View Full Version : Need advice for my first BIG animation!!!--+

11 November 2002, 07:40 AM
Hi Everybody!
I need your help and advice. I'm about to start production on my first 3D animated short film, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to go about it. I've done some work for games, and little animation tidbits here and there, but never anything with a cohesive storyline, dialog, and character interaction.

...Basically, I have no idea what I'm doing.

Anyways, I have the two characters in the scene modelled, textured, and rigged. I have the set modelled, tex'd, and lit. I have the scenes roughly storyboarded, and I have the dialog recorded. Here's what it comes down to:

I need one of the characters to be walking around the room getting himself a cup of coffee, reading the bulletin board, ranting about his bosses, wrestling with a defective vending machine, rummaging through the newspaper ads, etc. My main concern is all of the walking that he's going to be doing in this 15 min short.

This may be a mega-newbie question here, but here goes:

Should I animate all the walking in the short as he does it, or do I just set up a basic walk cycle for the character and move him around with that?

I guess what I'm saying is that I want it to look good as he's walking around instead of a "canned" walk, BUT I also don't want to animate 15 minutes of walking keyframe by keyframe by keyframe. What's the best way to do this? What do the big (or for that matter, small) studios do when they have to have a character walk around for an extended period of time?

Is there any way to automate the walking process? I'll do what I have to in order to get a good look for the film, but I'd like this short film to be as painless as possible. Any advice or suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.


11 November 2002, 06:18 PM
Wow, it sounds like you have your work cut out for you. I'll give acouple of suggestions.

1. It sounds like your character is in a break room. Some break rooms have couches, chairs, etc. Stick the vending machine on the wall behind the couch. IF he paces back and forth behind the can "fake" the walk.

2. Also, you can have him do some really good pauses in his walking and have some fun animating him reacting/arguing/complaining with his friend/coworker that is also in the room. This will give him more of a sense of character, and not so much just walking and complaining.

I had actually had a similar idea of an animation, although it was an alien toy shop and they were working on the production line when the guy began to vent his frustration. So...the walk was slightly hidden behind the production line conveyer belt. Feel free to private message me with any really specific questions. I'm willing to help in any way. Good Luck.

11 November 2002, 09:03 PM
Thanks Grayscale! That gives me some good ideas! Unfortunately, there isn't a couch in the breakroom, but there is a big table that I can do the same thing with if I position the camera right. I did some revision work on the storyboards last night and I decided to have him sit down halfway through the short instead of pacing the entire time. I was really trying to show just how frustrated and hyper the main character was by having him pace, but I've replaced a lot of it with hand motions, the way he stirs the coffee, etc.

Basically, the short is a little scene out of a full-length feature I've written. It's basically an office comedy set in Hell. The two main characters are lowly worker demons, and they pretty much just complain about how crappy their lives are and how much they hate their jobs. They have annoying co-workers, apathetic middle management and of course, the meglomaniacal boss, Satan. Not to mention, the customers suck. :)

If this short film turns out okay, then I'm probably going to finish it up bit by bit and release it episodically on my webpage. episodically even a word? Anyway, thanks for your help!

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