The Virum's Animating Disasters: Brutal Criticism Always Wanted

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  03 March 2005
Originally Posted by Virum: Wow, I thought it'd be simpler to get the lipsyncing out of the way. Thanks for that tip! Should I restart my animation from the beginning?


Actually, i find it's a lot easier to pose out a stepped test of any acting piece when i at LEAST have the major facial expressions and emotional changes roughed in first. It really drives your poses and almost tells you how to pose the rest of your character. I'd say don't worry about the lips, but the eyes and eyebrowes can be really influential.

Originally Posted by nemirc: I usually put keys on the extremes (key poses) and leave the inbetweens for the computer.


This is one of the worst things anyone can do in animation. I'm not picking on you, nemirc, but the computer is the world's worst in-betweener. Any animator that knows what they're doing will tell you that. The more control you take over your inbetweens, the better.

To get back on topic, Virum, your work definately has that beginner look to it, but i think you'll do really well as time goes on. As far as the 10secondclub piece, the lip sync is incorrect for the most part. You should keep a mirror handy and sound out those words, really look at the shapes your mouth is making, and just copy them over. Generi is an awesome rig, so you've got more than enough blend shapes to choose from.

As for the rock and roll piece, your movement is all really linear. Favor some of those keys and get some more weight in there. keep on truckin, you're off to a good start!
 
  03 March 2005
Originally Posted by Capel: Actually, i find it's a lot easier to pose out a stepped test of any acting piece when i at LEAST have the major facial expressions and emotional changes roughed in first. It really drives your poses and almost tells you how to pose the rest of your character. I'd say don't worry about the lips, but the eyes and eyebrowes can be really influential.


That's why I said that I then add the extra keys on the inbetweens to get the result that I want
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  03 March 2005
Are you animating from the graph editor? If not I'd suggest doing that. The best way to use less keys (which I'm not saying you necessarily have to do, but it can make things easier occasionally) is to visualize the movement in terms of the graph. If your graphs are the shape you want them, then the keys matter not at all (not entirely true, but close enough ;-). You're making good progress here.

If I were you I'd do two things: I'd buy the animator's survival kit (that's just my generi-advice... it's the best book ever) and I'd get a version of a pixar movie that I could step through single frame by single frame. I've been doing this all year as part of my thesis project, and it's been really helpfull. Oh, one thing that can really smooth out your animation is using "limits". Remember in calculus, the curves that approach zero and never quite get there... well, if your curves look like that, you get nice moving holds, so parts of your character don't suddenly look dead when they stop moving. I tend to make the "jerky" version, then I add a key 5-20 frames out the outside of my existing keys, drag the old ones up or down a bit, to get it to curve around to nothing like that.

What's your animation process? I've been developing too, and what's working for me (and is reccomended by my advisor, a former pixar guy) is to start by animating JUST the root node, just the butt, so that the character flies around the scene spread eagle with his leggs trailing behind him on IK.

It looks silly, but if you get that to look really nice and snappy, I swear to you it'll pay off. Once the timing is just right (and trust me, it's more clear than you'd think), you add the chest, then head, then arms, then legs. This way you don't waste time before you know what your timing will be.

The key is to overestimate what the center of gravity will be doing when the rest of the body does stuff, you'd be surprised how much you move your waist when you turn to look over your shoulder ;-)

Sorry, tired and rambly,

Jim
 
  03 March 2005
Thanks for the excellent advice guys. I've been really busy lately, hence the lack of updates. Hopefully I'll have a bit more to show you guys in a bit.
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  03 March 2005
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