Short series animations

This is just a quick post about the stuff that I have been looking at to help me come up with a good idea fo my walk animation. After I decided that I want i to be almost like an episode from a random sho series of animations about Acid Robot’s exploitations within the spaceship, I thought of which animation series I like to watch. So here they are:


This is a funny little animation by Brian Frisk, that follows the random adventures of a rabbit and a cat who fall down the candy hole. Brian Frisk has a website that sows his work, so it is pretty useful, The Frown.

This is the first episode:

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This is a good reference because each episode is so random, I like that, I only have 20 seconds at max to show a narrative for my animation so if I make something fairly random it will all work out. Also, this animation has a very simple initial idea, that a cat chases a rabbit down a candy hole, for this style of animation this is totally acceptable, as is more about the comedy side. This means I don’t have to worry too much about making a massive back story. Frisk also makes an animation called We Are Robots which is a really good source of how to animate a comedy robot.


I have been watching these for a while now and yet I don’t actually know anything about the guys that make them. A similar style of comedy to the candy hole, sort of funny violence. What I like about this series most is constant references to children’s tv shows, like the theme tune and opening sequence. It also abuses the idea that to me originates from shows like Tom and Jerry, it is the idea that no matter what happens to the characters in one episode the will be back to normal by the next episode. In Tom and Jerry you see some boxes fall on them at most nd they will have a few birds flying round their heads in the universal confusion sign of course; in happy tree friends the characters go through some serious issues, they get dismembered, beaten up and sometimes even die, but they will be live and kicking for the next episode.

The Silence Beneath the Bark by Joanna Lurie

This is a really nicely done animation, so I thought I would blog about it. Sadly, I can’t find anything about the software used or the process, so if anyone knows I would be grateful of the information.

The reason this is such a great animation is because of the cute little character that we get introduced to through  rather unfortunate event. I think this makes the viewer immediately feel sorry for the little guy. This sympathy is rewarded when we see his toothy grin fr the first time, the way this character is constructed just makes you fall in love with him (I say him but I don’t actually know what it is).

I like the effect where the snow the eat seems to run like paint into their body. It is visually very beautiful and well done and it also adds a warmth to the animation as you sit and reminisce about when you were a kid an you used to catch snowflakes on your tongue – those were the days.

A bit that I really like is a minor detail in the overall animation. It is around 7 minutes in when the two characters walk off into a snow storm. The snow is shown in some places to hit the ground and swirl round in a circle, almost as if it is a mini whirlwind. Even though this isn’t even that noticeable, I think it is a really nice touch to the animation, and it makes the snow seem believable, instead of it all following the same path. Also, when the snow hits the frozen over lake is really nice.

Walking Character Development

We had a presentation on how important character development is to an animation, so I decided to do a little bit of prep for my walk animation. I have developed a story for why my robot follows the narrative of my storyboard. I have gone into more detail in my sketchbook but basically he is a little lonely robot that has an odd obsession with acid. This obsession often has bad repercussions as you can probably imagine. So this is where we get the name of acid robot from.

I didn’t want to go into too much detail on this as the brief isn’t really about this side of it, but I thought a little bit of back story couldn’t hurt.

I also looked at why he was designed as he is aesthetically. The main reason for his human appearance is because I based a lot of my research on real life android’s that I found on Communist Robot. This influenced my idea because it made me think that we are already trying to make robots that can do everyday household tasks for us, so we will probably have them in the future, and we will most likely be in space. Anyways, this was my main basis, but I also looked at how easy it would be to animate using the bone tool in Flash. The use of big solid sections for the legs and arms was key to the design; it allowed the robot to have character but also made it easy to animate, as it didn’t go crazy much (like inverting half a leg etc). A few bits did go wrong on my final outcome but I feel that none were major, the most obvious is that his foot changes colour near the end of the walk cycle. Overall it was sucessful for te walk cycle.

Making characters in AI

I decided that the best way to approach my walk animation, was to create the characters in AI then import them as layers into Flash, this worked brilliantly and for me was the easiest way to do it. I needed a character to use the bone tool on, so this was the best option. If I had chosen to do frame by frame animation I would have worked solely in Flash.

Acid Robot Background

As I did a scan through my blog I realised that I haven’t posted anything about my background design for the walking animation. I used the basic idea that the environment for my character was in a spaceship, this stemmed from my original sketchbook work on his back story. The idea is that he is left aboard a ship, alone and bored so he somehow malfunctions and gets obsessed with acid. It’s simple enough =) hey its only for a 15 seconds animation, no need to obsess over the finer details.I looked at a few old school games like alien trilogy, monkey hero and tomb raider for inspiration, as I wanted the theme to be fun but still with a dark decor. Alien trilogy was awesome research, plus it was a bloody good excuse to get my old PS out and glory in the pixels.

This is what I came up with, I didn’t revel in the details of it, instead I went for a quick solution for it, after all the animation is what matters not the background (I hate prioritising). For what this needed to be I think it does a good enough job.

