Saturday, 12 December 2009

Walk In The Park....

As the Christmas count down begins I started my last two 2D and 3D assignments. Both tasks were the same for 2D and 3D, this was to make the character walk like we walk. For Maya we were given the Andy.rig, which was a more basic character model. To start with I filmed my walk. Here's the video I used:

After looking through my walk, i noticed two main characteristics which were

1) "Flicking" my legs out straight.

2) Shoulder sway

These were the two factors I wanted to put into my walk. I started with the 3D walk in Maya. My first decision was to start in the passing position as it would make it slightly easier to animate. Another decision I made early on was too animate it as I go along. I knew that my walk lasted 3 seconds so I was going to use around 72 frames however one thing I forgot to remember was the distance I was going to walk, which as it turned out wasn't such a bad thing. After doing a rough version I started to "neaten" it up, the first was to make sure the feet had the right 'flop' and bend properly when on the floor. However when I started to go through the frames it turned out that the feet were indeed sliding across the scene rather than staying still. This was due to me constantly pulling the legs and hips which resulted in the feet not touching the floor. The main problem I had with the 3D task was when ever I tried to stretch the leg out to give it the "flick" element, the characters knee would 'pop' and look odd, which meant I had to minimise the flick in the leg.

After sorting out the feet I went onto the shoulders. At the time I simply rotated the shoulders to give the appearance of them swaying but the turned out to look as if the were simply going up and down. I realise this was due to not adding and rotation to the midriff. Overall I wasn't too pleased with the walk, I wanted to make it smoother rather than all stuttered, I have a feeling this could be fixed in the graph editor, but it was a too daunting task to tackle after seeing the amount of lines there were. Here's the result:

Last but not least 2D, and this one I found easier than the 3D which was no doubt due to fact i had more control on how the characters walks. For the 2D I started by drawing a skeleton on each frame. After this i simply filled out the character to make it resemble me, however just as I finished all the frames I relised that I had done only 1 passing positions, this ment that the hips would switch over when its played back. To fix this I had to draw more frames in at the end, but I didn't add enough which makes my character look as if I walk with a limp. Heres how it turned out:

By the way I ran out of Black ink

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


As another week rolls around and Christmas gets that 1 week closer we're given our two tasks to complete. the return of the 2D task saw us animate two Cubies 1 big 1 small and make them interact with one another. As for the 3D task, there was the same concept of interaction but this time between Cubie and a little ball.

I started with the 3D task as Maya was still fresh in my head. Having been told that this was the last time we would animate Cubie in 3D, I decided to give him a big send off by doing around 15 seconds of animation, which may seem small but at the time felt borderline epic. Having planned out what was going to happen I started to key frame all the moves, which took most of the time. I animated all of Cubie first then animated the ball second, though problems arose when I had to animate both together. I've gotten into a routine of key framing, checking the graph editor, then rinse and repeat, so I won't bore you by going through each key frame. Overall I was pleased with the result, however I'm not too happy with the twist at the end as I felt it looked odd to have the feet spin as well.

On to the 2D and a little pressed for time I decided on going for something plain and simple. Little Cubie jump, Big Cubie scares him. After Simply drawing out the frames i played back the animation though appearing ok it was too quick meaning that you could not see the anticipation in the jump which makes the animation look a little strange. Not much more I can really say than TiMe MaNiGmEnT

Cubies 3D Adventures

Ok, so this week we only had 1 task to complete. This task was part of our 3D work and had to be completed in Maya using a pre-rigged character as the same design as Cubie. Left to our own devices and imagination we were allowed to do whatever we wanted, within reason. After much thought I decided a burning ring of fire was the best way forward. I started by building the ring itself and added the surface. Having a character already rigged made it much easier to use and create ideal key positions. After mapping out the major key positions, I then checked the graph editor which due to all the dimensions and rotations looked a lot more daunting than before, and with more lines than I care to remember. So after checking that it all ran smoothly I decided to add some minor key positions such as Cubie bending his back when in mid air to help aid realism. After I was happy with the overall main body movements I then went on to edit the secondary animation which was much easier to do. After all the movement was done I added the fire using the fire tool I discovered, then I also added a spotlight to make the animation more dramatic. When happy with the final animation I rendered it out which took around Thirty minutes to do. Here is the final result.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Round 2- Bouncing Balls and Breaking Arms

One word, Maya. A name that sounds as sweet but will tear you apart if you mistreat it.

This week we were set 2 tasks, the 1st was to animate a bouncing ball and a character named cubie in 2D using Squash and Stretch, a technique that is near vital and impressive if done well. The 2nd was to animate 2 balls on maya, one light, one heavy.

I started with the bouncing balls, seemingly easier compared to the other tasks at hand. I started with the basic ball shape and using only 6 frames I drew the ball stretching out of shape (but not adding mass) in order to give the illusion of the ball stretching. As soon as the ball touched the floor I reversed the frames back to the top to make it look as if the ball bounces. Here's the final result, I had to resist the urge to paint it green and call it flubber.

Ok so cubie was a little harder as he had secondary animation in the form of a type of spring and ball, I forget the official name. I also could not reverse the frames half way as that would make the secondary animation look odd. Using the previous 2D ball animation as a template I sketched cubie out, I added stretch to cubie's 'neck' and squash to the 'body' when he hits the floor. I feel cubie turned out better than the ball bounce, as the sencondary animation added more layers to the animation. Again here's the result.

And lastly onto Maya, it's been a while since I've had to learn a new program and I have to say I really enjoyed it. Though still a complete amateur and first timer I set out to make the heavy ball. After creating the ball I keyframe it at 1 and at my desired height, then key frame the main points ie when the ball hits the ground and when it reaches the peak in the air. Maya helps to fill in the rest, however it automatically makes the animation wavey so therefore the balls slows down, goes through the floor and seriously lacks bounce. So in order to fix this I went into the graph editor which was daunting at first. The graph mapped out the the key frames and shows the time of the animation. To make the ball not slow down and have more of a bounce I needed to break the arms of each key frame and alter the curve to have more velocity. In the graph editor I could also alter the time on each key frame to make sure the ball didn't linger in the air too long or bounce too far away.

For the light ball I used the same process as I did for the heavy ball except I added more height and bounce which made the animation slightly longer. I was really pleased with the outcome of both balls.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Square One

This is my first blog ever so you'll have to excuse my amateurish writing style, lack of colourful background and front.

So after the ironic week known as freshers i've started my 3 year course in Digital Animation, and to my delight it's awesome. After a week of introductions to the university and all it has to offer, i got my first assignment. I was to animate a circle into any shape i desired within 12 frames. With basic knowledge of how 2D animation works, a new blue pencil and my very own peg bar, I sunk my teeth into it, and by the very next day I had my 12 frames drawn into the shape of a mouth. The enjoyable but time consuming task gave a very rustic looking animation which I was very pleased with. My first animation of many I hope.
The next day Ii attended my first "art" lesson, in which I saw a presentation on how artists can achieve movement in pictures and sketches. Some only taking minutes to draw. After seperating into groups we were given our task. We we're to draw classmates or other people doing activities by sketching their postures in our books. These will then be used to reference at a later date to help caputure a true resembalence when animating.