Saturday, March 27, 2010

Stephan Brezinsky - headless - Feedback

I'd like some feedback on this very early pass at the following shot (a quick note, I do have a background image in the scene, but for some reason it's showing up as white in the playblast:

http://stephanbrezinsky.com/media/blocking05.mov


If you recall, my goals for this shot were to display character through motion (the walking and running), as well as a change of emotion, as well as cartoony acting. I am also trying a new workflow where I figure out the timing of the shot and actions first to get a rhythm going, then I start working on acting choices and subtlety. Since I'm still in the idea process, I'd like to get your feedback on the following points.


Interesting workflow. I wonder though, the acting choices will influence the timing and actions, so wouldn't you plan those out first? Although if you do it in broad strokes, that could work.

Originally I was going to add sound, specifically having the head deliver a one line phrase such as 'nice day for a walk don't you think?'. I was going to record my own sound, but now I'm not sure if that is necessary. Should I leave it as pure pantomime and focus on the acting?


Pure pantomime is okay, unless you have a good sounding voice. :)

I would like to do a big cartoony take before the character runs off screen, but I'm finding the bench setup to be limiting. More specifically, I'm afraid I will lose the viewer's eye when they have to change focus from the jar over to the man reading. How do I lead in to a fast take without losing the audience and having them miss it? Is there some good reference you could suggest for studying?

I don't think you will will confuse the audience. The beats are clear as it is now. He pokes the jar, then the head looks at him and he freaks out. I think that back and forth is okay. Since he's poking the jar, the audience is looking at the jar, so they will see the head turn. Then you introduce the take which is much bigger than the head turn, so the audience will look at that guy. Nothing will be missed.

How is my framing? I would like to stay wide and do it all without cuts, but I'm afraid then I'll have to be too broad with the animation for it to read. Or perhaps keeping it very broad fits the style? I would like to explore something more on the cartoony side.


The framing works for me, especially given the cartoony aspect. If you use more subtle things, then a close up would be more appropriate, but the way it is now is okay.

Of course if there are any other points that you feel I should focus on, please let me know. As I mentioned before, this shot may need to move to the back-burner while I switch to shorter exercises, but I'd like to at least know what direction to take it in.


Well, overall I do have some concerns though! :)

The fact that the guy looks at a jar with a severed head and DOESN'T freak out is weird. So I don't see why the head turn would freak him out that muchthen! Plus, if he looks over to his right, then there's a guy without a head, and that should freak him out as well!

What you could do is more something like this:

Guys sits down, the right guy looks over to where the head would be. He freaks out (nothing huge, but a visible scare). He then looks down and sees the jar and freaks out even more, then the head turns and smiles at him in a weird way and that REALLY freaks him out and he runs away or faints or something big. But the timing of how those three freak out stages unfold could be really funny.

What do you guys think?

Richie Prado - My family - Critique

video

Hey,

I really like that one, it's working really well!

Looked at it in a broad way, what wasn't quite working for me was the first cut between shot 1 and 2. They are very similar, especially in terms of how close you are to the characters. So to me the cut was a bit jarring, almost like a camera pop. It's good that you are wide in the first shot. That way you establish the characters and the set, giving the audience an overview of the characters' geography.


The second shot could have more of a close-up, same for shot3, so we can really look at the character's face and his emotions.


Shot4 works the way it is (wider) because of the broader character movements and also for contrast, since we just had two close-up shots, we can pull out again.
The only thing in shot4 that's not working for me is how close the green guy is walking past camera. It's distracting and not needed story telling wise.

On a more anim technical side:

SHOT1
Green guy:
- the hand on the shoulder is not bad, but you could have more contact with the index finger. It looks like it's slightly hovering over the shoulder. The lower part of the wrist is also a bit still, compared to how the body is moving, so adding a bit more keep alive in that wrist would be good.
- it might just be a shader thing, but the forearm of the arm resting on the other guy's shoulder seems to have a weird dent in it. Is there a way to take that out?


