Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mike Feil - Ring - Critique

video

Hey,

looks really good!

A few little things that caught my eye:

- during the first 34 frames the screen left hand feels super sticky, especially with the arm bending and moving around. I would add some ambient movement to the hand

- the ring drops a bit too nicely. I would have it land a bit on one side and then roll in place for a tiny bit

- the hand going off the table after around x220 feels a bit forced. It looks like it's moving in a straight line (height wise) up to around x236, then down. I would lower the hand throughout, so it flattens

- then I would have it swing and be a bit delayed compared to the other arm when they both go up around x271; right now the right hand goes down and then immediately up with the other arm at the same time

- from x365 to 382 the wrists feel very locked as he pulls the back towards him. When the forearm rotation changes, it should also affect the wrist and during the initial pull as well

- same thing during the lift, up to around x431.

Coming along nicely, keep going!

Cheers

JD

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lukas Niklaus - New York - Critique

video


The shots are getting better and better. Let's go through them one by one in more detail. Here my suggestions:

shot1:
- Soften the lips after "up". From x47 to x48 there is a big shape change, but from x48 to 49 there is no change except in the jaw. This gives the "p" in "up" too much emphasis, which is not reflected in the audio.
- watch the SL guy towards the end where the hand holding the cup starts to drift down. It feels more like a drift than an intentional move. Since we're shifting the attention to the girl, I would not have him move at all besides some tiny keep alive so that the audience doesn't get distracted
- this might just be me but it feels like the eye dart ending on x18 going screen right has then another slow move screen left right afterward, which I would take out. If you have a big eye dart going one way and then immediately going back it feels like a bounce, which is weird for eyes
- the girl's eye dart from x47 to x48 is a bit big, it feels more like a pop. I would also delay it by a few frames. We're looking at the guy, then he looks over to her, so the audience follows his look and by the time we get to her she's already done that eye dart. So just delay it a bit and don't have the eyes travel as far

shot2:
- I would delay her eye actions to x132 so that there is a little beat after New York; right now the eye darts feel a bit rushed and the pauses between each dart is very similar in timing
- I would soften the head stop at x159 so that only the beginning is harsh given her "swallow"
- as you mentioned the fingers need some refining but it's pretty close. I would adjust how the hand stops around x180 so it's not so clean and abrupt - and when the knee goes screen left around x257 it feels like the knee goes first without influencing the fingers

shot3:
- you could move the guy a little bit more screen left but it's not a deal breaker
- his left hand move up around x326 to 330 is a bit fast, especially at the end how it stops; a fast move like that is a bit too contrasty given the quiet delivery of the line
- you mentioned that you liked the head turn as it is; I still feel that it is a bit too arc-y and fast on the up, but if you feel strongly about it then that's perfectly valid

Almost there! Nice work!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lukas Niklaus -New York - Critique

video

Shot3: Looks good, but I would position the guy a bit more screen left. Right now everything is concentrated within the screen right half, which is crowding that area a bit. He could stand where the pole is, maybe a tiny bit to the right of it. Then just cheat the pole around.

Shot2: It's much better with the toned down emotion and I can see your point about the gear change at that point. All I would do is break up that change a bit then. Her pause is not just a pause, it's kind of a hidden swallow because of her emotions. So instead of having her just look down after New York, I would have multiple little eye darts. She is basically remembering the good times there (like you said), but as she remembers L.A. it would be interesting to see how her mind works. By having little eye darts you would show how hear brain is processing and remembering that information and after that it triggers that swallow/reaction and change of mood. So hold her look after New York, but then lower her eyes a bit earlier than what you have now, and don't go lower then her eye pose on x137 (just move it more screen right/left, so she doesn't look into the camera). Hold that pose for a beat and then go to x138, hold that for only a few frames and then go to x139 at that lowest position, but have more of a left or right translation from x138 to 139.

His last look and that smile: if you're going for sympathy, then I would bring up his top eye lids a bit more and if you have control over their rotation, then have them less pointed down towards the nose. His expression on x359 feels "Yeah baby" and almost creepy, given the sad and somber tone of the voices. You can have a smile that says "I understand what you mean." but just dial down that 'Hey baby, want a drink?" look. :)
What doesn't help either is the speed of the head turn. Again, given the mood, it's a bit too fast.

The rest looks pretty good. There's one moment with her on x227, how she has that one eyebrow up, which is a bit too far away from her disappointed/somber mood. Just dial down those eyebrows and keep the sadness. Even the pose on x283 feels more sad. That one is a good combination of feeling puzzled and sad. Plus I wouldn't have first the screen right eyebrow up and the moments later the screen left one, it's a bit too "first this side... aaaand now this side".

