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Thread: Short Film

  1. #1
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    Short Film

    Ok, after being inspired for years by 3D short films, I have decided to embark on a journey of my own. Today I watched a short, called Egghunt. That was the straw that broke the cammels back, and I decided, I will make my own if it kills me. Anyway, to make a long story short, I know pretty close to jack about making my own 3D short, so this is going to be a great learning experience. I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions, especially about reference material. I am looking for some good books, on short films, writing stories, creating movies, that kind of stuff. Also, does anyone know if The animators survival kit is a book worth getting?

    Sanby

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    you should probably try http://www.cgtalk.com
    That's a forum for nearly everything 3d (related to the entertainment industry). Ca.org is more about conceptart.

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    the animator's survival kit is the animator's bible, aside from Disney's "The Illusion of Life" book by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. Richard Williams, the author of the survival kit, was my animation teacher's teacher (my teacher is tony white, and you may want to get his book as well), so we've discussed it at great length in class. Making animated shorts is quite a challenge, good for you. You'll want to be very familiar with dope sheets and timing...it will save your life. ; )

    Get your storyboards and animatic nailed down first before attempting any animation...so many hours spent miserable cuz I didn't do that properly...

    anyway I am rambling. if you are serious about animation, definitely get the book! And tony's! I get brownie points if you do! (lol)

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Absence and booze.

    There are no small sketchpads, just small artists.

    The make-perfect button must come from within.
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    Ha, Bad Brownie, thanks for that advice, that is exactly what I am looking for. I have always wanted to do a short, but I have never started, because I was scared of the results. But I figure, whatever the result, the amount I will learn will be invaluable. I am definitely going to look into those books, hopefully will have some gift certificates after christmas. Ok, so here is evidence of my lack of animation knowledge. What are dope sheets, and how do I become more familiar with timing, or get to understand it better?

    Mario: I already posted over at Cg Networks. But, I know there are a lot of strong animators here, and since 3D animation uses all the same principles as traditional animation, I thought I might get some great advice here.

    Keep it coming guys, I love what I am getting so far.

    Sanby

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    dope sheets (or x-sheets) are very scary looking sheets (look like a table chart sorta) that help you place where your keyframes are, how long your piece is, when your breakdowns are (in relation to how long the animation is...) etc. They are basically your animation written down. Once you know how to use one, they help you organize. I know that tony explains how to use one in his book (at least I am pretty sure, it's been awhile since I've dusted it off...bad me). And I am also pretty sure there is info on the web, maybe even some you can download or print (although I haven't looked).

    Timing is very difficult (not to discourage you, just be in for a lot of practice and understand it may be quite some time before you actually feel able to put together an actual short). There is a lot that goes into timing (being able to accurately assess how long an action will take, where the key points of action will be, blah blah). Timing can be learned through doing the exercises laid out in the books and practicing. There are 24 frames in a second, and so that may give you an idea about how long it takes to do just a second of animation.

    I know you said you wanted to do 3D, which is cool, I'd like to do a 3D short myself someday (although I SUCK at 3D haha), but I'd recommend at least practicing the exercises in the books in 2D and then trying them on the computer. Kinda like learning acoustic guitar before electric, it helps. And you appreciate it more.

    Are you familiar with any 3D software? That can have its own hurdles also. I've only used softimage XSI. I do know a few good books for 3D animation as well, if you are interested.

    Anyway, it's all very rewarding, just a gigantic pain in the ass. I am by no means an expert...I just happen to have learned a little in school. ; )

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Absence and booze.

    There are no small sketchpads, just small artists.

    The make-perfect button must come from within.
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    I am fairly familiar with Lightwave already. I have modelled a few characters before, but never animated any. I have some great books on Lightwave, so I am covered from that end, it's the animation part where I am not looking so good. I know it is going to be very difficult and probably will take me within an inch of my life But I think it will be a great way to learn. I guess we'll see where it takes me.

    I will try and get those books that you mentioned. If I can't buy them, I know that my local library has The animators survival kit, it was out last time I was there, so I will have to check back soon.

    It makes sense to me what you are saying about doing the 2D stuff first, I'm sure it will only benefit me in the end.

    sanby

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    I wish you the best of luck! I also congratulate you for making the leap. Animation is a beautiful thing! ::cries::

    good luck with the rigging and weighting, I don't know how it's done in lightwave, but I always hated that part. ; )

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Absence and booze.

    There are no small sketchpads, just small artists.

    The make-perfect button must come from within.
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    Listen to Brownie, planning is key Ill tell ya. Im by far no pro, but I have, like you, got ambitions, and I have made a short film in maya, and a 2d animated one, and a live actionthat won first prize in a competition (2000 bucks) You may wanna get in there and start animating and doing characters, BUT really get everything down on paper, like cuts and music and all that jazz before you start designing, It will save you headaches later. I actually really enjoy that part too, though.
    good luck

    [url=http://galleryonefone.blogspot.com[/url] This would be my gallery in Sweden

    This would be my Pleine Air blog
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    I am definitely going to plan it all out first, something I'm not good at, but need to learn. I am really resisting the urge to jump into lightwave already, but I know it's way too early. Guess, we'll see where this takes me.
    BTW, congratulations on your film success

    Sanby

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    I definitely recommend getting "the animators survival kit" also. It basically teaches you how to work "Pose to Pose".

    Also, I've done a lot of storyboarding on Post it notes and then put it in the Flash program. Seems like a quick and easy solution to me.

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