View Full Version : Where to start
01-24-2007, 06:38 PM
I downloaded a character and ready-to-animate rig from www.jugglersanimation.com (very cool if you start-ups like me need something to animate without the learning to rig/model/etc.)
Anyways, I am currently reading through The Animator's Survival Kit, and am like a sponge. What I discovered, was, where the heck do I start with the model? I took the advice from the book, and started messing around with a walk cycle. However, I get stuck in the rut of "ok, let's lift the leg up...but, I need to move the torso forward, oh wait I have to move the arms, now the shoulders, dammit, the hands...." You get where I am going, or NOT going :D
how do you guys tackle the simple walk? Start with the foot and work your way up? Do you plan out the Extremes for each body part? Traditional animators have the luxury of drawing the character in the pose they want one frame at time. Mine is ending up looking like a twister game gone bad.
Anyways, I am definately not giving up, I just need a starting point. I think I am getting caught up in too many things at once.
Thanks as always for your guys invaluable input.
01-24-2007, 07:23 PM
For a walkcycle, start with your two extreme poses for the cycle. If you decide your extremes are the two contact poses, start there (on 8's or 12's or whatever you want). Then put in your breakdown. The trick here is to just deal with the feet and pelvis to start with. Forget about the upper body: get the feet and hips pretty close then worry about the spine, head, arms, hands etc.
Once you get your extremes and your breakdown, you might try break it up by doing your down position for the first part of the cycle and then keep doing that inbetween forward through your cycle, then do the up position (ie if your down position is on frame 6 for step one, and you are on 12's, then do your next down postion on frame 18 for step 2, 30 for step 3, and so on...then do the same thing for the up position).
You can fill in the positions forward through the entire cycle this way. It's a somewhat disjointed way of approaching it, but it is very efficient. You can follow along in the ASK to get a good idea of what each of these positions should look like through the cycle.
Once you get comfortable witht he feet and hips, then start working through the rest of the body using the same method.
I would recommend having your character take real steps too, don't animate the cycle walking in place. You want to see your character move through space and time!
01-24-2007, 09:02 PM
Awesome, thanks for tips.
The trick here is to just deal with the feet and pelvis to start with. Forget about the upper body: get the feet and hips pretty close then worry about the spine, head, arms, hands etc.
So, my character will probably look like a stretchy, rubber person, but that's ok, because you are suggesting to block in the extremes, contact positions, and then worry with the rest of body?
Maybe that's what I focus on...I see the end rresult in my head, so I tend to do it all at once - A very daunting task I might ad.
01-24-2007, 10:21 PM
You could spend some time blocking the whole body into extremes and breakdowns, but if you are just getting started, yeah, I would try and isolate the lower half first. It's good that you see it all together in your head, but you should spend some time "seeing" how different parts of the body work independently, too. There are also some good free rigs out there that are already set up to hide parts of the body or controls you aren't working with.
The thing I'm learning about animation is that is all about breaking things down into manageable chunks. First, figure out your key poses, primary and secondary breakdowns, inbetweens, etc. It might also be helpful to do this on sequential frames, and forget about the timing at first. Just get the silohuettes, overlap and arcs happening. Then worry about how to time it out. This is probably not the best approach for a walk cycle (since timing is pretty straight-forward there) but it might help with other types of actions.
01-24-2007, 11:10 PM
I meant "see it in my head" as a problem I have :D Because I know what it supposed to look like, so I immediately try do everything at once.
Thanks a bunch for you tips and input. Gonna get after it tonight, hopefully have something to see soon for critique.
01-24-2007, 11:10 PM
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