- careful with the screen left leg from x33 to 37, how it moves to really extend the leg. Then from x41 to 46 it's bending again. I don't think the full extension is needed. At least that transition isn't fast, so it's not looking like a pop, but you could just leave it out and have the leg more bent as opposed to straight from x33 to 46.
- the screen left hand from x10 to 15 is rotating a bit fast. You could have it more casual (just like his voice delivery) and end the rotation around x23. But don't end it in the finger pose you have on x23, because it stays in that pose until around x48. There could be more complexity and finger pose changes during that section.
- on "grab" and a bit before you have the lipsync a bit off. On x44 his mouth/lips shape more of an "M" pose, but from "uh... grab" I wouldn't close the mouth. I would go from "Uh" to a "U" shape for the "gr" section of grab, leaving the mouth mostly open.
The blink on x34 is a bit mechanical, with the closing over two frames. Close the eyes a tiny bit on x33, then keep what you have on x34 and a tiny bit less closed on x35, then closed the way x35 was. Keeps it less mechanical and more casual, working more in tandem with the mood/tone of the voice.
- the screen right arm has a funky arc as it goes up to land on the shoulder. Make sure the arc is smooth out and a bit more elegant

- same goes with the screen left arm moving to the left at the end of the shot, there's a quick move, then a pause, then another quick move. I think you could simplify it and just have an under arc in one move

beige guy:
- I would reduce the jaw down movement from x12 to x22 and keep it more closed and save the opening for the reaction to the shoulder. Right now it's a bit even how it goes down and you could have one mouth shape in order to show the emotion of the guy and not have the jaw slowly drop like that. It feels too much like a key you forgot

SHOT2
Green guy:
- screen left arm drop on x105 ends a bit abruptly on x117, you could ease more into that
- screen left arm moves a bit too much with/like the body from x152 on. When the body moves to the left starting at x152, the arm could drag a bit, so push it more towards the body for 2 or 3 frames, then have it go with the body and overshoot a bit after the body ends moving. Right now the arm stops the left movement around x160, then starts a move away from us towards the back. I'd keep it just dangling and not introduce that long and straight move to the back
- the screen right elbow has a quick move from x66 to around x69, keep it where it is on x66, x69 looks a bit awkward (and again, if there's a way to get rid of the dent underneath the wrist, that would be great)
- during "go home" the hand on the shoulder feels a bit loose, would be good to see more believable contact
- the wrist flicks a bit from x153 to 156 before the hand/arm goes away from the shoulder
- watch the eye contact of the green guy. For instance x88, he's looking above the guys, try to keep it closer to his eyes


- the eyes are also a bit swimmy starting around x125. Try to keep eye movements limited to darts over 2 frames or even 1 frame and avoid 5 to 7ish frame long drifts

beige guy:
- his eyes should stay in the same position as x66 until around x107 for the blink. It's good to bring a emotional gesture in there, but eyes move right at the start of the shot and are a bit swimmy as well. It could work to just have him stare until his eyes close
- I'd stay in the brow pose on x73 until the eyes close. Right now it feels like you're going into that pose, then a subtle reverse around x79, then a more flat one after that. All in all it feels like there is a bit too much movement during that section
- the hand contact on the suitcase could be stronger, the lid is moving around separately from the hand
- the pose on x118 is a bit unclear (the screen left arm/hand). At first I thought he's going to hold his shoulder in pain or frustration. I like the move at that time, it feels right, but maybe have the hand just in front of the chest
- starting at x156 the body move screen right, it would be good to lift up the hip in the screen right side a little bit for the weight shift.

SHOT3

green guy:
- all good, except a left arm pop from x221 to 223

beige guy:
- screen right hand/fingers are a bit weird after x188, the fingers just pop down during that section

- the screen right arm has a little quick move as well. It goes down to x192, then goes up slowly again and suddenly jerks up on x195 and stops again x197
- the eyes are a bit weird, he looks over to him, then has a big move up as he starts talking. It feels like he turns around, then looks at the green guy's nose, then his eyes. :) I'd keep it targeted at his eyes and maybe do a little side to side eye dart (maybe just to one side)


SHOT4

green guy:
- love the gestures and the timing of it, I just wouldn't have him get so close to camera as he walks by

beige guy:
- they eyes are swimmy at the beginning
- his left arm is poppy throughout and goes through the table at the end
- right hand could have stronger finger poses and variations
- the head turn is a bit fast starting at x286
- the jaw move on the "t" of "wait" is too snappy
- the body and face + eyes seem to drift down at the very end. I could see it as a "deflating" emotion, but then I would keep the eyes up and fixated on the guy leaving


Sounds like a lot, but it's not, plus once the work is so good, you gotta dive into the nitty gritty!! Nice work though!!

