View Full Version : The Torero

02 February 2005, 10:08 AM
Hey Guys

CGTalk is one of my daily Checks and that for Years now. However i did not post much. I plan to change that now. Right now i'm working on my second Character Animation and really need some Critique and Advice. For now, most Stuff i did was Modelling and Rendering but sooner or later i want to dig into Animation cause it's so much fun. :) I am really a Novice there though.

Ok, enough general Stuff. Here's what i'm working on. It's "The Torero"!
More Concepts (
Storyboard (work in Progress!) (

Vray Rendering Front

Vray Rendering Back


Edgeloop Layout (
Turntable (Xvid) (
Modelling Progress (Xvid) (

I'm working for over a Month now on this Project. It has to be finished in the End of April. Rigging and skinning is also already done, i will show some results of that soon.

Hope you enjoy the Character! :)

02 February 2005, 07:26 PM
Ok, here are some random updates that came from the rigging/skinnin/morph target phase.

Here's also a first test WalkCycle ( (I added a little squash and stretch to the Head, might be a bit too much :))
Note that all Animations in this Thread will be Xvid (
Hope you like it.

02 February 2005, 11:12 PM
Damn, thats an interesting looking character. The concept is great and i love the way you've put it into 3d from the drawing. I'm really looking forward to seeing the completed animation.
There is something wrong with the walk cycle, it seems too stiff/rigid, i think its because of the way he sets his weight on the leg on the begining of a new move, i cant really pinpoint whats the cause but it seems kinda unnatural.

02 February 2005, 12:12 AM
Thanks pailhead! Yeah, the walkcycle is still kind of stiff but i'm also not that good at pinpointing down what's causing it exactly. Would be nice to hear some better Animators opinion about it. :love:
Right now i'm translating the Walkcycle into actual Movement. It looks kind of different when he's not walking on the Spot. :)

02 February 2005, 08:01 AM
hehe, nice one, I'll be following you.

Smooth walk, good start but there's a few things I see wrong. i believe the legs straight a bit too early, I would keep them bent for a couple of frames more, then stretch them right before the contact frame. Arms, hands and spine don't bend, which is what's giving you the stiffness. Add some overlap to the wrists and elbows, as well as some spine rotation as his hips go up and down. The hips rotation on the 3 axes would give this walk some more life and personality. Shoulders are stiff too, don't forget them. If you add swash/stretch to the head, make sure you're very subtle, and that it's helping understand the weight. Right now it looks a bit off.

it's one of your first animations, I think u should be very proud :)

02 February 2005, 06:01 PM
Yes, strike! That's exactly the advice i need! Thanks a Lot Frinsklen!
It's actually not my first Character Animation. I did one a year ago. But it was some (badly) tuned Character Studio Footsteps basically. :) This time i hope for much more emotion and... well; Character.
Now it's Weekend for me and i can start working on it. (I'm working on the Animation only part time. In the Evenings and on Weekends) I take all your advice into account.

One more Question. When you have the basic acting of an animation already in your head, do you do a rough blocking of it normally? Maybe only poses on certain frames and linear interpolation between them? Or should i just animate away... The fact that i'm so unsure how i can go on makes me slow. Thanks for the help!

02 February 2005, 07:51 PM
it depends on what you are doing, I mean for walk cycles this may be a bit different, but normally, for animations that involve a character moving around andcanging poses, I usually do the following.

-1. u have an idea, then u act it out to give it more shape.

-2. drawing thumbnails help you see what the main poses are where to put them.

-3. on the computer set the main poses and the timng, with no inbetweens at all. This means placing the poses where you think they should be in time, of course you can slide keys and change timing later, but timing should be done right in the first place. It's important to be happy with the main poses, those are the ones that tell the story.

-4. then it's about adding more and more keyframes inbetween, trying to go for the main things first, then the details. The more keyframes you add (if they are in the right place) the more natural, and less "computer-like" animation you'll get.

