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  1. #1
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    New Character Animation Reel (for games)

    New Character Animation Reel (for games)


    Hola, everyone! I've finished putting together a new reel of my character animation work. I'd love it if you'd take the time to check it out!
    You can download the high quality .avi from my web gallery:

    45MB DivX video

    Or, if you can't wait that long, watch it streaming instantly at my CGSociety portfolio:

    Character Reel on CGPortfolio


    I'm eager to hear what you guys think! Peace,



    David L. Sanhueza,
    Digital Artist
    www.sanhueza.com
    Last edited by sanhueza; September 19th, 2008 at 08:08 AM.


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  3. #2
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    I LOVE the idea of walking men signs at the beginning. Reminds me of a CG movie I saw a few months ago…

    Considering we see the same situation quite a few times under every angle, I hope you don’t mind a real critique…
    When the Roman driving his pillum through the poor soon-to-fall chap, the action feels far too weak. Push your poses and have a bigger contrast with your timming as well. Currently, it feels like he’s prodding into an invisible man. The last landing when he’s falling on his face feels too stiff too as if he was a bowling ball. Not enough bouncing and cascading bounce of the limbs is too fast.
    The raising of the ladder was pretty cool! The only thing I see is when the guy on the right puts the logs down on the floor.
    Overshoot of rock-throwing man could be stronger. Also when he looks over the edge, I thought he would fall over too… In order to go so far ahead to see what’s happening, he’ll have to lower his center of mass and throw that right leg waaaaaay back to counter balance himself.
    The guy who’s just gotten bean in the head by a rock is nice; getting up animations can be pretty arduous to do Did you have video or mocap references?
    Some of the casuals are nice too and could there be an evolution in your work? Nice narrative but I think you could have your reel shorter with only the best of your best work with THE best in first place, second best as a last and third best right in the middle of the reel.

    A lot of potential right there.. Thanks for showing this!

    Edit: You modeled AND rigged it too?? Good lord.. were you the only artist on this? One man show!

  4. #3
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    Thanks for the excellent critique, egerie! I pretty much have to agree with everything you've said.
    The guy standing up after getting beaned in the head was done by hand, no mocap. The reference I used was myself, getting up off the ground over and over again. The dying hoplite and the walk cycle of the Egyptian priest both used mocap data as a starting point, and then were heavily reworked to fit the characters and situations.

    These animations were done over a period of more than a year while I was working on the game, so there's likely an evolution of my skill level in there. But I considered these animations to be more or less equal in quality, there are quite a few more which I did which didn't make the cut. Therefore, I decided to organize the reel not by perceived quality, but instead put the animations which I thought were the most interesting, dynamic, and rarely seen in character reels at the front of my reel, like falling and ladder-raising. Walk cycles are very necessary in an animation reel, but they are also ubiquitous, which is why I stuck them in the middle. And I thought the casuals balanced out the action, so I stuck them at the end.

    I'm glad that the narrative came across well, and the total length of the animations fit the timing of the music perfectly, so I am happy with the reel at its current length. It is still under 3 minutes.

    Yes, I modeled and rigged those characters in addition to animating them, and even did some of the textures too. Over the course of the game's development, there were over 20 artists who worked on it, with an average art team size of 12-15 at any given point. There were 5 animators total among the team, although most of the animations were done by 3 of us.

    Thanks again! Any more critiques?

  5. #4
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    I put this reel up on YouTube. The quality is better than I expected.


    Character Reel on YouTube


    - me

  6. #5
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    Really great on the fall, and the guys setting up the letter really looked like they could feel the ladder in their hands. The guy throwing the rock tho, he didn't look as if he really FELT the weight of the rock. Also, when the guys are setting up the ladder, when someone is about to reach down to pick up something, watch what they do with there hands and arms, you'd be surprised that they don't simply float at your sides.

  7. #6
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    Great job, man! This looks like a lot of work has been put into it, so don't be discouraged by a little critiquing. Soon you'll look like a pro. Keep it up! he ladder raise was good, among others things. But everyone pretty much has those down. ;P Good work. Where did you study? Did you have an animation major?

  8. #7
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    Gener - Thank you for the critique! You know, right after I read your message, I walked around the room and tried picking things up off of the floor. My arms naturally stayed at my side. Maybe it's an individual thing?

    WickedEdges - I am a pro. Yes, I majored in animation at Northeastern University in Boston. I have worked professionally as an animator since then, this reel is a collection of some of that work. I always welcome critiques, so go ahead! I haven't seen alot of other people do ladder raising animations (or barn raising, or what have you...), do they teach that at schools these days? It wouldn't be a bad idea, because that kind of animation is pretty involved, especially when you add more than one character. It's great practice.

  9. #8
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    I haven't read the other comments yet so I apologize if someone has already said this.

    The thing that bothers me the most out of a lot of the animations is the lack of believable weight... especially on the running and carrying. It is there a bit, but I don't think it is there enough to be believable yet.

    Another thing that bothered me right off the bat was after the guy was stabbed through the gut with the spear, he didn't make any sort of movement to clutch the gut wound. When a person gets hurt, even it it is only a small cut the normal response is to make some sort of acknowledgment of the wound and usually to protect it from the surroundings. I hope that makes sense and I hope it helps.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bai Fan View Post
    after the guy was stabbed through the gut with the spear, he didn't make any sort of movement to clutch the gut wound. When a person gets hurt, even it it is only a small cut the normal response is to make some sort of acknowledgment of the wound and usually to protect it from the surroundings. I hope that makes sense and I hope it helps.
    Yes, that is definitely one possible reaction. Thanks for the advice!

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