I agree that the hand stopping around x223 is a bit too fast, you could soften that part. Also watch out that fingers are not going through her leg, like on x198.
What I would add in terms of hand mechanics is during the moment when she takes her left hand off the other hand. Right now that hand doesn't react to it, the leg doesn't react to it either. Once the hand slides off, bring in some wrist changes and finger changes (for her right one). And since only her right hand is on the leg, it would pull that knee a bit screen left, now that the stabilizing left hand is gone. So add a little leg move during that moment.
You could almost go as far as fully rotating her right wrist towards her a bit more. Looking at the silhouette and shape around x280 for instance, we don't see her right elbow and her lower part of the wrist kinda sticks out to the left. So that wrist and arm feel a bit disconnected. I would rotate the wrist out towards us, so that we see more of the finger tips once the other hands gets off of it. If by that we bring her arm a bit back, so that you can see her elbow than even better.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mike Feil - Ring - Critique

video

[There was a question about how I approach the refining stage of a shot.]

Usually I go by chunks. I attack the first 50 frames or a section within the shot. Bit by bit and go through all the elements, root first, then chest, , then hips/legs, then head/arms, then face and fingers and detail stuff. Of course that order can change a bit depending on the style and content, but that's usually how I go about things.
Happy accidents can happen but I wouldn't rely on them. :)
I also get back to the basic blocking movie so that I don't loose the essence of the timing. Sometimes during polish you can get lost in the graph editor and worry about nice curves too much and then suddenly all the timing is different. Curves don't have to be all nice, it just has to look alright within the camera (without crazy cheating of course).

It's good that you changed the camera for the ring, but I would actually go even higher so we can see the surface of the table. Right now it's super flat towards camera and it's a weird perspective having the table legs in perspective yet the table is flat. :)
The camera push in is so subtle, I actually don't think it's needed because it is barely moving forward. What's your intention with that move?

Anim wise it's going in the right direction! For your next revision I would take a pass on all the pauses where your poses change. There are a lot of linear key moments where the movements suddenly stop and continue. So think about the ease ins/outs and the arcs of the root, arms, etc.
I would also look at the eyebrows a bit more. There are some moments where you could add some complexity to it. For instance during the sigh, and when he picks up the box and walks away. There could be some physical strain and other thought processes driving the brows during those sections.
The silhouette for the hand when he takes off the ring is good! Speaking of hands, as you continue with the breakdowns, start to add a few more poses so that they don't look like IK hands, sticking in space. For instance when he pulls the box towards him around x325 to x320 the wrists are pretty much locked even though his arms are pulling.

Hope that helps!
Cheers
JD

Lukas Niklaus - New York - Feedback

video

Animation aside (which looks good btw.), there's a confusing feel in terms of screen direction. It's technically working, but there's a weird feel of having her look screen left at the end, but then shot 3 has her screen left and him screen right. It could work if you just flop the last shot so that she's on the right.

Acting wise, I feel like the delivery for both characters is pretty sad and subdued. So when she's saying "I grew in New York..." and then swallows before "and I moved to L.A. ..." it feels like she's having a hard time saying those lines (both physically and mentally), yet the way you play it out with her look up after "New York" (a frame counter is needed) she smiles, which feels odd, given the tone and feeling of the audio. I would keep it more serious and take that smile out.
The same thing for the guy at the end. His "Yeah I know..." is not exactly happy but you have him smile, which feels weird as well.
I would have her eye direction stay within the left field (so on New York have her look screen left and not screen right - same thing on "... married but... ". You still have a lot of room on the left for different eye darts, but I think overall visually it will be clearer. Unless you have her look screen right but down, so it's about her thoughts and not eye contact with the guy.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mike Feil - Ring - Critique

video

Hey,

[there was a question about constraints]

What I would think about is what is going to be the driver. The character or the piece the character is interacting with it. I remember hearing this analysis through A Bug's Life (DVD or something, don't remember), where a tiny bug would hold a match. Since the match is heavier the bug's arms were constrained to the match and the match was driving the arms. But if a heavy set guy is holding a feather, then the feather is constrained to the hand and the guy is driving the feather. Hope that makes sense. :)

Your clip looks good already, it's all very clear. I would maybe bring up the camera a tiny bit since we loose the ring once it's on the table. What would you think about having the guy do something with the ring at the end. Maybe he comes back and takes the ring with him since he can't let go of it right now? Just throwing out ideas.
I like the walk out, it's going to be funny to have the guy's root not go up and down that much. You know when you carry something really heavy you hurry and take lots of tiny steps? :)

One thing to think about, not that it bothered me, but when he takes off the ring (please include a frame counter - using the quicktime fc it's on x98) the silhouette could be a bit clearer. The ring is right in front of the screen right upper arm and the hand/fingers and right in front of the forearm. Maybe have it happening more screen left or screen right, but either way with the hands to the side of the body and not in front of arms. Since you have room and him taking off the ring is a story point in the clip, might as well make that super clear.

