View Full Version : Mech fight - short 30 second animation wip

07 July 2009, 10:08 AM
hey all
not posted on here for a while ...been working on this in my spare time (amidst working, martial arts & skydiving my socks off at weekends!) so I'm only getting the odd hour or so to work on it. Its 2 mechs going toe to toe in an enclosed environment. At present the mech rig is just proxy as is the environment but all that will be updated once I've got my animation sorted which is my primary purpose for this 30 second piece.

this is the first version I did of it about a month or two back. You'll see that areas of it aren't really finessed - its just blocking out the motions and seeing what I can do with them really... (

refined this version a little bit - made the first attack by white more of a charge and added some more backward impact so they travel further. made the kick a bit tougher. I then made the slide backward further from the wall so when grey dives at him they travel a bit further before hitting the wall. I then removed a load of dead time between that impact and the grabbing of his foot. From this point white is going to fire a missile at grey.. (

The movie below is quite a jump forward - The animation for the missile launch is now seen from a much clearer angle altho the missiles white launches aren't yet too visible. I will fix that. The explosions again are just proxy scaled spheres. The newest bit of animation is the body slam at the end which is still work in progress but I'm quite happy with where it is at the moment altho it can be better.
The camera motion is all one camera and will be enhanced to reflect a more documentary style Neil Blomkamp feel to it if I can with a bit more of a handheld cam feel to it using some noise and expressions to create a 2nd layer of motion.
The other addition is lighting in this scene - I've darkened the scene a touch altho grey now dissapears so I'll fix his shader with some rim lighting effect. There is also gonna be dynamically animated roof lighting that will rock n roll via expressions when the characters hit the floor or walls. I also want to add 'aliens' style search strobe lights along the walls, some steam/mist in the area and some more debris around the room to knock over and collide with. (

so thats where it stands at present - thoughts, comments & ideas always welcome. Its my first attempt at animating mechs altho I'm sure it wont be my last lol as it is great fun to do lol!

07 July 2009, 11:45 AM
I like especially camera animation.

07 July 2009, 04:53 PM
This is pretty sweet dude! I like the cinematic style.. but it feels like there should be a few cuts rather than a moving camera. Animation looks pretty solid overall, but here are some tips:

At frame 75 (in the latest render) after the first punch, that mech just pauses and waits to be hit again. He needs to keep moving. Retract that arm after the punch, or at least make it follow through, which would leave him vulnerable to a kick.

Frame 100 - the kick. When you use that much force to kick something/someone, your upper body goes back as the foot kicks. You have the mech lean forward and scrunch up it's leg, but then you need the upper body to lean back to show more power. Right now it looks awkward.

Frame 230 - before he jumps he needs a lot more momentum than that. Instead of taking 2 slow steps, it would look better if he gradually increased speed. It doesn't look like the mech has enough power to lunge that far and hit that hard. Either make him run those 2 steps, or have him anticipate the lunge for a little longer.

Frame 325 - make sure his hands are always gripping the other mech's foot as he's pulling him.

Frame 380 - the mech gets up WAY too early. He just got thrown across the room into some crates! At least make him struggle a bit.

Frame 450 - have some recoil on the arm as he shoots. This is very Iron Man style, so check that out for reference. Recoil will make the shots feel more powerful.

Frame 535 - this action happens way too smoothly. I know it's a fluid motion, but there needs to be some kind of "oof" as the mech runs into him... like have the other mech lower and show that the running mech falls into him before being lifted up. Right now it doesn't look like there's much weight because he just runs and floats upwards.

Hope this helps dude! I really like the lighting/feel of this piece, and they're really cool characters, so keep up the good work. :thumbsup:

07 July 2009, 06:36 PM
really nice animation Thony ;)
only one thing for me is that everything is a little too slow at the moment -
I will speed up some parts like jump or punch etc so the timing will be more interesting /

Its a nice stuff anyway so finish it and it will look good on your reel ;)

07 July 2009, 08:00 PM
good stuff

07 July 2009, 10:03 PM
cheers guys there is actually one more update but I aint put it online yet as most of it was centred around making that lift/bodyslam more visually correct. Sam thank you heaps for your notes - I'll set about addressing my animation - alot of the things you have put in there I did actually plan to do (recoil off the ironman missile arm for example) but there's heaps there to try out and put into the anim.
I'll post up when I get a chance to tackle it :)


07 July 2009, 06:09 PM
hey all
okay well I took the advice on board and I've done a bit more work based on the crit sam outlined there. heres the things I tackled:

-kick on the floor - I added a bit of recoil through the body but the trouble is that the body is basically a root joint and 1 spine joint so I found it a bit tough.

-the dive/attack I changed radically. Basically the dive didn't look right even if I added a hold so I thought the best bet is just to animate him running into the white mech. I found some footage of the mocap dude from incredible hulk on youtube where he kinda roars then walks and goes into a jog so I used this as reference but exaggerated the steps. I'm quite pleased with the animation at this point overall but wouldn't mind putting a touch more impact when he hits the white mech.

-the grabbing of white mechs foot has been changed a bit. I will make the grab more accurate but I wanted to get the feet placement right first after the rush/attack.

-the getting up will be slowed down a bit
-the hand recoil off the firing missiles isn't in there yet but I will do ;)

-the bodyslam is alot better I think. I made white mech sort of try to stop himself then slowed down the initial lift and smoothed out the arc of the body as he's lifted over. I slowed down the anim overall too.

