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  1. #31
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    Nice, Smashed Pumpkin! makes me want to get in an animate Out of curiosity, what's your workflow like in Maya? do you end up setting keys on every frame? or do you use the curves? Do you started with stepped curves, or work directly in splines?

    As for the animation itself: The hand tapping is nicely done, as well as the racked focus. The treatment on the lights from the rear of the monitor is nice too. My only critique on that clip is that the camera stop is rather abrupt, and might have benefited from an ease in. (I'm using the past tense because I am assuming you will not be going back and re-working these, since they are rendered and all.)

    The second clip:
    What you've done here is nice, and it shows you've thought about the animation and spent some time on it. The idea of the pose the character is in is a good one - leaned back, trying to 'score' a basket with wadded up paper - and you even 'set dressed' the table with a few misses. I think the silhouette could be stronger, however. All of your movement/action is in the right hand - which is hidden within the silhouette of the body itself. The hand also passes over the most detailed area of the human body - the face.

    Didn't notice this right away but it's a nice touch: the pens are animated when the paper hits them.

    I find I'm also confused by the expression change at the end?


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  4. #32
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    rumpenstiltzkin, you're absolutely right about it looking a bit mechanical and thanks for pointing it out. I must admit I spent quite a long time on that movement because it started out looking far too "floaty". I'm starting to get the feeling that complexity of movement is the bane of realism. I think the mechanical look is a result of the first downward movement the arm makes after the throw which is then followed by bringing the hand back up and then down onto the leg. I'll try a more simple movement and maybe that'll get rid of it. My tutor told me that I should think of living things as lazy, and by this he meant that they should do the minimum amount of movement to achieve their goal. This is something I think I need to keep in mind when animating, I usually end up adding too many, over-exaggerated anticipations and follow through.

    rabbit run, thanks for the critique. My animation work-flow goes something like this:

    1. Set key poses based on a well established storyboard. (the timing of these key poses is not yet important, just as long as they are in the right order, I've seen people who will set these literally one frame apart).

    2. Ideally I'll then set my graphs to stepped and start playing with the timing of the key poses until I'm relatively happy with when things are happening. I say ideally because I'm a sucker for getting distracted by little things and often I'll get drawn into adding detail movements before I've key-ed out the whole scene.

    3. Once I have the key poses laid out and their timing roughly the way I want it, I add a few holding keys so that the jump from stepped to splined isn't too painful. Sometimes I'll use clamped keys to make the transition easier. This is to avoid the floaty effect you get when the software in-betweens the frames between each key pose.

    4. Usually around this time I've probably made a mess of my graphs so I'll jump into the graph editor and clean up unnecessary keys and generally tweak stuff.

    5. Once the graph editor is looking clean I start adding definition and variation to movements, I usually do this by breaking the tangents on points to add snap in places or to smooth movements out in others.

    Finally I add a few minor tweaks to individual frames if things aren't quite happening the way I want them to. I do this right at the end because it has a tendency to make a mess of my time line with extra keys in places and generally makes the kind of mess you don't want to keep working in.

    Hmm, somewhere in there I also shift around the timing on individual parts of the body to get a sense of overlapping animation. The last thing you want is everything happening at the same time - something my animations still suffer from a lot...

    Heh, thanks for the comments about the intro. The camera does indeed stop too abruptly, this was one of those things that I didn't really know what would look like until I rendered it but I've fixed it now so that it doesn't actually quite stop before cutting to the next shot. I'm using pretty low render settings and my models aren't particularly complex so render time isn't too bad for me.

    The clip of the guy throwing the paper is out of context, it's meant to be followed by a shot of the computer screen showing that it is still downloading (he's been waiting for ages) so I can understand that it might seem a little confusing when viewed alone. Although I'm still not sure if I'll actually cut to the next shot before the sudden frown, it is a bit odd even in context to be honest. Yea his silhouette isn't great but I was hoping the contrast of his skin on his clothing was enough to counter that. And again you're right about covering his face, it definitely does something that I was hoping for but at the same time it's certainly doing something undesirable. My problem is that my camera is fixed and to try and get his arm out of his body for a more dynamic silhouette I feel it might end up looking a bit odd.

