Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Creating Stereoscopic 3D Images

These images work best with the red/cyan 3-D glasses.

Fountain in front of the SJSU Event Center.

It's me!  I should have told my friend to
take this pic at a different angle since this one barely worked. :/

In the PC Lab (Art Building). 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Recreating Cameras and Lights in Maya

This assignment was pretty tough.  Here's my attempt at recreating a lit scene using Maya and for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to get that shadow onto that top vertical plane.

Photo (Original)
Maya Render

Maya Render - different view

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Third Term Paper Option

My first two term paper scores were 90 and 80; I will not be writing a third term paper.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Outline of Third Term Paper

I. Introduction
 A. Films - Totoro and The Old Mill
 B. Thesis - Both films show how easy rain can be animated in 2-D, yet to carry a certain mood makes it a bit more challenging.
II. Body
 A. The Old Mill
    1. Use of rain effects to create the creepy and stormy mood within the story.
    2. Explain in detail how animators create rain in this animation.
    3. Tie in with thesis.
 B. Totoro
    1. How the rain effects differ from the first example.
    2. Mood - How creating the rain pattern helps with the mood of the scene.
    3. Tie in with thesis.
III. Conclusion
    1. Creating rain in 2-D animation uses a simple technique, yet trying to achieve a certain mood or feel changes how the rain animation is done.
    2. Reiterate examples and add in concluding statement.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stop-Motion Character Animation

"Love at First Bite"

Working in a group animation project is a bit of a challenge, but also made it a bit easier to animate, time wise.  I teamed up with Chris and Hunter on this stop motion project and we had fun putting our character animation together, despite having to do 5-6 passes.  Working with the props was a bit difficult since the cracker would shift around a bit and would make the animation a bit funky. It took roughly 30 mins to come up with a story idea and how we wanted to execute the animation. For the next 7 1/2 hours we shot the animation then  edited the shots together plus add sound effects and music. There wasn't just one person working on a single piece in the project.  All three of us rotated around to help pose the characters as well as help with the cracker and soap parts. Most of the time we were playing musical chairs since in some shots it required us to switch seats to be able to get a better idea of how to pose the characters and set the scene.

Chris and Hunter trying to animate
the sliding cracker.
Jenn working on 2nd snail's
head shake.
Original set up before we
slightly changed it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Term Paper 2: Science Fact or Cinematic Fiction?

The film industry has always been breaking or exaggerating the laws of physics in order to sell the movies and to appease the appetites of movie enthusiasts. Even though the broken laws of physics seems to appeal to the masses there are some films that break the laws of physics in such a way that the movie isn't as enjoyable as it potentially could be.  In a few examples such as the bus jump from the movie Speed, the 'jump and snatch' scene from Fast and Furious 6, and the unrealistic jump from a moving aircraft that won't break a bone or two in Live Free, Die Hard 6, the creative liberties have been taken to an extreme in order tot tell a compelling story, but sacrificing the laws of physics which is a crucial part of tying the characters to their respected worlds.

In the movie, Speed, a "terrorist" is on the run from the cops and was presumed dead sometime after a confrontation  until he resurfaces and wrecking havoc in the city of Los Angeles.  The terrorist straps a bomb to a public transit bus and calls the cops about of his plan to blow up the people in the bus and the circumstance of the detonation, which is to go below 50pmh.  As quickly as they could, the two main characters race against time to find the bomb and try to figure out how deactivate it and save the people on the bus.  As the the two main characters drive the bus on a suspicious empty highway in the LA area, they realize that a section of the freeway was incomplete and contained a large gap.  Rather than risking to break and detonate the bomb, the protagonists decided to jump the large gap and hopefully make it out alive.  In the movie one of the main characters says that the gap is 50 feet long or 15 meters.  Yet, the gap shown in one of the shots shows that the gap is much larger than stated. Also the way how the scene was filmed the bus looks as if it did jump way more than just 15m even though there were some changes in camera angles. The bus would have probably made the jump if it was 2/3rds of the size of the gap as stated by one of the characters. But visually, since the gap is much larger the bus would not make it across due to it's density and the speed of the vehicle is not enough to compensate the launch from the edge of the freeway and even with the invisible ramp.

