Like I promised, here is my post dedicated to my second Byrd short, Byrd VS Gravity.
Initially, I had no reason/will to continue using Byrd as a character. I didn't want to get caught up in the whole "Tom and Jerry" scenario and around the time Byrd VS Worm got finished, I had invested a hefty amount of time into it, that I wanted something fresh. It all occurred to me while chatting with my good friend, Trung Le, that I could make the stories about Byrd, and not about the relationship of Byrd VS Worm.
I decided overtime that I wanted to make a few episodes about Byrds' first few days walking the earth, which would all happen sequentially.
I will admit, at this point, I have a small series planned out (no more than 9-10 episodes), but being one person and trying to work on my portfolio to get a job, etc, I haven't planned on pursuing past the second short as a of now. It would be ideal to have more people work on it with me, or to pitch the idea to a company, but alas, time will tell.
At the time though, I had to find a nice way to blend the ending of Byrd VS Worm and begin Byrd VS Gravity. That's when I thought of doing a short where Byrd meets some crows, feeling they might be alike and that he could possibly fly.
I studied the way a crow's bone structure was, so I could make a puppet that had accurate joint movements.
And added feathers with hot glue, one by one...
Above is a scene I animated with three flying characters... probably one of the more challenging shots I had on the film.
A shot of the rig. I just used a bunch of tied of strands of armature wire.
I guess something worth mentioning, is the final scene before the credits where you 'think' Byrd is flying. I shot that on three plates, being the ground plane, Byrd and the background. I've never tried to animate a camera trick like that before, so it was a learning experience all together. The hardest part, was trying to move the camera in space, along with the objects, to try to convince you they were moving together.
Anymore questions are welcome below in the comment section... But otherwise, here is the link to my film!
Everyone starts somewhere, and my somewhere was a walking skeleton named Byrd.
I initially made this character as a joke in MSPaint, while sitting in computer animation class, waiting for the rest of the class to catch up.
My neighbor thought it was hilarious, and at the time I was looking for a character to work with for my animation 2's walk cycle... and if you know me, I enjoy taking advantage on an open assignment.
AND THERE YOU HAVE IT, THE DEAD NAIVE WALKING BYRD WAS CREATED...
But he wasn't perfect.
This was my first turn around I did with my initial design, but I needed to add more appeal.
Of course, I was pursuing a more stop motion approach at the time so I pushed the sculptural feel of Byrd... and this is what I came to before I started to build him. Somehow, everything I do turns out cute... oh well...
I wasn't as keen to documenting my process as much as I am now, so I am sorry to inform that I don't have much to show of the armature I used for Byrd, etc...
Also, this was my first "real" short that I invested time into, and I literally had no storyboards! I pretty much just had the general idea, and went with it... There were a lot of little things I added on the spot... But I really enjoyed how this turned out under the pressure... but wouldn't recommend it.
I was still pretty new to animating with a puppet, so experiencing first hand what I could get away with and such, was a very exciting time!
I made a simple story, a character with a goal, and it was reasonable for one person to handle. I honestly never thought Byrd would become such a big deal (or develop as much as he is at this point in my head!), but apparently people are still talking about him at Edinboro, even now that I am gone.
I did end up producing a sequel named Byrd vs Gravity, but I shall do a seperate post talking about that project.
Thanks for the read, and below is the link to my animated short, Byrd VS Worm!
(Filmed Fall 2010 @ Edinboro University)