Cheers
JD

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Critique - Ball bounce - Jessica Toth

video

Nicely done! I like your set up for the obstacle objects!

Overall it's working really well, there are only a few little timing issues here and there.

For instance, when the ball rolls up onto the flat surface, there's a sudden slow down around the x22 area. Check your curve and take out that sudden direction change. The ball's slowdown should be gradual, like a regular curve with a flat tangent at the very end, nothing crazy in between.
Not a deal breaker and I'm being picky here, but from x44 to 49 the ball moves really quickly. The flat surface just moved down and it would the ball a bit longer to gain speed and drop. Right now the sudden speeding up is a bit fast.
The move down through the funnel is good, but I would try a version where you don't slow down the ball before it hits the walls. Check x52, 55 and 57. After a big bounce off the wall you those frames which have the ball right before wall and then another frame when it actually hits it. This one again is no deal breaker, I would try a smaller bounce off the wall on frames 51, 54 and 57. It should be around the same distance as the position one frame before it hits the wall. That way you have a position almost in the middle between the two walls and a clean hit on the wall.
The drop down and swing up through the U shape is awesome, that feels really nice timing wise!!
The bounces after that are almost there, but you're slowing down the impact, just like during the funnel thing. Check x96, that one should have the ball already on the ground. It's tricky when you have frame with the ball almost touching the ground and then on the next frame it's on it. It gives it a subtle slowdown. The bounce from x97 to 101 is a bit uneven in it's arc. The up move travels a certain distance screen right, but the down doesn't continue with that momentum, it should move a bit more screen right before it hits the ground.

That's it! Picky notes, but it's looking really good!

Cheers
JD

Critique - Igor and Groovy Walk - Sebastian Kalemba

video

Hey,

it's getting better! There are a few little things to look out for:

- the head drop from x37 to 41 through the loop is a bit fast
- when the fist plants on x19, it's a tiny bit fast as well and the sticks like IK, so I would add some sideways rotation for the wrist to show compression
- look at the fist position in relationship to his right foot on x19, then again on x36. The wrist is much further back behind the foot, which means that's sliding backwards. But since he's pushing on that arm for support, it should be planted just like the foot. So the wrist on x36 should in the same position in relationship to the foot like on x19
- the feet seem to slow down as they move screen right, but as long as they are on the ground the movement has to be linear, no keys inbetween and no flat tangents


video

About the groovy walk:

Hahahaha! Nice attitude!

Good start! I'd just watch out for those legs during the forward move. In the front view the really snap back before the plant, you will have to slow that down by a few frames.
Careful during the looping switch, the arms pop in a new position, same with the root.
Once you get more into it, you could add a bit more overlap in the head, or have him lead with the head, but either way, right now it's a bit too in sync with the upper body. The head and the body move as one unit, instead of broken up in terms of timing.

Nice work!
Cheers
JD

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Feedback - Aziz Kocanaogullari

video

You're right about directing the audience's eye, mainly to me it's during the "Happy Halloween" part. Since he's talking, I'm looking at him, so I'm missing her annoyed reaction.

Overall I like his entrance, but otherwise, dare I say, it's a bit simple? Maybe push the characters more in their contrast. If she's annoyed at his goofy state, then push that. What if their table has a more clear division, where she's the neat freak and he's the slob. So that at the beginning when we are just on her side, she's preparing everything very neatly, papers ready, etc. then she GRABS the mic so it's clear that she wants to say something, then he comes in and interrupts her (I kinda missed the fact that she wants to say something into the mic, I was focused on him, because she wasn't that interesting).

That's my first reaction to the piece. What do you guys think?

Critique - Aditi Bhandari

video

Almost done! ;)

Sorry to not let these areas go, but I think give it one more pass:

Around x75, when he goes up, the back paws, mainly the far screen right one, goes up a bit too early and too quickly. I like that you have them move down as the body goes up, since the paws would compress for the push. So if you can, keep going down longer on that guy and only later go up since he's overstretching and reaching.
One more thing I should have mentioned earlier, but hopefully no biggie, check x65, see how both paws are pretty much in the same pose? Just have one of them rotate differently in Y, so that you offset them.

