View Full Version : NightLite

02 February 2006, 06:37 AM
This is my first attempt at a real 3D animation. I spent aobut 300 hours on this last year, and was responsible for the modeling, animation, concept, storyoboards, character design, and essentailly everything except the lighting and some of the color work. Please let me know how you feel about this, I really would appreciate some feedback (please keep in mind that I know that I'm bad with textures and modeling... My main focus is movement and animation).
You will need the newest version of Quicktime to view this.
Also, PLEASE take a look at my current project and give some feedback. This project (called UNC Asheville 10) is going to be amazing. I'm working with an incredibly team of eager and talented people, all of whom I LOVE, and we are bringing my story to life. The thread for that project will be updated regularly until completion (it's in the WIP section). PLEASE check it out, here's the URL:
I know this is a small size, I'll probably post a larger size soon. PLEASE look at my new project,a nd let me know what you think about my first one. I'm eager to learn and grow as an animator, and in order to do that, I need feedback!!! Thanks!!!

02 February 2006, 08:02 AM
Where's the link to the file? :)


02 February 2006, 12:04 PM
nice start
nice story

animation could use a lot of work though

02 February 2006, 09:36 PM
Specifically what needs to be improved? Timing? Expression? Hop-Cycle? Please be specific, I'm really hoping to improve as an animator though critical feedback.

02 February 2006, 12:31 AM

who am i to say . . . . .

i would say if you want to thrive as an ANIMATOR i would suggest start smaller

do ballanimations
do sack animations
do various walkcycles with no torso (you know a ball with legs)
then with upperbody
various jumps
do some real small animations (3sec: like a dude walks and sees something and stops)
small acting tests with emotions (also only 3 sec) and so on

don't rush things

but my opinion doesn't really carry much wheigt since i am pretty much at the start myself

02 February 2006, 08:08 AM
Cute character, and nice acting, really get a good sense that it was alive and thinking.

Nice camera moves.

Would have been nice to hold the end reaction shot a bit longer.

What software did you use?


02 February 2006, 07:13 PM
I used Maya 6 to make this piece. The whole thing was sort of trial and error, I had no idea what I was doing technically through most of the project... I stil need to learn some of the more complex animation tools in Maya. This was made entirely with handplaced keys, which is a lot of fun, but terribly inefficient. I agree with you about that final shot, a lot of times I worry that the end doesn't make enough sense to some people. That was one of the few things I knew i probably could have handeled a little better. Thanks for checking out my work, I really appreciate the feedback!

02 February 2006, 05:22 PM
I enjoyed this short, the animation needs some work but since everything was done pretty much by one person this is a pretty decent effort. Since I don't really know much about modeling, texturing I will just crit your animation.

- For most of this you have alot of twinning going on. Look at the hop you have the feet moving exactly the same time. This should be varied unless you are going for a kangaroo hop in that case you should have the knees pointing more forward. Google kangaroo vid clips and watch how they look when they jump.
- There is some popping going on on the high part of the jump
- The feet don't seem to sit flat on the floor when he is standing there.
- You don't have much secondary motion going on, remember that things have to flow and limbs don't stop all at the same time.
- Your acting needs to be more dramatic, remember that with animation too much is usually just enough. You really need to sell these emotions and thoughts to the viewer.
- Anticipation! You need to drop lower before the jump and compact on the landing. Right now it is pretty stiff.
- I didn't have alot of trouble telling what he was feeling so your acting is effective. However it is really floaty and subtle.
- His reaction to the owners voice is too fast, she should talk and he is in an inbetween state then it sets in that it's bed time and he reacts.
- His scurry away is too slow.
- You are rotating some of the joints in only one axis, this is a no no because nothing natural moves like this. When he puts his hand on his knee it stutters and doesn't really settle.
- I was really hoping he would leap out with a battle cry and attack.

Overall this isn't too bad, if you bring the animations level up to the rest of the piece it should have a better effect. But I would have to agree with splintah that you should go back and really practice the basics. Do ball animations, make some walk cycles and get your weights, timings, accelerations/decellerations, secondary motions and everything solid before trying something so challenging.

I would reccomend taking this character and making a hop cycle, tweak it and post it online and get it perfect. Once you are more grounded then act out these scenes and record yourself, this will be invaluable to you. If you want to do animation you will have to act this stuff out eventually.

This was probably a great learning experience as you did it all and good job on challenging yourself. :)

Paul B
02 February 2006, 10:34 PM
I think you have a real knack for storyboarding! I liked the shot that tracks around the rock to reveal the nightlite. Overall a great sense of stage direction and the camera cuts follow the action rather than just sliding and jump-cutting around pointlessly like some other cg shorts.

Promising stuff!

02 February 2006, 12:20 AM
I agree. Wonderful setup.
Very cute trailer

02 February 2006, 06:33 PM
Thank you! All of your encouragement means a lot to me. Out of curiosity, does anyone know anything about skeleton weighting? Is there a tool in Maya that assigns 'weight' to parts of a skeleton so that the motion between keyframes is adjusted dynamically based on the weights? That would be an amazing way to easily produce more realistic organic movement. (this is a serious question, I'm not very familiar with a lot of Maya)

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02 February 2006, 06:33 PM
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