Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hyunah Ko - Lady - Critique



(This is in response to which version I prefer.)

Funny enough, I like them both, but specific parts and would mix them. I know that sounds complicated and not sure if that's helping you. What I like about "stuck02" is the amount of rotation and overlap the body has after she's being stuck. In "stuck02" she goes pretty far down up to x54, whereas in "IP10" she doesn't go as far and stops a bit abruptly. So anim wise from a body mechanics point of view, "stuck02" feels better.

But what I prefer in "IP10" is her left arm from x51 to 74, because it's stiffer. She's surprised, a bit irritated, but tense, and that is reflected in that stiffer arm. In "stuck02", from x54 to 85, the arm is loose and dangling, and feels too out of control and animated. Too me it's not in character.
After that it's up to you. Neither versions are wrong, they are just different in terms of acting choices. In "stuck02" she looks back up to x100 in a slow way, which gives her a feel of "Hello? Uhm... anybody see that? Help me!". In "IP10" she goes up very fast to x93, which gives it a feel of "Oops! I hope no one saw that!", which is a bit more in character because she looks and moves like a confident business woman, so when she's in trouble, I think she would want to keep that strong and confident look, so she wouldn't look around for help, she would try to fix it herself. That strong personality is reflected in x182, how she puts her glasses back into the right place. Then at the end when the manhole cover comes out, that's what breaks her confidence and that's why she looks surprised and out of it at x240. It's good contrast and a change in her character, whereas in "stuck02", she already looks a bit helpless like that during the x91 area. So the ending in "stuck02" is a bit more of the same in terms of character and less of a contrast.

So basically, I would use "stuck02" until x56, then use the rest of "IP10". :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lukas Niklaus - Wife - Critique

First off, it looks better and better. The main work at this point would be on the arms.

What you have in the hands until x76 is very cool. Nice and subtle.

After that it's mainly the screen right hand that feels too linear in its transitions. The screen left arm/hand is working very well until x254. From 254 to 273 the guy leans screen right, and the arm is moving a bit, but the fingers are totally locked. It would be good to get a little finger anim in there, reacting to the body shift. It continues to be great after that, but from x414, when the fingers go in for the fist, I would close the gap between the base section of the fingers. Right now they kind rotate in, using one axis, and it would be good to get a bit more contrast and complexity in that pose change and make it feel more like a fist, by having the fingers closer together and not so spread. And after that it's working well again, with great detail work when he brings his hand back in.
The screen right arm/hand starts to go up around x109 and it feels like the wrist is dragging as the arm goes up. It's subtle but I'm just not a big fan of wrist overlap during a move like that. It's not like he's tired. He is initiating that move, so the wrist would be more tense. The wrist then plops down at x124 and then freezes. It would be good to get a little two (maybe three) frame compression, where the wrist might tilt sideways and the fingers adjust to the weight.
Same thing when the wrist gets into the pose at x181. Even though there's some tiny movement in the index and thumb, the wrist feels very locked. So a little keep alive would help there.
It happens again after x205. You could leave it like that, but have a tiny bit of finger adjustment (middle finger could relax the most) when he looks up around x221.
The finger clenching at x362 to 380 feels to isolated in the fingers. There's not much wrist movement, but no forearm movement at all. I would just have something subtle, like you have it in the screen left hand/arm during the x274 to 287 area.
On the head drop after x399 and the big move after x428 and especially during the head up move around x458 could have some adjustment in the wrist and fingers, since such a big body part is moving around.

Lip sync wise, I still think that the area around x153, when he makes those sounds, should have it reflected at least in jaw movement, but also some mouth corners going out. First it's sort of a "yeh" and then it goes into a "ah". Right now the mouth area kinda glosses over that sound and to me there's a little disconnect there.

You mention the upper lids around x95. I agree that they are a bit floaty. To me the up movement is a bit slow. It's subtle though, and taking one (MAYBE two) frames out of there will help. Not a deal braker though.

