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   Kiel Figgins on Blocking Action Shots
By Tim Sormin
Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 01:14

Kiel Figgins' approach to animating fast action scenes sounds an awful lot like animating with tempo, although Kiel uses the word "flow."

Key to the process is using proxy geo for sets and characters in order to keep the scene light enough for real-time playback in the viewport. This way he can minimize playblasting and work as fast as possible. And of course this means he can show work in progress with full splines instead of stepped keys - which clients may not be able to interpret, or may simply be inappropriate previewing in things like game engines where it may look like a bug or make it difficult to adjust real-time attributes like blending or additive animation tracks.

Even for more complex previs/blocking, in which more pose information is desired, he still uses a simplified character rig with only a handful of controls so timing changes and complete re-works are stress free.

He also makes the very good point that the more crude a proxy is the more it will allow reviewers to project onto the character rather than being distracted by things like blank facial expressions - basically getting as far from the uncanny valley as possible. You can see the final product and more behind the scenes clips on

Kiel Figgins has long been an Internet hero of mine. He's a fantastic animator with enough technical chops to tackle a lot of his own R&D. He's got a great do-it-yourself, hacker approach to solving problems and the solutions he comes up with are fantastic. Be sure to click around his entire site for tons of inspiration and even an expansive library of tools and rigs you can grab and start using yourself.

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   The Auction : 2D Animation Short Film
By Mahesh Pagar
Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 10:12

The Auction is  2D animation short. I always love to see 2 things in short films : 'Fully Developed Characters' and a 'Rich Backstory'! Because there's always less time to build your characters, break the characters at places and build parts of them again unlike full length feature films.

The concept of Fully Developed Characters has many parameters in it, but the role of character 's 'wants and needs' in story, is the classic sign of it. And rich backstory always helps to construct the character, if it plays essential part of conflict.

The Auction has both of these things, and those make the short more appealing!

It even has character designs that reflect the character in some way, and each character moves in a unique way, sticking to their inner selves, it builds more noticeable contrast between different characters.

Storytelling of The Auction isn't linear, it goes back and forth very carefully to reveal important narrative beats.

And 'The Pauses',  they are very perfectly timed, they not only build anticipations but they help in revealing  character and story as closely as possible.

The Auction is fun and engaging character centric animation short that manages to surprise, even in the climax. Personally to me, It's sort of dark satire of the quote, "You don't own things, they end up owning you, and if they own you, you are blinded by them"

Following is the official description of The Auction :

"The Auction is an animated short about a revengeful man who finally finds his long lost toy only to relive a special moment from his childhood…"

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By Jason Bolla
Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 12:56

It's always nice to see the work of modern day students, and this case is no different. Flow is the MA graduation project of Mathijs Demaeght, who studied at RITS School of Arts. The story follows a mourning girl as she attempts to cope with loss, and in the process makes an unlikely friend. The change in aspect ratios may seem weird at first, but it's used in unique ways that help tell the story. All emotion is conveyed through motion and music - there are few details aside from character silhouettes that move along the narrative. If you can tell a cohesive story through pantomime, you're doing animation right.

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   "Dji. Death Sails"
By Tim Sormin
Tuesday, Jan 20, 2015 02:08

Simpals has created a second wild and fun CG animated short to follow up the award-winning Dji. Death Fails from a few years ago. Remember the not-too-distant past when CG water was the holy grail of animation VFX? The R&D required probably would have put a short like this off the table. Today, it doesn't get in the way of an entertaining idea. Great work by the folks in Moldova. I particularly like how "extra" the Death character is in the credits dance off. He's so into it!

found via Cartoon Brew

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