View Full Version : Dominance War V - Animation - jchristo - God of the Undead

03 March 2011, 04:06 PM
I have somewhat clear first pass storyboards at this point. Just need to create an animatic and see if it'll fit within the 20 second limit. Hopefully I'll have some stuff to post really soon!


03 March 2011, 05:05 PM
just checked out your reel, great acting. looking forward to your animation

03 March 2011, 07:48 PM
Good luck man, looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

03 March 2011, 05:14 AM
These are probably hard to read for anyone but me, but they'll be helpful for the 3d animatic for sure.

First pass 3d animatic soon to come!

Thanks for the comments so far guys! Can't wait to see what you come up with.


03 March 2011, 07:27 AM
The animatic is still in the works, but I got some of the rigging and model cleanup done. Here's what I have so far on that side of things.

Some parts of the mesh were pretty dense and not too suitable for clean deformation when I first looked at it, so it ended up being a pretty big job to get in there and adjust things. It almost amounted to a complete topology overhaul in some areas... which wasn't fun when you have to, so closely, maintain the original shapes. There's probably an easy way to do it, but it was beyond my knowledge. At least that part's done with now!

Here he is with the rig and a quick pose applied! Always nice to see them out of that bind pose :) I've never been much for rigging, so this competition scared me a bit at first. Luckily, 3ds Max and biped are pretty straight-forward and intuitive, so it wasn't all that bad to get this guy moving!

Animatic to follow soon!


03 March 2011, 06:20 PM
Here are a couple of early animatics. I threw the character into Maya and laid out some shot ideas with him bouncing around in bind pose. I'm not attached to ANY of the shots at this point and I am in desperate need of some fresh eyes.

Thanks in advance for any crit you have time to give!

First Pass Animatic

Second Pass Animatic

- redid the second shot in an attempt to squeeze in more action
- not too happy with the transition from the second-to-last to last shot... or
the last shot itself for that matter :)


03 March 2011, 03:30 PM
Hey man,
I totally stole your format for posting screen shots of your rigs and such - I used a similar approach with my storyboard picture. Just thought I'd let you know that I totally aped that from you, heheh!

Feedback: The idea looks solid, but the ending is lack-luster. Your boards show the hoard rushing past the god, is that still the plan? Will he roar or strike a dynamic pose at the end? It's hard to tell b/c you just approximated root motion but as long as you have something up your sleeve for the end shot you'll be set. Nice work!

03 March 2011, 09:33 PM
Nice work man! I can already imagine what a cool animation this will be when it's completed! :thumbsup:

03 March 2011, 10:41 PM
Gatecrasher & icegee - Thanks for the comments/feedback guys! I'm still working on another animatic pass and I should have that posted with a rig test hopefully in the next couple of days.

Can't wait to actually start animating!


03 March 2011, 04:11 AM
I like the dynamic camera movement. quite fun to watch, if only you could hold the camera for a little longer in the end and pull it back slower. I checked your 2nd pass animatic. Rig looks impressive :cool:

04 April 2011, 01:24 PM
Yes... yes he does. Here are the added tri's I have so far. These might end up being the only extras I add to him actually. His design is way more finished looking than the pre-war models.

The rig is taking a little longer than expected. The face has been a pain! I should be done with that some time this weekend.

audin - Thanks! Yeah, the next pass of the animatic is cut down a little on the front end, so I should have more time to hold on that last shot. Any other suggestions, especially on what could be cut down, would be awesome.


04 April 2011, 04:31 PM
... WOW
This looks so awesome, especially the Animatic. Can't wait to see the finished piece

04 April 2011, 08:13 PM
Jchristo back at it I see!! Cool concept man, really love your end shot, very creative. Looked at your second animatic man, I think the shots are good, I just think you should spend more time on your last shot to really sell that wicked bastard haha. You could probably shave some time off of the second shot and add it at the end.

Anyways, I know it'll be awesome.

04 April 2011, 01:26 PM
Well the rig is finally in a state to be tested. It's taken longer than I thought it would, but I was able to animate a bit and test out the reverse knees. I've never had to animate this type of leg an I was a bit worried it'd be touchy. Luckily it doesn't seem so bad. Here's a quick animation done to get a feel for the character and test out the rig!

I've also made another pass on the animatic. I shaved two seconds off... now all I need to do is give a little more time to the last shot. At the very least, I need to actually animate his arm coming up and sending the undead horde forth. Just not sure how I'm going to handle the transition to between the second-to-last and last shot. Feels kind of jarring to me at the moment... right now, a zombie arm is supposed to be coming up into frame and wiping to the next shot. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Well, here it is!

