Wednesday, October 3, 2012

WEEK 5: Motion Studies - Rough to Final Animation "Splining"

So you have created all the major poses and some important breakdowns, roughed in the timing and all is well. What next? Well, the next step, as they say, is a doozy!
It's one thing to see all your poses nice and clearly separated. It's quite daunting to make them all transition fluidly to create a good animated performance.

Today we'll go through a few more techniques to make this process more manageable.

Here are some key pro tips for moving from blocking to final animation:
  • break the shot up into distinct beats - work on the main actions separately
  • shorten the timeline - don't get overwhelmed
  • look at what’s driving the motion - make sure it's nice and clean
  • hide the arms and legs if they're distracting
  • try using ghosting or creating motion trails if that's helpful for seeing arcs and spacing
  • convert the body curves to “clamped” or “spline”
  • go through curve by curve, adjusting as necessary 
  • focus on one moment at a time
  • take a step back and review the whole file occasionally
Adapted in part from the article "The Fear of Moving Past Blocking" by Eric Scheur

Here are some of the most important things to watch out for when finalizing your animation:
  • Arcs
  • Line of Action
  • Offsets
  • Overlap and Follow Through
  • Energy
  • Pace
  • Silhouette
  • Motion Problems
  • Timing
  • Staging
  • Acting
  • Watch your previews many times and write down any problems you should go back and fix later.
Adapted in part from the article "Life After Pose to Pose: Taking your Animation to the Next Level" by Keith Lango

Final polish is a finesse pass where many subtle details can be added. This is not a requirement at this stage but something to look forward to. Some examples of final polish are:
  • add squash stretch to the head
  • add deformations on the body for squash/stretch and single-frame effects
  • add subtle bows bends on arms, legs
  • animate nose / cheeks
  • overlap brows, blinks
  • overlap fingers, toes
  • eye-darts
Reminder: your deadline for this assignment is next week before class! Good luck!

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