For this project I’ve been tasked to create two animations which follow or include the below criteria. We’re free to choose whichever two tasks we want.
For my first I’m using a Herc rig which is available on Moodle and here he is above. To help me with the animation and to make it look real I’m also using the book; The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams.
So the first thing I looked at was the book itself, particularly the walk cycles of a character.
The handbook shows that a characters walk cycle is made up of five sections with three main parts – Contact, Pass Position and Contact and this is how I started. Using the rig I positioned and added key frames on these three parts giving me a basic walk cycle. I added in the second and fourth keyframes afterwards as the feet positioning and movement didn’t look natural but fortunately, these keyframes were only minor alterations on the Y and Z axis. The end result gave me the below walk cycle.
Plateau and Stepped tangents for the walking cycle.
I began the animation by looking at one section at a time before moving on – legs first, then arm movements, then body etc so I wasn’t focusing on too much where I could make mistakes. I’d decided at this point to break from the standard walk cycle and have the character tightrope walk instead so I’d made small alterations to the footing placing one in front of the other. I also gave the body a sway to emphasise this. However, something went wrong here and the rig controls doubled which caused me a few issues animating frames. I did manage to find the error and remove them in the Graph Editor but this had a knock on effect to the falling section of the animation as seen below.
I can only presume that some of the keyframes had been shared by the doubling up and that gave me a bug in the process. Poor fella looks like he’s being held up by string.
I fixed the arms at the end of the animation before going back through the whole process again adding small bits here and there with quite a few bits of tweaking along the way. Some of what I’ve added might not be noticed much at first but they do look a lot better in that what the animation looked like without them – small touches. Once I was happy I Playblasted it twice, once with plateau tangents and once with stepped tangents.
Finally happy with it, I rendered it out through Maya’s software before putting it together in Adobe Premier.
Submission Post: Herc Submission