View Full Version : NEW flight cycle....but improved?

02 February 2006, 06:05 AM
I decided to redo some of the main character's flight cycles. Here is an example:

I changed the rigg and several aspects of the animation. Tell me what you think. I need input on what what subtle changes need made. I've heard enough about the bad textures on the model. Textures will be updated much later. Right now, I need to get the animation done.

Thank you in advance for the advice.

02 February 2006, 09:26 AM
Better, but when the wings hit the top they stop suddenly then come back down. You need to have them float just for a small instant at the top so you don't have the sudden jarring. Also it might help if they move forward and back a little through there cycle.

02 February 2006, 10:31 AM
Also, when the wings are coming back down, they should bend upwards slightly.

But I think you have the bodys movement fairly convincing.

02 February 2006, 01:15 PM
Quite nice. Obviously the wing thing has been mentioned, so for my tuppence comment. I'd lose the head bobbing. Take a gander at long necked birds when they fly, storks, flamingos, their bodies move up and down with the wing beats, but the neck counter rotates keeping the head pretty much level in space. Worth noting.

Ed Bittner
02 February 2006, 01:31 PM
However, remember, when the wings go down to capture air, they should give the body a slight lift. The body movement is good, but it is out of sync with the wings.
This is my method:
1) Animate flight path
2) Animate wing bones closest to the shoulder to set speed, and cruise
3) Move down the wing bones,(make sure you've got enough), and as you animate them one after another, allow for "lag". This will eliminate stiffness.
4) Secondary animation; neck, head, tail, feet, etc.
5) Even during cruise mode,(no flapping), the wings should pitch slightly, rotating back and
forth. This is due to the rush of air moving over and under them.
6) Animate the mouth opening and closing SLIGHTLY to suggest breathing during flight.
Just a few things to consider.

02 February 2006, 09:49 PM
Dragons are just tough. Watch the extras for Dragonheart. To fully animate a dragon as a onscreen actor would be a monumentous task. I don't think I would have the BA11s to try a feature length film with a full cast of dragons by myself.

02 February 2006, 10:22 PM
Take a piece of paper. Hold it from one side and start moving your hand up and down.
Carefully notice the timing of the paper folding because of the friction it has with the air. Try to reference that motion for your dragon wings.

Your dragon is a bit too rigid in every part of his body. Think that the center of motion, is the base of the wings. From there and outwards the body kinda bends a bit like the wings, but the timing shifts by a frame or two, so the further you move away from the center which is the base of the wings, the longer it takes for that part to be affected by the wing motion. If you grasp that rule of how a force travels along a moving body, your animations will improve tenfold.

02 February 2006, 03:52 AM
This is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for. Constructive criticism is always welcome. The good thing about how I structured this film is that it makes heavy use of motion mixer. I did this so I could animate right away with stand-in animation cycles, then go back later and finesse those cycles to give more life to the scene.

Ed Bittner
02 February 2006, 11:46 AM
Personally, I don't think dragons are any more difficult to animate than anything else. Just more appendages. More items to animate = more time. Remember that short animation I sent you bugzilla? Took about 3 days in LW 5.6. Then again, I came from a stop-motion background. God how I love animating on the computer instead! ( I wish I could post it here, however the file size is too large).

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