Hope that helps, keep going!

Cheers
JD

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Annie Guo - Light - Critique

video

Alrighty!

The shot is quite long. You might be stretching the patience of people watching this. You could cut it up into different camera angles maybe. But that was my first impression, that it was long.
I like the beginning though, how he stretches in and then crawls towards the lamp. Where it gets a bit funky is when the lamp lid comes off and he leans back and the lid rotates around. It gets a bit messy. First the lid moves before the hands/arms are moving on x354 to 355. Then the body shoots back and the lid as well, but the lid kinda moves independently from the hands, you don't feel like the hands are actually pulling the lid off. After x360 the lid stops traveling to the left and goes to the right until x365, then spins around with the pivot at the top of the lid, then travels more to the right until x378. That whole section is a bit crazy. :)
Then on x453 he's doing something with his mouth and then the flame appears? What exactly is he doing there?
And overall the arms feel very IK-ish. You will have to really look at the arcs and the spacing to make sure that the arms are part of the body and not moving separately from it.

Cheers
JD

Monday, August 23, 2010

Barry Nardone - Winged Creature - Critique

video

About the clip:

in the first shot there's still that moment on x54 and on where both wings turn with the body for a few frames until around x70 and then stop. It would be good to separate their movement and not have them so in sync with the body either.
I would also keep the soldier's gun where it is around -x18 in terms of height. Right now after -18 it slowly drifts up to around x40. The new re-grip after that also feels a bit slow. I would take out that drift and speed up that re-grip.
There's also something odd about that head turn ending on around -x38. It speeds up and then stops pretty quickly yet there is a moving hold to it. The combination of all that feels a bit funky. Maybe it's also accentuated by the fact that the gun is moving a bit faster during the head turn as well. It's as if the head turns quickly and then there's overlap with the gun. I would first only tweak the head and work on that stop.
The blink after the head turn feels a bit mechanical and even.

2nd shot:
when the hand of the creature moves and the fingers move out to x151, don't have them go back. Right now they go from A to B, then back to A pose wise. It feels too even, plus the fingers go out when the head turns, then there's a pause and then the head turns again and the fingers go back. It feels all too in sync, so I would lose the second finger part. You can sell the first finger movement as the creature putting weight on that hand and the fingers flattening out because of that.

Last shot:
watch the base of the wings. For example the screen right one at x190. It goes down as the 2nd half of the wing goes up but then stops at x194, then moves drastically down at x197. Smooth out that transition a bit.
The lift off still feels a bit funky. It gets off the ground very quickly and it would be neat to get more separation in the body. As the wings go up, the body could go down and then when the wings flap down it can pull the chest up. I would also smooth out how the body transitions into hangtime. You have the body speed up and then come to a quick slow down around x202.
The creature grabbing the guy is better but after around x265 still doesn't feel threatening enough. There is something casual about the continuing flight path and creature movement.

Hope that helps!
JD

Monday, August 16, 2010

Barry Nardone - Winged Creature - Critique

video

Alrighty, here some more feedback.

Overall it's looking very cool, I don't have that much to add actually.

1st shot:
From x82 to -26 I feel like he's rotating the gun around through his wrist, which makes it feel a bit light. I would use the arm more than the wrist, like the way you have it towards the end of that shot.
Watch the screen right elbow, it drifts up yet there isn't that much movement in the gun nor the screen right wrist, which gives that arm a bit of an IK feel to it (only until x11 or so).
Right before the turn around x60 you could adjust the screen right fingers, kinda preparing for more of a grip since he's swinging around that big heavy weapon.
The first blink feels a tad fast. I know he's tense and alert, but there something off in that timing. It's a bit even in timing, with the down and up feeling very similar and the up could ease more into a stop.
Would be good to get more of an expression (mouth wise) in there for the next pass.

The creature looks good, my only comment would be to offset their rotation from the body with some drag and overlap from x57 to 71.

2nd shot:
The guy looks great. Only thing would be to tweak the timing of the 2nd swing screen right and maybe have him not go as far. It feels like the big swing at the end of the 1st shot is distance wise about the same as the 1st in this shot and the one back is about the same again. So overall a bit even, which could use a bit more contrast then. He could swing half way at the end, pause a bit, then continue the swing to the right.

The creature for the next could use some keep alive in that wrist, to feel the pressure as it shifts weight, with the palm compressing and fingers reacting to that. Not sure what's going on with the wrist at the beginning. It seems a bit stuck in space (except rotation) from x91 to around x103. Yet at the beginning is there a finger going through the ground geometry?

