Saturday, 31 March 2012

Mime: Linear Test 2 with sound

And Camera Cuts!

Still got many things to sort out. Couple of odd pops here and there that need ironing out (some may have to be left until Splines because it's easier to see what the curves are up to). The timing of some parts still need more refining. Overall the whole thing feels a bit floaty, not happy with that.

Sending away to be critically eyed by my classmates.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Mime: Linear 1

Linear version of the previous video posted.
Just posting it to show all the things I have to sort out.

Mostly it's the timing I need to sort out. Some places could do with some more breakdowns and there's various cleaning up I need to do. I'm aware of the 'landing' of the character, it is intended that (as the actual landing will not be seen) the key frames necessary in that particular part will remain on stepped.

Mime: Blocking 3

Been umm-ing and ahh-ing over this explosion blocking for a while and finally decided to bite the bullet and dive in.

I tried to go for some kinda of ragdoll effect but it's very hard to do without anything actually exploding. I quit that before I got very far and attempted just a massive jump, as it makes more sense visually.

This is without camera cuts and sound at the moment, just to focus on the blocking.

I refined the timing a bit too. I'm not really sure if this is the way forward so I'm waiting for feedback from my team.

Going to switch to Linear (and back to stepped when needed). Expecting everything to explode.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Mime: Blocking with Camera Cuts and Sound

Put together a quick playblast with camera cuts and mock sounds.

Blocked some breakdowns in the injured walk from my reference.
The explosion needs to happen faster but I'll sort that out with further blocking.

Injured walk reference

Just taken a quick reference video for the injured walk.

Due to the small space in my house, this is about the best I could do but it should be enough.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Sound Test!

Just made a quick sound test using some free mock sounds found at

Hopefully it's much clearer what's happening with the sound effects.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Mid Shot Test

Forgot to post this when I playblasted it.

Did a test of a mid shot for the consideration of the team. We're still thinking about adding camera cuts where necessary. For my mime, I was thinking something like this would be appropriate but cut at the appropriate time.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Blocking 2

Been blocking away and have come to the part where the character gets exploded off screen, I'm a bit stuck there as I'm not sure how to go about it. I need more reference for the walk after that anyway so I decided to stop there for the time being so I can ask my team mates and tutors for feedback.

Pretty happy with it so far though it still needs a fair bit of work. I'm worried about the timing but I need to finish this stage of blocking thoroughly and await feedback before sorting it out.


Playblasting sounds like a simple thing but for some reason I keep getting it wrong. I get error messages when I try and play the video I just playblasted and I have no idea why.

I believe it's because I forget how to set it up correctly. I used this video the other day to make sure I was doing it correctly. I find myself needing it again today so I'll post it on my blog so I know where it is!!

More Reference: Hand whirl

Taken some more reference focusing on the hand flare for the listening pose and the bigger gesture afterward.

Started with my glasses but had to take them off so that I could see my eyes better!


Should help with the finer blocking stages and animation.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Mimes: Blocking 1.

Yay! It all worked out this time. No idea what the hell the problem was yesterday but I managed to get it playblasted in one piece with no errors, hurray!

The timing is WAY off, I had to render it without sound to avoid confusion. I'll be putting it back in when I've sorted the timing out, which I will do while I put some breakdowns in. Part of the reason the timing is off is because I tend to make changes as I go. So far I've changed the hat adjusting action to a big dismissing arm gesture, added a listening pose and added more looking around when the ticking starts. It's probably bad but I do this because as I'm working, I sometimes think that something isn't working or a pose could be better or more fitting to the character's personality.

I tried to put little hoppy jumps in like the ones I did on the last reference shot but in the blocking I don't think it's clear what's happening. So I'm going to take them out. I'll have to take something else out as well to shorten it enough but haven't decided what yet. Going to discuss it with the dream team later.

The exploding was difficult to block because it's hard to get reference for that sort of thing. I don't think I can do it myself as it's physically impossible (without actually blowing myself up) to act out. I'm looking through some video game clips for 'ragdoll' animation to help (ragdoll animation: generally when a character dies, their body becomes completely limp and lifeless, limbs flop about and such).

