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View Full Version : The Virum's Animating Disasters: Brutal Criticism Always Wanted


Virum
01-26-2005, 05:50 AM
Hey, I decided to create a "learning thread" for me. This is mainly to keep the number of individual threads I create down, thereby keeping the amount of junk on this forum in one isolated place. ;)

Anyways, I've always wanted to animate, and after a year of trying to learn how to model, texture, and rig my own characters to no avail, I've decided I might as well learn using free rigs. Thanks to all the people who have put their rigs out on the internet for people like me to mess around with.


Far Shot (http://joshuanitschke.saber-x.com/blog/storage/misc/PLEChalFar.avi)
Close Shot (http://joshuanitschke.saber-x.com/blog/storage/misc/PLEChalClose.avi)

I know there is popping in the little alien jumping dude, but that's all I do know. :)

Anybody care to comment? Tell me that I suck, but please also tell me what I need to do to improve.

Thanks, and looking forward to hearing from the awesome animators here. :D

:beer:

Virum
01-28-2005, 08:27 AM
I messed around with the Generi rig today; I must say I like it a lot. I plan on continuing this animation here:

Rock on! (Div-X) (http://joshuanitschke.saber-x.com/CGTalk/animations/generi_rocking_animation1.avi)

Comments/suggestions plz. I'll post updates as they come.

videodrome
01-28-2005, 06:19 PM
some eye blinking/movement would bring the character to life, unless your going for that drugged-out glazed look ;) character looks a little stiff, maybe some more rocking movement in the body/hips/shoulders, some foot tapping maybe... just suggestions, looks like your having fun and learning which is the most important.

Virum
01-28-2005, 08:04 PM
I am having fun, and thanks for the reply. I did a bit more:

Rock On Wip 2 (Div-X) (http://joshuanitschke.saber-x.com/CGTalk/animations/generi_rocking_animation2.avi)

Changes: A bit more lower body movement and spine movement at the beginning. A bit more (*snrk*) blinking.

I'm not sure where to add the blinks, any ideas? Also facial expressions, I have no idea when to change them.

franklyn
01-29-2005, 12:07 AM
what you should try is recording either yourelf or a friend acting this segment out and then observe the slight small movements ..
the basic anim is there u just need the small things like the expressions and movement of the feet which at the moment look pretty static

Virum
01-29-2005, 08:45 AM
I don't have a video camera. :(

Another update:

Rock On Wip 3 (Div-X) (http://joshuanitschke.saber-x.com/CGTalk/animations/RockOnWIP3.avi)

Thanks for all the help guys. :)

videodrome
01-29-2005, 05:23 PM
great to see the progress your making with the blue guy, i was going to suggest when he holds up his hand in the air, that his eyes should close completly and his mouth open, which should intensify the gesture, the headbangin' pose usually involves the head tilting foward aswell like he's bowing down to the allmighty rock'n'roll gods.

i will agree with franklyn that even if you dont have a video camera, a simple mirror will suffice, just act out what you want to animate your character with, study yourself.. some animators will have a mirror on thier computer desk facing them when they are trying to recreate facial movements.

Virum
01-31-2005, 06:43 AM
Ok, thanks guys. I'm going to put this baby to rest though. I'm kind of tired of working with him and I feel the current keys are limiting me. I'll be posting my next Animated Disastor in a bit. ;)

Virum
02-03-2005, 06:24 AM
Whoohoo. My first attempt at lip-syncing here:

Feb. 10 Second Club Challenge WIP 1 (http://joshuanitschke.saber-x.com/CGTalk/animations/10SecClub_WIP1_Feb.02.2005.mov).

I've only really done work on the lip-syncing, and a bit on the head and eyes. I don't know what to do with his hands though.

Crtis and suggestions plz!

Virum
02-08-2005, 03:33 AM
Well, I haven't been uploading my progress. Here is the latest though:

WIP 5 (http://joshuanitschke.saber-x.com/CGTalk/animations/10SecClub_WIP5_Feb.02.2005.mov)

Serious timing issues. :hmm:

nemirc
02-08-2005, 04:43 AM
You are right... this is a disaster :buttrock:

Just kidding pal. We all have our starts. I think you have to work on your poses a little and also on your eyes.

I'll share a little something that a woman from PIXAR told me once. When you are animating a character first do the body, then the eyes and then the mouth. When doing lipsync you'd believe that the first thing to do is the mouth but you are wrong. The speech drives your movement but your mouth is just "one thing that moves". What really expresses an idea is your body and your eyes so if they don't work then the animation won't work.

I think franklyn has a point about recording. You say you don't have a camera but for like 10 bucks you can get a nice webcam to do that for you :D

Just take your dialog and try to see how YOU YOURSELF would express that idea according to your state of mind for that particular shot. This is what I did for this video... I give you the anim I will use for my Rika 3D (http://www.digital-opaque.net/works/videoref/ourway2.avi)

I think I went to far in the end because she shouldn't be THAT pissed off so.... :rolleyes: Anywaiz, that would be nemirc acting for the camera :beer:

F3D
02-08-2005, 05:29 AM
super sweet idea for a thread!! :) very cool stuff :)

keep working!! :D

JBoskma
02-08-2005, 02:00 PM
Nice work man. I wanted to join in the 10 seconds club as well, with the character in my sig. Funny enough I also had the idea of using a letter which is being read from. I wonder how many other people had that same idea :)

Virum
02-08-2005, 06:31 PM
You are right... this is a disaster :buttrock:

Just kidding pal. We all have our starts. I think you have to work on your poses a little and also on your eyes.

Lol, it is though. ;-) Thanks for the suggestions. What's a the typical good amount of keys between poses? I have a feeling I over key.

