Friday, February 27, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
I was looking at a lot of student work recently, esp with the directed study projects I'm assisting with this term and thought I'd muse on them for a moment.
Takes are tricky things. In doing pantomime, they are a really clear way of showing a quick emotional shift in a character, or add a bit of a scene beat, but when used improperly, they can make your performance cliched.
Head on over to John K's blog, for a great post on takes, as well as this great clip
Takes as extreme as these are challenging to do in 3d, and not always appropriate, but scroll through the images John posted..it's a great primer on the largeness of a move...nothing timid about any of them.
his opening quote is pretty apt.
"Everyone knows what a "take" is, right? It's a startled or surprised reaction.So be mindful of using takes in a cliched way. If a character notices something, show an inventive way to communicate it. If a character notices a bus pulling away, you don't need them reeling back with a lightbulb over their head - maybe they start scrambling towards it in a panic, their surprise showing through the delay of either the reaction or the body catching up to what it should be doing.
All animators use them. Most use them as simple punctuation, an accent that draws your attention to the a character's surprise or change of emotion.
You're not supposed to really notice them.
It's just another punctuation tool, to help the audience follow what is happening in the story."
Posted by jeff at 3:54 PM
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
to the bullet points...
- Next week. I'm out, class is cancelled, but we'll have a makeup session at some point.
- Finish your cycles and any earlier assignments you wish to continue with, and I'll give you individual critique on them over the next few classes.
- in maya, create a single frame pose of Norman on a white background with no set or props, communicating the theme 'powerful'
Posted by jeff at 10:11 AM
Ok..some of the heavy hitters of the animation blog world have given you guys the gift of knowledge.
Keith Lango on Offset Keys vs Changing Shapes
And Carlos Baena stepping up to show how you really plan a shot, with some great Incredibles process footage.
Posted by jeff at 10:04 AM
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Leigh asked for advice on her quadcycle..I ended up noodling around more than I thought...trying to see how effective this screencapture software is..let me know either way if it's useful for me to do this...no guarantees of how often I can, but I'll try to do more online demos if it's of help..sometimes it's easier to show rather than tell.
i didn't get too far into it, but wanted to address a few things
- forward/back movement of the feet...a little clompy...the stick a bit on the floor..z translation feels a bit off
- push off of the feet, hang time after the pushoff should be addressed
- back feet being really wide...unless you're super cartoony, it's not a natural pose
- spine is too active a curve
- a little too wobbly on the ups and downs of the spine
- start addressing the rhythm of the feet to body and you'll be on your way
Posted by jeff at 3:58 PM
Monday, February 9, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
I was unsure of whether the stares last night were rapt attention, or vaguely blank...hard to tell from the other side.
I just wanted to recap and reiterate a few points from last night.
- I'm opening up the cycle section of the class to quadrapeds, but attempt it if you really feel you rocked the pendulum and the ball bounce. Otherwise stick with a biped cycle, preferably the 'basic guy' rig I provided. It was pointed out by my coworkers this morning that jumping from a ball bounce to a quadraped is a bit lamebrained of me, but I see a lot of ambition in this group and want to give you the opportunity to make your work interesting. If you aren't sure, email me and I'll give you my honest opinion.
- Personal work. I know a lot of you want to keep going with work from other classes this term. I'm more than happy to critique it before or after class and the last month I may open up to working on some of this earlier work, but for the bulk of the term, I want everyone doing the same exercises. Don't forget that the goal of being in school is to develop the skillset of animating well. Clearly getting a reel together is important, but I think it's more important to nail down a really solid workflow and dialogue with your peers, so that when your out of school, you have the skills to push your work further.
- Get your homework to the network folder by the start of class. For those of you that filter in late or put your assignments in halfway through class, I tend to forget about them. If I have, remind me and I'll post an e-crit.
- Bring your maya files...it's sometimes faster to show you a fix or point out a trouble spot.
For your cycles, here's a few quick pointers.
- start with an idea and reference. be clear about what your animating
- lay in your key poses and breakdowns.
- establish stride length and relation of the pelvis and feet.
- if you're using norman, get those pole vectors out of the hips and make them global...I have a version of him kicking around that I tweaked..I'll post that soon
- once your poses are nailed down, establish the rhythm of the cycle
- get the rotations of the spine down
- work on the footsteps, hang time, etc.
Posted by jeff at 10:29 AM