Stay tuned for more soon. Going to start breaking down the poses.



Tried for about 3 hours yesterday to render my blocking and put the images together in something but for some reason I keep getting error messages no matter what I try to open them in.
So I left, after deleting all my rendered pictures as all I could think was that there was a problem with them.

I'm going to watch some rendering and playblasting tutorials online because I blatantly have no idea what I'm doing (even though I'm following the advice of the other Rachel and Raf). I think this may help me in the long run and better understand what it is that I'm probably doing wrong.

Hopefully there will be an video upload today, since there wasn't one yesterday when I intended to have it done.

Maya is also the Red Queen.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Blocking: First half of mime audition

Only managed the first half of the blocking so far due to a day of crashing from Maya and my own learning really. I've made some changes as I've been blocking.

The main change I made was the hat adjusting action. I felt that this wasn't a very cocky thing to do as I feel Jim's attitude is more 'why prepare when it's already perfect?'
I had him put his hand to his ear for a listening pose and from there, when the voice actor says box, he just drops his hand and looks at the camera with an attempt at contempt. I imagine him thinking 'I can mime shakespearian plays effortlessly and you want a box?'
He then moves on to mime the box, not holding back his lack of enthusiasm.

Had a show and tell session today, all seemed well. My tutors liked it and thought the poses are clear. At the moment there doesn't seem to be anything they feel needs changing.

I personally would like to work on the timing but I want to finish blocking first so I can see it as a whole before moving the keyframes around. I'm also wondering about the camera; I think it's a bit far away from some of the animation, mainly when he starts miming the box. I think it may need to zoom in or cut to a medium shot but I'll wait until I've finished blocking and we put our videos together and see what we get.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Mime Key Poses

Adding some key pose sketches I did earlier.
Starting on my blocking now. Should hopefully update later, depending how long it takes me to learn!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Don't be afraid to kill your children.

It was all going well. I had Malcolm all set up and textured. I'd put his number on him and even put a hat on him! Even parenting them went well! (Yeah, this is all simple stuff but usually when you are new to a 3D software little things go wrong all the time for seemingly no reason.)

But then, I select the head control to test the parenting of the hat to Malcolm's head and all hell breaks loose! Maya crashed and wouldn't open the file without crashing. Raf tried to help and two other lads in the room tried to help. We were an army against Maya, trying to get this file to work! They re-arranged the files, tried to run them from the C: drive and all sorts. It ended up working with all the scene files separated on the desktop. But then, because of what I posted before about Malcolm's script files, the controls for Malcolm wouldn't work.

So I killed the child. I started again for probably the fourth time now. This time, taking another classmate's advice, instead of referencing the Malcolm model into a scene file, I imported the scene into Malcolm's file. So far so good.

It's not a complete waste of time though, I'm learning a lot!

Managed to catch up though. There are certain ways I have to work with it though. Must import the script files before opening Maya so that the control picker will work. Malcolm has a smoothing option on the control picker but it slows down the program A LOT, so I've textured it on smoothing option 1 and will work on it inc. animating on option 0. I think that's all.

Here's an up to date picture of Jim, now with hat and number. We've changed the colour palette a bit too, the other Rachel made the changes after our tutor spotted her sketchbook cover and thought the colours were really nice and suggested we use a similar palette for our scene!

Should be able to start blocking tomorrow. Key pose sketches to come.

**EDIT - Just noticed the background (or at least the curtain) has not rendered in the picture. No idea why but it will be fixed.

Character Profile.

Influenced by Rachel's idea of posting a picture of her character with his profile, I thought I would do the same!

And this is the original test shot. Probably looking at having this as the rough camera shot for the animation. The shot would be too big if we tried to fit the curtains in and this would be a nice shot as the character fits in fine. Happy accident.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Psychological Gestures: The Presentation

Did the presentation today, it seemed to go well. I only hope that what I said made sense to the class and that the presentation was ok.

