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WALLACE & GROMIT CHAT » ANIMATION SECRETS WITH IAN

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iantimothy Posted: May 28th 2010

I thought I would do something a little new here. This isn't really a blog but more like a little daily trivia thing about how I did things on Beaver Creek and some of my other stuff. I will try to do some stuff that may not be as obvious how it was done. Also if anyone has any specific questions I will answer them


iantimothy Posted: May 28th 2010

Number One

Lets see, does anyone know what the insta-lodge, insta-nest and insta-cocoon pill were? I bet no one will ever get it! They were actually good & Plenty candy. For anyone that isn't familiar with them, they are little pink and white, pill-shaped, licorice flavored candy... perfect for insta-lodge right?

here is a picture of the candy :D
just for a little extra trivia... I hate them... my mom likes them and it was her idea to use them.


Clay Fighter Posted: May 29th 2010

wow!!
What a hreat idea! rest assured i will be checking for updates all the time!!

Oh wow, i never would have guessed that you used candy!!


mmasonghi studios Posted: May 29th 2010

Wow! Thats Cool!


iantimothy Posted: May 29th 2010

number Two.
anyone who has seen beaver creek knows that there is the one and only twigs, but how many tries did it take to get him that way?


Answer- Seven!
twigs had seven ancestors before me setting on his permanent design, I still have most of them... some had to be taken apart so I could figure out how to build the next one. In the picture, the one on the far left started it all, an art project in 4th grade, about three years after that i would start Beaver Creek. the second one on the left is the first "true" rendition of Twigs, he has a more realistic beaver-like shape. after that one I don't have the next one anymore, but still four legged, just a bit longer legs. He made the transition to two legs in the third one, but he didn't have much character, there was two more in between the third and the fourth one that I don't have. The fourth one was getting there, and finally Twigs was born.


mmasonghi studios Posted: May 29th 2010

How Tall Is Twigs?


iantimothy Posted: May 29th 2010

He is about six inches


mmasonghi studios Posted: May 29th 2010

thx :D


Clay Fighter Posted: May 30th 2010

wow!
I love this thread!!


boo315 Posted: May 30th 2010

It's like from monkey-to-man,cool


Gromits little bro Posted: May 30th 2010

Does Drake have an armature? Was he easy to balance up?


iantimothy Posted: May 30th 2010

yeah, drake has a wire armature, twigs has a ball and socket, the fish is a blob...


iantimothy Posted: May 30th 2010

alright this one is kinda funny

Number three

Has anyone ever noticed that in Beaver Creek One, Twigs name is never said... It is first said in Episode Two..... Well, it took a very long time to name him. Beaver Creek one was released on July 24, 2008, and he was just named on july 6, 2008. When I was already almost finished with shooting. He was almost named Twigster. Sometimes I say that that is his full name. :D


Clay Fighter Posted: May 31st 2010

hahaha!!
I never noticed that!!
Haha, twigster!


Purple&Brown Posted: May 31st 2010

This is such an interesting thread Ian!
Keep up the good work! ;)


iantimothy Posted: May 31st 2010

lets see what to do next

Number four

If you watch Beaver Creek One, about 50 seconds in (including the theme song) you will notice a slight change in the animation and lighting. This is because they were done with two different cameras. My first camera was a bit cheaper, and didn't have a manual focus, so every time I walked in front of the camera it would change focus, and lighting, If I got out faster it would do it less, so I animated as fast as I could. After I figured out the problem I got a new camera and the animation became much smoother and better.

To see for yourself, you can watch Beaver Creek Episode One, look at 0:51, after he eats the stick, when he bends down, to pull the stuff out of the box you will notice the change.


kameatrix Posted: May 31st 2010
:O

I'd never have noticed these things before!
What's the manual focus camera you have now?


iantimothy Posted: May 31st 2010

A panasonic mini DV


Clay Fighter Posted: Jun 1st 2010

i noticed number 4!!
i thought it was due to you not using manula focus, i didnt realise that you changed cameras though....
BTW, a few days ago i watched beaver creek 1, cant believe how much better the title sequence/theme song scene is in the later ones compared to that one!!!


iantimothy Posted: Jun 1st 2010

Yep, I reshot the theme song. when you are growing up your skills get better, thats why Beaver Creek gradually improves


thetopbun Posted: Jun 1st 2010

Haha! Nice one. I did notice a huge difference too when I checked a few hours ago! IAN HAVE FUN AT DISNEY!


iantimothy Posted: Jun 1st 2010

Number FIve

Above you saw that Twigs had seven ancestors.....wait...... but what about Drake, what was he doing when twigs was evolving. Drake had only one other real "duck version" version. He was shorter, had a smaller head and little ovals for feet. But what about before that. I knew twigs needed a side-kick, even though it isn't Drake it evolved into him.... He was originally supposed to be a frog, that kept accidently breaking twigs dam. that frog actually turned into a second beaver, he never had a name, but he was going to be a dumb beaver who couldn't really do anything. he evolved just like twigs, so he pretty much looked the same as twigs..... The original storyline was changed and I didn't really like the second beaver, so he was turned into a duck.... and Drake was born.

