Friday, June 5, 2009


I'm 99% sure nobody checks these blogs anymore, but I did this drawing to thank you guys for an awesome class, and to celebrate having successfully completed the course. So, thanks you guys!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pee Ess

This is probably my last post on this blog, so I wanted to say thank you all for visiting here and giving me very valid comments. I hope this quarter wasn't too rough for everyone... >_<;;

Anyways, I'm going to (shamelessly) plug my art blog, because I'll keep updating that and if you guys could leave me comments and criticism there I would be all sorts of grateful <3>w<)

Check it! (please)

Thanks again and have a great summer!

Sara <3

Post Mortem

Even though I really enjoyed this class and feel like I put in a lot of effort, there are still a couple issues that I would tackle differently if I were to take this course again. First of all, I would take more time to work on my character animation, so I could end up with a film I can put on my reel. I was more focused this quarter on getting a 1.30 minute film done in 5 weeks than getting quality animation, so even though I am satisfied with my film as an outcome of a Flash crash-course I feel it does not reflect my abilities as an animator. In relation to the first, if I were to make another short film in Flash I would explore more artistic styles that lend themselves better to being animated in Flash (lineless puppets, solid backgrounds, etc). I feel the style I chose was not making the best use of the digital animation medium, and made clean-up harder than it should have.

Having said all that, I really did enjoy this course and if Digital Cel Animation 2 is being sometime in the upcoming Winter or Spring quarters I will definitely take it. It was a good (as well as necessary) course to further my education as a 2d animator, and more importantly, I had a lot of fun with my assignments.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


My film is complete! Goodbye, finals! >w<

Oh, Marie Antoinette. I'll miss you.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I'm 2 scenes (1 still shot and 1 re-do of a shot I've already done) away from finishing.... I'm so delirious, but it looks like I'll get it done by tomorrow (hopefully). I cannot wait.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Title slide

So I spent a while last night working out a title slide, and now I need help deciding between the 2. I know no one's checking the blogs at this point, but whoever happens to be reading this... help me decide!

This one's the one I'm using for now. I think I like it better, but I'd like some opinions.

This one's pretty much the same, except there's a pair of earrings where M.A.'s symbol is.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

They just keep on comin'

I just realized that I only have 2 more weeks in the dorm I currently reside in, which means I need to get all of my stuff into summer storage ASAP. To facilitate this process, I will get my short done by Sunday at the latest. Later dates not accepted. So tune in this weekend and you shall see what I've been working on!

(in the meantime, have some more screencaps)

I added backgrounds to all the scenes I have so far, and finished the scene where poor Leonard is snubbed by our dear M.A. At least she's satisfied in the end, right?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Oh noes!

So I made relatively steady progress over the weekend and in class this morning, and right when I thought everything was going fine I went and lost my flash drive. The flash drive with the last 3 days of work. I usually back everything up, but somehow it slipped my mind this time so now I'm being (unfairly) punished. ::tear::

I was able to redo everything I lost today, however, so I guess all is back on track. Since I still can't upload .MOVs, here are some more screenshots.

Now all I have to do is animate M.A's arms, add an insert shot, and then I've got 3 more cuts that are all just stills. I can do this! It should all be done by the end of this weekend, which is cutting it pretty close >_<;;

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Here's a quick scene I worked on in class today. Trust me, I have a lot more done, but it doesn't really work without sound so this is all I'm showing for now. I'm sure I'll have more to show by next week.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Keep on

Keepin' on. Have some updates. My mac can't export my flash files as .avis, so I only have some screen shots to show for the time being. Hopefully it's proof enough (until I can get my hands on a windows, and then I'll actually update with a video).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Not much in the way of ground-breaking updates- I'm just trucking right along. I feel like I'm going slightly slower than I should, so I'll be trying to speed that up. I'm one lip-sync away from getting a frame-by-frame shot animated, which means I'll have one more to frame-by-frame, and then the rest will be all puppet animation which should go a lot faster.

So that's me. How are you?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Background 1

One out of two background for my final. This is the more complex one and the other shouldn't take half as long. ...Hopefully..

