Boxing Gorilla (WIP)

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Old 01 January 2013   #1
Boxing Gorilla (WIP)

Hi everyone,

I hope it is ok posting this WIP directly in the cinema 4d forum, as I am doing this whole animation in c4d and rendering with VRAY.

The image below shows the main idea of my animation. What I am planning is showing short different scenes of the boxing gorilla. For example one shot very similar to the image, where he is raising his hands with the boxing gloves and looking very dangerous into the camera. One where he is bandaging his hands and putting on his boxing gloves, and of course some where he is hitting a boxing sack with different punches.

It would be great to get some feedback about the image and soon I will upload the first animation tests.


Last edited by anna1 : 01 January 2013 at 03:53 PM.
Old 01 January 2013   #2
Looks nice so far. One crit would be that for me the very wide specular highlight on his eyes is a bit distracting and makes it difficult to read the pupil clearly. I would suggest making the specular much tighter, so that it forms a small narrow highlight instead.

Looks like it will be a challenge to animate such a detailed character and make it believable, look forward to see what you come up with.

Old 01 January 2013   #3
Originally Posted by anna1: It would be great to get some feedback about the image

My one suggestion would be to give your gorilla some more facial expression to support his mood. Here is a quick mockup.
Use his nostrils/ brows/mouth. He probably will breath heavily so I would expect to see that back in nostrils adjusting to the airflow.

Cool character, success with the anim.
Old 01 January 2013   #4
thanks a lot for your feedback, it is really helpful

@Horganovski: yeah I think you are right. At the moment it is actually the reflection of my area light, but I will change it so that it looks tighter. I guess the animation will be really challenging, but I am really up to it

@bunk: this looks amazing. I did some morphs for the brows and the mouth, but not that extreme. But your ones are giving him some personality.

So this evening I will make some really extreme morphs for the nose, brows and the mouth and then post some images hopefully tomorrow evening.
Old 01 January 2013   #5
Hi everyone,

I did some work on the morphs for the nose, mouth and eyebrow. Here are the first test renderings. I am not 100% sure yet about the canine tooth, as they might look a little bit to agressive and dangerous, especially when he is hitting his breast.

As well as I changed the reflection, as Horganovski suggested, in the eye at the image at the right bottom to a spherical reflection and I personally think it looks much better than the square reflection.

I still have to decide in which kind of environment I am going to put him, as this green background from the test renderings is not really a boxing environment. Maybe an old, dirty boxing gym?

I think I will do some test animations over the weekend, mainly animating the scene of the images at the right botton and the top left.

It would be great to get some feedback again and thanks a lot for your help


Old 01 January 2013   #6
The area inside the nose shows too brightly. I don't know a lot about gorilla physiology, but I would think that the inside nostrils would be darker. As they are, they kind of draw attention away from the eyes. This is also true for the amount of specular on the snout. I like the highlights, but I would tone them down just a tad, again, focusing on the eyes.

Old 01 January 2013   #7
Hi everyone,

thanks for your last feedback.

Here is another update on the image. I changed the colour of the inside of the nose, as mike suggested, and now it is much more darker. I also lowered the highlights a little bit, but only a little bit.

Then I started to work on the first animation. I decided to start with a walkcycle, so that I could get the mood of the character. It is only the basic movement yet. I am still not 100% happy with it. My goal is to really show his strength, especially when he is setting down his hands, I want to give the feeling like the earth is shaking and the camera as well. Maybe I should put in a short break when he puts his hand down, slowing everything down a little and then go back to the normal speed. As well as I should put in some wiggling on his hand, which I already did on the back when he is setting down his hand. Althought I am not sure, if it should be a little bit more softer.

I know that the hands are sometimes coming through the boxing gloves, I am going to correct it, as soon as If got the proper movement of the hands.

The rendering is only a software rendering and I switched the fur off.

Then I ran over another problem. I was planning to use the collision deformer for the boxing gloves, so that if they are touching the floor, they are changing their form, where they meet the floor. It is working with one glove, but the other one is making this thing (on the image below). Does anyone knows why this is happening and how I could fix it? If not, I have to do it another way.

It would be really nice to get some feedback again, especially on my animation, as it is the first quadruple I am animating.

Old 01 January 2013   #8
I hope this comes across as it's intended (for improving the quality of the artwork), as it's difficult to get 'tone of voice' right on forums sometimes.

To me your animation demonstrates a lack of fundamental animation principles like spacing, overlap, successive breaking of joints, weight etc. For me there are too many issues with it to critique in short text form so I would respectively suggest that you watch some tutorials on walkcycles and then apply what you learn to a fresh pass at it. Most of the tutorials you'll find on the web will likely use Maya but if you'd like to see a C4D-centric one there's the one I made for Maxon UK last year which you'll find here. C4D Walkcycle Tutorial

I hope that helps. Keep in mind that walks are actually a pretty tough thing to animate so they need a lot of patience. I don't mind admitting that the ones I animated here Example (both the human one and the cat) took a lot of time (and the guidance of an excellent teacher at iAnimate certainly helped me!).


Last edited by Horganovski : 01 January 2013 at 06:52 PM.
Old 01 January 2013   #9
no worries, I think it came across as you intended I mean I am posting these things here to get better and if you are telling me that this walk is not ok, then I am not offended, especially as I can perfectly see what you mean

So thanks for the tutorials, I am just having a look at them and then will start with my walk on a blank page again and hopefully the next one will be better.
Old 01 January 2013   #10
Great, hope the tutorials help.

