Tuesday, October 23, 2007

going forwards, grades, etc.

So going forwards, we're all lagging a bit behind on this assignment. I've extended this assignment out a week, but this will be the last official week on this assignment. As per the cycles, you can continue to work on these and improvements will count towards your grade. Some of you have mentioned problems with the workload and asked whether you can work on assignments you're working on in other classes. The short answer is no. Having two different teachers critiquing the same assignment is only going to lead to confusion. I will recommend scaling your assignment down to a managable size, so choose your sound clip carefully and plan out your shot in a way that seems like you can manage. Antonio is doing a more basic box lift, as opposed to a more involved narrative but he's already worked out the mechanics of his shot and is moving on to second pass animation this week. If any of you need an extension on assignments, email me and we'll work something out. For those of you who took on a big assignment, like Shogu and John, work on getting those pieces to a complete state as possible and we can evaluate where to go at the next session. The last few weeks of class are held for a personal piece, so we can come back to these if you'd like to use treat it as your personal piece, or use those weeks to take all of your pieces a bit further.

I'll be doing midterm grades this week and I'll be grading on the following criteria.

-how effective your animation is. This is both an artistic and technical review. For the cycles, the criteria is pretty clear. does it communicate a particular thing (tired, energetic). How effective is the cycle - are there pops, mistimed parts, enough overlap. Did you incorporate class critique into your animation?

-process. from research, planning, thumbnailing to finish. This includes how much work you put into your piece as well as how much planning and working out a process for animating. Those of you that had thumbnails, reference video, and 2d animatics will score higher in this category (and in all cases, it shows in the work)

-did you show up and hand in your assignments on time or at all. I've set up this blog as a way for you to receive critique and to give your peers the ability to review your work even if you miss class. Going forwards, a missed assignment will be docked a full letter grade each week it's late capping out at a C.

If there's any confusion or lack of clarity, please let me know, and email me if you need critique on this weeks assignment.


This week pose assignment:
just in time for halloween. Remember. make this a complete pose. This means fingers, facial expression, shoulders, composed in the rectangle. don't worry about rendering or lighting.

Many of you are struggling a bit getting from blocking to first pass. This can be challenging, especially when the blocking is stepped. I usually don't step my keyframes, but just copy the pose to right before the next frame, and delete it as I start to get the rough splines working. I would NOT focus on the graph editor at this point. Think of it as a guide and a tuning tool. The best thing you can do at this point, is to reestablish your holds, strengthen your main key poses and add some well place breakdowns, and delete all the confusing motion that is plaguing your shots.

Irena (sorry to use you as an example) - your rock push piece has some nice posing in it, but a lot of partial posing, where just a limb moves and not the entire character - I would encourage everyone to be really disciplined and fully pose your figure at each main pose, and get your timing pretty nailed down. You'll be surprised at how much progress you'll make by just hitting main poses, some well placed breakdowns, and having your animation timed out.

Some animations fell apart a little bit this week. This is ok! Working in stepped mode can be useful, but the first thing that falls apart is weight. This is because stepped animations read in a 2d way and your mind adjusts for the limited information, kinda like in a Hanna Barbera cartoon.

When these fall apart, the first thing to do is to get your holds back. If it was working in stepped, get some of the feel back by retaining the holds.

Next, get your timing right. Many of you had the pelvis and boxes decellerating into the next pose. Retime your scene where you need to to make the weight feel right. If you're struggling, grab a webcam and act out that part, pull it into quicktime and arrow through the frames..see how long the action actually takes.

too many poses. That often happens going from blocking to first pass. if there isn't enough time to get from pose to pose, it will feel very disconnected. poses often need enough time to read, or breathe, if you will. Sometimes clarifying your posing happens after you see things timed out. Shogu's (will I ever spell this right) animation worked well in blocking, but when he started finalizing it, his run had too many steps in it. That was an area that just needed to be rethought.

Save a copy. If you're struggling with the same section over and over again, save an alternate version, and make some bold moves with it. kill lots of keyframes and go to town.

and for those who didn't show up to class over the last 2 weeks, send in your work -

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