Friday, 10 May 2013

Riders on the Storm

Yesterday saw episode 4 of "Wobble Box", the Flip/HuHa animated sketch show I do some bits and pieces for go live. Here it is:

I did the animation for the final skit, "Discharge", which was a lot of fun to design. It's a little unfortunate that there wasn't a budget for some proper full animation as I would've loved to go proper Kricfalusian on it.

I'd planned to animate the 'money shot', so to speak, but was urged not to for whatever reason, possibly some YouTube content rule. Maybe by actually showing it it would've been overkill and taken some of the impact away from it, but here's what I'd had in mind:
The other segment I worked on was "23 Hour News", which was good timing as I've been watching a lot of "Powerpuff Girls" of late (as men do) so I was in the right headspace for some city-destroying monsters:
The highlight of this was getting to do the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Again, the budget was small but I came up with a pretty effective cheat, drawing on Eadweard Muybridge's photos of horses in motion:
Muybridge photography: The CliffsNotes of the animation world

Using these for reference I rigged up a rough horse drawing using the After Effects puppet tool. This works a little differently than boning in CG programs or other 2D applications, essentially placing joints on each still drawing of the horse's legs (which occupy their own layer). If placed correctly they can be moved and animated with some approximation to real life. This motion test shows what I came up with - you can tell there were some cartooney liberties taken but it has more or less the desired effect:
Then, using the rough sketch for reference I came to the really fun bit, coming up with detailed drawings of each demonic horse to match their respective horsemen. Then it's just a matter of applying the rigged animation to each design:
Fully composited with separate motion paths and timeline placement, it makes for a nice little payoff visual:
 Something tells me this won't win me much by way of appreciation from the Brony community.

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