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:

video

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:

video

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.

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