Friday, January 30, 2009

What Happens When a Fly Falls into a Coffee Cup?

Digital compositing Assignment:
Do a short animation from any post we find in the personal ads section on Craig's list. The animation has to be at least 40 seconds and full-colored.

I happened to find a joke among those ads, and I had fun animating it.

the original post on website is already expired
but here is the original joke that was on the post :
(I only did it for class work, the joke does not represents my point of view)

What happens when a fly falls into a coffee cup?

The Italian - throws the cup and walks away in a fit of rage.

The Frenchman - takes out the fly, and drinks the coffee.

The Chinese - eats the fly and throws away the coffee.

The Russian - drinks the coffee with the fly, since it was extra with no charge.

The Israeli - sells the coffee to the Frenchman, the fly to the Chinese, Buys himself a new cup of coffee and uses the extra money to invent a device that prevents flies from falling into coffee.

The Palestinian - blames the Israeli for the fly falling in his coffee, protests the act of aggression to the UN, takes a loan from the European Union to buy a new cup of coffee, uses the money to purchase explosives and then blows up the coffee house where the Italian, the Frenchman, the Chinese, and the Russian are all trying to explain to the Israeli that he should give away his cup of coffee to the Palestinian.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Anatomy-Hand drawing assignment


-Final drawing
30"x30" (roughly), charcoal, Nov. 01, 2008

2nd Year Anatomy-Fall semester

Now I can move on to my present works.
My Anatomy class~~~
During the class, students practice figure drawing and learn the structures of human bones and muscles. Every class we have a model, and the instructor will put a skeleton posed the same as the model. We learned the bones first, then move on to muscles, and we will still be learning muscles during the next semester.
For homework each week, we draw the parts we will be learning from the suggested text book---"Artistic Anatomy" by Dr. Paul Richer. It's a really useful book, I like it.

The following are the homeworks in this semester. All the drawings are on 18"x24" papers.
(Please bare with the dark and weird lighting in my dorm...=_=

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Cat Circus

Another 1st year work~
After the black and white drawing assignment,
we got a color one also for 20"x30".

As I struggled with idea for the color drawing,
I made these 2 characters in my animation class:

Sorry if it doesn't look clear.
It is a little clown holding a long~long~cat.

It was an sound effect exercise.
Students matched their animation with the sound effect they were assigned.
That was the sound I got (owo)
And that was where I got the idea for my color drawing from XD

Final drawing: 20"x30", Acrylic

The last one was just a random picture I did in Photoshop for fun~

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Illustration- The Fish Night Market

This was the assignment we got during the 1st year Drawing class when we started to learn composition. Students were asked to do a 20”x30” black and white illustration with any medium.

Since it was a black and white piece, I wanted to make it a powerful picture with strong contrast of light and shadow. Before I knew what I was going to draw, I decided I want my character to stand against the light. Then I found out a night market would be an ideal scene for the atmosphere I wanted to create.
Therefore, I created a floating fish night market.
All the booths in the market floated on sea, and people shopped on boats.
And my 3 characters in the drawing were:
A boy and 2 kappas (Japanese water spirits)
The illustration would be one of the events from their adventure in the market.

I came out with 3 sketches in the upper left picture
and decided to do the top one.

The final drawing was done with watercolor and charcoal

After coming out this scene and the characters, I had fun developing the idea even though the drawing assignment was over.
I really like the fish vending machine idea actually haha

Hope I can make it another illustration piece one day~

There is one thing I have to point out
Some people might find out my boy character looks almost the same as Kuro in Tekkon_Kinkreet
Yes, you are right. (I admit my guilt …orz)
I love that character tooo much!!! and Shiro tooXD
But I tried to make change on my character design during the process (but still looks like him…orz…
My inspiration can be found in one scene in which Kuro wares a pair of pants with the fish character (魚) on it.

Anyway, Tekkon-Kinkreet is definitely one of my favorite animated films.
I admire STUDIO4℃ & Taiyo Matsumoto!!!

In the end, I actually made a story out of that illustration.
At the end of the 2nd semester, I realized it could be my animation final.
And use the black and white drawing as the opening of the short XDD

I borrowed the music from Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away and edited it a little bit. I had been thinking about doing something with that soundtrack since the first time I heard it. Spirited Away is also one of my favorite animated films.

Miyazaki is one of the two important figures that inspires me into making animation (the other one being Walt Disney ^^)
And Joe Hisaishi is the famous composer who does the film scores for Miyazaki's animations.
I'm a big fan of Joe Hisaishi.
His music always touch my heart.
I often use his music for my animation excersices.
In fact, the music for the bird elevator animation short from the previous post is also done by him.
It was "A Waltz of Sleigh" from a Korean film named
Welcome to Dongmakgol Village.


Friend: So the 1st semester you freed bird (see the last post),
_____the 2nd semester you freed fish.
_____What animal are you going to free next? XD
Wolfy: Um…(just realized the similarity of that 2 stories…)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Storytelling - The Birdcage Land

Forgot I still have some old works from last year that I should keep a record. Guess from now I would like to post some 1st year old works before I go back to my recent works.