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  6. #33
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    As the audience, I should not be confused about where your character is emotionally. What he is reacting to, sure - you're right that I don't realize he's waiting to download something, but I should understand exactly how he feels about it.

    I was commenting on your silhouette not because it wasn't dynamic, but because it wasn't clear.

    How is your next shot odd? Sounds like a standard use of convention. See the character react to something, show what he's reacting to.

  7. #34
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    I understand the way you work, I was about to comment how extremely confusing it sounds and how it's so simple to just draw and draw. But then I realized that it's not as simple to animate in 2D either But now I have some idea as to how I can approach it.

  8. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabbit run View Post
    As the audience, I should not be confused about where your character is emotionally. What he is reacting to, sure - you're right that I don't realize he's waiting to download something, but I should understand exactly how he feels about it.

    I was commenting on your silhouette not because it wasn't dynamic, but because it wasn't clear.

    How is your next shot odd? Sounds like a standard use of convention. See the character react to something, show what he's reacting to.
    Could you elaborate on what it is you are confused about with regard to the characters emotion? The story goes along the lines of him having been waiting for a long time for "top secret" files to download and has been occupying himself by throwing some paper into a glass, he then looks up to check if the download is done, it's not so he frowns in annoyance.

    With regard to the silhouette again, do you mean it just doesn't read as him being in the process of throwing something?

    I wasn't meaning the next shot is odd, I was meaning that the frown of annoyance that the character does at the end of the shot is what seems odd.

    Yea PLeon, 2D drawn animation is just as complex, in some ways it's even more intensive in terms of planning things out because if a few of your key poses turn out wrong it's one hell of a lot more effort to fix in 2D than it is in 3D. Personally I find 2D animation frightening and I have one heck of a lot of respect for people that do it.

  9. #36
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    Sorry for the delayed response the last few days have been...busy. Will be busy until monday. >.<

    I don't read him as annoyed. Honestly, I wasn't sure what the emotion was, which is why I asked. Part of it may be there's so little change in the expression, and it's not in a close up. I also can't see annoyed with the eyes opening up wider - it actually makes him a little deranged. It could just be a combination of a lack of body movement, and is that a one or two frame head dip? Take the clip around to other people who haven't seen it and don't know what you film is, and see if they miss the emotion as well. (There's always going to be someone. it happens.)

    re silhouette: yes

    mouth: agreed, although I think I know what you were trying to do.

    Hrrrr. Alright! wonder if ten days is enough to do an 11 second challenge..

    oh, and because I was looking for annoyance:


    and they're all a bunch of little snots.

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  11. #37
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    hmm, looking back at it I see what you mean. I think I did one of the fatal errors of just throwing in some "frowned" eye brows and then left it at that, seeing as it's right at the end of the shot. To be honest this project I bit off way more than I could chew, we were advised to make it 30 seconds long but I ended up not pacing myself properly and ended up with two minutes. I've got 13 weeks for my next project instead of the 5 weeks I had for this one and I think I'll make sure I stick to one minute tops and make sure I really polish it. There were times on this one where I literally did a motion once and then didn't have time to even go back and clean it up and it's quite noticeable.

  12. #38
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    It happens. We all do it!

    and YIKES!! Although I totally want to see the short when it's done. Sometimes you just have to take what you learned and move on. You can always come back to it later and make changes/polish it.

  13. #39
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    and here it is. Sadly I didn't get time to add any sound but I'll factor that in on the next one.


  14. #40
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    That's pretty good man. I really dig it, you can really feel the rising level of the guy's frustration. The facial expressions also came out really well. Shame about the sound, it doesnt bother me much, used to doing things without it, but I can see how it would've added much more to the complete piece.
    Just a nitpick though, but when he slams on the keyboard, it just comes to a complete stop. Maybe adding a very light up-and-down movement on the body would make it less static. That's really my only problem.
    Good stuff man.

