Wednesday, June 30, 2010
First thing, the guys look really small in this car, especially in the last shot when he changes gear (he's really stretching that car).
Overall it feels a bit slow and floaty I'm afraid. Think about rhythm and how you want to pace the sequence. Since he's defeated afterwards and drives away, his demeanor can be slower and disappointed, but for contrast I would amp up the first shot where he's really active and looking around. The passenger is relaxed on the other hand, and he will be freaked out at the end after the crazy parking stunt, whereas the driver is happy and relaxed since he just parked in a cool way. Try to incorporate more contrast in their poses and their acting, so you we can differentiate them better and think about the story arc, where they start and where they end up, emotionally and visually.
Monday, June 28, 2010
There was a question about my walk cycle workflow:
I haven't animated a cycle in a while but have done walks from A to B just recently. Either way, I focus on the body first, yes. I want to get that timing right so that the translations feel right. The main weight has to work. If you tweak the legs you just have to know that that part will change the moment you change something in the body. So I won't bother with foot rolls and off set and crazy stuff like that. First the body, then the hips, then the legs and feet. That's kinda the approach. Anything that will screw up the legs gets finished first. Not polish polish finished, but finished to a point where additional changes won't affect my legs, knees and feet.
Your walk looks already great!
Looking at the body, you're in a great position!
Front view: the side to side is nicely exaggerated, the up and down has a nice feel to it as well.
Side view: here's where I would tweak the forward translation a bit. Right now the body slows down towards the point where it pushes up for the next step. Looking at the spacing it gets smaller and smaller up to x15 for instance and then from x15 to x16 the spacing is much bigger. Watching that in real time gives the impression of a little pause for each step, which makes it a bit hiccuppy. I would actually take that out and make the forward translation linear or at least reduce it by a lot in order to get rid of that pause feel.
It's good to get rid of any default rotations in any body part. So in the front view the feet are pointing straight towards the camera. You can rotate them out, one a bit more than the other, for asymmetry. Then, the bottom part is flat and parallel to the ground, so tilt the foot sideways the moment it gets off the ground. I like the outer arc the foot is following though as it moves forward.
One thing though, the body forward up and down rotation (side view) feels odd. From x3 to 6 for instance, as the body goes up, I would rotate the body forward for the overlap. Kinda where it is at x10, but start that much sooner so you get earlier into the body rotation on x13, then after the step on x18 the body would be done again, etc.
Looking great already!!
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Overall, the body attitude and posing fits the tone of the voice, which is great! Animation wise it feels a bit too spliney though. The transitions from pose to pose are too loose. Also, think of contrast, visually. How can you make this interesting without crazy poses and fast timing. Try to incorporate visual changes so that tone wise the shot doesn't feel stale.
For instance: what if the bench is more parallel towards us. She would still sit the same screen space (so off to the left, not in the middle of the shot). But she is looking screen left, head, eye and body wise, during the first section until "like... (pause)". Then she readjusts herself a bit like you have it, but turns the head to the right and the body a bit as well. So first she's looking to the left, lost in her own thoughts. Then, after the readjustment, she looks at the person she's talking to and probes him about the 80 or 90% and that's why she's making full eye and body contact, because it's more focused. You will have a visual contrast with the pose change and it will accentuate her focus. But keep the poses that you have with the shoulders up and head down.
Sound wise, make sure to include the little breathers in your animation, that's great material. For instance: the inhale around the x50 area and from x90 to around x120 (I wish quicktime could scrub through sound...). Those pauses are gold because you can incorporate your own little acting nuances without being too tied to the sound.
Hope that makes sense! :)
The medium one is a bit too poppy. Give it a few more frames for the up and down. Especially for the last bounce on x38 (if your anim starts at x1). It's too high to just drop down over one frame.
The light ball is going into the right direction, but needs a bit more work. The initial drop needs more acceleration towards the end. The bounces after that are better but from x228 and on it starts to feel very slow and even. Add a little acceleration to the drop for the rest of the bounces.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Ok, here my thoughts:
shot1: the big monster pounding his chest, on x33, his right foot in the air, tilt it a bit more sideways like the guy on the right has it on that frame, so that the foot is not so flat and parallel to the floor. You can also bend the toes in a nice pose to get rid of that flat feel.
