AM Class 2 – Week 4: Polishing & Planning for Heavy Push

This week was another busy one! Not only did we have to finish polishing our first assignment, we also had to begin planning our next assignment. The week started off with me spending a good portion of time addressing a lot of the notes I received on my first splining pass from my mentor. Steve gave me some really good feedback as to how I can really make my shot feel like it has more energy and overall more entertaining to watch. He gave me a lot of little tweaks that I could address and he said that by addressing all of these little changes the overall effect would likely make the shot feel more “aggressive”.

Below are the notes I got from Steve and worked hard to address:

  •  New camera angle and even some camera animation
  •  I adjusted the arc of Ballie’s jump so that it feels more like a “dive” rather than a nice and easy parabola style jump (shallower curve)
  • I lengthened the stretch frame on the launch of the jump so that it holds for about 3 frames now instead of 1 frame. Still very fast but it is felt more than seen.
  • Exaggerated stretch A LOT more.
  • I payed close attention to how Ballie’s feet travel while in the air, Steve said to have more overlap in that movement, so they kind of trail behind him at first then catch up and actually land before his body.
  • I also trimmed about 30 frames off the animation and sped it up. Steve said that a common thing many of us new animators do is not get to the action fast enough, we like to play up the anticipations so much and it slows down the cadence of the shot. He suggested I work on “getting to the point faster.”
  • Finally, I really worked extra hard to get the weight shifts and the hips to work properly. Weight shifts are HUGE in animation for selling life-like motion, and the hips are where just about all motion in the body originates so spending a lot of time getting them right helps a lot!

Here is the “Polished” shot (the absolute final version you will see in my progress reel at the end of the term; nicely rendered too):

AM Class 2 – Week 4 – Polishing from matt sackley on Vimeo.

For my new shot, I will be using a brand new character — Stewie! Stewie has legs, torso, head, two eyes but NO arms! I am going to be animating him doing a heavy push, of a car up a hill. Below is my video reference that my wonderful girlfriend helped me film, and my planning sketches. Next week I will be posting the blocking for it, so stayed tuned. In the mean time, enjoy me making a fool of myself in my reference….

Reference & Thumbnails

ReferencePg1

ReferencePg2

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