Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Akem Singh - Ball and obstacle - Critique

​The clip looks good!

It's overall pretty much done, I have only a few little areas in mind that would need tweaking:

First bounce feels good up until around x14. After that the ball seems to get pulled to the left. The momentum increases and the arc gets stretched out. I would adjust the spacing backwards from x14/15 on, so that you don't have to change all of the rest.

Watch how far screen right the ball goes after the bounce on x20 to x26. After x26 it feels as if the ball is slowing down in midair and doesn't travel as far to the right anymore. So check your spacing and adjust the arc.

Watch where you're leading the ball from x31 to 32. If you'd follow that line up it's pretty steep. But from x33 to around 37 it feels again as if the ball is getting pulled to the left. I would angle the blue object more down (left side) so it would make sense for the ball to go that far to the left and with that arc.

The roll up is good, although you could speed it up a bit more, especially during the x080 area, so you can really feel how it accelerates during that part.

There's another section where the ball feels like it's being pulled to the right, from x94 to 97. The rest is great.

So overall good, just little things here and there!

Jessica Toth - Ball and tail - Critique

The ball bounce looks great and the tail overlap works very well. I only have a few little notes:

I would speed up the first bounce a tiny bit or not have it bounce as high and to the right. It feels a bit slow compared to the other bounces. I know you want to ramp up, but the up and down on the first one seem slow as if the ball is controlling the up and down.

On x61 the ball moves very fast to the right (the previous bounce didn't go as far to the right and wasn't as fast), so I would tone that down. It's almost like a little pop. And you could take out at least one of the tiny little bounces at the very end. There are so many and they're so fast, that the ball feels as if it's shaking.

Joseph Taylor - Mom and Baby - Critique

​First off, the clip looks really great!

The mother is great, I love how she readjusts her grip on the seat around x210 on. Cool detail.

The baby needs a bit more love I think. What stands out mostly is when he swings his arms around at the beginning and at the end (love his business around x110 to x130, awesome). I would involve the chest and shoulders more during those parts. The arms feel a bit too separate. Think about how the arm swing will affect the shoulder and chest.

Same with his legs, they feel too IK-ish. Watch out for overstretching, like from x59 to 60. Areas like that feel too poppy. The toes are also pointed up all the time and there's almost no change in rotation during all the kicking. Babies don't have that much control over their foot rotations. So have them point up and then to the side as well and when the leg pulls back, rotate the foot a bit more down, so it's not always pointing up.

One last detail thing, your light pole disappears on x45.

Almost there, nice work!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lukasz Burnet - Walks and swing - critique

Hey hey,

so I tried to find things that are wrong so I'm not just saying "Looks good!" but you know what, it looks good! Your work is really consistently strong and your speed is exceptional.

I really have to be super picky in order to write stuff and none of this is really a deal breaker. You could have this on a reel and you'd be set. Like I mentioned before, the only one that would need the most work is the swinging kid clip.

But first the Angry walk:

You could argue that the knees are popping a tiny bit, but you know, I kinda like that. It has the feeling of hard boots on a hard ground.
One little technical thing would be the back foot on x12 to 13 and to 14. The toes seem to go below the ground.
This is just a matter of character and depends on his situation, but you could say that the wrist holding the gun could be a bit stiffer since he looks angry and there would be tension in that arm/hand.
Another super picky thing. Front view. Screen right wrist. The wrist rotates down a bit fast over just two frames from x4 to 6 and then it stops that rotation. Once you loop it over and over you start to see it. :)

Happy Walk:

Again, nice work. Only thing I would say, and that applies to all walks, especially with big feet or shoes, rotate tilt the foot (rotate sideways, but not in Y, not up and down) when the heel touches the ground, like x0 and x1, so that the foot is not so flat (nothing is perfectly horizontal or vertical to the ground). Apply that to each step and to future walks.


It looks already good, but like I said before, add some Y rotation to the swing chair and tilt one side down (front view). The swing is just like the foot in the happy walk, too horizontal and perfect to the ground.
One other thing, after both legs go up during the forward swing, they go down as she starts to swing back and both legs have a little pause and stop bending down, around the x19 area. It's subtle but you feel a weird little pause. It might just be because both legs are doing it in sync, so I would try to have only one leg pausing, that should help. Otherwise take that pause out and just offset the legs more.