That's about it though. Besides the hands, you're in full on polish mode and there's nothing that stand out as needing immediate fixing. At this point it's more about acting choices as opposed to technical issues, and I like the choices that you have. It's going to be a really cool shot!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Alessandro Chirico - Stand and Sit - Critique

That looks good!

The only two things that stood out after the first viewing were her pose at x26 (she's still looking really far down; I would reduce the upper body/chest rotation forward and lift the head up a bit) and her sit down impact at x92 (for here I would have two or three frames of her root going down; so on x92 have her a tiny bit higher, like she's barely touching the chair, then go down for two frames (and it's okay to intersect the chair a little bit)). Right now when she sits her root just stops moving over one frame and that's really abrupt. There is flesh and muscle on the butt, so when you sit it will squish a bit and soften the stop. You can also see how quickly things stop by tracking the screen right knee from x91 to 92 (moves screen left), then x92 to 93 (completely still). So even after the root stops, the knees can carry on the momentum and distribution of force (meaning, they can move in a bit screen left over 3 or 4 frames and then settle by moving back screen right over 4 or 5 frames. You will also have rotate the chest a TINY bit more forward after she sits down and rotate the head down a bit more. You have her head overlap after the sit which is good, but when you visually track the chin in 2D space, look how far down it moves from x91 to 92. Then look at x92 to 93 and you'll see that not only is the chin not moving down anymore, it's moving up (visually in 2D space). So that adds to the abrupt feeling of the stop. I hope that makes sense!

I would work on the root area first. The rest is coming along really well!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ya-Shu Chang - Dino fight - Critique


this looks super cool! You're pretty much done! I only have little picky technical things to talk about. You did a really good job with it!

As always, let's go shot by shot.


- watch out for his screen left hand, holding the upper jaw, it slides sideways, x8 to 12, stays locked, then slides from x14 to 15, stays, then slides out to x19, stays, then on the pull/push down x32 to 33 the fingers go through the teeth again, x37 to 38 as well, and from x49 to 51 the jaw moves without the hand/fingers being locked to it. Picky picky, but when you watch it in real time you get a feeling of softness still, so it's important to lock that down to get that feeling of grip and power
- the screen right head is going through the jaw/teeth as well, from x10 to 13
- the head should rotate sideways (not in Y) from x12 to 14; you slowed that whole body/head sideways move down and it's much better, but it still has a little feeling of abruptness when the head stops going screen right, you're 98% there!
- Love the little head shake/tension and jaw pose around x23 during the pull

- the arms go up at the same time from x45 on, offset them and overall bring them in, so it's more like that:

and less like that:

unless it looks exactly like that:

- awesome


- bring the tongue up on x70, so that it matches the end of shot 2
- awesome how he makes a fist around x105 before he pulls the arm away, great detail!

- watch the arc of the head after it pulls away from the arm, after x113; the path is very linear and could be more fleshed out arc wise, like this:

- same not on the arms as before, just bring them globally in more
- delay the down movement of the arms at x88 and on; right now, if you go from x88 to 90, the body, head and arms all go down together; lead with the head, then body and the arms drag the most
- watch out for the screen right arm from x112 on until around 125; it's moving to the left, then right, then sticks, etc. the spacing is off and it feels to linear
- on the last attack, after x128, bring arms together as per previous note, but drag them more so that on x132 the screen right arm is not so far screen right but more in front of the raptor's chest
- screen left shoulder seems too high, it goes up with the body right at the end of the shot; keep it down, it would drag more


- his right arm, after the swing, still feels to weak, around x158 and changes direction in a linear way from x158 to 159; smooth out that stop and bring out the arm screen right, like the green drawing; in order to give it a cleaner silhouette, just move the dead dino screen right:

