Monday, September 26, 2016
I have talked about the benefits of creating, analyzing, & using reference; last month, the value in copying animation, this month's piece is a little different. The animation is something, that I am not physically capable of doing, and I want it to be unique to my piece, so I have done a quick concept pass. Thumb nailing is definitely something any animator should take time to develop skill for. To quickly scribble out something that helps you visually create your concept is the goal. For me with this test it was more about a quick zippy action that would make my character interact with the BG painting. I took a digital painting of mine I did in my "One a Day" challenge I did last year and imported it in maya onto an image plane, then used the Grease pencil to thumbnail the animation. Tangent: I challenged myself to drawing something & paint and post it every day of the week for a while year. Here's a link to my website page where I posted these paintings. Now the interesting thing that happened when I did this is that I was creating a bit of style guide for my characters world. When I look at a lot of what I did, it is to me, very clear that it's a rough study of my characters world. It wasn't exactly my plan to do this, it just happened.
Here's the progression from clip & analysis, to Keys & Breakdowns, & not quite the finish, but as far as I had time to take it. Once again, I could have used a couple more passes on this. I had only just started deviating form the original animation clip, and having a little of my own fun, and haven't cleaned it up and finessed it nearly enough. the spin at the end definitely needs more tlc.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Ok 5th Pass. Having fun with arcing Timmy's hands, seems appropriate for him with those arms and hands, and hell it's just fun. More clean up in the graph with the progression, this takes focus to orchestrate the rotations & counters to be smooth, it's also a great way to really control your spacing to get the performance you are looking for. For those of you who are pursuing animation as your discipline, get in the graph and make it part of your workflow !!! The other thing I'm having fun with is the use of timing and spacing holding keys for 2 and 3 frames and pushing my exaggerations on ones in the fast actions. Look at the peak of the jump back and the landing afterwards for some 2's and 3's.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Ok, 4th pass. Out of stepped. I pretty much stuck to the timing and spacing from the clip and use of slow-outs & slow-ins, poses on 2's & 3's, yes, there was one pose held for 3 frames. See if your eye can catch it. This could definitely use a few more hours of just smoothy some things out in the graph, and tightening up arcs. I'd like to take at least one last pass with this and move away from the reference and see what I can add to it from my own animation toolbox. This style of animation is so appealing to me. It's all about those Strong Keys, and how you get in and out of them, don't forget , how long you stay in them, so we can actually see those poses. The use of timing and spacing is so huge here too. If you understand this, you understand the basic foundations of animation. Yes, I know, you asking yourself, why is he animating instead of grading me milestone 2 turn in. Fair question.
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Another pass, adding some breakdowns in. I'm posting these in stepped, but I work out of stepped, using mayas in-betweens to help create breakdowns, and I also like to be able to keep an eye on my rotations and fix them out of stepped. Up until now, I have not ben concerned with the timing and feel of the piece. I'm just using the reference and recreating it as best as I can with my rig. This is a very extreme piece of animation, not a lot of in-betweens, not much work to leave to maya. Now I'll start trying to break it down further and finesse it. Next time you see it it will be out of stepped and hopefully feeling a bit smoother.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Ok guys, 2nd pass, Really 3rd. 1st pass, consisted of a quick ruff out and then a 2nd pass on the keys. This pass has the rest of the keys in it, with a lot more work in the graph editor to smooth out rotations and clean up any rotation problems throughout the characters hips, hands, & feet. Yes, with something rotating this much you can get gimble, or just wind up with rotations that are not working throughout the body. That's why this scene is better handled straight ahead, to keep track of your direction in rotations. I put quite a few poses in it to help keep track of the rotations, but he's spinning so fast it is still hard to nail them. All can be solved in the graph editor though, make friends with your graph your life depends on it, or at least your animation does. Next pass will get all the major breakdowns in, another tweaking session on all the keys poses again, and more graph editor work to keep this as clean. After that, I will probably pull away from the reference and have some of my own fun.