That's it though! Nice work!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Joseph Taylor - Help you - Critique


- push the "Anybody" lipsync. "any" will have a much wide mouth shape than what you have now.

- the two cigarette puffs are very similar in timing. Change one up a bit for contrast.

- there's a body pop (looking around hip area and hand/elbow area) at x257

- her finger business around x356 feels to even. The back and forth timing is the same. The fingers also feel detached from that action. Add some ambient movement to the other fingers and the wrist.

- on "myself", on that forward lounge, she could half way during that forward move lift her shoulders and drop them, as an accent.

- on "I'm doing alright", as she goes back, she could lower the shoulders

- weird screen left upper arm geom change over two frames starting at x289


- "help yourself" lip sync is great!

- the rest of the lip sync needs some pushing: introduce arcs in the corners of the mouth. "we TRYING to help you", lower the jaw more on "trying". You can hold the "you" shape for a few frames longer, you don't always have to close the mouth or go back to default pose; "HOW long", "how" could be pushed, again, bigger jaw drop; second "help YOU" I would hold the you shape a bit longer as well

- as his head goes up and hand goes up around x96 and face opens up, you could also raise the shoulders a tiny bit

- "for how long", you could keep his mouth open after "long" until he starts the new line, so he feels a bit more engaged, not need to always close the mouth.

- I wouldn't have his hand so flat against the camera on x116. Keep it rotated away from us and push the finger pose a bit more. What you have on x105 is great, that's an appealing pose. x109 has a default hand with a wrist really bent over, it feels a bit broken. x179 works much better.

Hope that helps!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Aditi Bhandari

The clip is coming along nicely!

I like the body action of the main guy! The gestures and head accents work well.

What I would work on on your next pass is the lip sync, mostly the 2nd half. From the beginning to around x144 is pretty good. "... office locked in the John (sp?) again ..." feels a bit even in the opening and closing timing. Play around with the corners of his mouth, adding little arcs and add rotating the jaw sideways as well for some off-default accents (so that the main concentration is not resting on just up and down).

The second half feels unfinished, as if you're syncing only half the words. I think you simplified it too much.

Gotta admit, the nut throw is still a bit awkward to me, but it does work a lot better with the throw on "locked".

The glass is reaching the mouth a bit too early. It looks like he's still finishing "paper" and he's already drinking. Try to delay that move a bit.

The background guys are coming along. I'd add a bit more ambient business to the guy sitting and the bartender could need more "thinking". He's busy with this bar, preparing something, so add a few eye darts at the beginning (good old "throw in some eye darts" comment...) before he turns over. Even afterwards, he feels a bit too stare-y. Some variations to his mouth would also help get away from the dead puppet feel. It could be one way at the beginning, change during the turn, then again when he looks at him, etc.

Keep going!

Stephan Brezinsky - facial take - Critique

​That's looking good already!

What you could do in order to push it a bit further is by offsetting a few components. For instance, the first pose, in order to get rid of the symmetrical look, vary the eyebrows and the mouth shape. The first look is a bit generic.

Then, for the take, right now everything is moving at the same time from x1 to x2. Think about what he's seeing and the fact that he's seeing something means that his brain needs to deconstruct the information first. Your guy could get slapped from behind his head and the way he goes down would work. But in a take, give it a few frames to anticipate the down. So his eyes could widen for two frames, same with the mouth, etc. He would go from the current "happy" to an anticipation with a face reading "What did I just see?" and you could lift his body up a bit, so that the body does a little anticipation as well.

Then on the down, since it's pretty fast, you could raise the eyebrows as the head goes down, as if they are dragging and overlapping (so you'd lower the brows when the head goes up again; kinda what you have but you could delay the frown a few frames). On the head down you could also stretch the head and squash it around the x6 area. I'm talking about feeling the squash/stretch, not really seeing it, it's a more subtle application of that principle.

Track the spacing and arcs of the nose. On the way down and up it's following almost the same path. You could exaggerate the arc a bit more, same during the settle where the nose path would be a little loop as it settles. Nothing crazy, but a bit more pushed than what you have now.

The ending works well and the facial expression is more asymmetrical than the beginning one.