I'm quite happy as I've got the main parts alot more punchy - the other bits can be done easily enough methinks - sam thanks for your notes that you outlined for me - they really helped mate! :)

click on image to dl the .mov file - about 8mb (

07 July 2009, 06:24 PM
Hey nice progress! But now I have more, lol..

Frame 31 - The white mech rotates the opposite way for a few frames. Watch his right arm how it doesnt stay with the other mech. It looks like a weird pop when you play it real-time.

I love the revision of the actions before the kick. It feels way better here. :D

The run/charge feels really slow and floaty. The poses are great, and it looks like you're on the right path, but the timing needs to be tweaked. Try adding more up and down to the root, and more shoulder side-to-side Y rotation to make it looks like he's exerting more force to run faster. When the white mech is getting up (at the same time) he feels very floaty as well. Make sure he's balanced on one leg before moving the other around, and that his body isn't gradually raising, but going from one spot to another, then up... like Frame 188 he should be leaning more on his left leg, compressing down, and then up more before turning around. It'll make it look a lot more realistic. ;)

Finally.. Frame 520 - The white mech just stops without any reason why. If he gets hit, show it. If he's being grabbed, make his arms fly forward. As he's being lifted, he should be trying to fight out of the grab by flailing around or struggling.

The lift and slam look great, though. Good work dude! It's lookin better and better!

07 July 2009, 07:18 PM
hey Sam
thanks for the extra notes there - I'm literally working on them as I type :)

yeah I can see the bit you mean at frm31 I think its exaggerated by the hand disconnecting as he charges in - it kind of hits grey mech then comes off then hits again and it looks like a pop as a result.

I'm working on the run/charge at the moment but it is tough cos the mechs are very limited in motion but I've speeded it up and added a bit more twist in the body and bounce as he takes the steps.

the white mech getting up for the moment isn't anywhere near refined as I removed a heap of keyframes in order to help me sync it up with the point where grey attacks after his run.

I see what you mean at frm520 - I'll try and add some fight whilst he's being lifted.

I'll post up another anim playblast a bit later

ps - seen your skydiving video - I'm a skydiver myself :)

07 July 2009, 03:57 AM
Dude! What a crazy small world! I didn't connect the 2 (you on cgtalk and you on youtube) then just noticed the names, lol. I showed a lot of people your cg wing chun dummy robot video because I'm also studying it. And skydiving, I've only done it once but it was a blast. You look like a pro! Anyway, animation is lookin sweet so far. Keep up the good work man!

07 July 2009, 10:05 AM
now then lol
so your a keen skydiving enthusiast and wing chun fanatic eh? I been doing both of those things for the last 3 years and I'm hooked lol!

ok just a quick one - been working on the anim - update to get uploaded v.soon poss tonight if time permits :)

07 July 2009, 02:36 PM

This looks awesome. Really great stuff. So i dont know really if they already said what iam gonna say but ill say it anyway and you can keep what you want.

About the camera move i do like in certain parts moving and i do believe its better to cut in other parts like :

Frame 1-20ish the camera pans before the character start moving and that why it has to me that weird feeling like its anticipating the mech move. I think have the mech move first and when he is at frame 17 and starts to charge then you can pan the camera so we can see the impact.

Same thing happens in frame 118 have the mech hit him with his leg first then as he goes back from the impact pan the camera so we can catch the move.

In frame 170 its better but still you need have the mech move first and then the camera.

Frame 307 i do like that you track with the cam but i think you need have it still there till the mech swings the other mech in frame 327 and then you can pan just pan i think will do the trick. I think that will add to the force too. after it finishes the pan at frame 375ish then i think you need to cut to the cam you have in frame 447. After that its pretty cool!

About the animation i think its very good but in some points in lacks weight and anticipation.

In frame 95 the white mech come for a second punch if you wanna show more weight there have the grey mech leg already straight in the white mech chest and as the white mech leans to hit the second punch then push with the leg.

In frame 160 to 175 have it anticipate even more lower and shows us some overlap on the spine or whatever it has.

175-195 watch the spacing of the hips and feet the seem to slow down as they hit their bottom position ( hope this makes sense Oo) you need to show the weight of these heavy machines they would literary break the ground try feel that the spacing at least for the feet needs to keep accelarating till it hits the ground.

frame 325 i like the move but the grey leg needs to drag before it lifts also the cam in my opinion is not helping here so force or weight.

ok thats all. Hope this helps. Good luck with it, good stuff.

07 July 2009, 02:58 PM
hey Nucleo
yep I've addressed some of the weight issues in the places you mentioned and hopefully I think yourself and Sam will see that its been pushed further and looks a bit more weighty. The punch and kick timing is a good idea I'll try that.

as for the cam - your spot on and its exactly what I were thinking last night about most of the camera - its too pre-emptive! I do plan on making it feel like were more of a documentary cameraman between two T-rex's even falling over in a place or two and maybe seeing the cameramans feet but I've got time for that yet. I'm planning on filming inside a warehouse near me and having these two mechs composited into that so it may literally be my feet that the camera sees lol!

one thing I gotta ask tho - you guys mention frame numbers each time, and I hate to sound daft but how are you seeing those with quicktime player? I can only see timecode! :/

update coming online hopefully tonight :)

07 July 2009, 03:06 PM
Right click on timecode and set frames instead of sec. Iam not sure if this works only if you have pro or not but here it is.

07 July 2009, 03:30 PM
that worked a treat!! Thankyou :D

07 July 2009, 04:26 PM
hey guys I've not forgot about this but I kinda put it down for a bit to do some transformer rigging lol! I'll hopefully be getting a tweaked version up at the end of the week if not before. training, skydiving and catchin up with friends n family are getting well in the way lol!

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