The fact that i'm so unsure how i can go on makes me slow oh, curious to hear that, I've always had the same thought since I was never taught a way or a method to do these things. It took me quite a while to feel sort of comfortable with. It's about practicing of course, asking those with a lot of experience, trying different things, etc.

02 February 2005, 01:38 AM
I love the character design. I agree though about the walk cylce. I think it would loosen up if you offset the arms from the legs a little and added a small amount of drag in the writst. I'm also not sure I like the squash and stretch on the head. He doesn't seem to have enough weight to warrent that. All in all though, I love this thread. I like the transition from drawing to 3D. It almost looks exact.

02 February 2005, 11:47 PM
Hey Guys

First of all, Thanks a Lot Frinsklen! Great Tips you're giving me, nice that you share. :thumbsup:

oh, curious to hear that, I've always had the same thought since I was never taught a way or a method to do these things. It took me quite a while to feel sort of comfortable with. It's about practicing of course, asking those with a lot of experience, trying different things, etc.

Yup, practicing, refining, doing it again. I'm eager to do exactly that.
Actually i wanted to show up when i have some more animation ready. (at least it's the Animation Forum! :bounce: )
Unfortunately i did not have time for animation so much this Weekend.
(Girls, alcohol and outdoor fun; the nerds usual non pc activities, you know... ;))
But it's Sunday so i pressed some Renderbuttons and let the CPU throwing out some pictures.
Hope you like some Renderstuff too.

Played a bit with the Skinshader. Basic SSS, (new Vray 1.46.13) still need work. Well, later.

Last but not least here are two Animation tests. One older but rendered Walkcycle ( a slightly more relaxed Walk. ( <<<

@jchristo: Thanks man! Cool that you like the Character. I take/took your tips into account!

Expect some Poses/Animations next week.
Thanks a Lot for the Support!
C&C Always Welcome.


03 March 2005, 03:02 PM
Hey Geddart.

As I'm an animation novice, as well, I have no usefull critique for you...
But it looks very promising and the style is great!

If you get as good as with your product vizualisations, then this will become an excellent animatic!! :D

Keep up the good work.


03 March 2005, 04:29 PM
Back again with some Updates.

Hey marc, how do you know my visualisations? Vray Forum? :)
Thanks anyway!

I'm getting forward step by step. After Frinsklens nice explanation i found a good tutorial ( (by Keith Lango) that illustrates the method further. I pretty much adopted that technique although in my case there's no dialog that i can stick to. I'm also sucking in everything that has to do with animation. Last weeks those Books arrived... :)

They're all excellent and i try to use some of the techniques that are illustrated.
I also made my Webcam working again so i can act out movements.
Unfortunately i'm still slow - i would say it's 50% noobness and 50% that i can work only part time. (Zivildienst ( the day.) Anyway here is the start of the animation. It's basically just Pop Poses where i put some interpolation on. There are no nice Overlaps yet and many breakdowns are missing. Also it's full of errors like KneePopping and so on, it's just to give me a framework with rough timing and pacing that i can refine in a second run.
However i feel that most of it sin't fast and snappy enough for the style of the Character. Please tell me what you think. (
>> Torero Pop Thourgh Pass with Interpolation. <<

BTW Here's my last Animation:
(I haven't showed it on CGTalk cause the Animation was so bad... :scream: ) (
>> Der Griesgram. <<
(15mb - Xvid (

C&C greatly Appreciated.

03 March 2005, 09:21 PM
This is really looking good from the still frames that I have scene. Unforunately I haven't been able to indulge in any of your movies because they are .avi, and I have a mac :eek: meaning I can only see mpeg's or .mov's. Would you mind rendering them in quicktime..?

I really would like to see your work beyond still renders:)

I really love what I see, and it looks really promising:) 4*'s

03 March 2005, 11:41 PM
Thanks neiy0, unfortunately Animation is my weak part so son't expect too much. ;)
Here's a mov ( of the latest AnimWIP. Note that i made it a little quicker than the AVI in some parts. From now on i will encode mov's too. Thanks for the pointer neiy0.

