The Plea splining progress and final render

After splining the basic key poses for the animation I have gone through and edited the blocking pass for the Stewart rig character. However as you can see below some of the animations are not working properly, as due to some technical issue the arms keep flying around. I have tried to use the Euler filter to fix it but nothing is working. I did my best to fix what I could for this animation. So the playblast below shows my production process for the other side of the Stewart rig to find out what the arm issue is.

Using the graph editor I tried to fix the issues with the character by moving the x and y axis around but some of the arm poses where just not moving in the right place. Therefore I used the hypershade menu to add a rock texture (image) from the internet to make the rocks look more interesting.

The last four play blasts for this animation have made my frustrated as I have tried to fix the issues with the arms but they just are not working. So using the graph editor I did what I could to fix the issues but as you can see in each playblast below they get worse and worse every time.

The final playblast above has been edited so that the animation looks cleaner than the others, the issues I kept having are still in the final animation but some of them are less noticeable because I have used the graph editor to try and fix the issues with the animation. Below is the final render for the Plea animation, as you can see I have had some issues with some of the controls in the Stewart rig but although I did not fix them I have made them less unappealing than they were before. Furthermore there are still some glitches with the arms as they spazz out in some places. Plus the feet slide around which is a little off putting.

The final animation looks good with the mental ray lighting, but because of the animation  it looks very rushed which makes the animation look quite unappealing in some areas, but I have done what I could to fix the issues before the deadline.

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3 Character performance Splining and Final

From the previous set of play blasts I had animated the key poses for the king character and splined the animation to see how it would look with the characters inside the animation all together. this playblast below shows the production of me and Hannah’s animation. Hannah already has her animation pretty much completed,  and has some smooth movement between each of the poses. However mine at the moment is still looking a little unrefined as the character seems to jump around a lot, with certain body parts moving in different directions rather than staying still. This means I need to go back and change the animation in the graph editor to fix some of the issues.

Below is the final playblast for this particular animation as a group with me, Hannah and Jack. Unfortunately Jack couldn’t finish his part of the animation which was the queen sitting in her throne reacting to each of the conversations. But I think due to different projects overlapping he was unable to participate in the is animation. Anyway the final playblast still has some glitchy movement and random actions occurring. However due to the deadline fast approaching I have decided to clean the animation up as best I could in the short amount of time and fix some of the issues.

However I know that we had a long time to make this animation, but I think due to my lack of time management, projects overlapped and I had to try and pick the most important animations. Although I have the main actions splined, I can see that the animation is really rushed and looks quite unappealing in some cases as the crown keeps moving around. I did my best to change that in the graph editor, but it kept going back. Perhaps next time I should try attaching the crown to the head rig as it will allow me to move each of the parts around with the crown following the head.

Anyway above is the final animation for the 3 character group production. Here I have added the audio from 11 second club over the top in premiere allowing me to line up the character actions with the dialogue. However in some parts the actions are just out of time with the audio but some parts are not noticeable. The textures for the floor where taken from creative crash allowing  me to make a nice royal throne room with gold chairs (Lambert texture). But I did not add a texture to the walls as I wanted to focus on getting what I could do with the animation first and then do the final render parts. But although my part of the animation is a let down the lighting helps to make the animation look cleaner, even though my animation has some issues. But I think next time if I manage my time better between projects I know I could improve on the animation rather than leave it as it is.

The Plea- Hannah’s environment art

Hannah has drawn out some rough environment art with colour ans small details which look really appealing. The designs have a sci-fi look to them which could have been a animation suited for the Plea, but because I have already made the model I cannot change the design. But I could change the colour of the rock texture to be a purple for an alien planet.

As you can see Hannah has made a variety of environment art, which I can use to improve the textures of the model so that we have a alien like planet or a desert, or something else interesting for a cliff like environment. Having these environments I shall now use them as reference to texture the plea animation model.

The Leap final render with sound

Here Hannah has taken the final render for the Leap and added some footstep sound effects over the top of the animation. I think next time we should add sound while animating as could help to make the sound line up. Hannah has done a good job adding sound, but it is a little out of place in some places, but other than that I should add some other sounds into the animations.

The Plea- Robyn character designs

Here are Robyn’s rough character designs for the plea, with the main character being an adventurer and another character being a intimidating thug, kind of like Indiana Jones. However we only have faces at the moment but having these will allow me to try and change the rigs that I am using for the plea animation to show the development of the characters.

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The Plea - Bad Character

Creep animation Spline, Polish, Final

Splining the creep animation has been developed slightly since the previous post as I have managed to sort out the legs, feet and hips to move quite naturally with some smooth movement from each transition. However as you can see in the playblast below there are still some issues involving the jumping between frames, so my guess is there are still some stepped keys that need to be splined so I shall go through and change that.

Below not only have I nearly finished splining the character but I have also splined the squirrel as he moves from side to side, curious about the noises.  I have only done some very basic splining for the squirrel as my main focus is on the Stewart rig animation for the creep.

