Saturday, April 24, 2010

Stephan Brezinsky - Obstacle Course - Critique

Unfortunately this little exercise took much longer to do than I wanted, mainly due to workflow problems. For example, I know that you like to do your blocking with linear keys so that you can get an idea for the timing, but I find that I have trouble getting a good feel for it without a good number of breakdowns to establish the spacing. Is that something that you just pick up over time, or do you need to put in breakdowns? I don't want to spend a lot of time putting in breakdowns and trying to establish my spacing before I get my timing locked down because then I feel like I waste a lot of time moving keys around. Do you like to get the timing right on your extremes, then start putting in breakdowns to determine the spacing, or do you try to set up spacing and basic arcs before moving on to getting the timing locked in? I know that timing and spacing are closely connected and it's a constant back and forth, but I feel as though I can reduce the amount of back and forth between fixing one thing, then back to the other, then back again kind of working. I hope all that made sense.


those are great questions. First, let's look at the obstacle course. Overall it's working really great. The only part that sticks out as being a bit weird is the very end, after the x147 area. After the ball goes through that C curve half loop it goes up but doesn't finish its momentum, the hang time gets suddenly cut off. Look at your spacing, how the ball goes up and then stops at x148, as if it hit an invisible wall. Keep going up until the momentum dies down.
Same thing for the x167 area, the up movement comes to a halt too quickly; and the same thing for the subsequent back and forth. They all kinda stop too quickly. The overall back and forth though is taking a bit too long. It's not a huge thing, but as I'm watching it, I'm thinking, okayyy, this ball really doesn't want to stop rolling. :)

So, the sudden stops and the overall length of the back and forth are the things that stand out the most and need fixing.

Now, in terms of workflow.

It's okay to have a lot of breakdowns when you block out a shot. Some movements need almost no keys, others you might have to go in there frame by frame in order to sell the idea. The point of blocking is to show every idea that you have clearly, so that the audience doesn't have to guess. If you need more keys to sell an idea, then so be it. The moment the idea is clear, move on. If you don't, then you're going into polish land which is too much at this point.

Spacing and timing go hand in hand, at least that's my take on it. The spacing will determine the timing. If you space out a head turn evenly, then the timing is even and the head turn boring. But if your spacing is big at the beginning and then suddenly small for the turn, then the timing will be more like a take or a feeling of a faster, surprised, shocked, determined, etc. head turn.

I do though, like you said, worry about the extremes first, or at least the major points and beats the characters will hit and go through. Then I add in break downs where it is needed in order to sell the story point or action. But you do get used to that process over time to a point where you will need fewer breakdowns. But again, it all depends on the action. Some things just need more breakdowns.

I hope that makes sense. :)


Joseph Taylor - help yourself - Feedback


That's very cool, I really like it! The only thing that's a bit unclear, or that might need some tweaking, is the end pose of the woman.

With the eyebrows like that, she still looks kinda mad. I think it would be neat to see more of an expression change or stronger thought process for that last bit.

Since he's saying that she has to be willing to help herself, how is she going to react to that. Does she dismiss that thought entirely? Does it make click in her head and she realizes and understands what he said? Does she understand but then doesn't want to admit to it? Does she get upset at that comment, or embarrassed, or nervous, or dismissive, or pensive, etc. etc.

Right now, that body move up, that look, I'm not too sure what what she's thinking. What were you going for?


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sebastian Kalemba - Walk - Critique

The walk is funny!

I would smooth out his left hand rotation or just slow it down a bit during the loop. There's a quick rotation, which could be okay, but it stops also very abruptly and doesn't ease into that stop that much. Playing it at full speed it looks a bit poppy.

In the front view, I would tweak the arc of the screen left arm. As he swings it forward it has a C curve, but on the way back it follows that same arc. So it feels like it's a poseA to poseB back to poseA thing. I would it have an underarc as it swings back, so do a C curve and then a flat underarc back, so it's more like a squished O (like the other arm, idea wise, but not too similar of course). You should try to have a poseA to poseB, back to poseC type of structure with different paths between each pose, using arced curves. Whew, that was a mouthful.

