View Full Version : Awkward Moments - Bank Machine - ACFred

11 November 2002, 11:18 AM
Here's the FINAL for those who don't wanna browse through the entire thread....

Simple Simon:


I chose a super simple character to force me to spend 99% of the month's challenge working on animation. Also, with his skinny little arms and legs, I was thinking of trying to emulate the "hose" method used in the early days of animation. Maybe, maybe not.

Storyboard tomorrow......or rather, later this morning.....must sleep.....


11 November 2002, 05:07 PM
"Simple Simon said to the PieMan while going to the fair,
I'd have money to buy your pies, but the Bank Machine aint fair!"

11 November 2002, 08:03 PM
Gold star to the bent one! Oh, wait, you already gave yourself a red star.....comrade.........

I feel like I'm copping out by giving this guy arms and legs. If I wanted a real challenge then I'd just have the sphere.....too lazy, I guess.

11 November 2002, 08:13 PM
Spheres using bank machines. Now thereŽs an animation challenge. :) yes, that was a good rhyme to start off the thing with.

11 November 2002, 11:48 PM
humble beginnings:

3 seconds of animatic -- 744KB Sorensen 3 @ low setting:
Animatic Pt1 (

I didn't spend too much time on it yet, but since this is a WIP challenge, I figured I'd just post as I move things along. I can probably tighten this part up by around 15 frames by snapping the stairs in a bit faster.



11 November 2002, 11:53 PM
Nice to see some animatics up. Just a question, what is it that turns up on his head in the end of that sequence?

11 November 2002, 11:58 PM
Oh, I guess it's not too clear -- his head opens up and he pulls out his bank card....
I guess my jumbled scribbles look even more jumbly and scribbly when shrunken down and compressed....


11 November 2002, 03:43 AM
OK, got my character built and rigged. Here are 3 shots -- bind pose, quickie "dramatic" pose, and screenshot of the rig.

Some words about the rig -- It's really simple (it's a sphere). Standard IK arms & legs, with a common foot setup. The only thing I did differently was to accomodate the limbs moving anywhere along the sphere. I didn't want the shoulders & hips to be locked into a standard static position, so each limb has its own root positioned at the center of the sphere. There is an IK joint going from the respective roots to the adjoining shoulder -- the shoulder is positioned just on the edge of the sphere.
Now I can go whacky with his arms and legs. It should allow for some extreme poses.

Next up is the ATM machine and stairs, which should take all of 10 minutes to do (famous last words).

More to come.......probably do some animation tests with him tonight.

Comments & criticisms are welcome.



11 November 2002, 03:45 AM
Oh, and the image of the rig is not how it looks when I animate. I just turned everything on so you can see the guts.

11 November 2002, 03:51 AM
very very cool model! looks like you can make some serious emotion come out of this little guy :)

im lookin forward to seeing some tests....good work


11 November 2002, 06:16 AM
Very cool! That's some clever use of sectioned geometry. It works very together. Looking good so far.

11 November 2002, 06:29 AM
Thanks for the comments guys. I love not working in a vacuum. While I'm generally self motivated it helps to get comments & criticisms to help me strive to be better.

Here is the ATM (bank machine). I just threw in Simple Simon for scale and I also wanted to check the camera angle. I swapped the camera over to the side opposite from the animatic because I get better pose potential from here and Simon's not obscuring the ATM as much.

Oh, one quick question about shaders and lights. I'm using 2 simple lambert shaders -- everything is the same one except for the ATM card, which is orange. Is that legal or should we just be doing monocolor? It doesn't really matter to me since the animation isn't about color. Also, I'm using 3 directional lights for the scene. That's OK, too, right? Lemme know if I'm breaking any rules.....

More to come....oooo....I can animate now!


11 November 2002, 04:42 PM
Looking fantastic so far
cant wait to see more..

11 November 2002, 12:01 AM
Okeydoke. Had a little time to animate today, so I thought I'd throw together the 1st 8-9 seconds -- it'll be under the 15 second requirement.

