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The Incredible Incredibles

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I realized I already have a post titled "The Incredibles" so I improvised a little bit.  My apologies for how over-the-top it is!

This pose is a bit of a hybrid of a couple of characters, as you'll see when you look at my reference photo below, but was ultimately inspired by Helen Parr aka Elastigirl.  That amazing woman did it all: was a loving mother, devoted partner and independent super gal who helped keep the family together during tough times.  She didn't need any help from the men to be super.

This movie holds a special place in my heart and will always be one of my favorites, so it's no surprise I decided to pull some inspiration from it!  I believe in the power of family and a united front.

I've been animating for so long now, that I sometimes forget that what I'm doing is pretty magical.  To me, it doesn't appear special any more because I figure anyone can do it.  Anyone can take a rig and stick it into a pose and there will always be s…

Sorry Not Sorry

Well, it has been a crazy couple of weeks!  I won't lie, I'm relieved for things to slow down a little bit.  I value sleep, my health and a personal life, haha!

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by a studio to complete 4 animation tests.  With a 2 week deadline and working full-time, I knew it was going to be difficult, but I was ready for the challenge.  The studio provided a very sound and pretty cool looking rig to work with, which I was excited about.

Want to know the awesome part?  Not even 12 hours after I hit submit on the tests I had worked my tail off for 2 weeks to complete and was actually semi-proud of, I received my rejection e-mail (from the HR system, not even a real individual).  So needless to say, I'm now back at square one.

Spare me the lectures on how life isn't fair, I'm quite familiar with this sentiment already.  In an attempt to keep myself sane, I've decided to look at all the positives of the experience: I was intellectually stimulat…

Black Widow

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This pose has been "completed" for awhile and I've just been fighting to find time to write up this blog post!  Did take an awesome trip to the Winchester Mystery House over the weekend that was quite delightful!  On to the post...

I've always been a big fan of Black Widow since seeing her kick some serious butt in Iron Man 2 -- was it Iron Man 2?  She's been in so many movies now that I've almost forgotten when she made her first appearance.

To me, there's something graceful and mesmerizing about watching a female character fight that I appreciate and am in constant awe of.  Women don't just rely on brute strength, but flexibility and smarts as well (at least in my opinion).  We're talking some major flexibility goals!  I also really love her sarcastic sense of humor, something I can relate to personally, hehe.  So I took one of my favorite stills of her that I feel really sums up her character and recreated it.

I'm enjoying these poses be…

Wonder Woman

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I work full-time and also fully believe in work-life balance.  I also have mild health issues that at times force me to put all my energy and effort into work (ya know, the job I get paid to do on a daily basis), leaving little energy at the end of the day for me to pursue my own passions.  
So when progress started to slow and practically come to a stand-still on my dialogue piece, I knew it was time to address it.  I was learning, but didn't feel like I was getting anywhere.  Whether I've abandoned it or not, I'm not sure and frankly don't care in this moment.  I just know I needed to get back to doing some fun shit and getting excited to sit down at my computer at night (after sitting at it for 8 hours already during the day).  
Wonder Woman was the perfect catalyst.  I thought it was going to be good, but had no idea it was going to be such an emotional experience for me.  After almost 10+ years of watching male superheroes tear up the big screen, I was so proud t…

Fast Girl

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Hit a bit of a wall in the progress of my dialogue piece.  Not long after beginning to block in poses and create cameras, my scene bogged down and started to lag substantially.  After combing Google, speaking with my mentor and trying everything I could think of, I was at my wit's end.  I finally reached out to Long Winter Studios (the creators of these 2 rigs) and asked for guidance.

The verdict?  A character with wings is basically like having 2 rigs -- a rig for the character and a rig for the wings.  Then I want both characters in the same scene?  That was apparently a scene death sentence.

So after spit-balling with a friend and testing multiple methods out, I decided the least annoying solution was to create new references file in which I hacked the high-poly wings off both characters and utilized the low-poly wings also available on the rigs.  I also created buttons on my Shelf to load and unload the reference for each character.

It's not pretty and still a bit lagg…

Stay

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Worked on the second set of poses for my two dragon characters for my next dialogue piece!  Now this was the original pose I began working on for Drake (aka Blue) and I think it sums up his character perfectly.  I also think this still portrays how Benny (aka Pink) is going to be feeling in this piece, hehe.

I'm finding Benny challenging with his short, squatty body and facial controls that seem to want to smile no matter how determined I am to get him to grimace.  I'm also finding Drake challenging because frankly, I've never work with a large, quadraped rig with a wide wing span and am not sure how to get his silhouette to pop when I've got so much rig to work with.

After some words of encouragement and advice from my mentor, I'm feeling confident in handling this large, four-legged creature!  And it's probably no shock, will be gathering much inspiration from the beloved Toothless.

It's so easy for me to noodle poses to death, working on them far lon…

You Look Good

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Life has been pretty hectic, but I'm trying to get my main poses blocked out for a dialogue piece I've been working on (we won't say how long I've been attempting to work on it).

I find beginning the most exhilarating and intimidating part of any process, animation included.  I'm so excited about brainstorming all the poses and actions, then begin to feel a wave of anxiety rush over me as I wonder how I'm actually going to execute all of it and how long it's going to take me.  So when I start, I start SMALL (because #anxiety).  I'm mostly just trying to get the character out of their canned "t-pose" and give them some life and emotion.  I also start with the thought: what's one pose I can put this character into that sums up who they are and how they're feeling in this clip?  Then try to channel that as I craft my first poses.

With little time to work due to my full-time job, I find myself often rushing the process or mentally beatin…