Here is a picture of him them together, he is on the right.... YES! the one on the left is Twigs. even though the other beaver evolved into drake. You can probably see that he was one of the inspirations for Riley the otter.


iantimothy Posted: Jun 1st 2010

Extra Trivia! During the theme song he was supposed to clap. I still have a version of the theme song with clapping in it

Here's a different view.


thetopbun Posted: Jun 1st 2010

Have a nice time at Disney! Again... :D


iantimothy Posted: Jun 1st 2010

I most certainly will.

on that note. I probably wont be able to update this thread daily while I am there. Hopefully I will be able to update it some. :D


Ursrut Posted: Jun 1st 2010

Aha i love this thread iantimothy, all this trivia stuff is pretty cool!
Have fun in disney!


Clay Fighter Posted: Jun 2nd 2010

yes, i remeber you saying on nur thread that u re-shot it!
but i just didnt realise how much better it became!


iantimothy Posted: Jun 14th 2010

Number Six

If you watch any of the Beaver Creek Episodes, you will realize that the fish does not have a name..... and he doesn't even show up in the first episode, yet he is in the theme song. why is that???

originally he wasn't intended for anything more than that, about half way into shooting the theme song, I realized when they sing the chorus, there are three singing parts. I had to think of something simple that could pop out of nowhere. Then I thought why not a fish, better yet a bass... get it! a bass is a fish and an instrument, thats why he has a deep voice.
I didn't think the fish would ever show up again, but in the second one we needed more dialogue, so the fish was added into the story, and he has been in every episode since. He also does not have a name, I have never thought he needed one, I just call him the fish.


Extra Trivia. What kind of fish is he, what was he modeled after?

A largemouth Bass


thetopbun Posted: Jun 14th 2010

He is Bass... What was he modeled after? The intro?


Gromits little bro Posted: Jun 14th 2010

He meant that he was modelled in the likeness of the largemouth bass, I think.
I like Fish.


iantimothy Posted: Jun 14th 2010

yep, thats what I meant.


Clay Fighter Posted: Jun 15th 2010

yeah, when i watched episode 2 i realised the pun...


iantimothy Posted: Jun 15th 2010

Number Seven

In episode three RIley was the antagonist, But how long did it take to decide on making him an otter?

A month and a half! We knew the basic idea for the story, that something would be messing with them and interrupting their day of relaxing... but it wasn't until almost two months later it was decided to be an otter.
you're probably thinking... then what was he going to be????

The first idea.... A fox.... It would have worked, but not as well.

second idea.... A wolf.... too overused.

third idea.... A bear.... I don't even know where i was going with that one.... would have been huge

fourth idea.... A mink.... too small... but it's getting closer...

then finally the idea came for an otter, about the same size as a beaver...
and on side note... everything in Episode three is true, I found documented cases of otters destroying beaver dams, they do break in and try to steal lodges, and they do eat ducks.

extra trivia!
Riley is the only character (so far) that has not been voiced by my dad. We tried to see if he could do it but it sounded to similar to Twigs.... and my dad grew up in california, so he didn't have enough Kentucky twang. Who did I use then??? a family friend, who happens to be a chimney sweep. I did a bit of animation for him about year ago... See if you can tell it's him.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVFB9LqcTt8


mmasonghi studios Posted: Jun 15th 2010

I Like your animation in that. I Like the part when the bricks fall and U Here some one sceam LOL


iantimothy Posted: Jun 15th 2010

yeah! I like the raccoon myself.


Clay Fighter Posted: Jun 16th 2010

ooh, but in the upcoming beaver creek there are 2 new voice actors?


iantimothy Posted: Jun 16th 2010

yes there are... see you are paying attention.


iantimothy Posted: Jun 16th 2010

Number Eight

Most animation is either shot at 12, 24, 15,or 30 frames per second.

what frame rate do I shoot at?

That's a tricky question, because it depends what I am shooting, I work at 12 and 24 FPS... and it depends on the speed at which things are traveling. 12 for slow 24 for fast. But that is just a general rule.... It doesn't always apply.... for some reason I always shoot drake on 12 FPS, and Twigs is almost always shot on 24, except when he is walking. Let me tell y'all why, I have determined that when done right, 12 FPS can give a little bit more of a cartoony look, a little bit more simplistic, which is good for drake... but it doesn't work for twigs, with his more human look he looks a bit jumpier, and less lifelike when shot on 12 FPS, so he is shot on 24. When I make either of them walk I shoot it on 12, for some reason twigs looks fine walking on 12 FPS.

