Monday, October 28, 2013

WEEK 9: Motion Studies DESN1136 Assignment 5: Idle

Ready for your term of Maya animation cycles? You are going to create a set of cycles that will seamlessly blend together - idle, walk, run, and jump.

We are going to be using exclusively the new free rig from Animation Mentor, Stewart.

Get your own copy here rather than just getting it from a friend. Sign up for their newsletter, trust me, it's worth it.
He has more functionality than Buckid and less troublesome detail than Eleven.

First up: Idle no more! (hehe)..
Greeks gave the world souvlaki
 and contrapposto
The humble idle is the Rubic's cube of cycles. How your character behaves when he's just waiting around conveys a lot of attitude. You'll need a lot of subtle control to keep a character alive. Too little movement and they'll just look dead, too much and they'll appear to be having a seizure. :o)

I must warn you that as simple as it may seem to make a character 'do nothing', it is most diabolical! With great subtlety you must add some movement to every part of the character. Nothing should bump or pop, everything should have a nice smooth arc and you should not really be able to pick out where the cycle starts and stops

The key to idles is mastering 'Overlapping Action'. Show how movement flows from the main muscle groups of the body out to the extremities using the 'wave principle'.

Start with a nice pose. Work in a little contrapposto if you can.
woah, that's a little too
 much contrapposto

Get the attitude working before you move on to animation. Create a slightly different pose in the middle and then some breakdowns in between. This looks not too bad, but the movement will all be happening on the same keyframes. Get into the details by offsetting the joints. All changes of direction must use lots of slow ins & outs. Use your infinity/cycle views and check for smoothly flowing curves in that Graph Editor.

DESN1136 Assignment 5: Idle Cycle
% of final grade: 10% 
Assigned: Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013
Due: WEEK 11, Nov 12th at the end of class
Playblast and Maya file
*Late assignments are worth 0

Animate your character in a typical (not generic) pose, idling. It should be a loop about 1-2 seconds long. The QT should be set up to cycle on a loop so be sure your 1st and last frame are not repeated.

Quicktimes only, 560 pixels by 316 pixels, H.264 codec, max 10MB. You can use a variety of tools such as Handbrake, Adobe Media Encoder, Quicktime Pro and more to format your videos. I use the 11-second club guidelines:

Please REFERENCE your rig into your shot (do not open the rig and start animating or import him.)


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