Monday, April 20, 2009


That is all.


Marie wishes more people w0re funny coats.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Walk cycle

Here's Marie flashin' a little leg. Hoorah.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Crappy, crappy storyboards.

I will excuse my own crappiness, however, because I'll be doing an animatic to work on the timing and stuff. So... it's not like I'm planning poorly. >_>;

Monday, April 13, 2009

Leonard Hautier

Finally. Apparently I don't need 2 model sheets but I've only got 2 characters in this short so I figured I might as well go for it. Leonard took long enough, but I'm pretty confident with his design.

I'm also going to go back to using black outlines for my characters. I really liked the way colored lines looked, but I hear it's a pain to frame-by-frame colored lines and somehow it never looks right when I vectorize the puppets. Le sigh.


Apparently I don't know how to make a basic calendar template that would show up properly on the internets, so here's a really hard-to-read breakdown of my schedule from now until the end of the quarter:

  • April 15th: Stroyboards due
  • April 17th: Animatic due
  • April 22nd: Backgrounds rendered
  • April 27th: Puppets due
  • May 4th: Scene 1 animated
  • May 11th: Scene 2 animated
  • May 18th: Scene 3 animated
  • May 27th: Finals due (in-class presentation)
I'm going to try and get things done (esp. the pre-production stuff) sooner than the deadlines so I can get more time to animate. Hopefully. I think I need a bigger buffer period :-/

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Some preliminary sketches for Leonard, the Queen of France's trusted hairdresser and gay companion.

None of these designs are what I want him to look like, but hopefully I'll get him right.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Tutorial 02, aka Jump! Too bad my jumps aren't exciting enough to deserve that exclamation point...

This is the tutorial done following the professor's example, and using his puppet. The puppet looks weird, but the jump just looks dumb.

This is the tutorial done using my own puppet. You may remember this drawing from my color tests >_>;; Somehow this video came out all compressed and stuff, but I have no idea how to fix it. The puppet was imported at 300 dpi and then resized, but it still looks weird. Huh.

Either way, I think I'm slowly but surely getting the gist of this Flash thing. I'm also starting to think it's just like Maya, where the more you keep the program out of the animating process, the better. What do you, my classmates, think?

Monday, April 6, 2009


For class today we had to get together and critique each other's premise/scripts. I still don't have a lot to show for my project (no storyboards, etc), so I didn't receive a lot of critique, but I was suggested looking at the Sophia Coppola movie for references for the visual style of my film, etc. I bought some books about Versailles and Rococo court style, so I will be using a lot of reference.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Le script

Soundtrack: Ballroom Blitz, by Sweet

Close up of Leonard’s waist. He is wearing a utility belt with hairdressing utensils hanging off it.

Leonard puts his right hand on a pair of scissors, then his left hand on a comb.

Pan up to Leonard’s upper torso.

Leonard puts his arms up by his face, strikes a “ready-to-go” pose.

Cut to Close up of Marie Antoinette.

Antoinette is seated with back to camera, then swings around.
Marie Antoinette: (lip-synch to song lyrics) Alright fellas, let’s go!

Insert title sequence.
Cut to Mid shot of Antoinette and Leonard. Antoinette is seated with eyes closed, while Leonard is to her left.

Leonard is busily fixing Antoinette’s hair, hands delicately applying the final touches to the coif. The style is of typical 18th century French courts. He adds the final accessory, a hat, and straightens up to admire his creation. His face is proud.
Antoinette opens her eyes, holds up a mirror, and looks intently. Her face looks up at Leonard and frowns, signaling her disapproval.

Cut to Mid shot of the tip of Antoinette’s hair, so that it occupies the bottom of the frame. Pan down to Leonard and Antoinette (same shot as previous cut). Her new hair is taller than the last attempt, with more accessories.

Leonard straightens up to signal that he is finished.
Marie Antoinette looks into her mirror, shakes her head.

Repeat this shot 2 more times, with the following hair styles: tall wig with a pair of doves perched on top, and a wig in the shape of a boat. Antoinette will disapprove each time.

