Tuesday, October 2, 2007

General notes

For next week, and going forwards, create a playblast at 640x480 and have it up in the drop folder at the start of class...3 hours isn't a long time to cover the material we need to this term, so
let's make sure we start class off without wasting a lot of time. If you drop them off earlier in the drop folder, I'll have time to review them before class.

Although we're done with the cycle phase of this class, you may keep working on them in addition to your other work. The unfortunate thing with cycles, is that they often take a bit of reworking at the end to get them to the next level. Many of you were struggling with some curve related issues in the feet...to reiterate, the first thing you should do is to make sure the key poses are solid, then go back and use the curves to analyze your motion...if you see hitches in them, or uneven timing, fix them, but don't rely on the curves to magically improve your animation...they are essentially a polishing tool. With some of your animations, we went in and offset some of the curves, be it spine rotations, or the y movement of the pelvis. While this is an ok and valid way to work, the better way is to KEY THE OVERLAP from the start. Don't procrastinate and think you'll go in and miraculously offset all your keys later...what that really means is that you are living with weak or incomplete poses.

This is going to become relevant the more we get into our pantomime exercises...keying complete poses are easier to animate to than partial poses. You may here of the layered approach to animation, where you animate in parts building out....i'm more of the belief in hammering in solid poses, and going back and REFINING the offset of parts, but if you try to hit it right the first time, you'll get to your goal faster. The last thing you want to do is constantly shuffle around keys in maya hoping it will look right. This is the merit and the curse of 3d...it's infinitely changable, but it means you can hack away without a plan. The best animators out there have either a 2d or stop motion background, both of which involve strong decisionmaking early on in the process.

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