This ends just before the last 4-5 seconds where the real "awkward" moment occurs. I'll post the end of it later tonight when I have it done.

All of the tangents are still stepped, so if it appears to be a little herky-jerky, that's why.

So, here's the .MOV file:

A Simple Test (

Format: Sorensen 3
Size: ~2MB
Dimensions: 320x243

Lemme know if you have comments about the timing or any questions as to what's going on. I want to make sure the animation is as clear as.....well, clearer than mud.

Das ist alles.


11 November 2002, 12:10 AM
Haha! That's funny. Don't you have to work during the week? You've gotten alot done in a few days. :)

Looking good so far, but from the animatic (may not be that way in the actual animation) the part where he puts his hands on his knees isn't reading to me. I'm not sure what he's doing there. Everything else reads great.

11 November 2002, 02:36 AM
Thanks for the feedback, Rogue. You're right about the hands on the knees thing. He's supposed to be looking to see if anyone saw him fall, but it's just too subtle and I need to avoid subtlety, so I took it out. Plus, it just wasn't key to the gag so it helps to trim the fat. I also took out the sliding of the stairs into the ATM because it was unnecessary.
I'm going to finish the basics of the entire clip and then go back to create more exaggerated poses. I'm not happy with the way they look right now.

More to come later.


11 November 2002, 04:40 AM
I understood when he was looking left and right that he was looking to see if any saw him, it's just when he put his hands on his knees, I didn't know what he was doing. I hope you're not removing where he looks from side to side. That is creating some empathy and it also makes it funny. I'd leave that part, it reads well. Maybe just skip the part where he puts his hands on his knees.

But if that was your intentions, disregard that last paragraph. :) You said that you took it out, so I didn't know if you meant the whole part or just the knees thing. Definately keep him looking from left to right to see if any was looking. That's great!

11 November 2002, 11:04 AM
I like the poses, they are quite strong. And with you putting that extra effort in they will turn out great.

An idea would be to make it clearer that he trips. Maybe have his left leg trip on his right in the second jump.

11 November 2002, 11:23 AM
That's a good point, Mikael. I changed the trip pose a bit. Your suggestion works better at that camera angle. I'd originally set the trip pose up from the other side where his foot hitting the step is more obvious.

Rogue, I ended up changing the poses for his looking around, but didn't take that sequence out. I liked it but it needed more so I gave him what I think are stronger poses that read better. Let me know if you think it works better.

Anyway, here is the full 15-seconds (actually, 15 seconds, 7 frames so I have some trimming to do), again with only stepped tangents.

I have 2 versions -- Sorensen 3 and DivX 5.02.

Simon Sorensen 3 (
Format: Sorensen 3
Size: ~3.5MB

Simon DivX (
Format: DivX 5.02
Size: 379kb

That's it. Time to go dig a little deeper into Cryptonomicon.....


11 November 2002, 02:58 PM
Progressing nicely. The only thing catching my eye right now is the first time he throws out his arms when looking around. Maybe lessen it a bit.

A nice thing would be if he were to slap himself on the back to open his head-lid.

bored alien
11 November 2002, 12:37 AM
Wow! Fast! This is really coming along great. Not sure if you're planning on tweaking the timing, but it seems like that last gag might work better if it had a little more time to sink in. I dunno. Great work. :thumbsup:

11 November 2002, 03:21 AM
OK. While today was pretty full, I found time to convert all of the key tangents to linear, which gives me a good idea of what needs to be fixed. There's wonky stuff all over the place that I'll get to tonight -- making coffee now -- so I'm hoping to have all of the goofiness obliterated by morning -- either the goofiness or me, one of the two.

Anyway, here it is, again in two formats - DivX 5.02 and Sorensen

Linear Curves w/DivX 5.02:
Size: ~1MB

Linear Curves w/Sorensen:

More to come -- gotta fix a lot of timing and floating issues....