Guy on the far right, I would make his stick/bat/weapon a bit heavier. Watch how the stick drops on x25 for two frames, then stops rotating and translates up. Played in real time it feels too fast and takes the weight away from the object.
shot2: I would have her move more screen right and not so straight towards us. Especially since her eye direction is focused on the right side.
shot3: watch her hand contact on x87, keep it planted. Same on x90. She pushes herself up, so all the weight is on that hand, so flatten it on the ground. It's an interesting move that she can spin around on one hand and then bring her legs up without a leg push and just her hand. :) Watch your body arc though, how she goes up at around x90, hangs in the air until x94, but then starts to move screen left to around x97. Don't have her go up straight and then left, keep it an arc. Lower her feet on x96 to x100. The shadows show that there's no ground contact.
The guy landing screen right at x95 should continue a roll backwards to keep that momentum going. You lower his legs pretty abruptly on x97 (and heel goes through the ground). Swing the legs backwards and slow it down a tiny bit.
shot4: looks fine, the shake is nice
shot5: the creature looks pretty good. Watch the right fingers, they drift down from x180 to around x197 and the fingers are going through the ground. When he moves his hands back from x206 to x215 give it another pose, don't just pull the hands back. You can rotate the hands into a new position and change the finger poses. Watch the ground contact, like on x250 his left foot goes through the ground. Same with the toes at the end.
The girl has some crazy momentum from x172 to x173, watch how her root travels screen right and then after x174 goes up and not very far to the right anymore. She's so leaning to the right that you either have to lean her less or have her take bigger steps to the right to balance herself out.
Watch her screen right arm arc from x174 to 177, the arm just goes straight up. I'd continue the swing so that during that part it's doing an arc to the left (finishing the arc you started) and then up to her face.
I'd bring her right leg more to the right on x187 so she can push herself back screen left. She's still pretty off balance and was moving heavily to the right. Same thing on x209, she's really leaning to the left but then it looks like she's just rotating her body up to x213, instead of using her right leg to push herself up. So plant that leg a bit earlier and more screen left so that the mechanics work.
Nice work though, there's a lot of cool complex stuff in it! Sweet!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
When the ball gets off the platform on x80 to x81 I was a bit confused. At first I thought the platform is spinning/shooting him away, but then the rotation was going the wrong way. Framing through it I realized that it is the ball that jumps out. That part didn't read too well for me. Either have the platform shoot him out like that, but still reduce the spacing from x80 to x81, which seems almost poppy, or telegraph the idea of the ball jumping out more clearly by adding a bigger anticipation. It could squash a bit more and do a little swing to the left and then jump out.
The hangtime around the x112 area is a bit too much. The ball rolls up pretty quickly and then quickly slows down and hangs for a long time. Given how realistic the other parts are this is really standing out. You can exaggerate the hang time, but this is pretty close to Matrix bullet time. :)
The last bounces feel a bit soft. It looks like your squashing the ball on x149 while still having a gap between the ball and the platform. And the last bounce on x152 could be lower and a bit faster. Overall the ball could also move a bit screen right, since there is Left to Right momentum with that last big bounce with the long hangtime. It feels a bit off to see the ball have such a big arc and then during the last bounces it's just a straight up and down in Y.
That's all! Nice turnaround!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
That's such a great line to work with, nice choice!
Overall it's going into the right direction, but I'm not too sure about the finger point being that long. Finger points are a bit generic to begin with, so it's good that you keep it going with it in order to make it different. But after x43 I would take that hand/arm back with more pain exhaustion. Right now it's going back in almost the same rhythmic motion that is visible at the beginning, so it's a bit repetitive.
The way I hear the line is that after the first "I'm not the woman you say I am..." she kinda breaks down and then collects herself to say "I'm not that woman." at the end. So during that pose, I would play it out more like she's struggling with her emotions and trying to control herself, then she says that last line (which you could act out with her being stern again, or breaking down). I personally would go for stern again, but that's up to you. Right now though you have her looking right and then left during that pose, which is a bit too "search-y" for me, as if she's searching for the words, as opposed to trying to regain control of herself. And the very last frame, watch that pose and expression. It looks like she's sleepy, or drunk or on drugs. :) The intensity of the audio is missing in that last expression and pose, so I would listen to that part more closely and push the emotion at the end.
I find that after this stage I go into linear or spline mode and the feel and timing of the blocking gets lost, do you have any advice to advice to avoid this?
Regarding the feeling of losing the blocking timing. It's the pitfall of blocking things out in stepped mode. Going pose to pose will give you sharpness and accents but if you spline it all that will get diluted. You will have to have a clear vision of how the acting is supposed to be and once you spline it go back in there and add more breakdowns and work in segments. Go section by section and re-time the beats. What helps me is to blocking things out in linear mode and add spline mode from the get go during sections where I know that I will have it anyway (like during a swing, or jump or anything arc-y). At least in linear you will see how long each transition from pose to pose takes and how it looks like. If you don't have enough breakdowns in stepped mode then you're going to have to block things in after your initial "blocking". Your goal should be to have the exact timing in your blocking, so that when you go from stepped or linear to spline mode your animation doesn't change dramatically.