Ok, so during the first year, we had a wonderful class called
Storytelling for Animation.
Too bad it was only a one-semester course ) =3=)
I really like that class, and we got a very good instructor.
Besides the routine class lectures on film theories and principles in both animation and cinema, the main goal of this class was, at the end of the course, everyone should be able to present a well-development story in professional way.
That meant creating a formal treatment for the story, some character designs, a screenplay, a storyboard, and pitch notes, etc. We had the whole semester to do all that. The instructor would spare half of the class help us with our story after he finished his lecture.

The origin of my story actually had to trace back to a random doodle I made several years ago.
It was a girl prisoner with a birdcage on her head
>> So they were both caged ( -_- )
The character 囚
could be interpreted as prisoner or to imprison.
I somehow thought of that old drawing when we were asked to create a story for class. I pretty like that girl character, so it would be a good chance to develop a story for her, and the idea would pretty much be dealing with being caged and having freedom. The girl ended up not the leading character in my story, but she still plays a important role.

After coming out with a story idea.
We summarized our stories into one-page treatments.
The formal treatment had to by typed in only Courier font.

Here is my story---The Birdcage Land

The story takes place on a lovely morning. A traveling LOCKSMITH rode his motorcycle on a country road in a very good mood. Then, he saw a little bird held in an old birdcage hanging on a tree on the side of the road. The locksmith was a very kind person and felt pity for the bird, so he used his key to set the bird free. He later found out the bird in the cage was a sign of his next destination-Birdcage Land, where the entire country was held in a gigantic birdcage. Everything in the city was operated with the help of birds, and all the birds were held in cages when they were not at work.

The locksmith had fun wat
ching the birds controlling the traffic, dragging people by carriage, and then he went to the top of the tallest building by bird-elevator. The top floor was a hospital where he was impressed by a little patient who stayed in the hospital. It was a LITTLE GIRL wearing a birdcage like a hat on her head. Inside the cage, there stood the girl’s beautiful BIRD friend: The bird was covered with golden feathers from head to toe. Its rainbow-colored wings were tied with ribbons on two bars of the cage, the end of the long wings hung down on both sides of the girl's head. Which made it look like the girl had her rainbow-colored pig tails tied up. The locksmith and the girl became good friends. However, as they sat on the balcony watching wild birds fly freely outside, the locksmith noticed how the girl longed for being free. Just then the locksmith came up with a fantastic idea

Early, next morning when the city was still sleeping, a shadow ran across every street in the city, unlocked every door he encountered with his keys and tools, and opened all the birdcages. As the birds flew freely over the sky, the locksmith showed up at the sleeping little girl's bedside. The pretty bird sat alone in the cage right beside the girl. He noticed that the girl had lost all her hair because of the medical treatment. Gently, he woke her and opened the window for her to see the splendid moment. As the girl walked towards the window, the excited key-maker freed her bird friend from the cage. Before the little girl could take any reaction, the bird flew out the window. The locksmith was so happy and satisfied at what he had accomplished, he failed to notice the sorrow swelling in the little girl’s eyes. Jumping on his motorcycle, the locksmith left the city with hundreds of thousands of birds flying above him. He continued on his journey to the next city, without knowing that he just caused the whole city to stop running because of his “good deed.”

The main point of this story is to show that one person’s idea of a good deed or gain, can mean the loss or suffering to another.
That’s how everything goes.
There is no certain policy or certain solution that will satisfy everyone.
There are always people benefit from one thing, while some suffer from it.
Nothing is perfect.

I made a quick sketches for the city that is held in a gigantic cage

and the bird elevators mentioned in the treatment

Here is what would happens if the elevator is overload... XD

Then the character design for the two main characters.

After all those sketches, I ended up prefer this simple style as my final character design.
Because I want a pure and fresh look for the story.

I actually animated the elevator scene for my 1st year animation class.
It was the final for the 1st semester, and it supposed to be a 30-second short.
I took that as a great exercise of drawing birds XD especially flying birds
Pretty challenging, though.

The walking person in the first part supposed to be the locksmith…
doesn't look like him I know…nevermind
At that time I just wanted to showed the idea,
so all the birdcages didn’t have railings.
(Just say I didn’t have the energy to do that =_= )

I didn't know After Effect during the first year, so the intro part, the ending logo and the music were not included in the short originally when I turn it in as final. At that time we were just freshmen so we do most of the things manually without computer. So I had layers of paper for each frame, which made everything look dark and not clear. And the panning scene in the beginning is also manually so it’s a little bit jumpy.
Not very good quality but still tolerable ^ ^
It was not until the 2nd year when we finally learned to scan every animation drawing, color each frame in Photoshop, import them into After Effect alone with a soundtrack, and make a movie file. So now I can lay my hand back on this short again and add music, introduction, ending and all that to make this short at least look a little bit better XD

I actually made a whole setting for this short but ended up not be able to show them all. The building in the short is the hospital. Its setting was showed as the one picture in the intro of the short, but I'm sure it is hard to see because it is too small.
The entire setting about the hospital's elevator is showed below
(and it's bigger XD)

And this is my originally plan for the 30-second animation,
But I ended up cutting one scene out because that was too much work.

(can't believe I'm still not done with this post...I will still be updating this one later...