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Friday, July 7, 2017

Updates: Horse, Animation Related, n More

A number of things happened since I'd last Posted in Mid June.

I was testing out a number of animation programs. I still haven't done one using "Animation Paper"  (Open Source) yet. But, I did try OpenToonz, and Toon Boom's new Harmony (Advanced version).

It's crucial that my daughter & I try out different stuff, and really LEARN things, hone programs, skills, techniques, etc.

Heidi also did some horse run cycles, but she lost them, somehow.

Here's the First attempt at a Horse WALKING Cycle done in Studio Ghibli's OpenToonz:

Honestly, I found that OpenToonz was often backwards feeling, was confusing, and I would like the experience to driving your entire life in a American cars, then suddenly driving a Honda, and being completely lost. Also, I didn't like the way it drew, or interacted with the WACOM, and the RAM.

I referenced this cycle from a graphic found on Google Images.

The 2nd animation I did was in Toon Boom's Harmony (Advanced version):

If i can be frank about this, I must say that I LOVE Toon Boom! I also LOVED Toon Boom's new Harmony. But, my trial version ran out. Honestly, AFTER the first 2 days of using Toon Boom's Harmony I WANTED TO BUY IT! But, when I saw the prices, I was very unhappy about it, and according to what I read, ONLY the Premium version had audio.

Oddly, AFTER the trial version was about to run out, Toon Boom's sale's rep e-mailed me! They ACTUALLY asked me what I thought about it. WOW! So, I emailed them, and told them my honest thoughts and feelings, because I just didn't see the logic in buying it UNLESS it had audio, but ONLY the Premium version had audio according to the specs on the website, and it was almost $900 for a FULL YEAR SUBSCRIPTION on the website. The programming is SUPER. But, I'd already paid for Adobe's Creative Cloud, and is has an animation program on it...

Well, my daughter has been playing, learning, and using Adobe's Animation program (used to be Macromedia's Flash back in the day, but times change) so we decided to learn each other's styles, and make a simple animated short together, and we've been developing that since yesterday. I know everyone thinks I'm being stubborn, because I kinda hate Flash. But, I figured, well, I SHOULD AT LEAST TRY. i really gave it the ol' college try with OpenToonz and eventually just had to give it up.

Here's Some of my daughter's recent Adobe Animation work:

Here's a collaboration one she did with her friend:

Needless to say, she managed to get Adobe to do good stuff... so, that's why we decided to move forward with doing a simple project in Adobe's Animation program.

But, THEN, I got a call from Toon Boom in Canada. We talked, and they offered me a number of deals, including using audio in the Basic Essentials HARMONY version if I wanted it, but even offered me a better deal for PREMIUM, and even gave me options for permanent licencing. They sent me a form, and I was totally blown away by the offers. WOW!

Anyways, I'm STILL going to move forward and try to learn Adobe's Animation/Flash program anyway. I'm a Grumpy Gus over it, but I did pay for Adobe CC, and maybe I just need to get over myself. But, I SOOOOO WANT TOON BOOM HARMONY!

I actually STILL kept researching my Horse walk cycle stuff, and on a LUCKY ACCIDENT Google/YouTube recommended me EXACTLY what  I was looking for. I actually borrowed an animation book by Richard Williams, which is incredibly good, very technical, yet breaks a lot things down. But, I couldn't quite find what I needed SPECIFICALLY for a horse walk cycle. I'd wanted to know EXACTLY when the horse bobs the head, the tail, when the hips & shoulders move up 7 down, and the timing... and I was trying so hard, on my own to figure it out.

As, much as I loved Muybridge stuff, it doesn't actually help with those key fundamentals, and many hand drawn horse walk cycles are done by artists whom don;t actually specialize in horse anatomy, so it's often wonky. Also, I want to understand the FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES or THEORY of the timing, much like drawing in shading & lighting, or color theory... but the applied theory of the bio-mechanics of a horse walking. SPECIFICALLY walking and NOT running, trotting, or galloping. Mostly only you will find more run cycles for a horse than walking. So, that makes it a puzzle, a challenge. Something to find out, and not much exists open source, Creative Commons, or free on the net anymore.

Remember that lucky accidental video I found, which I mentioned 2 paragraphs above? Well, not only was it a lucky find of a horse walk cycle being broken down, and ALL of the fundamental principles and theory, BUT IT WAS BY RICHARD WILLIAMS HIMSELF, AND he explains WHEN to bob the head, and WHEN the shoulders and hips go up! I had ALSO been wanting to find stuff to better help me with timing and spacing, and he did that as well!

So, I will share those with you here:

This "Timing and Spacing" video is SO GOOD! The way in which it's demonstrated is perfect! There are so many principles, techniques, and more which are NOT taught in animation schools. In fact, I NEVER most of these things that are in the video in ANY of the schools I PAID to go to.

THANK YOU, Mr. Williams for PRESERVING this knowledge and passing it on! 

I am SO MUCH more motivated in furthering my self studies in horse walk cycles for my film than I was yesterday. In fact, I would like to double down and further VOW that I will use my own knowledge in this process and publish it FOR FREE for you guys to FURTHER BREAK THIS STUFF DOWN.

If you would like to see the work that my daughter & I have started for the character designs for a simple animation short using Adobe's Animation program, I posted some to Instagram:

We are mostly going with my daughter's designs for the characters. We're basing the characters on annoying experiences in our recent life. 

On a side note, I also got some promotions on a film I've been working on (The Holy Maple Tree). Usually I'm an Audio P.A. on the film, but I also set-up, and close-out the film sets. I also ended up in a role in the film over a month ago, and this weekend. But, I also got promoted as a Video Editor, but Also I am doing the television graphics for a key scene. I don't own the rights to the film, so I can't show all the graphics because of spoilers, but I CAN show some pieces that the Producer has already published publicly. 

I can show u guys this #flames #fire #animation from #AdobeAfterEffects but I can't show you the more developed final versions because it's spoilers for the #film. And I don't own the rights to that film, it's my very good friend's film. I'm also shooting tomorrow & Sunday again. I used this with #nesting technique which is basic to Adobe #AfterEffects. I painted everything by hand using my #WACOM in #AdobePhoshopCC and based my #digitalpainting on actual flame photography references. This is actually NOT intended to look realistic tho', but stylized, and exaggerated. I actually really like it tho', and could see myself using a similar technique in the future for #EffectsAnimation on traditional animation projects which I actually would want to look like art rather than too realistic. #cycleanimation #animator #graphics #computergraphics #motiongraphics
A post shared by Kandice Kathleen Zimbleman 任思麒 (@blackunigryphon) on

That was actually a lot of work to research, create from scratch, but I also did scenery graphics, motion graphics. Event the texts had to be researched, composed, and I had to create my own chrome gradient. As simple as that sounds it took hours to get it right, or days. Some details took HOURS to be satisfied with. Generally, the director wanted cheesy 90s graphics, but I often found a lot of 80s stuff that were similar to what we wanted. 

I'd reserved video games graphics, VHS graphics, old access TV graphics, old films, TV shows, and music videos. Lots of fun! 

I'm Still figuring it out, and it takes time to tweak with green screen and color keying. Still learning and figuring it all out. 

On a Final NOTE, my daughter & I will be down in Philadelphia for a WEEK starting on Monday. We're visiting my father, but probably will end up in New Jersey ALSO.

We're still running our Fundraiser on GOFundMe, so if you would like to help us out, we'd be super grateful!