Another example of broken physics of jumps happens in the movie Fast and Furious 6.  In one scene where Dominic saves Letty.  As Letty is flung off a tank, Dominic jumps off from the hood of his car and catches Letty in midair then land safely on top another car, both of them unhurt.  The windshield of the car they landed on only suffered cracks and apparently there wasn't enough force to break the glass, much less for them to land inside the car.  In the scene where Dominic is thrown, he flies through the air fast and after catching Letty, they still manage to fly far and continue that momentum until impact.  The speed at which the two were moving should have created more force to break the windshield rather than simply putting cracks in it. In the grand scheme of things, the action sequence might have skewed the physics, but the end result is that Dominic get's his old flame back, alive and well which is pleasing to the audience and gives a slight break from the fast pace action of the story about drag racers.

In a scene from Live Free, Die Hard 6, the main character, John McClane, played by Bruce Willis, is holding onto the wings of an F35 for his life as the plane begins its crash course.  In order to escape to safety he spots a freeway section that looked suitable for landing and jumps.  As he launches himself from the plane's wing he lands on the collapsed freeway piece feet first then proceeds to slide down.  Once on the ground he's able to quickly get up and run off.  As the plane spins out of control, McClane makes the split second decision to jump, and when he does jump, the distance between is large, probably roughly the distance of a 3 story building.  Since McClane is a larger, heavier subject as oppose to a child, he would have to have some sort of injury, like a broken bone, after hitting the ground since he weighs a lot more than someone who's smaller and lighter and the fact that gravity is pulling him down.  In retrospect if the main character did manage to break something, the movie would have to change it's pacing as the character either struggles to finish out the tasks or end up getting killed, which would be unfortunate since the movie would have had to end earlier than anticipated.

In order to keep the viewers interested in the movie, especially those of a fast pace, action film the laws of physics are usually broken if not stretched to the limit.  In this case the physics of jumping is broken to either make a scene interesting or to move the story forward.  In the case with the movie Speed, the bus jumping scene was incorporated as part of a subplot to move the story along as well as to give the audience a sense of anticipation and urgency to find the antagonist.  Same with the Fast & Furious catch scene where in this moment the subplot melds into the main plot of stopping an organization, with the more important goal for the main character is saving his former girlfriend.  And finally in the last film, Live Free Die Hard, the scene was put in as a aesthetic trait of the character, being this sort of macho, indestructible guy on a survival mission.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Outline for the Second Term Paper

Science Fact or Cinematic Fiction?

I. Introduction - 

   A. In order to add an aesthetic value to a film, the laws of physics are either broken or pushed to the extreme.
   B. Examine the incorrect use of physics in jumps.
   C. Films used to show how a jump defies laws of physics.
II. Body
   A. Speed (1994): Bus jumps a large gap 
        1. Description: Sandra Bullock and Keenu Reeves drive a bus on a California freeway and jumps a large gap at a incomplete section of the freeway. 
        2. Explanation: - The bus would have been too heavy to be able to make a large jump.  Something of that size and weight would have fell even with the use of a ramp. 
   B. Fast & Furious 6 (2013): Jump and snatch
        1. Description: Vin Diesel's character jumps off a moving vehicle to catch Michelle Rodriguez (who flies from a tank) and lands on another vehicle to break his fall. 
        2. Explanation: Rather than just landing on top of a car Diesel's character would have continued to either roll off the car or crash through the windshield and land inside the car.
   C. Live Free or Die Hard (2007): Jumping from a plane
        1. Description: John McClane jumps from a plane wing onto a freeway.
        2. Explanation: Given that the plane was flying flow, the character jumps onto the freeway and lands feet first (which would have caused significant injury), but rather than crawl away, he gets up then runs off. 
III. Conclusion
   A. Restate thesis and tie in examples supporting thesis. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Stop Motion Animation of Falling