Cut to Mid shot of Antoinette. Insert montage sequence of Antoinette seated, with her hairstyle changing to the beat of the song.

Cut to Mid shot of the tip of Antoinette’s hair, so that it occupies the bottom of the frame. Pan down to Leonard and Antoinette (same shot as previous cuts). Her new hair is reminiscent of the first hairstyle, but with a different colored hat.

Leonard straightens up slightly (but not fully, he is still bent over from exhaustion). His face is contorted with exhaustion and he is panting heavily.
Antoinette looks into her mirror. She looks for a couple seconds, then smiles in approval.

Zoom into Close up of Antoinette’s face.

Zoom out to reveal change in setting. EXT: Execution site.

Marie Antoinette is set in her guillotine, face the same as is was in the previous cut. She is up on a scaffold, while around her is a mob. In the mob is Leonard, smiling proudly.

Cut to low angle Close up of blade at the top of the guillotine.

Blade falls to the lyrics “Ballroom Blitz”

Fade to black.

Color Test

I'm torn between 4 and 5. Help!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Boink boink boink boin....

Flash tutorial 1: Bouncing Ball Conundrum (or "Hey, Flash isn't too hard!")

Bouncing Ball 01

Bouncing Ball 02

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Model sheet

Model sheet for Marie Antoinette. She's hairless for the turn-around so the size of her head's clearer. Also, her hair will keep changing so it wouldn't matter anyways.

Leonard's should be coming soon (hopefully).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Color roughs

I had some time to do some quick color roughs for Marie Antoinette's costume; I pretty much came up with the premise of my film out of a wish to do nothing but draw beautiful 18th century dresses, so this was exciting.

Antoinette will only wear one dress, but I just wanted play around with some colors and designs to get me thinking about the overall aesthetic of the film. The final dress won't be this elaborate or colored in this style; I just wanted to play around with some designs. I'm probably going to be using a (super) simplified version of the yellow dress.

Character sketches: Marie Antoinette

One of the 2 characters for my final film is (obviously) Marie Antoinette. I've been trying out a lot of visual styles for this piece, since I'm not sure how well my usual manga-comic style lends itself to Flash animation. And, like I mentioned before, I think this would be a good opportunity for me to expand my horizons and push myself a bit more.

So here are a few sketches I did while trying to pin down my character; I think she's gone quite the long way, don't you?

She's still looking too anime and too "safe" here; I wanted her to have some real character in her facial structure, not just be cute.

I wanted the queen to have a strong jaw, since it's been recorded that she was beautiful despite having the "Hapsburg Jaw", which apparently is the fancy term for an under-bite. Her eyes are still very anime, which just looks wrong with her very dominant jawline. It's really hard to look at your drawings objectively and see whether your designs are appealing and unique and not ugly. I didn't even realize that she looked off until a friend told me she looked ugly.

I changed the eyes and eventually settled to shrink the jaw but still bring attention to it by sliding the mouth up. The designs on the left half of the page are generally what I settled on.

I'm half-way through making a turn-around, so a model sheet should be up by the end of the week. Then I'll get going on the designs for Leonard (the hairstylist), which should be easier now that I have the visual style for the characters figured out.


I'm a fair way into the "pre-production" stage of my final assignment, with character models ad shots being sorted out. I want to get as much planning done by the time we finish our Flash tutorials so I can get going as soon as I can. I get the feeling that with my computer ineptness I'm going to be making a few mistakes here and there, and I want to have enough time to make this (hopefully) a good reel piece.

So I suppose now's as good a time as any to put up my premise, and whatever else I have planned so far. I think I've got most of my script planned out as well, so that'll be up shortly.

Marie Antoinette is about to make her final public appearance: her execution. She and her beloved hairstylist prepare by creating the most fashionable hairstyle, but Antoinette is not easily satisfied. Numerous sky-scraping coifs later, the Queen finally approves of her hair and is happily taken away by the revolutionaries. In the final shot, the Queen is fixed in the guillotine, with her flamboyantly proud friend watching from the crowd.