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Ok 3DA2 1609 For this month's scene I decided to use a piece of animation and recreate it with my rig. If this is something you have not thought of doing, you are missing out on a great way to practice and learn from someone else's hard work. You can learn a lot from studying and copying. The idea for me was to try and get some of the wonderfully fun style of Genndy Tartakovosky from Hotel Transylvania into my tool box. Trying to keep up with this style of animation is going to be a very big challenge with my 3 dollar rig, especially in such a tricky scene with quite a bit of rotations. Check out that video I posted on rotational order, and google Gimble lock if you are foggy on these things. I'll probably stick close to it until I get it moving fairly well with most of the poses needed, and then I will have some fun and add my own style into it. What you are looking at here is a playblast of my Hotel Transylvania reference scene with my mark up notes on a image plane, the block out and a quick grease pencil draw over. I did a quick first pass with my keys trying just to ruffly lay in the main keys and a good foundation with the characters mechanics in the perspective view. I put in more keys than I had planned to on the first pass to handle the spin, it being a very fast and complicated action that should be handled as a straight ahead animation approach rather than a pose to pose. Then I drew over the poses I had created from the shot camera to show how I wanted to push the poses to work better within the context of the motion it was intended to create and to also work as best i could from the shot camera view. Then I pushed my poses closer to my ruff notes. While I was doing all this, I was working in the graph editor to make sure that I was keeping my character clean from having gimble lock issues. I had already changed my rotation order on the rig to XZY before I began my scene. Y being the most use rotation, and X being used quite a bit when he dips int the spin.
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Ok, this is as far as I had time to make it this month. Much too long of a scene to finish in time. Good lesson for everyone, including me, don't bite off more than you can chew, the old Quality versus Quantity. So, I got through my 5th pass. Still need about two more passes through this to get it ready for prime time. Just to get it to feel a little better I added some blinks and worked on the transitions of some of the expressions. There is plenty of work left at this point. I have done very little tweaking of curves at this point, all the clean-up of curves and smooth out in-betweens & strengthen arcs is missing at this point. Some of the actions still need some softening and finessing. The hands have been worked a little more, but are still not complete. Like I said the Lion's share of the work, I'd say, at least two days work left, two long days. Best wishes to everyone in class moving on with there studies and best wishes for a happy and successful career.
Monday, August 22, 2016
Ok, so this is the scene out of stepped after I've taken a run through it and Broken it down more, slow-ins, moving holds, more breakdowns, some added anticipations. As I spoke about before a whole lot of wresting with Timing & Spacing, checking arcs. Trying to get an interesting pacing of my ideas. Basically playing with how my character should move. I still have not got a clear idea of the feel I want him to have. Next month probably a shorter scene so I can focus on a style. This is still not even close to being finished. Although I have done some work on the hands and fingers, much more needs to be done, rotates and arcs need to be finessed and cleaned up. Face needs to be broken down and animated, Blinks, Brows & Eye darts to give him some life, the end part needs some breaking down still. And you may have noticed his hands cutting through the walls when he comes up in the elevator. That's what you get when you hide your BG for too long. This is about 19 seconds worth of animation, like I said when I pitched it to you, this is a big involved scene.
Ok, as you have seen in class, I've been showing you where I am now with my scene. It's out of stepped, and I'm as I termed it wrestling around with many things to get the over all performance to work. I'm adding in my other pass of Breakdowns, that include slow-ins, & moving holds. I'm reworking timing and the spacing of poses to get some texture that suites my type of character in my scene. That is what this is an example of. Before I was showing you examples of this with many changes going on throughout my characters whole body. This is an example of the use of timing & spacing changes just focused on my characters right hand when he grabs the gate just before he walks out. Now I was happy with the overall timing & action of my characters body moving out of that section, so I did not want to change the timing of the over all poses. I started by adjust the hand & fingers poses (SPACING), throughout that section to speed it up and get more of a crisp snap to it. Once I pushed it as far as I could get it, I put in a couple of keys just on the hands to control it more. After I pushed it too far I brought it back some so I could not see the distortion of the fingers. I'll tap through this in lecture to show you the difference in the poses that are creating the change.