3rd shot:
The lift off feels a bit sharp, especially looking at the screen left front arm.
During the flap down to x202 it would be cool to have the wings fold all the way down (rotating at the base, not half way - if that makes sense). I think that would make it a bit more powerful. And as the wings flap down the body would go up a bit and react to that force. Right now the body just starts hovering up at x199.

I would wait with the camera pan until the creature breaks frame to the right a bit. Right now at x246 it feels like the camera operator is anticipating the action, instead of following it, by leaving enough room on the screen right side.

How it grabs the soldier could be a bit more complex and careful with the drag and overlap on the guy. From x246 to 247 the gun arm swings out over one frame. The body also gets just twisted by the creatures hand clockwise to x249, with no upper body and head drag.

The creature could feel a bit more threatening during the x264 and x300 section. It's mostly the legs that are just dangling which give me a more relaxed impression. Speaking of legs, the guy's legs are a bit stiff from x262 to 279 and from then on I would have them rotate down since the creature is flying up so that they drag more.

But again, cool sequence of shots, keep going!

Cheers
JD

Friday, August 13, 2010

Anthony Merola - ball bounce - Critique

video



The ball bounce off to the right is much much better, well done! My only picky observation would be:
- when an object enters or exits frame, you should try to have a little piece of the object visible on the first frame for the entry or last frame before the exit. So the first frame is x15 where we see the ball fully. It would be neat to have one frame before that we see only as much as what you have on x18. If you don't have it it feels like the ball just pops in
- frame the shot down so that we can see ball impact on x18 and 38
- x47 the ball should be on a path down, but you have the ball higher than on x46

But again, much much better!

video


The second clip has the same entry problem (seems to be the same clip?), with the poppy entry on x15.
The bounce off the wall is good, I think it just goes too far to the left afterwards. The momentum of the ball will decrease over the course of the shot. Look at where the ball is on x38. Once the ball will bounce off the wall it would not go as far again. So the position on x58 is too far screen left. Have it more to the right next to the frame counter.
Overall it's really good, but then on x74 on the ball gets suddenly pulled down over one frame and then it it rolls on the ground super fast until x78 and then suddenly slows down. That whole area needs another pass, matching the quality that you have before that section.

Keep going! Almost there, you're super close!

Cheers
JD

Akem Singh - Jump and run - Critique

video

HAHAHAHAHA! The run is awesome!

There little things I'd tweak for the run. From x5 to 6 the spacing screen right seems suddenly bigger than right before. Same from x11 to 12, etc. With that sudden acceleration and slower movement beforehand it gives the run a little sticky feel to it. It's like he's really trying to push off for the next step and then suddenly he gets let go. So make sure that the spacing is smoother.

Same thing goes for the jump. From x19 to 21 there's a certain amount of speed and then from x21 to 23 the spacing is suddenly very small and it slows down the movement quite a bit.

Right after the jump, from x25 to 26 the spacing is suddenly much bigger.

After the landing from x40 to 41 there's again a sudden spacing increase.

Overall make sure to smooth out the translation to the right so it's not so harsh in terms of changes.

The jump overall feels like he lifts off and is then being sucked over to the right. The movement is faster than the speed of the run.

It's a great first pass, you're already very close, nicely done!!

Cheers
JD

Michael Baran - Snowman - Feedback

video


The clip looks definitely better! I wouldn't change camera angles so late in the game since you're working on poses that work for this current camera. Breaking up the shot can be nice, but is not needed. If you break it up, you could add a close up when he stops rolling the ball and catches his breath, after that you can go back to the previous camera.

Animation wise it's coming together, but the arcs still feel a bit blocky, as if you keys on linear instead of spline. In terms of detail you'd have to work on finger poses (they stay mainly the same, especially during the very last pull/push). But before you get into that I would concentrate on the believability of the weight and the timing between poses.

Let's take for instance the first two pushes and then the segment where he steps away from the ball. Look at the timing and arcs of his arms. They kinda float up, then to the left then down. What I'm missing is a nice flow and rhythm of movements. Both arms move almost in sync. The root's movement also feels a bit blocky. Without contrast of movement and proper weight (like arms around x65 to x95) the animation tends to feel slow motion-y.

I would pick out separate sections, for instance the first push, then the 2nd push, walk backwards, side steps, etc. and work on those sections alone, separately, until it feels right. Shoot reference, act it out, time out how your arms swing and move. And try to act out exactly what you animated there. Try to pantomime your exact timing of animation and you'll notice areas that feel off.

Without specific timing the clip ends up being just about mechanics and the personality of a character is lost. The closest you get is during his pause where he wipes off his forehead and at the end during the finger taps.

I hope this makes sense...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Barry Nardone - Winged Creature - Feedback


Overall it's very cool! Good mix of slow action and anticipation, with a nice action packed finish!
My thoughts on the shots individually.

