New Animations

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  05 May 2013
New Animations

Hi guys (and gals)!
Iv had some spare time on my hands recently so iv started working on 2 new shots. So please rip the shots apart so I can improve them.

First is a body mech shot to test out the new AM rig Sloan. The rig is really cool and really fun to use. I decided to go for a more subtle shot which can be seen at

The 2nd shot is a dialogue piece that iv just started using the famous Morpheus rig. He has a really cool face which is really simple and fun to use. I know the eyes need more work and he needs more tiny movements.

I look forward to hearing all of your feedback and comments.
  05 May 2013
Hello Yasha,

I will be glad to take a peek at your work, first I will start with the quadruped animation of the dog. When it raises it's head up initially, the action will improve with anticipation (even if very subtle. Just have the dog slightly lower its head before raising, I imagine this will convey it's curiosity a bit further as well. I like how the head movement has rotation as well giving it a nice flow of motion upward and rotating as it get's excited for the treat.

Tail movement is very important on a dog character and your current movement is too slow and constant, the dog is perking up in excitement so you could show this with faster tail movement at the peak of it's interest. This is easy to shift in maya using the graph editor you can slide your arcs around to amplify the animation and tighten up the keyframes to speed it up when you want. I like that the eye blinks are varied in intensity which seemed to convey the dog's focus on staying still. The rotation at the end feels unnatural and off, I think this is because there needs to be some weight shift during it. Maybe if you have the front legs bend slightly as it spins around showing the movement causing a weight shift forward and back.

Lip sync clip:

Cut back on your animation, it is subtle dialogue so it needs to be more subtle his current jaw movement is more for heavy enunciation. The sync is "mouthy" as well meaning you have more poses than you need, when we speak we naturally are lazy in a sense that we don't have drastic full poses for each sound we produce. Instead they get blended together in a mush of motion with only a handful of poses really standing out.

For example you have the first set of words "Like they say" you have a full set of 3 ups and downs in the jaw movement for that (each word). If you naturally say those words while looking in the mirror your jaw won't fully go up and down like in your animation, instead I would keep it fairly closed for like and they and open it for the "ay"in say. Play around with removing and reducing transitions between keyframes in the graph editor and soon the movement will feel natural. Another trick I was taught for finding jaw positions is to sit with your jaw rested on your knuckles while your elbow is on a surface. Say the lines and pay attention to when your head pops up the most, make sure you are acting the lines out similar to the shot though and don't over act or you end up bobbling your head up and down for each word.

Eyebrows are a key component of presenting what is going on in a character's mind. Right the movement feels filler with no purpose, try saying the line and moving both your eyebrows up and down the same amount and same time while saying the line, it's strange and very unnatural. What will help you find natural expressions is to figure out what you want to convey visually that the character isn't saying, this is known as phrasing. Is the character sad, scared, mad, angry or thoughtful? once you know that plan out what sort of look expresses an emotion (more mirror and reference video of yourself is awesome).

Thanks for sharing your work, hopefully something I tossed out there can help and be sure to keep working at it and sharing progress because you help yourself, me and everyone else learn!
  05 May 2013

Thanks for your feedback Andrew. I really appreciate it.
After i start and finish working on this test i have just been given (for a film) il fix up all the stuff from your notes.

  05 May 2013
I re-blocked the lip sync shot and I toned down some of the facial animation.
Iv decided to give him Forest Whitaker kind of eyes.
  05 May 2013
Everything looks awesome--
Just to pick at it-- on the dog anim: each carpus joint could be straightened more to show urgency and curiosity.
  05 May 2013
I did a quick update on the dialogue shot

let me know what you think?
  06 June 2013
Re-did the lipsync and the eyes

Would love some more feedback!

  06 June 2013
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