Effects; Week 2


It’s always important to start with reference, regardless of what you’re animating. This is my sister, and I shot several takes on my phone. This footage has been compressed down a lot from the HD quality footage I looked at.


Taking this course is interesting, it’s my second time with Kathleen Quaife as an instructor, who also taught the history course way back in my first semester. In addition, she’s someone I’ve known for about a decade and have worked with professionally. She’s worlds more experienced than I am, a consummate effects artist and animation historian.

General notes here were to make the effect more dominant. It’s an effects course, so she wants more effects. I intentionally did as little work on the box and arms as I could, but I should have staged it differently to get the flame larger and closer to the viewer. I got an A- on the project, so it’s not like it wasn’t a good assignment. There’s just something remarkable about how obvious it is that my focus is characters and not effects by looking at this one simple assignment with fresh eyes. I thought I was focusing on the effect, but I  was really playing it safe.

She said I should have exaggerated the flame and initial sparks more. She called me out for playing it safe, and I was. I was afraid that the fire would look too “alive”, or too jagged, or too uniform. I stuck super closely to my video reference, which was initially a life saver, but I just never let go and swam on my own.

There’s a mixed bag of metaphors for you.

© Copyright 2013 John Hill, All rights Reserved. Written For: Awesometania
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