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View Full Version : Exploring Middle Earth - Elven Dexterity - pixelKeg


pixelkeg
01-18-2003, 04:09 AM
Hi there, I've come up with an idea for this month's challenge and I'd like to give it a shot. Let me know what you think, I can take any comments you have. :)

I'm updating this first post as I add material.

THE NEWEST STUFF IS AT THE BOTTOM

Animatic 550K
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/animaticSG.mov

Storyboards(same as what's in the animatic)
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/story1.jpg
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/story2.jpg
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/story3.jpg

Face
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/elfImage1.jpg

Body
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/elfImage2.jpg

Early Animation Test for the 10 Second Club
http://pixelkeg.com/mpg/soTired.mpg

Evil Orc Dudes(quickly modeled)
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/orcImage1.jpg

Layout Animation, First Pass
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/test1SG.mov

Animation, Second Pass
-Small 300K
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/test2SGSmall.mov

-Big 750K
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/test2SGbigger.mov

More Animation Added (orc deaths, segmented model)
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/animtest4.mov

Swords Swords, we have swords!
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/animtest5.mov

Guess what, another update... The orcs are finally walking.
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/animtest6.mov

I hope you like! Let me know what you think.

Sergio

BishopLynx
01-18-2003, 04:17 PM
cool man. Now that makes three people doing Elven Dexterity.

Your idea is cool.

The only thing that sticks out at me is when the elf stabs the first guy (this may just be my perception from the storyboard) he then takes the victims sword and uses it to stab the guy behind him. Do you think that it would work better if the Elf stabs the first guy then removes a dagger from the bad guys side sheath and in on swift motion sends it back to the other bad guy killing him?

just a thought.

I wish you well.

pixelkeg
01-18-2003, 09:32 PM
Yeah that reach for the sword is a little akward, and he's giving his back to the audience. I'll give your kife idea a try. Thanks for the comments!

I checked out your Elven Dexterity thread, the idea is really cool. Can't wait to see it!


Sergio

Grayscale
01-18-2003, 09:35 PM
Pixel,
Story looks good. I agree with Bishop about using a knife from the first bad guy to kill the second. Looks like a really solid idea and a very fast paced animation. GET TO IT!

BishopLynx
01-19-2003, 12:50 AM
Thanks man. ELVEN DEXTERITY!!!! :buttrock:

BishopLynx
01-20-2003, 04:34 AM
I was hoping around online for a little reference and I came across these two sites that seemed pretty cool. One is animated .gifs of Legolas and they play pretty slow so it is perfect for studying and the second has downloadable .mpgs of this guy demonstrating the use of a modern bow with all it's gadgets and gizmos. The second link is OK but one thing about it I do not like is that the archer is really stiff unlike the clips with Legolas where you can see his body react to the shot.

ANyway I thought you could use the ref if you wanted.
I am going to post one on the other guys thread that is doing Elven Dexterity as well.
peace

http://groups.msn.com/LegolasInYourMindsEye/legolasactionclips.msnw?albumlist=2

http://knackered.knackered.org/angus/archery/movies.html

BishopLynx
01-20-2003, 06:25 AM
Oops. I just realized you do not have any bow animation. Oh well. Maybe the links will come in handy some other time.
:shrug:

pixelkeg
01-21-2003, 02:40 AM
Thanks Grayscale for the cool comments!

Thanks BishopLynx for the reference stuff. It's always good to have good reference handy!

pixelkeg
01-21-2003, 02:59 AM
Okay, I just want to make an update before I go to sleep.

Here's the Elf character. I already modeled her, and it was really painful to cut the model into segments. :( I have some blendshape heads... blinks and eyebrows and stuff.

Face
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/elfImage1.jpg

Body
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/elfImage2.jpg

Evil Orc Dudes(quickly modeled)
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/orcImage1.jpg

Enjoy :)
Sergio

pixelkeg
01-21-2003, 03:13 AM
Okay, so I didn't go to sleep, but I will soon. :P

This is the first pass of animation, animated in Kaydara's Motionbuilder. The animation is using the pre-segmented model, but MB can retarget animation to the new characters later when I export the new one from Maya.

http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/test1SG.mov

Any comments are welcome!
Good night. :)

Sergio

chris_reed97
01-21-2003, 01:52 PM
Good translation of the animatic. Looking forward to seeing the next passes.

Stephen Vyas
01-28-2003, 12:36 PM
I liked the idea that the elf grabbed the other guys sword and killed the character behind her. Shows Dexterity!
I was sitting here trying to think of a way that would work... How about once the elf stabs the orc in the back, the orc's weapon is tossed up in the air giving the elf the option to use her other hand to toss the weapon at the orc behind her while still having her dominate hand on her main weapon... That way there isn't a reach involved to take away his sword and there's no blocking to the camera.
Any good?

Cheers
Steve

pixelkeg
01-28-2003, 01:38 PM
Thanks for posting! Here's an update...

