I was rifling some old shelves and came across an ancient notebook, filled with storyboards! Some of them were for stuff I never ended up making (though perhaps I will revisit them someday in a different form), but some of those boards were for an early animation I did in Blender, “Chicken Chair” which was itself just an animation test for an impossibly more ambitious project. In any case, it was a fun project, and relatively meticulous for me at the time. You can see the resulting animation here – not the antique four by three aspect ratio! a classic!

This was the first or second ‘serious’ project I made in blender and it was a somewhat insane undertaking. I used the NLA (it existed!) do do the walk cycle on a path (this feature doesn’t actually exist anymore in blender), but couldn’t find a way to blend the animations between the cycle and other bits of the movie. I ended up using multiple rigs, and using animated constraints to switch between them. I’m pretty sure the entire animation (all of the shots) is in one file.

The motion blur in the video is I believe the old multisampled motion blur- rendering several subframes and blurring in between them (very nice results but slow to render). All the postproduction, such as it is, is done in Gimp and Blender’s sequence editor – Gimp for painting the glow in the eyes ‘streaking’ over fast frames and for the lightening effects, Blender for everything else.

I actually don’t remember making storyboards for the project, but I must have, because here they are:

What I do remember is that I made most of the film in Rao’s coffee in Amherst, and that it took me almost a month to UV Unwrap and texture the chair. The second hardest bit was animating the damn wire (using a super long IK chain that was impossible to control)

Well, that’s it! Feel free to share any of your own early animation projects in the comments 🙂

©URCHIN 2015