Based on the feedback we received after the first viewing of our animation I have corrected the scenes I had been working on within the project.

Firstly the shadows have been removed from the title in the opening shot, along with our three main penguins being moved forward to the edge of the iceberg as in the following scene that is where they are positioned, just helps the story read better…

the next scene to be fixed was the falling scene, the protagonist – who we named Sphen – has been pushed off the iceberg by the other penguins. It was suggested that we look at some old cartoons – such as roadrunner, coyote’s character in particular – and how they let the character fall out of the frame before cutting to ground level to see them hit the ground…

In the clip below Coyote continuously falls out of the frame, the camera always cutting to his new position, it gives a better effect to the fall rather than the camera following his every movement, so with Sphen I have removed the tracking of the camera and replaced it with a cut: the character falls out of the frame and the camera cuts to ground level just as he hits the snow…

The final scene to be corrected comes after Sphen has fallen, he gets up and looks up to see the other penguins laughing at him from atop the iceberg, for this scene it was suggested that the sky be brighter so the colours of the ramp were adjusted…



Timing for Animation – Harold Whitaker and John Halas

This book had a rather useful topic on animation water!

Water is a substance that will move in it’s own characteristic way because there is no mechanical strength present, it is held together only weakly by surface tension.

Animating a splash: Each droplet that makes up the body of water at the start of the action will travel on it’s own trajectory, regardless of how the rest will move. The mass/water will radiate from a central point and from there split into irregular sheets that are loosely held together (surface tension) as it spreads the effect of the surface tension begins to break down, as this happens the sheets suddenly¬†become drops, the drops will continue to travel outwards individually. A good example used in the book is that of a heavy stone being dropped into a lake..

As the stone enters, some water will be dispersed by it and will radiate upwards and outwards forming the splash. As the stone continues to move deeper it momentarily leaves behind it a space which is shortly rapidly filled by the surrounding water from all sides. The water will meet in the middle of this gap, where , the force that is generated from it meeting will cause a jet of water to erupt vertically, in the middle of the splash, it will then split into droplets before falling back on itself. – “A splash of this kind should be split into two separate events..”

Whereas a large body falling into the tub will give a slightly different effect firstly, because there is now a limited amount of water and on top of this, the body itself would force most of it out over the sides of the tub. The splash will be similar to that in the example above  but there will be no secondary vertical jet.

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Water under pressure can exert a considerable amount of force – if a jet is directed upwards at a an angle, it travels a trajectory where each droplet behaves like a ball thrown through the air.

However if a jet of water hots a flat surface the water is reflected back like a mirror, although there will be some random movement.

When water is thrown from a bucket it will behave like a splash, it leaves the bucket as an irregular shaped lump that will become streamlined in the direction if the movement. Individual parts then travel on their own parabolas which then will diverge, stretching the water causing it to break into droplets as before.

To animate drops smoothly they should be streamlined into long narrow shapes, the parabola of each will have slight overlaps with that of another in length from one drawing to the next. The drops can slow down and diminish in size around the edge of the splash, eventually they can be lost but the drops must not disappear in the same frame. In order to be effective they need to vanish in a random order over a number of frames.

Icebergers feedback…

Composition of the opening shot needs altered, the penguins that remain on the iceberg should be on the edge so that the following (over the shoulder) scene makes sense. The shadow from the title should also be removed:

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 16.46.32

Our whale also needs altered, the shadow passes over the hole, so in reality there should be some tonal difference between what is supposed to be the actual fin and the shadow:

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 16.46.45

It was also suggested that the iceberg be slightly translucent, allowing the light to bounce around inside the shape, a displacement map or noise texture could be used to create volume indentation.

Also in the slap scene the penguins should look at each other to establish a relationship between the two, so that empathy can be created either by the characters or that the audience empathise with the smaller character, who should also be leaning backwards away from the edge of the iceberg throughout this shot:

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 16.46.59

For the falling scene we were told to look at some Road Runner cartoons and how they dealt with Wile E. Coyote falling from height – they let him fall out of the frame, they don’t pan with him, so it was suggested that maybe we let the penguin fall out of the frame and then cut to him lying in a heap in the snow:

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 16.47.31

The sky needs to be brighter in the low angled shot:

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 16.47.41

and finally, the splash needs to be a lot bigger.. possibly leave the frame as just a column of water, like in our animatic:


Cracking the ice

Daryl was able to create a crack in the ice using a locator and curve which we were then able to animate within the scene. Hannah then animated the scene but ran into a problem when rendering, where the penguin would not smooth so she passed it onto me to fix.

An over the shoulder type shot in which the penguin would be reacting to the crack forming before him in the ice:

I felt that with the animation above the penguin appeared to already know where the crack would appear next, his actions needed to happen after the movement of the crack:


Low angle shot

In this scene our protagonist will stand up after falling from the iceberg, look up to see the other two penguins laughing at him and he will turn towards the camera as if to appear to be walking away…

Setting up the camera:

this is the shot from our animatic that i was aiming to recreate…

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 14.16.54

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with the camera locked a plane was then placed in as the sky, with a ramp to gain a sky like gradient…

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 11.19.44

However when animating I found some rather ugly shadows forming around the characters features, this was solved with a fews lights being added and in our final render of the animation our penguins will have white eyes and brows!

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 12.38.43

1st attempt at animating the sequence:

I placed the character a little to close to the camera, not leaving myself much room for movement when animating the shot so I took another attempt at roughly blocking out the movement, a little bounce was give to the antagonists – making it look as though they were laughing:

I then had him react to the fall by shaking before looking up to see the other characters laughing:

the turn looked slightly unnatural, as it was the bottom controller that had been animated to make him turn, he needed to look like he was shifting his weight from foot to foot – I added a slight bounce to the spin:

The bounce along with a little flipper movement seemed to give the character more of a personality but yet still looking upset by the whole action of the others:

Falling scene

This scene was rather hard to animate, particularly when trying to show the impact of the fall on the penguin’s body as the character is currently upside down and the control at his feet controls the movement of the whole body, so it was a matter of pushing the character into the snow and then using the other controls to pull him back out – meanwhile flipping through the rest of the keyframes to check the character hasn’t slid or that he hasn’t jumped between any of the fames.

Some play blasts…

I started off by blocking out the fall:

Trying to show the impact of the fall affecting the penguin’s body:

This scene would have an animated camera, following the penguin as he falls down off the iceberg, I thought that I could use the camera to help show the effects of the fall on the penguin, so I applied a slight bounce in the camera as he hits the ground, also to make him look panicked his legs and flippers will be moving throughout the fall:

The start of the scene will be cut so that it fits with where the penguin moves to in the scene before – the slap, which Daryl is animating…