1st shot:
I would have just the guy in frame, so we think "What's he up to?". Then the creature rises from behind the rocks so that our eyes go over there and we are introduced to what the guy is looking for. You can make it a badass evil rise and reveal.

2nd shot:
Can you compose it so that the human is visually in 2D space higher, so that he has less space in front of him? That way subconsciously we don't give him much room to see and it gives it a more caged in feel.


3rd shot:
I would slow down the camera pan while the creature is grabbing the guy. It's overall too fast, but I would actually linger on that moment, so you can see the cool moment of how the claws grab the guy, how he looks surprised, etc. all the gory details.

Again, super sweet idea. Nice way of show casing a little story, build up suspense, camera movement and of course complex animation.

Cheers
JD

Snehal Chaudhari - Ball with tail - Critique



Nice! Pretty much done, only little things left to fix!

- Your tail overlap needs another pass for the x12+ area. The tail needs to overlap and have a direction change.


- the tail stops moving up from x18 to x19, and after that you could push it a bit more up to x24, so that the tip is not pointed down anymore but up
- there are some funky poses from x43 to 44 and from 45 to 46, where the tail suddenly shoots up

- And watch your arc after the jump, around x44 on it starts to flatten out and it feels like the ball is traveling screen right too much, it gets floaty. The green arc is more the path that you should follow and which you started for the first half.


Almost there!

Cheers
JD

Friday, August 6, 2010

Krys Wada - Car parking - Critique

video

It's coming together really well!! Here my thoughts:

> First shot - I adjusted the twinning for elbow and eyebrows. I went
> with a subtle brow raise from the screen left guy as he turns.


Left guy:
I think the eyebrow raise is pretty good, but you could lift the screen right one a bit higher once you hit the pose on x65.
When he reads, I would dart his eyes a bit more from right to left and not have one continuous long shift. It feels a bit robotic. It gets also a bit weird when he turns his head from around x40 to x50 to the left. Since the eyes are going to the left but the head is faster it looks like the eyes are suddenly not moving.

Right guy:
At x78 he lifts his head up to around x85 but the eyes are drifting down? Not sure if they eye controller is too close, or if you lift the head up too much, it's just a weird moment when you have that much head movement but the eyes are moving the opposite way of the head movement.

> Second shot - I didn't dedicate as much time to but I did try to shake
> up the back and forths more. Slow ins and fast outs.


For the last movement forward I wouldn't move further than 429, so there's more contrast and you can get a little back and forth as a last quick funny move. I'd also start with the tires. Also, when the car breaks and stops, you could some forward tilt (just like the side to side tilt after the power slide/drift).

> Third shot - I improved on the driving. I feel really good about the
> changes I made. I also added some variation in the facial
> expressions.


The driving does feel really good with the guy. How he handles the wheel is nice! I would just have the car start a bit softer, it feels a bit linear how it starts moving. Have more of a gradual acceleration.
The passenger's book lift feels a bit even and slow, it could also settle a bit more, so it doesn't just stop.
The driver's eyes feel a bit weird. There's the same thing going on like in the previous shot where the head moves and the eyes move around in their socket (if that's a way to explain it). Especially when he shifts gears. The eyes also get wall eyed (too spread apart) around x748 and then they get back together, with the screen right on moving independently. Try to keep them more locked together.

> Fourth shot - I added in those missing frames. You were totally
> right! It was longer in the previous version.


Looks great!

> Fifth shot - I fixed the issues concerning the guy on the right.
> Moved his fist so that this pose is clearer and adjusted the lean over
> so their heads don't cross each other. I'm sorry about the confusion
> with the arm movements - they were supposed to be unbuckling seat
> belts. I added them in. I hope it reads well. The left guy is still
> floaty but I was trying to break up his movements so they didn't just
> all flow together.


When the driver does his fist move, it feels very IK-ish. Careful, try to avoid locking the fist in one direction while the arm bends around. Both hands do it actually during that part. They just move forward and backwards, but there's no major side to side and up/down, they are locked and move independently from their arms. Some of the pose transitions like the body lean right after the seat unbuckling feels too linear.

The passenger still feels floaty, like you said. But I like the general idea.

Nice work!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Michael Baran - Snowman - Critique

video


​Alrighty!


The pause works better, but I think you could still shave off 10 frames or so. Did you change the timing on the snowball resting before it falls? That feels a bit too long too. It could land on him around x460 already. Sorry if I didn't catch that before.


