Specialisation Project-Timing

While talking about weighting, timing was mentioned, but what’s timing? first is one of the 12 principals of animation. Also it could be the weight of an object, as it was mentioned on the weighting entry, the different timing used in the same object would give different illusion of the weight of that object.

Timing as it is the speed of the action, refers as how long the action will take, would affect the personality and nature of the animation. It’s going to be affect by the number of frames between the two main poses on the animation. In simple, more frames it would made it slower, and less would result in a fast action.

That’s one on the main reason to also be the weight on an object, as how it was explained on my last entry. It could also work as scaling properties, as for example a tiny character would move faster than a large one therefor, a tiny one would have less frames. And lately, it could also use as to determining emotion; its different to show relaxing from nervous.

To apply a good timing, in the end would be hardly recommend to have a real time reference; because timing would help us to create something believable and realistic movements based off the real-world. A good real life reference would always help specially to have the correct timing on a animation piece.

Timing correctly something in an animation, would work correctly for any of the previous ways mentioned (such as weight, scaling and emotions) and will have positive results. As animators use the correct timing in the emotions for example would also give the though behind those actions.

In conclusion a correct timing would help to have a better understanding in things as weight (or the illusion of it), scaling (different velocities in the actions could varied in the size of the character) and emotions (it’s no the same show a relaxing movement rather than a nervous one). Timing is most common to be related to a real life action, so having good references always helps to give the believable and realistic need it.



Specialisation Project-Weight

The specialisation project, varied from 2D to 3D options, including VFX. In my case, I working on a 3D character animation and as part of the tasks that we have to do to complete this project is have to some research. This entry will focus on weighting, and all related to moving weight. In my project the character that I had choice, will be lifting a heavy bag, for that reason I’m going to research for it and find all about for the project.

Now, to talk about weighting is necessary to understand about timing and spacing. That’s because weight nor force doesn’t really exist in animation, everything is part of the illusion of animation.

For an animator, weight is a visual presentation of opposing forces. When a character jumps up, it is actually driving down against the ground. The faster it can drive down the higher it will jump. The character can enhance the power of the jump by thrusting shoulders and arms in the direction of the jump. Study a high jumper or long jumper.
-Weight in Animation, Posted by Wayne http://www.anamie.com/weight-in-animation/

Animating a believable sense of weight and power is probably one of the most challenging tasks an animator will have. It takes a keen understanding of Timing and Spacing (one of 12 Animation Principles) to animate anything that should appear to be affected by a gravitational pull.
-Emphasizing Animation Timing to Convey Weight and Force, By Pluralsight on August 8, 2014, https://www.pluralsight.com/blog/film-games/emphasizing-animation-timing-to-convey-weight-and-force

I just quote two bits of different websites that certainly are saying the same with different approaches; there is also the constant mention of timing, that’s because the timing is what would give the impression of weight in the animated object.

Part of the research that I have done, also shows an example of how to animated weight correctly. As mentioned before, that would include has the correct timing in the movement of such asset.

For example, if someone animated the same object two times but give it different timing in each; the illusion of how heavy that object will varied. To be more specific, just let’s say that such object is a ball, if the animation has a fast timing the audience will conclude that it’s light, but if that has a slow timing, then the audience will conclude that it’s heavy.

That’s how weighting in animation works, or better say how the illusion of weight is created on an animation. So therefore having a great understanding of timing is the best way to make weighting works on the animation.



Specialization Project – Post Mortem

The specialization project, it’s a personal project, where the individual had to work in their own, choosing one of the many options that they could specialization, I had chose long ago that I wanted to do an animation project. Considering that the other options were VFX and modeling, I opted for the animation one.

The animation option, did had two options, games animation function or dialogue animation, I decided that I wanted to do dialogue sequence animation. To even start this project, I was required to find a dialogue, no longer than 10 seconds between 2 or more characters. Back then it was february and I decided to go to with the dialogue from the now closed competition, from the 11secondclub website.

