Monday, August 15, 2005

Week 8 Emotion ReBlocking WIP

We are in the third week out of 4 weeks for the emotion test. A perfect time to start over from scratch right? Well that's what I decided to do. I was so unhappy with the way my blocking turned out from last week that I decided I needed a complete overhaul.

After my session w Rebecca I was energized and motivated to try the Grease Pencil Tool to reblock my new ideas for the project. I decided to get rid of the mic stand since I felt it was hindering me from getting the dynamic poses I wanted. I also was terribly unhappy with my sorry excuse for breakdowns, meaning that I definetely did not have a plan for interesting and entertaining breakdowns. So it was back to the drawing board, to start new thumbnails and play around with ideas in Maya using the grease pencil tool. Plus new fun breakdowns are a great excuse to try a zany cartoony style and really amp up the entertainment factor.

So Wednesday I planned my thumbnails and timed out a rough version w the GPT. Thursday I posed out a rough new blocking using my thumbnails as a guide, Fri, Sat, and Sun I refined the blocking, adding arcs and overlap and timed it out. I ended up running out of time Sunday at the noon deadline since the decision to have him walk off the stage came very late on Saturday night. My boyfriend Marko suggested the walking off stage idea, and I think it could really add to the performance, although it is definetely NOT keeping it simple.

There is a line somewhere between keeping it simple which is what we are supposed to be doing and keeping it boring which is what I think I was doing last week, I have not found that line yet. Well I managed to pull the brand new blocking together in less than a week, the planning stage was crucial and also allowed me to see it in my head where I wanted to go with this shot. It still needs a lot of work, and my crit from Derek was awesome, he said it was a big improvement and had tons of suggestions to improve it even more, so I'm psyched to keep working on it. It has been a really fun project so far. Plus I got tons of great feedback from the AM students, something like 15 comments before Sunday night, which is just a terrific boost and I am so greatful for them taking the time to leave comments to help me improve. OK, still lots of work to do, wish me luck.


At 9:52 AM, Blogger Brian "My Fault" Nicolucci said...

What a great call about removing the mic stand. It's funny how what seems like a small thing really helped open up this animation.
It is also great to see you take so well to the greasepencil script. It is an amazingly liberating tool. Jason rules for writing it!
BTW, just wanted to say again how cool it was to hang with you at siggraph. Your passion for animation was awe inspring and you are one of the nicest most supportive people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Plus you have a squichy cat! :)

At 11:22 AM, Blogger MattG said...

Saw your CGTalk post and remembered I wanted to say how much I liked his LEAP in this new version.:) Just watch the legs (they seem to swap which one is in front & behind a couple of times while he's in the air), and that you get enough anticipation to do a jump that big. But I LOVE the landing, really fluid, and jumping forward is a great use of depth. Definitely do the "dejected" walk-off. Can't wait!

At 11:40 AM, Blogger anthea said...

brian, thanks for the encouragement. yeah i had to ditch the mic stand. i am stil holding onto some other things from my pervious blocking that i think are holding me back as well, so hard to let go...

it was super cool hanging w you too!! you da man! my obession w animation grew at an alarming rate at sigg, i think it's becoming a problem :)

the gpt is awesome, haven't totally figured it out as well as rebecca but am certainly going to keep trying.

yay squishy! meow

mattg- thanks for looking at my stuff, the jump was really fun to try. abt the jump, yeah that needs a complete overhaul, my mentor said to totally change it, so good eye mattg. the walk off is going to be hard. i am not KISS on this one, rats!

At 12:02 PM, Blogger kr said...

Hey Anthea,

I'm not really good in animation myself but I'm gonna try and tell you my thoughts, hopefuly they'll be helpful :)

I think you can push the line of action on most of your poses, frame 95, is basicaly an anticipation pose for the jump pose, so maybe you could haunch him down more making a stronger line of action which could make your jump more forceful.

another thing that I do personaly and perhaps you would find helpful, specialy in walks and jumps, in blocking, I always do the contact poses first, like in a jump, I do the pose when he is pushing off, feet still in contact with ground, and landing, the pose in which his feet first contact with ground, this way you really get a feeling of the flow of motion and get to see problems early on before you convert to linear or spline, so, 144 to 147, the big jump, I think you could benefit by this method, it's just my opinion thou :) (milt kahl used to work this way too)

frame 178 to 179, great reversal in line of action! get more of those ni there!!

okay, hope that was helpful :)


At 12:26 PM, Blogger anthea said...

Hey Kevah,

Thanks so much for the observations. That antic to the jump I think I need to totally rework that. I have a long road ahead of me with this project. I fear I may have made it too complicated, not adhearing to the KISS technique. I also got some great feedback from my mentor, so next week should have some improvements. Thanks again for your thoughts.


At 10:40 AM, Blogger Aja B. said...

Wooooo Anthea!! I know I already geeked out in your workspace, but I just want to say again that I LOVE the new blocking pass! With all those beautiful arcs!! You've really inspired me to try to find more places to incorporate those big sweeping arcs in my work, maybe not this time around, but for the next assignment for sure.

Hope the smoothing is going well! Keep on truckin'! :D

At 10:41 AM, Blogger Aja B. said...

And yay Squishy, the best darn shaved cat in the world! :D

At 4:55 PM, Blogger anthea said...

yay for jaja and libbey

my favorite inthacons

thanks for your feedback. i am knee deep in revisions to the blocking. i just wanted to experiment w a more fun cartoony style. it is really fun to think of crazy breakdown poses.

your sprinkler proj is looking good so far too. just more tweaks on timing and you are there, all the poses are great and the story is very readable.

At 6:11 PM, Blogger rebecca said...

Man Anthea, this animation is looking great. Way to really take it to the next level. You can totally see the difference between this version and your last attempt. Way to go!

At 2:28 PM, Blogger KENSHi said...

frame 39 Stewie's left hand is getting lost in the silhouette. have you considered doing a big upward sweep of the left arm to be the driving force of that arc? i also think you can push that pose on frame 61 by making the left arm straight like someone performing their little heart out on the tv show "fame" or something. great meeting you at Sigg and thanks again for the middle mouse timeline maya tip. you have no idea how much time this is saving me! rock on!

At 10:44 AM, Blogger anthea said...

thanks kenshi for the comments,

it was great meeting you. this project is kicking my a**. i still cant seem to get teh ending right no matter how many different ways i try.


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