03 March 2005, 12:50 AM
Ah, well thankyou very much man, very nice of you!

I watched the movie, and was able to see it;), but it seems to be lacking a lot (no offense). I read that animation is your weak spot, and a short movie is def. something to work on that weakness to make it a strength.

Here are some of my pointers:
1) the movement seems to be too fluid, which is usually what you want to see in a animation. Quite the contrary here. I would recommend more sharp movements, especially since he is a bull fighter, and the slower his movements, the less longer he will be living;) At the same time, his movements should be smooth. So smooth and fast are something that you want to work on. Just because some movements are faster than others, doesn't mean that the animation should loose it's sense of smoothness. I hope that make sense. I would recommend taking a look at other people's works such as a independent films, or even things like Monsters Inc. etc.. A good source might be things like (, or specifically (even though it's gross) ( those are things that I think have a great sense of movement.

2) I don't know what program you are working with..? but I know there is something in every program that is like a track editor, or dope sheet track where you can change how fast and slow the objects in the animation are moving. I would recommend looking at that in your software program to help with your motions. I think part of the problem with the fluidity of the motions is the lack of diffence.. Everything seems to be moving at one constant speed, and is moving almost like he is a ballet dancer.

3)Specifically, when he bows for the crowd, his left hand goes back as his right arm/hand extends. Something about the way his arm pops back as his body straightens out and his right arm comes back towards his body, seems wrong. It seems as though the rigged bones or biped will not let you go any farther in one direction, so you ar forced to move the arm out instead forwards. Come to think of it, his arm should not be "popping" out to the side anyways, and instead moving out and forwards in a more circular, fluid motion. I like the way you make the fingers curl though, as his hand clenches back into a fist:)

4)One thing that I noticed as I watch this specific clip, is that his feet don't move at all after he takes his bow. For instance, when he is looking up into nowhere, or i pressume the crowd, have him shift feet as he moves his arms. Or when he looks behind him, have his right foot/leg follow his head, and his left foot turn in reaction, etc.. Maybe as he reaches for the cape, have his left foot come slightly off the ground in reaction to the extreme stretching for the prop.

I sure hope those help for you! My eyes are peeled for the next update :applause:

03 March 2005, 03:18 PM
Impressive modelling and pretty good lighting !! The b&w pics are just great, I love his face expressions.
Very good work

03 March 2005, 07:48 PM
Hey SamB: Thanks for the Encouragement, always Welcome. :)

Wow neiy0, what a Feedback! Thanks so much for the critique! (And cool i can get Suggestions from Mac users too now. ;))

1) It makes sense and it's definately what i'm feeling when i watch it.
In "Acting for Animators" the Author said that many Beginner Animations are too slow, i think this is just what happened in my Case. I'll try to make it snappier in many parts for the next update. Concerning my reference, i downloaded a lot of files from the "10 second club" (, although most of it is dialog acted out they have great timing in most cases (imo). I agree with you, Monsters Inc. has great Sense of Movement and pacing too. (as all Pixar films) Cane Toad has nice movements but it's definately: :twisted:.

2) I work in max but i haven't done much in the graph editor/dope sheet yet. I thought i'll do this when i have the rough acting in place. Today i read in "The Animators Survival Kit" that the Author often makes movements faster or slower than in reality (hm, sounds a little dumb out of my mouth) just to make things more interesting/get more contrast. I'll try that.

3) Ah yes, the arm movement... I have that on my Todo List for some days now. Great Suggestions, i will work on that for the next update.

4) Yup, you're right. The Feet are planted right now. I will loosen it up with some feet movement as you suggested.

