Computer Arts Practice

Self Evaluation: “Slipping on a Puddle” Animation

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I’m combining the second playblast with the self evaluation for the “Slipping on a Puddle” animation. This is because this animation is quite a bit shorter than the others and I don’t want to risk repeating myself.

So this was my last planned animation. Unfortunately it had to be shorter due to time constraints but I’m hoping my longer animations make up for the content total for the hand-ins.

That being said, I enjoyed making this animation and am happy with the result.

I finished up the footwork and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. The last time I attempted complex footwork was the sword swinging animation from last semester. This one also required a lot of guess work as it is hard to act out. I was scrubbing the timeline a lot and looking for where the force was pushing the character and what movements I’d need to make to counter-balance but also allow the character to lose that balance and fall backwards.

Whereas my other evaluations cover aims such as: pacing, story/character and animation quality, I feel the characterisation was harder to convey in a shorter scene. However I did set-up a walk cycle trying to give a little taste to what this character might be like.

I wanted a character that obviously wasn’t looking where they were going. I have done the drunk walk before so decided to go for an over-the-top jolly fellow striding along without a care in the world. He then encounters a slippery surface and all sorts of shenanigans ensue as he falls on his back.

Had I had more time I could’ve went crazy with this. I could’ve had greater arm flairs and more comedic actions. I could’ve prolonged the fall even longer or added a more exaggerated Looney Tunes-esque pause in mid-air before falling.

The animation quality isn’t my best but I was still happy with how it turned out. Unfortunately time was not on my side due to other modules and lots of hand-ins so I had to cut my time short to work on this one.

This will be my last animation for semester. Thanks for reading!

Slipping on a Puddle

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As my time has been limited and will only get more limited. I started a new animation which I will hopefully finish in time. It’s a smaller scenario and a bit more light-hearted. It requires less physics and more silly exaggeration than I’ve done in a while.

The scenario is simply walking into a puddle/oil slick, having a moment trying to balance and then falling flat onto the ground.

I started the animation with another walk cycle. I went for extremely jolly with big strides, a terrifying smile and a care free attitude. I like how this walk cycle turned out. Usually I have to edit the pacing of these animations but I seem to have this one fine from the start.

I’ve not blocked out the later leg movement as I know the footwork is the big action requirement of the scene. I plan to do some wacky arm movements and over-the-top balancing before falling to the ground. I was initially inspired to do this animation after seeing a funny video a while back, still makes me laugh.

Self Evaluation: “Waking Up” Animation

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This self evaluation is on my “waking up” animation which is the longest animated scenario I’ve created this semester and one of the most complex, despite its slower pace and less action packed narrative.

This self evaluation, like the others, will look at the following aims: pacing, story/character and animation quality.

The pacing in this animation was intentionally slow, but the actions contained in the scenario are played out at with appropriate timing. I’ve avoided a lot of the ‘floatiness’ in my older animations by again playing a lot with the graph editor.

When the character attempts to hit the snooze button his alarm clock, there are both good and bad points to make on the timing. I think the upper arm action is good but the wrist movement can feel a little “out of time” with the rest of the arm movement. The character is supposed to be tired so it makes less sense that the wrist would be moving independently “stronger” than it should’ve been.

The character in this scenario comes across quite strong, as does the narrative. It’s something that almost everyone can relate with as we’ve all been in that situation (some of us daily).

I mentioned in an earlier post about the acting principle “A Scene is a Negotiation”. I think considering this and thinking about this principle has really improved the storytelling in my animation. I also think having the longer length of time has allowed me to explore more actions and therefore improved the narrative and characterisation.

A lot of the actions are much more subtle in this scene: the yawn, the attempt to wake up, the drowsy head movements. The subtly has allowed for the scene to feel more natural and realistic.

The animation quality overall is good, very good in parts, average in others. Just like my “Sitting Up” animation, I’ve struggled to get the “pushing” force perfect. I have managed to animate a better attempt but I couldn’t find the best pose to get the best “push” out of it. His arms were a little short compared to his body here so he only has a small push, even with the large bend in his body. The IK also snaps the elbow a little bit which is unintended but a lot less noticeable than in my animations from last semester.

Overall I’m very happy with this animation I’m most proud to show this one to others. I worry that its length will be looked badly upon in grading and that my next animation may not live up to this one. I do have only a couple of weeks left and I’m already struggling with time as it is, so I’ll be starting on my next (and final) animation very soon.

Waking Up 3

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This is the final playblast for this animation. I probably should’ve “playblast’d” the progress between this and the last one but got carried away with animating and forgot to.

This has been one of the longest animations I’ve made and one I’ve spent the most time on. Although I did say in my reflective brief that I was aiming for 5-10 second animations, this one tops almost 25 seconds. Although the animation is slower paced and not as intense, there’s a lot of subtly in the animation. This will probably count towards 2 of my total animations this semester as its quite a lot.

I’ll go through the animation chronologically and explain the differences.

Starting off with the alarm clock, the upper arm now drags the lower arm up above it. I’ve added more ‘force’ to the hit, it looks live gravity is properly effecting his arm and he’s simply dropping it on the clock. I’ve added some floppy wrist action and the fingers are also animated now. He attempts to hit the clock in a number of different places.

Once the alarm clock goes off his arm just drops back instead of going back to where it was before. I think its a great addition that just emphasises the tiredness, laziness or care free nature of the character.

The arms and legs no longer clip through the bed as I’ve changed their animation controllers to Inverse Kinematics (IK), which means that they remain stationary regardless of where the body is rotating. The arms still remain Forward Kinematics (FK) until the hands make contact with the bed just as he’s about to push himself up.

As he pushes himself up his arms droop to his sides with his hands just trailing along the bed. He leans forward and his head just hangs forward drowsily until he decides to put his feet on the ground.

His head continues to bobble around as his body leads the way. The character has a moment to compose himself but instead falls back to the bed.

The impact comprises of his arms succumbing to gravity and his body also falls back to the bed with his head bumping around the pillow.

I have more to say about this animation but I shall do so in the following self evaluation.

Waking Up 2

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In this playblast, I’ve been slowly polishing up all of the basic blocking in this scenario.

I’ve added some more rotation in his head so that he’s almost always moving ever so gradually on the pillow. I think this adds a great drowsy feeling to his actions. As he reaches out for the alarm I’ve added a little bit of body motion as he stretches out. The action of hitting the alarm has been tweaked, I’ve added some wrist and elbow motion to get that floppy arm, half-effort attempt to hit the snooze button. I still need to tweak the curves to get more of an impact on each hit.

The eyes now open as he looks up for the first time and close as he falls back into bed. I’ve added in a lot of back bend in both attempts when he tries to sit up. Note that the arms do clip through the bed, I haven’t worked on that yet.

The rest of the animation is still un-worked on, slowly getting there but I’m enjoying this one.