Monday, September 26, 2016

October project thumbnail concept

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 a shot of me setting up my scene, I'll be mapping the painting to the geometry I'm building here in order to rig it and animal the interaction. Testing phase begins.


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

5th Pass

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

4th Pass

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

3rd Pass

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

2nd Pass

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

Portfolio 2 1609 demo Block-Out with notes

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.