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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Critique - Manager

Ok. First off, I love the pens... :)

I like the overall feel, nicely done. Now that it's been so long since I last saw it, I wonder if the hand readjustment around x210 is needed (I can already see you rolling your eyes :) ). Maybe it's because there's a lot of body and shoulder adjustment while he does hit. I would tone those down 50% but keep the hand, I wonder how it looks like. I think it would make it more like a cool subtle detail as opposed to selling that move to the audience, which would distract from the face. Might just be me though (you know me, I always go for less is more). Give it a shot. :)

Let's look at the face (I'm going to crit top to bottom). I like the head movements. The eyebrows are good, but maybe a tad busy? One thing though is, the eyebrows seem to just go up and curl down, but never curl up (up being like a an "n", down like a "u" - if that makes sense shape wise). It sticks out to me during x274, when just the screen left eyebrow goes up. It would be neat to have a nicer line through the brows. For reference, go to Carlos Baenas' new site and under resources or tricks (don't know right now), you'll find a page about brows, very cool.

The brow busy part is mostly after x290 or so. They go down, then up at 314 (I would tone that down 70%), then down again around 330 which is good though, but it starts adding up. So tone that one down, then I would keep the down instead of going up around x345 until around x370 where they go up again. I think it would add a stillness and nice pause before the "I'm sorry" part. Otherwise it just gets too busy.

The eyes. There's a weird counter move around x119. He looks screen left, keep it like that. Right now you have them going toward screen right as the head moves screen left and then they seem to move screen left as the head turns screen right again. Might just be an optical thing, or me, but try to keep a steady gaze. Then there's a quite a big move from x242 to 243. It's a big eye shift over one frame, plus they are really close to the eye corners. Lessen how far they move screen right. You can break it up between little eye darts. Another big eye dart is at x281 to 282. It feels even bigger because the eye lids move so much.

Lip synch is pretty good, there's a section though around x311 which stays the same for a while. It's a very small default feeling shape. Goes till x363 or so but even after that it kinda stays like that. I'm missing mouth corner variation. Not that you would want to make it all too busy and mushy, but try to get some asymmetry in there.

Upper body. There's a screen left/counter clock rotation at x135 that's mostly in the body (maybe a bit in the head too) which feels too fast and it ends to abruptly at x137. Keep the rotation going for 2 or 3 frames, ease into that stop. Then there's a forward and clockwise rotation starting at x197 which feels too separate. First he bends over till x203 (the head also goes with it a lot, which gives it this "one unit" feel to it). Then at x204 he rotates to the right until x209. That move also stops too quickly. Like I mentioned before, tone that whole body move down and combine the two rotations to make it more organic and less robotic.

Now the shoulders. This is going to screw you up but I would tone those down a lot. One thing that sticks out is how low they are. Look at x113, that's a good position. It's easier for us to lift up the shoulders. Moving them down is a really forced move. Unless we rotate them forward, more like a slouch. It's good to implement shoulder animation, it's often forgotten, but in your case I feel that they are too isolated, they move too much. Take x112 for instance. Around there you have the screen left shoulder move down very slowly til x128, which makes it a bit swimmy and isolated. Around the 200 area, tone down the height. You already have to tone down the upper body rotation, so maybe that's enough, but you might have to move the shoulder down a bit. The way it is now makes the move down from x241 to around x269 a very big one (it's also very slow, which gives it that uncontrolled, swimmy, spliney feel). Then on x319 the screen right shoulder, which is already low, starts to go even lower till around x335.

Looking at the hips I realized what makes the upper body/head movement from x198 to x210 so detached. The lower body and especially the hips are not moving. It feels very stiff. No need to add crazy movement, but some keep alive would be nice.

Changing the upper body and shoulders will alter your arm curves so try to keep them the way you have them now, because they're good. One thing though, check x284, the pose of the screen left arm with the hand on the tie. The wrist is cranked up a bit too much for my taste, it feels a bit broken. Tone that down a bit.

That's it. :)

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