Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dying - Animation

See post update below!

Dying from Jean-Denis Haas on Vimeo.

Another exercise (following Here and there, Collision Alarm and No no no clip). This time the focus was on gear changes and more subtle acting. The clip is very long but the actual audio was even longer. So edited it together a bit so that there is this gradual emotional shift throughout the shot.

- The rig is again by Nino Aniceto. Thanks a lot!
- Audio is edited together from an episode of "24"
- used Maya 9
- time spent on clip: 3 days (3x 10 hours days - spread out over a week or so with an hour here, an hour there and week-end work)
- acted shot out, shot reference, initial blocking in linear keys for both characters at the same time
- quicktime and youtube version


And here, for those who are interested, more info on the shot.

First the compilation of reference footage that I kept. Be warned for some naked shoulder action here. It was a hot day. :)

With that as a starting point I started to block out the shot. This is the version I sent out to fellow animators for the first round of feedback. It's very rough, but the ideas are in place.

And if you want to see the whole progression, and it's very boring towards the end as I go through detail stuff (the clip is over 13mins long, 130MB), then continue on below. It's a compilation of each major maya file that I saved. Some versions I skipped because I didn't see any difference (must have been some backup saves), but otherwise it's there from finish to the end.


Anonymous said...

OH MY ! Sooooooooooo good !!!!!


Skellybobbly said...

Great work Jean.
Love the facial animation, really feel the emotion there.

Thanks for sharing the hi-def version.

Got me itching to start a new acting piece myself.



Jean-Denis Haas said...

Thanks!! Tons of fun to animate!

Aziz Kocanaogullari said...

OYH! JD! This is incredible! Love it love it love it!

marcelloalvarez said...

Woooowww Jean you are a genious!!!! I do not have words to describe this!!! It is awesome, thanks for sharing this Jean, I posted on my website if you do not mind of course.

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Hahaha, no of course not Marcello and thanks!!

avneriginal said...

JD, this is wonderful! I love how you brought the emotions to life, well done man!
It will be great to learn more about what made you decide on the acting choices and how did you figure out how much to push each one of those. I find subtle acting so challenging to animate just because its easy to over animate.

Keep those animation tests coming, they are inspiring to watch. Good stuff.

Herman Gonzales said...

Very Moving stuff JD. Just gotta say WOW..

Marcos Borba said...

Really inspiring man. Thanks for sharing.

I know it is to much to ask for. But next time u work on a personal shot..it is possible to post the progress from it? like: reference/thumbnails - blocking- polishing???

I know it would help a lot ;)

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Ah man, awesome, thanks for the kind words!!


I shot reference and acted out the line over and over so I had a lot of material. There's a lot of garbage but every now and then there were moments that I liked so I started to pick out those moments. I had a general idea of the beats and what the acting choices were from the get go, I just wanted to get the subtleties from the reference.
But there are many moments that needed pushing and simplifying. After I had the main blocking done I got in and worked chunk by chunk until it felt right.

Anand said...

Great acting in this piece ! I dont know how you find so much time, u live in a totally different time zone !!!

Asif said...

This is, sick!!! The expression are simply amazing.... Thanks so much Jean for giving out the mov's love framing through and study your shots. I second with what Marcons said :P I know it's a bit too much to ask, still it will be great to be able to look at the progression reels for you shots :D

Keep inspiring everyone, Jean!!!

BTW, If you don't mind may I share this on my Facebook account?

- A :)

Sumanth said...

Wow.. there's such a great moment there... Mind sharing your acting reference JD? ;)

Kuhan said...

Wow!! JD ..i watch all ur stuffs and all gr8 but This ..its just totally awesome...
if you could post how you workout for the acting choices for the clips you do it will be a gr8 resource..:-)....

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Wow, super motivational comments, thanks guys!!!

And sure thing, I'll render out my files from beginning to end and put it all together so you can see the progression. I'll also put up the reference, so by Wednesday evening it should be all there (I'll just add it to this post).

