View Full Version : Animation: First attempt at lifting

07 July 2003, 12:30 AM
I am trying to put together a few animations to submit to an animation class that has a portfolio review to get in. I am very new to animation, but I still want to attempt it. This is my first attempt at having a character lift something heavy. Please critique the heck out of it. Please help me get into the class!!!

Software: Maya 4.5

Lift Version 1 (

07 July 2003, 01:08 AM
maybe put in a dummy object for him to be lifting, that would make it a little easier to crit it..

also, i would make some blendshapes for the face, because when people lift things, their faces change

07 July 2003, 03:35 AM
for starters the item he is lifting doesn't feel heavy at all it comes up smotth with little trouble. I would sugest doeing some listion in front of a mirror to see how balance is shifted when you lift something heavy.

Also i would do something with the face. He should be straining, it doesn't look like it with his bland expresion. Hope this helps

07 July 2003, 10:19 AM
Here is a new version of the lift. I am using a dummy object this time to try and give you a better ability to crit it. Hopefully it helps.

I know he should be closing his eyes and straining, but this model has no facial blendshapes, or eye lid controls.... =0(

Thanks for the comments so far!!!

(requires Divx)
Lift Version 2 (

07 July 2003, 05:09 PM
There's a lot of improvement between the first and second test. Many things should still be considered.

The hands shouldn't rotate around the ball as he picks it up. They should be locked into place on the surface of it.

The elbows should change angle as he picks it up.

The hold might last a little longer as he assesses how heavy the ball is.

The head should come back before the chest as it provides a small amount of momentum in the jerk to lift the ball.

The hips need to move left and right to center the weight of the ball and the body. Nearly all the weight needs to waver over one foot and then the other as he walks. Centering your weight seems to be a problem in the animation as a whole. The ball comes straight up and that's not right. It should come up, and toward the character as he balances his weight with the ball.

You might even emphasize the weight of the ball by having the character take a step back with it after he heaves it into his arms. This would show the effect of being off balance as he takes on the new weight.

Maybe the ball needs to be pulled up against the stomach more as I'm assuming it's a metal ball, like a canonball, and it's too heavy to carry extended away from the body.

The hands are absolutely stiff and detract from the pick up. The feet don't bend much at the toes, either.

Keep us posted. :thumbsup:

07 July 2003, 11:18 AM
Webfox: Thank you for the in depth crit. It helped a lot I think...

Here is an updated version of the lift...

Please let me know what you all think.

(Divx needed)

Lift Version 3 (

I still don't think it looks right, but with your help it is getting much better!!! Thanks again everyone.

07 July 2003, 12:43 PM
That pause after his first strain at the canonball is far too static. Put some kind of subtle motion in like he's drawing a breath or shifting his feet a little. Once he starts carrying it, it also seems like he's swinging it around too freely. It's as if the ball lost its inertia; I'm guessing that's because the ball is the child of the hand/arm rig after the point where it's picked up. If this is the case, maybe the ball should be the parent of the hand rig and lead the animation?

A lot of progress has been made here. Keep at it.

07 July 2003, 03:47 AM
Let me give you another way to setup your character for lifting. I say this because I see the ball slipping a small amount in the hands.

Make an ik setup for each hand.
Make locators at each IK handle and Point Constrain them to the Locators.
Then make two more Locators and put them where the hands will interact with the ball. Parent them under the ball.
Also Point Constrain the ball Locators to the IK handles.
You should see two value weights for the IK point constraint now.

Now turn off the weight of the locator's point constraints at the ball, and key that value (should be at zero when off, and 1 when on). The IK handles will snap back to your hand locators, also key the point constraints on the hands right now. (They should be at 1)

When you animate the hand and get it to the ball where you want to lift, key both of those values again. And then on the very next frame you can change the values and key them again.

Now you can lift the ball and the hands will follow.

07 July 2003, 06:37 AM
Thank you very much for all the feedback so far. This may be the final version, unless I can get some super fast feedback from you guys. I have to submit it tomorrow morning. Please tell me what you all think...

(BTW the arms are FK and the legs are IK. I started messing around with a version tonight where once he grabs the ball the arms go to IK, but I am just having a lot of trouble, and doubt that I can make it work before tomorrow.)

(Divx Required)

Lift Version 4 (

08 August 2003, 09:54 PM
well not sure if this is too late but you should try and move his shoulders up/back(hands locked on ball) when he makes his first att at lifting the ball. Elbows will go in slightly. nice though keep at it.

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