Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Here, Phido!

Here are some scenes featuring Phido, Zig Zag's sleepy vulture.They follow Michael Schlingmann's amazing rotating tower and are the biggest chunk of consequential scenes I got to animate on the movie. The sequence finds a flying Phido in the night sky and follows him into Zig Zag's tower. Dick made very clean layout poses of this scene, so the main keys were pretty much done.It was all about breaking the scene down and getting the timing right. Also, as does his master, Phido has an extra joint in his wings (try folding those things convincingly). Keeping the feathers in the proper place and holding the volumes steady, were probably the most challenging aspects of this scene.

The second scene picks Phido up from inside Zig Zag's tower, flying through the window, skeetering down a long table filled with debris and slamming into Zig Zag, who unfolds a fly catcher and smacks him. Dick wanted the feeling of a big plane landing, impressive wings spread,approaching on the runway, then a stumble and a slapstick slide. It took me a few tries at timing the beginning of the scene, slowing Phido down several times to give him a grand and elegant feeling and give the room the proper dimensions.This was also the first time I was allowed to animate Zig Zag.This scene was fairly complicated and today I would be able to get better acting into my animation, but the sheer complexity and line mileage made me play it rather safer than I should have. Dick was very helpful giving me pointers on pushing certain drawings, like the impact between Phido and Zig Zag, or the long, extended leg, when Phido hops onto the globe.Something I use to this day.My thanks to Tzveta, who animated all the flying debris on the table.

The last scene was a very short close up of Phido , that took me more tries than it should have. I claim inexperience. Dick wanted a very staccato move, the way birds move their heads in nature. Had I known a bit more about spacing then, it may have been quicker .Vladimir Shomov ,one of the Bulgarian animators , assisted me at that time. We had a few disagreements when I asked him to animate the secondary action of the tassel on Phido's hat.I remember being somewhat belligerent and think this had to do with my own insecurity. Over the years, working with so many talented animators ( like the enormously generous Eric Goldberg), I would handle it quite differently now. I blame youth.


Holger said...

Very nice scenes Andreas! -and honest Making of info.

Rafi animates said...

Loved reading about your experiences on this one. I'm really enjoying the personal journey aspect of your posts along with insightful information on the making of the film itself. This all adds up to incredible depth.

animato said...

Hi Andreas and hi everybody else,

I am Tzveta. It has been really nice to see this site, read your stories and look at the pictures!
Thanks for remembering me.
The Thief was an unforgettable experience.I'll follow the site now that I've found it and try to contribute when I can.
Lots of love

Andreas said...

Hi Tzveta,
great to hear from you. Glad you found the blog.What are you doing these days?