- tail is better, but watch out for some spacing issues; tail is curved up on x141 and moving down to x143, but from x143 to 144 is going up, then to 145 it's going down again; it changes direction on x146, so on x147 the tip could be curved to the right more so there's more drag; there's some wiggling and popping after x155 to 158 and from x165 to 180, then on the rise, from x183 to 184 it's not moving screen right enough to finish the momentum of that swing, so keep going screen right and don't change direction like on x185; so overall, do another pass on the tail in that area to smooth out the kinks


- screen right elbow pops from x212 to 213
- screen right arm moves screen right with the punch until x219, but then just stays there and drifts down, with the fingers intersecting the ground around x228; finish that swing momentum and bring the arm back a bit, so it's not so dead after the punch
- watch the spacing of the screen left arm (tracking the pinky line); it moves screen left from x191 on until 196, then just goes up visually and not left anymore, then a little bit to the left on x198 and after that there's much bigger spacing over one frame; smooth out that pause
- on the way up, the punching arm goes up and to the right, changes direction and pretty much goes down the same path; give it more of an arc at the top so that the path of action is not so linear:

- after that arc, the arm suddenly moves a lot from x216 to 217;

- it's slower than what you had before, but still a TINY bit fast; I would bring the arm a bit more screen left at x217, and more screen right on x219; as you can see in the above pic, the spacing of the arm is very close at the end, but you need to give that huge punching momentum some room, the arm needs to overshoot
- right now, the punching wrist stays in the same pose/rotation from x229 to 235, but given the above note that you need to overshoot more, you might not have time to go back that far with the arm within the same frame range

- speaking of momentum, the upper leg on x192 needs to be lower; the body is being slammed down and the legs follow, but the body can't go anyway because there's the ground, so the body momentum gets stopped; the legs right now stop at the same time, but their momentum can and has to continue
- on x219 I would rotate the head to the right more; if you track the spacing of the head, it goes screen right and then suddenly down:

- same goes after the head hits the ground from x193 to 200 and x222 to the end; it feels a bit wiggly; smooth out the spacing; big weight like that head won't move that fast in a linear way, it takes away from the weight

Picky things, but I think some important tweaks for this shot and principles to think about for future shots as well.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Alessandro Chirico - Stand and Sit - Critique

I'd be careful to not change camera angles too much. I like how this looks, but for future shots I'd lock down the camera early on because you will animate and adjust the poses of your character(s) depending on the camera (you might even cheat certain poses to camera). So once you change the perspective or height or whatever, you might have to adjust the animation. Just something to think about.

In terms of applying changes to a shot, that's a tricky one and to me all comes down to your workflow.
It can take a day to implement changes, or even longer, it all depends on the complexity of the shot. And practice helps a lot. If you would go back to this shot and implement the same changes a year from now, you'll find yourself being a lot faster.
It helps though to be organized in your blocking. I tend to key all the controllers for main poses every 5 frames or so in my first blocking. The timing might be off, but the poses are there. Then I adjust the keys, which is easy to do because it's all so clean and organized, until the timing feels right. You might have to adjust some poses for overlap and stuff like that, but I try to not put in new keys and instead fix the pose on the frame that I have the key set. Or if a pose needs to be on a certain frame, I key the whole character again, so that everything is organized.
So when it's time to show it to the client and there are changes, I can easily delete a whole section and it won't affect the anim or poses before and after that section. Once blocking has been approved, then I go in there controller by controller and fix things until it looks right and I'll end up with keys everywhere.
Sometimes you have to make changes again. That's a bit trickier and usually I try to adjust the poses again on the keys that I already have, with little tweaks here and there, or I set a key on all the controllers to set a certain range, so that I can delete all the keys between that range (and by setting keys on all the controllers, deleting a chunk out won't affect the anim before and after that range).

