AM Class 1: Weeks 10 & 11 – Personality Walk, Exhaustion Pose and Balance Pose

What a crazy couple of weeks it has been! First off, I changed the look of my site. I got a little sick of the black and white nature of it and wanted to change it up, hopefully you guys don’t mind! The reason I am doing one blog post to cover weeks 10 & 11 is because I got so busy working on my final animation assignment for class 1 that I just didn’t get around to posting last week (sorry for those who were waiting). The final assignment for class 1 is the culmination of all of the principles we have studied throughout the term; We had to do a walk animation with personality. This was another two week long assignment where during week 10 we had to come up with our planning, take/watch reference footage, thumbnail sketches, and finally, block out the animation in stepped keys for our mentor to critique. Along with this, we had to do a pose that showed Exhaustion.

We were allowed to choose any sort of personality to add to our walk, so I chose to do a sneaky walk. Once I knew the style of walk I wanted to do, I had to begin my planning so I started watching various different sneaky walks on YouTube, acting it out myself, and referring to the holy grail of animation goodness — The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams (this is my go-to book for all things animation and it is an amazing resource). Next, I drew out thumbnails of my walk and began the blocking process in Maya.

Below is the final blocking I went with:

and here is my exhaustion pose before & after my mentor’s notes:

During week 11, we had to polish our walk but they added another obstacle for us to overcome — we had to turn the final animation in from a 3/4 view in perspective. This was the first assignment where didn’t just animated the object from a side view only. By showing it in a perspective view it introduces more variables that need to be accounted for, like animating the legs swinging out in the X-axis and rotating the ankles in the Z-axis on the swing through of the passing leg. We also had to make sure the weight shifts were correct so that our character stayed balanced at all time. These are all things that animators have to keep note of when animating and since most animation is not going to be viewed from a direct 90-degree side view we needed to become comfortable animating in a perspective shot. This was a lot of fun to tackle all of these problems and it certainly took more time to polish the assignment because of this. Overall, I am very happy with how my final animation assignment turned out and am even more excited to move into Class 2!

Below is my final revised version of my sneak walk. It includes the few notes my mentor asked me to address.

The final pose we had to complete with Stu was one that conveyed the idea of Balance.

Below is my balance pose before & after my mentor’s note:

Stay tuned for a post about Week 12 which will contain my Progress Reel from Class 1 – you will get to see all of my work from the beginning to the end of Class 1 in a nice reel. I will also briefly talk about Class 2 and my mentor, so check back soon!