Trying to figure out what to do was probably the hardest part beside trying to figure out what to use in the stop motion animation.  Once I figured out what I was going to use in the animation, I quickly sketched out a rough plan of how I wanted to stage my stop motion and how I was going to move the object.  Moving the little mochi ball was a bit of a pain since I used a vertical setting rather than a horizontal and I also didn't have an assistant which I regret  later on.  It was a bit tough having to position the mochi then having to run to the camera to shoot.  But what made it a bit easier I think was the markers. I used tape on the ground plane and on the wall for the jump and falling arcs that my subject was going to use as a reference point.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Laws of Physics in an Animation Universe: The Emperor's New Groove

                The Emperor's New Groove is about a young emperor named Kuzco whose selfishness gets him into trouble.  Kuzco summons Pacha to help him with his plans for a summer home, which uncoincidentally meant knocking down Pacha's home.  Upset with the emperor's plans and his feeble attempt to reason with the emperor, Pacha gets escorted out of the palace by the guards.  Just moments before, Kuzco fires his adviser, Yzma for stepping out of place and in retaliation she tries to kill him with poison.  But the plan backfired when Yzma's henchman, Kronk, mixes up the potions and accidently turns Kuzco into a llama. While in an attempt of disposing Kuzco's llama body, Kuzco ends up on the back of Pacha's cart which Kronk loses sight of while following him. Once reaching his village, Pacha realizes that Kuzco is in his cart and their comedic trek back to the palace ensues.  The movie takes place in the Inca Empire and the physics in this world is similar to that of our own, for the most part.  The laws of physics were either pushed or sometimes broken to accommodate the comedic and hilarious scenarios that the characters go through in order to keep the story moving.
                To emphasize the stature and power that Kuzco has over his empire, the emperor is seen being carried in an elaborate chair up a steep and narrow staircase by a tiny servant.  In this case the use of weight and size is exaggerated for comedic effect where someone with a smaller mass is able to carry a much larger object and character without feeling the weight.   Another example of this super strength is when Kuzco was able to quickly pull Pacha from the falling cliff side and throws him onto solid ground behind him without much effort.  Kuzco is a lot smaller than Pacha, who is a meaty, bulky kind of guy and even as a llama, Kuzco is very scrawny.   In order to be able to pull Pacha from the falling cliff side, Kuzco would have to have a lot more momentum to pull then throw Pacha from the cliff to solid ground.   
                In the scene where the old man gets tossed out a high window he somehow miraculously survives the fall by landing and getting tangled up in a flag pole.  From the height he fell from, it would have been nearly impossible for him to escape without harm and to only have the flagpole broken partially while still hanging off of it before Pacha shows up to untangle him.  Even if he is smaller than the average height and weight of the men in the movie, the air resistance from the fall would not be enough to slow him down while the speed and velocity he traveled would much less allow him to walk away without bruises or broken bones after getting caught up in the flag pole.  
                Another example is in a scene with Yzma and Kronk where they attempt to fly over a gorge to reach the other cliff side.  As they are flying over the gorge they suddenly get struck down by a random bolt of lightning yet survive the fall from an extreme height and end up back at Yzma’s lab unscathed.  Before the fall the two had a set of wings that were attached to the tent that Yzma was sitting in; this allowed the two to glide over the gorge.   As they were struck down, there was some hang time before the two fell.  Unless there was a sudden, strong wind coming from below, Yzma and Kronk would not have been in that same spot for roughly two seconds as gravity would have not allowed it in the real world.  In the animation however, it takes a while for the audience to react to an unexpected event, such as the lightning bolt strike over the gorge, thus the hang time is there for the audience to realize what just happened and to anticipate the fall.
                To add a sense of urgency, the speed at which a character moves can become unrealistic.  Such example is when Yzma zips from Pacha's kitchen to the main room to talk to Kronk while Chicha (Pacha’s wife) is distracted.  Yzma is changed into a smudged, blurred figure as she quickly goes from one place to another, yet there is no follow-through motion or some sort of recoil action once she’s done zipping around the house.   
                In the scenes where Yzma is “tarred and feathered” by Pacha's kids, the speed in which the two travel is unbelievable and breaks the continuity of the film.  Yzma is seen tripping and falling into a wheel barrel and speeds down the steep hill.  The kids on the other hand don’t run to catch up with her, they magically teleport from one point to the next.  Also in this example, Newton's third law of motion is ignored.  After getting launched from the wheel barrel, Yzma ends up in a rope which was used to hold up a piñata, but rather than having the rope swing once she replaces the piñata due to the momentum and extra energy, she stays put as if the rope was made of something stiff that would absorb a large impact.  Once again the main objective for the animators is to give the audience time to react to the character’s action before the reaction could be performed.  Yet this time it was at a quicker pace oppose to the hang time and falling.  If Yzma was to keep swinging around before the kids begin to smack around the piñata, the humor would notbe as effective since the reaction would not be quick enough for that surprise factor. 
               The Emperor’s New Groove is a good example of how physics in animation does not necessarily follow the laws of physics in the real world, and for good reason.  In animation, the characters have to exaggerate movement in order for the audience to feel the action.  From a comical stand point, the actions have to push the laws of physics in order to have the most impact on the audience. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Term Paper Outline - Laws of Physics