Walking Animation

I am officially a speed demon today =). Literally came in to college at 9.30 this morn and I have done all of my flash animation for the walk cycle brief and its not even 4oclock yet =)

I have had an ok day working in flash. if I’m honest I am glad it is over and done with! Had a few problems trying to figure out the problem that a lot of people seem to be having with the export leaving artifacts. I used some of the other ideas that people had come up with but none of them worked for mine, so I did a little test and it worked yay =) I used the choice of export movie >then choose image selection.

This allowed me to take the image sequence into after effects then export it in there, it works perfectly now. YAY! I thought it was going to be really pixelated as it was on screen but that was just because I had the render settings at half for the real time view.

I hate you Flash.I hate you Flash.I HATE YOU FLASH.

So I have been working on me walk animation in flash and I literally just finish it and then the whole thing decides to crash on me….luckily I managed to write myself a note telling me to save frequently (I am often the victim of crash reports, like last week in Maya, I had just finished the UV map then bam, Maya:I think I’m going to crash right about now, Me:NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!(Heh heh, sorry I have been staring at the same thing all day..). So, I have the last scene to redo now…oh joy!



Awesome Animation.

I have been pointed towards this animation by a friend of mine, who described it as “kinda like a rotoscope but cooler!”. From this statement I had to check it out and here I am blogging about it. Produced as a student project by Reza Dolatabadi, the animation is made up of 6000 paintings specially made for the 5 minutes of footage. I know it is a completely different style of animation to the ones I am learning currently but in terms of the basics it still follows a few key principles. What I especially admire about it is the amount of thought and planning that has gone into the final outcome, because each frame is essentially a new painting, so I suppose it is frame by frame animation. Also, I find the timing on it  amazing, I have found it really difficult to figure out timings for my animations but this example shows them perfectly, like how many paintings went into that first section when the camera travels over the land? It’s incredible fore-thought into an awesome animation!

Walking animation, Part 1.

Started with this initial storyboard but after presenting it to the group I realised a few flaws in it. The main problem was the random parts of the storyline and the reasons that the character would be walking for such a long time in the first place. Had some good feedback on this as a few people came up with motives for the robot to be walking along. This then lead me onto the idea that the robot would be walking along after a cog that he had lost. This gave the motivation and the reason behind the walk cycle that I would create, so I dabbled a bit with the story – oh yeah, also had feedback on the setting. I had a part where the robot walked up to a desk with a photograph on it, the general idea was that the robot would be in a home style environment to make him seem human. A society of robots, the problem with this was that I hadn’t done much work on it, so it seemed like I had just thrown a random desk into the storyboard. Anyways I went onto make this storyboard, that utilizes the best/favourite parts of the previous storyboard, with a more developed idea.

I kept the same character but changed the storyline. He is now looking for a lost cog that rolls out of him at the beginning of the animation. I want it to seem like this happens a lot to him, so the environment will be a deteriorated industrial interior of a ship. I need to think of a story for this part of the background but I think the basis is believable! The character is a robot that lives forever in hibernation because there are no humans to serve anymore – links to the research in new robots that are designed to cater for humans. The story still has the overall sad theme but it now has a comedy twist.

This is the animatic I will follow for it:

Communist Robot, The Robot Database.

Since I am looing at a rob fo my walk animation, I thought I would find some valuable walk cycles. Robot Communist is a massive site, with practically every robot made to date. It is crazy, it has loads of information about each model, with pictures as well as videos on the robot itself. I thought it could help m alot with my walk cycle because I want my robot to have an obviousl robotic walk, and there are hundreds to choose from on this site. I prefer the robots that are trying to be human,andriods that don’t seem to have perfected human movement. This ties in well wit my storyboard as I have looked at the robot displaying human emotions.

 Communist Robot

Asimo by Honda is a really nicely designed humanoid, it is good reference to a run and walk cycle.

Asimo Running:

933 Paths of Hate Trailer.

I love this trailer it is aestetically beautiful, and I would very much like to produce something like this for my animation brief.

New short animation directed by Damian Nenow, produced by Platige Image

I really the comparison between the painted clouds and the comic book style of the planes, characters etc. Plus the camera work is amazing.

101 Dalmatians walk cycle

We are currently looking at walk cycles for our animation brief, this example from 101 Dalmatians shows how they prepared a walk cycle for the opening scene. It’s a good reference to use because the film was produced by fully drawn cell animation, whereas we are using the flash bone tool to replicate movement, even so the same principles apply. After testing out the bone tool it is really simple to use but you need some guides to follow to get the walk cycle to look physically correct. Otherwise the character seems to do crazy stuff, like jumping in the air or doing the splits! It ends up looking pretty trippy. Anyways I found these images on and its a good example of what I should look into doing for my idea, that is as soon as I have settled on an idea and a character!