11 November 2002, 05:04 AM
Looking good. As for the looking to see if anyone saw him, it reads well. However, when he looks to his left, it takes some time to get there. He is snappy when he looks to the right, and I like that. Maybe it'll be ok when you adjust the curves and what not, but I thought I'd point that out. If nothing else, you could just simply shift all the keys to tighten that up.

For other crits, I only have a few.

When he trips, the movements look great, but it appears that he's thrown over there. What I mean is that his velocity in that direction at the time he trips seems slower than when he falls. My only suggestion would be to lengthen the fall some, but you'll likely have to compensate with a little y motion due to gravity.

Also, when he falls and at the end of it, the translational motion stops but he's still rotating a bit. It may be fixed when you edit the curves.

Lastly, at the end, when he's grabbing the money with his right hand, his left hand is static. His arms are moving, but the hand is still. Keep that moving some to compensate for weight change.

These are things I see that might not be fixed after adjusting the curves. I thought I'd point them out just in case the late night coffee buzz was getting to you. :)

It's looking great so far. It all reads well and the timing (other than what I've mentioned above) seems to be working. You're getting alot done quickly. Can't wait to see the animation after you've adjusted the curves. You'll have almost a month to tweak out the itty bitty things!!! :thumbsup:

11 November 2002, 05:19 AM
Thanks Rogue! Thanks for the tips. That trip has always looked bad to me. It's funny. I wrote down everything you said, 2 hours before you said it! My notes are nearly in the same order as your comments. Eerie.

I'll post more tonight or in the morning.

Thanks again!


11 November 2002, 05:43 AM
Oh, my wife thinks my last reply was belittling your advice by saying "Oh, I already thought of that." , Rogue. Sorry if it came across like that. I'm SO appreciative of detailed critiques like that, so I hope my reply wasn't taken in the negative.

Actually, your wording was much more succinct and right on than mine and I'm using your notes as my guide right now and not mine.

Thanks again.

[to wife: is that OK, honey?]


11 November 2002, 05:53 AM
Cool. I feel weird posting crits that may have been noticed before hand. You're posting at such an incremental state and rather rapidly, it's hard to know what you have noticed and what you have not. I certainly understand the whole works in progress thing, but you're posting every stage in the process. Which is really cool, but I still feel odd pointing out things you've most likely already addressed or have taken note of.

So don't feel offended by anything I say. With the rate at which you post, it allows for alot of already addressed crits.

Keep up the great work! I'll be watching (and criting) closely. :)

11 November 2002, 05:57 AM
And I've always been one to get annoyed at people who say "Thanks, but I already thought of that" so I'll not do that again. It certainly is annoying and doubly so when I do it....

11 November 2002, 06:40 AM
Naw, I wasn't annoyed or anything. There's always a point that which you notice all the things you're going to change, but you're excited about showing what you've got so far. Been there, done that more times than I can count.

I think it's great you're posting so many stages in the process. You might get a crit that you missed or something.

As for your wife....get in there and do your thing and sleep with that warm body. You're waaaayyyy ahead of schedule here and you've got p-l-e-n-t-y of time! :)

11 November 2002, 06:43 AM
So much time I might even be able to squeeze in a bathroom and mover sequence....hmmmm......where is that warm body, anyway?
Guess it's just me and my mouse for now.

11 November 2002, 09:20 AM
Awesome work! Gotten lots done already. Didn't have a crit yet so much as a suggestion. How bout a couple more layers of doors and gates clamping down at the end till you only see a slit between two pannels, the magic red card appears, fiddles with the lock, and POP, he's off. I like the card action.

11 November 2002, 09:45 AM
Ha! Thanks mucky, that's a funny idea. I may go into the complex lock mechanism in "Simple Simon II: The 15-second Escape" or maybe it'll be in the director's cut. Right now, I'm paring it down more and more to get it below 15-seconds. I've yanked out 10 frames and have it at 15-seconds exactly. I'll probably be able to simplify some things down so I can get 10 or 15 more frames. With that extra time I'm just going to end up holding on the character a bit longer to help sell the ending.

