Thursday, November 24, 2016

Acting Through Hands

Acting through hands is important. They should never be limp. They always have an energy to them.  When drawing hands, especially for animation, you should always focus on drawing the expression or action and making it super clear, rather than the anatomy--the anatomy comes last. It is especially important that they be clear when working in TV animation where the animators are overseas--the animators probably won't be able to ask the story artists what the hands mean in a certain shot if the animators are in Korea and the story artists are in California, USA.

Hands should also never be limp or fanned out (like pancakes). Hands always have a purpose. This is especially evident in dance and performance work. Below is a great example of expressive hands:

A Great New Animation Blog

A great new animation blog I discovered:

Friday, October 21, 2016

My First Stop Motion Test of the Quarter!!

Woo!! I made a thing! This is my first stop motion test of the quarter from the other day. It needs work, but I'm happy to dive in.

My First Stop Motion Test!! from Sarah Stroud on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Visual Storytelling

After a long time of soul searching, I finally found my niche, which was kinda my niche all along... visual storytelling. I really want to go forward and focus on animation (I love 2D and stop motion, but I'm learning to love 3D as well--I am strongest in 2D), storyboarding/comics, and concept art. I will probably mainly be pursuing 2D animation and storyboarding right now, but I'm not writing the others off. It's good to be flexible in this industry--you never know when things are gonna change.

I think I will try to push this blog in the direction of visual storytelling--whether it's reference I find, exercises I do, or things I learn along the way. It feels good to have a direction. I'll start things off with a couple of FANTASTIC references I found on storyboarding. They are below:

The first and third sources were the best for me, personally. As someone who's trying to build a storyboarding portfolio, these two were the most specific (although, Mark Kennedy's blog post was a great help--aka, the second one). The first one gave me a TON of reference and cheat sheets to work from, while the third gave me a HUGE flow of information on everything I needed and wanted to prepare for possible story reviews (I'm applying to CTNX's interviews and portfolio reviews--the deadline for the first is this weekend and the deadline for the second is Nov 2nd).

I really connected with the third resource. Justin Copeland, especially, went into a lot of depth on storyboarding for animation. I finally feel like I have an exact direction to go in, and he also took away any doubt about it being the right niche for me. I have always been passionate about storytelling.

He also reaffirmed my huge belief in research and preparation before working. I tend to see a lot of people, especially students starting out, not wanting to research (nothing against lower year students--school is a good place to learn and develop your research tactics and art skills). I would try and say something, but get ignored. For a while, as a result, I was deemed "queen of research" (or so I've been told). But I was excited to hear that Justin preps about as much as I do!! He even makes 3D models (although I'm sure his are MUCH better) in SketchUp like I do (although, I also make some in Maya) and basic 3D mock-ups of the scenes to experiment with camera angles and movements. I have found my people (now if only I could get them to hire me :P)!!

Anyways, I feel like this blog will be a nice place to keep my research and thoughts going. For all of you artists out there, I HIGHLY recommend keeping a morgue file or some sort of digital database for your research so you can look at it for inspiration and go back to previous research if you need it. I also recommend backing everything up in triplicate, with one being online for easy access, one being offline on a portable hard drive (I hear online sources sometimes take out anything copyrighted from your database in an effort against pirating--which I don't do, btw-- but it's good to be safe), and one wild card. I keep a Pinterest, a Tumblr, a Dropbox, an Evernote, a portable hard drive, and a Carbonite account for all of my reference. My research Pinterest is here: Feel free to follow me or any of my boards if you like!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Medieval Cat Drawings... Disturbing, Yet Awesome

Just discovered medieval cat art. It's terrifying, beautiful, disturbing, and I love it.

And then these aren't medieval, but they are really cute (I couldn't help myself)...

Thank you History Channel for this discovery! Ended up watching a special on myth hunters, stumbled onto an episode about scientist Philippe Chevalier and his investigation into the supposed bones of Joan of Arc (it was really cool--he ended up having professional perfume smellers smell the bones), and they showed some images of medieval cats. 
It's so weird how I end up discovering things like this.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Bird Boards

I'm working on a new set of boards based on the script below that I grabbed from, a site about funny customer stories.

This is my first go at the boards. Keep in mind that I will rework these a few more times. If you have any critiques, I'd love to hear them.

Night all!