The dirt adds good stuff to it. Overall though he feels a bit even in timing. Nothing crazy, but a few zippier actions here and there for contrast would be good. For instance when he leans back for the puff around x99, he could accent that air blow with his head. Looking at it, it's probably more the arms that I'm reacting to (being even in timing), when he lets go off the ball at the begining around x70 and on. You don't have contrast, but there's just something even overall, hard to put my finger on it. But one thing that will help is to really track down your arcs. I think for the next version, I would do a limb pass and track arms, elbows, feet, knees, body of course, etc. and work in your arcs and get rid of pops.

Barry Nardone - Sure - Feedback

video

​Hey hey,

It's actually interesting to watch it without sound so you can concentrate on the visual changes and contrast (you do hit the right moments lipsync wise during the pauses and the breathing).

I understand the tone of the clip and the emotional continuity, but when I watched it the first time without sound (soooo sleepy... moving slowly - you should see me type :) ), I felt like the overall facial expression is pretty much the same through out. Look at the very beginning and the very end. Head down, eyes off to the side, head tilted away a bit, and the middle part is just a softer version of it. I do like how the body changes direction in the middle, that works well.

Maybe she could be insecure and timid at the beginning (like you have it) but afterwards she turns she's a bit more concentrated, probing and serious? It would work with the sound and would be emotionally and visually a bit more contrasty. Something so that the very first and very last frame feel different (especially facially).

Hope that makes sense...

Cheers
JD

Monday, August 2, 2010

Erik Lee - Goat - Feedback

video

That's some exotic looking goat! :)

I really like the idea! The only moment that stood out was the section during x90 and x110. I don't buy how the creature is pushing off and jumping up. I think it's just a matter of leaving the front legs no the edge of that rock so that they function as stabilizer and pushers. Keep them there up until around x100. So it's the legs that push off first, the front legs that keep the balance and start pushing at the end as well right as the back legs catch up.

I think that should work. Maybe do just a quick fix during that part before you continue?

Cheers
JD

Akem Singh - Sneak and jump - Critique

video


First the jump.

It has a nice feel to it!

I wouldn't go as far back as x3. Looking at that frame alone he'd fall backwards. If one of his feet was back there to push him forward again, then no problem. But as of now, it's a bit too far.

When he lunges forward, I would bring out his right leg earlier and stretch it forward a bit more, so that it's part of the jump. If you look at x10 to 17 for instance, the right leg is pretty much the same, save some rotation. But if you're not using it to lead the jump, then you might as well just do a regular jump with the body leading the action.

Overall though I feel that the arc is a bit flat. It feels like he's floating a bit to the right. If you bring him up higher than I can buy the distance. Unless he really leans forward.

The stop is a bit abrupt on x32, he swings back pretty fast and then stops. Especially given the distance, I would actually have him bounce a little bit further to the right with a little step.

Hahaha! The sneak is coming along very nicely! Little things:

- I would slow down how quickly the foot rotates up from x21 go x25 (and subsequent steps).

- the footroll is a bit early. You have it start right when the foot plants, like on x5. I'd actually have it go down up to x21 because he's applying pressure onto the foot in order to get up. Then, as he's moving the leg forward he's really trying to reach forward, so his back foot will roll up during that time.

- The side to side move (front view) could happen 3 or 4 frames earlier and end later. Right now it's a tad fast, which makes it a bit weird when he goes to the right and then stops so quickly. He's sneaking, on his toes, so he won't have that much muscle power to quickly stop his body. So I would soften that part a bit.

Little things! Almost done!!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Eric Chiu - Creature run - Critique

video

Alright, about the shots!

What stands out a bit in the first shot is the section right after x243. His forward momentum slows down dramatically. It doesn't feel like the object slowed him down though. If you're running into something that fast, then your body will squash and compress given that you're into something. The momentum still has to go somewhere, even if there's an obstacle stopping you. Imagine a water balloon being thrown into a wall. Well, it hits it and stops, but it starts to squash and expand. The forward movement doesn't just stop.

You can continue with the individual movements that you have, like how he's coming down to x253, but overall he should be positioned closer to that dividing line. But in order to sell the impact you could lower the head less and then over two or so frames bring it down to what you have on x241, so that it squishes the creature together as well before it pushes the block away.

Smooth out the jump transition no x197 a bit more. On that frame to 198 you can see in the spacing the sudden speed increase.

The 2nd shot is clear and cuts well with the first one. But I would push it once you start polishing it. For instance, the roar has the mouth just opening in one axis, you can tilt the head sideways. You can also add some high frequency jitter in the head, to sell the tension and ferocity. Can you animate the ears? What about eye lids? Anything to push a pose change detail wise.

I would also make that first leg lift sharper by a few frames. It's a bit soft and takes away from the just previously shown anger when it roars.

Sweet shot! Keep going!

Cheers
JD

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Snehal Chaudhari - Ball and Tail - Critique

video

Hey,

nice work! Love the perspective view, the composition is nice!

Thanks for the sideview, that's good to have to analyze the clip.

