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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Critique - Bowling

looks a lot better, nice job!

Few things: you need to show the switch from being shy to kinda getting
used to the ball to liking it. Right now you have him pick up the ball
then go into the throw without hesitation. I would add a pause at around
x214, so that after he swings it up, he feels the ball, looks at it a
bit, then his demeanor changes and you can see that he starts to like
it. Have him then look at the pins (or whatever you call them) and show
that he's ready to do it.
Then you can go into the swing you have (the end of the swing could be a
bit more extravagant, look at reference for over the top players).
There also needs to be clearer acting during the anticipation of the
result and how happy he gets, to showing off to getting back to being
shy. It's all in there, but it happens without any distinct beats. It's
just one after the other. So as you get into more refined animation,
really flesh out the timing of all those actions.

Nice progression though, keep going!


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Critique - Ruckus (dialogue)

During the "I hear no ruckus" part the kids' lipsynch is a bit poppy. Make sure you don't have huge shape shifts happening over one frame.
the kids left hand is all swimmy and floaty during "can you describe...". It goes off the keyboard into that half-fist-index-finger-pointing-up pose.
There's some detail stuff (like the PSP going through his hand), but I need a frame counter for that.

his tie is too stiff. Look at the frame after he came in and he's looking screen right with his hand to his mouth. The tie is angled towards his crotch. It would hang straight down at this point. Wear a tie, film yourself and watch what it is doing. It also goes through his chest at one point.
The index finger should be higher up during "you better watch your tongue young man" (nicer silhouette - during the first half of the gesturing).
Now, I don't know if it is the player at work, but the sound seemed off at the beginning. From the beginning to "I was just in my office I heard a ruckus." the lip sync is off, except for the two "ruckus". After that it seems a frame or two early as well.
When he points behind him with his index down (after "in my office, I heard a ruckus"), after that, when he puts his arm down, you have his index still stiff. I mentioned that a couple of times, you need to curve the finger as he lowers his arm. He's relaxing his hand and fingers and having the index finger so straight the whole time looks awkward.
Careful when you put his left hand into the his pants pocket. It's okay to let the thumb disappear (you could show a pocket bulge, that would be even better, so that people see it's a pocket, not just geometry penetration), but at one point you curl his fingers into the pants as well. The way they disappear looks like a mistake on your side, people might think that you forgot to fix that part.
His very last expression should be angrier. More like "watch your tongue you man".

Other than that, nicely done.


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Critique - Walks


His legs are overstretching, it also feels like both feet are off the ground at the same time. Right now it looks like he's making little jumps between the steps. Is that intentional?
The upper body, the arms, the bag, all that is a bit slow, it feels very swimmy.
His head feels like an ostrich somehow. :) The timing is weird when you have his head go back and up after the step (as opposed to down and forward because of the weight and momentum).

These are the main points, I would also need a front and side view.

Bruce Lee:

3 views, nice! :)

His feet are poppy when they get off the ground, they really snap back, so tone that down (also visible in the front view how the knees pop out).
There seems to be a pop during the loop (sideview: his left arm pops during the loop).
His upper body is too late rotation wise compared to his arms. He swings his arms forward and a few frames later his chest follows, so scootch the timing forward.
His nose up down head movement could also be delayed by a few frames, it feels like it's going down as the step goes forward, not as a result of the step hitting the ground.
Work a bit more on his expression, it's a bit symmetrical, give it a bit more character besides that mean look.

Other than that it's pretty sweet!


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Critique - Cowboy

I would do another pass on his upper body as he takes the steps. There are a few moments where the upper body moves as one unit. For instance from x121 to x124, you have the body rotate towards the left, then stop. Same with the stop at x214. The chest part could be delayed a bit at x200 as he moves screen left. These are the major areas that need more fluid transitions.
I would also make the drops a bit less broad but also delay them a bit, they feel like they happen when the foot plants, as opposed to a bit later. You also have a strong down and the sideways, I would mesh them together more, so it's one fluid motion of down and to the side.
There is something about the screen left arm out like that. I would give it a try with his elbow more tucked in. Take x232 for instance, there's just something awkward about that (besides his fingers). Keep it more like x90.
That way the arm/elbow has somewhere to go during the pull on x266+
Or look at x240 to x260, it's weird to see the screen right part move (arm and shoulders, etc.), while the screen left arm is stuck out there with only his fingers moving. At the end of that only his right lower arm is moving, that's too isolated as well, it would affect the upper part of the arm as well.
The pull at x262 is very jerky and everything moves at the same time. His right arm jerks down as well at x264. During that draw his fingers would probably move first, then his wrist, his arm, shoulder, etc. The arm also stops very abruptly at x266, it needs to continue that momentum and have the fumble closer to the gun, right now it looks like he's tickling the gun.
The arm/gun movement is way too big from x284 to x285, give it more time. The hit is also too fast, happening over two frames til x287. Have the shoulder move back first, then the chest and don't move the upper body as one unit. During that hit his head will drag and not move with the body.
LOVE THE BLOOD! I know, sounds very violent, but it's cool detail with the drops!! The gun dangle and drop is great!
His upper body moves as one unit again from x350 to x360 (his hips would go first with his upper body rotated back and following). Also, during that move, the screen left knee goes in, so I would rotate the foot in as well. You're doing a footroll, which is good, but tilt it to the side as well, just like the other foot during the x387 part.
Delay his head a bit during x390 to x394 (moves as one unit again).
The head up movement from x405 to x420 is a bit too contained to the lower head controller and it's also a bit slow. Vary the timing a bit so that your curve is not so linear and add a bit of upper chest rotation to it.
x437 to x455 his arms move up at the same timing (speed is the same), break that up a bit (you could add some shakiness to one of them).
The fall is fantastic! What you need to do during that part is lock the screen left arm to the ground around x520. Also offset the arm-out movement at x490, both arms start at the same time. I would delay the screen left arm so that when he lands, the screen right arm hits the ground first. Add some finger detail on the impact as well, they are very locked during that part.
The legs' timing is great during the hits, but you need to offset them as well. In order to not screw up your timing, grab all the leg/knee/foot controller keys at x493 and then move them for about 4 or 5 frames to the right, that way the leg starts later but you didn't change any of the timing afterwards which is great.

