This month, our second year animators are entering The 11 Second Club, a monthly character animation competition in which aspiring animators practice their skills and get their work noticed. Animators from all over the world participate, animating a character speaking a line of dialogue, which is provided every month by the club.
Throughout the competition, participants can share their progress with one another and critique each other's work - just like in a real animation studio. At the end of the month, all the participants vote for the submission that they consider the best for that month - so it's a very democratic process. The idea of the 11 Second Club is "to give animators a chance to practice their skills in a fun, challenging environment".
This month's competition is, as ever, an eleven second piece of dialogue, but with two characters.
The eleven second clip of dialogue for the month of March goes as follows:
Voice One: "I shouldn't say this, because I majored in math, but you have my 1,000 percent attention."
Voice Two: "Wow, that's a lot! I'm thrilled to hear that! You, I..."
Voice One: "Excuse me one moment. Have you heard from Indonesia? Ok."
To find out more about this month's competition, follow this link.
As ever, a good animator imagines the scene in their head before starting out. What is the scene about? What is happening? Try to see it as a movie in your head. Then, do thumbnail sketches, and perhaps film yourself acting out the scene. You can import the footage into your shot and use an image plane to help create your key poses.
|Thumbnails sketches help you plan your animation|
Once you have done your preparation, and you know exactly what you plan to do, execute the plan. Create character poses in Maya on stepped curves, and get the blocking of the shot right. Get feedback, tweak it, and, once you are happy, you might use a free tool like the TweenMachine to help break down your poses. Finally, when everything is working, spline your curves and refine the final result. Remember to leave the lipsync to the end - this is the least important part of a good acting shot.
To see more about how the Eleven Second Club works, read this blog post. And to see more about how to use thumbnail sketches to create great animation, watch this short video.
And good luck! Entering competitions is a great way to raise your game as an animator.
For more on the experience of studying at Bucks New University, come and visit us at one of our Open Days, take a virtual tour of one of our animation studios, check out what our students think of our course, and see why we're ranked in the top 12 creative universities in the UK. Find out why we're giving free laptops to all our students, and why we give all our students free access to videos at Lynda.com. Also, see what financial assistance might be available to you. Learn which is better for animation, a PC or a Mac? Get hold of a copy of a map so you can find your way around campus, and learn aboutmotion capture at Bucks