It's overall pretty good, just a few little sections that need tweaking. From x13 to 14 the ball jumps up pretty high and the tail shoots down. That's a big change over one frame. I'd give it one more frame where the ball is stretched out reaching forward but not off the ground.
Another quick change is from x27 to 28. It'd be good to see a reversal in the tail, where it is how it is on x27, but then as it goes down you reverse the curvature and when it drags behind again during the jump it's back to how it is on x28. Same on x36, that tail end should point up.
Watch the spacing for your forward movement (in z?). Around x19 it almost comes to a halt and then lunges forward. Keep it smoother.
Watch that the ball doesn't start to squash before it hits the ground like on x26.
The lunge forward from x35 to 49 is a bit too far. It might just be a matter of retiming though, where you'd have a tiny bit more hang time and a tiny bit of a sharper drop. Right now after a few frames of the last bounce up it starts to feel even. Funny enough it's not as pronounced in the perspective view.
On that last landing, on x49, which is the first contact frame, you already have it squashed, but since it's the landing and finish, you could try to have it stretched out there and squashed one frame later for more of a controlled compression (the ball is trying to slow down; it's not bouncing up again).
On x50 the tail should continue the overlap and no stick in the same pose.

Seems like a lot but it's just little things here and there. Looking good! Keep going!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Michael Baran - Snowman - Critique

video

​Hey,

That's a lot better! I really like the pose on x154. He's tired, yet happy and it's a great from x137 (typical forehead sweat wipe) to 154 with a more original take on that forehead swipe! Nice!

The pose on x84 is a big broad though. If you look at just that frame, it could a moment where he gets shot by a sniper or something. :) I would tone that down a lot more.

I'm not too sure why you have that long pause from x170 to around x208. He seems suddenly really intense, as if he's thinking about something really serious. But then he just continues with the roll. What was that moment about?

I would flesh out those two sections (sniper & serious thinking) first before going into further breakdowns and spline mode, so we can see the overall timing and flow of the shot.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Alex Ferreira Simoes - Cards - Critique

video

​Hey,

I'm still not convinced that he should be searching for that card. It's the facial pose with his eyes up as he's finger searching for the card. He's been using the cards for a while now, since he's been building this. So he knows where the cards are. Right now it looks as if he'd be in a dark room trying to find the card. I would have him stare at the construction because he's so into it, so focused and concentrated. He then taps to find the card, but have maybe two little taps, he's reaching for the card without taking his eyes of his masterpiece, the hand lands once, card not quite there, he lifts hand again for one adjustment, it lands on the card and then he grabs it. What do you think? It seems that if we play his concentration and obsession with his card house then the fall at the end will feel that much worse for him and the audience.

I like how delicate he is now when he puts the cards on. I think you could bring up his body and head a bit more so that there is a clearer silhouette (the edge of the face is right behind the cards). And when he takes his arms back it feels a bit spliney and without purpose. I see what you're going for with the fingers, but I'd act it out a couple times and film it so you can see the timing for it.

Hope that helps!
Cheers
JD

Krys Wada - Car Parking - Critique

video

Hey,

first shot works well, I'd just adjust the right guy's elbows so they are not so mirrored and bring in some asymmetry in both guys' eyebrow. When the screen left guy looks at the right guy he could raise the browse a bit too, so you get pose changes in the face as well during different actions.

2nd shot: that last forward and backward is too even and too similar to the previous ones. I'd do something like this:

- wait with the last move until around x455, then don't go further than what you have now at x442, tiny pause, then go back. That way you have "long - long - pause - quick" which is contrast wise better than "long - long - long".

3rd shot: same comment for the eyebrows (now that the animation is further along you can put the polish and finishing touches on it for the appeal). I'm still not buying the right guys' driving as much. He would turn a bit to the left and then to the right and then straight in order to get out of that spot. I would cut out at x780 and on that cut he's turning the wheel to his right (counterclockwise for us) after a little turn to his left.

4th shot: I'd actually add 10 more frames to that pause. Did you change the timing for that since last time? (I could just check... :) ). It's a tiny bit short, but maybe that's just me? The pause length in this version feels good:
http://spungellaworkshop.blogspot.com/2010/07/krys-wada-car-parking-feedback.html

5th shot: right guy's "woohoo" on x1001 has his fist in front of his face. You can move is screen left so that we can see his face and have a cleaner silhouette. What is he doing at x1058? Adjusting his imaginary tie? I wouldn't cross silhouettes at x1107, is there a way to separate them during that moment?

Left guy feels very floaty/spliney until he falls out of the car (which looks awesome) and what is he doing at x1118? I'd make the movements more abrupt, like he's in shock but not dazed the way you have it. So it's more sharp and then at the end he softens up and falls out.