Hope that helps!
Saturday, June 5, 2010
When she first grabs the noodles, make sure that the arms don't overstretch, like around x45. You will also have to move the arms with the body, and by that I mean that right now the arms look like IK arms where they have their own path and feel separate from the body.
When she puts her hands together to rub them, there's a pop right when the hands go out again, at x115 to x116, the wrist does a one frame pop. The head does a fast move down right when she puts her hands together, you could slow that down as well.
When she grabs the chopsticks, she could look quickly to the cup with all the chopsticks, unless she's been going there for a long time and knows the restaurant really well. But I thought that it was the smell that tricked her into going there, so it would be her first time? If it is her first time then she wouldn't know exactly where what it is in the restaurant, therefore she'd be looking around when grabbing things. Hope that makes sense.
When she goes for the food, I would add more detail to the cup of noodles. It just does a linear move to the right. Add a little move left first, a little anticipation over two or there frames and when the noodles stop they can slow down and stop instead of doing such a hard linear move.
When the woman looks over the head stops around x277 and then doesn't move anymore. You'd have to add a moving hold at that moment, otherwise the head feels dead. The eye blinks feel a bit mechanical, especially the second where the eyes close and stay closed for a while and then reopen. I think you'd be better off having two fast blinks and then a confused look.
When she grabs her cane, the screen left hand goes through the counter top, make sure that the contact is solid there. The other arm/hand just grabs the cane at around x413 and it would be neat to see the hand more before she grabs the cane, kinda going to the left of it for two or three frames and then grabbing the cane on x413. It's a bit weird how she lets go off the chopsticks. They are in her hands on x384 but then they kinda go up and to the left while the hand opens and arm goes to the left as well. It's as if they are floating away. Make that a more decisive throw.
The punches with her cane need to cleaner. Right now the noodles already start to get smaller even before she hits it (as if the noodles were protecting themselves? Like putting-the-arm-in-front-of-the-face-as-protection?). Then the cane seems to go through the noodles and the bowl. As she goes for the 2nd swing, follow the tip of the cane and you'll see a very messy arc. Tighten that up and make the swing cleaner with a nicer arc and silhouette (like x445 is not as clear of a silhouette as it could be, arm and cane wise).
The little noodle hand is just coming out and going the through the cane before the grip, from x471 to x472. Give that movement a clear arc as well and open the fingers and then have them go into a fist grab for the cane, so it's clear what's going on. When the hand is pulling the cane to the left, watch the path of the hand and cane from x479 on. It's very flat as if they're on a table, up until around x500. You can have it pull down to the left more and not so straight, give it an arc (everything has an arc, even if it's super subtle; only robotic movements are linear).
You seem to overstretch the old lady's arm around x502, keep it a little bit bent. And when she pulls her cane back, I would cut around x512 into a new shot. After that part the animation dies a bit and the contact on her hand with her cane gets very loose and the three frame move at the very end is too fast and confusing. You don't want to introduce such a big move and idea and the very end of a shot, at least not during the last 7 frames (or first 7 frames of a shot, too early for audience to register what's going on).
Alright! Let's go with that! Have a render next time where we can see her eyes better!
The walk looks already better! There a few little things I'd tweak though. First, front view, the feet are straight towards us in a default way once they are planted, like x6 and x26 for both feet. I would rotate the outwards in Y (or in, but then it's a bit pigeon toed, that's a character preference). Also, if you look at the heel, it's always flat and horizontal to the ground. You can tilt the foot left or right during the lift off and passing.
The "hips": you have the right side to side rotation to simulate the weight shift, but you could adjust the timing a bit. I would keep the circle around the ball flat, like on x21, until x25, then bring up that side supporting the weight over the course of 3 frames and then continue going up for the next frames, maybe until around x33 in a slower way. That way you can feel the weight shift (but not poppy), and while the body goes over the leg for the next step there's more and more weight on that leg and the hip continues to go up in a subtle way (nothing crazy).
Also, adjust your side to side translation of the body. I'm looking at the front view, from x11 to x15/16, where the body goes up and to the left, but then down and back to the right. Momentum and weight wise that's a bit off. You would have to go up but stay a bit on the right side until around x15, then arc over to the middle and then go to the left until x31, so that your extreme positions left and right are when each foot takes a step in that passing pose. I hope that makes sense. :)