Although, the final result, didn’t go to the competition, I didn’t intent in participating in first place, it was a great experience. I had to made some research, in basis staff in Maya, more as refreshment because I’m not that used to work on it, and never that it more. Then I had to actually do some more serious research in the steps of the animation process.

And so, the project, also was required to find and work with a free to use rig that we can easily download and use, and that’s why I was refreshing myself with basis of Maya, most of the best rigs, in my opinion, works on Maya and only Maya, the other research done, did help me in the process of the animation itself.

Of course, as anything in life there were some issues, part of my fishing for the rig, I was forcing some incredible and ridiculous problems with those rigs that I had to be discarding. Like for example, showing some things that are not part of it and there is no way of hiding or eliminate it, as well as the simple fact that the rig was too small in comparison to anything else in the scene; and that rig not able to be resized correctly.

In the end I used the classic Norman rig that I tried to avoid and a new rig, the Mery rig, those rigs, came handley and help to succeed in the project. Most of the problems were mostly caused because those are actually old rigs, and with the new versions of the program, it caused conflicts, so, the best option was actually discarding those for the project, and not waste more time trying to fix something that probably it won’t be online as an online solution forum or similar.

For a future projects, I would probably stick with the Mery rig and if I can avoid the old good Norman, I will probably try harder to find a good as well as Norman to work with it, because I definitely like to animated in Maya, rather than in 3D Max. Although, in this project I did created the simple scene on Max and imported to Maya, as I said, Maya is better for animation.

This brings me to the conclusion, that actually knowing your rigs could save you some time, as well have the correct knowledge to do it right, that’s why I investigate, analysed and applied what was learned from it. Using everything that I found doing my research processed helped me even more than just assuming things, as well, having in mind that any kind of project should be save every once in time to avoid any lost work, that any program including Maya could caused for unknown sources.

Specialisation Project- Research Post: Facial animation

Facial animation is one of the most important parts on a character animation, it’s the one that could give whole feeling of the character with the correct and appropriate expression. Applying correctly could and would help to also save some time with the animation, in the past I had touched some points on lip syncing, this time I had reseach more about general face animation expressions that could be use and interpret correctly especially when the character is a certain distance.

One of my results gave me the next list of tips for a better animation:

  • Referencing.
  • Prepare your shot properly.
  • Blocking.
  • Interpret the video reference: don’t just recreate it.
  • Get the order right when switching to spline interpolation.
  • Shark fin.
  • Avoid common timing traps for lip-synch.
  • Exaggerate your curves.
  • Add ambient movements.
  • Use onion skinning to check your arcs.

From that I had highlight the “Interpret the video reference: don’t just recreate it”, because that’s the main point in that list that I wanted to try more effectively, for that reason I’m quoting the next: “Most of the time you’re going to have to exaggerate the poses to add more energy to your animation. Hide everything that could be distracting, like clothing, to really focus on the motion of the character’s body.”

I’ll explain now, what I have interpreted from there in simple works and how that had been applied into the project.

  • Take as much as it can from the reference to interpret it.Do not copy the exact movement from the reference but know how to use it to give the enough “life” to the animated character.
  • Know how to exaggerate the poses to get it as we want it rather than just as how it is in the reference.
  • Take as much as it can from the reference to interpret it.

In more simple works I did my reference videos, I did analysed them and then, I did reevaluate my animation to interpret as much as possible without exactly copying the movements that I observed my classmates did by acting what they thought would work in the animation sequence that I was working on. I knew what poses what necessary to exaggerate, by convincing a few of those poses that they did in two o more videos when they were acting the same dialogue one and another time. And that’s how I took it as much as I could, and did the animation applying what I had learn with this research.



Week 4: 27/02-05/03

As soon as it was possible, it was time to start modelling the hero assets and for that I start and followed the tutorial previous mentioned, although the tutorial was teaching a new (for me at least) modifier to create the tree branches in a very easy, fast and practical way. It did came with the idea of making the top part of those in point and that could work normally with I was planning to do a normal tree with leaves that will end cover those, but when it’s going to be dead trees, the results are not exactly as what I was expecting.

