Sunday, May 27, 2012

Elena Dae - Jump - Critique


alright, let's look at the detail work:

Overall it's looking great, I like the timing and all the beats. On a technical side, here my thoughts:

- during most of the clip, the knee area is popping a lot, meaning the legs overextend and then pop into a bent pose; it's happening more at the beginning, until he jumps but it still happens afterwards, like from x83 to 84, where the  leg is fully straight and then pops into quite the bent pose

- speaking of feet, make sure that the foot contact is solid and that the feet don't slide or wiggle; for instance his left foot from x84 to 85 is locked (which could use some push for weight, but let's first fix the sliding), but then from 85 to 86 it seems to pivot off the SL side, but it could be more fixed in the toe area, given how much weight is still on the foot; 87 to 88 the foot suddenly rotates in Y, but not pivot off the toe, but more the middle of the foot, then the rotation in Y suddenly stops and the foot is suddenly fully extended, it then pops SR, then on 91 stops moving SR but pivots again around the middle; the pivot changes from x95 to 103, etc. So all in all, I'd give it another foot pass, to really settle the weight, the pivot points, where is it locked, where is it moving, how's the spacing, any one-frame direction changes to smooth out, etc.

That to me was the biggest part, the lower body region with all foot and leg work.

But following very closely are his arms as well. They do feel poppy as well. So make sure that you check the spacing and arcs as well on those. For instance:

- both arms go down up to x5, but then they stop abruptly, they then remain there and start to wiggle a lot. I know it's from the leg movement and you want some ambient movement in the arms because they react to the legs and root, but it could get smoothed out a little bit.

- more smoothing needs to be done ease in/out wise for the arms; the SL one goes up and stops pretty quickly at x34; the SR one during that time has little stop and goes, but then goes up until x55 and suddenly changes direction to the right, etc.

- given the big size of the hands, make sure that you track their arcs and direction changes, like during this moment:

From x64 to 66 the orientation is pretty much the same as the arm goes up, but then it changes direction and rotates around, given it a flat arc feel

- once you smooth out the pops and soften the root through that a bit, other areas will look better, but for now, just pay attention to the head, as it moves up until x37. It feels like it's a linear key from x37 to 38 and it stops too abruptly. The root up and down is not helping that part, so there might be some back and forth between softening areas and continuing certain moves like the head one here, where you'll have to adjust the stops into smoother moving holds

- the head could have a bit more of a drag from x64 and on, as he jumps; right now the head is in the same rotation from x64 to 65 (up/down wise), looking therefore a bit stiff

- after the landing on x76 the head also seems to move SL and then SR, lock a bit, then SL, etc. which goes back to the whole spacing thing; make sure to really track the whole body, section by section for any wiggles, pops and sudden direction changes

Later one we can look for more foot contact detail and facial elements, but the above mentioned areas need to get fixed first.

Hope this helps!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Elena Dae - Cats - Critique


Let's look at the cat clip, shot by shot:


black cat

- the SL (screen left) hand has a weird finger pose, where the first two joints are flat and the tip is bent down; it gets to a better shape around x5, where the curvature is more pronounced; I would curve the first two joints a least a little bit at the very beginning to give it a more appealing pose

- when she takes a step forward and comes back up, make sure to involve the hips for the proper weight shifts

- on the entrance, her arm and tail line up, making the silhouette a bit confusing, so I would lower the tail a bit and separate the two

- when the SR arm comes down (with the hand rotating down as well), it stops very abruptly at x16 and moves back SR with the body to around x20. I would introduce a bit more overlap and a softer direction change in the arm, so it doesn't feel like it hit a wall

- the grip around the neck is well done, there's just a moment around x50 where the fist moves SR without the neck reacting to it, making it too loose and soft

-  around the x47 area and on, I would move the SR arm more away from the body for a cleaner silhouette, giving it a little bit of negative space
- the tail moves down and comes to a sudden stop at x31, ease into that a bit more

- on x27 the SR mouth corner changes direction too abruptly over one frame, I'd smooth that out and introduce a bit of an arc in that trajectory as well

- on "like it", the audio feels very tense, yet her eyes feel a bit too sleepy and relaxed; the pose and audio don't work together as much as they could


brown cat

- when you step back and forth between x0 and x1 only the eyes and ears move, nothing else; then the body goes up to x5, then to the right in a horizontal way only; it then changes direction up to x9, freezes in that position (when you track the outside right line you can see the spacing issues)...

... until x11, where it pops to the left on x12;  there's another spacing pop on x14; the head then lowers up to x18 but then moves SR in a horizontal way, ...

So all in all, the beginning feels a bit stop and go and would need a closer look at the arcs and spacing.

- when the cat is being pulled up it stops very abruptly at x25 and adds a one frame head move to x26, where the head then freezes; watch out for a nice ease in to that stop

- the jaw moves up and closes no x34, which feels like a very linear stop and key, and the closing path looks very straight; soften that stop and introduce a little arc in that path

- when the body gets pulled up after x51, his left arm feels too locked to the body, I would drag it more

- the fingers on that hand look like they drift from pose to pose from x31 to 51


This shot is a bit tricky in terms of how the anim works with the sound. The beginning with "Well... I... I... I... know it sounds..." has a very bouncy body and head animation, which doesn't fit the audio very well. His acting also goes from very bouncy and out of control to suddenly calm (from x100 on), with a very fast transition.
The stumble happens during the pause, which is good, but the rest of his audio is still very calm and doesn't sound like he just recovered from a big stumble (and it anim makes it look big).

