Saturday, 31 October 2009

Mood change animation

I started animating the character on wednesday. And worked on it until saturday. But today when i woke up and was supposed to finish the animation, i found that the file had been deleted!

So basicly i spent the day making a simpler and shorter animation.

The original was going to be the character walking very cocky. And pointing out as if to a crowd. Then he was supposed to flick his collar "cantona-style" and kick a football with extreme anticiation. Then he was supposed to flinch as if he heard some noise, and then turn around and gestigulate with his arms like footballers do when the referee has given them the whistle and they disagree, so they shrug their shoulders a lot and point with both arms to themself and stuff around.

Anyway.. the animation turned out good. But somehow i deleted the animation or some file... i dont know.

There isnt much to say about this last one i made though. I tried to focus on the timing, but i could have the running away bit in the end a bit faster. it looks like he isnt moving quite fast enough. Had some problems with the feet. The knees seem to suddnly pop out in the wrong direction.
And i wish i had made the strut walk more exagerated. He could be leaning back even more and the movement could be tweaked a bit.
Also the transformation between ball-in-face and sad turn around doesnt feel right. something wrong that i cant put my finger on. Maybe if he moved a bit faster as he turns? i dunno..
I figured out how to control the curves in the graph editor better and im cutting down on stupid mistakes.

Again im happy with the result. Though it could have been way better if only i didnt delete it!!
But what the hell i got good practise from it, so next time will be even better!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Weight lifting character

The assignment was to animate a character lifting an object, and to make the object appear heavy.

While thinking of what key poses to use, what pace to aim for etc... i gave the 3d character a "thinking hard" pose to start off from. I thought it would be a good starting point to show character righ away.
I didnt care for originality in this one. I figured i would instead make him do a very standard procedure of lifting the thing, and focus on getting the animation itself really good.
I thought about the different steps of the action.

1: look scepticly at the thing. This would illustrate that he is thinking about how he should do it. Or if it is at all possible.

2: Show that he is ready with some handmovement like, rubbing hands, retracting sleeves or spit in hands then rub... I think this is also good for anticipation.

3: Engage the object in a swift move and then go straight into main pose (lifting).

4: The lifting. I figured he should give it a couple of tries. And have the main lift pose be a bit more exaggerated. Also spiced with some anticipation to show that THIS is it.

5: The overlapping of the lift. I basicly wanted him to do that thing where when you lift something to a certain point, the object kind of drops onto your lap... if that makes sense?

I started animating using character set in maya. I didnt like it.
And since i havent really tried that before, im sure i must have done every possible mistake to make it harder for myself.
I guess it takes practice, so ill probably try it again, but the thing i dont like about animating from key poses and then gradually filling in the inbetweens, is that you sort of keyframe the whole body... which makes it harder to go back and change the movements (graph editor) and secondary animation like arms, fingers, the head etc. in other words the good parts:P
I like to picture the animation in my head and then start animating the innermost "limb" and work my way out to the outer ones. meaning from torso to toes/ fingers:P

Anyway, i got so frustrated with the mess i made using key poses/ key frames, that i figured i might as well start the whole shebang over again and work one limb, one axis at a time...

I noticed right away how much better off i was. And doing it this way kept my graph editor nice and neat.

If one thing more than the others, i tried to get the timing good and varied. Especially with grabbing the object. That needed to be fast. To show that theres serious manpower needed for this action, but also to contrast from the struggling of the lift, which will be slow.

Here is the final animation:

Im actually pleased with both the poses and the timing. The best ive done so far.
But of course they could have been better.
I should have gone even extremer on the most importatnt poses (the anticipating grab, the lift itself and the very last bit where he balances the object).
And the "sumo steps" in the beginning could look more stomping. He seems too much relaxed.

The struggling of lifting the box could have been more characteristic. He just bobs back and forth for a bit. I should have had one try first, then a pause, then maybe two or three quick jerks. And then the anticipated main lift with, like i said, a strong and exaggerated pose.

I tried to position the camera so that it would capture as much of the poses as possible. But i didnt realise i should animate TO the camera. That is a thing im definately going to get better on the next one.
But apart from those things im happy with it.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

First walkcycle

Ok, i just did a walkcycle which i havent done in ages.

I chose to do it in 2d because i knew that would be one i would do worst:) I could probably spend 20min on a 3d rig, and make a pretty decent walk. But i think that a little bit of struggling would help me remember the mistakes along the process. If that makes sense:P

First i drew up a plane for the dude to walk on. And then a made 4 keyframes spread evenly across 12 frames. The keyframes only shows the guys head, torso and feet.

I then filled in the in-between frames to smothen the animation. Trying to keep in mind how the feet would react, which way they would go etc...

Then, i added hands. First on the keyframes, and followed the same process of adding inbetweens.
I tried to exaggerate the movements on both hands and feet.

The front hand seem to go too far out from the body, it looks tensed.
I added colors on one foot and one hand.
I think maybe i should have had a slower movement of the hands when they cross.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Back from summer vacation!!

Its good to be back in Faltown after a long, boring summer.

And now for something completely different,
here is my face :)