Break the Cycle – Animation Project Submission

The In-Progress posts can be located here:

Break the Cycle – Animation Project (Pt.1)

Break the Cycle – Animation Project (Pt.2)

Honestly I was dreading this exercise after the keyframing issues that plagued the ident exercise, however it wasn’t anywhere near as bad. A combination of pre-planning, research material and fully functional rigs (that I didn’t make and break myself) made this far less frustrating. This allowed me to focus on the animation rather than a never ending battle of technical issues, therefore I feel like I’ve learnt a lot more in terms of animation in this exercise than I did in the previous one.

While I felt the walk cycle was a very theoretical exercise, understanding such terminology as contact pose, passing pose, etc and putting these into practice while understanding how the timings for these poses work, the end of the process became more organic as the basic poses were refined into something with a little more life.

Thanks to the aid of a lecture from Pluralsight I began to see the importance of things like hip movement, chest rotation, minor follow through in the hands and so on. While the basics may boil down to five frames, this is just the tip of the iceberg and giving it some realism and believability is far more involved. It took me two whole days, non-stop to get the end result of this cycle and while some of that time is due to being a novice with the toolset, there is still an element of complexity I wasn’t expecting. While animating isn’t my favourite thing in the world I’m pleased with the end result and hope the quality is good enough for the module.

As previously mentioned the wave (later evolved to a hop and wave) was more of an organic process than the walk cycle. While I did try and find research, examples and even straight up tutorials on making something similar, nothing existed. I get the feeling it may be considered too simple an action to have any learning material. Therefore I had to rely on finding my own reference and had my wife waving her arms around the office to figure out how it should look.

I followed the same blocking process I did for the walk cycle and put in keyframes for the extremes of the hop and the wave. The initial blocking pass was a little short and had a few extra keyframes for the wave copied and pasted, from there I turned splined back on and sat refining the movement. Getting Kelly to occasionally wave again for reference. The hardest part by far was getting minor movements on the body caused by waving, the end result really is a combination of minor rotation and a side to side wiggle down the chest/spine. The other fine detail that had to be nailed down was follow through on the hands, having done a little bit of this during the walk cycle I was already getting used to the kind of arcs required to achieve this.

Fingers crossed for some good feedback and then these two Bonys may take a place in my showreel for the end of year presentation!



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