Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mike Wilson - Candy - Critique

Hahaha, that's kinda funny too, I like that! Gives us the mystery of what the hell is so strong in this stroller!!
The only thing I would add is a hand holding the candy stick, so that when he pulls on it, around x350, the candy can move up and to the right a bit, showing us a bit more of the hand of the baby. What do you think?

For the guy:
- make sure that you have side to side tilts in the hip during the steps, for proper weight distribution, it kinda looks like they stay horizontal
- as you continue to put more breakdowns in and spline things out, make sure to avoid sticky frames like on his right hand, from x144 to 152, where the hand seems stuck in space
- on x187, you could bring his left arm further back, separating it from the body for a clean silhouette
- x201 feels a bit awkward pose wise with the screen left arm, it's very angular and feels almost broken and watch out for the arm around x206, perspective wise, the elbow is almost right behind the hand, which makes it look like a really short arm :)
- his left foot on x200 is on its heel, crossed over the left foot, but then he pivots off his toes on x202, then back on his heels at x205. Are you going for a little bounce during that turnaround which would give the feet room for those changes? What's the plan there?
- on x210 I would lean him forward, going screen left, a tiny bit, only to push the "curious" feel of it; he can then go back and stay the way he is on x246 for the antic and move to the left on x262 the way you have it; although, on x263, I'm not a bit fan of the straight arm and straight leg, it's a bit mirrored and angular and a more curved line of action would work better

- same thing later before he pulls the candy

Watch out for those straight lines. But again, I like the idea of not seeing the baby! :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jero Maggi - Sit Down - Critique

Hey, this is a great start, nicely done!!

Here my thoughts:
- first frame, love the arc going from the screen right (SR) foot up to the head; in that pose though, it looks like all the weight is on the screen left (SL) leg, which means that the hips would be up on the SL side

- once you're adding more breakdowns, watch out for the x7 to x8 section, it's a big move over one frame, so if you'd spline that now, it'd be way too fast; so as you continue to put in more break downs, slow that part down by a few frames
- as he's leaning over to the other leg on x8 though, the weight would shift over to the leg, so the hips would go up on the SR side

Think of it as the contrapposto pose:

- you might have to adjust the timing of how is sitting down, depending on what you're going for. Right now it looks like he's very careful about it, which is fine, if that's what you're going for. If it's a more regular sit down, the root might go down and accelerate a bit and plop into the chair; if you'd spline this, it would look a bit even; if I space out the root spacing going down, I get this:

As you can see, the red lines are pretty even.

- watch out for the upper body movement from x34 to 35, it's really big for over one frame and therefore pops up; add a few more frames in between those two poses to slow it down a bit

- for a little detail thing down the road, as you add more breakdowns and get into splined curves, think about adding complexity to little moves; again, nothing to worry about now, make sure that the main timing and weight is working correctly, this is just a sneak peak:
> from x7 to 8, the SR foot is in the same orientation, but you could have his left foot turned inward a bit more on x7:

Then on x8 and on, as he's rotating his body away from the chair (from his perspective he's turning to his right), the heel turns outward to the pose that you have on x8.
That's more polish stuff for down the line but you're already in such a good spot for your first animation of this type, that I'm confident you'll understand it as you progress.

Can't wait to see the updates!! Nice work Jero!


