View Full Version : March: "Frightened"

03 March 2009, 11:39 AM
March Animation Challenge

There are only 2 more weeks in the month of March so this month will only have a Non-Audio topic. For this month the topic is…

• The Character in the scene is on edge and gets scared of something like a feather that floats by his head. (Can be anything so long as whatever scares the character isn’t a threat to him/her at all.)

For anyone who doesn’t know of a site to host there WIPS I suggestion trying Vimeo ( or Youtube (

Good luck to all, and I hope to see some great work.:D

03 March 2009, 07:28 AM
I would love to give it a go and am going to try but I need to get through some more digital tutors.

I have a good idea if someone wants to work with me???!!!

03 March 2009, 04:33 AM
I am about halfway through the blocking stage. I spent about 45 min. on it. Hopefully tomorrow night I will be able to post my first WIP.

03 March 2009, 04:24 AM
I think that I might have a little more on my plate than I could handle.

That's okay it will give me something to do.:shrug:

Here is my first run with the key poses. (KeyPoses (

03 March 2009, 08:15 AM
ok I see how you translate your idea into blocks. nice thank you.

what else are you working on?

03 March 2009, 12:00 PM
Well I still have to try and come up with some thing for my character to see on the wall I was thinking of a mouse on the Garbage can but I can't really find a rig for Maya. I would say that it would be a heavy goal for me to make one since I am not the best modeler or rigger. But I really like the idea of a mouses shadow growing on the wall and scaring the character. So only time will tell what I could come up with.

03 March 2009, 04:14 PM
yea that is kind of the idea I had. the toon would turn and see like a little mouse or kitten. I would help you rig one but I don't know how sorry.

03 March 2009, 02:19 AM
Micah-H - Ah, no worries I will just wing it and see what happens. I once did a Maya Foundation book that had me model and rig the character Boog from "Open Season," but that was kind of long time ago so I don't really remember to much. Hopefully what I do remember will be enough to get me through a simple... :D really simple character.

03 March 2009, 09:13 PM
Here is my final model for my mouse character. That the main character is going to be scared of.

03 March 2009, 12:51 AM
looks good

I have been practicing walk cycles and jumps and other things still, I hope I will be able to block something out for this task.

03 March 2009, 02:22 AM
Maybe you could try to go for a reaction animation. You know with the character just standing and then all of a sudden he transitions into a frightened pose. Either way I can't wait to see what you come up with. :bounce:

As for an update on my scene I am trying to rig the mouse. I created the skeleton and now I am going to bind the geometry... probably tomorrow. Tonight I rented Madagascar 2. I hope that I can be done real soon so that I could block in the mouse and polish up the animation before the end of the month.

03 March 2009, 03:31 AM
good movie! I am about to sit down for bolt, should be good studying!! :) your right I should try something like that at a minimum.

take care

03 March 2009, 03:53 AM
So as it might already seem it is taking me way to long to rig this my mouse character. I had to break out an old text book and study some on rigging. Which I don't mind since I am learning something that is just necessary. So I hope I could still finish in time. :banghead: LOL

03 March 2009, 07:12 AM
Hey thats fine with me man I am still watching tutorials, I say take as long as you want since its practice anyways

03 March 2009, 12:11 AM
My animation is nearing the finish. It's has been tough since I have to work full time and take care of my 2 year old son. But now that I think about it the more it sounds like a bunch of excuses. Anyway enough of my rants. I hope to finish before the End of the Month.

03 March 2009, 10:06 AM
hey splinter, if you dont mind, would you upload some of the different blocking stages you have, if they are saved separate. I would like to see what in betweens you put in next after your extremes and so on. If you don't have time do not worry I think I am figuring it out... :D maybe!


03 March 2009, 07:12 PM
Yeah that's not a problem. I had to change it because my original was getting to become a little too big a project for me. So it has become more simplified. The mouse was taken out and I replaced that ideas with a piece of paper and the main character is going form a waiting pose to a reaction shot with a sign of relief after that. I will try to get in the blocking and progression in very soon.

There is still a big learning curve for me, but I can't wait to get this piece finished. I am a little nervous to say it but this will be my first character animation done in 3-D. I have had some experience in 2-D and some inanimate objects in 3-D.

03 March 2009, 12:55 AM
Here is the blocking for the new Animation. 2nd Attempt (

03 March 2009, 01:21 AM
nice that looks good! are you going to work on the turn at 6secs now? looks good though

03 March 2009, 03:30 AM
Yeah I have started working on the timing a little more in the "Dope Editor" and once I get those poses where I like them I think that I will try to work on the subtle motion a little more that way he doesn't look so robotic. I will post an other update a in a few minutes hopefully you could see it and let me know what you think.

03 March 2009, 04:31 AM
So here is my update. I think that the timing on my key poses are okay. but I think that I need an anticipation in where he turns and jumps back. Maybe something like a quick duck that will help his reaction read better.

2nd Run through the Animation. (

Let me know what you think.

03 March 2009, 04:39 AM
shoot man it looks good to me. now you need to just smooth it out and get some weight and I think.

I wish other people would look that this thread so we could get some advice from the veterans.

check out my golf swing animation if you get a chance. I need some advice on where to go next.

keep going


03 March 2009, 11:44 AM
My version of Maya is a little older than the version that you are using so my computer won't let me open it. I heard that if you opened it in the "note pad" you can edit the file so it can be used on an older version but I think that it has to be a Maya Ascii file. Do you think that you could get a playblast of the animation and send that. I think I could give you my honest opinion that way a lot easier.

by the way my version is Maya 8.

