The finger taping looks pretty fluid. Not rushed, but not too slow. Nice.
thanks, yea the idea is that he's suffering a combination of annoyance, bordom and impatience. I'll get a couple of the other scenes up on here in a sec and then the final hopefully on friday or saturday...
Here we go, one of a few shots of him doing something to pass the time while he waits for his computer to load...
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
and here it is. Sadly I didn't get time to add any sound but I'll factor that in on the next one.