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  16. #41
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    Good Sketches smashed pumpkin! I personally love the fish most. The camera movement makes the animation looks more fascinating.

    Referring to your reason of making this thread. Now I know the reason why my animation post yesterday haven't been criticized until now. So if you guys have time, please visit my post and get me some crits and comments.

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  18. #42
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    Here's the painting from which my next project is inspired. My project brief is to choose a painting from the National Gallery here in London and make a 1 - 2 min animation inspired by the painting. In a way choosing Saint George and the Dragon (by Jacopo Tintoretto) was a bit of an easy way out but I must say from the moment I saw it I thought "well obviously I'll choose that one", so why fight it, right? Let me know what impressions you guys get from the painting. I'm trying to explore it as much as possible to really capture the essence of it instead of just re-telling the story depicted.

    Attachment 1195445

    So far I've got an idea of having the princess fleeing from the dragon through the woods, her drapery snagging on branches and shrubs causing her to stumble. The shot cuts to the dragon who is racing through the forest like a killing machine, I want to get a strong contrast between the dragon's predatory features and the princesses frailty. Just before the dragon catches the princess, you guessed it, Saint George turns up and deals out a hefty load of death to the dragon.

    I'm not going for the traditional, winged dragon. Instead I'll be using the Nico rig by Chadmv as it's more of a dog-like quadruped. I'll post some images once I've decided on textures and customisations. I'm also using Josh Burtons Morpheus rig for both the princess and Saint George. Finally, If I find the courage, I'll use Rhett the Clydesdale by Crcjax for Saint George's horse.

    If you know these rigs you'll know they're graphically quite cartoony, this is actually something I'm a little worried about because I don't want the animation to be particularly light-hearted. I don't feel that the painting has anything lighthearted about it and I want to try and keep that mood in the animation. I'm probably not doing myself any favours as the type of animation I do tends to work well as comical, but this time I want to try and do something quite serious. Let me know your thoughts on this, am I maybe shooting myself in the foot?

  19. #43
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    I think the idea sounds great. The rigs are indeed a bit of a problem, is there no other rig for a dragon? It doesnt really inspired me much fear to be completely honest. I'm sure you can work your way around that though. What are you gonna do with "God" over there in the painting, or will he be a no show?

    There's a rig that I saw and searched for it for a while, but I guess it's only available at this Thai university. It's called the Jin Rig, from the keko animation workshop. I could see your idea with those rigs.

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  21. #44
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    I don't think God's going to play a role in the form of a character, I think I'll mainly use his element in the painting as part of the lighting when Saint George comes to the rescue of the princess. To be honest as it is I'm probably making doing too much of a litteral interperetation of the painting. I really need to start thinking about specifics with regard to the cinematography being inspired by the paintings composition.

    For example there are a lot of diagonal lines through the painting which generate a sense of movement and chaos. The overall composition causes the eye to move around quite quickly and aspects tend to lead on to others to give a strong sense of an action scene.

    You're right about the rigs, I'm working on a few variations of each character and I'll post them up soon so I can hopefully get some opinions on them.

  22. #45
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    Been a while since I've had time to post on here. I've been trying to pull together an animatic for my project over the last week but being away from home, visiting my girlfriend has meant I've had no computer access. The result is a drawn animatic which probably won't help me as much as it should, oh well.



    There's a few major problems with it at the moment. The initial obvious issue of it looking like the princess is running towards the cave didn't occur to me (or some unknown reason) until it was pointed out in my crit. I've realised I shouldn't be cutting between the cave "zoom in" and the princess running away, I should instead let the cave zoom in play and then cut between the princess running and the dragon pursuing.

    As you can see in the first scene here(oh how I love The Never Ending Story):



    Here's also a quick shot of Saint George. All I've done really is stick a few bits of armour to Josh Burton's Morpheus rig. I'm still working on getting a texture to work properly on the main body section, hopefully once I do, he'll look less like he's lacking pants.

    Attachment 1205140

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