Blocking Technique by Kevin Jackson (Updated)

Kevin “KJax” Jackson shares this fantastic tip on a quick blocking workflow that is not only fast and simple, but keeps your blocking very easy to edit up until you commit to move on. The technique uses one of the many tools included in MGtools which comes in both free and paid versions. I already have a tool that my genius friend Anthony made that does the same thing so I haven’t checked to see if you need the paid version of MGtools or not.

Kevin was a year behind me in school and whereas I only had a brief stint at Rhythm & Hues he’s been there for about 5 years and has earned the role of supervising animator. His animation is not only imaginative and well polished, but he works quickly so it’s worth listening to any advice he has to share.

Update:Kevin has uploaded Part 2 in which he shows how the technique works in an actual shot with more complexity. He also shows off a few more of the many fantastic functions of the MGtools suite of MEL scripts.

Holy Hyperlinks, Batman!

New Iron Man Trailer
First of all, the new trailer for Iron Man looks seriously bad-ass. One of my best friends from school is working on it over at The Orphanage so it’s possible that I’d be biased, but the general consensus at work is that this looks frickin‘ amazing. I can’t wait to see this movie, and then re-watch all of Andy’s shots. I suspect they’ll be a tad better than my Chipmunk shots.

Next up is a link that came through my RSS feed today; I already forgot which one. It’s a cool experimental animation created by cutting out stencils and then filming them in layers to create a sort of practical onion skinning effect. Very cool.

In the vein of cool, “outside the box” animation I’m sure you have all seen the classic Duck Amuck (which is apparently being made into a DS game!). Well the idea of an artist fighting his cartoon has been revisited a couple of times since then. Most of you have probably seen Animator vs. Animation and Animator vs. Animation 2 done in Flash, but until recently I had never seen this Oscar winning take on the concept.

Cameron Fielding has posted a breakdown of his process while animating on the Turok video game. His work is fantastic and it’s always great to read about how another animator approaches the problem of bringing a character to life. It’s a must read.

Animation Buffet
Animator and teacher Jean Denis Haas has a great blog setup for his class at AAU and I subscribed to it so I can eavesdrop on the critiques. It’s a great way to learn. He has recently created a new resource for animators called Animation Buffet. It’s your one-stop-shop for all of your free rig needs – well, it’s only Maya rigs so far, but there will be more in the future. There are a whole ton of rigs there and many that I haven’t seen before. I’ve added it to the list of animation tools in the sidebar.

One last thing. Why didn’t this win the 11 Second Club competition last month!? Seriously people, open your eyes. It has translation AND rotation. It’s cutting edge! It’s Skater Matt!