Thanks again!

Jean-Denis Haas said...

@Asif: no problem!

@Anand: hahahaha! Almost! It's all a juggling act in terms of priorities.

Asif said...

Wow!!! Progression and the render as well, that will be awesome. Thanks for the permission Jean.

Anonymous said...

it's awesome! but why are you doing these? aren't you already animating every day all day long at work, why are you doing more at home, aren't you afraid you'll burn out?

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Not at all, it's all about balance. I don't do a full day at work plus possible overtime and then I go home and continue for hours. That would burn me out indeed. But when work gets slower I can do an hour or so on a few days. I have workshops Tuesday and Thursday evening so there isn't much time during the week, so must of it gets done during week-ends. But even then, I don't trade family time with animating at home. Whenever there is a chance though I like to do clips like that. I'm on vacation right now so it's much more relaxed. It doesn't take me that long to animate those clips. Most of the time gets spent on thinking about the shot and planning it out, which I can do when I drive around, take a shower, etc. So there's no real danger of getting burnt out.

And why? Many reasons.
A) because it's so much fun. I love animating!
B) because it's just me and my ideas. It's very relaxing to just animate away for fun. No clients, no deadlines, no restrictions. It's a nice change compared to work.
C) Training. I'm very used to think in terms of photo real animation and my sense of timing is very hard wired to that style. I don't want to just go in that direction, I love cartoony animation, but you need to keep those animation muscles active. The next clip I'm doing will be much more stylized.
D) because I love it. Wait, did I say that already? But it's true. It's so much fun, how can you not? :)

Anonymous said...

Would you ever enter a 11 Second Club 'competition' again, even under an alias?

It would be really interesting to see how a seasoned pro would take on an audio clip as well.

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Absolutely, no alias needed, I would totally do it!

Anonymous said...

HA! Good answer. What about the next one then? :)

avneriginal said...

Way to go JD, spoken like a true gladiator, uhmmm I meant animator!


Jean-Denis Haas said...

Sorry for the late reply, went to the dentist for a checkup after 10(!!!!) years. Yeas, terribly afraid of dentist visits due to horrible childhood pain (I had pretty much every tooth torture device in my mouth). And guess what? NO CAVITIES! Just needs a little bit of cleaning. BAM! What a relief. :)

Plus I was listening to "Misery" in the car on my way to the dentist and there's a great moment that I could use for a dentist visit animation!! HAHAHAHA!

But anyway... the current 11second club is actually really cool, but I wanted to something a bit more broad and cartoony, since a lot of my clips are kinda serious, especially this one. But yes, totally, let's do it!! I'll keep my eye on the audio clip for next month and will post about it. Can't promise though for next month because I think I'm a guest judge for AM. :)

Hammy said...

Intense!!! Holy moly.. Love it! :)

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Thanks Ting!!

Oh, and I meant guest "eCritique" guy, not judge. :)

Btw. Still rendering those shots, I'm on ip_20 right now. Takes a while...

Anonymous said...

JD 11 Second eCritiquer? Great! I can't wait to see that. And its kind of interesting to see how someone you have been in email contact with on a regualr basis is actually like, talking and moving.

I guess that would be kind of scary coming from anyone but another 'animator'. Especially since you have been listening to 'Misery' recently :)


Jean-Denis Haas said...

Hahahaha! Just don't say "I'm your #1 fan!". :)

I did an interview with Animation Salvation a while ago but it hasn't been posted yet. In it you will probably get a better idea than an eCritique (which might or might not happen btw.).

Nate said...

Thanks for all the work in progress clips JD! Really enjoyed the piece, nice to see your breakdown.

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Thanks and no problem!

Asif said...

Wow!!! Progression already up... Coool thanks JD. Hope to get the interview with animation salvation soon :) thanks for that as well.

Marcos Borba said...

Thanks man! This is awesome! It is so good to see a great animator as yourself aproach that kind of shot! Feel like we can learn more watching your workflow.