Zykras - Thanks for the comment! Hopefully I actually WILL finish :)

R1c00 - Nice to see you on here again! I totally agree on the ending. I did end up shaving some time from the second shot and I definitely don't miss the time up front. Thanks for the feedback!

Thanks for taking a look!

04 April 2011, 02:54 PM

the rig looks pretty cool, don't see any problems there, nice work ;)

I was going to mention the last shot but it seems you already expressed that you weren't happy with it. You're right that it's a bit jarring, maybe instead of him getting up and into frame, that you start the shot with him already up. I'll also give u more time for performance.

04 April 2011, 03:20 AM
Nice Rig buddy!! And yes the new animatic is better. Cheers!

04 April 2011, 05:37 AM
Well, I finally have some shots with actual first-pass blocking included. I've tried some new things with the last shot, but I've yet to sit down and really tackle it. I've gotten a bunch of suggestions though, so I should eventually be able to narrow it down and pick the best direction.

This version of the animatic also finally includes some first-pass sound. It might be a bit distracting right now, but I felt that sound would play a big part eventually so I'd better get that in there sooner rather than later.

Well, let me know what you guys think in general, and if anything pops out as just plain bad or confusing. Thanks for taking a look!

4th Pass Animatic (

Versiden - Thanks man! The rig is probably as good as it's gonna get at this point :) That's a good suggestion with him being in frame as the shot starts. I've not yet tried a version like that... might be something to check out.

audin - Thanks! Glad to hear it's reading. Hopefully I'm on the right track.


04 April 2011, 12:14 PM

looking cool, shot timings feel really good atm.... onto blocking ;P

04 April 2011, 07:33 PM
Jim it looks like your animatic is coming together.
One thing caught my eye on the walk cycle.
The little wispy tendrils coming off the gloves look to have some secondary motion to them.

Are you animating the bones by hand or is it a spline/node based rig driving the secondary animation with dynamic controllers?
I ask because it looks like they are reacting opposite of how they should be in my opinion.

It looks like they are moving forward at the same time the hands are moving forward instead of moving forward directly after the hands move forward.

The horns and top of the head secondary motions look very good, but the detail coming off the gloves just look a little odd to me.

It really doesn't matter in regards to the final animation, but I thought I'd mention it.

04 April 2011, 10:20 PM
theANMATOR2B - The bones on the forearm tendrils are just fk chains. I didn't experiment much with setting them up with splines... probably a good idea looking back. Agreed, they look kind of funky in that cycle and need mucho polish. They were the last thing I touched on that animation and at that point I was just ready to be done. :)

Hopefully they don't prove to be too much of a pain later on for the final animation...

Thanks for the feedback!


04 April 2011, 03:41 AM
Just the other day it hit me that I'd have to actually model the extra characters I added super quickly as flat planes in the animatic... I kind of regret adding so many extras, but I think it'll be worth it in the end! :)

I started with some quick sketches of what this guy's undead minions might look like. I tried to stay close to the gremlin's own design so they felt like part of the same universe. I only have one mesh so far, but I'm planning on editing this one to get a wide variety of evil-looking, little minions!

Well, here they are!

Thanks for taking a look!

04 April 2011, 02:24 PM
This is really fun to see.

Sorry for all the topology issues you've had to deal with, when I created this Gremlin model for Domwar IV, my only concern was getting the best silhouette I could from 10k tris for a static bake.

Keep up the awesome work! Looking forward to your final product


04 April 2011, 04:38 AM
Here's a more detailed arm mesh that'll be used for the closeups of the minions breaking up through the ground. I'll be spinning off a few different arms from this one as well. It's been pretty fun to do some modeling again!

foreverendering - Thanks! Ha, no worries on the model topology. Modifying it for animation was a small price for such a cool character. Thanks for supplying it!


04 April 2011, 03:57 AM
I'm trying to get a good diversity of shapes with these guys and it's been really fun! Looks like it's time to get in there, rig them up and start animating again. Yay, more rigging :(

Thanks for taking a look!


04 April 2011, 02:11 AM
Ok, this'll be the last mesh update I post... probably :). Now on to final layout and animation! For real this time!


04 April 2011, 05:02 PM
So many models and soon to be rigs. Very ambitious! Can't wait to see those bad boys moving.

Good luck!

04 April 2011, 05:21 AM
Alright, these guys are now rigged up and good to go! May the animation begin!

KielFiggins - Yeah it ballooned up really fast. Hopefully I can get some good motion on em... if there are any rig issues at this point, they're staying like that :)

- jim

05 May 2011, 05:36 AM
Here's an edit with some lighting and a little more progress on animation. It's slow going, but I am having fun!