In the front view again, watch his head as it swings from right to left. It's a pretty quick move and again with a quick stop. Slow down that stop.

Sideview: watch his right foot on x14. It stops until around x17. If you have that guy walk from A to B, the foot would be sliding at this point.
Same thing happens to the other foot from x0 to 4.

Watch as the feet lift off, like the right one on x6, then stays in the same position on x7 and then keeps on moving. Watch the spacing during that section.

Given the swingy nature of the guy and rhythmic walk, you could push the hips a bit more going up and down, to really sell the weight shift and how each leg pushes one side of the hip up during each step.

Sideview: I would move/translate the head more forward and backwards. Not rotating up/down, but adding head pose where the head sticks out to the front more (while keeping the nose straight and not down/up). Same thing going backwards. It doesn't have to be big, but enough to break up the shape between the head and the upper body. Right now they both feel like one unit.

Reminds me of Gene Wilder in Transamerican Express. :)

Hope that helps!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Richie Prado - Note - Critique

The clip is much better and the addition of having him turning the piece of
paper around works really well, nicely done!

One last thing that sticks out to me is his upper body area starting around x51.
It moves screen right until x55 and then stops very suddenly, as if it's hitting
a wall. After that you have it drop very quickly from x59 to 61 and you can see
how the head is not moving screen left anymore either until around x66. It looks
like the whole body is pivoting through the head, since it's stuck there in

I would definitely work on that area a bit more before moving on. Almost there!


Akem Singh - Bouncing balls - Critique

Looks great! Now I'm just being super picky:

- the last hop around x96 feels like it's traveling too far (z translation). The
height of the bounce is fine, but the length of it could be shorter.
- the ball comes to an end around x226 but it's a bit too abrupt. I would make
it roll out a bit longer, maybe 10 frames or so.

The medium/heavy/light one looks great too! Only the last ball should have one
more little bounce at the end. I feel like there is still enough momentum for
that there.

Nice improvement!!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Akem Singh - Bouncing balls - Critique

Nice widescreen btw. but not really needed for that clip. :)

About the different balls, let's start with the heavy one:

The first bounce up is a bit high, taking away from the bowling ball feel. You could just cut out that part and continue with the little bounces, so the frames would be something like x110 and then x119 and on.

The left and far right balls feel very similar. Even though the left one is a bit slower, I miss the clear distinction between a basketball type of weight and a balloon type of weight on the other one, which would really show the difference between a medium and light ball.

I would replace the far right one with a balloon type of ball and keep working on the left one. Speed wise it would be a mix between the two. The left one is a tiny bit too slow, the right one a bit too fast. Exaggerate the hang time a bit more by adding a frame or two at the top and give it a clear acceleration when it falls. You should also add about two more bounces at the end. The last bounce's height is too high to be the last one. There is still enough energy and momentum in the fall to settle and bounce a bit longer.

Hope that helps!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Aziz Kocanaogullari - Radio - Feedback

I like what you have in your clip right now. They way she behaves and does little detail things is great. Especially how she stops the swinging bat.

What I would do to push things and to bring in more contrast is when he swings in, have him TAKE the mic away. A total huge broad swipe and snatch away and then he keeps it in his hands, manhandling it, so he is the total ass and then she looks him and steadies the bat for continuing contrast between him and her. Right now the guy feels a bit timid and it's not that much of a big deal that said boo.