I noticed that the other presentations had a lot of images and while I normally would put much more in mine, I intentionally left them out. My original idea was to pose Malcolm in various gestures for the back drop, however I realised that they were not specifically psychological gestures, just body language. And while psychological gestures are a part of body language, it's rather specific so I left it out in fear of confusing the subject.

Anyway, my presentation:
I copied my notes under each slide to give a rough idea of what I was saying. Also, for some reason, the video clips I inserted into the presentation refused to stay put so those slides are blank. I'll put the video clips under those slides.

#First person to coin the term and teach psychological gestures.
#Developed from Stanislavski's lessons on Method Acting.
#Defined character psychology as thoughts, feelings and the will (objectives and motivation).

#Method of preparation. 'Heart is broken' exercise by Ed Hooks.

#Tend to over-gesture (guilty!) By using the same exercises, we can get into the character and tone down the gestures.

#Affects gestures a character makes. Different places = different atmospheres. Car crash scene vs. your best friend's kitchen.
#People have different atmospheres. Happy vs. Angry.

#Jack Napier - Carl Grissom's (crime boss) second in command. Jack having affair with Carl's mistress.

#Jack was sent to raid chemical factory by Carl. Carl set him up to be arrested by tipping off police. Deflected bullet from Batman caused Jack to fall into chemical vat.

#Large, threatening, confident. Hand behind back - power position - opens airway = more energy.

Flick of arm. Like crack of whip, wants it to sting like it stung Jack to be put beneath a woman. Allows himself to indulge in his rage. Intentional?

#Bo-Peep is Woody's love interest. Feelings are mutual. Woody and Buzz are rivals for Andy's affection.

#Andy has started playing more with Buzz and Woody is starting to feel replaced. He has just spent the night in the toy box instead of on the bed, where the favourite toy usually sleeps with Andy, as he had done until now.

#Small. Woody is a Sheriff and lives up to that. Looks after the other toys and makes sure things run smoothly. Out of date compared to Space Ranger. Loss of influence and significance.

#Fluster of hands. Looks for place to put hands, cannot complete a gesture = cannot complete a thought process. Reveals fluster of mind. Caught off guard, does not want Bo-Peep to see him weak. No control over situation reflected by no control of himself. Cannot control Andy's love.

Not very similar other than:
#Watch two different characters deal with a rival. Woody does not deal very well, cannot cope with replacement. Fails to deal with Buzz successfully until he accepts him. Joker deals with what used to be a rival very well. Probably can consider them not even rivals anymore, as Joker is not competing because he's winning. Outright kills rival, because he can (part of his character).

#Woody has no control. Cannot control Andy's affections and unable to stop other toys being impressed. Has tried to downplay Buzz' coolness but fails. The more Andy plays with Buzz, the less influence Woody has, the more frustrated Woody becomes and the less control he has (over situation and himself).
#Joker has all the control. He walks into the room as he pleases and let's Carl talk as he please. Finishes sentences for him. Even when he allows himself an outburst, it seems control. He has not lost control of himself or the situation. Outburst may have even be deliberate because he wants Carl to know he's pissed off.

#Actors = get into character. Take character psychology into themselves.
Animators = learn the same way but implement different. Put character into a rig, do not take it so much into themselves.
Both understand the same way and use it the same way. Just put in different places.

#Understanding character's psychology = create more natural and powerful performances. psychological gestures shows audience more than they can be told.

#Psychological gestures are small gestures that reveal what the character is really thinking/feeling or what their objectives really are. 
Big gestures can hide the little but very important things that make the character who they are.

Thanks for listening. I hope that was clear!

Acting for Animators ~ Ed Hooks
Michael Chekhov ~ Frank Chamberlain


Movies (Clips):
Batman (1989) ~ Warner Bros. / DC Comics.
Toy Story (1995) ~ Walt Disney Pictures / Pixar

Jack Nicholson as the Joker and Woody from Google Images.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Toy Story - psychological gestures

I actually watched WALL.E first but as there is no dialogue and the main characters are robots, I thought it would be too difficult to demonstrate psychological gestures using a clip from that film. That's not to say that there's none in it, there are plenty but it would be much more difficult for me to explain as I'm still not confident I have it completely down. My understanding of it comes with dialogue too.

