Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mike Wilson - Moral

This is coming along nicely, the steps look nice. For the acting bits, there are two things that I would tweak. The overall delivery is very calm, but on x84 (using Quicktime frame counter starting at 0, don't see a counter in this zoomed in version), to 85 and 86 you have a very abrupt and fast head move, which doesn't really connect with the audio delivery.
The other section is around x305. After that frame I would have him stop or really slow down, so that you show how he thinks about his situation. You have a stop right before he talks, but that feels rushed. I would give that moment a bit more time. He can slow down, come to a stop and kinda hold the paw just above the ground, hesitating, and then he puts the paw down and delivers the last line. What do you think? Something like that, to really emphasize the thought process.

Enric Joanmiquel - Ghost - Critique

It's looking great, I'm always really excited to see the progress of this shot (and that ending cracks me up every time!).

The eye direction stuff doesn't bother me at the moment, but eye darts will change once you get into spline mode. Eye darts can be very subtle, so it's more something to look at once everything is more in the polish phase. But even now, it's already looking good. If the iris-pulling you're referring to is the moment like on x252 and 275, I don't mind. It's as if he's cross eyed and adds to his character. Those poses could be worse, where you actually loose the eye. You're just cutting into the black area a little bit.

The rest is working great, I like the pacing, the holds and slow movements. The only area that's too slow is your jump of the "dumb" guy. The jump up feels okay, but the hang time is really long and the drop is too slow. That part should be a lot faster, which will also add nice contrast to the slow build up. Then you calm down and then the very end where they both scream is the last contrast spike again, which will work really well.

Stepped mode is treacherous though, I so I highly recommend you switch back and forth between stepped and spline, so that you can see how the timing is changing.
For instance, when the other guy goes "It's me stupid", the screen left arm of his stays put after the push, so things like that will need settle and keep alive and either you put way more keys down in your stepped mode, or you attack that during spline mode.

Other areas to think about are x21 to 22. That's a big move over one frame, so that you will have slow down by a few frames once you get out of stepped mode.
Same with the "cool" guy's take from x105 to 106. Big move over one frame.

Hope that makes sense. :)

Jihwan Jung - Contract and Bunny - Critique

Alright, the contract clip:

Love the ending!! That's it! Nicely done! The only picky thing would be, it looks like your root is slowing down during the last couple frames, like your tangents are flat. I would keep it going, as if he's going to take a few more steps after the end of the shot. But that's it otherwise!!!

The other things are picky, but I mentioned it before ("bad" shape and closing fingers a few frames earlier), so I'm not sure now if you got that mail. :(

When he says "bad", the down rotation of the jaw is too fast, the "Ba.." pops down. Actually, in this version, the whole beginning feels poppy going from shape to shape. I would tone down the extremes a bit, so that the transitions are not so fast. And for the "bad" part, if you look at x65, that's an O shape, so I would go (shape wise) from x63 to a shape like on x69, and for the hold, stay more within x73, so that the mouth is a bit more open, more than what you have at x79.

The whole body moves at x177 to 178. I would offset all of this, so that the screen left arm moves first, then the chest (because it's influenced by the arm), then the other arm, then the root, etc. that way it's not so pose to pose. And before the arm moves, I would curl in the fingers two frames earlier, to lead that action and show the firing of the finger muscles before the arm muscles fire up.

Did you add that blink at x177? It feels a bit odd, but it's just the timing. The lids go down over two frames, I would have them go over three. The added frame would be between x175 and 176, just another breakdown, so that the lids ease more out of that stare. But start the the whole thing at x176 and end it at 179, so that the blink happens more during body move. Right now it's a quick blink with a hold on the close pose, but all that happens before the body moves back, so it stands out. I'd just mix that a bit more.

Ok, "amusement" park:

Let's go with the bunny first:

- his wave at the beginning feels too separate from the rest of the body; the arm rotates back and forth, but it looks like you're going from A to B then back to A, etc. it's the same keys, just repeated. Timing wise it also feels the same, until when he leans to the side, then it feels faster, but the back and forth is still even timing wise. So I would make that a bit more natural and vary the timing a bit more. The chest would also move with the arm a bit more, to make the arm feel more connected
- watch out for the head spacing, after he's getting hit; the head goes down (spacing looks fairly even, should accelerate and slow down) and stops very abruptly at x64; ease more into that stop

- he takes a step at x89, and the whole body moves at that frame. I would have him lean screen right 5 frames before, so that he starts the weight shift and THEN takes the step, for proper balance:

- from x113 to 119 the kicking leg is moving a lot, but not influencing the hip/root/chest at all or barely; it feels like you're scrunching the leg back but not adjusting the balance, as if you want to fit the leg pose in there without changing the body pose. But it should be more like this:

- after his kick he should either take another adjustment step or turn around, etc. just continue his action. Right now it feels like a Street Fighter game where there's a kick and then he goes into an idle cycle. :)

Now the kid:

- watch out for speed changes during the run/walk. After x15 he accelerates suddenly and that change stands out

- I'd try to keep his face clear of the bunny, so that the characters don't overlap so much spatially

it looks like he's really examining his arm! :)
He should look down at the basket when he steals stuff and then up again at his butt because he wants to kick it
- that sideways hop feels a bit weird after x34: first, his right leg just goes in from x34 to 38, with no changes in the foot poses, it just slides up visually. Same with the other foot (and that one lands a bit softly, as if you're easing into that step). Then the body just goes up at x38 and until x42 there is no breakup between the body parts, he just moves as one unit. You need to involve the chest, head, shoulders, arms, etc. more into those movements, otherwise it feels too blocky and too pose to pose.
- watch out for poses like on x59, where things point towards the camera; in this case his knees. That type of perspective muddles the silhouette too much. If you do the squint test, it looks like the kid has really short legs

- during the side step around x67, I don't feel like the hips are involved during the weight shift up until x76
- the fall after x125 feels a bit off too; his left leg suddenly extends from x125 to 126; then both legs fall down vertically with no screen left movement, so that forward inertia is suddenly missing; the arms flap down and then don't bounce and the body also doesn't bounce, so it all feels like it falls and then just cleanly sticks to the ground; that ending needs to be a bit messier for the kid with a bit more complex body mechanics

Hope all of this makes sense!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lukas Niklaus - Bottles - Critique

Almost there!

- the tip toe area is working better! I'd watch out for the right leg stop at x265, that's a bit abrupt and linear. And from x264 to 271, just looking at the knee area, it feels like there are a few pops in there.
Overall though, I think you could speed up that whole section from x259 to 278 by around %20, just to give it a bit more of a hurried feel to it.

- It would be good to change up the poses of the fingers a little bit before and around x232, especially from x241 to 250 (the fingers could tighten as he brings up his arms into that new pose).
- the foot detail is very nice right now, there's a lot of good keep alive and detail work. A picky note on top of that would be, watch out how his right foot gets to x369, it feels like a linear key. Plus once he's on his toes, that toe section is totally frozen. If you scrub through the scene, you'll see the dead pixel area. Another linear key moment happens from x407 to 408, how he gets the foot off (I'd have a flat tangent for the translation there) and how the foot stops at 411 (again with locked toes).
- the leg movement (his right leg) from around x489 feels too robotic in terms of direction and arc. Visually it looks like it's just going down vertically.

- this is picky, but I would take a frame out of the eye dart section from x115 to 119. It's just a tad slow.

- Watch out for even eyebrow shapes, like around x215:

You could open up the screen right brow a bit, so it's opening towards the direction he's going:

- on the dart from x394 to 396, he could also raise his eye brows a bit, they feel locked during that section.

- the kneeling and getting up area doesn't bug me, but as you mentioned, you could speed up the area where he kneels a tiny bit, so it feels more panicked?

- watch out from x460 to 470, how big your shoulder movement is. During that section I would have less shoulder anim, the action is more in the arm. And if you have that much shoulder movement, it would have to involve the chest area more.
- for the "Indy" hand movement, that area from x475 to 492 feels off like you said, and to me it's mostly an IK issue, which brings me to an overall note for the whole shot. His arms still have a big IK feel to it, during most of the movements. Make sure that the arms are tied in with the body motions.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lukas Niklaus - Bottles - Critique

Very nice, getting to the end stages!

- x39 to 52, watch both of his elbows, they both go down at the same time and give that section a bit of an IK arm feel to it, plus that arm movement does not affect his shoulders; if you scrub quickly back and forth you'll notice even more
- around x111, during his reaction, you could push his mouth shapes a bit more, maybe showing an exhale or even a mouthed word, in order to give face a bit more contrast during that emotional change
- the tip toe part works better, but I would reduce the root up/down a lot, so it's almost horizontal, for a more smooth and stealthy look

Those are the big moments to me that stood out the most that I would address first, especially the tip toe section. But that's about it for major changes.

Now you can get to the nitty gritty and polish, as you mentioned, arcs, spacing, etc. For instance, watch his right knee how it moves back quickly to x504, then kinda stays locked there for a frame and then moves forward again.
Arc wise it's moments like his left foot going screen left to x512 and then suddenly only down to x513, without finishing the SL arc it started.
Be aware of offscreen spacing too, like his right leg on x515 to 516, where it seems to move away from the root and extending the leg, yet on x517 it pops forward into frame, looking like a linear key.
The foot steps around that area also have a lot of flat foot plants and it would be cool to get more tilted foot poses in there, like you have on x48 for the SR foot.
Watch out for finger pose changes. Let's take his right hand holding the bottle, it never changes until after x315.
Lastly, I would do another pass on the arms, to really eliminate IK moments like the SR arm/hand after x78, especially after x81. The big sign is when the elbow is moving a lot yet the hand is almost unaffected by it translation wise, but especially rotation wise.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jero Maggi - Sit Down - Critique

[question about what and why it's locking wrong from x43 on]
It's all moving together and with even timing, but it's good that you "see" that something is off. :)

Try this, scrub back and forth through the scene from x20 to 32 and you'll see how the body parts are moving separately, but when you scrub from x45 to 60, it looks like you just animated the root so that the whole upper body rotates up and back.

