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Thursday, February 22, 2007


Hey boys and girls,

time for the weekly update.

Speaking of which, academyanimation.blogspot.com has new posts (I hope you are checking this site). First off, the reel on Veerapatra's animation site.

The animation on the reel is great and definitely and inspiration for other animators. I posted specific clips on our site, 3 walk cycles and a weight assignment. The reason is because they have personality. It starts simple with just adding color to your model and making it different, to establishing a character for a walk, like the cop or the dog owner. Same goes for the weight assignment. It's not just an assignment, the action takes place within a set, the character has a purpose, he's not just lifting something because that's the assignment, the exercise was taken beyond the minimum requirements.

The latest clip on our site is Joey's current Character Ball assignment. I'm not singleing (is that a word?) him out because I favor him or because he's great and the rest of you suck, but because he's great and the rest of you... noo, just kidding! But the clip is great and should serve as an inspiration and motivation for the rest of the class to think outside the box.

I understand that it's difficult to master a walk, there are a lot of mechanics and problems to think about, but same goes for other assignments. If you plan to make a living doing animation, then you need to look around and study what other people are doing. The successful ones and the not so successful ones, so you learn what to do and what to avoid. Your work needs to stick out, it needs to grab people's attention (in a good way). It needs to be original and engaging. Most importantly, it needs to have personality. Character. You can't get away with "just" doing the correct movement, the correct animation. The character needs to be alive and it needs to be unique. That goes for a ball, a flower sack, a cube monster, a human, etc.

If you have an idea but then you don't use it because it means "more work", then you might as well quit now. Harsh, maybe, but still true. Animation is hard work and you need to be willing to go the extra mile.

Think about how you can add personality to your work. Your character, who is he/she? What is he/she or it? How old is the character? Where does the character come from? In what situation is the character in your clip, what happened before, what will happen next? If your character is doing something, it will change according to his situation. Let's say he's eating breakfast. Well, the way he's eating it will be different if he's sleepy, late for an appointment, distracted, super hungry, etc.

So think outside the box for your current and next assignments.

If you are unsure about something, email me, ask me in class, don't be shy.



shiva kumar said...

Here's the link to my Normal Walk Cycle on YouTube. I'm now working on a Character Walk.

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Looking good!

Few things that caught my eye. The feet are very straight (front view), you could more complexity to them.
The knees and the right hand (front view for hand) have a few pops, check your curves and smooth that out.
I also wonder if the body dips down too fast, I would slow that down a tiny bit (just 2 frames or even one).

Other than that, good stuff!

shiva kumar said...

hi jean,

thanks for the comments, i did the tweaks to get rid of the pops you mentioned.

Here is the link to the new Normal Walk Cycle. You can compare it to the old link.