Thanks again for the great Feedback. I get to work on it asap! :)

03 March 2005, 08:17 PM
Thanks man for taking all of my crits into consideration. I just started animating myself, and I know that it takes a while to get started (still getting stared myself;)) I have been watching lot's of animated films, 2D and 3D alike, and that is probably why I understand the movement (or lack of;))

One thing I would recommend doing, definetely, is for long shots where there will be a lot of movement, blocking the shots out. I had the pleasure of going to Pixar this past summer, and taking a look at how they make the movies, etc.. and it was fascinating how they work. One thing that was really interesting was that for long shots they don't fit the animation together piece by piece. Rather, they Map out the whole thing, and simply move the lifeless characters around wherever the camera is going. Bit by bit, they add in the movements, and do it in sort of a long strand, rather than as a puzzle. That is one thing that I would recommend doing!

Again, thanks for taking my crits into consideration!

Cheers! :beer:

03 March 2005, 10:47 PM
Hey neiy0,
How did you get the chance to take a look how Pixar works?
Thanks for the Tip. I think i will use it in the next sequence.

Here's a new Update, i tried to take the critiques into account.
I think i'll leave this part as it is for now cause i have to move on. I can fix small things later still.
I also started adding some Camera Movement (...will be refined later too).

>>> AVI ( (xvid, 1.3mb)
>>> MOV ( (sorensen3, 3.4mb)

Hope you like it. C&C still very welcome!

03 March 2005, 02:43 AM
Hey man, looking good, actually look great! I'm really happy that you fixed it! It changes the quality of it, and it really makes a difference.

I know that you are going to change the camera movement later, but one thing that I think would be great both with the camera and the speed of the film is; at the end of the clip when the torero is whipping the flag around and and the camera follows it, the first movement with the camera should be fast, and the second slow. The speed of the animation should also be slow to match the camera.. That's just my opinion..:)

Pixar, well I was fortunate enough to start a contact about 3 years ago with the Assistant Director of Animation in one department there. He happened to be from my home town, so it worked out quite well. I then met the Director of Animation in one department there, as well, and was fortunate enough to be able to call him at Pixar after the visit if I had/have questions about animations schools, my future, etc.. :p

They are gods there :drool:

Ready for the next update:)

03 March 2005, 02:01 PM
Caman Caman, where are you man..? Are you still working on this project? :bounce:

03 March 2005, 09:59 PM
Yes man, for sure... :thumbsup:
I had a hard week though.
My Graphics Card crashed and i had to buy a new one. 'Bought a 6800GT that is running as a Quadro 4000 now. :) Still, it was not necessary and i lost some time. To catch up, i took myself a week off that i will use for animation now. So expect some Updates in the coming days.

Thanks for kicking my @$$ too... ;)

03 March 2005, 06:28 PM
This is turning out really nicely. Great progress! My highschool mascot was the matador so its cool to see you bring life to this character! Your modelling, lighting and texturing are great. Your animation is showing tremendous improvements - one suggestion, many of your tests clips are very floaty. You may be reserving too much screen time for each individual movement and key - it makes everything feel unnecessarily drawn out. Try snapping into poses - maybe even just two frames or so in between! If its too extreme, you can always smooth it out from there. (Play with the dope sheet!) Its much easier to work from the extreme -> natural than the other way around. Keep up the good work.

03 March 2005, 07:15 PM
Yeah, listen to this guy! He know's what he's talking about;)

03 March 2005, 05:29 AM
Indeed he knows... ;)
Hey paul! Thanks for commenting! About the snappyness...
Yup, you're damndoubledamn right! I always think things get too fast although it's actually still too slow in most cases. I'll try to make the timing faster in the first place but it's definately something i have to work on. The Animation in your Caveman Short looks very good! (very snappy...;))

Here's the next (big!) Update. The Animation in the End is pretty WIP. Please Comment.

>>> AVI ( (xvid, 2.5mb)
>>> MOV ( (sorensen3, 5.2mb)

03 March 2005, 12:26 PM
I still think the timing is a little boring, hardly no contrast at all. In other words, he moves too slowly all the time, transitions between poses have all similar timing.

