 9.30am. The Retrospective assignment is due on Friday 13th December at 11.59pm.

How to Submit 
Submit your final projects by email to your tutor with a link to your final film, uploaded to Vimeo, and a link to your website or blog showing your development process, including thumbnail sketches and/or video reference. 

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our BA/MArt in 3D Animation, follow this link.  To apply for our storyboarding evening class, visit this page here.  For the next 12 week animation course, click here.

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