So I looked at Toy Story, thinking that Woody is bound to have lots of psychological gestures when he tries to hit the fact that he thinks Buzz has replaced him as Andy's favourite toy.

Before this scene, the audience know that Woody was Andy's favourite toy. His 'spot' was on the bed, a place that a toy is privileged to be as a favourite. It is established that the toys are fearful of being replaced, though Woody reassures them that this won't happen, and are even more so around Andy's birthday and Christmas. Andy gets a Buzz Lightyear for his birthday and crash lands the spaceship box on the bed, shoving Woody aside (who falls off the bed). The toys are impressed with Buzz's high tech features and think Woody has been replaced. Woody brushes it off but immediately feels threatened by Buzz. A montage shows Andy playing more and more with Buzz and the Woody merchandise around the room being replaced with Buzz Lightyear merchandise. At the end, we see Andy deciding which toy to take to bed with him between Woody and Buzz (while putting his toys away in a toy chest). The montage cuts to Andy sleeping with Buzz by his side and Woody peering out of the chest, rejected. This scene takes place the morning after. Woody has just come out of the box and watched a conversation between Buzz, Rex and Slinky where Buzz shows Andy's name on one of his soles.

It is clear that Woody does not like Buzz, it's not hidden from the audience. However Woody does hide it from the other character, particularly his love interest Bo-Peep.

Woody is very unhappy when he enters the scene and watching the conversation where Buzz reveals his 'branding' in permanent ink (new, fresh, up to date), he feels that he has really been replaced. He looks at his own branding (old, scuffed, dirty).
The bit I want to talk about in my presentation is just after this, when Bo-Peep enters the scene. She tells him not to let it 'get to him' and he becomes flustered. His voice tries to remain calm but he can't get a sentence out before he asks what she means and who. His hands go everywhere, trying to decide what pose would look best. His right (his right, not ours) hand first goes to place on his hip but doesn't get there, he shrugs and goes to fold his arms but doesn't complete that gesture either. He finds himself, puts both hands on his hips and asks what she means and who. I believe, though I'm honestly not certain, that the hands fluttering about is the psychological gesture. He's not just feeling awkward, he's trying to cover it but instead of doing so, he's revealing his thoughts are frantic and trying to find where to be.
Putting his hands on his hips makes him take up more room, an authoritative pose. He wants to be the bigger person and he certainly wants to be better than Buzz, he especially wants Bo-Peep to think so. He turns and looks around as if he hadn't seen Buzz, breaking eye contact with Bo-Peep because he doesn't want her to see him nervous about it. However when she mentions Buzz, the very name makes Woody cross his arms and roll his eyes. He's not interested and is fed up of hearing about Buzz. He shifts his weight a lot, looking restless.


Having a fair amount of difficulty with Maya at the moment in terms of getting a rig that doesn't need so much faff.

I decided against the Morpheus Rig because when I tried it the skin wouldn't render. It was just a floating hair piece and vest.

However, Malcolm's maya rig setup is proving rather awkward as I can't get the control picker to work. I think I know why but there's nothing I can do about it. Basically the script for the control picker needs to be in the maya files on the C: drive, this is fine I thought. The C: drive gets wiped every night but I can copy and paste it in again when I need it and run the scene files from my U: drive. WRONG!
This does not work. I think because it's not all in the same drive so the project can't find what it needs. This is a shame because having the picker makes control selection SO much easier.

So. I either have to go back to Morpheus, a rig I do not know and would have to work out how to fix if the skin issue comes up again, OR continue with the Malcolm rig I do know but WITHOUT the picker.. OR find a new rig entirely.

I think I'll try sticking with malcolm first; it's a rig I'm quite fond of and know well. Working without the picker will be annoying but I'll have to go with it. If all that fails, I'll try the Morpheus rig again. And if that fails, new rig time!!

End Ramble.

**EDIT** NOTE TO SELF!! Copy the script files over before opening Maya. Then it will work. (Thanks Raff)

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Craig Caldwell

I asked my tutor for advice on how to go about looking for animated clips for my presentation.