Blocking Pass (


05 May 2011, 06:35 PM
Hey Jim, The run up the tunnel looks awesome!

I noticed you listed the triangle count of the trees as 800+.
I believe the max triangles per object is only 750.
May want to reduce them to stay within the rules of the competition.

05 May 2011, 01:45 PM
Here's another pass on the animation. All of the four shots have been brought up out of the layout stage but some of the transitions and shot timings has been fudged in post. Now it's time to get in there and fight with the rig actually make some appealing animation :) Hopefully I'll be able to stick with it and bring this thing together in the last week. Thanks for taking a look!

Complete First Pass (

theANMATOR2B - Thanks! That shot still needs some love but I'm hoping it'll turn out cool. As far as the trees, they're all from the same base mesh that has a count of 628 tris. I didn't notice quite how much that six looked like an eight. I should go edit that :)


05 May 2011, 10:56 PM
Here's another pass, this time with some more detailed sound and minor animation updates. Hoping to really get some massive animation work done and be ready to render on Saturday or Sunday. Probably not going to happen, but it's fun being optimistic sometimes :)


Thanks for taking a look!

05 May 2011, 02:45 AM
Hey Jim in my opinion your timing and choreography are superb.
There are only minor things I can see that could be improved up until the last shot. Looking at the quality of the last shot compared to the rest of the animation I assume your not done with that one yet so I'll focus the feedback on the rest of the animation.
One other thing I think looks great is the debris you've applied throughout the entire animation. I'm definitely going to remember that visual gem for my next animation. (Thanks)

- The timing of the large mound being pushed up by the God bursting from underground is slightly slower than the speed of the God when he appears. I don't know if you want to change this or not but it just caught my eye.
- The two lumps under the God's feet when he lands which I believe are supposed to be pushed up earth from the impact of the him landing looks a little bit soft IMO. I think they would look better if they were roughed up some since they are the result of a pretty fast impact. Initially, when I watched it the first time I thought he had just happened to land perfectly on two rocks or mounds.
- The big guy that you use as a transition into the last shot isn't reading very clearly. I think you still have some work to do on him so I'm only going to suggest maybe some better lighting, maybe a light casting up to illuminate him from below so it's more clear what is happening. Initially I thought it was one of the trees you created for the background of the last shot.
- One thought I had on the last shot was the motion of the God, as it is now, is a type of pushing motion. I was looking at subsequent updates to incorporate a type of "cavalry charge" wave with his upper body. Nothing wrong with the motion you currently have, I just wanted to mention the motion since it was different than what I thought he was going to do.

Overall I can't see too much that needs attention aside from the last shot.

Great job. I hope you find the time to finish.

05 May 2011, 04:48 AM
Fantastic! Your animation is a lot of fun. The overall concept, the pace of the animation and the sound effects are great. Looking forward to seeing it next week!

The standing figures behind the god, at the end, seem just a little dark to me, but maybe the subtlety is intended. Perhaps a little more backlight would bring them out.

Nice job!

05 May 2011, 11:05 AM
Well, close enough to final :) Gotta love deadlines!


Thanks for all the awesome feedback guys!
- jim

05 May 2011, 11:33 AM
Looks great! Nice job. I like all the edits you made.

The final shot came together very well.

05 May 2011, 12:43 AM
Congrats on completing it jchristo, I enjoyed following your thread! It turned out really cool and of course was fun for me to see one of my models moving around :)

Great work

05 May 2011, 05:36 AM
Good job on finishing up, Jim. Your entry looks good. Well done, sir. See you tomorrow.:wavey:

05 May 2011, 04:55 PM
Loving the entry! Hope you win it Jim! :)

05 May 2011, 09:58 PM
Thanks for the kind words guys. I think everyone's entries turned out really well! Now back to having a life outside of work!!

Good luck to everyone who entered and go CG Society!

05 May 2011, 03:27 PM
really nice stuff man

06 June 2011, 04:59 PM
Congratulations on moving into the professional judging Jim. Your animation was definitely tops here.
I look forward to reading the final critiques on the best animations from each community. It offers a great opportunity to learn and improve.

Well done.

06 June 2011, 02:15 AM
Congrats man! You did an excellent job and good luck on the finals!
I would say you have a high chance to win the world champion...... :thumbsup:

06 June 2011, 12:42 PM
Thanks for the comments guys! My fingers are crossed, but there are some pretty sweet looking projects out there. Leewiart especially seems to have crushed it.

It was fun participating with you guys! Hope to see you all in the next animation competition, whenever that may be :)


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