The Art Barn: What I’m “Currently” Animating

Hello, everyone.  It sure has been a long time since the last installment of The Art Barn here at Dinofarm Games.  There are many reasons for the delinquency, but it probably mostly has to do with how dumb and stupid and idiot I am, but also that I’m working all the time on animations for AURO!

Today’s short post will be a brief update on a special effect in the works.

You see, when Auro uses the spell, “Jump”(working title) he uses magical wind to propel upwards, leaving behind him a spinning gust of wind called a “current.”  Now I hope you all see how clever was with that title and how you shouldn’t let your girlfriends read this or else they’ll leave fake barf in your locker(haha).

This was a very difficult animation.  It requires the transition from an omnidirectional jump effect into a looping dust cloud, into a dissipation.  I went through several DRAFTS (all of which BLEW) before I got something I could take into the pixel phase.

How did I do it?  Well, I compiled reference, of course.  What did I reference?  well there’s always some anime man or another kickin’ up dirt during one of his temper tantrums, so I started by checking every Naruto fight ever.  There were a lot of Dust-fests, of course, but mostly I found:

Dusty Poofs…

Dusty push powers…

There was even a Dustin Hoffman or two!

But there were no swirly dusty anime man currents to reference.  But then I thought to myself, “There’s an anime man ripoff  show by Americans show called Avatar: The Last Air Bender!”  And I thought after that, “If bending includes swirly bends, then we’re in business!”

Sure enough…

:39! Perfect!  Thanks M. Night Shamalan(I heard he created and starred in this and also rigged J.K. Rawling’s fatal boating accident.  Don’t listen to Wikipedia, I assure you that citation is NOT needed!)

Anyway, this piece of reference was studied frame by frame and extrapolated.  It really made me wonder what Japanese people did in all those dusty animes from the 80s before the internet.  Actually, I guess Dustin Hoffman was around during the 80s so they just consulted with him.

In a serious note, when in doubt, sniff it out, folks.  Reference, reference, reference.  Even if you’re reasonably sure you know what a dust swirl looks like, research will seriously reduce the anxiety and trial and error in your work.  Finding this piece of footage was a huge relief for me.

To paraphrase famous Hollywood story doctor Robert McKee, there is no such thing as writer’s block.  Writer’s block is the result of lack of research, which leads to ignorance, which leads to depression, the enemy of creative accomplishment.  I think this applies to all the arts.

R.I.P. J.K. Rawling 1968-2000


blakereynolds • 08/22/2012

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  1. Bret 08/22/2012 - 4:07 am Reply

    I’d say the new animation really blows. Am I right? ;)

    • Nahil 08/22/2012 - 5:30 pm Reply


  2. embarrassing 08/23/2012 - 2:45 am Reply

    Can you show me the pixel animated one too?

    • Blake 08/23/2012 - 2:55 am Reply

      It’s actually not done yet. In the next day or so I’ll update!

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