View Full Version : Flour Sack Run-n-Jump WIP thread.

10 October 2008, 03:30 PM
UPDATED :Progress = Keys + Extremes + Breakdowns + Inbetweens + Curve editor tweaks

Link :

EDIT : Updated with the latest phase of the animation.

10 October 2008, 11:39 PM
it looks like you already know alot of the problems in your sack animation, so fix the ones you know about and post again when youre having more trouble analysing whats wrong with it. Its very good that you are able to analyse your work and pinpoint whats wrong so far!

10 October 2008, 05:25 AM

I try to trust my eyes and mind to know what is wrong. Putting that into concepts and words, so that I can fix them is just owning upto everything books and the internet have taught me. Most of all I try to be honest to myself if it looks like crap :p

I'll be working on an updated version today. Probably fixing the poses a bit more and timing.

10 October 2008, 09:57 AM
Also remember to always check that the software isn't dictating what should be happening.

Always remember what your original idea was and make sure that if anything changes from that, its because you wanted it to, not because of the interpolation, or because it's easier to do someting a different way. I recently found myself going with some ideas that weren't that great just because the software had done it to my animation, I just accepted it and it turned out bad. I managed to convince myself that it looked ok that way, but I couldn't fool the guys on this forum when I put it up for crit, so, lesson learned, you can go easy on yourself if you want to but nobodys going to go easy on you!

10 October 2008, 08:02 PM
Hey man,

on top of the software issue, this is a pretty linear motion here. id encourage you to just start the animation over again, and think out the situation enough to inform us about character of the sack...

I'm not one to pound the narrative drum. I usually think that story just forms around the things we work with. but, the whole idea of these kinds of animations with universal symbols or simple rigs is to imply our ability to add character and believable motions to things. right now you have weightless sack walking to a ditch in which it systematically and mechanically jumps to the other side. you have no texture or character to the sack and scene. try to bring out whatever elements of the sack attracts you to each of its actions and you will bring your animations to a different level.

10 October 2008, 04:42 AM
Like I said before, it's crappy because all I've done here is set a bunch of key positions and extreme's to linear curves in the graph editor. It's not supposed to look like it had weight and character, and was just to give me a sense of motion so that i could check whether the timing and spacing was right. In fact it was not supposed to be animation like this and was supposed to be static key frames like a pencil test in traditional animation. But whenever I would setting up the curves to stepwise, it would results in some wacky physics.

I have moved beyond that obviously, although I havent done much more. I'm assuming something like this is more along the lines of what your talking about ->

Although even that needs work. The entire animation is not at a stage now where it can really be shown to a viewer really. It's just a workable solution to build up on.

10 October 2008, 08:53 PM
I've put in the second phase of the animation exercise, and I think it's starting to look good somewhat. :cool:

Link ->

11 November 2008, 02:54 AM
still seems like it has no weight

the jump seems to evenly spaced out too...

looking through your youtube account i don't see any bouncy ball exercises. try those. those help a ton

11 November 2008, 04:44 AM
hey man,

Its looking like a good starting point but I have to agree with theultimatecoin, even if its just your initial blockout its still supposed to have a sense of timing and weight. I would suggest other than the timing and weight issue fix the arcs and add some nice squash and stretch.

Good luck with this man

11 November 2008, 07:23 AM
All I can say is when I walk into an exercise like this, I just pick out things that I like about the sack I like, maybe its the curves and Id want to play with the bouncy factor in that. so id have the sack with a big bouncy step. so it doesn't have to be about realism. but i do look for something to build off of.