She suggested choosing two very different clips and then comparing the difference between actors and animators in terms of process. Are there any animators that talk about using psychological gestures?

I hadn't thought about seeing if there were any animators that spoke of using psychological gestures so I did an internet search and came across Craig Caldwell.

Craig is a USTAR professor at the University of Utah, he has presented at conferences such as SIGGRAPH. He has worked at Walt Disney Feature Animation in Burbank and has also worked at Electronic Arts.

He speaks about psychological gestures a lot when he gives lectures about the secrets of animation. I found a summary of his talk from MundosDigitales 2011 - an international festival of animation.

He says on psychological gestures: "Making you character come alive. Psychological gestures are the movements a character makes that reveals their attitude and what they are thinking. These are the little movements that reveal the character; sniffles, wiping your nose, scratching your head, putting your hand in front of your face when you yawn…"

And apparently he showed some clips from Over The Hedge, WALL-E and Casablanca at this point. I shall look through some clips from those animated films and try and spot what he might have used (there's no indication of what part he showed). Watch this space.

A couple of interesting links:
Questions for Craig Caldwell
Secret to Animation is the Basics

Key Points to my Presentation

I'm going to outline my key points for my presentation before I actually put it together.



# Michael Chekhov - first coined the term. Believes a character's psychology to consists of thoughts, feelings and the will (character's objective and motivation). A psychological gesture is a movement that expresses all of that at once.

# Preparation for Actors - a method to help actors get into character. Remind class of the 'my heart is broken' exercise by Ed Hooks and briefly run through it again. (Was going to have class participation but we did the exercise as a class last week so no need.) Doing this can produce a much more natural and powerful performance.

# Preparation for Animators - as animators, we tend of over-gesture, feeling the need to illustrate every word.

"Gestures do not always have to be illustrations of the spoken word. A gesture can express an inner emotional state that might even be in contrast to what the character is saying. A psychological gesture like this can be a powerful tool." ~ Ed Hooks

By using exercises such as the one from Ed Hooks' Acting for Animators book, animators can really get into the character they're animating and tone down the gestures. Enabling them to animate a not only more convincing character but a much more powerful performance. A small gesture can say much more about what the character is really thinking than a big gesture which can hide it.

# Atmosphere - Michael Chekhov also used atmosphere in a conceptual way. He believed that the atmosphere can affect the kind of gestures a character may make. Different places have different atmospheres (a character would act differently if they were on the scene of an accident to if they were in their best friend's kitchen - their behaviour would adjust). Even people have atmospheres. A happy person can bring a different atmosphere into a room than an angry one. My own dad is an example.


*show clip*

# Relationship - Carl Grissom is a crime boss who controls the city. Jack Napier is Carl Grissom's second in command. Jack was having an affair with Carl's mistress.

# Before - what happened before this scene. Jack Napier was set up by his boss (sent him to raid a factory, tipped off the police to get him arrested) over an affair with his mistress. Jack was knocked into a vat of chemicals after being struck in the face by a deflected bullet (deflected by Batman).

# The Presence - Joker blatantly pissed off with boss. Walks towards him in intervals, with one hand behind his back and the other by his side (hands behind back = power and confidence, exposes vulnerable parts. Good for posture and opens up airways = gain more energy, feel more confident). Voice is calm but has venom to it, projected to fill the room.

# The Gesture - A small flick of the arm by his side. He stops walking and tenses a bit. Keeping control of himself and situation, however he allows himself to hit boss with the word. Flick of the arm like a mini-hitting gesture or crack of a whip. Wants to the word to sting, as it stings Jack to know he is being put beneath a woman.

An over gesture, for example, would be to slash at the air (wanting to slash at Carl), point aggressively at Carl (accusing and directing all his anger at him).

Instead, this gesture reveals that Jack is bursting with rage, momentarily betray his calmness up to this point. However, he easily returns to his calm composure which is why I say he 'allows' himself this burst, a moment's divulgance to utter rage. It was probably intentional to make Carl feel threatened.

