Tuesday, August 14, 2018

School begins next week!

I probably shouldn't mention this, but I'm teaching two, possibly 3 classes, on how to animate using Toon Boom Harmony. Two of my classes are back to back on Mondays and Wednesdays, which means as soon as I finish the first class, I have to mentally rewind and immediately start teaching the second class which I have just finished. Sounds fun huh?

I am looking forward to a new year, teaching a new software and seeing what my class will come up with. As always, learning animation takes a lot of time and practice. A process of working out motion, acting, timing and testing to see if it works and then how to revise it to make it work better. Its not about the computer or software, the artist is still the boss luckily.

I will add new tabs: Anim203_F1 and Anim203_F2 showing what we are up to over the next 15 weeks. Fill free to send in a comment below or click on the ads to show your support.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Animation Words of Wisdom

Its officially Summer and while I'm working on an animated project, I thought I would post my latest Jim Draws episode. Let me know what you think of it.

Also below, hear the words of animation wisdom from Brad Bird.

 Brad Bird
Insight: Brad Bird on Animation from Cornelis van Dijkhuizen on Vimeo.

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Monday, June 4, 2018

Need your Feedback, please

I'm creating a logo for this blog and I need your help. Here are several Animateducated logo designs, which one do you like the best?

Please email me or post your choice A or B.



Which Logo best represents Animated Educated?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Sound Recording

In order to do lip sync and reading your dialogue by breaking down each word into frames, you need to get a good sound recording first. 

The most common problem with recording dialogue is how its recorded in the first place. If you don't have a recording studio handy, need to find a very quiet room, preferably a small closet with lots of clothes in it. The clothing will help with sound proofing.

Next you have to have a microphone which will allow you to see the sound levels. You need to make sure you are not talking to loud into your microphone, otherwise your sound will be distorted. Here's what that distortion looks like.

The sound peaks going off the chart, which will cause a buzz in your speakers. You can test your recording by turning up your speaker full blast, if your sound is buzzing out its because your sound is peaking. Do a few recording tests to get a good recording without distortion. 

On the other hand, if your dialogue recording is too low, there are ways to amplify or boost the recording louder without distorting it. I use a free software called Audacity which has lots of controls to help adjust your sound and build soundtracks.

If you are interested in Sound Effects, check this post called "Sound Advice".

Almost There! Keep clicking on the ads on this post. 
We are up to $6.94 in ad clicks this month, only $9.44 in ad clicks away from our $100 goal and soon I won't have to keep posting this request. Thank you!

Getting the sound first always begins the process of making an animated project. Below is a "behind the scenes" look at our recording session.

Actors Andrew Jones and Rick Almada recorded their lines of dialogue while standing in front of a microphone in a very small soundproof room. This cramped environment allows for the best recording without any distracting background noises.

Both Andrew and Rick are professional actors and worked on their performances while the director worked on getting the best performance recorded.

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Thank you!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

CSUN Career Day

Image result for career day  at Csun

I went to the Career Day at CSUN in Northridge, CA where I met several students and got to take a look at their work. I also gave them Watchcat postcards and told them about my project. 

Many are learning 2D animation principles, which is a great way to learn animation. However most want to remain in the 2D animation world. Unfortunately, all studios do 3D animation and students should focus on learning as many tools as they can in order to land their first production job out of school.

I also stressed that they should graduate with a film or two that shows what they can do. The more you can show a potential employer what you can do, the more interested the employer will be in hiring you. 

We at Watchcat Films are hoping to involve more students who want to work in 2D animation by the making of future episodes, with the understanding that since we can't pay them at this time, we could pay them in other ways. We would allow them to use the finished scenes for their portfolios and would give them screen credit.
 Its not a lot, but to get a copy of an animation scene that you helped create, might lead to more work for the both of us. We personally would love to be able to pay artists, but presently we are in the hobby mode. That's the world where you have to prove that an idea is going to work or not. The only way is to produce something that can be shown in the hopes that an audience will want to see it and want to see more of it.

If you are interested in helping us out and use ToonBoom Harmony, please contact Jim at heyjimr@gmail.com.


