Jill Box Lift Progress

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:


Creative Development Reflection

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.


Marv Walk Cycle (Heavy Male) Feedback Added

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:

Marv Walk Cycle (Heavy Male) Before Feedback

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:

Walk Cycle Reference Gif

Someone posted this gif on the Animation Belfast facebook page which I found quite helpful.

 photo walkcykles_zps6iqebzfn.gif

I took screenshots of the poses on each frame I wanted according to Richard Williams 33 frame cycle. This way I could get a better idea of how weight affects how slow/fast the character moves between poses. I was mostly interested in the heavy walk for reference for my attempt at Marv. Heavier movements require more energy, will therefore take longer to lift and will stay suspended for a shorter time.

Keith Lango: Building Overlaps, Breakdowns and Micro-Anticipations into Your Workflow

Keith Lango (October 2005) VTS 08 Timing Part IV

My notes:

Offset the timing of different parts of the body. Everything doesn’t usually arrive at the same time. Look at the Treasure Planet (2002) scene where John Silver offers his knives hand. Look at flow, weight, emphasis of space. The hand goes out first and the body settles in after. Actions like this can’t be made by simply offsetting the keys. This is why we need forethought and planning when creating our poses.

 photo treasure planet_zpsombsrhwz.gif

Treasure Planet (2002)

Flow and rhythm. Think of where you want your point of emphasis e.g. the hand is in contrast to everything else in the scene above. Emphasis can be created by moving at a different time – late/early- and also by timing fast versus slow. What needs to be emphasized for the story?

i.e. Think through the scene. What needs to be looked at? Emphasize this with offsets.

Creating pose ‘a’, breakdown and pose ‘b’ and then offsetting in the dope sheet can lead to unexpected/unwanted results. Possible alternate solutions: Build your drags and offsets into the breakdown. E.g. In an arm and torso twist – Hold the arm back longer compared to the turn of the torso. Then add another pose/drawing where the arm arrives later. Think also of how the torso eases in. The torso could still be slightly easing in as the hand arrives. Think of the mechanics of the weight happening.

Build breakdowns from what the computer gives you between pose ‘a’ and pose ‘b’.

Micro anticipation – something you feel rather than see. A micro-anticipation will give more pop and energy to your action. Don’t do it with whole body e.g. head/shoulders/elbows as this will create a stutter.

No micro-anticipation:

 photo lango_micro_anticipation_01_zpsg28bnevr.gif

Micro-anticipation added:

 photo lango_micro_anticipation_02_zpsm0aiehg4.gif

You can also add smear poses (like smear drawings), where the form elongates, during a fast movement. This creates a feeling of flow in the forms.


Keith Lango: Breakdowns, Anticipation and Eases

Lango’s VTS06 and VTS07 provided some great revision for breakdowns, anticipation and eases. Seeing Lango’s blocking workflow, which we also looked at a bit last year, was also useful. Thinking this way might help us for blocking out a lip sync/acting scene if we get time to try it as part of our project. I think Lango will be going through this more in later videos.

My notes:

VTS 06 (August 2005) Timing Part II

Breakdowns: making stuff move. It helps define the flow of imagery from one pose to another.

Illustration of poses: power, line of action, storytelling

The speed of the action determines how big the breakdown needs to be i.e. timing determines breakdown intensity. Fast moves usually require more intense breakdowns. In this way, we can see the breakdown intensity as being proportional to the energy required to move a weight – more energy is needed to quickly move a weight. However, greater distances across the screen also require more interesting breakdowns.

increasing breakdown intensity = increasing speed

increasing breakdown complexity = increasing distance across screen

Anticipations: a sub/minor pose, of varying degrees of intensity, that announces something is going to happen.

Anticipations, like breakdowns, are dependent on the timing and distance of the move. To make things move, you need energy. If a large move is going to happen within a small timing then a large anticipation will be needed to show the build-up of energy. Showing the build-up of energy creates the expectation/anticipation of movement.

VTS 07 (September 2005) Timing Part III

Eases “are your primary tool for spacing” (but not the only tool). Eases also create weight. You don’t need a slow in after a big anticipation. Be mindful of what you need to use. A large anticipation followed by a large release of energy might make an ease-out look strained. Try a ‘settle back’.

 photo lango_ease_anticipation_zps93zwdl1i.gif

Think of where the energy is needed to build up and where it is lost after the move. Make your own fcurve rather than relying on an inorganic cg made curve.

Blocking – block out the main poses/drawings (plus lip sync of syllables). Space out the poses to where the lip syncs are. Before you think of timing, just focus on what the poses will look like on certain syllables of what is being said (plan ahead). Try and figure out as much as possible through these initial poses: weight, arcs, drags, squash and stretch etc. Try to capture what the character is feeling through each body part. Space out the poses to where the lip syncs are. This blocking-workflow allows you to fix poses independently without having to worry about timing yet and vice versa.

 photo lango_blocking_zpsopfzh3d2.gif

Fill in the eases to understand where the energy flows.