Another ending I thought might be kinda funny is to have a plastic door slide down and have the ATM start flooding with water so that Simon floats and flails around a little bit before it completely fills, but it's a bit more complex than I wanted. Right now, I like the simplicity of the ending but need to give it a few more frames at the end.

Thanks again!


11 November 2002, 12:32 PM
Clearer and clearer. I think Rogue mentioned most of it.
I would suggest one thing though. Right after that heŽs stopped looking around IŽd prefer a head twist/fast turn towards the machine. I can see why you choose the slow movement. But a fast twist might give it more action.
My favourite movement his when he jumps back right after the first time inserting the card.
Will be real nice to see when weight is applied to him.

Good work so far.


11 November 2002, 09:18 AM
Thanks again for the comments folks! I totally agree with you, Mikael. That turn was a bothersome one. It was way too fluid and I like the snappy nature of his jumping around, so I sort of integrated that into his turn.

Here's the latest. I converted all curves to clamped (my favorite) and went in and tweaked them quite a bit, as well as offsetting keys in the dope sheet (gotta dig the dope sheet!).

I'm in the fine tuning phase (can you believe I'm so bleary-eyed that I originally spelled it "faze" -- oy!) so give me the straight poop.

Sorensen 3:

DivX 5.02:

Man this stuff is fun!


11 November 2002, 08:14 PM
You may want to consider adding some squash and stretch to Simon. Also that bounce is floaty. It should only be about 2 "in-air" frames. Just to get a hint of direction. I would have IM'd you, but you're probably asleep right now. When Simon steps, get his body going first, then his legs. Because his motion is very nervous, his feet should be shuffling and barely lift from the floor. The weight that is apparent when he bounds up the steps is gone when he reaches the top. There are some good poses in there that need to held a little, as well. I really like the weight and action of the bills floating around. Good job with that. Overall, there are some good elements that I think would be even better if they were "snappier."

Good Luck.

11 November 2002, 08:16 AM
Yes, you most certainly are a mog.

Thanks for the critique, Justin. I'll look at it all in detail later tomorrow morning. Looks like some good stuff to make it all a bit tighter.

Thanks again!


11 November 2002, 09:30 PM
Don't have much time to really watch it closely, but a few things stuck out to me. When he is looking to his left after he gets up, it's too slow, I think. When he looks to his right, the timing is better...however, his hands look funny popping up the way they do, or at least, when they do. Lastly, when he pulls the card over his head, he doesn't look balanced. It's funny, but it is a little distracting.

I realize you're still adjusting curves, but thought I'd mention those things.

Coming along nicely. I'm really enjoying watching the progress. Gotta go!!!!

12 December 2002, 03:29 PM
Don't know if someone allready mentioned it, but the link to the thread in seems to be wrong.

12 December 2002, 06:15 PM
Thanks for the head's up, Milho. Actually, it looks like your link on the challenge is broken, too. I guess you need to just reference the main page of your thread and not the latest page of the thread. The latest page URL is only valid for a little while apparently.


12 December 2002, 06:18 PM
Hmmm....actually, it appears my final post was removed....

Anyway, here it is again, just in case I goofed somehow:




12 December 2002, 06:35 PM
Originally posted by ACFred
Hmmm....actually, it appears my final post was removed....

It was not here:

It is really wierd. I woke up looked at cgtalk, and thought it was last week because of the dates of the threads...for a second I thought I dreamed about all the recent posts! :)

12 December 2002, 08:48 PM
Yeah, I was a little slow this morning. Didn't read the announcement until after I'd panicked.

All is well.


12 December 2002, 11:22 PM
Thanks for the hint. I tried yesterday and today and it seemed to be ok. And now the whole thread was deleted. I've put some things up again and corrected the link in the submission. Hope the server won't make problems in future :wip:

12 December 2002, 06:23 AM
Don't kill me but I liked you first version better. :) I think the animation here is good but for a couple points. His throw action looked kind of slow as well as the kick. Looks like they could use a bit more anticipation as well. Nice work though. 2 done, sweet!

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