I hope this makes sense at all! :)

Your shot looks a lot better though! The only things that stood out to me in terms of bigger areas that I would tweak, are:
- I wouldn't bend her head down so low around x31. It looks like she's inspecting what's below the chair. :)
- I would delay her root movement screen right around x51, so that she's still leaning towards her right around x54; then she puts down her foot and leans over to her left with her root, until around x64
- her chest move out from around x62 to 68 feels to isolated; it just moves and stops at 68, then there's a little pause and then she sits down; if that's your anticipation, then I would delay it by 4 frames and reduce it by 50%.
- I like the impact at x88, I would just reduce the linear curve on her head down rotation a bit, so that the impact is a little bit softer and not have her head go down as far; and right now her head goes down and stops abruptly at x91 (track her nose tip), so make sure that your spacing and arcs are fully fleshed out
- the last chest rotation after x104 until 109 also feels too isolated and linear; smooth out the transitions and slow it down a tiny bit; you want it to be less pose to pose and a bit more organic
- watch out for your elbows, they seem to pop around a bit throughout the clip; especially the screen right one from x68 to 71; the arms feel a bit IK, like from x52 to 58 on the screen right arm (I'm tracking her wrist, how it's moving horizontally with no curve and arc)
- I would reduce the screen right wrist rotation in that last pose, so that around 95 until the end it doesn't look so broken (rotate it more like the screen left one, with the fingers following the thigh, but a bit less than the screen left one, otherwise it's too mirrored)

Alrighty, hope that helps!

Lukas Niklaus - Wife - Critique

The eye darts changes are great, I like where you're going with this, it feels a lot more focused with separate emotional beats.
One thing I would try, is at the end, to take out all the eye darts after x469; or you take them out after that frame and only keep the last one, at the same moment, from x507 to x509. Right now I feel there are still too many darts there, which makes him look too "think-y". :)
The eye dart from x278 to 280 could also get cut. I'm curious what it would look like without. Right now the eyes move screen left while the head moves screen left as well, so that dart is a bit muddled because of that and gets a bit lost. So either cut it or try having it at 284, where the head is a bit more stable?
Your next eye pass is a subtle one. Whenever the eyes go up or down, doesn't matter how subtle the movement is, move the both lids up and down with it, but just a tiny bit. That way you will add some fleshiness to the eye balls. Some moments are a bit too fast so you will barely register, others you have it already, but you could push it a bit more, like from x219 to 220 it's a big eye dart, but the lids are pretty static. So just a little up on both lids will help.

Lipsync is heading in the right direction! There are some moments that felt a bit chatty and that could get simplified and some other areas that I would smooth out or push. Here my thoughts:

- the mouth corners expand and come to an abrupt stop at x10, ease more into that
- try to avoid one frame jaw movements, they end up being too harsh because there are no frames of softening, which give you sudden stops like from x42 to 43
- the "yeah" around x74 could get pushed in terms of size and asymmetry. You could open up the screen right corner a bit more and offset the height of both corners so that the shape doesn't feel so mirrored
- same symmetrical look is at x95 with both white areas of the teeth looking the same on the left and right side of the face.
- the mouth shape pops into a new pose over one frame from x95 to 96
- there could be a little jaw opening around x157 during his "jah" sound
- x202 to 203 the lip shape pops open (watch out for those 1 frame pops)
- the jaw looks like it's having a linear key and curve from x469 to 471

That's it!

Hope it helps!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ya-Shu Chang - Dino fight - Critique

Alrighty, it's looking better and better! Here my picky notes:


last little things to look out for:

- dino horn is going through Tiny's chest

- Tiny's left foot is going through the dino

- Tiny's screen right rotation at x5 to 9 still feels too fast and needs more overlap on the head

- not sure if that's new or if didn't see that before, but dino's bottom screen right leg goes back and dies at x9; would be good to be a bit looser until around x19

- Raptor arms are still too stiff and too "parented" to the body

- Raptor tail is too stiff as it goes down; it feels like it's a wooden board attached to the Raptor body and following the same movement