**EDIT** Added next clip and other half of presentation key points.


*Show clip*

# Relationships - Bo-Peep is Woody's love interest, the feelings are mutual. Buzz and Woody are rivals for Andy's affection.

# Before - What happened before this scene. Woody has seemingly been replaced by Buzz Lightyear as Andy's favourite toy. Woody has just spent the night in the toy chest (previously he would spend nights on Andy's bed) and has just awoken to see Buzz reveal his ink branding given to him by Andy.

# Presence - Woody used to have an important presence in Andy's Room, a sort of leader position. He would call staff meetings and make sure everything is running smoothly. However, since Buzz arrived, Woody's influence seems to be becoming smaller as the toys and Andy pay more attention to Buzz.

# The Gesture - Flustering of the hands. When spoken to by Bo-Peep, he startles and immediately starts looking for a place to put his hands. He speaks calmly but can't get a sentence out, losing control of himself as he seems to have with the situation with Buzz (he has previously tried to downplay Buzz's features and turn the other toys away from him, at which he has failed).

Woody generally over-gestures a lot, in my opinion, particularly when he's angry or frustrated. I don't know if that is intentional as he is a toy but there's not much build up to his big gestures. I suppose this could be considered over gesturing still, as his hands could be making smaller movements. On the other hand though, these are HIS small movements, I think it could be part of his character to move a lot.

The gestures could be bigger though. He could shift his weight more, he could have put his hands near his face or on the back of his neck, he could complete all the gestures he tried to do. He could have acted more startled or obviously bothered instead of as calm as he tried to be.

This gesture reveals the state of his mind when Bo-Peep catches him looking at his shoe. The panic of his hands reflect the panic of his thoughts. His hands trying to find a place to be shows us he is trying to find control of himself and some composure, as to show Bo-Peep he's not 'letting it get to him'.


# Rivals - The only similarity between these clips is watching a how two different characters deal with a rival. Woody is trying to look cool and not threatened by Buzz, staying in his character. The Joker on the other hand, does not feel threatened and outright kills his rival.

# Control - The scenes were both had an issue of control/dominance. The Joker had control of the scenario. He was not threatened at any point but he did allow himself to release anger in a short, controlled burst. Though it was an explosion of emotion, the Joker did not lose any control over the situation. Refer to presence.
Woody however, has lost control at this point. He ruled the roost previously but now the toys barely hold him in any high regard any more, a few make fun of him to his face. He has lost respect because the toys think he's jealous of Buzz and therefore lost the leadership position he once had. He reflects this by losing control of his body language to Bo-Peep, he doesn't want her to see his weakness. Refer to presence.


# Preparation - As explained before, Actors use psychological gesture exercises to help them get really into their character, understand their character's psychology. They keep to their character's psychologies and draw gestures from that.
Animators use it much in the same way, though not necessarily through exercises but through sketching and exploring the characters they have to animate.

# Performance - By understanding the characters, particularly the way they think, what they feel and what their objectives are, both Actor and Animators are able to create more powerful performances. Drawing subtle and psychological gestures shows the audience better than they can be told what the character is thinking and feeling.

Psychological Gesture 3

It's hard trying to decide on what clips to analyse for this presentation. Especially as I need to find suitable for analysis and comparison.

I've decided to have a look at Jack Nicholson's Jack Napier/Joker character from Batman (1989). The Joker is one of my favourite villians because he's impulsive, unpredictable, obsessive and truly insane. I chose a Jack Nicholson character because it is said his acting is influenced by Michael Chekhov's psychological gesture method.

In the scene I'm about to post, we, the audience, know that Jack Napier (the character Jack Nicholson is playing for that character turns into the Joker) has been set up by his boss, Carl Grissom, over Jack's affair with his mistress. Jack was sent to raid a chemical factory, the police were tipped off and attempt to arrest him. Batman arrives at the scene in his aim to establish himself as a vigilante. He deflects a bullet fired by Jack, which strikes him in the face and knocks him into a huge vat of chemical. Joker later emerges from said vat.