I. Introduction 
 A. Animated Feature Film - The Emperor's New Groove
 B. Thesis - Though the physics in the world of The Emperor's New Groove mirrors the real world, the animators exaggerated the laws of physics in order to make the movie humorous.  

II. Super Strength

   A. In the intro, Emperor Kuzco was carried up a long flight of stairs in a gold (and probably heavy) chair by a tiny servant. 
   B. Kuzco (in llama form) was able to pull Pacha back onto solid ground as he is falling off the cliff with his teeth.

III. Exaggerated Force
   A. The old man gets thrown out a window from a tall tower for "throwing off the emperor's groove" and is found later slightly wrapped up in a flag with the pole being partially broken further down from the palace.
   B. Yzma and Kronk some how survived getting electrocuted by a lightning bolt and a long fall as they were gliding from one cliff ledge to the next. 

IV. Exaggerated Speed
   A. Yzma quickly moves between the kitchen and the main room when she has the urgency to talk talk to Kronk after speaking to Pacha's wife. 
   B. Yzma running out from the closet and whizzes down the hill in a wheel barrel at an extremely high speed then lands in place of the pinata with little to no swinging action on the part of the rope that she gets caught up in. 

V. Conclusion
   A. The laws of physics are pushed to the extreme in the actions that the characters perform in order to bring a slight slap stick quality to the movie. 
   B. Since the majority of the movie follows the laws of physics that mirror reality, the feel of the animated world was believable except in certain comedic parts where it was necessary to exaggerate the action for the audience to "feel" the movement. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


My name is Jennifer Long and I am studying Animation/Illustration here at San Jose State.  I've transferred here from City College of San Francisco where I've also obtained my Associates in Liberal Arts and Humanities.  Currently, I'm taking Ani 51b and Ani 114.  As for science, I've taken oceanography and prehistoric geology (yay, fossils!).  After finishing school, I hope to be working as a visual development artist in the gaming or film industry.  Now moving on to some art work.

This is my "Hero Tree" project for Ani 113B. The original one was done in acrylic, but I didn't like the way how it turned out in the photos I took of it.  So rather than use the original I decided to take this piece into Photoshop.

Over the summer I practiced portrait painting in Photoshop, and I think about, roughly, a month and a half into it I got sick of doing portraits.  Then again I tried to challenge myself to trying to finish a piece once every two days. If anything I've learned that tweaking the brush settings is important to get different textures or else everything just falls flat while using the same brush.

Here's a parody music video made last year for the SJSU AACF (Asian American Christian Fellowship) promo video to describe the fellowship's theme.  The song is a parody of Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night" which we changed to "Last Wednesday Night"; AACF meets on Wed. nights.

I helped my sister out with the animation sequences in the music video since they needed another animator.  It was fun collaborating with my sister on this project and I hope to be able to work on more art related projects with her in the future.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The First Post

One would think after a certain amount of times someone create's a blog, said person would know what to say in a first post...


I still got nothing.