Animation Workshop – Puppet Animation

From the drawing board to the clay figure animation you can see how the development process has gone on this animation workshop, I liked having the chance to work through the process that a proper animation would go through to design a character. One must first of course design a character the way in which they would want it, mine personally ending up as a human girl as I love the hair detail that you can have with such a design. However I soon realized that with such a skinny character she had become far too top heavy to actually work within model form. And so the design was tweaked to have larger legs and big feet to weigh her all down and to make sure I had an appropriate design in which to make from. I also learned from some of my colleagues in class a great way of working with hands, something I find myself greatly struggling with life drawings, so overall this drawing stage of the workshop was really advantageous.

The next stage was to create the sketches as clay model puppets. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the appropriate colours I had wanted for the origional character character design as there was only a limit to the colours we had available to us and I also had a time limit on the animating process and so making it rather difficult in which to mix colours to make them the way in which I wished to have them. However I feel minus the colours I captured the characters design most effectively. I started at the legs and worked my way up, making the legs chunky and the body small so as to weigh well and make standing far easier for the puppet. I ended with the head in which I cut in the features of her face in which to add extra skin for the lips and nose and then the colours for the eyes. The final stage being the black hair for eyebrows and strands of tghe front and tied up in bunches at the sides of the face. Overall creating a rather unique and delicate character model puppet.

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The final stage is of course to actually animate this cute little puppet of mine, a stage of which I had greatly underestimated with the model I created. Our task is to create a ‘walk cycle’ across the screen and see the inanimate model come to life in front of our own eyes. I found this quite difficult simply because of the thickness of the legs, it made it difficult to see the actual movement of them and therefore making the final sequence look as though a waddle rather than an actual walk. However it still in some way worked although not one hundred percent effective. If I were to do this all over again however I feel I would make something far more great an animation, I would know exactly what I need to do with a character from sketch to puppet to make easier in which to maneuver. I have learned what sorts of things work and those that do not, all of which I can use on any future projects I hope to create with puppet creation and animation, therefore making it a rather successful learning curve.

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