Hope that helps!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Richie Prado - My family - Critique


brown guy only:

overall looking good, there's just one point where you hold the gesture which feels a bit awkward and little detail things:

The first shot works well, I would just sharpen the jaw movement when he opens it. It's a bit soft throughout, so a sharper opener would make it a bit more "reactionary" (if that makes sense).
The eye look down to x55 is a bit slow, I would make it a frame or two faster. You can always add a half blink during that section. You're also starting an eye move at x63 right to where the shot cuts. I wouldn't add sudden movements like that right before a shot ends or right after a shot starts. The audience needs about 7 frames to register what's going on. Any big move right at the beginning will be confusing and at the end will be jarring. Not that this eye dart is jarring, but it's right where the cut is and it's more distracting than helpful.

2nd shot:
The eyes are drifting a bit at the beginning towards the annoyed look. Eye darts should be fast, 2 frames, sometimes even 1. I would keep the eyes the way you have them on x68 a bit longer, then dart over frames to the eye pose on x76, then wait a frame and then dart from that pose to the pose you have on x86 over one frame. Hold that one a bit so that you can dart Right now you have them go up to around x79 and then they slowly stop and then go down slowly. It's all a bit too swimmy.
Around the x106 area, is he going to pick up the other guy's hand or just brush it away? I like the gesture of how he gets there. And little push off of the other guys' hand could work. I also like how he puts it up to his head around x163. It's like he has a head ache. :)
Afterwards I would bring the hand and arm down. Right now it's in a weird salute mode around x184 and how it follows the head in it's movement from x173 to 189 feels weird.

You then hold that pose pretty much throughout the 3rd shot and that's a bit awkward to me .

Before that though. Track the guy's nose towards the end of shot 2, how it goes down, yet at the beginning of shot 3 it's going up. Make sure that the action works over the cut.

The rest of the last shot works well. I would just do one tweak with his eyes. Right now he looks screen right around the x327 area, but then you bring the eyes back to the left to x331 while the head still goes to the (screen) right and then you bring back the eyes looking screen right. I would get rid of that move to the left and concentrate on what's going on screen right.
The first pose at the end is a bit soft and the fingers are too symmetrical. I know it's not a fist of massive anger, but just visually, bring the index and pinky finger closer to the middle finger, so that there is no gap between them (especially the pinky) .Try to always have a rounded shape for the knuckles and where the fingers fold. Right now (last frame) the hand/fist is very cube like. See image below for what I mean.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Joseph Taylor - Pregnant - Critique

​Great clip!

Little technical things:

- watch his screen right wrist on x121, it pops up.

- his pinky on the screen right hand starts drifting early around x155

- try to move the wrist translation a bit when the screen left elbow moves out to the left around x108. The elbow is doing a huge move but the wrist is just locked. The elbow also dips down around x118

- when she rests her hand on x63, the hand feels a bit light, the feeling of her hand contacting his shoulder is a bit light. And when he leans over around x71 to the left until around x77 the hand could follow that shoulder a bit more in order to make that contact a bit more solid.

Love it otherwise!

Joseph Taylor - Reel - Feedback

I like the reel a lot!

Keep the maid, that one cracks me up, especially her walk out!
Keep the mom, that one is great!! Definitely work on it, some stuff on the baby,
but it's pretty far along though.
Not too sure about the hitchhiker, that clip doesn't feel as strong as the rest.
Especially his walk off at the beginning feels off balance and a bit

But I like the physicality of it. Besides the red-light-guy, your characters are
either sitting or standing behind and object (like the maid). So I would focus
on something where you can clearly see someone walking and something more
physical for weight.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Akem Singh - ball and tail pt2 - Critique

Here's a follow up on a previous feedback post:

Hey Jean,

Thanks for the feedback but i'd like a little more information since its kind of hard to follow in texts form. Maybe little sketch's or doodles would make it easier to describe what your saying?

Yes please, tell me when I'm not clear enough. I need to make sure that the critique makes sense!

Anyway, I'll try and break down the bits that I didn't understand:

"when it lands on x10, the way the tail curves, you could have it a bit more to the left (so that the tip is not right above the ball), but then on x11 the tail wouldn't be up anymore, but pointing down"

Okay, this part I get! :)


"(imagine a whip action, or a flag waving and you're looking at it from the top)"

I'm having trouble relating this to a tail on a ball?

I meant this:
Imagine when you crack a whip on the ground, after you swing it up, when you throw it down, that downward motion, that last bit where the tip is point up and then goes down. Or take your hand, straighten the fingers like for a salute, but the ball of the hand on a table, not but the hand down flat on the table. But do this so that it's not laying flat at once, but you go from the ball to the tip of the fingers. One bit at a time rotates until the tip is down. Your ball tail move should be like this when it hits the ground. It should curl over the ball, it should curl down to the ground.