03 March 2005, 01:18 PM
*sigh* ok...
Raaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhrrrrrg... Animation sucks... (/me kicks something)
You're still right. Give me two days break. I'll be back on this Monday.
(I'm wondering why my animation tends to turn out this way... have to work harder.)

03 March 2005, 02:54 PM
Yeah, unfortunately I agree with Frinsklen, the animation is very boring.. Towards the end it starts to get more exciting, but from the part where he bows, to the part where he get's the prop seems like you could cut it. It just feels like fill time.

I know from watching the making of "The Incredibles" that often what you have to do is cut things that you don't want to. Brad Bird often had to lose things that he really wanted in there because they didn't make sense, or drug the movie out to long.

In your case, the in-between time is somewhat useless. Instead, you could have him think about it, and then right away grab the prop. I think after the second left hand does the finger curl, that would be the best opportunity for a quick animation movement to the prop. Then, it gives you some combination between slow movement and fast movement, without being to abrupt.

Also, about the prop, in the final short, where is the prop going to come from, or is it just going to be sitting there, as it is in the tests? I think it would be more interesting if you did something that would be a little more cartoony. For instance, instead of pulling the prop out of mid air, he pulls it out from behind him. It might be hiding, like in a cartoon, so that you cannot see it, until he pulls it out. Make it have a sharp wip around with the cloth when he pulls it out, and then get him swingin' that thing!

I hope this helps, and cloth movement is very good, I'm guessing you're using the cloth simulator?

Seeyah on monday :thumbsup:

03 March 2005, 06:35 PM
I just wanted to post in the thread, something here was calling my name...

great model, I like his confident look =)

03 March 2005, 02:31 AM
Hey guys, here i am again. :)

Hey neiy0, great Feedback again!
Yeah, i think i may have to cut that part in the middle a bit. Hope i don't have to shorten it much though. I definately want him to look around and down his body. He knows something is missing but he hasn't quite figured out what it is yet. The idea is that the prop is materializing when he get's the idea. (this is a part of the story as you will see later) I will make a small popping particles and some animation to indicate it. However, grabbing the prop from behind his back would be funny and cartoony indeed. I will think about it again.

Today i stumbled over (great site!) and found this very interesting little tip for Cartoon Snappy Motion. ( This might be the solution for a Problem i always had when i tried to get snappy motion. It always looked kind of strange - that's why i tweaked and tweaked until it all got moving constantly and boring. We'll see if this tip helps me. I will try to use it in the next days.

Concerning the Cloth... yes, it's done with the 3dsmax Cloth Extension. (formerly known as ClothFX)

MaTaDoR: haha, you searched for Torero/Matador, right? Thanks for the comment! :)

03 March 2005, 10:23 AM
Hi Geddart,
really nice work. I like your approach to the character of the torero.

I am working on a Torero too, in a different style though. I haven`t finished an animation yet, but I posted a still Render in the finished 3D Stills section:

My Toro thread (

I have a WIP thread in the german Mayaforum ( Unfortunaly it has been down for a few days.

Keep up the good work, I will follow your thread for inspiration.


04 April 2005, 06:27 PM
Argh, Bottom of the second page...
Hopefully this does not happen again. :)

Tach battiana,
I see i'm not the only one who's working on a Bullfight scene. Your's is definately more realistic, that makes it much harder in my opinion. When you do realistic, people stumble over things that don't fit easily. Exaggeration let's the audience accept the whole thing as "Comic" and therefore not real. I like your scene although i see room for improvements especially in lighting and rendering. Thanks for visiting my Thread, i will visit your's soon. :)

Yes guys, i'm still working on the Torero although Body Animation is almost done now.
What's not good this time, has to be better in my next Short Film. :)
Here's the Update, complete with better Body Animation, Camera Animation, Facial Animation and ClothSim. I hope you like it. (You'll see the Facial Animation better in the Full Glory HDTV Version later...)

