Friday, October 21, 2016

2016 Reel

My Reel for 2016. I will constantly be updating this.
Sorry it is not public at the moment, please contact me for password if you want to see it.

Tina T. Hsu 2016 Reel from Tina T. Hsu on Vimeo.

Reel Breakdown
0:00 - 0:08 Armature fabrication, animation
0:10 - 0:13 Character/effect animation, cleanup and color. layout design/paint by Danny Popovici
0:13 - 0:18 Everything visual
0:18 - 0:21 Everything visual besides BG coloring
0:22 - 0:35 Everything visual except for ship design and effect texture painting
0:35 - 0:39 Character/effect animation, cleanup and color. layout design/paint by Danny Popovici
0:39 - 0:42 Armature fabrication, animation
0:43 - 0:50 Animation. Puppet/Set fabrication/lighting etc by Bent Image Lab
0:50 - 0:54 Sign, sugar skull, right half of background character animation
0:54 - 1:32 Processed 3D printed character faces for Laika Entertainment
1:33 - 1:50 Everything Visual

Thursday, October 20, 2016

2016 Laika Reel - Kubo and the Two Strings

I worked at Laika for about a year between February 2015 to February 2016 and they finally released my portfolio materials! I worked in the (Oscar winning) Rapid Prototyping Department as a Rapid Prototyping Quality Assurance for Laika's 4th film, Kubo and the Two Strings. I was responsible for bringing 3D printed faces and objects from the printer to camera ready. I usually tell people that we are sort of like make up artists for puppets. I think the work here is about 1/10 of the shots I have touched one way or another.

Tina T. Hsu 2016 Laika reel from Tina T. Hsu on Vimeo.

Here is the full BTS video for better understanding of the process.

I appear in 5:15 - 5:18 sanding the 200% Kubo's for his one tear moment, and 5:25 - 5:32 probably painting someone's teeth to add gloss to them.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

El Jimador - Day of the Dead Spots

Another recent commercial project I did for Bent were three 15 sec spots for Tequila Brand El Jimador's Day of the dead commercials.

Although I have worked at Laika, this was my first paid gig as a stop motion animator, and it was a project that had to be pulled together extremely quickly. We started animating before all the puppets were complete (I believe the puppet fab team made about 10-11? puppets in about 2 weeks. All with wire armature). I animated for about 1.5 weeks alongside two other animators and completed about one shot each day, which was about 2.5 - 4.5 second per day. I animated mostly on the wide bar set and the green screen set, and spent a day on the down shooter for the sign. What usually happened was I would animate a shot and wait for the stage to be set up for the next shot, and set up for first frame for the following day. Or I will finish a shot by the end of the day, and the following day starts with stage setup and I don't get launched till later in the afternoon. Besides a few re-shoots for continuity reasons or client notes, almost everything was animated and approved in one take, which pretty much never happens when I animate for myself.

It was really nice to work with sets/puppets made by other people since I always dread a little about not having tools/space and how long it takes to fabricate everything myself before I can animate. This was also the first time I had to control up to 4 puppets at once, and that was a lot to keep track of. Having to wait around for sets/puppets to be ready/approvals from many people before I can start was also strange for someone who came from 2D where I usually just sit and draw all day.

Overall it was a super fun experience and I learned a lot for sure and here are the end products! Enjoy!

El Jimador. Drink from Bent Image Lab on Vimeo.
I animated the crowds and in the end shot, which is the same for all three spots. I animated the sigh drop, sugar skull and the right half of the crowd.

El Jimador. ID from Bent Image Lab on Vimeo.
I animated the opening shot, the cheer before the end shot, the foreground/background crowds, and the end shot as described in the first one.

El Jimador. Wallet from Bent Image Lab on Vimeo.

I animated the skeleton cheer and the white guy in the cheer before then end shot, crowds and the end shot as described above.

Cap & Kith Spots

I recently worked on a few 2D animated spots at Bent Image Lab for an AD campaign for collaboration of New York street wear brand Kith and Cap'n Crunch and I thought I would share them here. It was a quirky and super fun project to work on, and also the first time I went completely paperless for 2D animation.

Capn Kith - Kith Ahoy from Bent Image Lab on Vimeo.
I animated all the characters and effect, cleaned and colored all the characters and got help with cleanup and texture painting on effect animation, I also did most of the compositing. The effect animation probably took more time than the characters.

Capn Kith - Kings Of Their Castles from Bent Image Lab on Vimeo.
For the 60 sec spot I only animated the staircase fist bump and the cereal falling in the shot right before (00:38-00:41). The staircase fist bump shot went by really quickly but I got to design it from scratch and poured a lot of heart and soul into it.

I also did an Interview with Bent Design Lab about my process on this project if you are curious enough to read about it. Enjoy!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Made a Second Ball and Socket Armature

After making the first ball&socket armature and animating him, I started making a second one who is a smaller lady. I made her because making the first one was such an amazing learning experience, I became curious about what more I can learn and improve. I also figured a second armature would be useful if I wanted to animate interactions.

Since I made the first armature mostly out of brass and ran into some strength/tension issues, I approached the machine shop and expressed interest in machining my own steel joints. The head of machine shop was very generous and taught me everything I needed to know to make my own double ball joints from scratch. I didn't have a lot of time since my contract with Laika was ending, but I managed to finish her my last week there. I also managed to update his knee joints with some leftover joints. If I had time I would have updated his chest block, shoulders, elbows, ankles and probably made him his own set of steel joints, but I ran out of time for now. Maybe in the future.

Design sketches, joint fabrication process, some extra joints and screwed up test pieces, and his emergency knee surgery.
The armatures and some balance/strength tests. She probably weighs less than half of what he weighs.

And I animated her doing a little dance sequence.
dance_test from Tina T. Hsu on Vimeo.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Made a Ball and Socket Armature

Learned to make a ball and socket armature from scratch after work.
The design is based on Nathan Flynn's armature with some adjustments.

This was quite an eye opening experience. I drilled my own steel balls for the first time in my life for example. Metal working has always been something fascinating but far away until I started working at Laika, which meant access to tools and brilliant coworkers who I can learn from. It was quite a learning process but I had a lot of fun making it, and I am definitely trying some design adjustments on the next one.


And I tried animating a walk on 1s. There were some quirkiness in the armature but it works for the most part. The nice thing about building it myself is that I already know all the kinks and weird in him.

Walk Test from Tina T. Hsu on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mushroom Hunting WIP

A new story about a mushroom picking mission after a nuclear accident.
I am still working on this and will be adding or taking things out as I work :p

Monday, October 20, 2014

Moments and Location Sketches on Steroids

some moment boards , and some location sketches on steroids: I find a location and sketch it , and try to capture a moment or put some kind of story into the scene.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lady and the Sandwich Boy

I boarded a little side story of "LADY and the frog" as a storyboard sample. This is not in the film, but it has been stuck in my head while I was making "LADY and the frog" and I am glad to get it out of my system :).

Lady and the Sandwich Boy--Story sample
from Tina T. Hsu on Vimeo.