Animating in Maya – Flour Sack pt.2

Here is this weeks update on the flour sack on vimeo, password same as last week ‘nextgen’.

We were given the option to start a new animation or continue on the one from last week. I stuck with my little sack here because I wanted to refine him to have one short animation I could add to my Xmas portfolio rather than two unfinished projects.

My main goal was to flesh out and fix the jump animation. After ten minutes of this I realised I had some very odd broken frames, for example a keyframe at 33 frames and then somehow a keyframe at 33.00. These kinds of problems stretched all the way up to 66 frames. Matt showed me how to fix a bunch of these which is great to know for future but in the end I threw out the entire jump, re-made the key poses and started again, this helped me plan it a little better and make less mistakes. Amazingly I somehow managed to make the jump of the arc almost triangular (again), this will need tweaking in the long run but at least its smoother than last week.

Mid session we had a quick peer review, here is some of my feedback:

  • Good use of squash & stretch (end of the jump) and follow through on the tassels.
  • Appeal – apparently my peer reviewer saw the bag as a rabbit with the small hop and the tassels as ears. I now can’t un-see this image!
  • The jump doesn’t quite feel curved enough (yup I absolutely agree).
  • The landing happens too fast. After further discussion I realised she meant the animation ends too fast and there needs to be some action after the landing (which I’ve already started on in the video above).
  • The ‘ears’ move too fast after the apex of the jump. I’ve already tried fixing this but not 100% sure I’m happy with it yet.

As mentioned above I already tried to implement some fixes for the feedback given. On top of this I tried to smooth out the arc of the jump using the graph editor, which was far easier to use and understand this week, after removing all of the broken & duplicate frames I mentioned earlier. I still feel like there is something wrong with the timing of the jump but another week later and I can’t put my finger on it even after completely re-creating it, I could well be looking for an issue when there isn’t one.

For now all class time has been allocated to this as next week we’ll be story boarding for a new animation. Once there is a lull in all the big projects due this month I’ll have to come back and refine this until I’m happy with it.



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