If all you see is the rig and the straight walk, and the jump, and two seconds to fit it all in, then its going to be boring linear animation every time. but if you find something about the sack(whatever your working with) that interests you and emphasize that, then you have something to build interesting motion around. the next step is to think through the situation. we normally anticipate jumps a bit, which is the difference between a mechanical jump and one with character. you need a bit of counter action before the jump to raise the anticipation so crouch down, maybe bring the feet together. lastly we have our expectation, we've all seen sacks jump, maybe throw us up a bit, like it doesn't land on its feet or it slides when it lands, something.

and as to the technical difficulties your having they go away with time. If you have the benefit of no immediate deadlines I really strongly recommend just starting the animation over again, as its a great opportunity to learn more.

11 November 2008, 06:14 PM
Here's a mild update after a long hiatus from this piece of work. :rolleyes:

I dont think much change will be noticeable from the previous one since it's still going pretty fast. I've fixed all the curves though.

Link :

I think I'll get down to adding the stomach bouncing around and stuff now.

11 November 2008, 06:24 PM
Hey, I think the anticipation and reacion are pretty entertaining, and the secondary action on the shoulder corners of the sack look quite natural, but the actual run and jump could be let loose a bit more. More up and down is the main thing, its better to overdo it and pull it back than to have to do it again and again untill it's enough.

11 November 2008, 07:03 PM
Added a bit more Y axis movement to give it more weight . :)

I'll post an updated version after fixing a couple of more things I'll be doing over the day.

The shoulder flaps are part of the rig's dynamic system. I havent sat in and animated those.

11 November 2008, 08:10 PM
There doesn't seem to be any anticipation into that jump. he runs forward but gives off no vertical force to carry him up and over the gap.

I think the only way to do that with his short legs is crouch his body way down so it can spring up to give him some upward momentum.

11 November 2008, 05:37 AM
Ok, here's an update with the Y axis tuning to give it a more downward force. :bounce:

Link :

11 November 2008, 08:18 PM
Hard to analyze when i can't single frame it but it looks like there's a long horizontal stretch while he's leaping the chasm. He needs to travel a more parabolic arc.

Or maybe he's just taking too damn long to get across. :curious:

11 November 2008, 09:26 PM
Hey Bro,

Some really good comments so far, and your animation is getting
better. I've watched it a bunch of times and here's my 0.02cents.

Having such a small stage means you will not have much time or
space to play around, and the result is a quick couple of steps and
a little wiener jump. I'd use what you've already learned and redo
the scene to have a much bigger gap to jump over. Maybe even put
some other objects in there to aid the sack in getting to his goal.

If you give yourself this extra space and time, you will be able to
see the effect the timing and spacing of your keys has on your
animation. With such a small jump as the one you have now, you
wont get much visual feedback on how your keys are working.

Hope I'm making sense.


11 November 2008, 02:43 AM
robcat : No your right on both counts to a certain degree actually because I am aware of that. It's actually the right foot because it leaves the ledge a bit too delayed. It's because I wanted to portray the sack as a heavy element, to show that when he's forcing himself off the ledge, he's literally trying to push himself till the end of his toes. I should make the jump a bit faster though. Thanks for the comment. I'll work on it.

lewistaylor : I think you are right in your advice of getting in more space to work with such as more area to jump and run. However if I start on a new piece, I'll like to try a completely different thing, and perhaps something more complex (and liberal in terms of time and space). So I will get to that but I dont want to leave this half finished. I believe it's already at the last few steps in terms of technical completion and will just put the seal on it before i move onto something else.

This animation piece was more of an exercise in anticipation, although I'm still not mostly satisfied with it. I was trying to work with the stuff he's doing before the jump such as the foot thing, and then after the jump where he looks back, without giving as much thought to the actual jump. None of you have talked about the run he makes as well as the anticipation before the jump, so I'm wondering what op's you guys have about that and whether that is satisfactory in terms of animation. I'm particularly satisfied with his foot work throughout.

What say you on those matters ?

11 November 2008, 01:21 PM
I believe this will be the final version of this, unless people got some more things to add.

Link :

11 November 2008, 05:55 AM
come ON !!! I give you guys exactly what you want with the dynamic belly and lot of bounce and stuff and I get no replies !?!

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