Saturday, 7 February 2015

Drawings Jan 24th - Feb 4th


Head in the clouds series

Head in the clouds series

Trying different approach

Jake Bugg

Drawing buildings, something I'm determined to get better at

Sunday, 1 February 2015

January Animation Practice summary and conclusion



Last year I did a drawing/digital painting a day throughout the whole year and it was an incredible experience. But the core of that challenge was to do it for myself, to push myself creatively as well as physically (even when I was extrememly tired or ill, I did paint something). Thinking about it now it was a bit extreme for me but it was good. I became not only more confident but I finally accepted myself for what I can do (not sure if this will make sense). Obviously I still have a lot to improve and I could have carry on the challenge this year. However I wanted to put the same determination, time and energy in a different challenge – animation.

I keep saying this in nearly all my introduction, but I’ve wanted to be part of the animation industry since I was twelve years old. Yes at that time I didn’t know what the job of an animator involved. For me I wanted to write stories, draw characters and then bring those characters to life. I wrote many (cheesy) stories drew many characters but never animated. When I finally understood how animations work, I decided to be an animator in order to tell stories through the actions of the characters.

But the path to becoming an animator has been tougher and tougher. Recently I have been asking myself if I should just give up on this path. This is probably the first time since I decided I wanted to be part of the animation industry (aka become an animator) that I have asked myself this question. I’ve been persevering for a long time, took many courses and even improved – as far as I know I have everything to make it into this industry.

But I don’t give up easily especially since I’ve been carrying this dream around for so long. I decided that this year I will try and find the happiness I used to have while animating. When I first got into loving animation, I used to tape my favourite TV series on VHS and frame by frame it whenever my parents were not around (they didn’t approve of the frame by framing as it damage the VHS player) and I would draw the still image on screen. If I cant find that happiness or determination I used to have, I should probably move on with my life.

Nowadays with youtube you can access a lot of clips and download them for reference. So this January 2015, it’s what I’ve done. I gathered my favourite clips which are from different animated movies, and I’ve framed by framed through them in order to understand what makes the shots work. At the point where I am in terms of animating skill, I believe I can animate but it is often the timing and spacing as well as the moving holds that I struggle with. As far as ideas and acting choices I think I can be creative, so I’ve not looked into that, even though I did try to understand and appreciate the acting choices in some of the clips.

Hence you will find below my attempts at re producing those famous acting shots. The main focus as mentioned was timing and spacing as well as moving holds. Also because they were exercises, I never felt the need to polish or finish them completely. The moment I understood how the timing/spacing was working, I would move on to the next bit.

Anyway onto February. Lets see what I’ll produce this month


January Animation Practice - Clip of Madame Medusa

Animation Practice Madame Medusa clip from Jasbeer Kootbally on Vimeo.

This one is on going. I'm still not ready to move to another clip or exercise as I have plenty more to learn from this famous iconic scene with Madame Medusa. We all know that the performance is one of a kind, so I wanted to find those great poses and really understand how the spacing works.



As mentioned I still have a lot to learn and understand but when I attempted this shot for my animation practice, the main issue I've had is the character was shaking her head too much. So I cut down the head shakes and tweak the timing a bit. Also I had to bear in mind that the characters construction are different. Madame Medusa seems a heavier person that the 3D rig i had, so I'm guessing that why the timing of the 2D animation when translated into 3D felt a little bit slow.


I will continue to work on this for the the 1st week of February and then move on to the next animation challenge.

I really enjoy drawing over the animation

Finding those strong poses

January Animation Practice - Clips from Cloudy

January Animation Practice Cloudy clips from Jasbeer Kootbally on Vimeo.

Animating from Cloudy was a great exeperience as its the first time I try animating in this style. The timing and spacing structure is clear and so is the action. One part of the body is moving while the rest remain still is pretty dominant through the movie but it works because of the style and I love it.


The characters are very dynamic and distorting the hand the way I did in my practice version is a first for me. I think Cloudy is the closest animation that have a similar feel to animating on paper in 2D. The characters hit poses almost every 2 or 5 frames. It was also fun because I was focusing on posing and I didnt have to worry how to transition between poses as each transition would involve only a certain part of the body while rest stay still. I think the poses were great and dynamic, there was some subtle movement but it was mainly about the big, over the top, clear and dynamic action.

I love animating Sam on the deck when she is talking about how her career is ruined. What interested me the most was the weight shift. I could find everything I wanted to learn in that shot.






January Animation Practice - Clip from Rio

January Animation Practice Clip from Rio from Jasbeer Kootbally on Vimeo.


I have watched this particular scene from Rio (animated by Jeff Gabor from Blue Sky Studio) a thousand + times. I love the interaction between the two characters but I never imagined how hard it was to animate those two characters until I attempted this shot as part of my practice exercise.




The amountof subtle movements is incredible and sometimes imperceptible until you watched it over and and over and frame by frame it a tousand times. There were a lot of movements I didnt understand why the characters, specially Tulio was making, but obviously acting choices depends on the animators. Its only after a couple of trial animating Tulio that I realised his head movements were very similar to a bird. The constant twist and half rotation was very hard but the way I understand it is that Tulio spend so much time with birds he has the same movements as them.



I had to move on to the next clips but I'm sure there's still plenty I can still learn from that clip





January Animation Practice - Clips from Tangled

January Animation Practice from Tangled from Jasbeer Kootbally on Vimeo.


This year I want to animate a shot or an action on a daily basis. But as a warm up I decided to use some great animation shots as exercise and try to learn about timing and spacing.



One of the feedback I get a lot from my own animation is 'get in the pose sooner and stay there longer'. So I the first example I used for practice is Tangled which is famous for the amazing and strong poses + very long holds. I wanted to understand how the characters get from one pose to another and how they stay in that poses without feeling like they are inanimate.


The main focus as I analysed and animated those clips was to understand TIMING AND SPACING and what we call MOVING HOLDS. I think if I have to summarize what I learned from doing this exercise I'd say I finally understood what its meant to have a hold - the curves are not actually flat, that I have found out. There's always a flicker of movement. I think also learn how to be bold when going into a pose. There was so many things I learned - when the character settles after hitting her big pose - how sometimes the head leads while other times the hip leads ... and so on and on and on ...

'there's a person in my closet' the weight shift and swing of the hand was the main focus

here the character doesnt move a lot but there is still some slight movements

Plotting the nose movements is a great way to see the spacing clearly


spacing and breakdown of movements

understanding the dialogue beat and spacing


Friday, 23 January 2015

A drawing a day (January 1st - 23rd)

January 1st - 10th

January 12th - 20th

January 21st -22nd

January 23rd