Another thing, quick fix, his front left leg, on x65, add a few more frames for the top arc hold, then drop his leg/foot. Talking about 2 frames only, maybe even one, just to take away that quick direction change. And on the way back to x70 arc the trajectory of the paw. Right now it's a pretty straight line.

The rest works great! Nice job!

Critique - Richie Prado

video

Quick note, on the camera move, you could wait a tiny bit more before you pan to the left, but then move faster, in order to keep the energy up a bit? Also, you could either tilt up a bit towards the end or zoom out overall, so that the number 6 is clearly visible, since it's a main story point.

You mentioned that you feel the timing is blending into blandness and I agree, although it's not as bad as you might think.

Before addressing technical notes, I would concentrate on your next pass purely on timing. You can divide the clip into different sections.

First, the moment with him at the door and then backing away from it. What is he feeling when he takes those steps back? It's a bit unclear. It feels mostly loose, kinda indifferent. You could keep his back more straight up and not so hunched over. He could be frustrated since he can't get through the door. A more tense and firm walk back would reflect that (his arms would swing around less). He then looks at the piece of paper and then smashes it with his hands, resulting in the end of this frustrations.

Then, the turnaround. That's when you can have his shoulders down and his body attitude all hunched over and disappointed. Don't have him look up immediately on x162, keep it straight forward, finish his steps, then give it a beat, so that he can look at that other door. Then move his body back and his head up like on x181 in a slow move as in "What is this?". Give that end pose a beat, so that he can register in his mind what's going on. He is thinking about the numbers right, so give him time to think about it. Then quickly move his head down to look at his paper the way you have it now, but a bit faster. It's a "Wait a minute!" urgent move. He then understands what's going on and is happy. So the head up move that you have to x205 is too slow. He understands what's going on and goes right for the jump. The pose on the jump could be happier. For instance, his left arm is just kinda following the body, more as in overlap. But the whole body pose should show "Happiness".
Then during the first few steps before he runs through the door, you could accelerate more. The first few steps should be faster. He's really excited. Right now the steps are a bit timid. It's like tires spinning when you hit the gas, after a while it will gain traction and the car will zip off. So it's kinda what you will have with this guy. First the legs just run run run without him really moving, then he zips off.

With these kinds of tempo changes and giving your character enough time to think, you will change up the overall timing and pace of the clip and hopefully get away from the blandness you mentioned.

Critique: Lukasz Burnet

Link to happy walk: here

Overall really cool!

The main thing that's a bit big is the finger/hand animation. That part of the body (especially the fingers) feel(s) too loose. I would keep finger overlap, drag, etc. to a minimum.

In terms of detail, make sure that your foot spacing is even so that there is no sliding. Take for instance (in the sideview) the back foot on x12 to 13. The spacing is suddenly pretty small during that part, whereas during the frames before it's much bigger.

Last thing, his left arm, as it swings back, feels a bit even in timing and as if he's pulling the arm back, but then towards the back end it slows down to a slow pace for a few frames. It's a picky thing but if you have time, check that section again.

__________________

Link to Angry Walk: here

This one is cool from a technical point of view, but besides the angry face and the fist, it's not really that Cowboy-ish angry to me. I could see this more on an angry Grandmother cycle. :)

Same thing about the feet as the above clip, check sections like x2 to 3, where the back foot doesn't move in space anymore, but stays put and pivots out of the toe area. If you'd pull the whole guy from A to B for walk, the foot would slide on the ground going forward.

I would delay the overall hip animation by two frames. The hips go up right (or even one frame before) the foot is really on the ground. But the hips should go up once the weight is on that leg, which happens after the foot planted and the character lifts the other foot up.

Something else that makes him not that angry is the swingy gun arm anim. It looks cool, but it's so loose that there is no tension in it, taking away from the angry feel.

Looking at the front view, the head rotation in Y seems to stop pretty quickly when it turns to the left, once it reaches x19.

_____________________

Link to Cowboy dying: here

It's a fun piece, but what are you trying to show? What skill set do you want to incorporate in this clip? If it is for pure mechanics, then keep on going, and here a few notes:

Not too sure if it is due to the camera lens, but visually, the guy looks off balance at the start, especially around x33 to 85. He would fall over to the right.

