A few last words

I believe I am overdue for a post about my thesis. The last couple weeks have been some of the most intense weeks of my life. However, I pulled through in the end, and I'm glad the screening of my animation seemed to be well-recieved.

First off, I have to give credit to some wonderful people for helping me out with coloring, namely Amanda, Matt, Carder, and Emily (for coloring the very last scene I had to color, at an ungodly hour of the night/morning). Between them, they colored about a dozen scenes for me, and this significantly lightened my workload and stress levels. Also, I really need to thank Shawn for staying with me until the very end of the project, so I wouldn't give up, and for helping me out with small things like my credits, which I wouldn't have finished if she hadn't been there to assist me with. Finally, I thank all of my classmates and the faculty involved in the thesis, for helping me along the way and providing me with suggestions and inspiration throughout the whole process.

The process of creating this animation was very long, and I think it is safe to say it has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life thus far. However, it was a huge learning experience. I improved throughout it, I experimented and learned how to do things that I never thought I'd have the ability to do, and I'm glad I was able to have something to show from it afterwards.

The only thing I look back on and would really like to have changed are my backgrounds. The fact of the matter is that due to not having enough time, I ended up re-using a lot of the same backgrounds in my shots. If I had the skill and the time, I would have made them better. But for now, they work.

Again, I can't thank I still can't believe it's finally finished!


Crunch time

It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted anything. At this point, my rough animation is close to being done, but there's still a lot of cleanup, as well as some tweaking here and there.

I started figuring out my cleanup schedule today, and from the looks of it, I'll have to be doing about 10 scenes a week, give or take.

I think the smartest thing for me to do is to give priority to scenes that I know need fixing, and have those done before the sound mix. My dialogue scenes are a) more cleaned up, for the most part, and b) have more strict timing due to the lip-synching. Those will not have as much change, and therefore can still be cleaned up after the sound mix.

It's going to be a scary and time-consuming process, and I also have to start using Toon Boom (which I haven't touched since our training session). However, I just have to keep going, and keep positive.

Well, I'm sorry that this was mostly typed out for the purpose of calming myself down a little, but once I get all my rough animation cut together, I will post my animatic in its final rough form.


Some weekly dialogue!

Well here you go, some more dialogue! I've got a lot for this next week, too, so I'll be sure to upload another scene.

Come on, guys! from Lauren Blakely on Vimeo.
This took a second try to upload, but it seems to be working now.

I tried some fake "motion blur" stuff on the hands (a.k.a. just drawing some extra lines in), but I think it was pretty successful.


Some dialogue from this week

Here's more dialogue from this past week. Surprisingly, I finished it fairly early on in the week, but didn't get the chance to upload it until now.

Just kind of a jerk! from Lauren Blakely on Vimeo.

The mouth movements are odd at certain points, but I think it's a pretty successful first pass overall.


Even more dialogue!

Last week I had to do several dialogue scenes, but these are the ones that turned out the best (although it is now one scene, they were originally two different shots).

Maybe... from Lauren Blakely on Vimeo.

Maybe I will post a couple others that turned out well, but there is one for now!


More Animation With Dialogue

I'm done animating for the night, and I'm on schedule! As long as I keep up with it, I will finish with plenty of time.

Out of all the scenes I had to do this week, 3 of them had dialogue, and I am glad that I'm really enjoying doing lip sync. And I've also discovered I really like animating Keith! Here is a pencil test of the first dialogue he has in the animation:

I win, yet again from Lauren Blakely on Vimeo.
(P.S., that angry-sounding "MMMMM!!" is sound from the scene that follows this one. I just forgot to take it out for this clip)

He looks kind of sassy, but it works. I also realize his arm and the skateboard it's holding disappear about halfway through. Don't worry, that won't happen in the cleaned up version.


Rough Animation with Dialogue

Hello everyone! It's been a while since I have posted. I am currently working on my schedule (which, at this point, looks to be about 4-5 scenes a week until I start cleanup). But I thought I would upload one of my pencil tests.

Wow! from Lauren Blakely on Vimeo.
This is one of the first dialogue scenes I've done. I know it's only one word, but it's a start. I think it turned out fairly well. I can only hope that I will improve with each new scene of dialogue I do.

I'm in the process of doing several scenes from this past week, and when I am finally satisfied I may post a couple.

Also, a couple changes will be made to my animatic, so once I add/edit the new storyboard panels, I will post it as well.


Animatic with Dialogue!

I had my sound recording session this evening, and it was a great success, if I do say so myself! Eric was great to work with. The editing took a while, but it was definitely a fun process to go back and listen to all the takes.

So, here is my animatic with dialogue (and a bit of rough animation)! Eric did all the male voices. My sound engineer (I think that's the proper title, but I could be wrong!), Bethany Sparks, has a cameo, and so do I (though I am not happy at all with my own performance).

Disregard any subtitles that are there. Some of the text does not match the spoken dialogue.

Animatic with Dialogue from Lauren Blakely on Vimeo.

Feedback is most appreciated!


Rough Animation

I finally have some rough animation scenes that I thought were decent enough to share with the public. This isn't the only animation I've done, but these are probably the best two scenes I've done so far. I realize there are still a lot of things to be fixed, but I think they're both at good starting points.

I think the second hand flopping down turned better, probably because I did that one second and learned from the first one. The crawl could be worked on too, I'm not sure what I can do to make it better aside from more in-betweens.

I didn't want to deal with the clothes and hair on this yet. I think the first step of this is the best. Also, I know the kid's body gets bigger. I should have done a better job of making sure he was slumping the whole time, but at least I got the action down.

That's all for now. I will definitely have more in the next few weeks!


Voice actor!

Exciting news! I have voice actor, Eric Bauza! (hi, Eric, if you're reading this!)
I'm going to embarrass him and say you should all check out his profile and listen to his reel, he's amazing:

I'm aiming to record sometime within the next couple of weeks, before the Thesis Review. By then, I will be sure to post my animatic with added dialogue.

Until that happens, I may not have as many updates, as I am beginning to do actual animation instead of backgrounds. I suppose I could post my pencil tests, but I don't think my rough tests are ready to be shared with the entire internet quite yet.

That is all!