Friday, 29 October 2010

Improving animation..

Georg pointed out a nasty little mistake with my mushroom jumping animation.
When the red guy bounces off the second mushroom, in mid air he seems to be hitting an invisible ceiling.
After some thorough investigation, we came to the conclusion that this error was caused by ceveral stuff...

1. I have been animating the Main_cntrl handle (not neccessary! will only complicate things).
2. The graph contrling the y axis movement of everything going up at that time, was badly adjusted.
3. The characters arm would normally come up after that mid air key pose. mine did`nt. And that was a big reason why it looked wrong.

I have tried to fix these errors and i think it is definately looking better now. But like i said, this tweaking could go on forever. Id rather move to the next branch and keeep on swinging. Like a monkey.


Thursday, 28 October 2010

Georg`s Character keying script

Georg wrote a script in Maya to make it easier to animate two or more characters at once.
I call it... "Georg`s script for animating two characters at once". or GSFATCAO for short.

It basically keys both character sets at the same time. And has a little UI with a KEY button on it, that does that.

I set up a scene with two Optimus prime characters. I wanted them running towards each other and then crash.
A simple animation to test out with.


Animating it went flawless for what it is. I didnt pay much attention to making it look good. I only wanted to get used to the script.

I think the script will be most useful when animating two or more characters doing DIFFERENT things, but that interact with the others. A fight for example. Or a wierd dance or something....

Man with BO staff

To practice animating a character interacting with an object i wanted to animate a kung fu type waving a stick around.

A very important thing to keep aware of, is the relationship between the object and the part of the character that is going to control the object. In this case PARENT CONSTRAINT in maya.
In addition to keying the "on and off" of the constraint, its also important to be aware of the object`s position in world space, which also have to be updated and keyed in order for say, switching an object between hands.

Once Georg taught me all that, i animated the guy first, then rigged up the constraints, then tweaked the movement of the staff for optimum pleasure.

The last thing i did was add some basic head and facial animation.
I could keep tweaking this as there are a LOT of improvement possibilities, but since this was only meant as a practice for object interaction, i am going to leave it as it is and jump to the next thing.

Monday, 25 October 2010

I started animating!

For my 3rd year project, i am basically focusing on building a strong showreel full of character animations.
And i am hoping to get involved with as many of the projects in our class as humanly possible.
That way, i will get a lot of diversity on my showreel. As well as practice animating different styles.

I started doing animation tests for the "Tom Dowler- group".
Here is the first scene i made. It is meant to be comical and cartoony. It is part of a chase scene where a hunter-character chases a little creature through a field of bouncy mushrooms (!?!?!?)

Friday, 15 October 2010

Animationstyle: super cool

I remember really liking the Moomin animated series growing up. And i noticed the animation was different from the Disney movies, but still thought it was an awesome style.
I later recognized the same type of animation in japanese films.

I knew Moomin was from Finland so i figured it must have been made by a finnish crew.
But today i found out that almost the entire crew of that series is japanese.

And you can definately see alot of typical "japanimation" techniques used (even just in the intro thats in hebrew), like paralaxing and the very(!!) simplistic lip syncing.
Even when they animate action stuff, its really energetic, but can be insanely simplistic.
A good exmple of that style is the intro dream sequence to Kung fu Panda.

Gotta love it!
In this style of animation has the best use of slow motion i think. Its great for making a powerful anticipation for example.
And even though the actual "action moves" sometimes are very subtle, and sometimes they´re not even there(!), they feel very energetic.

One more example of this is this Ill Bill music video. Notice the simplicity of the animation, but how COOL they´ve made it by throwing tons of other stuff onto the animation.

I am definately going to try to copy this sort of style. Japan 4!!

Basketball jones

I tried ToonBoom just to see if it had any advantages to adobe flash.
To be honest, i thought it was exactly the same. But i only tested out the very very basics.

I animated a basketball dude doing a cool slam dunk:)


Thursday, 14 October 2010

Over the summer

I havent done much animation related work over summer. which i now regret.
But i did make a little experimental thing with a friend of mine who is a DJ.

The idea was to have simple 2d animated figures move and do wierd stuff to the beat of the music my friend had made/ was going to control live.
The figures were also motion tracked onto real footage backgrounds to make it a bit more interesting.

The "old super8 look" is just because of the club he was going to play at. They usually show stuff on screens with the same type of look.

It was simple to make the animations. But matching it to the (changing!!) beat of the music, was super duper difficult.
We figured the best way would be if we could somehow control the "beat" on the animations interactively. Maybe this could be done with flash? i dont know.. we´re scratching our heads.

Anyway here is a sample of what it was gonna look like: