Little Inventors

Annika Gonzalez

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Job role:Animator, Illustrator, and 3D modeler

Skills:Frame-by-frame animation, 3D animation, 3D modeling, and narrative illustration.

Hello! I'm an animator based in  Toronto, Ontario and I specialize in digital frame-by-frame animation. I work digitally so a majority of my works use dark lines and are coloured in a vector style, but sometimes I like to merge the flat look of digital art and the tactile nature of physical art into one piece.
I also do 3D animation once in a while and I mostly create 3D models.

Recent project reports

Animation Progress
Posted about Turtle Camera Claw by Meghan

The past few weeks as I was animating, I've come across a few bumps in the road. I realized that my original plan was definitely going to be too long and I needed to cut out a lot of things. This often happens in production because sometimes, creators realize what works and what doesn't work only when they begin. 
There was a few days where I had to sit myself down and figure out how to showcase the turtle's abilities while keeping it interesting with an even shorter narrative than the first one. After a while, I came to the conclusion that showing how the turtle identifies trash and the inside compactor is the most important thing about this idea. So now, the animation is shot mainly through the turtle's point of view so the audience can see how the turtle's software functions. I also added a short digitally hand-drawn scene showing how the compactor works.
It's a little upsetting how I can't show every little detail I put in the turtle, but I'm still happy with the results so far :)
As for the image below, that is a compilation of screenshots breaking down one of the scenes in the animation. It was a work-in-progress screenshot I took yesterday afternoon so there's a lot more things I added to the shot. But essentially, the picture below is showing how at that time, I had four different images compiled into one shot. Two of them were rendered from the 3D software I am using and two of them were 2D still images.
As of now, I only have one more shot to do. When that is finished, I will do some colour corrections for the animation before I add the finishing touches which is the sound :D

Rigging Complete!
Posted about Turtle Camera Claw by Meghan

I finished painting weights on the entire turtle tonight so now it won't move weirdly.

What I mean by move weirdly is that if you look at the plain photo of the arm, it's not bending properly. That's because the software is just guessing how it will move. Because of that, artists have to go in and fix that, or in other words repaint what the software guessed. In the similar screenshot of this image, you should see a black and white gradient. That's the paint that has to be fixed.

In the last picture, that's how the paint should look like for the turtle to move properly. But not all 3D models will have weights painted like that. Different objects move different ways, but because the turtle is a machine, it's shape doesn't change. In comparison to a human arm, there would be a gradient because a human's skin folds and stretches when it moves.

Now that this part is finished, I will be moving on to the animating process :D

Rigging in Progress
Posted about Turtle Camera Claw by Meghan

This weekend, I've been rigging the turtle. If you look at the picture of the turtle made up of blue lines (we call this the wireframe), there are colourful shapes on the inside. Those are the bones and joints that tell the turtle model how to move. But we can't move the bones and joints by themselves since the software will get confused. So the next step of rigging after making the skeleton is creating the controllers.  

In the next picture with the four different views, you'll see circles around the different parts of the model. Those are the controllers. The controllers help prevent the software from getting confused and making the turtle move weirdly. They also help me move the turtle faster since I don't have to click on every individual part to move it.

This week I'll finish rigging the Turtle Camera Claw. I have to do the final step which is painting weights, which is something I'll talk about next blog post when the process is finished :)

Ideas brought to life