03 March 2009, 05:03 PM
yea I am trying to figure out how to create a playblast so I can upload a video. but right now it is in stepped format so its confusing me how to create the video.

did you start to tweak your curves to plant the feet and such?

03 March 2009, 12:00 AM
I did start to tweak the curves to plant the feet in place. I was working in spline mode and a lot of my curves were over shooting and I had to go back and clean them up. I still have some clean up to do with them. Even some change in timing especially at the beginning when he is still waiting. I will post an update later on tonight.

Oh, I almost forgot when ever you do a playblast of the animation it can be taken from the window or your render settings it is totally up to you. Then set the Format (quicktime, avi, etc...) and the compression. after that click the check mark that says you want to save instead of automatically throw it away. Browse the location and voila. Um... just in case this is all in the Windows>Playblast menu. One last thing make sure that you indicate whether or not if it is coming from the Timeslider or a set range of frames.

If you have any other questions or I didn't answer the one you have let me know.

03 March 2009, 12:03 AM
I posted the new "topic voting (" thread so go check it out lets here some ideas for next month.:buttrock:

03 March 2009, 12:23 AM
we have to figure out what people are into, right now my animation interests are in sports. I would love for us to do a soccer juggling animation, but some people might not be interested.

First though I need to figure out a workflow for myself.

how do I scale down all the keys, or speed up the animation?

03 March 2009, 01:59 AM
There are actually a bunch of different ways to scale down the keys in order to make them occur earlier on in the time frame.

The Dope Editor is probably my favorite window for this particular task. You can move the keys around with out having to see the "ins" and "outs" of a key. In the Dope editor you can select specific frames one by one, but then there is also a simplified way of selecting all of the keys within that frame. By selecting the square that is at the top row. The top square can be seen as the master control for every "key" in that frame. If you select multiple frames you can use the scale tool and scale them down to size and arrange them into place. The only problem that I have seen with that is that some of the keys get placed into fraction of frames (Such as 3.322). So I use the move tool to select them and then manually move them around.

Another method would be to do this exact same thing only in the Graph Editor window. Same techniques can be used here. Although I don't know if the same problem will occur in this window because I have seen a Time frame snapping icon. I haven't checked to see if there was one of these in the Dope Editor.

In the time slider you can Shift-Select a single key or select and drag and grab a bunch of keys and pretty much use the same techniques earlier mentioned. I would suggest using the move tool and manually move the keys your self.

Experiment around and see which one you like the most.

03 March 2009, 02:03 AM
sweet ok I figured that out, and I created a play blast and it is looking pretty dang ugly after I flattened out the curves. I am trying to upload but the play blasts are coming out like 2.9mb. To large.

03 March 2009, 02:18 AM
Don't worry about how the animation looks to much in the first couple of passes. I would say try to strengthen the key poses and just go from there.

I don't know about file sizes and requirements that well. I think that my playblasts have all been pretty big. I would say about 6 mb and up.

03 March 2009, 02:38 AM
ok here I got it uploaded

CLick (

03 March 2009, 03:05 AM
Pretty cool I liked it. Did you use IK of FK on the Arms?

03 March 2009, 03:10 AM
I honestly haven't even studied what that means yet, I just got this rig with the digital tutors package and tried to animate a golf swing, thanks

I think now I start tweaking the curves? I don't really know where to go next

03 March 2009, 09:13 PM
whats up John have you made some new tweaks? I am trying to figure out how to wok on my golf swing... I just applied today for animation mentor! woo HOOO I hopeeeee I can get in.

take care micah

04 April 2009, 01:42 AM
Sweet move on the Animation Mentor application. I would love to attend there online school. :drool: I hope you get in.

For your golf swing I think that you should speed up the animation once he comes down with his arms. His right heel should hold down until after the wind-up. Also I think if you place a golf club in his hands you will notice that his grip switches from the beginning to end. The hands switch position, but if you put a club in his hands and "Parent" constrain the hands to the club the hands will lock onto there grip and then you could animate the club alone. That could possibly help solve the grip problem.

You should go over to the Topic voting thread and post some suggestions there such as your sports ideas. That way I could try and keep that thread active as well.

04 April 2009, 01:43 AM
Here a few more tweaks to my animation.

Click (

04 April 2009, 11:32 AM
Here is the final animation. Click Here (

04 April 2009, 07:18 PM
cool man I like it. There could be some obvious changes but I wouldn't know how to start to tell you yet. But to me it seems good and your getting it.

good job

04 April 2009, 12:04 AM
Thanks. I hope to do a lot more of the these. Hopefully something will start to click after a while.

04 April 2009, 02:56 AM
yea I think its all about the workflow. One thing thats annoying about these dvd tutorials is they kid just show you how to pose the extremes then bend some curves and your done. there good but...dont show you how to lay out timing, explain how you should knw when you have enough keys and other stuff. we'll get it

04 April 2009, 04:20 AM
I'm with you on your tutorial thought. I have a few of the Gnomon Workshop DVD's but I can't knock them I get a lot more out of them then I don't. Honestly I haven't tried any of the Digital Tutors training videos. Right now I am looking at the "Intuitive Animation with Robert Kuczera" DVD I really think that he goes through his workflow and describes it really well, you should check it out.

By the way tell me what you think of the new topics for this month.

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