I'll share a little something that a woman from PIXAR told me once. When you are animating a character first do the body, then the eyes and then the mouth. When doing lipsync you'd believe that the first thing to do is the mouth but you are wrong. The speech drives your movement but your mouth is just "one thing that moves". What really expresses an idea is your body and your eyes so if they don't work then the animation won't work.

Wow, I thought it'd be simpler to get the lipsyncing out of the way. Thanks for that tip! Should I restart my animation from the beginning?


I think franklyn has a point about recording. You say you don't have a camera but for like 10 bucks you can get a nice webcam to do that for you :D

DOH! That reminded me just now that my 6.3 mp camera has a video mode. :rolleyes:

Just take your dialog and try to see how YOU YOURSELF would express that idea according to your state of mind for that particular shot. This is what I did for this video... I give you the anim I will use for my Rika 3D (http://www.digital-opaque.net/works/videoref/ourway2.avi)

I think I went to far in the end because she shouldn't be THAT pissed off so.... :rolleyes: Anywaiz, that would be nemirc acting for the camera :beer:

Haha, cool! :)
------------

super sweet idea for a thread!! :-) very cool stuff :-)

keep working!! :D

Lol, thanks. I have a lot of learning to do though. :-)
------------

Nice work man. I wanted to join in the 10 seconds club as well, with the character in my sig. Funny enough I also had the idea of using a letter which is being read from. I wonder how many other people had that same idea :)

Thanks. :-) Your frog character is looking good; I wish I had those kind of modeling skillz. :P

nemirc
02-08-2005, 09:31 PM
Well, I don't know if there's such a thing like "good amount of keys". I usually put keys on the extremes (key poses) and leave the inbetweens for the computer. However I always end up adding a few keys during inbetweens to make my interpolations.

I don't know what method are you using but say you were using pose to pose and you added too many keys. Say that you have to retime a part of your animation or change something in the middle? My advice would be to use just as many keys as you need but that's not a "determinate thing" (each one animates in a different way).

Maybe it would be a good idea to start all over. Right now even if you don't realize it you are forcing yourself to hit the poses according to the lipsync. However what about you make some work on the eyes and just ignore the lips. Anything that gets the job done :beer:

And get used to the dope sheet. It can be your best friend when it comes to retiming animations ;)

Capel
03-11-2005, 01:25 PM
Wow, I thought it'd be simpler to get the lipsyncing out of the way. Thanks for that tip! Should I restart my animation from the beginning?


Actually, i find it's a lot easier to pose out a stepped test of any acting piece when i at LEAST have the major facial expressions and emotional changes roughed in first. It really drives your poses and almost tells you how to pose the rest of your character. I'd say don't worry about the lips, but the eyes and eyebrowes can be really influential.

I usually put keys on the extremes (key poses) and leave the inbetweens for the computer.

This is one of the worst things anyone can do in animation. I'm not picking on you, nemirc, but the computer is the world's worst in-betweener. Any animator that knows what they're doing will tell you that. The more control you take over your inbetweens, the better.

To get back on topic, Virum, your work definately has that beginner look to it, but i think you'll do really well as time goes on. As far as the 10secondclub piece, the lip sync is incorrect for the most part. You should keep a mirror handy and sound out those words, really look at the shapes your mouth is making, and just copy them over. Generi is an awesome rig, so you've got more than enough blend shapes to choose from.

As for the rock and roll piece, your movement is all really linear. Favor some of those keys and get some more weight in there. keep on truckin, you're off to a good start!

nemirc
03-11-2005, 11:45 PM
Actually, i find it's a lot easier to pose out a stepped test of any acting piece when i at LEAST have the major facial expressions and emotional changes roughed in first. It really drives your poses and almost tells you how to pose the rest of your character. I'd say don't worry about the lips, but the eyes and eyebrowes can be really influential.

That's why I said that I then add the extra keys on the inbetweens to get the result that I want :)

dever
03-15-2005, 04:38 PM
Are you animating from the graph editor? If not I'd suggest doing that. The best way to use less keys (which I'm not saying you necessarily have to do, but it can make things easier occasionally) is to visualize the movement in terms of the graph. If your graphs are the shape you want them, then the keys matter not at all (not entirely true, but close enough ;-). You're making good progress here.

If I were you I'd do two things: I'd buy the animator's survival kit (that's just my generi-advice... it's the best book ever) and I'd get a version of a pixar movie that I could step through single frame by single frame. I've been doing this all year as part of my thesis project, and it's been really helpfull. Oh, one thing that can really smooth out your animation is using "limits". Remember in calculus, the curves that approach zero and never quite get there... well, if your curves look like that, you get nice moving holds, so parts of your character don't suddenly look dead when they stop moving. I tend to make the "jerky" version, then I add a key 5-20 frames out the outside of my existing keys, drag the old ones up or down a bit, to get it to curve around to nothing like that.

What's your animation process? I've been developing too, and what's working for me (and is reccomended by my advisor, a former pixar guy) is to start by animating JUST the root node, just the butt, so that the character flies around the scene spread eagle with his leggs trailing behind him on IK.

It looks silly, but if you get that to look really nice and snappy, I swear to you it'll pay off. Once the timing is just right (and trust me, it's more clear than you'd think), you add the chest, then head, then arms, then legs. This way you don't waste time before you know what your timing will be.

The key is to overestimate what the center of gravity will be doing when the rest of the body does stuff, you'd be surprised how much you move your waist when you turn to look over your shoulder ;-)

Sorry, tired and rambly,

Jim

Virum
03-15-2005, 08:01 PM
Thanks for the excellent advice guys. I've been really busy lately, hence the lack of updates. Hopefully I'll have a bit more to show you guys in a bit. :)

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