Rock gets a shock from tim rudder on Vimeo.
I animated this in class 03 as the second assignment.
It was quite tough, we were supposed to animate something up to 200 frames but somehow this ended up being 480 frames, roughly the same as my first assignment (still to upload). I’m glad I did it though, it really helped to get me quicker in polishing. My hat goes off to my mentor, Drew Adams for helping me through it.
2 things I do in my workflow to help get those key poses right.
Tear off a copy of your shot cam and hide your environment. The go into Lighting > Use Selected Lights (with nothing selected). You’ll get an instant silhouette of your character.
This just helps me really focus on the key poses. I like to go through my reference/animatic and pull out the key poses in Quicktime Pro. I just copy and paste them into a new quicktime. I’ve taken my current 10 second and reduced it to 4 frames. I then export that as an image sequence, create a new camera in my scene file and import the image sequence as an image plane. I then tear off that camera too. Having nothing but the key poses stacked over the first few frames just simplifies things a lot and I focus entirely on those 4 poses before moving on.
It’s a good idea to save the file as a mov as well, that you can easily add more keys and breakdowns later down the track.
We always hear about 2 books on animation that seem to be regarded as bibles, The Illusion of Life and The Animator’s Survival Toolkit. So I’ve decided to focus on 3 other books which I’ve found immensely useful. They’re all very simple reads and all very reasonably priced considering the influence they will have on your career.
Acting for Animators - This is a great introduction to acting for any animator, Ed Hooks has been able to breakdown the differences between how an actor approaches a scene and how an animator would approach a scene. The ideas of power centres, creating empathy even in villains, starting a scene in the middle, etc are all golden points to keep in mind when approaching a shot. This video is almost a summary of the book:
Character Animation Crash Course – Breaks down animation to its simplest forms. It covers everything from timing sheets to staging, breakdowns and animation principles. What really makes the book golden in my opinion is the CD where you can easily step through Eric Goldberg’s animations. Studying and reproducing his breakdowns is really an eye opening experience.
Creating Characters with Personality – While character design might not be directly applicable to a CG animator who is given a rig, it’s still a useful resource. I think the book helps to hone your sense of who your character is and how to convey that while also retaining appeal. The book talks a bit about anatomy, posing and also animals.
Quite enjoyed the animation in Hotel Transylvania so decided to break down some of the walks and find what I liked about them or what gives them character.
The A.M GUI is quite big and in my opinion a hassle to work with as you’re constantly going between screens or forgoing having 2 camera views. I’ve started using animSelector which I find helps get around that space issue, it also lets you set up groups of controllers under the one picker. eg, I can select all 3 spine controls or all the arm controls in one click.
There’s also Awe Control Picker which just crashed Maya everytime I tried to run it (Maya 2013 on a mac) but have heard great things about it.
Ever used Flipboard? If so, you might want to check out a ‘magazine’ that a couple classmates (Wira and Camille) and I have made called Flippo. It covers basically anything animation related, news, reels, clips, tests, etc. You can view it online, but it’s best viewed with the Flipboard app on a portable device.
Ever thought about where your most used shortcuts are on the keyboard? Wouldn’t it make sense to have them together and in easy reach of your free hand?
My new set up, and I’m sure this will change/improve over time.
Q, W, E, R, T, S, D, F = remain the same.
Y = activate insert key (graph editor)
A = playback toggle
G = time dragger tool (formerly by holding K in the graph editor)
Z = last keyframe
X = previous frame
C = next frame
V = next keyframe
The following shortcuts are from Aaron Koressel
Option + W, A ,X, D = moves my keys up, left, down and right in the graph editor (ackMoveKeys)
Option + C = snaps selected keys to the current frame in the graph editor (ackSnapToTime)
Option + S = snaps values to be the same as the last selected key in the graph editor (ackSnapEndKeyValues)
I found this app through Stepehen’s blog.
It’s an iOS app that will let you easily change the frame rate or step through a clip. It can go down to 1fps, so great for stepping through animations. It’s a great learning tool for your train/bus commutes.
This is hopefully a simple way of changing textures without digging too deeply into it. A fairly basic-intermediate understanding of Photoshop is needed.
If you open the texture file you’ll see something like this.
Save another version with a new filename. I tend to work with Tiff to retain layers, though I’m sure somebody will tell me why Targa is a better filetype.
If you open up your reference file of any of the characters, go into the Window > Rendering Editors > Hypershade and go into Textures. You should see anim_color_MAP(file) (this may be a different name for other characters). Click on that and in the attribute editor you should see Image Name under File Attributes. Click the small folder, find your new texture map and load that in.
In the texture map each area corresponds to a different area of the body. If I change it to simple colours you should be able to see what area of the texture map applies to which part of the rig. The red area is the right arm, the green is the torso, etc.
A good way to get a general guide of where things will be on the texture map is to use the 3D Paint Tool. You can basically roughly paint on the mesh and then clean it up in Photoshop. Select your mesh first then, go into your Rendering shelf click the 3D Paint Tool icon (should be the last one). Next, in the Attribute Editor click Assign/Edit Textures. Now you should be able to freely paint on the mesh.
When you’ve got a rough idea painted, hit the Save Textures button in the Attribute Editor. In your project’s Source Images folder, you should have a new 3DPaintTextures folder with the the new texture map inside. Using this you can now make a cleaner final version in Photoshop.
Because I’m a little bit loopy myself, I decided to do another shot on top of my A.M assignments and submit to the loopdeloop.org animation challenge.
The final animation needed a bit more polish on it, ran out of time in that department. But otherwise am pretty happy with it. Thanks to my friend Albert for his help in setting up an environment and rendering. Will try and submit another time.
Check out our submission.