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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Critique - Walkcycle

Funny thing is, I wanted to write that the overall feel to the walk is "robotic", but since the model represents a robot, isn't that a good thing? :)

Apart from that, there are a few areas that need fixing.

The one thing that gives it a very robotic feel is the head movement. If you want to go for that feel, you could still loosen up the head. Right now, the head rotates with the chest rotation, making it look very locked. Again, if you want that look, fine, but I would delay the head by two frames and lessen the degree of left/right rotation. If you're going for a more realistic movement, then keep the head steady, with minimal left/right rotation. But either way, there should be more nose up and down after each step.

Looking at the front camera, you can also tilt the head left and right with each step. Just a little bit, to add complexity and weight to the walk. This brings me to the overall body posture at x7 for instance. The left leg is up as she takes a step, but usually the other leg is straight during the passing frame, yours is bent. By adjusting the leg to being bent, it will also help you with the overall body up and down movement, which looks too linear. Also (and again, this will change as you correct the legs), the body goes up til x7 and then stops going up until x13, when it goes down again. Have the body go up in a fluid way as she takes the passing step (just like with the next step that you have) . Then, when she's about the plant the foot you can lower the body again. From x16 to 17 the body goes down and immediately up, which looks like a linear keyframe.

Looking at the front view camera, the right side of the hip is up, which is correct, since the weight is on the screen right leg. Do the same with the upper body. Tilt it towards the right, so that the screen right shoulder is down, which gives you a contrapposto pose. You can continue that offsetting with the head as well as mentioned before. Looking at the torso from the side, there is a weird rotation pause and it needs some smoothing out as well. Look at the shoulder area at x4. Up until then the torso rotates back with the arm, at x5 it rotates forward, without any smooth transition. After x5 it moves forward until around x11, then stops rotating, until it picks it up at x14 or 15. Keep the rotation going, keep the flow.

So the hip movement is correct, but the timing of it is a bit off. At x4 the screen right foot (front view again) just planted down, yet the hip is already up on the right side. The weight is not yet on that side, so keep the hips leveled out. At x4 set a key on linear and then have the hips all they way up at x7 the way you have it now, with the key on x7 on spline. This will give you a nice bump in the hips to sell the weight, without being a pop. Do the same thing at x16 and on.

The feet. They are pointing straight forward. Have them rotated outward (not too much) in order to get rid of the default look. You can also give the foot a little swing during the passing poses. Right now, when the foot gets off the ground it moves straight forward until the plant.

Legs in side view. The right leg goes back til x13 then pops forward at x14. Play around with the foot roll in order to get rid of that pop. The other leg has an even great pop. At x21 it looks ok, the completely extends at x22, bends back on x23. Looking at the knee ball, it doesn't move screen right from x23 to 24, then moves again. All this makes it look very poppy.

The arms. Side view. Her left arm needs smoother spacing towards the back part of the swing. Take your dry erase marker and plot out the spacing from x20 on. It goes back in an even manner, getting smaller from x24 to x0 (0? Where's x1?). But from x0 to x2 the spacing is bigger again, and from x2 to 3 even bigger. From 4 to 5 it suddenly goes forward. Either the keys are not laid out properly or the key is on linear at that point. The other arm is a good example, there the spacing is correct.
Front view. The same spacing problems are happening during the front part of the swing. The movement is very harsh going from left to right. Grab your marker (or whatever tool you have) and check the spacing.
You can also add a tiny bit of drag in the hands, as the arms swing back and forth. Not too much, just a little bit.

The shoulders can be looser as well. They won't lead the arms as they swing, they will move forward and back as the arms swing.

That's it! :)

It sounds like a lot, but you're doing good!


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