Following the first scene involving pixilation, it was time to move on to animating with the armature. I had previously created a test animation with the armature but this was the first time animating it with the intention of using the shot in my final animated outcome. Compared to the test, I had allotted more time to the animation and was able to spend more time focusing on getting the movements right.
Taking the feedback from my animatic into consideration I decided to do the first few shots as one bigger scene to avoid switching camera angles too often. I am aware that I have not animated a large shot over different filming days in a long time. I tend to prefer animating a whole shot in one go to avoid changes in lighting and the position of the characters in set. It means I usually split up scenes with smaller shots or dedicate time to completing a larger shot in one sitting. For this project, doing that would not be appropriate so I decided to face my fear and approach a larger shot in segments.
To do that, I’m going to ensure I end each segment on a “resting” character position (i.e. after an action, not mid-action). I’ll also need to ensure I am especially careful to secure the lighting setup throughout filming. Even with the same lighting setup and environment, things are never simple and when I come back after a day’s filming on another day there is always a difference. It comes down mostly to the camera and that it resets some of its settings on every startup. To get around that I’ll need to ensure that I match up the settings as best I can on each segment transition. Even then, it will not be perfect but thankfully I have been improving my skills with colour correction in post production and feel pretty confident I can tweak each segment to match. I also have other make-shift methods of blending them together if I need to.
Animating went well and I mostly achieved what I wanted. The segment I filmed was very similar to the depiction in the animatic and storyboards however I added in additional movements here and there so the character had more time to show its inner thinking. The character “wakes up” and has a look around, then discovers their own body and then tries to understand what he cannot see – his head. He looks at his hands and jiggles his feet.
I wanted the character’s first thoughts to represent “what is this, what am I?” before curiosity takes over and will lead him to explore his surroundings. The animation itself is okay, certainly better than the earlier test I animated but I think I will become more confident as I progress through the animation. I anticipated this and I feel this is okay to show, as both myself and the character are learning about the armature and more confident movement later on will also reflect a more confident character. Seems like cheating a little but that’s okay, its all up to the viewer’s interpretation anyway.