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  1. #1
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    Smashed Pumpkin's Light Box

    I've noticed the motion graphics and animation section of these forums is some what dead so I'm starting this thread as an animation sketchbook that I'm going to try and keep updated relatively regularly. Hopefully a few intrepid animators might follow suit and we can strengthen the animation section of CA.

    I'll start with my latest exercise. Having just started doing lip sync, here's my first attempt:

    We were given a line of text to read and I got the last words of Louis XIV. I gave it a classical spin with the notion of imortality.


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  4. #2
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    Pretty good! His body kind of snaps in the break between sentences. I think you could smooth that out a little or anticipate the motion a little better.

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  6. #3
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    Here's my very first animations. Jees but the last 6 months have really flown by, still feels like I've only just started...


    I like to think it has a certain charm instead of just being rubbish?


    This one is a bit hard to see, should have adjusted the lights a bit.


    This was was an exercise in combining followthrough with straight ahead animation.


    We had to do lots of these.....lots...

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    Very good first animations! The first one was really good! (the lip sync one lol)

    I still need to do traditional animations, which hopefully i will start soon.

    Can i ask what programme is it you use to create the 3D animations.

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  9. #5
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    Thanks Northtouch, yea I must say the lip-sync work I've started on these last couple of weeks has probably been the most enjoyable work I've done so far. Working with sound deffinitely helps bring work to life.

    I must say I'd never done any animation before I started my current course and so far it's been entirely traditional animation tuition (as well as a basic level of software learning). But yea, if you should try some, it's great fun and also nice to know you're learning some of the fundamentals.

    All my 3D work is done in Autodesk Maya. So far I've also been rendering with Mental Ray and then compositing in After Effects.

  10. #6
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    These few are from my first term having started on 3d.



    This was meant to be a happy walk but I think the foot falls were too heavy.


    Angry walk.


    This was probably the most successful of the three walks I ended up with.

  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smashed_Pumpkin View Post
    Thanks Northtouch, yea I must say the lip-sync work I've started on these last couple of weeks has probably been the most enjoyable work I've done so far. Working with sound deffinitely helps bring work to life.

    I must say I'd never done any animation before I started my current course and so far it's been entirely traditional animation tuition (as well as a basic level of software learning). But yea, if you should try some, it's great fun and also nice to know you're learning some of the fundamentals.

    All my 3D work is done in Autodesk Maya. So far I've also been rendering with Mental Ray and then compositing in After Effects.
    Oh ok, i have after effect CS4 but im completely noob at it. Im gonna try and get my hands on some 3D software aswell, i have no experience in that too so yh i still have ALOT to learn lol.

    Oh and your walking animations above are looking good. The third one definatly looking best. The first one, i might add, has the arms waving abit too much. Maybe try moving the shoulders more inwards after each step. But other than that all looking good.

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  13. #8
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    Looks like a good tutorial, Richard Williams has done some really good tutorials for almost all the traditional actions. I think a lot of his videos are on youtube there's a dvd collection which has it all in one place if you can get your hands on that. As for getting hold of 3D software, I heard that you can get a 3-year student trial of Maya but I've yet to actually get hold of it myself, luckily as much access to uni computers as I want, all of which have the software.

    As for those walk cycles, yea the "happy" one ended up looking more like a "crazy guy on happy pills" kind of walk. I think we'd just covered adding follow-through to limbs so I went to town on them.

    EDIT:

    Infact here it is: http://students.autodesk.com/

    I assume you'll need to prove that you're a student to get it done but it seems pretty good.

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    Thats actaully one of the first things i did was go and buy that book on animation by Richard Williams. I have to say its a really good book, ive read most of it. I only got it because everyone here recommended it so i bought it, and i dont regret it.

    Oh and thanks for the link, ill be sure to give that a look later. Would be good if i can get my hands on some of that software.

  15. #10
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    Yea the book is fantastic, something about having information printed in front of you beats pdf/video every time. The dvd is useful to actually see the examples in motion though.

    Here's a few more bits from my first term:


    This was really just an exercise in working with a sinusoidal wave.


    Erm, a bird.... didn't quite get it's sense of weight right but it served it's purpose.


    I think this was the most fun of the animals I did, it's back legs don't take the weight correctly but again this one got tweaked quite a lot before submission. (Rig was from creative crash, I forget who did it but I'll find out)

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    Yh i saw these already i checked out your youtube channel, i hav to say they are all pretty good. The horse is really good and so is the fish, and i think the birds not bad either, i guess a bit more rendering on it and actually it would look beleivable or something to that extent lol.

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  18. #12
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    Hey smashed_pumpkin,

    I like your style!
    Dynamic movements and good tests.

    I noticed that in your walk cycles the secondary animation of the hands is a bit overdone (imo). The distinction between the angry and happy animation isn't really clear for me either (apart from the fists opposed to loose hands). I think you can get more out of it.

    All in all there is some great vividness in your characters, the animation is great aswell, but you need to incorporate more emotion!

    (the fish looks swell btw)

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  20. #13
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    Dude, that's such a huge improvement from the 2D work to your 3D work. Nice job. I do agree, this section is kinda dead, I'm committed to also try to revive it, as soon as I do something new.

    Onto your work, that horse looks pretty damn accurate. I have yet to play with 3D (afraid more like it) but as far as that goes, it looks about right, compared to a lot of other stuff I've seen.

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  22. #14
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    Cheers guys!

    Northtouch, I'm gradually getting this thread up to date with my youtube channel so it becomes the animation equivalent of a sketchbook thread. Yea the horse I spent the most time on because it was by far the most complex. I've been avoiding making my own rigs so that I can focus entirely on the animation, unfortunately there seem to be practically no free bird rigs on the net, hence my crappy bird.

    Thanks Lewis, the secondary animation the walk cycles are indeed way over done, I think I was wall and truly in the "wow! I can make things move" phase of learning for these. I really should try a few more with what I know now and see if I can get a more subtle, realism to them.

    PLeon, thanks for the kind words. I've always been a lot more confident when working in 3D. I've always wanted to be good at 2D but it's never come quite as naturally.

    Don't be daunted by trying 3D, once you get past the rather steep learning curve of the software it's pretty straight forward. I'm always freak out slightly when I see the work from the guys on the 2D side of my course because it seems so much more painfully difficult. Truth be told the real difficulty of animation is in the knowledge of movement and what looks good. After all, 3D animation renders to a 2D image so all the principals are the same.

    This was one of the horse runs I did but the one I submitted for my first term assessment was only a single run of a cycle which doesn't really work on youtube. In the final one I had ironed out that annoying click happening in the front "shoulder" as it takes the weight on that leg.


    This was the same cycle but with the master control translated to match the movement of the feet, I know it's not really the right way to do it but at this distance it works. What I did think was interesting about this one was that the head seems far too static yet in the above video it doesn't seem a problem. I suppose at further distances, characteristic movements need to me exaggerated.

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    A sketchbooky thread for animation? That's a fantastic idea!

    It definitely looks like you've improved a lot. Your newest horse gallops look very nice, but it looks like the mesh is popping on its right front leg in the top vid. That sometimes happens to me when a joint is moved beyond its limits, but since it doesn't look like you've done that at all, maybe a skinweighting issue...? Other than that, the movement looks very solid.

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