Monday, 11 July 2022

AN5002 "Animals & Creatures" Starts 19 Sept 2022

animation by Zoe Walker
On Monday 19 September 2022 our 2nd year undergraduate animators return to Escape Studios to start their next module: AN5002: Advanced Computer Animation, in which students learn to animate animals and creatures.  

AN5002 starts on Monday 19 September 2022 and finishes on Friday 21 October 2022.  The Portfolio assignment, a short piece of animal or creature animation, is due on Wednesday 19 October 2022.

Escape Studios' 2022 Animal & Creature Animation Reel

Animal and creature work
Jaguar 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.

Tutors - Alex Williams and Marc Stevenson
This year we have two tutors teaching the second year animators, myself and Marc Stevenson. All our tutors at Escape Studios have considerable experience of working on film projects featuring animal and creature animation.

Student work.
Tiger by Bonnie Duncan
To see some examples of work done on this module, watch the short videos below. To see more examples of student work, read this blog post.

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

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.

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.

Two Classes
Spider animation by Michael Davies
This year we have around 45 students in the second year, so we split the group into two classes: one taught by me (Alex Williams), the other by Marc Stevenson

Classrooms - Tatooine and Hala
AN5002 classes will take place on the first floor at 190 High Holborn in our two newest classrooms - Tatooine and Hala

AN5002 classes run on Monday mornings from 9.30am to 12.30pm, and all day (9.30am until 4.30pm) on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Wednesdays and Fridays are self-study days. 

2022 Schedule
To see the 2022 weekly schedule, take a look at the calendar below. 

Assigment - Portfolio (75%)
Daniel Amor - leopard animation with reference

Students 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%)
Dinosaur by Edoardo Sartori

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. 

Bear animation by Amanda Costa
The Portfolio assignment
is due on Wednesday 19 October 2022 at 11.59pm.

Presentations, peer marking and self-marking of the portfolio assignment will take place on Thursday 20th October at 9.30am. 

The Retrospective assignment is due on Monday 24th October 2022 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. 

Animal & Creature Animation Resources
"Xye Crab" mating dance by Maria Robertson
To see more resources on how to animate animals and creatures, follow the links below:

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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