Basically, with the tail, it's going to be a mix between pure overlap and follow through and just reacting to the body of the raptor, like your typical bouncing ball with a tail anim:

and the tail being more active, where it whips around, being driven by the Raptor and the muscles:

Cameron's reel is a good example where the tail is a combination of both:


- Raptor arms too stiff, no anim on it


- Raptor arms feel more alive, but make sure that when the body moves around quickly, that there is drag and overlap in the arms; they still feel too parented to the body

- Tiny's arm pull at x104 to 108 is a bit tricky, because the arm gets swung away and the Raptor head swings to the left; both happens at the same time and it feels as if the Raptor was pull to the left as well; but isn't Tiny freeing itself from the bite? I would keep the arm swing but the Raptor head could swing with the arm a bit before getting into the pose around x117; imagine you're holding on to someone and that someone pulls away while you hold on, you will get pulled in the direction as the person who's pulling

- Tiny's left arm gets into a pose around x99 and then kinda sticks there, especially the hand and finger pose until x105, then on x106 the hand disappears; it would be good to get a different hand and finger pose until the exit for more contrast and to take the stiffness away

- Raptor tail feels fine until around x110 where it could swing back screen left, going with the body motion


- Tiny's right arm feels too passive around the x144 area, when it swings back; on that frame it could be more dynamic and forceful pose wise

- there's a quick left hand/arm move by Tiny from x150 to 152, which stops too quickly (looking at the wrist, it changes rotation quickly over two or three frames only and then stays pretty much put orientation wise; played in real time it's a bit too poppy and then locked); I think that transition could need one more pass and watch out for the fingers, they seem to go through the neck around x151

- the Raptor tail could be smooth out from the beginning to around x150 and slowed down a tiny bit, but keep the "out of control", overlappy feel to it; watch out for floor intersections; after x150, it could be more active and in control, reacting to the grab (again, check out Cameron's reel for reference)

- raptor head seems to pop screen right after x162 and start a linear rotation screen left after x167; smooth out those areas


- this shot still feels the roughest out of whole bunch

- I'd watch out for pops and sudden stops, for instance:

- Tiny's left arm around the x195 area wiggles and pops around

- Tiny's right foot pops to x207 during the up move; that stop is super abrupt and needs more follow through with the up momentum

- Tiny's right arm pops back around x195 during the antic and stops too quickly

- Raptor's feet pop and lock (especially at the end)

- Raptor arms are too stiff

- Raptor tail move at the end could be wavier, more snake like and not just rotate overall up and then down; the base would go down first, while the end would continue the up move and overlap and come down later

Almost there, just some last mile polish areas to fix!



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lukas Niklaus - Wife - Critique

I agree with you that there are a few too many eye darts in there. I think whenever there's some introspective stuff, like at the very beginning, I feel like you could just have him stare. So from the the beginning until around x80 when he looks up, I would just have a vacant stare onto the table, where he's just visualizing loosing his family.

Eye darts to me are part of a through process where someone is deconstructing ideas or situations, problems, etc. Processing anything.

For the rest of the clip I like it until around x284. After that frame I would go quiet again with his eyes, but in the "pose"/eye direction of x318. Then, after the blink around x364 keep what you have until x476. To me, at that point, ​it's a stare into the officer's face, looking for sympathy and understanding, but with the current eyebrows, the sadness goes away for me, it's too probing. I think it might work a bit better with just a hopeful stare. Save that version, let's see how a stare would work and then we can compare, I could be wrong.

The eyebrow work is great. My only tweak would be at x476, during that last stare, I would have the eyebrows a bit more sympathetic and sad and less serious to reinforce that pleading and looking for understanding feeling.
Body wise, I would ease into the pose around x126 a bit more, when he leans back. How the body and head come to a stop is just a tiny bit abrupt and I would soften that a bit more.

For your next pass you can flesh out the lip sync and start thinking about the cop.

All in all though the shot looks really great and is a really strong piece! Nicely done!!