Monday, 14 November 2011

Animation Tests...

This past week I have been producing a walk cycle for my main character, Mollie.

I had a lot of trouble at the start, as I was finding it hard to stop the character from limping. I did a fair few linetests at the start! I had drawn out some key poses taken from the reference as shown in the previous post. These very rough thumbnails provided me with some initial keys to refer to. However, they did not help as much as I thought they would..

Thumbnails of (the real) Mollie walking:

 Thumbnails of Ellen walking:

From talking to a few friends, they identified the problems I had were in the spacing of the feet. After they showed me the method of charting the position of the back of the heel for each frame and making sure they were all equal in length, I was finally able to complete a walk cycle properly!

I then faced a lot of trouble with the back arm of the character; the movement was hard to achieve, even with the front arm's movement working well. I had to stop re-working it, however, as too much time was being spent on trying to perfect it. The general movement of the cycle was working, so I then scanned and brought the images into Photoshop.

Here is a link to a video of the final rough pencil test for Mollie. I have coloured the lines purple (to resemble the style-inspiration of Sara Ogilvie's illustrations from "Rhinos Don't Eat Pancakes"). I then coloured it in two styles. First, a lilac monotone colour, which was suggested in the feedback from fellow students in the calss from the week 6 pecha kucha presentations. The second, a selection of colours that reflect a more realistic vision of what a real school uniform would look like:

Mollie Walk Cycle [rough]

I showed these to my tutor, James, today (Monday 14th Nov) at the seminar. He suggested I now try and composit a background in After Effects with the pencil test, which could then give me a clearer vision of what the final film could really look like.

Also, as I have been having increasing difficulties with my story, I was able to have some great feedback from James. He gave me some clear ideas on which way to take a certain story point, which I will discuss further in another post.

Also today, I finished a 'Babbit' walk/run cycle. Another friend on my course was able to get me some brilliant reference of their pet rabbit running around which helped extensively for this task.

This video shows my pencil test for the character, 'Babbit'. It is a walk/run cycle. There are a few areas that need refining. I will either come back to them at a later stage, or fix them in the final production of my film. I coloured the lines of 'Babbit' purple to match the walk colour test with Mollie.

Babbit Walk/Run Cycle [rough] - Vimeo Link

I will be re-storyboarding the entire film this week with the new and improved ideas from today's seminar. I will also need to attempt the background for the walk cycle's as part of a test to see how the final film may look. This will require me to research more into the design of the backgrounds I really want, so I will be posting some background designs and tests as soon as I can.

I will also be working on my "working life" report; an 1000 word report as part of our entire project hand-in. We are asked to write about a work experience placement if we had one; to talk about the industry we are aiming to go into; what business is like at the moment, what we learned from the experience, etc... As I was fortunate to have a brilliant 5 week placement in London over the summer, I will be writing about that.


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