View Full Version : Exploring Middle Earth - Elven Dexterity - Nemises

01 January 2003, 02:15 AM
Ok, I'm in for now...

I'm a busy little thing this month, but will enter my interest on the off chance I find the time!

I choose Elven Dexterity, as no-one else has yet ;)

My first thought is a small sequence involving 2 elves on patrol who use their amazing agility to clamber up a wall to get to a better vantage point.

Things to deal with:
- Bows and Arrows
- Cloaks ?
- interaction between the elves

Given my busyness, I will most likely use a Character Studio Biped as my rig...I would like to build my own rig, but it would consume too much time I expect, and the level of motion I'll need requires a good IK/FK setup.

Good luck to all!

Stephen Vyas
01 January 2003, 12:18 AM
You might wanna double check against the rules, about using a pre-made rig. Might disqualify you, and you wouldn't want that after putting so much time and effort into it.

Good luck!


01 January 2003, 12:26 AM
I remember reading an official statement last round that Character Studio was okay to use. I'm not sure if that has changed. IMO CS is a valid tool.

01 January 2003, 05:12 AM
We've gone back and forth on this one and if I remember correctly we're more concerned about the animation than exactly how you rigged it.

Soooo.... knock yourself out using CS, but we'll have to draw the line at canned mocap files. (for obvious reasons)

Good luck :thumbsup:

01 January 2003, 09:53 PM
absolutely..not interested in canned mo-cap

CS is just going to save me time overall, and "garenteed" ik functionlity.
If I wasnt so Busy, I'd definately rig from scratch for the experience, but I'm realistic about how much time I can put towards this.
Still really looking forward to participating though!..a few really interesting challenges involved in the kind of things I'm thinking of doing.


01 January 2003, 12:50 AM
So far we are the only ones doing Elven Dexterity. I wish you well. Put up some thumbs or something when you get a chance. I am very interested on how you plan to do your choice of challenge.

:beer: We unite in a beer to toast the greatness of the elves.


01 January 2003, 04:57 AM



01 January 2003, 05:35 AM
I was hoping around online for a little reference and I came across these two sites that seemed pretty cool. One is animated .gifs of Legolas and they play pretty slow so it is perfect for studying and the second has downloadable .mpgs of this guy demonstrating the use of a modern bow with all it's gadgets and gizmos. The second link is OK but one thing about it I do not like is that the archer is really stiff unlike the clips with Legolas where you can see his body react to the shot.

ANyway I thought you could use the ref if you wanted.
I posted these links on the other guys thread that is doing Elven Dexterity as well.

01 January 2003, 01:56 AM
Thanks Bishop,
I still haven't had a chance to start yet, but hope to spend some time on it this weekend (possibly start to finish!!?!?)

Hopefully at the least have a rough sketch to let you kow what I'm upto , and a first pass.

My Problem is, I dont have a good animation technique!..I see a lot of people will animate the whole thing as an animatic first, and then burrow down with the details later.....whereas I tend to start at the beginning, and work my way through.

hmm..If anyone has a good suggestion for a work style, I'd appreciate it (i know I know "whatever suits you" right? ;) ) do most of you approach a small animation like this?

01 January 2003, 03:22 AM
When I approach an animation I work everything out in thumbnails and sketches of the poses that are very important to the delivery. I will then do an animatic to figure out timing as a whole.

Doing this first allows you to work out the animation before you begin pushing things around in your program.

As far as the animation process itself I tend to work in a pose to pose mixed with straight ahead.

I will mostly work in pose to pose with feet, legs and general body movement then start adding in a little mixture of straight ahead with areas like the back, head, fingers etc.

Basically I figure out what the action is and establish what the driving forces are in that action, i.e legs moving character, then after I am happy with the timing I will go back and animate the back reacting to the action, then the shoudlers, arms and head.

The problem with working on an animation straight through is that you do not allow yourself a great deal of range for fixing a problem or tweaking an area of concern. Sometimes things that look good in our minds or on paper are not neccesarily the best choice when the action is played out.
Also, if you are working completly straight through the animation and have not produced some kind of animatic to establish your guidlines then what happens when you run over on a shot or run over the timing guidelines as a whole? Granted you can trim here and there but it is easier to trim and fix an animation that has a little amount of keys than to fix something that it is in the already final stages. It saves alot of frustration. MOST IMPORTANTLY!!!!!
------> If your director does not like the direction the animation is going or maybe he/she thinks a different approach would be better then he/she will want you to change or scrap what you have and TRUST me it is alot easier to fix something or scrap something when you are still working at a basic level instead of working from the beggining as if it were the last shot. It is more efficiant and less time consuming. The pipeline will thank you. AND so will your sanity...<------

I hope this helps. If there is anything else please let me know, I will do what I can.

01 January 2003, 11:27 PM
Thank you very much for that..
reading it in that way makes sence, and I resolve to make this the first time I have tried these "new" concepts (to me)

Animatic for timing (which is a good one, as the last challenge I entered, I ran out of frames :/)

and pose to pose, which seems unusual to me, but I want to try it to see if its "my" style

Thanks a bunch :)

(I am not an animator, or professionally trained 3d anything, I'm a hardware engineer in a big PC Company, so any info from the "inside" from people in the know is of HUGE interest to me)

02 February 2003, 10:55 PM
I am ashamed to say that this month has been too busy for me to persue the challenge like I wanted too.

I got as far as a basic layout and timing animatic only.

I apoligise for entering and not completeing (allthough it is other CG projects that are keeping me busy thank goodness ;) )...keep up the good work everyone else!

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