Lie to Me – Reading Emotions through Facial Expressions

Posted by aleeCO on August 6, 2012 in References

I found another great resource for how our facial expressions change with emotion and thought processes:


Reading Gestures and Body Language

Posted by aleeCO on August 5, 2012 in References

Now that we’re getting into acting, we’ve been studying body language.

I found a good resource on youtube:


Eye Accessing Cues

Posted by aleeCO on August 3, 2012 in References

Marek gave us some great notes regarding eye movements tonight. I didn’t know that the direction we looked toward meant we were accessing different parts of our memory. Very interesting resource ;)


acting shot ideas

Posted by aleeCO on July 31, 2012 in Animations, References

This week we get our first character with a face (Bishop). Oh boy…we’ll see how this goes! Hehe.

I pulled five clips I would enjoy animating. Just need one ;)


Jumping vs. Bouncing

Posted by aleeCO on July 23, 2012 in Tid Bits

It’s good to understand the physics of how something would bounce in animation, but it’s also important to understand the difference between jumping and bouncing. Motion-wise they seem quite similar, but there are little variations that make differ.

The jump-like feel is going to give the ball life and personality ~ it sells that the ball has a thought process before it acts.

I pulled a few clips from “Boundin’ ” which I feel demonstrate the style of jumps I’m talking about. I also put in some clips of triple jumps to show a real life example of jumps with long hang time.

Notice that how the character (it would be the ball in your case), feels as if it’s sticking to the ground and then snaps up quickly into the air. The “stick” is the few frames of anticipation, and part of the hang in the air is sold by the stretch leading to the squash that settles into the original shape. The character will basically reach the height of its jump before the squash as it crests over the arc to fall back to the ground.

In the graph editor, you may be able to better see how you push/exaggerate the arcs. Round out the tops of the arcs and make the falls to the contacts sharper.


Student Showcase 2012

Posted by aleeCO on July 16, 2012 in Inspiration

The new student showcase is up! A lot of talent from the acting and creatures classes.



Live at the Heart of Daydreams

Posted by aleeCO on July 15, 2012 in Inspiration, References

On my trip back home to Colorado, my dad gave me a book he was reading to improve his creative writing, The Art and Craft of Storytelling by Nancy Lamb. There are several great excerpts and takeaways that translate into creativity in any field, not just literature.

In one of my favorite sections, she suggested to nourish the Creative Spirit:

1. Read. Reading is the food that sustains the discipline whether you read adult or children’s books, poetry, magazines or newspapers.

2. Explore the arts. Movies, plays, art exhibits, concerts.

3. Heed the three Ds: Desire, discipline and determination.

4. Set goals, whether time or pages written.

5. Embrace the process.

6. Honor the mystery and magic. There is an element of surprise, of ideas appearing out of nowhere and connections leaping out of dreams, that cannot be accounted for in the daily living of our lives.

7. Seek the universal, which is grounded in the particular experience of a particular person at a particular moment in time.

8. Daydream. As children, most of us were admonished to pay attention to the task at hand and stop daydreaming! Yet vision and fantasy, creativity and imagination, live at the heart of daydreams. Welcome daydreams.

9. Dare to experiment, combine unexpected elements, play with words, break the rules. Seek out the laughter in desperation and the humor in pain.

I feel like I could write a short story and expand on each of these points. I bet you can too ~ those whom are used to creative thinking can each think of times how each of these have enabled creativity. Or times in which we’ve craved one of these things… ;)

I actually read number eight wrong at first. I skimmed it and read “live at the heart of daydreams.” Though she was referring to creative and imagination. I think that quote alone stands pretty strong of how a person can maintain the correct mindset needed to create :)


Changing Facial Expressions

Posted by aleeCO on July 11, 2012 in Tid Bits

You ever notice how simply changing the facial expression of a character in a certain pose can completely change the meaning of the pose?

Think about this – take this image for example:

Baloo’s face is concerned, and his body language says it too — He’s leaning in, and his hands are lightly placed on Mowgli for comfort.

Now what if we were to just change the face and nothing else? Such as a snarl, scared wide-eyed look, or laughing face. Even with the body in the exact same comforting position, the change in face would completely change the tone and story that the image is telling.

So now I wonder ~ is the face what ultimately sells the tone of a shot? From this, the face seems to outweigh the story the body pose alone tells.


Tips to better a sendentary lifestyle

Posted by aleeCO on July 11, 2012 in Tid Bits

Sometimes what we have to get done causes us to be bound to our seats, lose sleep, and…well…stress. So check this out ~ this is a great read for artists or anyone with a sedentary lifestyle/job.

A Life Less Sedentary: CG Artist Health by Sam Conlogue



a healthy body leads to a healthy, imagination mind

Posted by aleeCO on July 10, 2012 in Tid Bits

Art cannot simply be scheduled into our lives. We need to be in a certain state for it to be possible. I always do my best to keep this in mind:

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs~

Imagination lives on one of the higher tiers. Once you are relaxed enough to where you can comfortably “zone out” or daydream, you are in the healthy mindset to be creative. If you are stressed, have a tight schedule, or are physically unhealthy, you cannot reach this point. The “stress” can be a lack in any of those levels (physiological, safety, social, esteem…). Only you can know the source and what you do to relieve it.

Think about it. When you’re trying to finish up things at home before you catch the bus to work or if you’re sick and are just trying to stop a sinus-headache, your mind is very task-oriented. However, when you’re laying by the pool relaxing or in a field watching the clouds your mind starts to wander into the “what if?” questions. You’re relaxed, have no worries, and your mind is entertaining itself with, well, imagination.

So bottom line: Take care of yourself! Your good health will allow you to be in your happiest and strongest mindset to have the courage to create.

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