Starting around x44 the gun is aligned right where the screen left leg is, forming a tangent. Since you should rotate the body back a bit for better balance, you can then move the arm and the gun more screen left for a clear silhouette.

At the end, it would be neat for his hat to come off, since it's such a heavy fall.

Then, once he's on the ground, tons of bug crawl on top of him. Or, a vulture lands on him, since he's dead. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Igor Walk - Sebastian Kalemba

video

The clip is coming along nicely!

A few things though:

The thing about cycles is that you should be able to grab the master controller and move the character forward at a certain speed and it would look like the character is walking from A to B.

But once you start introducing different lengths of foot steps and pauses between steps, it will make it difficult to just move the character using the master controller. At this point, it would be easier to animate the character directly going from A to B. But maybe that's just me.

As a test, grab the master controller and pull the guy to the left so you can see what I mean and how tricky it can get.

Besides that, here a few other parts that would tweaking:

- always check the root first, since that area will influence all of the other animation. I think the up is a bit linear, not by much, but I think you'd benefit from starting the up movement a bit slower, then speeding up towards the end. But keep it going up ever so slightly and stretch out that slow going up and slow coming down moment. Right now you go up quickly, then from x13 to 14 there's no more movement in Y. Stopping like that after such a quick raise makes it look too blocky. Keep the up momentum a bit more and then go down, give it enough hang time.
- on the up movement from x8 to 13 you could drag the head a bit more, so rotate it down on the way up. Then on the way down to x23 you can rotate it up for another drag. Basically, a bit more overlapping action would be nice, since he's not that in control of his body. It's okay to bring up the head first around the x30 section, because he's leading the body with the head, he's trying to get back up. But the move is a tad too fast and definitely comes down too fast. You will have to extend the length of the cycle in order to put it all the proper timed movements in there.
- The arc of the head moving up could also be broader. If I look at the front view tracing his nose you get this:

Your arcs are very angular, so give them enough room to really curve around.
- looking at the side view, the fist that comes down to the ground is moving back faster than the foot, which means it's sliding. It would work better as a push off (which I think is intended here), so it will have to move screen left as far as the foot is.
- his left arm could drag a bit more during the big up movement from x25 to 33. Right now the arm goes up with the body and it should be delayed a bit.

Those are some big changes body and timing wise, so I would start with these notes.

Cheers
JD

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dog (updated) - Aditi Bhandari

video

About the dog (can you add a frame counter?):

Don't want to have him step on the lid, huh? ;)
But I like that there is some sort of interaction with it at the end though.

It's working better, but there are still some of the same areas that would need a bit more tweaking:

- starting at x52 the back paws are still fairly locked (in Y rotation) and even though they go up and down, they are both in sync and they don't feel like it's a movement driven by the legs, as some form of keep alive or compression. They feel too much like they are independent and with the somewhat swimmy/spliney timing they just stand out. The dog feels like he's wearing high heels.
- his right leg/paw starting around x96 to 133 is still in a weird pose. It's too straight down and it's not moving in terms of bending in the paw or elbow area. It's just one big stick hanging down for a long time. Maybe add a little adjustment grab on the garbage, or a curl up - hold - then curl down again, etc. but try to get away from that stick pose.
- the head on x101 to 108 still feels like a Go-Go-Gadget moment. :)


It stretches out too much. A dog can really stretch, but it feels so isolated in the neck area that it looks weird.

From a behavior point of view it's still a bit weird how the dog goes from sniffing the ground around x33 to immediately going for the garbage bin. I still think it needs a little moment of thought inbetween that move. Some thought process of how "floor - meh - oh! - THAT'S IT OVER THERE!", but not as big as the moment after the guy walks by with his bag.

