Sunday, 11 December 2011

Animation Update

This week we have all been working hard on animation. This is the first time we've had the chance to spend a good amount of time on this process and use a really advanced rig. So far all is going well. We have been critiquing each others work over the week and it is really helping improvement. I had not had a great deal of real animation before this project and so this stage is an opportunity to really get into the process. The scene I'd like to show so far is a dream sequence when the writer thinks out the idea of the chef as the murderer. It is still unfinished, but hopefully the quick render below shows what I want to achieve. Some of the walk is really messed up and needs work but the idea is that our chef sees his target and sneakily runs up for the kill.

The big problems come from the animation I have added at the beginning. The transition between the alert pose and the run needs a lot of refinement. But so far it is starting to work. This 8 seconds of animation seems to be a very small task, but there is a great deal of work to get so far. Firstly, the action needs to be referenced. We met last week to do this and below you can see images of me looking like an utter tool as I run around Ruben's flat with a steak mallet.

Despite how embarrassing this stage is it becomes vital to creating interesting and realistic animation. We also had a ton of references from film and television. From Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes, to Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther. From Basil Fawlty to Mr Bean. These references allow us to understand how our character would act and move his body. The first stage of animation is setting up each pose in turn. Personal preference can be chosen whether one wishes to use straight ahead animation or pose to pose. But I find a mix of the two helps keep it fresh and inventive. The video below shows the first idea I had for the character.

But after some time I realised this wasn't how our character would move. He is a chef who is murdering, but played by a lanky, fay British author. So, I went back to the references and started from the beginning. This gave the following pose results.

This was far more in character, but seemed a bit too simple and boring. The poses needed to be emphasised and a narrative introduced. It isn't just a character hitting his target, this dream sequence is about how a character within Arthur Winter's head would murder. So I decided to add an intro in which our character sees his victim. This led to this version and later, the updated version shown at the top of the post.

This sequence should be finished soon. The real problems are those when the character goes from his attention pose, to his sneak. But that should be a simple fix. Keep an eye out as we post more animation this week.

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