Tuesday, October 9, 2012

WEEK 6: Character Acting 1: Walk Cycles using mocap data

Animation speed drill o' the day: lifting a heavy box. Here's a very nice example:

Walk Cycles using mocap.
We'll get started this week with some refresher concepts about cycles and animating walks in Maya.  This time around we will be using mocap data as the basis for our walk cycles. You may record this yourself or use prerecorded data.

Your Walk cycle must be a character-specific study backed up with video reference, thumbnails etc.

I want character walks, not just any old generic tutorial walks. You shot reference, you can shoot more. This is where all your animation principles and study all come together. Make it yours and make it awesome.

For next week, please read the chapter on walks from page 102-163 in Richard Williams' "Animator's Survival Kit".

A metronome is very handy for animating walks and many other actions. There are tons of free metronomes online and free metronome apps.
Click here for a handy chart comparing metronome beats to frames per second.

Assignment 4: Walk Cycle using mocap
Assigned: 10/10/12
Due: 31/10/12
% of final grade: 20%
Use the pre-built humanoid skeleton or your own rig.
Animate a treadmill walk based on mocap data. Walks should clearly shows the personality and attitude of the character. The timing (both frames per step and timing of secondary actions such as arm swings and head drag) should support the attitude and personality. The character should have a believable weight. Steps should be symmetrical and the motion should be fluid and smooth without obvious pops or bumps. Body parts should be offset from one another a bit so every part of the action doesn't occur on the same frame.

Exemplary: Clear personality and attitude, strong apparent weight, fluid motion with a strong grasp of all animation principles.
Excellent: Apparent personality, weight and almost entirely fluid motion with a good grasp of nearly all animation principles.
Acceptable: Some personality and weight. Motion is mostly fluid with minor errors or missing animation principles.
Not Acceptable: Generic walk not convincingly heavy or not fluid with quite a few glitches or missing animation principles.

Please submit files to our shared DropBox folder.

Please hand in 2 files named as follows:
tdonovan_walkref_000.mov (for video reference files)

File Format: QT
Encoding: H.264
Quality: 100
Image Size: Custom
Width: 560
Height: 316 

Include any referenced files and video reference. Please watch your naming conventions. No caps, extra characters or spaces. Feel free to number the files up to 999 as you like. It will help differentiate the files should you need to resubmit.

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