Sunday, May 9, 2010

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. :)


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