Anteater

Final

Above is my final short animation of the anteater walk. I am really pleased with the outcome as I was able to convey a short narrative with the character in just ten seconds. He walks and then sees the ant on the grass – I paced it slowly so he is considering the ant’s existence before eating it! I love the look of the piece, as I experimented with the colour and brush strokes I think this works well. The walk cycle I think captures the strong stride of this creature – If I was to do this exercise again I would try to really push the walk cycle further so it wasn’t so normal, play about with the walk cycle and personality. I could later on if I have time. I have never animated an animal before, I felt a walk cycle could be a way to experiment and learn how to approach another creature of than a human. I learned a lot from this exercise. If I have more time I want to add more to the foreground such a foliage and insects to bring more life to the environment.

hey

I created this animation in Photoshop. A software that I am familiar with – but I want to develop my animation skills. The animation and background was created in Photoshop but comped together in Adobe After Effects to move the background along with the character.

ant_walkcycle_repeat_final_smile_03_withback_colour

Here is a GIF I made with the finished look of the scene. The environment is inspired by South America (Brazil) and the lush green hills. I used a brush that had these strands, creating texture throughout the environment. I also have movement with the colour of the Anteater. I looked to my inspiration (Puffin rock, below) – and chose a colourful background. I am so happy with the look since it is bold and embraces the animation!

ant_walkcycle_repeat_final23

Rough animation

I wanted to make a walk cycle with the anteater. For two reasons, to try and add personality to the walk and to do a walk cycle with an animal (of four legs). It was a little challenging to begin with because there was so many legs to keep track of. However I soon understood the ways that the anteater walks. I looked at reference online and my own of the anteater. I wanted to capture the powerful stride that the anteater makes. I began with a rough outline and then cleaned it up and worked on the pacing.

collection-of-anteaters

Above is the collection of anteaters that I have created to experiment with the shape of the anteater. I wanted to push the look of the anteater. It was fun to generate so many different looking versions of the anteater – I didn’t feel the same restraints as with a human character.  I could play around without the pressure!

anttyanteater_02_a

These two anteaters were my favourite of the bunch – they have powerful shapes and I feel I have captured a sense of character well. The top anteater, has a large powerful shape – he would move slower to accommodate his size, he would be be graceful and a easy going character. The second character on the other hand looks more athletic and has a narrow shape, more streamlined. She could be more cheeky and move faster. They both look like peaceful creatures too! I used a palette tool to create the fur like brush strokes. I really am happy with the outcome – and this concept art.

ant-emotions

The expression sheet was very fun to make as it let me explore the attitude of my anteater- and see how I could create expressions with such limited features. The tongue also made an  appearance as an extra feature to show sadness of anger or just to show attitude. I really like how simple the face is yet it can share so much emotion. I hope to give the character such expression in my animation.

These were the first test I made in Photoshop, to see what the look of the character could be. I initially thought of making the character very sketchy like – rough brush strokes with a scratchy effect. However I later felt this didn’t work. The three pictures of the anteaters show an exploration into the final shapes I want to pick.

I created some observational sketched of an anteater on lined paper when playing around with the idea in summer. The anteater somehow developed from these sketches. Over summer I pushed these sketches further – I wanted to explore the character design of an animal. I did this through a fun technique I use, where you begin creating shapes and then add the character into the shape to play about with proportion and size. It’s a really useful exercise for pushing the drawing. I generated a variety of anteater’s that seemed to have different personalities and characteristics. I could make a series of these. I picked my favourite to develop further.

Cartoon Saloon is an animation studio in Ireland – I love the style that they create – and would love to potential work for them in the future. They created a children’s show on Netflix recently called Puffin Rock; about a family on puffins, exploring nature. The look of the show is stunning. I wanted to create a piece that was inspired by the show and company – I have wanted to make an animation about an anteater for some time and though this may be the perfect opportunity!

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