View Full Version : My latest animation WIP

12 December 2004, 03:40 PM
Hi there. I thought I would post a few shots from an exercise I am finishing. Crits and comments are welcome. Details are great - I would love to hear them. Please excuse the bad sound quality - one of the reasons this is a WIP. I have to record most of it over but it was o.k. to animate to. Background is minimal as it was an animation exercise.
Model and rig are PackageMan. I am working on a character (mine wears a pot on his head-thus the pot) with a similar build so he was great to practice the motions with.
Thanks for any feedback.
Links are all MPEG-4

Scene 3 = 1.4 megs (

Scene 4 = 1.3 megs (

Scene 5 = 1.7 megs (


12 December 2004, 06:51 PM
Hey Wilson, I like the concept of the animation and there's some great parts in there and the pot is great. I've had a look at the all and these would be my suggestions as how you could improve them;

Scene 3
- he starts off very static, a small bit of movement would really help. especially as he sounds so excited to have recieved the phone call.
- maybe try slowing down the sad morph, as he slowly realises that it's a sales call. It might not work, but is something i'd try.
- the arm movement that looks as if he's trying to use his force powers is fine for the first part, then as he brings it down the arc looks too large a little too dramatic maybe - dunno.
- the stooping and sideways movement at this point as well looks odd. You might be better off keeping his body mostly still and just have him shaking his head a couple of times to show his disagreement.

Scene 4
- the look at the camera could work better if first he looks at the phone, then slowly drifts up to look at the camera with the same great sad face. It's just a bit much at the moment having him look directly at us for that length of time.
- as he shouts the second 'but' you've reversed his back, but don't have the backwards motion with the hips too. If they come forward, then moved quite a way back as well you'd get a lot stronger pose there. Then they could come back forward to the last pose.

Scene 5
- the main thing with this one is the breaking of his arm for the big sweeping motion. Yes its a technique that can work well, but not so much in this case. That arm is over animated, it comes down, back, forwards, and THEN breaks before sweeping. If you took the forward motion out it wouldn't look so confused and if it's still too much try making the break more subtle.

Wow, theres quite a lot there....but i hope some of helps because i'd love to see this thing finished as what you have got already is real nice!


12 December 2004, 10:32 PM
Hi stu_vaz. Thanks for such a long crit. Thats Great stuff. I appreciate it. Lots of nice tweaks to work on. I will post some newer versions as I do them and some other scenes. Thanks again and I would appreciate any ones else’s crits and comments.

12 December 2004, 09:18 AM
Hey Wilson, I think you may want to reconsider the direction you're heading with the acting. IMO, critiquing technical aspects such as timing, follow-thru and spacing is pointless until it is clear that you thoroughly understand the emotion of the scene. First, you should step back for a moment and consider what it is that the character is feeling and thinking, before you consider what he should be doing. Ideally, once you understand what this characters' emotions are, the actions will come naturally. A good place to start is with Ed Hooks' book "Acting for Animators." It'll help you look at the process of animation from an actor's point of view (which is essential when you have to deliver a killer animated performance).

Here are some suggestions as to how you could improve the emotion of each scene.

Scene 3:
I think you need to look closely at his body language here. It's good that you have him sort of hunched as it gives us the impression that he's guarded and inscure, but I think you could still add some more variety to his poses to show that initially, he is excited to be receiving a phone call. Like stu said, he is very static at the start and you're missing a good opportunity to do some acting. For example, he could play with his pot-hat thingy, or he could straighten up a bit from his hunched pose in excitement. The more we feel his excitement (the set-up) the more effective his disappointment will be (the punchline). As for the rest of the scene, I think you're headed in the right direction with him slouching down really low and dropping his head in shame. However, the hip swing and the sweeping motion on the left arm seem very out of place and do nothing to emphasize his emotion. It looks like you were confused as to what to he should be doing, which is normal. A good way to get ideas is by acting it out yourself. I would try to do something with his shoulders and maybe have him shake his head a bit. There's a number of things you could do, but don't force anything and avoid creating movement just for the sake of movement. Alot of animators fall into that trap and it can kill the emotion of a scene. Sometimes, less really is more.

Scene 4:
Stu is right about the look at the camera, it need to be timed better. Personally, I dislike it when a character looks directly into the camera (unless it's an intentional, tongue-in-cheek; Looney Tunes-style gag). However, that's just my personal opinion, but if you're going to do it, I'd heed stu's advice and adjust the timing. The acting is a little better on this one than the first one. Although, there seem to be more technical problems such as lines of action and silhouettes. The most jarring thing in the scene is the left arm. It just seems wild and out of control here, as though it has a mind of it's own. The first arm action would work better if his palm was facing up and if the arm didn't shoot out so far away from his body. Also, try to work the shoulders into it. For the second action on the arm, try having him shake his fist in anger. If not, at least let him make a fist, because the hand is doing something crazy. The emotion of the scene would read better if you could get some sort of shaking motion onto the character. Whether it's just his head or his whole upper torso, some frustrated shaking would really let us know what he's thinking.

Scene 5:
This one probably has the best acting of the three. The thing that is holding it back at the moment is the first part. You have him drumming his fingers on his head as though he is confused and trying to think of something, yet it's clear in the audio that he is quite sure of what he is about to say. He's angry in this scene from start to finish, but the first couple of actions he does do not suggest anger at all. I'd suggest losing the finger-drumming altogether. If you decide to change the previous scene by adding some shaking motion, you could continue it into this scene up until he finally explodes saying "BRICK." If you're not going to have him shaking in frustration, find another way to link the previous scene with this one. As it is, the last action of the previous scene doesn't not match up with the first action of this scene. Ditto for the emotion; he seems angry at the end of scene 4 and confused at the beginning of scene 5. The rest of the scene works from an acting point of view, but there are some glaring technical problems such as stu mentions.

*Whew* Hope some of that helps. Lots of luck, and post an update if you make any changes!

Cheers. :beer:

12 December 2004, 04:33 PM
Wow-now I am getting some crits. Thanks a lot Greg for taking time to write such a long critique. I have been reading animation books like mad lately and just got Hooks in the last week. I honestly thought this thing was almost finished and was just going to get some small fixes from everyone here. I have had a good amount of crits on it already. That is the thing about animation - when you think you are finishing up - you may just be getting started. I did act it out and video tape it. Put a pot on my head and everything. My wife thinks I have lost my mind. I have to get a model built (this character actually) to rig next quarter and will be working on updating this on and off over winter break. I will be sure to post them.
I am going to go ahead and put a link to the entire animation if anyone is interested.

Full 35 sec short = 8.6 megs, MPEG-4 (

Thanks a lot stu_vax and GregRinaldi for the great critiques. Please comment on the rest it you get a chance-and anyone else. I would like to get some of this on my demo reel so feel free to trash anything that seems off or just plain wrong.

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