"As the ball goes up it would be more like x16 where it follows the path of action"

Could you describe a bit more about following the path of action?

Putting aside all the overlap and good stuff, if you have a tail attached to a ball, it's going to follow where the ball is going. The ball is pulling the tail. Wherever the ball is moving, that his path, or path of action: straight roll, bounce up and down, bounce left to right, etc. So the ball will follow that path and because it's a soft tail and bendy, it will follow the path pretty closely as opposed to being just still and hanging in there for the ride.

"and after the apex curl up, so not down like on x20. More up but not as much, maybe half of that"

Sorry but this has me totally confused! Hmm, to me it does look like its curling up already at x20. How can I make it go up
half as much without bringing it down?

This goes back to the tail following the path of the ball. So at the apex, meaning the highest point of the bounce, the tail will be curled less down, because it needs to stay on the path of the ball. See the red lines.

"as the ball falls the tail gets pulled again along the path of action and ends up like on x26"

Please explain this path of action thing as it relates to a ball & tail. Seems quite important in getting this to look right.

Check the pictures above for the path of action explanation. In your clip, on x26, the tail is straight and point up, right on the path of the ball falling down.

"one thing I wouldn't do is the direction change like you have it on x55, where it goes down and the up again. That looks more like a voluntary change vs. a straight physics overlapping action"

Don't understand this part. Where does it change direction at x55? Do you mean after x35 where it hits the wall and then spins in the other direction? Is this wrong?

Areas like x48 or x55 do look wrong if you are going for physics and even on a character level it looks odd. This being an overlap exercise the tail has to follow and be pulled by the ball, so if the tail is moving downwards, clockwise, it can only change the downward direction if the ball forces the tail to do so.

"I would keep it rolling beyond x70, it comes to a sudden stop there."

Would the ball "roll" at all since it has a tail attached to it? I couldn't quite picture what it would do but I guessed it would keep bouncing a little more and then come to a rest with the tail overlapping over the ball a little?

That's exactly it. The ball's bounces are getting smaller so the tail will have to come down and not stay up and at the end the ball can roll a bit and take the tail up, over the ball, like you said.

I think I made the mistake of not making the distinct between "a voluntary change vs. a straight physics overlapping action" and assumed there was suppose to be some action propelled by the ball having some character or motivation of its own?

Yes and no. It's true that in those bouncing ball assignments with tails the balls suddenly don't rotate anymore. :) It's just a ball taking the tail with it. But for the sake of the exercise, it's okay. The ball can have a motivation of its own, but the tail not, it's just straight physics at this point. Unless you go one step further and treat the ball and tail like a little animal and have the tail move on its as well. Like a little dog. When they move around you have straight physical tail overlapping action mixed with voluntary swinging and stiffening and all kinds of other movements.

"Or just cut the shot there."

I'd like to keep animating it coming to an end properly than cheating myself out of learning how to do that :) I think it might help me learn how to make an object looks like its coming to rest properly with overlapping action.

Also can you give me some more advice about what the tail should be doing between frames 44 and say 70 to make it look better? I'm guessing there should be a lot less movement but still overlapping some how?

Yes again, you're right. The overlap will get smaller and smaller but the ball will still pull it along. You can always take a piece of string and attach it to a ball and then film that for reference.

Sorry if it seems like i'm asking for too much detail but i'd really like to understand and get the hang of overlapping action as I think it will improve my animations alot!


No need to apologize!! That's exactly what I'm here for and what this workshop is all about. You can never ask for too much detail!

I hope this is clearer!


Joseph Taylor - Red Light Guy 3 - Critique


You've done a really nice job! I like the new "boxing" pose!

Looking at it now, after a few weeks, there are some broader things that I would think about. I think it's just tweaking one part and shifting the timing of other parts.

