Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Friday, 5 December 2008

Still walking...

After working out what I needed to change and improve to make my walk better in 2D I had another go...

In this one I have exaggerated the height of the leg on the up position as well as both arms and also played around with the head making it squash and stretch. The latter however quite obviously just looks wrong. Its too much movement and too bovious when watching it that the head is completely changing shape and size. I think that the extra frame giving more movement to the limbs works well and just give the character the extra lift it needed. Therefore it could just be the head that needs adjusting to make the walk better...

I kept the head changing shape a little so that there was still some squash and stretch, however it's a lot less obvious then the first attempt even though you can still see slight changes in mass. Overall I do think I have improved this walk and developed it. The movement is clear and quite smooth now and generally the leg and arm movement is good. There is a slight twinge when the right arm goes back at the highest cross over point and the same with the head where I think it must move forward slightly in one frame. In comparison to the live video walk I think its relatively accurate and hopefully recognisable.

After many more attempts at the 3D walk...many of them disappearing or completely changing with one click of the mouse :S...I've managed to complete one that I'm quite happy with...

The movement is much smoother then in previous attempts and more accurate in comparison to the live video. I have made some quite large exaggerations particularly with the leg movement so that it's really clear and obvious how the character is moving and doesn't just look like a normal walk. I made sure that I moved most parts of the body in each frame to try and make the movement look as natural as possible. I made the arms swing a little more as they pass the body to make the movement smoother and less like a march as well as exaggerating the bob by adding in an extra 'down' position. This has definately improved the bob movement in the walk. I altered the speed of the walk as it played a little to fast, particularly on the step forward. In general I am much more happy with this version of the 3D walk then the previous ones even though there are still a few things I could improve on.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

How to improve my walk...

Above are very quickly sketched ideas of how I could change my 2D walk and the main things I needed to think about when trying a new version of my walk. Below is the second attempt at 2D:

Analysing this animation there are a few areas I still need to change and correct to improve the walk. I have added extra frames when comparing it to my first attempt. I think the arm movements are much clearer in this new one, but perhaps not as exaggerated. Also because I have added in frames the movement is slower. I don't think that this is necessarily a bad thing as you can see the movement better, particularly with the arms. I also think that the bob is much smoother and flows quite nicely.

To improve this 2D walk I need to work on the head shape. I tried to put in some squash and stretch which I think would work well if it was more accurate, but it varies too much in the animation above and just makes the head look a bit of an odd shape. I added frames to give the walk a bit of anticipation and overlap at the highest point of the walk and before the step, however I still think another frame could be added at the highest point that is really exaggerated with the leg and arm up much higher so that the movement is almost over emphasised.

3D walk :

Second attempt at the 3D walk. I been finding this one much easier to recreate each key position in the walk as you can compare the live against the character much more easily then in 2D. Therefore the body positions of the character are quite accurate compared to the live version. The movement works well however is slightly twitchy and could be made smoother. In this version I also tried to alter the speed of the walk by making the lifting of the leg and arms a little faster. However they look a bit too fast now and un-natural.The movement in general is well exaggerated.

To improve the walk I still need to change the left hand. It could be brought forward in front of the body similar to the right arm rather than just straight up. Both of the arms could also swing a little more moving from back to front as at the moment the movement looks a bit too like a march.
The bob is more noticeable in my first attempt because the character moves down more. I need to try and make the bob as large as possible because this is a very key aspect of the walk. To do this I need to make the character move a little lower on the down frame and giving her a more upright stance on the highest up frame. I could also add in some head movement, even just a tiny amount to make it more natural as well as adjusting the speed. I need to get some consistency in the speed of the walk, maybe by making fewer steps so that the same ones are repeated more often and there is less variation throughout the walk.

My second attempt has got improvements and there is more urgency in the walk, however I still think some key parts could be changed to make it more accurate.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Animating our walks...

We started animating our own walks today working from the films we made last week. I think I've managed to do quite a clear walk to work from in terms of the body positions, shape and movement. Because my walk is quite a strut and it's really exaggerated, the main key frames are very clear which makes it easier to key out when starting the cycle. As it is a walk I have tried to create before (perhaps not quite as exaggerated) I know roughly what timing to use. However I need to be careful with this and make sure that it relates well to the live film. Watching the film definately helps when recreating and animating different walks, and I've found that as it's my own walk I can actually get up and do it over again so I know exactly where the limbs/body etc need to be at each point rather then trying to imagine different walks or using typical character walks. Below are the main key frames I think I need to use for my very happy strutting walk:

I started with the 3D walk, watching the film bit by bit to try to recreate it with the 3D character. what I achieved so far is below:

On this one in particular I think I need to work more on the step forward and the bob up and down. In the live film I move up and down quite a bit but my stride isn't really long, so I think I need to find another way of making the character bob down more without making the strides so long. I think the arms are working quite well in comparison to how they appear in the live film. I could do with changing the left arm slightly as it comes up in front of the character and also need to correct the timing a little more. I am pleased however with the way the body twists, particularly the upper body coordinated with the arm swing.

I then went on to sketch out my 2D version of the same walk cycle. Although I made thumbnails of roughly how the key frames should look I think it's going to be a little harder to make the character move in the same way as the live version as it's not so easy to compare the two directly. I think rather then only working from sketches after seeing the film I will also compare each frame I draw to a similar key frame of the film to contrast it and see where I can make improvements to make it look more natural and realistic. Below is my first attempt at the 2D walk cycle for this assignment:

I'm quite pleased with the way this walk turned out. I think most parts are quite exaggerated and the legs work well. To improve it I think I could move the legs a little higher before the reach to step forwards just to exaggerate the motion. With the arms I think the movement in general is ok, perhaps a little fast though (although my arms are moving quite fast in the film compared to my legs). There is a slight odd moment when the left arm is forward and the right arm is back where another inbetween frame is needed to link the movements. Thinking about the bob, it definately moves up and down, but also moves back and forth quite a bit which isn't really necessary and when focusing on this you can see the head change size slightly on the down frames.

I will therefore consider all of the points I have made above and continue to develop both my 2D and 3D walks. In particular I will work on timing, exaggerating the movement and the basic principles - squash and stretch, overlap + anticipation to make the movements more natural.