Tag Archives: poses

Class 02 – Week 03

Task: Spline & polish the walk cycle. Pose Stella in a way that shows movement.

Damn you knee pops! *shakes angry fist*
In the end I do wish I had gone for a personality walk, just so I’m stepping away from rote exercises. Fairly happy with how it turned out though.
The poses I’m not so pleased with, was a busy week at work so was a little short on time.

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Class 01 Weekly Tips

I make a list of notes for my Peer Buddy who is in Class 01 so decided to collate them all here. Will add more as the term progresses.

Week 11 – Walk Splining
See below, week 09.

Two more tips for splining:
– Have you been using buffer curves? If not, they can be quite useful: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny5K-Wq3nrw
– I’ve also found the top mel script here to be super handy: www.aaronkoressel.com/?nav=tools As you probably guessed by the name, it deletes all your redundant keys. It makes that initial step into splining all the more bearable having a cleaner graph editor.

Week 10 – Personality walks
See my blog post on this topic.

Week 09 – Walk splining
– Knee pops are a pain. They’re caused by the relationship of the hip rotations and the foot roll. Play around with that before touching the leg stretch. Also save knee pops until the end.
– When you’ve addressed your mentor’s notes, do a playblast of your final blocking pass and save it. While splining every now and then go back to it and check your splining hasn’t gone too off course
– Make sure the front leg gets straight for at least 2-3 frames on the contact.
– Arc track both feet, you can just use the controller under the foot. Also check the knees, I wrote up a blog post on arc tracking joints here: http://www.timrudder.com/animationmentor/arc-tracking-joints/
– Also here’s a tip that I used on every walk cycle, how to create a mel script to quickly jump between your key poses: http://www.timrudder.com/animationmentor/jump-frames-mel-script/
– I also use a screen drawing tool and mark out my key poses in different colours on the timeline. Just helps me see where everything is.

Week 08 – Vanilla Walk blocking
– Check the poses on pages 103 and 108 of The Animator’s Survival Kit for the key poses.
– If you quickly switch from stepped to linear, just check that your translate z on the hips is a nice straight line. There shouldn’t be changes in spacing between the poses.
– On the contact position the legs and ground should make a nice looking triangle. The body shouldn’t be favouring the front/behind leg.
– Download and step through this frame by frame https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq9A5FD8G5w, this one too (although it’s more of a personality walk): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8Veye-N0A4

Week 06 – Tailor:
– Hide the tail on tailor and animate the ball first, get it feeling right before you touch the tail.- Squash & Stretch must always follow the direction of Tailor’s arc
– A tail in motion always points to where it’s coming from (unless muscles are being used).
– One workflow method: you could animate the first link in the tail, arc track it and then use the arc to key the remaining links in the tail.
– Some inspiration: https://vimeo.com/45350702
– And some more: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uzV-iHyDYLk/UG0eq6DUQtI/AAAAAAAAAgs/0FuQJAcRbOM/s1600/waveTailBlair.jpg

Week 05 – Pendulum:
– Do the easier option first. I did it thinking I’d nail that quickly and move onto a harder movement, but 4 or 5 days later I was still working on just getting that simple pendulum swing feeling right. It’s easy to get in over one’s head on this assignment.
– Some people like to animate the top link first then copy the keyframes down the chain and offset them a frame or two each
– But some other people like to keyframe the whole chain, choose whichever method works for you, just make sure you get the passing position right (see below)
– This Keith Lango tutorial is a must watch
– Even though the swings of the pendulum get shorter, their timing stays about the same
– Make your own pendulum to study! This is what I did in class 01.

Week 04 – 2 Bouncing balls:
– Definitely get reference material and check timing of each bounce and make sure to mark that on your planning sketches. I use the ‘Download Helper’ add on in Firefox to download and analyse Youtube clips more closely. Shooting your own material is even better, just try and shoot in 24fps if possible.
– Check out the pdf tutorials here if you haven’t already: animationphysics.org/?page_id=21
– The feeling of weight really comes from how high the ball bounces, I’d recommend paying particular attention to that. You might even be able to exaggerate it a little in your animation.
– Beach balls are hard, they bounce but also have a floaty element too. Be prepared if you want to tackle one in your assignment.
– Always use the arc track tool in the AM menu so you can clearly check your arcs and spacing.
– I recommend not worrying about balls contacting or hitting walls, etc. The assignment is about weight more than anything, so focus on that first.
Week 03 – Bouncing ball

See my notes on making poses.

Pose tips

For this class I’ve become a peer buddy for a student in class 1. I sent her an email with my general advice when doing pose assignments and thought I would post it here.

1. Use references. I like to spend a bit of time and download about 20 pictures and sketch each one. If you have that kind of variety in research you’re basically learning how the body moves and reacts in real life, rather than just what you think it might be doing.

2. gettyimages.com is a pretty good resource, I definitely found it more useful that google images. Only downside is a lot of the poses feel unnatural.

3. Use thesaurus.com. Using different words with similar meanings when searching will garner different images.

4. Start with the line of action first and then start laying body parts over that.

5. Watch this Keith Lango tutorial on posing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHvQIMBjB78

6. Walt Stanchfield’s book is also a great read if you’re interested in getting poses nailed on paper: http://www.amazon.com/Drawn-Life-Classes-Stanchfield-Lectures/dp/0240810961

7. If you make a camera, tear off a copy and then click Lighting > Turn Off All Lights, it gives you a great instant silhouette.


Class 02 – Week 01

Class 02 is underway and my new mentor is Martin Hopkins from Dreamworks. He has a long list of credentials and a nice character to boot. I’m sure he’s going to be instrumental in getting my skills up to the next level.

Task: Sketch some poses showing movement and pose Stella based off 2 of the sketches.

Not such a hard way to start the class, but I had a tonne of technical problems with the AM menu in the hours leading up to the deadline. Was able to figure out a temporary solution to the problem, later realised I just needed to reset the modem and router. *slaps forehead*

Things learnt:
Pay attention to how one body part flows into another. Rigs can get slightly clunky.
Push it. Then push it some more.

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