Below is the final playblast for the animation where I have added some camera movement and changed the textures on the books, shelves and floor. I have used some simple Lambert textures with files or plain solid colours on them just to make the scene a little more interesting. Furthermore the camera movement helps to show the character as he creeps around the scene trying to avoid being seen by the squirrel who may or may not be a librarian.

This is the final animation for the creep, I have once again used mental ray to get that nice natural lighting effect which gives a clear scene for the audience. However I do feel like I have missed so stuff on the polish, as I may have rushed this scene because of the time left before the deadline. So as you can see below there are lots of jumps and random movements which are not there intentionally but because I ran out of time to go through and fix them.

However I have done my best in the time I allocated myself to get the general movement smoothed out for the Stewart rig character. But as I have mentioned I missed out on a lot of the small mistakes which has made the animation a little off putting in some areas. But this has helped me to realise for next year I need to think more carefully about ideas and my time management in order to get everything done on time. Now all the individual animations are done I need to finish working on the Plea for the group productions so I shall work on splining and polishing the shot once again.

The Plea Blocking/ Splining

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.

The Chase Animation Blocking and final

Here is the blocking for the chase animation that Robyn has been working on. As you can see in the playblast below Robyn has drawn out the movement for the environment and the key poses for each of the two characters. Unfortunately due to lack of time we have not been able to draw the character designs over the top, as a variety of issues before hand in the group production schedule cost us a lot of time and left us with little time to do this one. But looking at the animation Robyn has done a very good job as you can see the parkour actions in the key poses, with a clear chase sequence between the two characters.

My role from this was to do the inbetweens, but due to a lack of communication in previous group animations we sort of got held back with all of the projects and only had a limited amount of time to complete this part of the animation.

Therefore below is the same animation with a colour card over the top to help show the main line work Robyn has done for the key poses. Although the animation is not finished as we had planned, I can see that the key poses alone help to tell the story of the chase as the characters chase each other across the rooftops. Due to overflow in work with other projects I was unable to complete my other task of making the inbetween frames, as I am currently working on the plea animation. But as I said before this animation may look like a animatic but it still runs like a animation with just the key poses.

The only issue I have with the animation is that despite being incomplete we did not put the character designs on the animation so it looks like two people chasing each other, but there is no visual elements to tell the story to the target audience which is a little disappointing. Therefore next time we work in a group we should consider time management and communication skills in order to improve the quality of our work. This is the final group animation and I can say there has been some rather large bumps in the road to completing all the animations (or attempting to) But overall we worked as a group and achieved what we could before the deadline. Although we had issues in the group the main animations have shown we can work as a group despite the issues we have. Now the task will be to put all the group animations into a show reel with the rest of the animations.

3 Character Group performance- blocking continued and rough splining

After getting the basic key poses for the king character done I went through and added some inbetweens to help build up the actions with the imported audio file from 11 second club. So using the reference footage in the background I roughly plotted out the inbetween frames for the main actions. Plus I positioned the key poses for the sword model that I had made previously to help make the scene more interesting. Below is the first playblast from adding the inbetweens to the blocking animation.

Below I have made a playblast without all the controls in the scene, as I wanted to see how the animation looks without having the controls covering the poses making it harder to see what needs fixing. Anyway my character (The king) is starting to look a little more like the reference footage in the background so I need to continue with the blocking and then move onto splining.

Below is a playblast with not only my character splined but Hannah’s as well. Jack is currently working on his character for this animation, but I have imported Hannah character into the scene to help me position my character’ body and head so that the character reacts together. Looking at Hannah’s animation a few times I know that she used my animation as reference so now I will do the same, allowing me to build a interaction between the characters, that fits with the dialogue.

Below I have started to improve some of the issues that have been noticed in the playblast above. For instance the arms and crown seem to twist and move around a lot which is something I need to improve on in order to make the character performance look more appealing. However by using the Euler filter in the graph editor I was able to remove those twists in the arm, making the animation look more appealing than before.

Looking at the animation I can clearly see that I need to edit my character animation as there is a lot of jumping around which is very off putting. Using Hannah’s animation as reference I shall use the graph editor to improve the look my animation, making the graph more refined without all this random jumping around. As you can see in the playblast above I have added some dialogue from the 11 second club just to show how the two characters will interact together. But there will not be any lip syncing as I want to focus on the actual actions of the character before doing small details. Therefore my next task for this project will be to use the graph editor and fix the issues with the movement, helping to refine the key positions of the character.

Creep Animation Spline continued

After having the main poses done I began to spline the animation in the graph editor. As you can see in the playblast below I edited the hips first. The reason for this is because all the characters movement follows the hips so by having the hips edited first I was able to adjust the main bounces and positions of the creep to move naturally.

However as you can see there are a few small issues that are occurring as some of the movement seems to stop mid way through a step so perhaps I need to go through translate X and Z again to see where the issues are. To make sure the arms do not play up again I have used the Euler curve again to fix any broken or unnatural movement in the rig.

But these two play blasts show my basic splining for this animation, my next task will be to animate the characters properly in the graph editor and make sure that I keep the natural movement without some stops and starts between frames. Therefore my main action is animate the Stewart rig starting with hips and legs then work upwards.