Sunday, October 21, 2012

Week 4 is a Doooooozy

It was a busy, busy week this week readers. We had so much to do! Polish our first shot, shoot reference for our next shot, and do planning drawings! Plus I went out of town this weekend to watch Cal take a very unfortunate butt whooping from Stanford. :( But, at least we're getting Missy Franklin on our swim team next year. All in all, I had lots to do. First off, let's look at my turnaround with Ballie, which is all polished for you!

Pretty happy with how this turned out. I my biggest hurdle with this shot was it feeling too soft initially. Even from Week 1 Marlon told me to watch out for floaty-ness in my work, since some of Class One work felt a bit floaty as well. I toyed with the timing of this shot a lot and I think the experimentation I've been able to do with it over the past few weeks has really helped train my eye to recognize better timing/spacing. I think the feeling of weight has improved a lot, even just since my blocking plus pass. 

And now, it's time for more reference video! For our next shot, we are getting a new rig! His name is Stewie and he is pretty much just a fancier version of our old pal Stu, and thankfully his head is not quite as large and he has eyes! Yay! For the list of actions we could pick to animate, we had a lot of cool options, but I decided to go with "a run with a change of direction." I've had a lot of trouble doing runs whenever I've tried them in the past so I thought this would be a good challenge.  On my day off this week I borrowed my dad's tripod, set it up in my backyard and ran around like a crazy person. 

After doing about thirty takes of myself running around, sometimes from off camera, sometimes away from camera, sometimes toward it (I got soooo sweaty), I ended up piecing two of my favorite takes together (that's why there's that weird cut in the middle). I liked the takes where I ran into frame but I also like the little skid thing I did on the turnaround from another take. Thankfull, my mentor gave us the okay to piece together reference last week during the Q&A and I like how it came out.

Also, you may be wondering why I was running with my arms behind my back. Our Stewie rig for this shot doesn't have any arms, so I figured I shouldn't use my arms so my reference was as accurate as possible. Fun fact: running with no arms is really hard. Turns out swinging your arms is a tremendous help to gaining forward momentum and balancing as you change direction. Seriously. Go outside and try to do it without falling over.

So, since I had my reference all ready to go, it was time to do my planning drawings. I always liked how our mentors could draw directly over our reference and after a bit of googling, I found out that I could do the very same thing in photoshop! I got really excited and went to town on my reference:

I apologize that this is so annoying to watch this in real time (and on youtube you unfortunately can't scrub through it frame by frame). Also my color key is basically impossible to read, but black drawings are contact positions, green is up and down extremes, red is passing positions, orange is line of action/weight notes, and white is shoulder rotation extremes. I'm so excited that I figured out how to do this and if my shot turns out well, I think I'm going to add this in as a permanent part of my workflow!

Okay, now onto the drawings. From my drawn-over reference, I was able to lift all the appropriate poses for the run pretty easily and separate them into color coded keys, as you'll see in pages two and three. I pushed the poses a bit where I could, but looking at it now I know that I'm going to need to exaggerate them even more when I get into Maya. Something that I noticed while working on my last shot is that I had to speed my timing up quite a bit to get the weight to feel the same as in my reference. For whatever reason, the timing from live action doesn't directly translate into animation and if you lift the timing from your reference, things will usually feel too slow. I did some rough adjustments with the frame numbers I've timed out here on the first page. 

That's all I've got for this week, darlings! I'm going to start blocking soon so that will be posted up in a few days. See you then!

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