This might just be me, but there is one section that I would tone down now, only so that it's more in line with the character and his objective. The area around x256, where he anticipates picking up the lid-thingie, I would tone that whole thing down and have him go straight from x251 to x261. Reason being, he's over the top on his actions, but to me it's okay when it is part of his objective as a thief/agent. But he's still efficient, he doesn't move slowly when he has to do something. Closing the lid leaves him vulnerable, it's more difficult for him to defend himself in case something attacks him, so that mission should be done as efficiently as possible. Anticipating the grab the way you have it now, feels more like you're having fun with an exaggerated pose and transition, but less about him staying in character. Yes, all of his moves are exaggerated, so why not this one? I can see that point, but I would still be selective in those choices so that he's not exaggerated all the time. I'm just thinking out loud (in a writing... way... ... yeaaaah ...). It's not a dealbreaker and I should have mentioned it earlier but it just didn't have that effect on me earlier. I only noticed it now.

Speaking of that part. One thing I would tweak though, is around x266, right when he lifts the lid. I would have the lid pretty much not moving for another 6 frames or so but continue the body action with stretched out arms and bringing down the shoulders first, before the lid moves. It feels a bit light right now and by involving the body more by bringing down the shoulders when his body goes up for the lift and delaying the lid movement you will add more weight to it.

The other thing that's not quite working for me is the area where he has the new boxing pose. I like the pose, but he goes from putting down the lid to turning around in that new pose and then jumping. It all meshes together too much. If you watch the previous version:

he turns around and even though the pose was not expressive enough, he was slower and more contained, which made him feel more careful before the jump, as if he's checking once more if the coast is clear. Now, you have him lift the lid, hear something, check the area and put the lid down. So either he's convinced all is okay and just goes into that boxing pose and then jumps, which is a bit weird. Or. He fakes being okay and puts the lid down and then turns around into the boxing pose in order to be ready for a possible attack or to intimidate an onlooking attacker. That seems more plausible, but it would work better if you have him turn and do the boxing thing the way you have it now until around x346. He then freezes in that last pose (with keep alive), pauses for a beat, looks around with his head, seeing that it is actually all okay, then he continues for the jump. So his beats are: putting things back - sensing something - faking to not notice in order to surprise the attacker - then turning and getting ready to attack - realizing that no one's there - moving on.

You could argue that he's turning around into the boxing pose and moving immediately in order to get away from the potential danger, but there's the section around x345 where he does that little head turn, which feels too slow. You have a pause between the boxing and the jumping which makes it not feel hectic enough. If you're going for the point that he's meshing all this together to get away as quickly as he can, then I would overlap the boxing/jumping even more and add a few frames of hold on x320, so that he puts down the lid and mentally readies himself for that big moment, so a little silent anticipation before the big move.

I hope all that make sense. :)


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Akem Singh - Ball and tail - Critique

Ok, looks good, but I would do it this way:

when it lands on x10, the way the tail curves, you could have it a bit more to the left (so that the tip is not right above the ball), but then on x11 the tail wouldn't be up anymore, but pointing down (imagine a whip action, or a flag waving and you're looking at it from the top). As the ball goes up it would be more like x16 where it follows the path of action and after the apex curl up, so not down like on x20. More up but not as much, maybe half of that and as the ball falls the tail gets pulled again along the path of action and ends up like on x26 and then on the next bounce you start over with the overlap towards the ground.

This will alter how it will look like after it hits the wall, but one thing I wouldn't do is the direction change like you have it on x55, where it goes down and the up again. That looks more like a voluntary change vs. a straight physics overlapping action (hope that make sense...). :)

The ball bounce is good though, but I would keep it rolling beyond x70, it comes to a sudden stop there. Or just cut the shot there.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lukasz Burnet - Sad Walk - Critique

About the sad walk. He definitely looks sad, given the hunched over body and facial features, and from a technical point of view, the animation is very well done! But. There is something in the movement that's slightly odd, some sections that stray away from sad.

Overall he feels almost too smooth. If I look at the body/head section in the front view, it's super smooth, where you don't feel like he's taking steps, you don't feel the impact of the body after each step. I think there's also too much countering hip and body action. That's only in the front view though.
In the sideview the arms feel too overlappy. It's mostly the wrist that has too much drag and overlap, so I would take most of that out.

Another thing that feels weird is that while the body is super smooth and slow, the legs feel too fast. It's a weird contrast to have them that fast while the rest of the body is so slow and smooth. It's not that you can't have someone walk fast while being sad, it's not that, but if I look just at the upper part he feels slow, when I look just at the legs, he feels fast. So I think that if you slow down the legs, it will just push the feeling of sad/disappointed more.

Hope that helps!