Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Rigging Watchcat

March. In like a lion, out like a lamb. Here’s a lion, built in Adobe Illustrator, animated in Adobe After Effects by Joe Gast

We got .33 cents in ad clicks last month from viewers clicking on the ads to help us donate the money to a local animal shelter. Unfortunately, I did the math and at this rate,  we will have a $100.00 check from Google in about 20 years from now.

The only way to up this number would be, if every viewer of this blog clicked on the ads, everytime they viewed this blog. Then maybe, it would only take 10 years to get a check.

This week, we found out that Watchcat episodes 1 and 2 will be shown on the big silver screen at the El Cid on Sunset Blvd. The episodes will be screened at the Columbia College Alumni Filmmakers Night on March 22nd, 6:30 - 9pm. You can purchase tickets here.

After making several episodes now by myself, I have decided that the only way to continue this process is to create a character rig. The above animation is a simple rig where different parts are attached to one another allowing simple movement. The best thing about creating a character rig is that the character will always look the way. This is called " Being on Model" and is the biggest problem with 2D animation. 

A hand drawn animation character must be drawn the same way throughout as if only one person created it. Animators were given model sheets showing how the character looks in different attitudes, poses or angles; side view, front, 3/4 and even from the back. The Animator relied on this information to be able to draw the character as close to the design as possible.

In computer animation, your character is a digital sculpture which can be moved and posed in the computer, without worry of ever "being off model". This process now allows more Animators to be give different scenes to be worked on as a group, rather than worrying if your character is on or off model.

Here is a good example of puppet animation in Flash by Richard Murray of RichToons.

If Watchcat is ever to be made into a TV series, the characters would need to be rigged so that anyone could animate them. And so, I am putting on my rigging hat this week and working on adding a skeleton to my drawn designs. This is a bit of a challenge, because the main character is a 4 legged cat. I will post some test in the next few weeks.  

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