Monday, 26 October 2009

Right, er ... where's that button ...?

Okay so now we're settled back, given briefs on the various projects, I can now start on this practical work. So we started off with just a simple walk cycle. I know (in hindsight after getting back into maya) this was the simplest task ever!! But... it seemed like a hurdle the size of the empire state building at the time, keyboards and computer monitors flying everywhere, wasn't really a pretty sight.

Anyway, after finally managing to crack the system I soon got stuck into creating the walk cycle, which in the end took no time at all really, but looking back on it now I feel it's lacking something. I wanted to create a different walk, compared to the one foot in front of the other, so I went for a feminine slow strut. Below is the rough through at the early-ish stage, and it's beginning to take shape with just a bit more tweaking on the hands and the legs, to make the deeRig flow a bit more fluidly.

video

I think maybe it's the way the right hand is on the hip, and it does slightly move, it kinda navigates away from making the character feel completely alive. Of course it does in the sense that the whole body flows, with the hips and a little back and head movement, but I think for future reference, adding a bit of blink, and finger movement will help immensely to get that 'real' look. Below is the final take of the deeRig in motion, I am quite pleased with how this turned out but for the next time I do a walk cycle, or any other animation in that case, to add the blinks and finger movements even moreso subtle movements.

video

"Character's you say, eh? Fictional I assume..."

*Grabs the dictionary* okay, c, c, ch....chara, aha! Character, here we go, hmm...... Right it's this one, n. 1 the collective qualities or characteristics, especially mental and moral, that distinguish a person or thing. Basically ask this, what makes a character? Well it's all about body language, and the qualities of a person or object and in the context of animation, it's based on everything with how a person behaves, the way they, walk, talk, the way they retell a situation or story, the body language, the way hand gestures are used, even the way someone looks at you without saying a word, you can immediately associate a word.

A strong, well developed character is something that the audience can easily and quickly read, if this can be done, it creates the most important thing with a character. Believability. Okay so you have a good story, maybe even the next big thing, but it's nothing without great acting. Without a good actor, or as is the case, an animator, the story cannot be read with poor character animation, it isn't about facial emotion, fantastic if you can do that, but without the base of good, well-understood actions, a character won't be believable.

Note to self: Become the character! Get inside the character. What would they be thinking? What do they want? What would they do? Why are they doing it?

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

On With the Show

*Yawn* sits up *stretch* "ahh." Alrighty, so here I am again, after spending the last three months stashed away in a human-sustainable pod tucked away in a cupboard, along with my fellows in the animation suite, i awake to fully submerge myself into the world of animation, hopefully doing more "advanced and pushing myself further stuff" Okay, so maybe being taken hostage by tutors to collectively plan for world domination isn't legal and didn't happen, but hey, i've got to have a crazy imagination to keep me busy.

So here I am, i've revamped my blog a bit, made it look aesthetically pleasing, and hopefully i'll be posting every week, but it could be pushing it!

Week 1 and the very dawn of year 2. Literally dawn!
We're given the general outline for the projects that'll be carried out this term, animating and giving character to a 3-d model, 2-d drawing or maybe even stop-motion. The brief for a sketchbook project was given, all about capturing conversation between people. Also another little, well another big project, experimental animation and putting animation to music. There's also an optional face assignment, to make a virtual '3-d' me. Hmmm talk about piling it all on, nevertheless it'll all be very interesting.