Wednesday, October 10, 2007

flurry of helpful posts by jean-denis.

I urge all of you to go to Jean-Denis class blog. He's teaching the same course, I believe, so his notes are extremely relevant to what we're doing. So this will be one of those 'what he said' posts. He references a workflow by Justin Barrett, a great animator and super nice guy who works at ReelFX and teaches at Animation Mentor. (ah, I remember his guy pulling the sword out animation back in the day, before we all used maya...)

His blocking is pretty detailed, but what's great is the insight into process, especially seeing his first pass blocking to revisions after comments from the animation director. There were some pretty big changes, but the blocking stage is where you want to make those big decisions. Also, look at the Animation Mentor showreel...for those of you intending to go into animation as a field, be aware of how high the bar is. The price of admission is high polish, so make those blocking decisions, make sure you put enough poses in to make your decisions clear, and have time to put in the detail that separates an ok animation into a super entertaining one.

I'll get more into stepped to spline blocking soon...it's a tricky thing, but the first obstacle can be taking away all your holds, making everything look drifty. I actually don't work in stepped mode, but middle mouse drag my pose, then set key, to the frame before the next key pose. This allows for easier cleanup. You can also keep your curves in spline (or plateau) the entire time and still get the same effect without the confusion of switching your curves.

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