One of the most important things I learned at iAnimate last year (I'm back with them again at the moment doing another workshop and having a blast there) was to be able to take criticism and to not be too precious about my work. I remember the first time my teacher looked at one of my assignments and she said to me 'that section is not working at all, you should delete it and start over' my first thought was 'nooo.. I've worked for ages on that.. I can't delete it!'. But I took her advice and she was right, it was much better at my second pass on it (and my 3rd.. and...).
I find this has really helped me with client work now too, if I get a note that something needs to change now I see it as an opportunity to explore new options and ultimately make the shot better than it is on each pass.
It seems you are already in that mindset which is great, the rest is just practice and study really.

One other point that might help (I think I mention this in the tutorials) that's really drummed into us at iAnimate - reference is crucial! Especially for animals that don't necessarily move like we do. I used to think that animating from video reference was 'cheating' somehow but it's really not and it can make a huge difference to the end result (hey it works for modelers, why not for animators!). I have a membership with these guys and find them great. You can find lots of free stuff too if you search on youtube or places like the BBC Motion Gallery.

Good luck!

Old 01 January 2013   #11
Hey, the tutorials really helped and thanks for your encouraging words. I found a really good reference for a walking gorilla starting at 1:00 minute. I mainly used the silver back gorilla as reference, althought my gorilla is a little bit younger. As well as I looked at the rhinohouse site, it is an amazing site and I really like it.

So here is my new try:

Still not perfect, but I think it is (hopefully) going into the right direction.

Feedback is as always very welcome
Old 01 January 2013   #12
Glad that helped! The new version looks much better to me. The first thing that catches my eye with it now is the spacing of the feet as they land on the ground. It feels too slow and even which is making it feel a little weightless. I'm guessing if I looked at the position Y curve as the foot comes into land the curve is pretty smooth which gives an ease in, which is not possible really in reality. What you should have is acceleration all the way (caused by gravity!) until the foot hits the ground and then a sudden stop when it can't go any further (as it can't go through the ground).

What you might do is save that reference (lots of plugins for Firefox etc that allow you to do this) and then frame through it to really see the spacing of how the feet land. Pretty cool clip by the way.



Last edited by Horganovski : 01 January 2013 at 05:13 AM.
Old 01 January 2013   #13
I see what you mean. I changed it, made it faster, but it might be still to weak. The strange thing is, if I let say make the last 3 frames quicker in the y axis wit a linear interpolation, it looks like he would stamp on the floor. But if I let say use for the last couple of frames, in this case 7 frames a linear interpolation, it is just the same speed, but not really accelerating. So I guess it is just much more experimenting. But I still want these typically Gorilla relaxing walk, but on the same time showing of his strange. But here is my newest try. The left foot is more the stamping foot, if you know what I mean and the right foot is the one with the linear interpolation and a little bit stamping.

As well as I checked out the gorilla walk frame by frame and changed the timing of the foot. It wasn't a big change, only that the foot is hitting the ground 2 frames earlier and therefore staying longer on the floor. And I put in some stronger movement from side to side, you can see it really good from the top perspective. I really like this perspective and I am going to make it as a scene of my animation. But firstly I have to get the walk right and then I will put in some variations, so that he is not repeating the same movements.

So thanks a lot for your help and it would be great to get some critics again

Old 02 February 2013   #14
it has been really busy, but here is another update.

I started to animate some more scenes and putting them together to see how they are working together. They are only testrenderings and not finished yet.

On the last scene I am going to put in some exploding particles, when he is hitting the boxing sack, flying into the camera.

Then I started to modell some of the surroundings. Here is an image of the changing room (without textures and light), where he is putting on his boxing gloves. I am going to put in some more details, like towels, water bottels... I haven't decided yet what I am going to do with the back wall. Maybe an old stone wall or a big window front.

It would be great to get some feedback and thanks a lot for all your help

Old 02 February 2013   #15
Coming along well. A pretty ambitious project!

The main thing that jumps out at me now is that the spacing of a lot of the moves needs work, it feels pretty mechanical when he punches his fists together for example. You need to really slow out of the extreme poses a lot more, then build up speed, to show proper weight and inertia. Also the last shot where his head tilts back is hitting an 'invisible wall' and lacks overlap and settle, again making it look too light. If you need to key practically every frame for a fast move, so be it, it's important to not let the computer handle the interpolation as the results it gives will always look robotic.

A quick way to experiment with spacing is to use a tool like 'Tween Machine', that's a tool for Maya, but I wrote a C4D equivalent a while back, the 'C4D Nudge tools' on the C4D Tools page on my site (link in my signature).

I'd also suggest posting your WIPs on an animation-specific site, like say the personal work section of the 11SecondClub. Be warned you might not get many responses initially, but likely more than here as while this forum is great for general C4D stuff there are not many character animators here AFAIK. The other thing that's good about the 11SecondClub is that you can dig through other posts and see what kind of crits/advice those people were given, that can be quite educational sometimes. In particular, watch the videos that are made for the winner each month with a pro giving critique. That's the closest thing to being at an online school like Animaton Mentor or iAnimate without being there. (if you can do a course like that though, I'd highly recommend it, I've found being at iA has accelerated my learning process no end).


Last edited by Horganovski : 02 February 2013 at 12:15 AM.
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