Body mechanics acting ideas

Firstly I was tasked after looking up Dick Van Dyke and Charlie Chaplin, was to come up with some ideas for an animation based on acting. Like my research it will be a short clip with a main action and some additional secondary actions to help make the idea more appealing. So my task was to come up with three ideas to the go and film myself doing, to then use as reference footage for the animation in Maya.

  1. So my first was to have a dizzy character who had knocked his head or had his/her drink spiked making the character feel dizzy and losing their balance.
  2. Another  idea was to have a character performing a martial arts performance or a series of actions with a weapon or a series of simple poses.
  3. The final idea was a simple zombie walk, with over exaggerated arm and leg movements to help start of using full character rigs compared to simple bot.

So looking at these ideas the next stage was to find somewhere and film these different movements. So using my Nikon camera and a tripod I filmed all three ideas to consider using for the final animation idea.

So the first idea with the dizziness was to have a character drinking out of a tea cup or glass, then after walking away for a few steps the character gets a unusual feeling. Trying to walk the character ends up losing his balance and stumbles around in circles trying to gain his/her balance before the character hurts themselves.

The second idea below is me with a wooden stick, creating a martial arts attack scene, so imagine the character is surrounded and his attacking multiple enemies with a simple boe staff or staff. I simple just did a few spins with the staff in my hands and various feet movements and body poses to try and create a interesting action.

The final idea is a simple zombie walk with over exaggerated hand swings and steps to create a more detailed walk cycle than what I have made previously.

Looking through each of the ideas I have decided to go with the first idea as it’s not too complex for a first attempt at a body mechanics animation with a full character. Plus the idea has more secondary action compared to some of the other videos. The zombie walk was the least likely to be chosen as I have made many walk cycles previously and I wanted to try something different. The martial arts poses seemed a little complex for a first attempt, but I think after doing the first idea I will give it a go in Maya.

Next step is to make some storyboards for the first idea using the footage and then go into Maya and block the key poses. I think for this animation, rather than using the simple bot rig I will use either Norman or the Stewart rig as they are both quite simple rigs compared to Mery.


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