After blocking the Stewart rig with the reference footage in the background, I filmed some separate reference footage for the Mery rig allowing me to get a simple walk animation with a wooden stick allowing me to get reference for a baton. Below is the basic blocking animation for the Mery rig where I have blocked out the basic key poses allowing me to get a natural looking animation that fits in the time limit of the Stewart rig plea animation.
Using the feedback from my group I made Mery walk slowly other to Stewart while holding a baton, showing that intimidating look and then she stops in front of him smacking the baton in her hand. While Mery is threatening Stewart, he is pleading for him not to be beaten up or thrown off the edge of the cliff. The playblast below shows the characters in a different position to show the baton action as she swings the baton in her hands.
Below is another playblast showing my recent progress where I have put inbetweens for both Mery and Stewart, but also making the graph editor into a Spline pass. However I have encountered some issues as the Stewart rig has some arms twisting around in the animation which means something has broken, so I shall need to fix that and some of the other details. But Mery seems to be working fine as the basic walk cycle look quite natural. Having these characters react together in the scene now will help me later on, as by using each character as reference I can position the body and head to face the character he is pleading to.
Below I have gone back into blocking and re positioned each of the poses in the Stewart rig, allowing me to have a some more natural movement without the random jumps of lags. Looking at this playblast I can see that the animation still is in need of development, before I start splining further.
Therefore I am going to go back and block the Mery rig so then when I use the spline tool in the graph editor the animation will already be half done. Now my next task will be to finish working on the plea and continue refining the movement in the graph editor.