Small 300K
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/test2SGSmall.mov

Big 750K
http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/test2SGbigger.mov

I wanted to wait until I had it more polished but then I realized that it's a WIP challenge, so I'll let it all hang out. :buttrock:

I'm really struggling with her feet. There's some fancy footwork going on, which is fine, but making the footfalls look right inside of that constrained space is a mission. Usually I'd animate moving across the screen straight ahead, but in the layout pass I defined some pretty set distances that I want the character to move. What strategies do you folks use in these situations?

-Stephen, good idea. I'm torn on the sword issue, mostly because I want her to be holding the blade of whatever it is as she throws it. So the sword would have to flip over in the air and she catches it by the blade, possibly cutting her fingers off and getting me in trouble with the Union, (just kidding), or she goes for the knife at the waist, gives it a quick toss in the air, catches it by the blade, and really gets her shoulder into it as she throws, which would look cooler with a sword since it's heavier.

Sergio

pixelkeg
01-28-2003, 01:57 PM
Oh yeah, Stephen, I forgot to say that I'm having her stab the first guy from a little bit behind him so both faces are to the audience. That's the theory at least. :)

lacaci
02-14-2003, 11:16 AM
looking good Serg!!!

:thumbsup:

sonicculture
02-21-2003, 07:43 PM
i like your concept sergio it is very visually interesting.

:beer: :beer:

pixelkeg
02-22-2003, 03:01 PM
Thanks guys!


An update is coming sooooon...

:airguitar
:buttrock:

pixelkeg
02-25-2003, 05:00 AM
Hi Everyone, I'm putting an update up finally, it's been really crazy lately and i wish I had the time to work on this more often. Anyway, here it is:

http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/animtest4.mov

I added some Orc animation, as well as the segmented girl model for rules' sake. I managed to get the original girl's rig all twisted up, so I had to re-animate her. Now it has a couple of jerkies in there, but they can be fixed quickly.

Cheers

pixelkeg
02-25-2003, 06:20 PM
Another Update...

Swords Swords, we have swords!

http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/animtest5.mov

This was a mission, managing all the parent/child constraints when she takes the sword away, doing the ol' visibility switcharoo when she throws the sword. Kinda cool to have one object pass through different hands, pretty fun to do...


**PLEASE*** give me some last minute feedback!

pixelkeg
02-26-2003, 02:43 AM
Guess what, another update... The orcs are finally walking.

http://pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/animtest6.mov


4... more... days... must.... finish...



Sergio

pixelkeg
02-28-2003, 05:55 AM
Well it's not perfect yet, but here is my final entry. This has been a BLAST, thanks for adding the animation challenges!


http://www.pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/finalElvDex.mpg

woohooo!!!

or try Sorenson3 at

822k
http://www.pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/ElvDexFinall.mov

1.2m
http://www.pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/ElvDexFinalSmall.mov

Congratulations to everyone who has entered,


Sergio:buttrock:

BishopLynx
02-28-2003, 08:22 AM
Ok. Maybe I am doing something wrong but I get an error on both versions of the quicktime. Say that it is not a file that quicktime understands. :shrug:

It is not the sorenson 3 compression because others work as well. so...I do not know.

Peace,

matthew

pixelkeg
02-28-2003, 01:57 PM
Try this:

http://www.pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/finalElvDex.mpg


Hope it works. :)

or try Sorenson3 at

822k
http://www.pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/ElvDexFinall.mov

1.2m
http://www.pixelkeg.com/cgchallenge/ElvDexFinalSmall.mov

I tried to get the Sorenson fixed, but my computer seems to have issues with Quicktime. Funny that all the others worked...

BishopLynx
02-28-2003, 04:01 PM
mpeg worked fine. Animation turned out pretty good. I like that you made the orcs large.

Congrats on finishing.

pixelkeg
02-28-2003, 04:24 PM
Thanks man!

DIMO
03-04-2003, 09:14 AM
How was animating in Motionbuilder?

Is it better?
What was your experience?

Was it hard to learn?
I'm thinking about buying the Personal Edition for the next challenge if it's more fun to animate with.

pixelkeg
03-04-2003, 02:26 PM
Hi DIMO,

In my humble opinion, MB is the best for character animation. You have to model and bind to a regular skeleton in another package (maya for me,) and export as their .fbx format. Then you bring that into MB, do the character setup, defining which joints are which, etc, so you can turn on the control rig. After that you just animate.

Real time playback, woohoo! You don't have to do constant playblasts.

You get full body IK/FK set up for you. No dealing with pole vectors to adjust the elbow, just pin down the wrist and select the elbow and move it. I know how to do nice complicated rigs in Maya, but this is pretty responsive and easy to use. I can get to the animation stage sooner, which is good.

You have to kind of get the hang of it, though. I had to reanimate a part because I would rotate the upper leg in an FK way, and then the next key move the foot in an IK way, then the next key move the knee, and after a while it got twisty. Generally you should pick a technique for a given limb. Once I decided to work with the legs as IK and the arms as FK it was easier. Even if you're fk with the arms you can still pin down the hand on a table or wherever you want.

The constraints are pretty easy to use, just about everything is drag and drop. You can do pose to pose animation however you like, there's a good fCurve editor. Their non linear editor is better than trax.

Ok, I'll stop. I like it. For $100 you can't really lose.

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