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Character Studies

Character Studies

Rebecca Caldwell
by RebeccaC on 26 May 2023 for Rookie Awards 2023

Student work from my projects at CG Spectrum school. Main work was the final project working with two character dialog audio. I also included my run cycle in perspective as well as a fun little story I made for the Winter Challenge.

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Hello!  My name is Rebecca Caldwell and I live in California USA.  These short pieces are the product of my first year learning to animate at CG Spectrum school using Toon Boom Harmony. Enjoy!

The project was to create a two character dialog scene using audio of our choice.  We were encouraged to find something from an old movie.  I chose a scene from the Odd Couple, 1968 with Walter Matheau and Jack Lemmon.  Our characters were to be underwater, so that we could learn some atmospheric effects like bubbles and lighting.  At first I wasn't too keen on being underwater, as I normally love to draw furry animals, but I'm so happy that I tried something out of my comfort zone because I had so much fun with these two eels!

Before I got started animating, I had to get inspired.  So after choosing my characters, I looked to other artists that had created eel characters as well as photo reference.  We were shown how to create these bordered mood boards so we could have a sketching space with our inspiration all around.

The next step was creating  some storytelling poses so we can start visualizing how our characters will act while they deliver their lines.  Having the dialog on the sketching page was helpful for quick reference.

Then the fun part!  Animating!  I created a quick line background to get my characters into the space.  Then using my storytelling poses as keyframes I was able to quickly get a framework into Harmony that I could build on over the next few weeks.

I love painting backgrounds so I couldn't wait to create an environment for my eels.  I used Procreate to make this background.

After finishing and cleaning up my drawings, it got technical.  It was time to create some underwater ambience and a camera move.   It was very helpful to learn how to set up and organize the nodes which can be very daunting.  It was a bit of a struggle for me but eventually I got all my elements to cooperate and I ended up with a nice camera zoom through some foreground seaweed, some lighting effects on my eels, and another really cool and subtle effect called turbulent noise, it made it seem as though light was coming through moving water.  The picture above is my quadmap fighting with my fade matte...thankfully they worked it out.

The second project I'd like to share is my run cycle in perspective project.  I created a raccoon character to run around my dumpster at night alley scene.

I knew I wanted to draw a raccoon, so I created a little turn around sheet to get inspired!

I made a video using Final Cut Pro to splice together all the steps it took to bring this raccoon to life!

I created this alley scene using Procreate

Finally, I'd like to share a fun project I did during the Winter holiday.  Occasionally CG Spectrum would have a challenge for the student animators to participate in, and this one was the Winter Challenge.  Everyone was given the same background which was drawn by a student TA, as well as the first and last frame which was a snowman head.  Our challenge as students was to animate a loop in between the first and last frame.   As a storyteller, I came up with the scenario where the hungry snow rabbit encounters the carrot nose on the snowman to find out what happens!

These were the assets created by student TA's for participants to use in the challenge

I drew the animation straight ahead, so I don't have a lot of process documentation for my Winter Challenge Snow Bun animation.  However, here are a couple drawings I did while thinking about rabbits.  I simplified my animated rabbit to keep it easy and efficient to draw.   

Thank you so much for watching my animations!  I hope you enjoyed them!  

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