Thursday, September 11, 2008

cycles, quick recap

You all have my notes by this point (pick up this week's pdf in the pickup folder) but I thought I'd give a quick recap for those of you who inadvertantly nodded off during class or just signed up.

How I Do a Cycle, Cliff Notes Version
Cycles are a different kind of animation compared to most other, because as important as the poses are, the eye is paying attention to the rhyhmic interplay of the parts of the body. Minor offsetting of things like the shoulders make a big difference.

  1. Figure out what you're doing. Get reference, sketch, act it out, have a clear idea of what sort of cycle it is.
  2. Stamp down complete poses for the main keys and breakdowns of the cycle. Contact, Passing, etc. It should read as a cycle for the most part. Even key the fingers..get those poses strong and spend time refining them.
  3. Next, start dealing with the stride length and relationship between the pelvis and feet. These are the biggest changes in your cycle, rather, they relate to each other, so any change has to be done on all 3 nodes. You're also establishing rhythm and cadence here. I often turn the pelvis curve to weighted and nail the Y movement of it.
  4. Key the feet to get nice fluid arcs and more accurate placement of the feet. The breakdown frames add a lot of character, so go to town on these.
  5. The spine. If you're main key poses are solid this should be finessing. On a walk, there's very much a subtle wavelike motion on it. On a run, there's more of a faster compresion after hitting the ground (be careful with this or your cycle can look jittery)
  6. head and neck. solidify this relationship
  7. rough in the arms
  8. analyze what you have. break it down to your keyposes and breakdowns if it isn't working
  9. polish arcs working from the pelvis out.
This isn't THE way to do a cycle. Lots of animators even take it in stepped mode to near finish. All methodologies are valid...this is just what I've found to be a fast workflow

Also, if anyone has questions, post them in the comments so your classmates can benefit from your inquisitive nature. Also, comments in the blog that are more pointed than shout outs to your homies will count as a form of class participation.

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