Friday, August 12, 2016
Ok, 3rd pass. Adding in the major breakdowns at this point. For my students, keep in mind how important Breakdowns are in animation. They are usually the most interesting and dynamic poses in your scene. They create the arcs, and offset the action in so many ways. Since they are in motion, they give you the power to drag things so everything is not moving at the same rate or time. They can favor in both the timing & the spacing, so that you can bring more texture into the movement of your scene. When you think of texture, think contrast. At this point I'm still using my reference, although I am exaggerating greatly and starting to alter my timing a bit. My poses are not set in stone as I move forward everything will be up for debate as I move out of stepped and start adding my slow-ins and moving holds, I'll be constantly tweaking my timing and the poses to get the feeling I'm going for with my character. It becomes a big wrestling match with those two very important things Timing & Spacing.
Monday, August 8, 2016
Ok, Second pass. I laid in my next pass of keys. I call them lesser keys, which consist of other anticipations,& keys, which I felt could be left out without losing too much in my 1st pass. Like I said in class, many people will have their own opinions on the exact label of a pose as it relates to keys, breakdowns, some of us have sub-catorgories. To sum it up it's a way to go from the Macro to the Micro, working from the Bigger idea down to the fine details, work-flow or in this case- AKA Pose to Pose one of the Principles. As long as you are clear on the pose and what it is doing to help create the action in your scene. These poses can all be considered extreme poses, without them the character will be missing something in the interpretation of the reference I'm working from. I'm still not concerned with my timing at this point. I'm using the timing of the reference just as a guide. After I get my breakdowns in and am happy that I have what I need from my reference, I'll start working with my timing. My character is a very cartoony type of character so I'll be pushing farther and farther away from my reference, exaggerating much more. The broader I move him the more I will have to work with my timing. Everything leads back to Timing & Spacing. I cannot use the same timing from my video if I change my spacing that drastically without him moving much quicker and maybe popping too much. Again, at this point I'm more concerned with good strong poses other than motion, checking to see that the mechanics are doing what they need to and that the poses relate to each other while also keeping in mind what I'm seeing in my reference. I'm going back and forth from the perspective window to the shot camera and working in the graph editor to keep my progression clean and tweak my poses.
Saturday, August 6, 2016
So I'll just write this from the point of view of talking with my students. At this point don't worry about seeing your animation move with interpolation / in-betweens, in stepped your focus should be about staging and mechanics to tell the story and build the framework of how your character will move in and out of those Key ideas. I've blocked out my key poses and took a second pass to try and design and push the poses before I move on and add more poses. I've tried to make good decisions with the mechanics of the poses & staging. The silouhette, line of action, use of negative space, and over all appeal. Keeping in mind the type of character I am animating I want to exaggerate my poses to suite him, and make good choices on how I use & stage his large forearms. At this point the keys are strong enough that I will move on and add the rest of my keys knowing that all of these poses will continue to be tweaked in the process so that all the poses are working together to create the action. I'm using the timing from the video, and the poses just as a guide right now, as I continue through the scene, I will start abandoning the reference and reworking the timing to better suite my character and animation style. Although it's early on in your development with computer animation you should be aware of how you are creating your poses and the progression in the graph editor. Much like the clean up and progression of the walk, your whole scene should be looked at in the same manner. Keeping your progression smooth starting with the block out is a extremely important part of your workflow if you want to excel at computer animation. Ask e more about this in lab for specifics about your scene.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
So this is the start of the August Portfolio 2 class I am teaching at FullSail University. I plan to post the animation and process I do each month as inspiration, demonstration, & general love of the medium that I share with my class. In my class I really stress the use of reference, creation & analysis, with a strong emphasis on mechanics. Here is the reference I created for this month with some quick notes to start defining the Key & breakdown poses and start to define the mechanics of those poses. I've broken this down to what I refer to Keys, lesser Keys, and then main Breakdowns. There are still more breakdowns to be found, slow ins & Holds and such. I'll be animating my Character I created, modeled & rigged (Rig still in progress). I'll post the block out soon.