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.

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.

Land character animation/ final

Below is the more refined animation for the land, as by using Dan’s feedback I was able to fix the leap issue and make a natural looking arc. By adding that extra frame I was able to make a arc that helps show the power of the jump as the character drops down into the superhero landing. However there is one issue still with this animation, which is the camera angles. Although Dan said it was fine to have parts of the character cut out of the screen, it seems like when the character leaps the camera makes the arc different in shape. But on a positive note I have added the backgrounds into the scene allowing me to go add the character designs over the top to make a superhero and super villain animation.

So below is the final animation, well final blocking animation with the character designs added on top. The issue I have come across is that I am getting very close to the deadline and there is still much to do. Therefore I have had to take down some of the animation off the to do list, as this animation has a clear sense of movement, with a natural arc for the jump. Now having the line work done on each of the characters I am now able to determine which character is which. As if I had not of put the deigns on top, the animation would look quite dull and there would be not sense of story to it.

I decided to stick with the final designs that I developed in my sketchbook for the hero and villain. The main issue that I have with this animation is that because it is not complete I did not get the smooth animation that I had anticipated for. However I did manage to fix the camera movement of the landing part of the jump. As rather than moving the background around, I changed the environment for each of the scenes allowing me to make a smooth transition between the top half of the platform and the bottom half without ruining the animation. Another issue I came across was that the blue box around the scene was preventing me from making the full character in the camera box, as instead I was only getting half a character.

Therefore by selecting the drawing and going to the top menu and selecting Drawing> change bitmap resolution I was able to make the blue box larger to draw the full character. I found this out by going onto the toon boom forum and researching a similar question to what I had. Now this animation is effectively done I will now move onto the creep and get that done as that will be the final animation for the individual project. Then if I have time I shall come back to this animation and refine the frames.

Land Environment designs

Using the rough environment sketches that are in the background of the blocking for the Land animation, I have developed and refined them using  the reference footage and rough sketch. Because I run up stairs in the reference I thought I should use that in the animation but make it look abandoned as if the hero and villain met up there to fight or it could be the villain’s lair. Anyway for the first slideshow it shows my drawing for the large platform that the character will stand on a jump off of. I thought of this after look at my reference footage, as I am standing on a stall as I jump and land, so I thought why not have something similar but much large in scale. By having these 3 environments I will be able to make the jump look more appealing by moving the drawing around to make it look like it is moving with the character to make a jump and land effect.

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This slideshow below has the production of the abandoned staircase which was inspired by my own staircase at home. By looking at my reference footage and using the design in the toon boom file I was able to construct a simple design for the stair case. But in this case I added patched of mould and damp., whilst also having dark walls and a rusty old elevator. For this design I have tried to use dark colours unlike the one above as I wanted to show that evil look or old abandoned look.  At first I tried to avoid using line art for the environment but I wasn’t sure if the colours would work without it, which it did not.

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Now having some basic but creative backgrounds for the land I can now go and add them into the toon boom file, whilst I also refine/ draw out the character designs that will overlay the skeleton drawing in the previous blocking play blasts. Now my next task it to start applying the character designs for both hero and villain on the scene.

Get up Character animation

As you can see here I have added in the environment background that I drew and coloured in Photoshop to make the scene more interesting. The character design has been drawn over the top to make a more interesting character that fits in with the background and helps bring some personality into the story. My main focus for this part of the animation was to get the key poses and inbetweens drawn with the monkey character design on top.

Below is the final animation, here I have removed the skeleton and extended out the frames for the character design, as before in the video above Dan said the flickering design makes it hard to see what is going on. The reason I have decided to leave this animation as it is, is because I am going to focus on the movement of the characters and not the amount of colour on them. Having this background visually tells the audience where he is and what he is doing.

The issue I have it though I have forgotten to add the clock into the scene, so the monkey just jumps and falls for no reason. Therefore I am going to need to go back and add in that part of the animation to make it look more appealing and help tell the audience why the character is waking up.

But looking at this animation overall I like how the movement came out as the character naturally falls out of the hammock with some interesting timing. If I had more time though I would go back and add some colour to the monkey because the black lines are clear off the background image. But I think adding colour to the character would make the animation more interesting. My next task is to wok on the land and make sure the basic movement for the characters are done.

Land character designs

Here we have some rough character designs for the super hero and super villain characters in the land animation. As the theme for the bomb project was a superhero landing I decided to stick with that theme by making a sort of chase with a hero and a villain. But the villain using his portal powers tries to escape from the hero, but the hero lands in front of him and stops him with his lightening.

For the hero a lot of my ideas came from the flash as he kind of has lightening powers in a way, but the villain was inspired by characters like doctor doom with the large green hood and metal armour. All of these designs have allowed me to develop some ideas for the land production, showing some ideas I have made for the production. I Now will use these designs to make the key poses for the land animation in toon boom while using reference footage with these character designs.

Creep Animation Blocking

Having the basic key poses already setup for the creep animation I have started working on the blocking with editing the poses and adding some of the inbetween frames. Furthermore I have imported the environment model that I made recently, but by adding it to a display layer I am able to hide the model making it easier to see the reference footage without deleting the model. Below is the first playblast for the animation where I made the basic key poses for the character rig to match a similar look to the reference. Having the model as transparent allowed me to position each of the key poses in the right place allowing the character to touch them and interactive with the objects as seen in the reference.

Below is another playblast where I have begun to add some inbetween frames into the scene, allowing me to make some more natural looking movements. Having the Stewart rig has allowed me to form those natural curves in places like the back when the character is crouching, as if I used simple bot the animation would not have been as effective. In addition I have also added something else to the scene. As now instead of a simple librarian I thought about using the squirrel rig, this is because the character is not very large compared to the Stewart rig, but the rig has some interesting features which would make the animation more comical in some places.

As you can see below I have got a large number of inbetween frames added into the scene. This has allowed me to make some extra adjustments to the movement of the character, as having more poses will allow me to sort the splining easier as it will practically be done. This animation sequence has become much more natural looking for the scene, making it much more enjoyable to watch.

Below I have started to develop the animation  by adding a spline pass to the Stewart rig. By using the graph editor I was able to change the stepped graph into a plateau one allowing me to start to refined the animation. As you can see in the playblast below I have made the animation flow from pose to pose, but there are a few jumps in the sequence that need to be changed in the graph editor.

Therefore my next task for this animation will be to go through the spline pass and use the graph editor to fix some of the issues that have turned up in the spline pass. For instance arms are turning/ spinning randomly so perhaps I should go through and change that.