Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Character Animation Practice: Inspiration

For the last two weeks I have been on a Work Placement at Rare in Birmingham. I have been learning an awful lot about animation, especially when it comes to blocking out characters and putting them into strong key poses rather than worrying with the movement of it straight away.
I think the poses make the animation stronger. In the first week I focused on walk cycles which is especially helpful for my character animation next year as my character movement will be more subtle and realistic. The most important thing I have learned is not to overly apply rules for 2D walk cycles such as in Richard William's Animator's Survival Guide for 3D animation as the movement does not need to be too exaggerated. Otherwise there is too much movement in too short of a time frame and it looks jerky and wrong.
I will be scanning in my notes for walk cyles in my next post, but the focus of this one is the blocking out I have been doing for a couple of character pieces over the last few days. I looked on Youtube for inspiration, and found this jump and short dance section really interesting.

I initally sketched and planned my poses to give me a good idea of what I would need to do first and then began by posing the Rare Avatar rig into the poses. I used stepped keys to focus on the blocking out, only using spline when necessary for example to add in the head turns or movement of the arms which overlapped with that of the body or legs. I did each pose on threes, only stretching it out to match the timeline of the video footage when I was satisfied with the poses and wanted to focus on the timing. The results will be posted asap.

I do like the first jump it is a very strong martial arts type action which may be used in a similar vein for my third year project. The hero could be leaping out of the way of danger or going full force to attack a bit like the Jack vs the Man in Black video I have previously linked to. It shows how a step before the leap is necessary to gain momentum into the jump and also how a landing does not have to be on two feet at the same angle at the same time.

The Michael Jackson Scream video is one of my favourite music videos of all time, and I love the simplicity of the colour scheme being black and white. This would be really effective to apply to animation and perhaps if I was telling an old story I would to make it akin to olf fashioned effects. I was thinking from this of maybe only using a very basic colour scheme of two or three colours but varying the hue or shade of them like the black, white and varying greyscales of the video.
I also think the costumes are awesome, and would be great if I was doing a sci-fi piece. This may be looked into before my presentation.

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