View Full Version : character animation, tons of work

08 August 2002, 02:14 PM
I am doing a character animation for my degree project. I've been working on it for about a month now and have another month to go.

Its a live dancing sequence of Michael Jackson. I use keyframing all the way. I thought about the mixer to reuse some similar action, but due to previous experience, I thought the mixer is just gonna introduce new problems anyway (doesnt make the work easier).

Now I am feeling quite a bit tired cause of all the keyframing, tweaking, testing....

I begin to wonder if I am doing it in a wrong way. Do ppl in Dreamworks etc. do it in the same way? or do they have better way to animate.

I was trying to build a comprehensive rig, which could do everything. but then i realize that any type of rig has certain limitation, and when that happens, I have to throw in a few keyframes to compensate for that.......As michael jackson is really moving "wildly", the keyframing is drving me crazy.....

If everyone is doing it in the same way. well, i will keep working on it:), but is it possible that there's another way out there....

08 August 2002, 02:38 PM
Yeah sorry man, but that's the way it is with character animation :hmm:

A good rig, with a good balance between automated and manual controls does help. But I try not to have too many automated controls as they can be restrictive.

Oh and try to smart with ya keyframing, as sometimes you can cutdown on the amount of keys by using ya f-curves well.

I'm doing a character animation uni course (3 years)

If it's 2D or 3D, animating a short animation with a character or 2 in it, is REALLY time consuming and testing.

Patience and Perseverance are quailties that ya need to do character animation. But hang in there bud, it can be really satisfying :thumbsup:

08 August 2002, 02:47 PM
cheers bud. :D

Thank god everyone is doing it in the same way, hee hee.

Guess the only thing I need to do is practise, and practise and pratise untill i dont feel a thing.;)

I am quite happy with the result, but I am just afraid that I dont have enough time to finish it. I need to do related research for my degree as well, and thats killing me. They keeping telling me that the degree is not just a production, it got to have some kind of research in my paper.....:S dont really know what I can do about the research, all i've done so far is technical.....

someone gives me some hints:rolleyes:

08 August 2002, 04:04 AM
I've been doing animation in the CG industry for about 3 years now for Mainframe in Canada. When you're expected to punch out 30 seconds or more a week, you learn to animate efficiently and well.

Generally, you don't want to have too many complex rigs as you will complicate the kind of f-curves you deal with and the type of keys you are saving. Most of the time, I only use IK on legs and maybe on the odd occasion, for the arms, if it needs to be constrained to something.

Most keyframe animation can be done in a techinque refered to as "pose to pose". Basically, especially for MJ dance moves, you take your character, rotate bones, move IK controllers to positions you want to make the character have a strong sillouhette and save the necessary keys. This is a key pose. Then repeat until you have a series of key poses, roughing out the timing. Then preview it and see where key poses need to be closer together to speed up animation or farther apart.

Next, put in your in-betweens where the computer doesn't calculate the animation as you desire. You can also make your animation smoother by adjusting the f-curves, ease-in and ease-out. Run a test, make sure your timing is good here because once you start shifting keys on different parts of the character's bones, it will be hard to change your timing. When that's done, you can shift around keys to offset animation so that there is anticipation and follow thru.

Of course, there are more advanced steps than this, but this is the basics and I can't give away my secrets.

Hope this helps!:beer:

08 August 2002, 04:58 AM
thx a lot:D Thats what I've been doing so far.

As time goes by, I start to feel more comfortable with the rig and animating much faster than I expected.;)

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