A late Week 5 report and Batman

Four legs are very complicated… It needed three days to get into my head, how it might work. And it’s always the same: keep it simple and it’s going to work much easier. It was a short week because we had live drawing on several days and we went to a studio to see how the professionals work, which was very informative. But we also had to deal with four legs. I decided not to do any fancy and specific animal work, I decided to do a very basic quadrupedal walk. It was annoying because in the mid of the shoot I had to change a cable and somebody kicked my tripod (so I did with himthen). And it was hard to understand at all, this four leg walk. But now I get it, I think. I could do smoother animation, really. It makes me angry to see all these small jiggles there. But I’m glad to make this puppet walk. And I really learned something about animation. For this, it was a good week.

Some things you couldn’t teach. A good example might be drawing: you can teach somebody how to hold a pencil and how to use paper, but he must draw himself. Learn, how the pencil scratches over the surface of the paper and leaving marks. And then, how to use a eraser without destroy the drawing or the sheet. With animation it is the same: you really have to live through it. If your teachers tells you about arcs, you have to find out, how to use them. There is still so much to learn….

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Yesterday I saw “The Dark Knight” at the big screen and I still don’t know what to think of this movie… I found it a bit confusing that you can’t really see a time structure. So the storyline is jumping forwards, backwards and sometimes they’re showing some things at the same time. And I got a bit lost because I didn’t know how long the narrated time was. It could have been a few days, a week, a month… I don’t know. And beside this, it was a long movie with its two and a half hours. And it was so exhausting, because there had been one climax following the other for several times: I always thought, oh, now it’s leading to an end, but no! They had just managed to sqeeze another subplot in which wouldn’t be necessary…. One could have made two films of that easily…
One other thing is that it was so brutal.
The character of the joker was totally ill. He’s so crazy and Heath Ledger acted very well on this. But I also think just a bit more humanitiy, just a tiny bit, would have turned him into an absolute plausible character. Now he’s just mad and evil. And Batman… I really miss the hero of my childhood. It’s a lot about morality. Using criminal methods to catch the Evil Boy, due to a good intention. Weird. And very brutal. I can’t identify with Batman anymore and I think, that’s the biggest problem od the movie: you can’t really identify with the characters, no matter if they’re good or evil.

29. July 2008 by Jessica
Categories: Stuff | Tags: , , | 6 comments

Comments (6)

  1. I really love this clip!

  2. Hey…. how can you be expected to do quadruped walk when you don’t have a quadruped armature? That’s a human armature!!! It looks just as awkward crawling around on all 4s as a person would – and that’s not due to poor animation, it’s the poor design of the armature!!! Creatures MEANT to walk on all 4s are built differently… the front and rear legs won’t overlap each other like that. You had to tuck the arms inside of the legs to keep them from getting all tangled up!

    It’s just as bad as giving somebody a horse armature and telling them to do a human walk!!! Did the teachers make you use this armature?

    And about Batman…. the only movies I liked are the first 2, by Tim Burton (though I haven’t seen Batman Begins). About the timeline… I wonder if it’s meant to be poetic, like Mulholland drive or Pulp Fiction? It would depend on other factors, the way the movie is presented… whether it’s really a simple action/adventure thriller or meant to be a more artistic experience.

  3. Yep, the poor guy’s legs are too long. (Even toddlers don’t move on their feet, but rather on their knees.) Looks like he was forced to move like this — but if something made him walk on four legs, the animation looks just fine to me.
    As your teacher’s goal probably was not to let you make a perfect animation, but to teach you something, this definitely is a success. You maybe don’t actively focus on those things, but “minor” matters like lighting, background, smooth animation, shot frame etc. also improve from week to week.

    About Batman: We were talking about that on the phone. Wanna see (probably).

  4. On the animation again:
    Well, other student’s build up a cat’s or a horse’s amature but I thought I don’t want to spend so much time on that, because I really tried to understand how to coordinate those four limbs. It was my decision, to do this sneaking creature with the human armature. I think the course generally is on problem solving, but we really have to create the problems by ourselves. I think it’s okay because now I could do an animal animation because I know the issues. I guess my teacher’s aim was to let us deal with four “legs” – in whatever way. However, Leo, I don’t think smooth animation is just a minor matter… ;)

    Batman is just an action and speed thing. Not very poetic at all, most of the time. Mulholland Drive and Pulp Fiction are completely different in their use of narrative time. Batman was just… confusing.

  5. (^ funny you mention the dark knight.
    (^ someone named also Jessica just finished working on it and is now doing something for the Silverman show.

  6. oh, and “by the way” (thank god for the time-shift):
    Happy Birthday to you! Hope you had a fine day.