Extra Trivia.

Which of the two, Twigs or Drake, is harder to make walk....

you would think it would be Twigs, because he is taller, doesn't have a low center of gravity and is a more complex character, but it is actually Drake! Drake is almost immposible to make walk, until episode five you havent actually seen all of him when he walks, his feet are usually off the screen. The reason? His leg can't really bend like a bird leg, and he doesn't have correct proportions, causing him to fall.
Twigs is actually really easy to make walk because of his ( I am going to sound smart here) anthropomorphized bipedal locomotion. That means he walks on two legs, so they work just like a human.


mmasonghi studios Posted: Jun 16th 2010

WOW THAT Sounds REALY Smart Ian HA! LOL Yaeh i'ev found that my charicter dave is kinda hard to animate bacouse he is soo FAT Like Cartoon Fat but chicken is easyer


thespazicat Posted: Jun 20th 2010

Ian, u dont mind if i add a little something here, always do sketches of a character first. this always helps when modeling characters for the animation so that they look less sloppy and not so much how you imagined.

other wise, great tips


iantimothy Posted: Jun 20th 2010

yeah... I always try to do that... but there is one problem.... I am a terrible drawer. It is way faster and easier for me to see where a character is going if I take out a lump of clay, and in 10 minutes I have a character... okay people, don't take that as you shouldn't sketch characters, that's just me person'lly


iantimothy Posted: Jun 20th 2010

Number Nine.

Alright y'all, Twigs plays the banjo, and a mighty fine one at that. You may, be thinking what kind of trivia goes with that? Well There is a couple things. Well the first thing... In the first and second episode... and the third episode's theme song. Twigs plays his original Banjo. There is a couple things wrong with it if you look carefully... the obvious one is... it only has three strings... a banjo either has 4 or five. then if you look at the top of it... you will see it only has two tuning pegs... I wonder how he tuned that thing... It also was just white with a small black ring around it... that isn't "banjotomically" correct. In the third episode I remade it, it is a little more correct. It has the correct number of tuning pegs for the strings... only one thing.... It has four strings... "but wait Ian you said a banjo can have four strings" well your right... but the sound of the banjo Twigs plays is a five string, It technically should have one more string and tuning peg.... but not with the others... look at a banjo... the fifth one is about half way down the neck... because of Twigs', well out of proportion hands I left it off.


iantimothy Posted: Jun 20th 2010

Extra Trivia

There is another neat thing about the actual banjo we use for Beaver Creek... it well..... isn't a banjo..... :O

It's actually a guitar... yeah... a guitar that sounds like a banjo? Pretty much... It is called a Variax and it looks like an acoustic guitar, except it's electric. And it has a computer in it that allows it to make the sound of over 30 different stringed instruments. Including a banjo. Honestly I am not sure my dad has even ever played a banjo... Don't worry, The mandolin we used to score episode four was a real mandolin.

confusin' aint it

There is a picture of a Variax


mmasonghi studios Posted: Jun 20th 2010

Thats Cool Ian I Use Synthesizers alot thy okey for diffrent things :D


thetopbun Posted: Jun 21st 2010

SPAZI! I haven't talked to you in ages! HOW THE DEVIL ARE YOU!? :) Nice to see you again!


iantimothy Posted: Jun 28th 2010

Number ten

Inspiration..... every animation I think has to have some sort of inspiration right?

RIGHT!

then what is the inspiration for Beaver Creek?

for Twigs, I don't really think there is an inspiration... I just try to make him likeable. Drake... Hmmm my dog is kinda like drake.... that is probably the closest thing. The fish..... again I can't really think of anyone. Riley is sorta like the person that voiced him, sorta.....

But that isn't what I consider the inspiration for Beaver Creek.... what I think is, is actually the real life nature aspect of it, I try to include a lot of real beaver/nature stuff into the episodes, pretty much everything Twigs does is some sort of exagerated beaver thing.

What was the physical inspiration for the series? Well, it flows through pretty much all of Louisville, there is a creek called "Bear Grass" Creek, and it is definately the inspiration for Beaver Creek, part of "Bear Grass" Creek is less than a block away from my house, and in almost every park in town. And yes there are beavers in it.


iantimothy Posted: Jun 28th 2010

see the resemblance


ben 2 Posted: Jun 28th 2010

yes pretty cool nice thread!


mmasonghi studios Posted: Jun 29th 2010

That Is Cool


iantimothy Posted: Jun 29th 2010

I just got that picture off of google, I don't wanna say for sure, but I think that is a picture from a park about 3 blocks from my house.




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