Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Animation Production Process 003

Introduction to Rigs and Animation

Got given a download for this simple cube rig to do some experimental animation. Initially I started with what is essentially a 3D equivalent of straight ahead animation, going from one pose to the next. This mostly gave me a feel for what the rig is capable of and to see what I could do.


This method works, however, similar to straight ahead, if there is a mistake or a change, you then have to fix or start over after doing a lot of work. Using another method, similar to painting, blocking out main animation first before working into the fine tuning is a much more efficient method of working. Perhaps not as intuitive or fast in some cases, however, more concise and reduces the potential for wasted work or mistakes.

As mention, this method starts out with various blocking phases, first phase of this animation was creating a satisfying bounce that I am happy with. The third bounce in this sequence is unnaturally long, but I really like the rhythm it adds to the bounce.


Secondly, I block in the second translate direction. For an added bonus and experimentation I added a 360 degree rotation throughout the animation and cleaned up each of the contact points to be a multiple of 90 degrees. I find this satisfying as it rotates against the direction it is bouncing.

Adding in some squash manipulation to the poses using the default step preset for frame easing. Which gives a better grasp on where the key frames are and how they look as it can be easy to get caught up in the graph editor unnecessarily.

Some stretching. this is where I realised that my idea for rotating the cube caused me a number of problems as the cube rig is designed to stretch and squash in a very particular manner that goes against some of the directions I have the cube move into.

Because I was unable to maintain the rotation throughout the stretches the animation inherently started to look like a regular bounce, however, the cube appears to pull back in the air almost depicting a sense of character and anticipation for the motion.

Finally, for fun, I took what I learnt about texturing and applied my cube texture from a previous exercise onto the Squashy Box. This helped a little in showing the rotation.

I may attempted this again, but what I will do differently is keep the same contact points, but instead of a full 360 rotation throughout the animation, limit to multiples of 180 degrees for each bounce with emphasis on the apex, this should keep the cube in a sufficient position for squash and stretch on contact while simultaneously slowing down the apex to give the viewer time to process the rotations in the air.

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