My recommendation would be to stick with the essence that you have around 118:

He is very submissive and bows down, which fits his character and audio. So instead of lots of quick bounces and a stumble, I would have him walk backwards and continue that "I am your servant." attitude. If you really want to keep the stumble, then I would make it a lot smaller and subtle, so that it fits the audio better.


- watch out for the SL wrist at x220, it flips over within two frames, which feels a bit poppy and isolated, plus the finger poses could be more appealing (avoid all those broken lines)

- the SL arm stops too abruptly after x249 and I wouldn't spread out the fingers too much, they feel very spread out, but also pointing away; you want to retain a sense of a curve

- I would lower her tail so that it ends up lower than the arms, for a cleaner silhouette

- Here's another problematic hand pose on x230, where the thumb base seems too far out, the pinky is pointing away from the palm and in the middle you have two fairly straight fingers. Overall, I'd do another pass on the finger poses. This post has a round up of many great reference sites:

- then around x247, when the SR hand goes down, make sure to mask the IK hand. When the arm is pivoting, yet the wrist orientation stays the same, then you got an IK red flag jumping out

- the root comes to a very sudden stop on x270 when it goes down, feels like a linear key

- watch out that we don't loose the eyes, the head is really hugging the top part of the frame

- I would keep the tail in the SR half, from x254 to 272, and not swing to the left and right. You want to focus on the face at this point and having a big tail swoosh by in the background is a bit distracting; you can still have an accent in the tail with a little whip movement, just more subtle

That's it for now! Hope this helps!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Enric Joanmiquel - Ghost - Critique

(click image to play the movie)

Here is the comparison movie.

What I did:

- the black belt: duplicated, hid the original, parented the copy to the hip, so that you can see visually that there are hip changes.

For the clip though, I did parent the belt to the hip in your version to see what's going on, but there wasn't a difference. :(

As you can see, the hip reacts to the steps. Also pay attention as to how much weight is being put onto the hip, and if there's more weight, the hip reacts to it. This happens after x61, when he moves up faster, right before the next step.

I hope this helps!

Jero Maggi - Jump - Critique


Make sure to twist the hips in Y and also sideways. The leg that's forward will rotate the hips that way and the weight bearing leg will have the hip up on that side.

So his left hip will be forward and up. His right foot won't be flat on the ground due to the angle of the leg and his right knee will be more SR for a better silhouette => if you do the squint test it looks like he has a really short leg without moving the knee over.

When the shin is really low and you don't have your foot roll, it looks like you will pop his Achilles heel. Act out that pose and you will see what your foot does.

Bring back the shoulders fully when you pull back the arms.

Foot roll on his left foot (Achilles heel)

Shoulders down

Shoulders forward and up and rotate hips depending on which leg is forward

Same here, bring up the shoulders so that they are not on the same level as the top red body line. Hips need rotating.

Shoulders up

- shoulders up - bend his right leg a TINY bit, so it's not super straight, that way it will feel like the line of action goes from his body straight down his leg - angle of both feet feel too similar, gives it a twinning feel

Bring shoulders down a little bit and bend arms a little bit, so that they are not overextended.

Same here, bend arm and bring down shoulders. The overlapping timing though is a lot better than last week, nice job!

Shoulders lower, foot roll on his left foot and bend arms. Once his arms are fully taking the weight of the body you can bend the arms more and bring up the shoulders: - bending because of the weight of the body on them - but arms can't go lower because of the ground, so they will push shoulders up

Bring back the elbow, so that it bends the arm visually the other way and bring up the shoulders.

Overall the movement up can be faster.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Jero Maggi - Jump - Critique

Starting from this moment on the timing feels feels too slow. It's as if he goes into slow motion mode.

This is the section that doesn't work as well. Once he lands you get to that pose and it has his head already curled down. He would be first fully extended body wise, then the body curls forward because of the compression and the head would drag, then the body would stop moving forward and that's when the head would move forward.

It feels like his arms are super extended but the head is kinda scrunched together. Does the rig let you extend and move the neck forward more?

Don't forget to a foot roll so that the shin is not compressed. You'd pop his Achilles heel. :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Jihwan Jung - Jerry - Critique


here my thoughts:

- same notes from last week apply regarding the shoulders, you want to push the motion and range and timing, so that we can see the difference
- the two inhales (one after "Oh Jerry", the other after "Oh God") need to be visible in her chest and overall body; without that the audio doesn't feel connected to the character
- it doesn't look like you addressed the previous notes that much (if at all):

This previous note still applies, especially the head, which is not tilted at all in your current clip

- I would put her hand on the phone, and then let it stay on the phone for a few frames, then pick up the phone, and make that picking up motion faster.

Right now, the arm movement is fairly even and slow, which makes it look like she's still sad and depressed. But the pick up should reflect the audio at the end, where she's happy again. Each movement communicates emotion to the audience

Anim wise:
- x15 to 47 her left hand, her fingers slowly close, which feels like a stray key or a robot; same thing with how she opens up her hand during "oh god", feels even, there's not contrast in timing there
- the head tilt during the "oh Jerry" part feels too isolated; involve her chest a bit more, so you show how the head affects the rest of the body
- her left arm gesture on "now?" also feels too isolated and a bit linear in how the arm starts and stops moving
- watch out right before that how both arms and the head move at the same time, starting at x209 and ending at x217 (head stops moving SR and the her left arm stops moving SR (goes down after that))

During that move, don't forget to have arcs on movements (for instance, track her nose), be it head turns, arm movements, etc.

Same goes for her arm during that section:

I would work overall on arcs, your ease in/outs so that the timing has more emotional meaning and connecting the body to the audio. After that we will check out the facial work.

Hope that helps!