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We are up to $5.98 in ad clicks this month, giving us only $10.49 in ad clicks to go! We are almost to our $100 goal and soon I won't have to keep posting this request!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Happy Animated Earthday 2018

I made this several years ago, about Recycling, which is still appropriate for this Earthday.
Click on the ads to help raise money for an animal shelter. We are at $16 from our $100 goal. Every click helps!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Bad Filmmaking 101: The Big Catch

Here's another short animation you can learn from. Please watch it first and see the review below...

Here's a film in CG animation, with a simple story, with good character design and fairly well animated. However, there are several staging and editing problems. 

The fisherman character is a large, overweight American looking guy who sets up to fish at the end of a dock. Behind the fisherman, sits a seagull who spots an approaching shark. 
The shark immediately hops up onto the dock and we see the Shark's POV through its vision, the large fat man at the end of the dock. 
Without any thought, the Shark starts dragging itself along the dock towards the man. I don't know how many of you have ever been on a dock or have studied sharks, but sharks are pretty smart and wooden docks are full of splinters, just saying.

The shark is sneaking up on his prey, until he spots a seagull shaking its head. The bird points with its beak to screen right. We dissolve to a few fish that are playing in the water and then dissolve back to the same shot of the bird looking back at the shark, shakes its head and then flies away. This whole sequence was a little hard to understand, but I think the bird was showing the shark this fish? The dissolves were also distracting.

Cut to bird flying over to land on a harpoon looking thing where it joins another bird and they begin to argue with one another. The shark is watching all of this from behind.

Is this important? Not really. Just to reveal that this harpoon thing exists and will be used later. The shark sees the birds and then focuses on the man again in the distance. The shark is now thinking of what to do; get the birds who are closer or the fat guy that is far away. He shakes his head and decides to go for the fat man.

Seems like days have gone by since we last saw the fat guy wearing headphones waiting for a fish. But now, he is being bothered by a fly. And now, we start cutting to the shark's approach and the man been bugged by the fly. Back and forth, switching camera sides as the shark approaches the shark to see the fat guy sitting on a can. The filmmakers could have added a "Butt Crack" joke here, but instead focused on a more complicated set up to a harpoon joke.
The shark is right behind its victim, he smiles and we dissolve back to the arguing seagulls on the harpoon thing. All this business could be told as the shark was getting to the man. Maybe it would even be too much cutting from the birds, to shark to man to birds, but now, we have a long wait to see if the shark eats the fat guy on the dock.

Back to those arguing seagulls, who manage to turn on the harpoon device. On my first viewing I didn't realize it was a harpoon, I thought the seagulls were sitting on top of a pole on the dock.
But, first they argue, then a slap, then a karate kid moment which goes on way too long... Hey Mr. Shark, eat that fat guy and get out of this film! 

But no, more karate slaps send the other bird to land on a plunger that starts up the machine. The harpoon flips both birds off it. As flashing lights and noise loud enough to alert the shark, the harpoon sets up and we dissolve to see the shark's tale sitting in a clamp. Cut to another angle of the clamp turning on and clamping onto the shark's tale. 

We cut the Shark with its mouth open wide getting closer to the man's head. The man has no idea what is going on, hence the headphones. The shark stops, cut to Shark turning around to react to, not the clamp on his tale, but the harpoon shooting into the sky. Cut back to shark looking the opposite way. A bunch of screen direction problems here.

Shark tries the free himself from the clamp on his tale, but he spots, the rope running out, not his POV. Then a great wild animation take of the Shark's reaction. 
Shark turns to man on the dock, trying to grab him, but is yanked out of the scene. 

Cartoon logic; a harpoon speeding away from Earth suddenly has enough force to pull a 1,500 - 2,400 lbs great white shark into the air?

We pan away from the screaming shark in the sky to see a large ship in the distance. The man sees it too and comes to life again by doing his own animated take. Cut to the ship and a tiny blob headed for the front of the ship. We know exactly where its going to land by seeing the bow of boat from above, then we cut to the shark coming towards us, landing with a cartoon bang effect which goes to black.
One more joke for the big ending, the payoff. Fade up to close up of man looking around and then at the distant ship.
Cut to a full shot of the whole ship as a familiar music score begins. We dissolve to a truck in shot to see the ship and a parody of the famous Titanic shot. But instead of two lovers at the bow, we see a distorted looking shark blinking at us as it goes by.

The pacing was off in this film, unlike to snappy end title sequence. If you have any comments or learning anything new from this post, please let us know.

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Check out the first Bad Filmmaking 101