Hope that helps!
Cheers

JD

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Alex Ferreira Simoes - Cards - Critique

video

​Hey,

coming along!

Let's look at the running guy first:

- Make sure that his feet are not sliding. For instance on the first step at x205, flip back and forth between 205 to 210 and you'll see how the foot slides forward and then back again. The same happens during the next step. You will have to either adjust your cycle or go in there frame by frame and make sure that the feet are locked on the ground.

- Continue with the breakdowns for the rest of the run

Card guy:

- I would tone down the head turn as he looks to the cards to the ground a tiny bit and the same goes with the reaction. Watching it now it feels like he's super surprised and excited that he found the card. Shouldn't he know that the card is there? I think that section is a bit over the top.

- once he puts the last cards on top you could vary the timing a bit in his arms, they look a bit floaty as they go up

- the fingers during the last positioning of the cards are a bit crude, I think you could have more delicate poses, for instance holding the cards with two fingers only, or something a bit more in the direction that he's very concentrated and precise with that last move.

- watch your eyeline when he puts the last cards together; looks like he's looking above the cards away into the distance; lower the eyes a bit

- the head turn at the end feels a bit soft and it looks like he's looking ahead of the guy running at the end

- the kid's reaction feels a bit simple after the guy runs by. He looks at the runner, then at the cards and when the cards fall his reaction doesn't really change that much. I would push that section more so we can see a bit more thought behind it. He could look back at the cards in fear, then relax because the cards didn't fall down, but then they fall down and he's really shocked and then closes his eyes in anger and frustration, something like that; I think the current disappointed body slump is not enough of a reaction

I'd work on these beats first. Keep going!

Cheers

JD

Barry Nardone - Creature Fight - Critique

video

Hey,

the clip looks great, it's really coming together!

One thing that will help you I think it to actually change the format to widescreen. Keep the framing for the top and bottom part, but expand on the left and right. It will free you for the 2nd shot so that the demon doesn't have to be so close to the creature.

The first shot works well. Just thinking out loud, It could also be cool for the demon to swing both his arms for the hit, a bit of a delay between each arm (it's a double whammer kinda like Indiana Jones does in his movies). I'm mentioning it because visually the demon is so much smaller than the huge crab thing and that one punch is feeling a bit small. It's not a deal breaker but if you have time and energy, it could be good to make that punch a bit more powerful.
The impact of the punch is good though on the crab, not too slow nor too fast. Are those two long antennas able to bend for some overlapping action or are they stiff?

The demon in the first shot looks good, minus the punching part, which could get beefed up, but I would tweak sections of the 2nd shot first (about that later) before that aspect of the first shot.

As I mentioned before, I think the wider framing will help you. Right now with both creatures hugging the frames it feels a bit claustrophobic and story telling wise I don't think it's needed to have that caged in feel.

The 2nd shot definitely needs a wider framing and that notion gets triggered by the demon yelling at the crab guy at the end. On the first yell the head is overlapping the crab a little bit and overall the leg pose stays pretty much the same after the last steps and he feels more like he's just standing there and yelling. I think the pose could be more dynamic, mostly in the lower body section. The arms and the head action work, but maybe the screen right leg could be further screen right or he yells at the guy and the takes a step or two, kinda like gorillas after a big fight. Not that he has to pound his chest but something like that.

One thing that stands out is the neck snapping of the crab guy. It happens over two frames and makes it feel very snappy (no pun intended). I would give it another frame and then a few frames of softening for the settle. It's a big creature and even though we are breaking the neck/head part, it should still retain some weight. The rest of the creature feels nice. If could make the head dangle a bit looser, that would be even better, like it's really broken and just barely holding together.

The demon in the 2nd shot has a very slow first step. You could get away with the foot rising that slowly but on the way down it should be faster for a more powerful plant, as if he's steadying himself for the last grab and attack.
When he snaps the crab's head I would have the hand/arm movements be more separate from the upper body/head. The arms can start the movement and then 2 frames later the head follows. Right now that rotation is happening all over the body at the same time (x156 and on). So instead of having everything stop at x158 (after slowing down the snap a bit it could end at x160 or 161) the head would continue for a few frames as overlap.

And then as mentioned the end yelling could be a bit more powerful stance wise.

You're really far along though and it's looking very sweet!

Cheers
JD

Akem Singh - Sneak - Critique

video

The sneak is getting better! I know it's a sneak and that when you sneak you're trying to be careful and quiet, but something is feeling a bit soft right now. I think it's the combination of the how soft the body rotates up and down and how the toes fold right after the plant. If you could sharpen up the body movement especially, and maybe reduce the amount of up and down could help. I would also wait until the foot touches the ground before you start lowering the body so that the body is more supported by the foot.


Almost there!
Cheers

JD