Laying out and burning up

It’s been 8 to 14 January 2017. (How many times have you got the year wrong so far? My grandmother gets the actual century wrong, bless her.)

I had to squeeze my layout work around a family event on Sunday, but I did get another scene finished. I spent the rest of the week on miscellaneous things like catching up on unwatched animated movies and getting my sleep schedule back to something sensible. (Sleeping right during the week means having less sleep to catch up on during the weekend – and hence more production time!)

I finally started reading “Elemental Magic”, the standard texts on effects animation by industry veteran Joseph Gilland. The first Elemental Magic book is more “philosophy and approach” while the second is more practical instruction. Despite speaking from the perspective of hand-drawn animation, the author more than touches on CG. Simulations (like hand drawn) should fit a particular look and feel, even when it’s a particle system and mesher responsible for putting something on screen instead of an animator’s pencil. It’s great to get a sense of how an animation veteran observes and approaches their work and “Elemental Magic” is chock full of insight.

Pointy leaves a trail of dust in his wake in AMITS: Sombrero (temp materials)

I’m reading up on effects animation because there’s smoke and fire in AMITS: Robot. I’m not sure whether to go hand-drawn, wrestle with simulation or even adapt the metaball particle based smoke from AMITS: Sombrero – but whatever strikes the right balance between ease, speed, quality and art direction is what will get the movie made. Also it’ll make my layout more meaningful if I can draw smoke and fire more convincingly. 🙂

See you next week!

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