AM Class 5 – Rough Blocking

This past week’s assignment at AM was to create a Rough Blocking Pass. The rough blocking pass is focused on getting the main idea of the story across in as few poses as possible. Our mentor wanted us to really just rough in the poses and not focus on too much detail. We will get more detailed and broken down with next week’s assignment as we move into actual blocking. For this shot I am also trying out a new workflow where I more frequently switch over to spline’s even during blocking to help me figure out which areas need more breakdowns and also to get a better understanding of my spacing.

Anyway’s I am very busy already blocking away for the current week’s assignment but I wanted to get this post up before it was too late. I’m going to keep it short, but stay tuned as my progress will keep getting further each week!

Rough Blocking & Proof Concept

AM Class 4: Pantomime Refining

It is the end of week 3 and I have just turned in my blocking plus/refining pass. My mentor wanted us to take the shot out of stepped keys and transition into splines because the final shot is due at the end of next week. This week I had a good amount of notes to address from my blocking, most of them were tweaks in my posing and overall idea of the shot. My mentor, Joe, gave me some great feedback during the eCritique. The biggest changes I made were switching the hand which Stan uses to grab the beer and toning down the overall grabbing of the beer. The other biggest change I made was to remove the wiping of his mouth. Joe’s comments were that for this assignment we didn’t want to make it too complicated. Simplicity is key, this is something we continue to hear in our lectures and throughout the curriculum at AM. By removing and making these changes, my shot has a more naturalistic feel and is not quite as “showy” which is really what I was going for.

Workflow Notes
Once again, I kept a close eye on my workflow for transitioning over to spline keys. This is usually the area where many animators including myself struggle. I took my mentor’s advice and kept my shot in it’s blocking stage and added as many breakdowns and ease in/outs that I could while staying in stepped keys before switching it over to splines. This really helped make the transition go a lot smoother. I also made sure when tweaking sections of my animation to work in smaller chunks of frames at a time — roughly 20-40 frame sections. This was actually a workflow tip that I received from my class 2 mentor and has really helped me not get too overwhelmed with a shot.

That is all for now, below is the first pass of refinement on my shot.

Refining Pass

AM Class 2 – Week 3: Refining

Well week 3 of class 2 at Animation Mentor flew by! This week all we had to work on was taking our mentor’s notes on our blocking and then moving into our first splining pass. This is always a scary time as an animator because when your move your tangents from Stepped to Spline everything looks like it breaks. This is the time when we have to hunker down and chip away at our animation slowly and very carefully, controller by controller until it starts to get smoothed out and we iron out all the kinks. From here on out it is just constant tweaks, to fix various different issues from weight transfers, re-timing of specific actions, knee pops etc.

We then submit this pass and get one more week to put on the final touches, the last 10% of the animation during a “Polishing” pass. In the animation industry, you are never truly “done” with a shot, it just get’s taken away from you, because of deadlines, so you have to get it as close to perfect as possible with the time-frame you are given. So here is my Refining pass.

AM Class 2 – Week 3: Refining from matt sackley on Vimeo.