Blocking out Cross country run

camerAs I am in a group with me, Edgar and Joe Sykes for animating three body mechanic animations, so mine is Javelin throw, Joe’s is a cross country run and Edgar’s is Long Jump. We have to give each other our animations to work on at different stages of the animation including; Blocking, Inbetween frames, and Splining.

Therefore I have swapped my animation with Joe Sykes, so using his Previs blocking and reference footage I have blocked out the frames for the key poses for the run cycle for the cross country run. The only criticism I have for Joe’s work is that next time he should use life action footage rather than another animation, as you can get more natural reference from real life.

But anyway below is his previs blocking, which was really helpful as he blocked the basic pose to pose action, by moving the character into the key positions without moving any of the body parts. This allowed me to go through the key poses of the previs blocking and adjust the arms, legs, feet, torso, head and hands to look similar to the reference footage. The only issue with the previs blocking is that Joe put the camera only in one place, so it did not follow the character so I decided to fix that as seen below.

Below is the first blocking playblast where I have edited the different body parts to have a pose to pose action using the stepped in the graph editor. But using the move and rotate tool I have edited the arms, legs, feet, hands, head and neck to follow the movement as seen in the reference footage below. I have shortened the video down from 500 frames to 120 frames (with Joe’s permission) to make it easier to do the final splining, allowing the other people in the group to make a natural and good quality animation. I have also edited the camera to follow the character, but the character goes back and forth making it a little disorientating to watch, so I will change that.

Finally below is the last playblast for the blocking stage of this animation where I have edited some of the poses to make sure the feet are touching the floor when necessary and that the body mechanics look natural. I have also made the camera follow the character in a more appealing movement making it look like the reference footage. I think that the blocking will be able to help the next person edit the inbetween frames or edit anything that I have missed in the animation.

Going through the  animation I had a rather unusual problem as when I moved the character rig, some of the body parts did not stay in the same place or the head would detach from the torso, so there may be something to look into with other people in the group or something that needs to be fixed before continuing.

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