Lukas Niklaus - Bottles - Critique

(Answers to his German questions)
Betr. Des zu animiert wirkenden schrittes bei x61, da hatte ich eigentlich vor gehabt, dass er die flaschen erst im letzten moment sieht und deshalb eine art “erschrockenen” schritt nach SL macht. Habe deshalb diese Woche den Kopf neu getimed, und auch am gesicht gearbeitet. Ich hoffe man verstehts jetzt ein bisschen besser.
This part works better and makes more sense now, given your explanation. My observation is this: the whole move has its focus on the arm, which distracts from his emotional reaction. It also doesn't help that the arm is almost moving first, before his reaction to the bottles being piled up. From a technical point of view it also looks a bit IK, mostly due to the horizontal movements and the visual cue of arm moving independently from his body (one of those tricky IK things).
I think to make it super clear, you could stake out separate beats, so that his reaction and the sidestep don't flow together. You could have a little bigger facial take (nothing crazy, just amp it up a little bit more) and then the sidestep (again, nothing seconds apart, but just a little bit more separated).
In der ganzen region um x142 muss noch viel tightening arbeit getan werden. Das timing der augen etc. passt mir noch nicht ganz.
You're right, the eyes could need some work, but to me it's also the amount of time he takes to just stare at the bottles combined with how little the pupils are (more difficult for audience to stay connected with the character).
Von x185 bis x245 habe ich deinen Mr. Bean tip versucht rein zu nehmen. Mir passts... Ich hatte etwas angst dass es ev. Zu cartoony wird, aber ich finde es passt :-)
Technisch hinkts noch etwas hinterher. (besonders wenn er von den zehenspitzen nach SR geht. Muss da nochmal in die video ref rein schauen.) Aber lustigerweise war der prozess viel natürlicher obwohl ich nicht zurück in stepped gegangen bin... Wie du sagst, man sieht das timing sofort... Kommt gut. Und was mir ein besonders gutes gefühl gibt... Als ichs den playblast zum ersten mal angeschaut habe, hat mir mein eigener shot zum lächeln gebracht. Und nicht weils so aussah wie ich wollte, sondern weil ichs witzig fand.
Absolutely! I smiled as well! I think the acting choices are selling the moment a lot better. There's always the risk of going too broad and being cartoony, but like you said, I think you didn't go overboard.
And again, I agree with your tip toe comment. What if he takes tiny little steps on his tippy toes? Rhythm wise it might give you some contrast. Right now you have mostly big moves: big look SL, big step to SR, big stop, big getting-on-toes, big last step. So rhythm wise it feels a bit even with constant ups and downs. If you add quick little steps towards the end, it would break up the rhythm.
From x199 to 206, during that side step, I think you could delay the upper body a bit, so that it's not one vertical line throughout the body. It's a bit stiff.

Wenn die flaschen das erste mal fallen muss ich glaube ich bald mal noch das timing anpassen. Hatte da eine Rigid Body Sim gemacht, aber momentan rutschen sie zu langsam. Er reagiert bevor sie anfangen zu rutschen.
Werde die Keys so anpassen, dass wenigstens die flasche die er fängt etwas länger braucht.

I see what you mean and good idea. Style wise it will work with the guy, since he's a bit more animated now and you pushed the acting, you can give the bottles a more distinct style in their fall, so it's not so real time physics. I'm all for that but that's a pet peeve of mine. It always bugs me when the characters' timing is stylized, yet how the cloth and hair moves is photo real, same with fire, smoke, etc. :)
I do really like how he reacts to the bottle falling and how his right arm goes for the bottle. There's also a neat feeling of him not fully grabbing the bottle and how the bottle bounces off his hand, makes it feel light, plastic-y and empty. Since you're potentially pushing the timing, the bottle could bounce off his hand a TINY bit more? Around x301 it could be a bit higher?

Ein weiterer sorgenpunkt den ich bisher etwas vergessen habe ist um x410 wenn er die flasch in seiner hand dreht. Ich hatte das ausprobiert, und es ist möglich, aber irgendwie unnötig und ev. Etwas ablenkend? Was meinst du? Ich habe mir gedacht, da ich eh in die Flaschen Animation eingreife, könnte ich die Flasche schon ganz zu anfang um 180° drehen, damit er sie schon 180° gedreht fängt...
To be honest, in this version it doesn't look like he's turning the bottle, it feels more like a constraint pop. But to answer your question, I don't think it's needed, he can put the bottle back in the orientation that he's holding it when he picks it up.

Mit dem Ende bin ich auch noch nicht ganz zufrieden.
Den blick bei x442 sollte ich glaube ich noch etwas länger halten. Und auch danach könnte es glaube ich noch ein paar keyframes mehr vertragen.
Was hältst du vom ganzen? War etwas schwierig referenzmaterial zu filmen, da man wenn mans plant nicht so gestresst nach links schauen kann...
Ausserdem glaube ich der Fuss würde nicht vom Boden weg kommen... Jetzt da ichs mir anschaue, glaube ich es wäre gescheiter, mehr auf die beiden blicke zu vertrauen, diese richtig zu zeigen und damit die gestresste attitude zu vermitteln.