Total duration: 1 ~ 1.5 minutes, depending on the length of the soundtrack.

Soundtrack: Ballroom Blitz by Sweet (up to the end of the first chorus, with the last scene ending on the lyrics “ballroom blitz”)

Cuts/ Scene Sequence: The song will begin with the lyrics “Are you ready Steve?”, while which the shot will show a montage of close-ups of the 2 characters preparing (hairstylist will take out his scissors and comb, Marie Antoinette will sit in the stylist chair, etc). Then, as the song moves onto the first riff, there will be a sequence of scenes where the Queen will be in her seat, first with her back to the screen while the hairdresser works. When the hairdresser is done, she will spin around to face the audience and respond to her coif. This action will be repeated around 4-5 times, with the hairstyle getting progressively crazier and Antoinette showing different reactions each time. Finally, the song will hit the chorus, and the two will settle on a hairstyle. The camera will zoom into her happy face, and then zoom back out to reveal a change in scene. The disgraced queen is set in the guillotine, and a crowd (including the hairdresser) surrounds the podium. When the lyrics hit the words “ballroom blitz”, the blade falls and before it hits the screen fades to black.

If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions, let me know! I need all the feedback I can get!

Character Design

A few character designs I find inspiring:

Designs from a French artist I found on Deviant Art. Her characters are deceptively simple, distinct, and stylish.

Gorillaz band members drawn by Jamie Hewlett. His characters are stylized and flat, but still animate-able and very, very distinct.

And of course, Chris Sanders. His characters are dynamic and eccentric, and his girls are all sexy.

I've always loved the aesthetic of Shag; his characters are flat but dynamic, expressive, and extremely stylish. I feel like his style (including his color palette) would be great reference for Flash animations.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Self portrait

I took this opportunity to make a new self portrait because a.) I don't have one that's less than a year old, and b.) I wanted to explore some unfamiliar, more caricature-based styles.

It's hard to distinguish what's appealing when you're working in a new style. I don't really look like Elmer Fudd. Much.


I posted this in my personal sketch blog but I think it would be a good idea to have this here as a follow-up to my last post. I tend to take a lot of inspiration from what I see in real life, live-action movies, and sometimes music. I have a few artists and art styles I look to, but I feel I don't do this as much as I should. I'm working to fix that.

One of my biggest interests at the moment, and most likely the biggest influence on the final for this class, is the Rococo style. There is something so enjoyable about the superfluous, decorative style of 18th century French courts. It's beautiful, girly, and art simply for art's sake, not necessarily trying to be anything more.

So, having said all that, you saw some videos, so now have some images:

Fragonard <3

This shot is the essence of what I try to capture in my girly drawings: sexy, cute, and very classy.

Adorable 18th century French fashion: cute, feminine, but meant to seduce.

Glamorous princess fashion, Versailles luxury, and CAKES!! <3 <3 <3


To get things started, here are some examples of animations I find inspiring:

I can't talk about animations I look to for inspiration without mentioning anime. I grew up with it, and it's influenced me more than I can say. Anime can be limited in animation, but it focuses on aesthetic and design elements, which I find very important.

Dramatic storytelling isn't something I see often in mainstream American animation. To be marketable, films tend to be family friendly, simple in plot, and humorous. While the film itself wasn't a total success in this area, I still remember the chills I got watching this scene; it was dramatic, dark, mature, and different.

And for artsy film's sake, here is a part of this year's Oscar winner:

Again, this is film has a mature, heartfelt story with a strong visual style. It was successful without necessarily conforming to the Disney formula.


My name is Sara Talmadge, current animation student at the Savannah College of Art and Design and enthusiast for all things cupcakes. I was born and raised in Yokohama, Japan, until I decided I didn't like living in the same place for 18 years and moved to Savannah to study. My passions and pastimes revolve mainly around drawing, but on occasion I can be found watching movies or dreaming I was living in the Versailles palace.

This blog will be following my progress in my Digital Cel Animation I class, by the end of which I hope to have a decent short flash-animated film. I have yet to even open Flash (or Toon Boom), so this should be all sorts of riveting.