Nice job! Almost done!


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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Frame Counter Option in Quicktime Pro

Here a tip from Andrew:

"I just discovered this kind of by accident. If you hover your mouse over the time code in Quicktime Pro an option bar pops up and you can change the display from timecode to frames."

Thanks for the tip!
Quicktime starts at frame 0, so depending on how your movies starts it won't match but it's cool to have in case someone forgot to put a frame counter in Maya.

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Critique - Walk and monkey

Alright, let's start with the walk:

- looks good, the fixes work pretty well, but there are some new issues. Sideview: look at her left arm, the swing slows down at the end of the loop and then accelerates as the shot starts, keep that momentum without this hiccup (check your curves from an earlier version, there was a tiny slowdown but it wasn't as poppy as this one).
- Sideview: head needs more nose up/down. Her whole upper body seems a lot stiffer compared to the front view. Definitely add some head overlap in there. If that doesn't help the overall feel, you can try to add some chest overlap (that might take the "snobby" feel out of the walk, but give it a shot).
- you fixed the "head hitting a wall" thing, but only on one side, watch how the head goes to the left til x12 and then stops

- something that's still in there is how the arms swing back (frontview). The forward and backward swing follows the same path, lower the arms after the front swing ends. So if you look at the screen left arm, it goes up til x4, then goes back the same way. Add a nicer arc where the arms goes down after the swing (both sides of course). Check drawing for what I mean (arc is exaggerated to make it clear).

That's it!

Now the monkey:

I can kinda guess what's going on, but guessing should never be required when looking at blocking, make sure that all your ideas are clearly in the blocking.
So the gun comes out and shoots his hand/finger, that's why he's waving it at the end?
The gun is not moving at all (after it settles), so you have to assume that it is not doing anything (ideas are not clear). If it is shooting, it needs to be visible. Right now you have to assume that the point of this clip is to attract the monkey to the bananas so that he can get shot. Hmm... a bit macabre. Why does he get shot for, just for picking up food? Is the gun shooting bullets, or darts or water or electricity (or whatever)?
If this experiment has been going on for a while, then it needs to be clear in the monkey's acting and how the set looks like. If not, then he's completely clueless and the set is clean.
Are scientists close by? Maybe in a window in the back or as a blurry black silhouette in front? Where is the floor, is it really high up?

Flesh out the story of the clip a bit more.


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Monday, October 22, 2007

Updated Pixar Library

Going through the Siggraph Videos I remembered an older bookmark of mine, the very nerdy and fascinating Pixar Library. So I checked it out again and guess what, it's full of "Ratatouille" stuff now. Ready to nerd out? Click here.

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Midterm is closing in, so please bring all the work that you have to class, starting with the bouncing ball (at least the ball and one more finished assignment needs to be handed in).

Also, email critique will resume tomorrow (Tuesday) night.


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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Critique - Walkcycle

Looking good, there are only tiny things I would add/fix. First, when he lifts up his suitcase (for the swing forward), I would add more tension to his fingers, show that he is tightening the grip.
I would also show the tension in his face, doesn't have to be a giant expression, but something going on would be cool.
All this time I thought it might just be me but looking at it again today, I would make his ears smaller. :)
They look like headphones from the front.
There is an extension of his right leg (sideview) as the leg goes back (going to frame 31), then from x31 to x32 his leg bends and it looks like the knee doesn't back anymore until x34/35. When you play that in normal speed it looks a bit poppy. Try to make that bend smoother.
In the front view, can you make the piece of paper flutter (the one that sticks out). Just a little wiggle around x20+ and and bend a tiny bit during the up/swing forward), that would be sweet. :)

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