You will have to offset the chest and the head more. The head could look towards us. He could change his arm pose so that the chest rotates towards as well (less than the head). The head/chest/body movements also have to start and end at different times, to make it feel more organic.

One last thing, speaking of scrubbing from 20 to 32. If you look at the root, it's moving pretty horizontally from left to right:

Everything needs to move on an arc (even if the arc is very small). Now think about what the legs are doing to the hips and root.

Root is high because SL leg is straight up, pushing root up. As he transitions from left to right, the root will dip, but when he's on the right side, the SR leg will push the hip and therefore the root up again. My green curve is exaggerated, but that's the idea. And if it means straightening the SR leg a bit more at x29, then that's okay.

Hope that makes sense! :)


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lukas Niklaus - Bottles - Critique

Let's start with a picky thing. :)

- track the spacing of the hand holding the bottle after x7. On x7 there's nothing, then it pops into frame x8, moves SR to x9, then a tiny back SL (or stuck in space) on x10. Then the bottle goes up until x13 and stays put in that pose and orientation until x20. It would be cool to have a little up rotation, so that he can actually pour all the liquid in his mouth. At this current level there would still be water (or whatever) left in the bottle. Plus with the first sip and then a little up move for really emptying the bottle you will give it a bit more variety and contrast. The pic below illustrates the water level. Hahahaha!

- the hand gesture to close/screw the bottle cap on feels a bit loose from x35 to 55. Would be cool to get a little gesture that shows off a cool "screwing" motion, fitting his relaxed character

- the SR arm feels a bit IK-ish from x74 to x92 (careful when elbow is moving a lot but wrist doesn't rotate as much), and then it feels like a linear key from x92 to 93 (mostly rotation)

What's a bit tricky with his head orientation around x85 is that we lose his pupils.

- watch out for x101, you're overextending his right arm

- love the facial expression (especially his mouth) on x207 on :)

The body drag on x211 looks good, just the right amount to break up the upper body but still keeping in stealthy and not too overanimated.

The tip toe part, starting from x238 feels a bit linear and pose to pose in places. Watch out how both feet go up from x238 on, then both arms go up at the same time. The SR hand stops after x247 on linear keys and stays stuck in space until x260.
The legs are getting close to being overextended around x252, but the SR one definitely pops on x260.
The SR leg moves forward on linear keys and after x263 I would add compression to the foot as the SL foot takes a step, since all the weight is then on the SR foot (needs to go down a bit).
SL knee pops into a bent pose from x263 to 264,
Etc. etc. you mentioned yourself that this part is rough, I'm just commenting on what I'm seeing, but I know you're aware of this.

The timing of when the bottles start moving works now.

The bounce on x343 could be even higher, but it's definitely better than before, less floaty.

- his head feels loose and bouncy from x423 to 460, there's a lot of side to side bobble. I would actually stiffen the head up a bit, since at that point he's a bit panicky and stressed, which would get reflected in his body.

- what do you think about milking the moment from x456 to 460 by adding a few frames. After all the action, you could slow that moment down like he's really trying to put it down slowly, so that it won't fall again. Kind of a Raiders moment:

His right arm falling down from x480 to 496 has a bit too much hand overlap for me (at x492). It gives it a relaxed feeling and again, he's not relaxed, he's stressed, so that feels a bit animated for animation's sake, but not staying within character. But I like all the other changes!

The exit works, the only picky thing would be to add one more tiny sliver of his head at x575. Right now you can see more than his half at x574, but then at 575 the head pops out. Even if that's the correct spacing, it still feels like a pop, so you'd have to adjust a few frames before that for a smoother exit. I know, picky. :)

Jero Maggi - Sit Down - Critique

This looks great! You pick up really quickly! :)

Here my thoughts:
- I wonder if you should rotate the head towards us a bit on x0 (for that pose) as he looks back, so it's not so 90 degree rotated
- around x48, when he's sitting down and has his hands on his legs, I would bring up his shoulders, so we can feel that he's propping his arms on his legs and therefore pushing the shoulders up a bit
- as you spline this, you can add a little overlap in the head after x50; his root comes to a stop and that sudden stop makes the head go down a bit (imagine walking and stopping quickly while keeping your head loose, it would bounce forward and down, finishing the forward momentum)
- moving on to spline, you can start thinking about finger poses so they get out of the generic x0 & x62 poses
- you might have to extend the shot a little bit, but maybe not; right now he leans back and you almost want to feel how the back hits the chair and stops and the head does a little overlap there

That's it though, looking great!