Friday, May 18, 2012

Elena Dae - Cats - Critique

video
Alright!

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

shot1:

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

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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

shot2

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.

Shot3



- 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:
http://spungella.blogspot.com/2012/03/hand-pose-reference.html



- 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!!
JD

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