That was my initial reaction, but Aziz offered this explanation:
> About him taking the mike away, I actually tried doing that, but it's too > busy and doesn't help the eye direction at all. Once he does that, all the > attention goes to him and stays on him where I want to show the girls > reaction too. Also, I think that move would make him more of a jerk like > character rather then this care-free character I'm going for. I don't want > him to be annoying in the sense that he's trying to be annoying. He just > doesn't care about the whole thing so much by menas of process, getting > ready for the show. He just does what comes naturally to him where as the > girl is full on prepared. I think if I make him take the mic away, that'll > just come across as an ass like you said but like on purpose, as if he's > trying to be an ass. I don't know, could i explain myself? > > You know, I just want people to think he's annoying through the way he > laughs and reacts, not by actually trying to make him be annoying. Oh man, > I suck at explaining things on writing. > > You think the contrast in the shot is still not enough?

So I thought:

Ah I see, yeah, he would be a deliberate ass. But if you want him to be more casual, then it's okay and doesn't need more contrast. And you're explaining yourself just fine.

But what do you guys think? You could push it further, but that changes the tone.

Joseph Taylor - Red Light Guy 2 - Critique

Before going in depth, I'd work on a few broader things though first which caught my attention.

It's coming along very nicely, but what's not quite working for me is:

From the beginning on the poses are nice and dynamic and the transitions between them fun, but then you go into the pose on x288, which is a bit weak compared to the rest and given the nature and objective of the character. That frame could be him making coffee, adjusting a big screen tv, etc. etc.

You then also keep the arm and hand pose while moving towards x302, and since the pose is not as expressive as it could be, that section feels weak as well.

On x310 you just finished going down and on x311 he's already up. I would add maybe one frame (or maybe two?) of at least the head pushing up and maybe on the second frame a hint in the body and then explode into the 311 pose. Right now it's a tiny bit poppy.

Something that doesn't work for either is the section from x321 to the end. We were dealing with a 3D CG character before, with a certain amount of mass but at the end he's moving a like a 2D character with super bendy legs and stretchy head (x328). It's pushed a bit too far for my taste given the 3D environment and style.

What do you guys think?

That's it though, looks great otherwise!


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Richie Prado - Note - Critique


I don't think you need that sound, it's not vital to the story and it's just an added thing, it's not really necessary. Unless you're playing with the fact that this is a gate at an airport, but again, it's not really needed.

The animation works better, you're on the right track! One thing though, it would be good to tweak the part around x190. I thought I mentioned it before but I can't find it in the notes, so I apologize for that. It's just an idea, but I think it would add a clearer beat.
So, when he looks at the note again, around x199, what do you think about having him turn the piece of paper around, so that he sees that the #9 was actually a six.

What do you guys think?

Anim wise what's standing out a bit right now is the moment around x128 where he crumbles the paper. How the arms go together and his body rotates down feels a tad too fast.
And you could speed up the run after x255 a tiny bit, for a nice zippy exit. Although that one is not a deal breaker.
And before that actually, around x55, when he looks up but the body slumps down, that pose change is also a bit too fast and it looks like the head stays in place and only the body changes, it's a weird pivot moment there from x60 to 64. And the body drop from x79 over two frames is also a bit too fast. All you need to do is add two or three frames to the overall move and cushion/ease into that new pose.
Same goes for x145 to 148, that body side move, it hits a wall spacing wise at x148. Look at the line the left side forms down to the leg at x147, then 148, see how much it moves screen left? Then go one frame further. Now it doesn't move to the right anymore at all. It's a sudden stop and you need to ease into that as well. Think about the mechanics and the momentum of weight shifts. By moving the whole body so quickly, it needs to settle over a few frames.

Almost there!


Aditi Bhandari - Nut - Critique

I like the setup of that clip. I would just make the bartender a tiny bit more visible, so that the guy's hat is not right in front of it.
The main guy is great, I like where he looks, I like his actions too. A few things I'm not too sure about. When he throws the peanut into his mouth, the dialogue continues with no interruption. I don't really hear a little pause or that he would open his mouth a bit wider. And the drinking has to be pretty quick because you need to give him time to swallow before he laughs. The laugh is very clear, it's not like he just drank something, so the audio won't help you there. But I love love love the look up to the guys when he goes "yeah" around x233, that's a great moment!