Thanks once more Jean, and keep Rocking!!!

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Ha! Thanks Marcos! I have a long way to go before I'm great, but I appreciate the comment!

Andrew said...

Wow, very inspiring, great work and amazing acting.

Keep it up!


Kuhan said...

Thanks a lot for posting the progression and the acting videos...inspiring!!! :-)

Olivier Ladeuix said...

thanks for doing that JDH and thanks for the naked shoulders action warning ;-) yes it is a bit disturbing and funny enough.... it is also a hot day here and I don't wear a top either ;-)

richie said...

danm JD
how did you get so quick?
thanks for all these work throughs
inspiring stuff!

Jean-Denis Haas said...

@Richie: from a technical point of view this shot is not that complex, that's why it took me as long as the "here and there" clip. That one has foot contact, finger contact with paper, etc. lots of frame by frame anim, whereas this clip is only chest up, so no feet and just one guy, so there's a lot less to animate.

Anonymous said...

I may have asked you this before, but would you ever consider video capturing your screen as you animate a shot?

Kind of like the Kyle Balda videos on 3D World:


I think it might be quite educational and if you edited the video with comments about what you are doing and why, quite saleable.

Well, i'd buy it!


Jean-Denis Haas said...

@Akem: That's a great idea! I'll do a much shorter clip than this one though! Hahahaha! But yeah, I like that idea, thanks for the tip!

Luke Burnet said...

hey hey. Nice ! :)

Kyu-bum Lee said...

Amazing work.
It's so inspiring to see very emotional acting done so well in animation.
Thank you for the progression reel too.

JON said...

The silhouette idea in your ref shot is brilliant! And the final piece is really great. Thanks for sharing this. :-)

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Thanks guys!

@JON: you're the first one to pick up the silhouette thing. :)

damncreative said...

Jean this is one the best acting piece . Really love the subtle gestures and the acting choices which made an impact on the Audience(me) . This is some thing tough in this world to animate, I was totally involved with the character. Loved it.. You rock

Jean-Denis Haas said...

:) :)

Thank you very much!

SV Portfolio said...

I think this is one of my favorite pieces..I like the whole transition in the actors performance when he comes to hear about the guys death...n then suddenly into an emotion of damn it...love it!!

Jean-Denis Haas said...


Dapoon said...

I can't even begin to say how much I adore this animation. IMHO, sincere emotional scenes are really the toughest to pull off.

If animation is all about 'feeling', then I felt this to my bone. Amazing subtlety.

And that is what what makes me ask you this question. What does it really take to pull off such a scene? Is it the subtlety, the inner dialogs, or the emotional growth of the character? And does music add to the scene (like it did in yours)?

I'm asking this because I too tried to animate an emotional scene once, but it completely fell flat (and of course I don't think adding music will add anything to it at all).

I completely understand that you're really busy, but if you could some time leave your really valuable comments there and tell me where I went wrong, it would mean the world to me.

I would really like to push myself at animating all, well, "genres" (if you will) in animation, and emotional scenes stand as the highest mountain to climb.

Here's the link: http://dapoonrai.blogspot.com/2010/08/abused-11-sec-club-july-2010.html

Thanks a lot in advance and keep inspiring us all. :)

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Hey Dapoon, thanks a lot!!

Your point of music is very important. I think the music adds and helps a lot.
Acting wise I really tried to get to a sad emotional spot before shooting the reference, trying to make it as honest as I could and not just acted out.

I'll take a look at your clip, can you give me your email?

Dapoon said...

Whoops! Sorry Jean! I saw your reply really late!! My email is dapunraidewan@gmail.com (I've emailed you too!)

And my piece is here: http://dapoonrai.blogspot.com/2010/08/abused-11-sec-club-july-2010.html

Thanks for your reply! I see how important a role music plays in evoking an emotional response in the audience. But of course, the animation and the performance has to be topnotch too! :)