We began today by watching a Pixar animation short and had to note what points of animation we could see and where they were. This was helpful to me as it refreshed my knowledge of them and I could see more of the twelve principles this time around. After the animation finished we had a discussion about what we could see and how its interpreted within the animation to convey to the audience.
After this we continued more with the animation we started last week using the 3D tools in Maya. It turns out that the animation I’d made wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. I expected going into this thinking it was a bit rubbish since its my first ever try at animating anything but surprisingly I still liked it and it didn’t look too bad. I knew there were bits that needed work, most notably the running section of the animation, and that would be the focus of this lesson. Refine the animation where needed, fix as appropriate and see if there were any other areas which could do with touching up.
What I didn’t expect was to have to show off my animation to the others in my group for some feedback. I have to be honest here that I wasn’t expecting much in the way of good feedback from since I didn’t think it was amazing or anything, but surprisingly it was well received. I was told it moved well and it was apparent what emotions and movements I’d been trying to get across. The main focus of critical feedback I’d gotten was the shock part at the peak of the jump which needed to be longer and more emphasised. Thinking of how shock is done in cartoon characters, they all follow they same principle of jumping with arms raised (sometimes with a squash in the body to emphasise jump and/or scream) while the hands shake – all of these movements show and emphasis shock and fear. The immediate reaction after that is quite often to run away at speed while the arms are still flailing and waving. This is what I’d envisioned and tried to replicate in my animation.
The feedback helped show me that I’d hadn’t concentrated on the shock emotion quite enough so I’d created extra frames, moved the running section to slightly later in the timeline and inserted some new key frames where I could hold the flour sack in the air for a few moments having its arms waving in fear. Something has gone a little skew-iff in the files though as there’s no textures on the flour sacks.Nevertheless, the differences between the animations shows where I’ve tried to alter it based on feedback.
In my animation I’ve tried to show the Squash & Strecth; Anticipation; Staging; Timing; Exaggeration, and Appeal Principles of Animation and I think I’ve shown them well. Yes they could be a little more refined and more well presented but I think I’ve done well with my first attempt, it can only become better with practice too.
I’m failry happy with the final (ish) result, (I may tinker with the file in my own time to help myself out later), although looking at it I can see where there’s areas which need more work, specifically the feet. They just seem to slide over the floor and don’t look or act very much like you’d expect feet to. Maybe I could have emphasised the body sway in the running too. I did put some in but looking at the clip above it seems to have gotten lost within the movements of the sack.
What I should probably also take into consideration is what I’m modelling. We had the choice of a lamp or a flour sack and I chose the sack. What I didn’t realise until quite far in was there was far more points to think about on the sack and moving each one affected the body in different ways, some altering the body in large ways and some in small. I do think its a labourous thing to do too; move a point, keyframe it, move another point, keyframe it etc. and then fill in the blanks later. Its easy to get lost init and to forget to move something that ends up really standing out. Hats off to those who do this for a living.
I kinda wish I’d went for the lamp which was more rigid in its movements but I’m also kind of pleased I chose the sack since its opened my eyes a little more about the complexities of animating something simple.