About the ending, I'm not too sure this is working right now. There's a feeling of things being disconnected, both timing wise and body mechanics wise.
When takes the step with his left leg after x435, it looks like his body goes up and a bit screen left to around x439, but then that's it. Even after the foot starts planting around x442, I don't feel like his body continues the screen left momentum that you initiated, so there's no weight shift and correct weight distribution. Additionally on that x442, the head is twisted pretty far to the right, so while all the movement is going screen left with the body, you have the head stuck in that pose and moving independently (despite the head turn it doesn't feel like the neck nor the upper chest is affected by that head turn).
Also, looks at his right shoulder and upper chest rotation from x435 to 442, it's always in the same position, so that whole section feels a bit disconnected from the rest.
Watch out for his right arm, how it moves forward in space from x455 to 460, which also feels a bit disconnected from the rest of the body.
Give the body enough frames for the proper weight shifts, so when you have the root moving screen right from x447 to 450, it already starts moving screen left right after, even though the foot is fully planted at x452. Despite the cartoony aspect, you still have to consider the correct body mechanics, so when you move the body to the right, it will take the right leg a few frames to push against that screen right momentum so that it can change direction. Of course that timing can be pushed depending on the style, but your animation is not super stylized and a bit more within the cartoony/realism world, so I would have the body start moving screen left at x452/453 once the foot is planted and able to push.
I agree that the right foot being in the air around x463 feels awkward. You could keep it, but then I would push the pose more. Right now, at x463, the body is facing toward the wall in front of him, the left foot is pointed to the left, the upper chest feels like it's pointed a bit more to the left than straight forward, given the shoulder poses, yet the right leg is going to right?
If you bring the body a bit more to his right, so that it looks like he's about to take the step to his right, that would help (see super awesome green scribble), leading into a pose that's pushed even more (not holding that pose, that would go into Warner Brother's land), which would be there as breakdowns for a tiny bit of a faster exit?

What do you think? Right now it feels a bit timid timing timing wise and the poses could be pushed a tiny bit more.

I hope any of this makes sense... :)


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Jihwan Jung - Contract - Critique

This is looking a lot better! Let's check out the woman first:

- the body movements overall feel too broad, given that she's tied up. Unless you animate the rope around her and make it all look a lot looser.

- biggest timing thing that stood out was her move at x128 to 130 (if the clip starts at x0); that part is super fast

- I would also have her nod a tiny bit when he asks "do you feel bad?", because he goes "good" without any indication that the woman does anything to make hi think "good".

Now the guy:
- first thing that stood out was the walk at the end; it definitely looks more like a walk, which is great, but the steps are a bit fast, there's something too quick about it, which makes him feel "small" and a bit "in a hurry", which takes a way from his anger and power

- when his hands fold out during "do you feel bad" feels a bit twinned, I would offset one hand a little bit

- I would add a blink to his look up during "good", I think it would soften him a bit and make him look a bit nicer; try it out, I'm curious what it looks like; not a quick blink, but soft and gentle

- his explosion into "that's how I feel", starting around x117, feels a bit too long; I think you could have that moment take less time, so it's more of a surprise and more "explosive"; if you don't have his arms go up around x122 before the big move around x125, that would shorten it and take out that anticipation

Hope this helps!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lukas Niklaus - Bottles - Critique

The side step around x59 feels a bit too "animated". It looks like a very distinct side step, like there is a big purpose behind, it draws attention, but I don't know acting wise why he does it. If that's his nature, then I would establish it from the start, so that his walk and the way he comes around the corner is immediately telling the audience, "I'm this guy who makes broad movements because I'm having an awesome morning". Which could work with the ending, because all the stress forces him to take smaller steps, because he doesn't want to get noticed, so there would be a good contrast between the beginning and the end.

BUT, from a technical point of view it's much better. There are no harsh direction changes or pops, so that's working very well.

Watch out for x143, we are loosing the pupils a lot. Even if it's correct in 3D space now, you can cheat and bring the eyes closer to us, so that we see the pupil better.

Around x198, when he lunges forward, it still feels a bit off, it feels too "animated" bu not character driven, plus he's looking up and moving forward at the same time. Sorry, I should have mentioned that last time. So you have two beats going on and I think it could be clearer. As I mentioned in our previous email, think Mr. Bean, how would he move forward? What's your guy thinking right now? That move only tells me that he's moving forward. I don't know if he's cautious, or trying to be quiet, or still not too worried about it, etc. Imagine him getting up on his toes to look first, to see if the coast is clear, no forward movement, then he shuffles quickly forward, trying to be quiet and slowly lowers himself, while the head is countering and still looking above the cubicle wall to make sure that no one is watching him.