The part of this clip that I want to concentrate on is Jack/Joker's entrance into his now ex-boss' office.
We know that Jack is, understandably, pissed off. The only reason he would be back at the office is for revenge, which is exactly his aim here. He wants to get his own back on Carl for setting him up. This scene is also important as it is the introduction of the Joker, as this will be the first time the audience sees his face after the accident.

So Jack enters the scene. The end of the room he is in is dark. There is light coming from the door behind him and there's light where Carl is standing (other end of the room in front of his desk), however it is not enough to reveal Jack's face. Carl thinks he is someone else, calling them 'sugarbumps' but Jack replies in humour 'It's me, sugarbumps.' Carl recognises Jack's voice and awkwardly feigns relief that he is alive and is about to say what he had heard when Jack finishes the sentence for him with 'Fried?'

Jack is clearly dominating the scene here. He squarely walks closer and closer to Carl every time he speaks. Carl's voice fails him a bit when he tries to say what he has heard so Jack takes up the verbal space by daring to say he was killed with dark humour, filling the mostly empty space between them with confidence and threat. His presense is large and dangerous and growing more so, setting up the audience for a murder scene.

Jack tells Carl what he did - 'You set me up over a woman'. Jack's not asking, he knows Carl was responsible and is telling him. His shadow is increasing in power and dominance. Jack repeats 'woman!' louder and with more venom. He stops walking and flicks his arm slightly as he shouts 'woman!'. The flicking of the arm is the psychological gesture. Jack Nicholson allows his character to unleash his anger for a second but is keeping control of himself and the situation. An over-gesture, for example, would be to have Jack slash the air with the arm by his side or aggressively point at Carl, accusing and directing his anger at him. But instead, Jack flicks his arm as if flicking a small whip; he still wants the word to sting. He still puts the energy he would have used in a more extreme gesture into his voice though, emphasising the word 'woman' ("bro's before hoes" as they say. Either way, jack is clearly angry to be pushed aside as he sees himself being more worthy than said woman, he is the second-in-command after all). He finishes with: 'You must be insane' and chuckles, returning to the tone he had before.

This is all I want to show up to.
Carl tries to gain some power back by drinking his drink and pretending to get another, reaching for his gun. Jack tells him not to bother and pulls out the gun he'd been hiding behind his back the whole time. Carl tries to intimidate Jack and re-gain some power/control by telling him his life isn't even worth spit. Jack calmly replies that he's been killed already and found it rather liberating, downplaying Carl's threat by making it seem a pleasant experience. He takes more steps forward, holding the gun at Carl, swallowing Carl's attempt at a threat. Carl instead tries to bargain with Jack, calling him by his name. Jack merely tells him that Jack is dead and, stepping into the light revealing his face, tells Carl he can call him Joker.

Joker then proceeds to shot Carl over a circus soundtrack. Accomplishing this aim, Joker finds a new one; Batman.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Modelling Berets

I don't want to learn to model in Maya just yet as learning to animate is going to be a challenge enough. But I wanted a beret for my mime character so I returned to Softimage to model one.

I also used this opportunity to make an obj. file and make sure Maya can import it. Which it can. So I can plop this hat on Malcolm's head when I return to him.
Update on the chrome looking texture on Malcolm's shirt; we have no idea why it's doing that! But I'm going to have a look at it and try a few things suggested. Otherwise, I might have to rename Malcolm to Chrono the Mime-o. Or just re-do the whole scene and see if that works... Thumbs up.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Team Meet 3: Malcolm in Maya

Spent most of today putting together the scene I'll be using to animate in. Basically just getting it ready for when I need to start blocking.
Running into all sorts of Maya obstacles, mostly because I have no idea what I'm doing! Raf's been helping me out loads though and I've learned a helluva lot today.

Here's what the W.I.P scene looks like with one of the problems I've encountered:

I have no idea why Malcolm's top is all chrome and shiny. I've tried selecting all the polygons and changing it to a matte white texture but that does nothing. This only shows up in the render view. So I'll be asking about that via our facebook group right now! Watch this space for answers!

**EDIT** Never found out why it was doing that but as I restarted the scene anyway it didn't matter. It hasn't happened since. My guess is that I pressed something silly but being new to it I didn't know what. Just so you know..