Go to Spungella for new posts.

> academyanimation is no longer active and serves as archives

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Critique - Run Cycle

The run is a bit too fast. The steps pop. It's also a bit out of character since he is a big and heavy guy. The run would be a bit more labored. Unless you're going for super cartoony. But I would stay within character, make it a lot slower and laboured.
Two technical things, don't have the feet go through the floor (as they are about to get off the ground) and the moment you set a foot down, it has to be locked. It will slide backwards in a linear timing, but from the front the feet should not move to the left or right. It's only your screen left foot, keep it like the right one.

Any idea what he's running from or after? Would be fun to integrate more of a reason into the cycle.
Don't forget though to present cycles in one movie the way it is on the website.


>>Click here to read the rest of the post...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Walkcycle - Moving the body forward

I was checking online for a normal walkcycle which had the body go forward during the cycle, just to make sure that I wasn't full of crap by telling you not to do so. I learned it this way, but maybe in the meantime the approach of a cycle changed. But I couldn't find anything either in tutorials nor in video reference.
The only time I moved the body was for a more exaggerated walk, or sneak, something more rhythmic.
So I did this cycle to check it out for myself anyway and remembered something essential. When you take your character and move him/her/it from A to B, any cheats in the foot area obviusly won't work, because you will see if they stick to the ground or not (my right foot was sliding...). If you want to be really sure that your walk will work, grab your ALL_Body controller (or whatever controller moves your WHOLE character) and set keys so that your characters walks from A to B without sliding.

Here the character is moving its body forward during the cycle. Notice how there is a hiccuppy feel to it because of that.

This time the body just goes up and down, which eliminates that pop in the walk.

>>Click here to read the rest of the post...

Run Cycle Tutorial

There is a great tutorial for a run cycle animation @ rodri.aniguild.com. It's very well explained, has tons of movies and images to better understand the process. Go check it out!

>>Click here to read the rest of the post...

Critique - Balls and Walk


the balloon is good. The heavy ball is good as well. The normal one is technically almost there, what needs a fix is his forward translation. As the bounces get smaller, his forward momentum has to decrease. Take you dry erase marker and plot out every where where the ball hits the floor and every frame at highest point of the bounce. You'll see that the bounces decrease in height, but almost stay the same going screen left. Start cutting a third or even half of that translation forward and you'll be set. The ball will probably not reach the wall, or maybe just roll to it.

Walkcycle. Looks good! There is a big problem though, which was addressed in class. Remember not to translate the body of your character forward, stick to the up and down.
Your feet also seem to accelerate backwards once they hit the floor, but 2/3rds into it slow down again. Make sure that your z curve (or x) is completely linear with only two keys, from the moment the foot touches the floor until it lifts off. That pop you mentioned probably comes from that uneven timing.
Before you go into the leg pop details, take your main body controller and (in the front view) move your character left and right, so that around x12 the weight of the body is more over the screen right leg, and the same on the other side, around x27 or so. Don't have him sway left and right like crazy, just a little bit, just for some weight shifts, because right now the body looks fairly locked.
The walk is fairly real, not exaggerated I mean, so because of that I would lessen the nose up and down.
Your hands rotate back too much during the swing back, so x0 and x16. If they would be that swingy, they would be in that position two to three frames later (overlap and drag), but in a realistic walk, you can cut that rotation at least in half. Same goes for the rotation looking at it in the front view. Most of the time the palm is facing us, but when the arms are swinging forward, again x0 and x16, the hands rotate with the back of the hand facing us. It's a bit much and you can cut that rotation in half as well. Being that big it looks like a deliberate move of the character, not a movement that's part of the walk mechanics.
Take all your finger, hand, elbow, arm and shoulder keys and delay them for two frames. Right now you arms are swinging like the legs. Leg takes a step, arm is in front, leg goes back, arm goes back. But the arms are a tiny bit delayed compared to the leg.
Delay also the hip movement. Frontview: at x20 (and x4 for the other one), as the screen left leg is planting down, your hips can be completely leveled, then have the key linear at that point and keep the timing of when the hips are going up, with that key on spline. With that delay and broken tangent you will get a nicer up movement of the hips, showing a bit more weight.
Last but not least, a little expression in the face would help, getting rid of that default look.

After that, you're done! Looking really good, nice work.


>>Click here to read the rest of the post...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Bouncing Ball - Reference Animation

Here's another set of bouncing balls which show mastered physics.

>>Click here to read the rest of the post...

Get Netflix

Or Blockbuster, whatever you prefer. But either way, you should be watching at least one new movie a week. I'm using the 3-at-a-time version with Netflix and I love it. I got to see "Haven", "In the Mouth of Madness" and "Zodiac" last week-end and in all of them I noticed sweet little character details that you can use in your animation.
Watch as many movies as you can. It trains your eyes in terms of acting, composition (click here and scroll down for some basic tips), editing, all that good stuff. Plus you can build your audio clip library as well.

>>Click here to read the rest of the post...

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!


>>Click here to read the rest of the post...