The shuffle when the bottles are falling looks great, I like that a lot.

Around x405, I would put in a bit more emotion when the bottles crumble again. Right now he just walks away, but you could give us one more glimpse into his character. Is he just panicked, is he also embarrassed, does the noise freak him out, etc.?

The last walk/run behind the wall, I would add contrast by varying the height of the head. So he's the way you have him, maybe a bit higher as he walks, then he stops, hears the sound, and the last walk/run, you could have him much lower, like he's visually really trying to hide, so that there's more of a visual contrast between those sections.

Hope that helps!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chen Yen-Shih - Fight - Critique

Hey hey,

That clip looks great! So you want that one polished and start a new lip sync piece. I like that plan!

Regarding the fighting clip, have you done any camera work in the past? I think this shot could benefit from it. Right now the frame is very bottom heavy and feels like you need to tilt the camera down, up until the ninja jumps up at the end. Are you comfortable with camera work or would you prefer to leave it like that?

Anim wise both characters are in a really good spot, nice work! I would suggest to start offsetting the action a bit more. Right now it has a bit of a pose-to-pose feel to it, right off the bat, when the red guy puts his arms out at x15.

Also, watch out for twinned poses, like the ninja's arms from the beginning on until x38. The ninja also slides to his new position on x47. It doesn't feel like he's shifting the weight properly and taking the proper steps. I would take a lot a that section again.

Watch out for a clear silhouette and avoid tangents, like on x42 to 49, where the ninja head looks glued to the red guy's knee. Keep the negative space clear and clean. ​

How the ninja moves back from x49 to 53 also feels a bit too pose to pose. It's as if the whole body moves back, using all the body controller's rotation channels at the same time. Think about how the movement can be lead by the head, then followed by the chest and finished with the root. That backwards move also ends on x56, where the ninja is totally off balance, yet he just moves the body forward and takes a step back to x59. On that frame he still feels a bit off balance, but the momentum of swinging your body back so quickly would not just be gone so quickly. I would move the ninja's left leg further back to really stop that backwards momentum.

So overall, think of the movements in terms of what body part initiates and leads it, what is the force behind it and what kind of momentum comes out of each move. What does the body have to do to stop or counter that momentum and what is the proper weight shift and timing during those moments.

You're in a good spot, now it's time to polish it, just like you said. :)

Hope this helps!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lukas Niklaus - Bottles - Critique

Overall it's coming together nicely, especially now that you've gone from stepped to spline mode. We get to see more of the timing for his movements. My general impression so far:

- his walk from x1 to around x39 feels a bit flat, it would be great to have a bit more weight and attitude to it; it's as if he's being rolled in on a cart :)

- the screen left movement stops a bit abruptly after x40 where he goes to the right and then to the left again (at x51) and then he stops and moves quickly screen right again to x68; I feel like the weight shifts and direction changes could be smoothed out so that the momentum for each movement doesn't get suddenly lost (especially at the beginning where he walks out behind the walk to around x40)

- another quick move happens around x41 wit the head, moving screen right to x46, then to 47 there's no screen right movement, then to 48 it's moving again

- when he puts the bottle up to take a sip at x15, I would hold x15 a bit longer, so you give it a beat for the water to go into his mouth and for him to start swallowing; right now the timing feels like he's just putting it on his lips and then immediately lowering the bottle; the timing of him lowering the bottle is also a bit even

- x61 he feels slightly off balance to the left; I would slow down the move from right to left (as mentioned above with the momentum changes), which will help with reducing how far he has to go screen left so that the momentum doesn't have to suddenly stop

- x174 to 190 feels a bit too snakey, how he leads with the head and moves forward, it felt a bit awkward and more creature like (and watch out for overstretching his left leg after x185)

- watch out for pops (due to constraints?) on his arms at x218 to 219

- on x303, his expression reminds me more of distrust and some aggressive sneakiness! :) What do you think about a more panicked look?

- his right arm moves a bit too fast from x288 to 293

- his rising after x304 feels a bit fast, I would ease out of that more, slow him down at the beginning

- he also feels a bit off balance, leaning back, from x310 to his standing pose into x332; either move the root forward or bring his right leg back screen left

- watch out for spacial stickiness on x393, with his left arm, until x399; it kinda sticks in space

- it will be fun too to add a bit more personality in his exit walk/run at the end

Hope this helps!!