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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Critique - Wall

Alright, here we go:

First off, it looks really good. BUT. It feels like you stuck to the video reference a bit too much. You're getting close to mocap, rotoscope quality. If you'd have that on your reel for ILM (and I assume Sony, WETA, etc.) it would be a good fit in terms of realism. But I suspect that for feature animation shops you might want to amp up the cartoon factor. That's up to you of course.

Animation wise, the biggest fix that has to be done are his arms, they still feel very IK-ish. Let's look at his left arm. Since you got all those great details in there, I'll be nit picky. Look at x20 and his hand. His body goes forward yet the hand doesn't move till x30. That feels too locked for me. I would start having a tiny movement in the hand leading into what you have after x30. Just have his fingers stay in the same spot so that you still get the feeling that his hand is pressed against the board.
As the hand/arm moves away from the board, it follows a pretty straight line till around x37, then kinda sticks there until almost x42, after that it goes down in another straight line to x56, where the hand stays put again until x60. On top of that the wrist orientation stays the same and the timing of those movements is very even and slow. Then the arm goes straight up until x73+ to around x87, again with no wrist change. The fingers also stay in the same pose (and go through the leg geometry around x93). After x98 the wrist does rotate but very slowly and in an unnatural way. The arm again doesn't have a nice arc to it, it moves straight from after x100 or so to around x118, again with pretty even spacing.
Once he's on the wall the wrist is flat on the wall, with all that pressure on it, I can see that it wouldn't move. But the body starts to do some big moves and the arm is shaking, so it would still be neat to see a tiny bit of wrist squishing left and right following the arm movements. Now, the wrist goes up around x172. Is he just momentarily getting off the wall or are you overextending the arm? It feels a bit big and fast, that's why I see it more as a pop than something intentional. If it is intentional, I would tone it down by 50% in terms of height, that way you slow it down.
So what's killing the left arm animation are all the straight lines instead of arcs and especially the even timing and how the hand/arm sticks in one position. All this just screams IK (and even if it isn't, it makes it look that way).

Now his right arm. Same thing here. Even timing, slow moving. Let's start with x22 to x35, too slow and even. After that he takes his hand off the board which is good but the up movement suddenly goes down and then the arm stays put at x45 until around x60. It looks like it's moving straight towards the camera yet not up or down. After that we get the super slow motion move up until x99 where finally accelerates. You definitely need more rhythm during that part. The rest looks good.

The body overall is great, it would just fix the beginning around x20 as it goes down to x34, that movement suddenly starts and feels very even in terms of spacing.
I would also add more variety to his lean forward when he checks if the coast is clear. So from x39 to around 52. Body and head just rotate forward and then stops. I think you could lead more with the head and then follow with the body. Speaking of head, the head turn around x60 is a tiny bit fast, I would add one or two more frames to the turn and overshoot a tiny bit more. Right now it's fast and then from 65 to 67 it stops. It doesn't end like hitting a wall, which is good, but I think slowing down the turn will help. Same thing for the turn around x100.
Even though the complexity is nice, I feel like the body head move to the right at x153+ is a bit fast and abrupt. It goes till x158 or so. Again, I would slow it down, so just don't have him go as far. You might just have to reduce the head rotation so you can keep the body stuff. I think that could be enough to take the jerkiness out of that section.

What I really like are his feet and legs, especially when the feet are on that metal trash can. The fact that the feet don't stick on it feels nice to me. Hard shoes and slippery metal. One thing though is his right leg at x150 to x151. I think you should ease into that sudden up movement a bit more. So have the foot a bit lower at x151 and fix the spacing from there. Right now it's borderline a pop because the foot is on the can and on the next frame pretty high up already.

Finally, tilt the camera down a bit. You're still hugging the frame. Other than, looks awesome!

Nice work!

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