| Character Animation | Leo Gives performance

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  03 March 2004
Arrow | Character Animation | Leo Gives performance

Most recent version is towards bottom of page

Last week I finished up a first pass of another animation and it was animated in messiah:studio. I'd love to see what you all think.

Here's the direct link, http://www.bubba-x.com/dl/Tmnt1.mov. The file is about 830kb.

I welcome all critiques (the good and the bad).

Thanks Everyone,

Last edited by kvernon : 04 April 2004 at 08:30 PM.
  03 March 2004

Hey man that was awesome.

I love the way you made it look like he was recorded but one of his buddies =).

The motions them selfs seem to be ok for the most part it was kind of short but worth a look.

He's lowpoly i can see that, you can also notice little tweaks in the mesh when he moves. Such as his thigh the nearest to the camera actually that whole leg. you can notice how lowpoly it is and if it isn't then something is wrong their.

I haven't gotten to the stage of actual animation so i couldn't tell cause i haven't full understood or gotten the privledge to understand motion 'sense' yet.

Thanx for sharing i hope someone can help you out.
  03 March 2004
Hey Kelly,

I like the camera, too. Nice little touch. But, if you want this to be an animated motion study, then I think the camera is a little too distracting. It's hard to really see what's going on with the animation because of it.

As far as the animation goes, it's a little stiff and 'snappy'. He's lacking the build up and release of power that happens when people do martial arts moves like this. I'd recommend finding some motion reference and studying the timing, follow-through and the offsetting of limbs in these kinds of motions. A good place to start is here:


Enter some key words like 'karate' on the right. This is a pretty good online motion reference database (remember this link, it's great). You'll have to pay to buy the clips, but you can watch them for free

Other than that, your model looks solid and it seems to deform well (again, the camera could be hiding a lot). You just need to polish up the animation a little.

Good start - Jeremy
what is the character thinking, and why does it feel that way?

  03 March 2004
$!nz : thanks for looking. The model is a low poly model I did, and I think the tris add up to 3K for him. I'm glad you like it!

HumanZoetrope: thanks for the comments and suggestions. I honestly had no idea getty images had film stuff there. After hearing that, I'm all over that site like a bad rash! :/ I'll work on what you stated. That's a very good point about the proper snaps that need to occur (the build up of energy and the release of the power). I'll also play with the camer motions more. He probably is a little to jumpy.

Mucho thanks guys!
  04 April 2004
New Version

Ok, I've worked heavily on refining his movements, and would love to see those suggestions again! This time around, I didn't work on the camera work for the other turtle holding the camera (but it's planned).

Here's the new link, http://www.bubba-x.com/dl/Test2.mov. This file is also about 810Kb. You can compare with the original at http://www.bubba-x.com/dl/Tmnt1.mov.


  04 April 2004
hey definite improvement! really should do something about that last kick though - it looks like hes just wailing somebody in the balls, not very martial artsy :P keep working on it, you've improved a lot already!
  04 April 2004
Hmm...It's a good start. I assume this is going to be some sort of a kata, 'cause it's awefully slow for full-speed training. Ignoring that, there are still a few things to fix as far as form goes.

The third punch seems like more of a grab than a punch, as he doesn't really snap it, and it starts a little odd.
Both legs need to be streighter in the front kick (second one). Kinda looks like he's going to fall over at this point.
His last pose needs work. Even if there is a martial art that keeps the hand that close to the face, it's a rather feminine look. Or, Leo thinks he's Dr Evil. (-:
My webpage: www.TahleN.com
  04 April 2004
Adam Atomic: Thanks for looking and the comments. You know, I've thought about that kick just not as "artistic" towards the martial arts moves, so I'll work on something else. I mean what really set it off..."wailing somebody in the balls..." <-- I just started busting out laughing (literally) when I read that.

Tahl'eN: Thank you too for your thoughts. It is a kata that he's doing (and a rather basic one, as you can tell). The posing for the camera does need to be tweaked... but what if a brick hit Leo or something and he did get the personality of Dr. Evil? Nah, I hear ya on that and it would need to be tweaked for the camera better. As commented to Atomic Adam, I'm going to drop that last kick and pose entirely.

Again thank you both! Anyone else have some ideas?

Thanks again,

  04 April 2004
Here I am again showing the latest changes with the animation. Thanks everyone for the last round, but of course... let me hear them again! All your comments are welcome (wanted )

-I've added in some punch and kick reactions
-changed the last kick
-adjusted timing


Of course the older videos are up to compare as well.


Like always... Thanks,
  04 April 2004
much better - I'd still like to see some more shoulder movement, especially in the punches. The movement seems a little slow sometimes too - i mean, I wouldn't particularly mind being punched by him at this rate an attack is all about impulse and impact, and you need speed for that! The form on the new end kick is quite nice. Keep at it!
  04 April 2004
Adam, thanks again for you feedback! I'm glad to hear things are doing better! I'll play with the shoulders a little to see what kind of extensions I can get.
  04 April 2004
Talking Action and Reaction

Hi. First off I want to say I love the idea and execution. It feels very cinamatic!

I'm taking an intense class on Character Animation at NYU so I've been studying motion for quite some time. One thing I would point out is that your character needs more "anticipation" into his actions, especially before he makes his first kick. If you keyframe him leaning back slightly before planting his grounding foot(just 3 to 4 subtle keyframes), then kicking, it would improve the animation. The kinectic action is always preceded by the exact "opposite" movement. For example, if a character is jumping up, he/she has to go down first.

Also, before he punches, he needs to inhale the potential energy, kinda like he's gathering his Chi, so I think it would be cool to rotate his hips left or right, whatever is the opposite of the punching arm, BEFORE he punches.

Another thing to keep in mind in follow through and heiracrchy. For example, before his knee comes up, his hip comes up, and before his ankle comes up, his knee comes up, and so forth. It should be keyframed so that there is an offset in the Hip, Knee, Ankle, Toe, etc. Kinda like the motion of a whip.

Anyhow, keep up the good work! and look forward to more. Sorry if a ranted too much
  04 April 2004
the_podman: Sorry for taking so long to get back to you, it's been a crazy week! Anywho, these are great ideas you have! I thought I was doing some "recoiling" where he kinda builds up for the punches and kicks, but maybe it's not exagerated enough.

The description of the kick snapping like a whip is a great visual, and I don't think I've really set it up that way, but yer right, that's the direction I was going with them.

Mucho thanks for your comments!
  04 April 2004
Talking Great to help

Glad I could help. I'm a student myself, so take it all with a grain of salt
My Character Animation teacher is very "old-school" when in comes to animation. He always wants me to exagerate more. It's the classic "Disney style" of animation that he likes. I prefer subtle exageration, I don't want to get too cartoony.

Check out these great websites for motion studies:


here you can download animated examples or still frames.
  04 April 2004
the_podman, I think any feedback is great, so if you think it's something to look into then I will! I do agree though, I want to avoid trying the cartoon feel in this piece(you know mickey, donald and goofy) and drive it a little more realistic.

10sec is an awesome place! I've been a member there for a little while, and those people are amazing! I totally get a kick out of the monthly contests!

I'll have to check out freetoon; I've never heard of it.

Again, mucho thanks!

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