Tree_1_1Tree_2_1Those were two views of the same main tree already unwrapped and texture it with a simple 2D texture, do with autodesk sketchbook pro.

UVW_render_Tree_1As you can see, the unwrap map and the texture were indeed very simple for a fossil tree, good that in the end that was modificate, although the modification of the texture for this tree was made by Macauley Bell after I did have some troubles with mudbox and quixel.

On the other hand, in this week was also reintroduce the Specialization project that it was initially mentioned on week 2, but not really touched as much as it should, I had decided since then that I’m going to do a dialogue sequence animation again, I had considering using an dialogue from the 11secondclub website, and this time use the dialogue from the february month competition, although it had already passed.

Also for that reason, I start looking for some free rigs that I could use for the project, thanks to a suggestion in class, I look into the “MERY PROJECT” that offers the Mery rig for Maya to use for free (please read terms and conditions before download it), it’s now question on try it on and see how much I could do for the project specially with the dialogue that I’m planning to use.


Post Mortem Reflexion: Specialization Project

The specialization project consisted on choose a type of specialization that the person wants to work on, I decided to do a dialogue sequence animation, being animate in 3D. For that reason, I choice a dialogue sequence from the 11secondclub website and decided for the october one, that in that moment was the open month competition that I never intended to enter. And find a 3D rig, that its free to use.

I start using the Max rig for 3D Max, but later on, no that later just after the first time presenting the previs, it was descarted because its actually an old rig, and doesn’t offer good controls in the face; that’s necessary for the expecting result.

This was a personal project, and because it was using an existing dialogue, it wasn’t need of an audio collab for the project, just need of good references, for that I did start with finding the original clip from the dialogue is from, once I did find it, I got a better idea of how I was going to plan the storyboard and the animation itself.

When a project like this is a personal work, there is no need to worry about finding ways of communication through other students, just maybe know how to ask for feedback in the process to get a better result and not only that, but who knows maybe inclusive learn a good method that could helps to improve our own abilities making animation.

During this project the only issue that I could mentioned it would be the adjustment of the syncing of the actions with the audio although it wasn’t a collab project I did ask for a favor to an audio student to improve my audio that I did add a second of effect with was too softer than the rest of the audio that was the actual dialogue, and that was the only thing that kind of push back the progress of it.

If I have to mention anything else that went wrong, I don’t have anything else that I could say, on the contrary, I did managed to adjust it and also have a nice result in the end of it, and that’s why I decided that this project was going to be my whole showreel.

I did used myself as reference for the movements, although I did record myself making those, I did act while doing the animation to the point that the image of those were recording on my mind so, I could created the wanted moviment on the rig, (the norman rig for Maya), and managed the result I wanted.

Then, I was mostly just applying feedback that I received and improvement it one and another time. it’s always a good idea to listen and follow the feedback as well any tutorial that we can find online as I did from the beginning to the end.

So, as part of the project, I did start as always looking for references, then I did a storyboard to animatic to previs, although I did the previs with 3D Max, then thanks to a feedback, and my own suggestion, I change the program to Maya and after redoing the previs using the 3D Max file as reference, it was easy in the end work on Maya.

So, I was very open to suggestion and feedback, also follow the tutorials as I said those are important and part of the main key to success in a project like this one, that specializes in a way of animation, in this case 3D character animation and that’s what I enjoy more.

Well, being the one that was in charge on a solo project like this, I was the only who also had to managed time and when I normally leaking in that, this project did help to improve a bit on time management especially once I asked for the favor that changed the length of the audio and I had to adjust the animation to it.

Week 13: 12/12-18/12

Last version.gif
My showreel ends being the last version of my specialization project. I decided that the best of the best during this semester as part of the studio class was no other than the dialogue animation sequence that I did as specialization project animated in Maya.

On the other hand, it was still the CIU progress, at the end of the semester, I did more sketches from the landscapes and short (5 seconds long) videos of examples for what was supposed to look like at least with the few assets that I had done.


I did the last two sketches and the storyboard? in no time, while giving more time to the short render examples for the two option of future.