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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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

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.

Edgar’s storyboards- The chase

Here are Edgar’s storyboards for the chase animation. By using the reference footage he was able to design the basic key poses for the animation allowing Robyn to have a reference with the footage while she blocks out the key poses for the chase in toon boom harmony.

The Chase character designs

As Robyn is in charge of this animation she assigned me with the task of drawing out the characters for the chase. So the main idea is a parkour chase between a prisoner and a police man. Using Pinterest I looked up a lot of gear to do with parkour, such as gloves, shoulder and knee pads and some sport like clothing. For the policeman/ guard I tried to make a strong, confident character who can chase down a prisoner whilst parkouring. Therefore I gave the designs the approachable manly figure.

However the prisoner has some typical orange jackets with white sweatshirts. Unfortunately I was unable to add some colour as other projects took priority so I was unable to finish the character designs in colour.

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But these are the basic character designs that I shall give to Robyn for reference while she blocks out the key poses for the chase animation in Toon boom harmony.

The Plea Blocking (My Group Production)

After planning the scene using the sketch and the modelling the environment I began blocking the animation. Now I know before I assigned the role to Hannah to block the animation. But due to a number of issues with the shared google drive I decided it would be easier to do it myself. I was not trying to be selfish and just do it myself, but because people in my group were working on the chase and I was working on my individual productions I thought it would be easier to work on the blocking and then go from there with the group.

These two play blasts show the basic key poses and inbetween frames for the Stewart rig character, where the main action for the plea is taking place. Anyway so using the reference footage that I filmed of myself for the plea action I used the timeline to pose the Stewart rig in correlation to the reference footage to get natural looking animation with natural timing.  However I can already see I am going to fix some issues, as the feet slide around in some places rather than step, which is very unnatural so I shall need to go back and fix that.

Looking over this animation I can see that the character is showing that basic plea movement with some natural timing, flowing with the reference footage. Looking at this animation I can see there is a lot of parts that need developing in order to make it look more natural such as; the feet and arms. Furthermore I shall film some reference footage to animate the Mery rig character as she walks towards Stewart with a baton. Therefore my next task is to block out all of the Mery elements and then go onto splining.

The Fight- Fixing the timing

After spending a lot of time of this production for the Fight, I decided to make some time and go back and fix this animation. From previous feedback there was absolutely no timing for this animation, so I tried to move some frames around to make it look more like it had some timing. However watching it through I could see that the transitions between shots were still really fast, therefore I asked Dan for some feedback to help me figure out how to improve the timing.

Dan’s feedback

You’ve used the same colour and type of brush for both characters and backgrounds. This is confusing to the eye, and makes it difficult to quick read what’s going. Between 00:03 and 00:13 the timings between the shots are way off. Some cuts are too fast, others too slow. It needs re-editing . The characters are well drawn, and I love the shot compositions in the second half of the sequences, you did a really good job of building anticipation.

Using this feedback I tried to fix the timing between 00:03 and 00:13, but as you can see below I was really struggling to fix the timing. I think the main issue was that I had no reference to work with and the director Edgar was difficult to reach so I kept trying to develop the animation using the feedback. I will be fixing the colour issues but I wanted to fix the timing before going through each of the frames and draw other them.

Once again I struggled to fix the timing because every frame I moved around seemed to be either to fast or too slow, so I really was finding it difficult to fix the animation to make it look more appealing. The main issue was that the animation jumped too quickly or too slowly between each of the shots, so instead of a animatic it looked like someone who was struggling to use a flip book.

However the idea finally hit me that I should film some really rough reference footage. So I set up my Nikon camera on a tri-pod and acted out the main actions for each of the shots in the sequence. Then I went into premiere pro and added a time code effect over the top of the reference to help get frame numbers for the reference. Then with the reference footage in place I simply moved around the frames to match the timing in the reference footage. Below is the same animation as the others above but with a much more consideration for timing, although the timing is not perfect it is defiantly better than how it was originally.

Now having the timing finally sorted I went through each of the key poses and inbetween frames and drew over them. Although this was very time consuming, it allowed me to make much cleaner lines for the animation, whilst also making sure each of the characters and environments have different colours to one another making it easier to see.  Below is the final animation for the fight sequence, although this is only a animatic I feel like it tells the basic storyline that Edgar had previously come up with before.

However I think next time as a group we should get reference footage before going straight into animating, otherwise you spend more time on a project than you intended. I think this project could have gone better as there was a lack of leadership which made ti difficult to get the animation done as a group. Plus many communication errors made it difficult to see who was doing what. But I managed to temporarily take charge and animate the blocking and inbetweens for the characters and environments. One thing I don’t like about this animation is that the pig and horse are not anatomically correct which in some places makes the character look squished. My next task is to continue working on the plea animation while Robyn thinks of an idea for the chase.