That's all!
Cheers
JD

Walks - Lukasz Burnet

Sad walk clip

Overall this is a great way to present cycles. Side and front, plus a perspective view, all in one move plus frame counter.
Let's look at the sad one:

Very nice blocking, there's already a lot of nice detail work in it and the overall attitude is there, he is definitely not happy. :)

Let's look at the technical part. Always check the root first, since fixing the root will change the animation of your legs. The root's movement looks good, there's nice little side to side movement in the front view and the up/down movement has a nice rhythm to it.
Looking at the feet, you always need to make sure that the backwards translation moves in a linear way. The moment the heel touches the ground and the toe lifts in order to take the next step, there can only be two keys. Beginning and end. If you have any other keys and that movement has uneven timing in it, then you will have a foot-sliding problem once the character moves from A to B and not in a cycle anymore. The spacing on his left foot at the start until the lift off shows uneven spacing, so do another pass on that so that it is fully linear.



One area with the suitcase will need some slowing down. From x11 to 12 is a pretty big move over one frame and given the medium weighted suitcase, it's too fast and kills the feel of weight.

There's another one frame hiccup (looking at the front view) in the screen right hand. It goes towards the left on x16, then a bit more to the left to x20, then a much bigger move to the right on x24. You still have a few frames inbetween to make that work once you spline everything, but keep an eye on that section.

Another potentially troublesome section happens right when the clip loops. The suitcase and the screen right hand (looking at the front view) move quite a bit over one frame during that loop section. You will have to adjust it.

Last one could be in the head, from x11 to 12, (front view) how the moves to the right.

Those are the only spots that jump out to me right now. The important thing is that you move on to spline mode. Stepped mode can be very deceiving in terms of timing. It can look cool when it snaps from pose to pose, but when it's all splined, it's a whole other problem to make it look as cool and retain the timing (the more keys you set in stepped mode the better).
________________________

Let's move on to the happy walk.

Great blocking again, all the attitude is in it. That's how blocking is supposed to be, you don't leave anybody guessing in terms of ideas. It's all there.

Same issue here though with the spacing of the feet. Let's do another pass on those in order to eliminate the slipping.


The finger pose could be a tad more relaxed, given his happiness. Take x14 for instance, front view, left hand, fingers: they are pretty straight down, curl in the pinky and ring finger a bit more, in oder to get something like this:


One detail thing though on the finger. I'd tone down the drag on the little finger (pinkie) on x7 (sideview). Keep drag and overlap on fingers on a super minimum in general. Otherwise it's starting to feel too loose and swimmy. Kinda like the rubber hose animation style. :)


But all in all, it looks great. So big step now, put it all in spline and see how that looks like and adjust from there.

Nice work!
JD

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Number run - Richie Prado

video

About the AM clip:

As a general note, I would shift the timing of the camera so that the pan over happens a bit later. I think it would work a bit better if the character is leading the camera, as opposed to the camera doing it and giving away the joke so early. So have the start of the pan happen around x143.

Anim wise the ideas are pretty clear, the blocking reads well. The only thing is around x132. Is he crumbling the paper there? It feels like a move of frustration and then he has both hands together with that piece. But then the arm swings down and the piece of paper is all flat and nicely flowing along. That's the only part that wasn't too clear.

The other part was once he sees the number six. Since the paper crumbling part isn't too clear to me I wasn't sure about this: he looks at the paper, sees number 9, doesn't understand what's going on and turns around. Then he sees the number 6, looks at the paper and realizes that this is the door. But isn't he still reading 9? Shouldn't he turn the paper around and realize that he's been holding it wrong and that 9 is the right number?
That's my thought because since he's shrugging on x122, he looks confused and not exactly frustrated, so it doesn't read to me that he just read 6 instead of 9. ... This is now starting to be really confusing, hahahaha!
I think after he turns around and looks at the paper, he should turn it around and realize that it's actually 9 and not 6.

Pose wise, I would have on x121 a clearer silhouette when he holds up the piece of paper and his left arm. Try to move the piece of paper a bit up or down (you could have it higher and the screen right arm lower), in order to clear up the space between all those body parts. You can start with the higher movement on x105 when he reads the paper, emphasizing the action that he's doing.

Next step is for you to spline the whole thing (or at least to get rid of the stepped mode), so that you can work on the timing between poses and movements. For instance x184 to x185 is a big move, but it's happening over one frame, which is way too fast. That's to me one of the big pitfalls of animating in stepped mode. I prefer linear so that I can see how much time all the movements really take.