>>> AVI ( (xvid, 4mb)
>>> MOV ( (sorensen3, 8.5mb)

What's still on my todo list...
Better Facial Animation (especially where he sees the bull) and a maybe a bit less Camera Shake. (what do you think?) Then i'll do some Volumetrics, Materials and Rendering Stuff.
Last but not least i'm working on the second Setting for the Shortfilm. I won't go into details about it though. I want it to be a surprise. (it will add "Story"...) :)

C&C Welcome (as always)

PS: The Boxes are for Camera Reference only. They will be replaced by some Stones and Dirt on the Floor.

04 April 2005, 03:49 AM
Hi Geddart,

looks good to me, nice job so far. the camera shake is okay, wait to see more.
maybe you can make him a bit more arrogant as he is now.
what will he demonstrate us if he see the bull? is he suprised or scared?
waiting for next update.

Grüße aus Köln :)

04 April 2005, 11:04 AM
:love: Hello friend! great work! I liked the animation a lot, I loved the clothes and your movements a lot. wonderful. continue!:applause:

04 April 2005, 02:38 PM
Hey man, sorry I couldn't reply back to you quicker, I've been pretty busy with other stuff, mainly my demo reel, and school :banghead:

The animation is much better than what it was in the beginning, but some of the movements still do not seem convincing. First of all, I'm guessing that there is going to be a bull somewhere in the background..? Second, I understand that he is arrogant, but it still isn't very conving to me that there will be a bull in the background. He seems to interested in the camera, and not on the bull that he is supposedly fighting. I think it would be better if you switched the camera around to the back of his body. With the camera on the front of him, it seems to much like a planned out sitcom. In real life, he would be looking back at the camera every so often if he really liked being recorded, but his main focus would be on the bull.

Also the walk that he pulls off, where he is angy..? Towards the end, needs more weight. If he is making the walk seem as though he is fed up with the bull, he needs to put a pout on his face, and stomp his feet a little more.

All in all, the movements are looking much better, and the cloth sim's are great. I hope this helps you a bit.. :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 05:11 PM
yeah really nice, work transition between poses!:thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 06:33 PM
Hey Guys!
@Jed D: I worked a bit more on the facial animation as you suggested. He shows clearer emotions now. Thanks for your input... und Grüße zurück! ;)

@3D STRONG: Thanks man! I simulated his tie now too and his hair is moving too just a slightly bit. ;) Hope you will like it.

@neiy0: Hey man. Thanks for the many great feedbacks you gave me over the course of the Project. It really helped a Lot. For the bull... well, let's just say i have a surprise for you guys. It will most likely not as you imagined. (there will be more surprises in the final Animation) For the weight at the end of his angry walk... yes i agree. Unfortunately i was not able to put it into the final file anymore :shrug:The Lock for this Sequence has come. Also you're Eye is supposed to wander to another part of the image at that point anyway. So Everything that's not yet good in this Project will be better in the next (hopefully).

@Ky2k: Thanks man. Yeah... that's the hardest part in animation. :D

Ok Guys. The Torero is rendering now. I made some final adjustments to the motion (facial) and added the last details and Effects. It's rendering in 720p HDTV.
Right now i'm working on the second location of the film. I'd love to show you a WIP but it will destroy the surprise. So please just stay tuned - i will post the final Peace when it's ready.

Here's a final (untouched) Frame ( of the first Sequence.

05 May 2005, 01:04 AM
Good News! The Torero is finished!

You can drop me a Comment over in this Thread (
I wanted to thank all of you again for the great help you gave me on this Project. I learned so much in this 4 months and you were a significant part of that. My Decisions not to give Festivals the priority is based on your help too. I wanted you to see the film now. I hope you like how the final Film turned out. (with all the Music and Stuff) And that i see you when i'm doing my next movie! :)

Over and out...

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