I started by creating a GIF of the video reference that I found (front reference and side reference) and then I made frames from the GIF using the GIF Scrubber app for Chrome. This created 70 frames from my 6.4 second reference. I took every 8th pose and posed my model in Maya the same way. I forgot the do the math and finished on frame 70 in Maya but of course I should have check the length of my reference first and realised that I should have had around 154 frames. Once I had the poses on the correct frames I went back and started to adjust the timing between each pose.
This is my animation before I added the box to the action:
Jill Box Lift (Without Box) Side View:
Jill Box Lift (Without Box) Front View:
This is where I tried including the box with the action. Of course, the arm spacing to begin with wasn’t correct to hold the volume of the box the whole way throughout, so I had to go back and tweak the translate/rotation values for the shoulders, elbows and arms. This was quite difficult as the hands would often move away from the box between the poses so I ended up setting quite a few keyframes. There is still a lot of slipping and sliding that I need to fix and I think that I could also work on the weight a lot more. For example, there could be more anticipation/gathering of energy before she lifts the box above head height.
Jill Box Lift Front View:
Jill Box Lift Side View:
I think from the beginning of this project I over estimated the amount of work that I could get done in the time given. As a result there are a lot of areas I didn’t get completed for the deadline even though I’ve been working a lot. I’m not sure if this is because I focused on the wrong areas – like maybe I should have taken time away from research and development and put it into final polish. At the same time though I keep coming across talks where the importance of strong design over a nice image is stressed. Maybe my problem is more to do with using time efficiently and getting ideas out quickly.
Even though this project was more self directed I think we could have benefited as teams to find a way to be more organised as a unit from the beginning. For example, perhaps we should have made a more defined list of tasks to work through together and set frequent mini-deadlines for feedback sessions. This is probably easier said than done though as we did agree to do certain tasks but didn’t set strict deadlines.
Some of the feedback I added:
The arms were stiff while moving forward so I loosened it up by adding more drag.
I hadn’t widened the base of Marv enough making him look off balance. To fix this I spaced the legs farther apart and also worked more on the sideways arcs of his feet.
He was also unintentionally looking quite feminine. His walk seemed to become more male when I widened his base more to suit his girth. The outward angle of his arms to his body also made him look more feminine which I was having trouble fixing without them cutting through the body a lot. The problem didn’t seem so hard to fix after coming back to it.
I also worked more on how his feet were planting on the ground and rolling up as they were a bit glitchy looking.
Marv Walk Feedback Playblast 01 Front:
Marv Walk Feedback Playblast 02 Side:
Marv Walk Feedback Playblast 03 3/4-view:
Marv Walk Feedback Playblast 04 Top:
These are playblasts from my walk cycle for Marv. This version only contains feedback from Abigail about having the shoulders too high. I’ve since added more feedback. With this walk I was mostly concerned with how I could create a sense of weight through the timing. I choose the bulky Marv rig for this reason (more extreme). My main references were the Digital Tutors tutorial, Richard Williams’ The Animator’s Survival Kit, Conann’s class and a gif (which I’ve blogged about here).
Marv Walk Playblast 01 Front:
Marv Walk Playblast 02 Side:
Marv Walk Playblast 03 3/4-view:
Marv Walk Playblast 04 Top:
This is my attempt of the walk cycle from the Digital Tutors’ tutorial Creating Walk Cycles in Maya.
Blue Alien Walk Cycle Side Playblast:
Blue Alien Walk Cycle Front Playblast:
Blue Alien Walk Cycle Top Playblast:
The top view shows up some areas I could improve upon. The character’s left arm seems to have a nicer arc and the arcs of the feet as they move back and forth, into and away from the body, could be more exaggerated.
Blue Alien Walk Cycle Translated Playblast:
I’m just noticing some problems in the toe flap from this view also.
For our animation project I’m working with Matthew Skelly, Blayne, Christian and Abigail. We all feel (apart from Blayne maybe) like our animation skills are still at a low level at the moment. We all agreed that it would be best to try and tackle the basics before moving onto more complex actions even though we’ve seen references that we’d like to try eventually. We had also talked about animating characters to specifically fit into our sci-fi scene that we’re working on together for the modeling project. We’ll start simple and see how far we can go!