Another tricky part is the exit on x250 to x251. Whenever an object enters or exits frame, you want to have a little piece visible during the first (entering) or last (exiting) frame. Otherwise it will read as a pop. You need to ease into that intro/exit more. So once you spline it out, have at least the shin and the foot out and then nothing.

Hope that helps!
Cheers
JD

Reel Feedback - Stephan Brezinsky

http://stephanbrezinsky.com/media/reel-StephanBrezinsky.mov

Stephan asked:

... can you explain to me what is it about the granny clip and the two following ones (walk cycle and jump) that you feel make them the strongest on the reel?


My thoughts on those clips:

granny clip - what cracks me up from the get go is the contrast between the set and the character. It's an old lady with a HUGE sound system. Then I like the contrast between the slow build up as she's looking for the right button to push and the huge impact the speakers have on her.
You know that the impact is going to be huge given that contrast, but what's funny is that she gets a bit closer before she pushes the buttom. The little walk up to the speakers is also funny anim wise. And you don't have her push it immediately, but it's with one swing up and then you have her push it. So all in all you're really drawing out the anticipation to the pay off. Since the audience knows roughly what's going to happen (at least they expect something given the "old lady vs. powerful speakers" set up), they're waiting for the pay off, but by drawing that part out, by prolonging the anticipation, you make the pay off that much stronger.
The pay off itself is really funny. It's great that she doesn't get blown away (like Marty McFly in Back to the Future for instance). She slowly gets pushed away. The fact that she fights against it shows character. It's not just a physical exercise, it shows what a character is doing when confronted with a conflict, which is always something you should strive for in your clips. When people have to make choices, that's when they get interesting.
The cheek flapping is awesome, same with the hair, the glasses fly away and at the end she's punching the remote. You build on the desperation of the character and consequences of the sound. Awesome.

About the walk and jump - I like the presentation but anim wise they feel very polished, the walk especially. It shows a good understanding of polish.

Nice work!
JD

Thief - Critique - Uldario Lim Jr

http://www.animatedlim.com/FreeCable.mov

video

Except for the beanie and the grey clothing, I wouldn't have guessed that it's a thief. So if that's your angle, then I would do something much more obvious in terms of thievery. The gear change of emotions could also be more contrasty. For example, he's totally concentrated on stealing that TV, then the owner comes down in his pyjamas and sees him, the guy then switches gears and totally "acts" like he's the TV installation guy, and then as he sneaks out he's back in thief mode. Does that make sense? If you can understand all those beats and what's going on, without a thief clothing, then you succeeded. Having the guy look like a thief helps a lot, but try to act things out so that the persons behavior also informs the viewer that he is a thief. If it's at night, he'd careful to be quiet, so the movements would delicate. A regular TV installation guy wouldn't move like that, so that's already informing the viewer as to who that character is.

Also, think about tools he might use, that could add some funny things to the situation. Screw drivers, cables, little lamps, etc.

Hope that helps!
Cheers
JD

Reel - Jim Levasseur

Even though Jim says it's old :) there is still good work on that reel, so check it out:

http://jimlevasseur.com/anim/jlevasseur_animReel2009_h264.mov

Monday, March 1, 2010

Reel - Richie Prado

video

About the clips. What's the company you really want to work for? It's always good to know, so you can tailor your reel towards it.

You have a lot of clips on there, but yes, like you said, they would need a bit more finishing time. The first clip is pretty cute, you could finish that one up. The 2nd one cracks me up because I used the same sound clip :) There are some funny moments, but it's a bit overacted. 3rd clip is okay, not sure about Jack Black voice though, he's a bit overused. I like the sound clip of the next one with the police, but I think the acting could be stronger.. The one with the girl and the guy leaning against the wall is the weakest of the bunch. The last one is great, I would definitely work on that one. So all in all, the last one for sure, re-use the sound clip with the police guy, keep the first one for pantomime.

What's overall visible is the same type of composition for the shots and the basic use of the rig. In order to stand out of the crowd, we will have to work on a more cinematic feeling and push the acting. Adding some clothing and bit more set design would help.

I think you're work is good, but it could be stronger acting wise (acting choice wise). I don't think you're going to have too much trouble landing a good gig, but for the top companies it's going to take a bit more work. Focus on one clip and finish it, going through all the polishing detail work for that extra special touch.

Let's finish up the pantomime shot first and then go from there!